As the opening to Kate Adams' soap opera talk shows, the genre tends to be filled with overblown and melodramatic twists, turns, and emotions that seem to have little bearing on real life. As a former assistant casting director for 'As the World Turns,' Adams would have more than enough experience to agree with such an observation. However, her discussion shows that these hyperbolic plots aren't entirely fluffy. In fact, soap operas can teach people important life lessons -- if they take the time to watch them.
One of the lessons Adams gleans from soaps is that surrender is not an option. In an episode of 'As the World Turns,' a character named Erica came face to face with a bear, but ended up getting away unscathed thanks to her willful drive to succeed. Adams' compares this attitude to Tim Westergrin, the founder of the music streaming company Pandora. After running out of seed funding, Westergrin put himself into personal debt and even asked his employees to withhold their paychecks before the company eventually succeeded and paid it all off.
Lessons like these are abundant in soap operas; people only need to give them a chance to find out.