Armenian soap operas on air
Perhaps everything will change soon…
Soap operas have turned into a calamity in our society for a long time. They have nothing in common with the art of cinematography and are simply a way for mass media outlets to attract their audiences. Soap operas must not be viewed as masterpieces of art, but television product. But this doesn’t free the television networks that use huge resources to “show masterpieces” with “shocking and unrepeatable” content from their responsibility. Soap operas truly “boomed” on Armenian television in 2008-2009. Until then, television stations showing only Brazilian and Argentinean soap operas started showing their own “soap operas” one after another, including “Vervaratsner Entanikum”, “Dzhbakht Yerankutyun” (Unhappy Happiness), “Vorogayt” (Trap), “Hanun Siro” (For Love), “Kyanqi Gine” (The Price of Life), “Vorber” (Orphans), “Banakum” (In the Army)… The list goes on, but we decided to mention the ones with the highest ratings. After all, the important thing is not the names. However, the names do sound appealing and symbolic and simply attract viewers. As to what topics are presented, that is a different story. We believe you may also ask the question whether everything is truly normal on Armenian television and whether the people who broadcast the soap opera even watch it before airing or not. It is no secret that children and adolescents are the ones who are exposed to television shows the most. Whereas a mature adult can decide what to watch and what can set an example, it would be ridiculous to say the same for children. The purpose of this article is not to discuss, criticize or, much less, analyze the content and plots of the above mentioned soap operas. But there is good news. No, filming of soap operas will not be prohibited and they will not be replaced by films of high value. However, in February 2010, the National Commission on Radio and Television took a decision to set the standards for “erotic television shows and horror films, as well as shows that may have a negative impact on the health, mental and physical development and education of minors”. Although the sub-points are in the process of planning, a huge step has been taken. It is envisaged to apply the standards starting March 1, 2010. Nevertheless, there is already a positive impact. Many soap operas have stopped airing and it is presupposed that they will all end by March 1. A sector of society is seriously “fighting” against soap operas, while the other sector is blindly “defending” them. There is also a sector of people who absolutely don’t care whether there are soap operas on Armenian television or not, whether they are local or foreign soap operas. If you are part of this sector of society, it will be clear to us if you stop reading. Soap operas are shown at the most watched hours of the day, that is, the block between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. if you don’t like soap operas, as a rule, there is no alternative on Armenian television at those hours and you must find something interesting to do. The decision is yours-either to watch all this, or reject the justifying fact that “everyone has his own taste” and demand taste that will suit everybody. Lilit Grigoryan