May 18 2008

Soap Opera Geogrpahy

All My Children LogoAs I have admitted before, I watch All My Children. Laugh if you must, I own up to it. And not long ago, I also added watching The Young and the Restless. It is actually better than AMC, but I’ve been watching that one so long, I doubt I could stop if I wanted to. (as I’ve said before, “listening” is more accurate as to what I do with television)

However, there is something that has come to bother the hell out of me about both soaps: Geography.

Yes, I can handle poisonings, baby swaps, amnesia, cheating spouses and on and on, but their geography is just bugging the heck out of me!

The Young and the Restless happens in the semi-fictional city of Genoa City, Wisconsin (the real one has a population of under 2,000). We are to believe that this Wisconsin town has

Fine, in today’s world, corporations can be anywhere thanks to the Internet, but a major international airport? Sure a fashion magazine could use the same Internet excuse, but wouldn’t you kind of want to be near where the designers and models are?

pennsylvaniaThen there is All My Children which takes place in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania. This city suffers from some of the same problems as Genoa City.

Yes… I said “ocean front property”. It has been referenced several times that they can take their yachts to New York City or sail them down the coast to Florida, as they did in May 2005 for a wedding, but, yet… Pennsylvania does not touch any oceans. We’ve heard the waves breaking on the beach, people talk about how cold the ocean must be… YOU’RE IN PENNSYLVANIA! Yes, it touches Lake Erie, so in theory you could get to the ocean from the north, or through the southern part of the state if you wanted to go down the Potomac, but they have clearly mentioned “the ocean”.

I think all of this first got on my nerves about a year ago when One Life To Live, which takes place 30-miles from Pine Valley in Llanview, PA was having a “dangerous blizzard”. Over in Pine Valley? They were wearing wind breakers and sleeveless dresses. Because… I don’t know, I’m sure there was a plausible explanation… we never heard…

I know, I know, its odd to argue the silliness of soap opera geographies, but come on, can’t we keep the wackiness to suddenly discovering someone is alive who “died” 20 years ago and we’ve even seen their “ghost” during that time span? Keep the oceans where they belong!

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