Jennifer Rathwell: The Queen Of Screen


How to Know it's Time to Break Up with Your Soap Opera

When You Just Can't Hack Another Evil Twin

How to get through the withdrawal of quitting your favourite TV soap opera's drama - because sometimes you just can't hack another evil twin. | Entertainment |

Like any relationship, you enter into it with the best of intentions: some light entertainment, perhaps some drama, something to talk about the next day at work. Before you know it, you’re sucked in, spending your time going over the fine details, frustrated, angry and ready to just walk away. Except you can’t, because they’re there for you, week after week - maybe even day after day: soaps.

My guilty pleasure at the moment is Scream Queens. It's not truly a proper soap, but it definitely owes a lot to soaps: ridiculous plot twists, deaths, and over-the-top performances that all come together in one deliciously gooey pot of cheese. The good part: Scream Queens has an imminent end. Not so for many of our favourite serial families, and that can be… a problem.

How to know when to quit:

  • A main character has been kidnapped, found to have an evil twin, or been killed (and then revived) more than once.
  • There is no planned finale but everyone else you know quit watching last year, or possibly the year before that, driving you to intense online discussions with the 17 other mega fans out there on some forum online. 
  • The plot twists have you shouting “Aw, come on!” instead of gasping “Whaaat? Oh, this is getting good!”

Soaps are the television mafia: just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in! I first fell into the web of Days of Our Lives when I was home with the chicken pox (in 11th Grade, thank you weird immune system) and that was great…until it led to furtively sneaking down to the student lounge at noon and watching to get my fix between classes at university.

Determined not to go down that road again, I banned myself from any soaps when I was home with my wee ones, which led to a new relationship with the Food Network, which is about actual gooey cheese.

How to quit:

  • Go cold turkey. No watching, no episode recaps online, and definitely NO falling for big promotions like “You won’t believe who’s back!” Trust me, you will.
  • Accountability: tell your friends. You may have to suffer through being dis-invited to the weekly Grey’s viewing party. That’s OK - just have some wine with Ina.
  • Definitely don’t get attached to any new shows, like Empire. Because you won’t believe what Cookie did last week…


Or, remember it’s all a bit of harmless fun and you deserve to escape to Salem, Genoa or wherever you want with your precious "me" time. Just please don’t call me the next time Marlena gets possessed.

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