Sex, Money, Bad Faith, Laughter, Power Struggles, Betrayal, Politics and even death -- in a law school. Who Knew?
Three bright young professors all vie for promotion and tenure at a law school. Not unusual, except all three have secrets that could threaten their careers as well as their personal lives.
One, a seemingly happily married father of two, is plagued by the fear that his long-ago brief affair with the dean's son will be discovered. Now the dean's son has returned home and threatens to expose him. Another, a single black female, is having a torrid affair with the president of the university board of trustees. Complicating matters is his wife's suspicions, his quest to be the next governor of the state and the dean's son's possible knowledge of his infidelity. The third candidate is a married woman desperately trying to escape her blue collar past. When her long-estranged husband shows up on the scene to threaten trouble, the situation gets complicated, especially since the dean's mean-spirited son begins to torment her about her past. Suddenly, the dean's son winds up dead. Who's to blame?
The soap opera, one of U.S. television's longest-running and most influential formats, is on the brink. Declining ratings have been attributed to an increasing number of women working outside the home and to an intensifying competition for viewers' attention from cable and the Internet. Yet, soaps' influence has expanded, with serial narratives becoming commonplace on most prime time TV programs. "The Survival of Soap Opera" investigates the causes of their dwindling popularity, describes their impact on TV and new media culture, and gleans lessons from their complex history for twenty-first-century media industries.
The book contains contributions from established soap scholars such as Robert C. Allen, Louise Spence, Nancy Baym, and Horace Newcomb, along with essays and interviews by emerging scholars, fans and Web site moderators, and soap opera producers, writers, and actors from ABC's "General Hospital," CBS's "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," and other shows. This diverse group of voices seeks to intervene in the discussion about the fate of soap operas at a critical juncture, and speaks to longtime soap viewers, television studies scholars, and media professionals alike.