Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kate's Current TV Crush -- European Soap Operas

Hi, my name is Kate, and I'm a YouTube addict.

(Hi, Kate!)

A couple weeks ago, I found myself watching a just-uploaded video of that day's episode of Alles Was Zaehlt. In the original German. Because I couldn't wait the extra hour for the English-subtitled version to show up.

Why? Because Roman and Deniz's relationship was supposed to start heating up again. And I had to see what happened.

One of the things about YouTube that is both a joy and a curse is the sidebar with related videos. It's so easy to get sucked into a vortex of more and more videos, until you look up and it's two in the morning and where in the world did all that time go?

So yeah, I'm hooked on European soap operas, or more specifically, m/m storylines on European soaps. I can't even remember how I first discovered this subgenre – probably by clicking on a related video after watching a Jack/Ianto clip – but the first one I glommed on to was the John-Paul/Craig storyline on Hollyoaks, a UK soap. (Bonus: very few subtitles needed!) From there, I progressed to Christian and Oliver on Verbotene Liebe, a German soap, and then Roman and Deniz on AWZ.

(There are others – in France, Spain, even Israel – but I do have to draw the line somewhere.)

Why do I like m/m storylines on European soap operas?

* The drama. In many cases, one of the partners has never been "out" or had another same-sex partner before. The struggle to accept who he is, to admit his attraction to another man, and to come clean to friends and family is inherently conflict-laden and emotional. I'm a big fan of angst, and all of these stories are chock-full of it.
* The acting. I've been very impressed with the quality of the acting by the actors on these soaps. They transcend the often-overwrought stories to bring a level of honesty to the characters that makes me really care about them.
* The production values. On the soaps I've watched on YouTube, they take a lot more risks with the camera angles, the handheld techniques, even the intro and exit of each scene.
* The music! I've discovered a ton of great music (in English and German), from Does It Offend You, Yeah?, to Revolverheld, to Razorlight, to Placebo. I don't know if it's the lower cost for rights in a smaller market or what, but the addition of some fabulous tunes does make a difference.
* The sexiness. Okay, call me shallow, but watching hot guys walk around in towels is fun.
* Less prudishness. This ties in with the previous point, but it's significant. When there is an m/m relationship on a European soap, they're in a relationship. There's kissing and touching and lounging in bed together, just like any other couple. By contrast, after Noah and Luke kissed for the first (and second) time on As The World Turns over the course of a week or so, they didn't kiss again for almost a year – long enough for people to post countdown clocks on websites and start a write-in campaign. Not very realistic for two guys who were supposed to be in a long-term, loving relationship during that time period.
* The YouTube channels dedicated to the soaps. The community of watchers really is a community, chatting about the characters and the storylines and the clips. It's great fun. My personal favorite is Eskimo Kiss Project, the premiere Roman/Deniz channel. The three women who record, translate, subtitle and post the clips are talented, dedicated, and damn funny. Sometimes their descriptions are even better than the episodes! (And being able to watch without commercials and unrelated storylines is a bonus, too.)

Tune in tomorrow for an interview with the creative minds behind Eskimo Kiss Project!

So there you have it – my confession. I'm hooked on European soaps, but I'm not looking for a cure just yet. How about you? What's your YouTube obsession?

(Oh, and that AWZ episode? EVEN BETTER IN ENGLISH.)


Kate Davies said...

PS: If any of you are interested in these storylines, I've got playlists for both Hollyoaks and Verbotene Liebe that get to the core of the stories that I'd be happy to pass along. Just e-mail me off blog and I'll send them your way. For Roman and Deniz, I haven't put together a playlist, partly because there are over 300 episodes posted and it would be a major undertaking, partly because the story is still ongoing (yay! R and D are probably getting back together again!), and partly because eskimokissproject's descriptions are so much fun that I'd have a hard time deciding what to trim out. A warning, though – the storyline goes DEEPLY south there for a while (to the point where I almost gave up on it completely—you'll know it when you get there). But so far this month, it looks like fans will be rewarded for hanging in there through the dark times.

Maia Strong said...

You are my YouTube pusher.

I have no YouTube obsession, per se. Probably because I have the attention span of my generation, i.e. 3 minutes and 30 seconds. That said, I will click whenever a friend posts a link to vid footage of geurrilla musical theatre. You know, Sound of Music in the train station; Pinball Wizard in San Francisco; and what was that one that broke out on an aircraft carrier or something? Yeah. Those I never get tired of. They are few and far between, though. (It takes time to rehearse those numbers, get permits, coordinate sound, etc.) But when another one pops up on YouTube, I'll be there to watch it.

Oh, and Roman/Deniz=HAWT!

ddurance said...

I didn't even know about these European soap operas, but I'll definitely have to check them out. lol

When I waste time on YouTube, it's usually to watch people dancing, robot dancing, funny dancing, dancing that's actually good. lol


Rhonda said...

I'm going to have to check these out! I normally don't do a lot of watching YouTube, but it looks like I need to start.

Kate Davies said...

Oh yes, Maia, I am your YT pusher. It is true. I try to only send you the really good stuff, even if I haven't gotten you hooked on DeRo yet. :) And the boys are definitely hawt!

Deirdre - Hope you enjoy the Euro soaps! And I loved the recent YouTube clip of the wedding entrance where they all danced. Such fun!

And Rhonda, I hope you like them! I've been very impressed with the quality of these shows.

Anonymous said...

OMG...This exactly what happened to me....First Jp & Craif, then Christian & Ollie, and fianlly Roman & Deniz....they are all amazing!

Kate Davies said...

Hi Anonymous! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by. Good to know I'm not the only one who got hooked on European m/m soap storylines. I guess we could call JohnPaul and Craig the gateway drug! LOL

Anonymous said...

Hello from Russia!
Can I quote a post "No teme" in your blog with the link to you?

Kate Davies said...

Hello, Russia! Thanks for stopping by.

I'm not sure what you're asking - do you want to link to my blog from another site, or quote a short bit elsewhere? I'm fine with either, if given credit. Just don't lift the whole thing, please!

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