Soap operas are daytime television shows. The storylines are often batshit crazy and the actors are thoroughly incompetent when it comes to things like, you know, acting.
Soap Operas are often the choice entertainment for people who have absolutely nothing better to do. The targeted viewers include lonely middle-aged housewives, and lonely middle-aged single women.
The absolute idiocy of soap operas continue to reach higher and higher levels. Recently, the ABC soap One Life to Live sent several of their characters back in time to Texas in 1968 just so that the actors could fake bad southern accents. The 1968 plotline was part of the shows 40th anniversary special that also included one character on a spaceship to heaven (the character didn't die, though. She was brought back to life with with shot of addrenaline. Aparently, that's possible even after you've been dead for an hour or two).
Soap Operas have about three working plotlines that they reuse constantly:
PLOTLINE 1- Mistaken Identity
Soap Operas are constantly switching babies at birth. You would think that someone would attempt fix the glich in the medical system that allows multiple babies to be switched every generation, but many soap opera characters are too busy being burried alive and, you know, getting caught in tornadoes to make sure the baby that they are taking home is actually related to them.
PLOTLINE 2- There Was A Murder, And Everyone In Town Was At The Scene Of The Crime
When actors and actresses decide to leave soap operas in order to attempt an actual acting career, their character's are often murdered in order to tie up whatever ridiculous storylines they are involved in. In order to keep the writers from actually having to write for months at a time, they set up a mystery around who the murderer was. For every murdered character, there are about seven possible suspects who were within shooting range of the victim at the time of the killing. Despite the fact half of the town's population was at scene of the crime, no one can identify the shooter because, as everybody already knows, you should only murder someone when twenty other people are around.
PLOTLINE 3- Reincarnation
Once former soap actors realize that an acting career is out of reach, they choose to come back to the soaps. The fact that their character was murdered eighteen months ago means nothing in the land of soap operas. Characters are usually revealed to have been in a coma all along, and the fact that they buried some random person in the character's place is never addressed (because this is a soap opera and details are negligable). Occasionally, actors are brought back as their character's identical twin that was lost at birth (see plotline 1).
Soap operas often employ a different type of acting then you might see on an actual TV show. Many people refer to this style of acting as "over-acting" or "worse than that shit on the Disney channel".
The only skills you need to posses to be qualified for an acting job on a soap include: a basic knowledge of the english language, the ability to gasp and make a "suprised" face, and about as much self-respect as a stripper. With those three qualities and some luck, you can be the next Susan Lucci