For many of us, soap operas were a childhood staple. Perhaps your mom or your grandmother watched and then you became hooked on the latest love triangle, super couple or hospital crisis.
During the genre’s peak period in the 1980s and 1990s, one network aired Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns, Guiding Light and The Young and the Restless in the span of a single day. Now, only four soap operas still exist and they’re spread over a few networks, with daytime scheduling dominated by talk shows and reality-based programming.
Despite the evolution of television, the passion for soap operas still exists. And Emmy award-winning producer and director Sonia Blangiardo is making sure it stays that way with her web series, Tainted Dreams.
“The genre is still alive,” she explained to 660 NEWS. “The way it’s being shown, told, may not be so relevant anymore because the audiences are busy now. We’re not at home watching TV with your mom or your grandmother. More and more people are going online for content.”
AUDIO: 660’s Sandra Prusina chats with Sonia Blangiardo
Blangiardo spent years working on the sets of All My Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns and Days of Our Lives. Her time as a director and producer on these shows inspired her to take her experiences behind-the-scenes and bring them online.
“They say you write what you know,” she said. “Throughout the years, I gathered all of these crazy stories and I wanted to tell it from my perspective, but create brand new characters. I don’t think audiences understand what it’s like to work on a soap.”
And that’s what you’ll see on Tainted Dreams: a soap within a soap.
“All of the crazy things that happen in the series are things that happened,” Blangiardo said.
The Tainted Dreams cast features familiar faces from the soap opera world. Austin Peck (Days of Our Lives), Grant Aleksander (Guiding Light), Alicia Minshew (All My Children) and Colleen Zenk (As the World Turns) are just some names from a who’s who list.
“I’ve been doing this a really long time and you develop personal relationships with everyone,” Blangiardo said of her cast. “I was very specific about who I wanted and I created the characters with those particular actors in mind.”
For Blangiardo, she believes this is the future of a genre, which remains near and dear in the hearts of many.
“I do believe there’s a passionate fan base and there’s such brand recognition,” she said. “Yearning for that kind of storytelling is there.”
Season one of Tainted Dreams is now streaming on Amazon.
For more information, visit www.tainteddreams.com.