Guest Author - Lynn McMonigal
There are two sites that I routinely use to get information on the ABC soaps. One is, of course, ABC.com. This site is wonderful for getting recaps of the episodes I’ve missed, as well as information on both current characters and actors. The site also offers a wonderful Family Tree section, where it is easy to see how each family intersects with the others in town.
The site that I use to most, however, is SoapCentral.com. This site posts the latest news on all the soaps, both daytime and primetime. SoapCentral also posts daily recaps. I find these recaps to be more substantial then those posted on ABC.com. Most likely, this is due to the recaps being written by viewers rather than by ABC employees.
SoapCentral.com also features cast and character profiles. Again, these profiles seem more helpful than those on ABC.com, especially to a new viewer. The profiles on ABC.com tend to be only characters currently on the canvas. SoapCentral.com features profiles of past characters as well, making it easier to understand how everyone fits together.
Along with the character profiles, SoapCentral.com has actor histories. Choose which character you are interested in learning more about, and you will also see a list of the actors who have played that character over the years. Many of these actors also have biography pages on the site, as well as a listing of their birthdays.
The site also has many features especially for the fans. There are games, listings of fan clubs for individual actors as well as the shows, and free message boards. A new feature on the 12-year-old site is the free blog space. These features provide lots of opportunity for fans to interact with other soap fans, as well as airing their own thoughts, concerns, and ideas about the direction each show may be taking.
My favorite part of this site, by far, is the spoiler section. Spoilers for each show are divided into this week, next week, and coming months (though not necessarily with those titles). The spoilers are worded in such a way that readers have an idea what will happen, but no clue how it is going to happen. For example, the General Hospital spoiler states that “Craig's agenda becomes clear”. Just what that agenda and who will be affected by it is not revealed. These spoilers give just enough of a tease to make you want to watch and see just what is going to happen.