Whether we realize it or not, we’ve been exposed to serials all our lives. One of my favorite serials is Scott Adam’s Dilbert comic strip; this is probably because I feel like Dilbert sometimes in my day to day. Serials come in any form really, be it on TV, in cartoon form, video games, or movie trilogies.
As a kid, I used to be well informed on my Mom’s favorite soap opera, All My Children, and I’m sure some of the story lines from when I was a kid are still unresolved. It’s a shame, as Brandon mentioned in his “A Toast to Soaps” blog post, that All My Children is getting canceled. My Mom just got a dvr so she wouldn’t miss an episode, too. How’s that for irony in your favorite serial?
To answer my own question, my favorite serial is the same serial that has consumed the majority of my life – World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Wrestling has been around since the early 1900s and the WWE promotion has been around since the 1960s. RAW is currently WWE’s flagship show and it’s been airing live every Monday night (with some exceptions) since January 11, 1993. As of July 11, 2011, there have been 945 episodes of RAW and it is shown in over 50 countries (obviously not all live).
What makes my serial so special? Let’s start with the fact that the talent performs in front of a live audience approximately 300 days a year (both domestically and abroad). Sure wrestling is scripted, but WWE’s talent engages in physicality that is equal to, if not greater than, professional athletes. Sometimes the performances are borderline insanity; for example, one wrestler may leap off a 15 foot ladder onto another wrestler on top of a table (you can’t fake physics!). The in ring action is only half the fun, though, as the storylines are why wrestling is often called the male soap opera (I guess my Mom can watch WWE after All My Children is canceled!). These story lines are dramatic, humorous, and occasionally are real (or partially real), tossing the scripted storyline to the side.
One of the most controversial real storylines involved the 1997 Montreal Screw Job when Bret Hart went into a match being told it would end in a “no contest” only to have his real life boss, Vince McMahon, fix the match so Shawn Michaels would win. 1997 was the last time Bret Hart would be seen on air with the WWE until last year when his legitimate anger finally subsided. I’m sure the truck loads of money Vince probably paid him to come back didn’t hurt either.
I could ramble on forever about the WWE but in short, my serial is one of the longest running serials that showcases live wrestling, acting (some good, some bad), and emotion (some fake, some real). So, what’s your favorite serial?