Here is a second example. Although these scene types are sparse, at least one more can be
found to support my arguments on the likely occurrence of and peripheral status of positive evaluation
in a soap.
pre q - +inform
right, are you ready for it? I've got us a gig
A gig where?
Titanic cat. Monday night, second spot
Mick + Lola
You got us on at the Titanic cat
Someone fell out, a mate of mine tipped me off
Who's the main act?
Ah the Bisics? but they're rubbish
Are we really ready for the titanic cat?
Look, I'm your manager let me be the judge of that.
follow up/ challenge
We've hardly got our set together
This is again the scene where this situation arises for the first time. Mick's band, where
Lenny is the manager land their first gig. Initial evaluation is positive. This sounds like good news
but the story line will run with this as a problem as Lola in particular, the band's singer, negatively
evaluates the time they have to get ready in. Early positive evaluation speedily gives way to negative
evaluation as the gig becomes a problem and a story line rather than simply good news which is no
news at all.
Evaluation within the evening's main story.
I want to develop what I say here in a paper to follow this one. Still, let it be said that
evaluation in the main action is likely to be contested evaluation. That is, different
characters evaluate the action differently. It is changes in the way that people evaluate that allows for
solutions to become possible.
Let me give one example of contested evaluation.
What do you mean?
Well one minute the pair of you aren't talking and the next you're putting your heads together to sort
me out, is that it?
We thought you'd be pleased
It's not that simple Michael.
Michael's solution is to bring his family back together. He has got them under one roof.
Now he wants to re-establish normal married life. Susan, though, has different ideas. It isn't going
to be that simple. Major action scenes in a soap opera move the action forward from problem stage
to solution phase. Because things don't happen that quickly in soap opera, and because there is a need
for story lines to last, this move towards solution is rarely straightforward. In fact the typical case
is as above where the solution which obviously has Michael's positive evaluation is opposed by
Susan, whose consent is essential if the solution is to come into effect and actually change the lives
of these soap characters.
Another key feature in the bringing about of solutions to characters' problems in soaps is that
contested sites of evaluation become sites where characters' evaluation changes. It is this change of
evaluative stance that allows for solutions to be even feasible, let alone successful.
Here is an example from the same episode and from the same major action
We had some good years
I must've missed them
Ah come on, are you telling me that your childhood was a miserable one?
Ah you're back. I was wondering how we were going to manage once the stampede started
I remember the three of us having a lot of laughs, going everywhere together.
Yeah alright, it wasn't all bad
It shouldn't have gone wrong. I don't know why it die. I got caught up in my work and well I can't
blame your mum for looking elsewhere for the things I couldn't give her.