Soap opera is the name given to the serials that appear on TV and previously on the radio. The name comes from the fact that they were originally adressed to housewives so soap manufacturers such as Procter and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and Lever Brothers sponsored these serials and those were the commercials that women listened to or watched advertised.
The most attractive aspect of a soap opera is that it deals with several issues and it each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode. In fact, they normally end on a sort of cliffhanger.
A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in which a movie, novel, or other work of fiction contains an abrupt ending, often leaving the main characters in a difficult situation, or with a sudden shock revelation. This type of ending is used to ensure that audiences will return to the next chapter to find out how the cliffhanger is resolved. The phrase comes from the classical end-of-episode situation in silent film days, with the protagonist left hanging from the edge of a cliff.
In the United Kingdom, soap operas are one of the most popular genres. They usually focus on working-class communities. The three most popular soaps are EastEnders (first broadcast in 1985), Coronation Street (which runs since 1960!), and Emmerdale (since 1980), the three of which are consistently the highest rated shows on British television. (source: Wikipedia)
Here you can see a scene from Coronation Street in which David pushes Gail down the stairs… But be careful… You may get hooked!! 🙂