Soap operas are dramatic fiction shows that typically take on the serialized format on television or radio. The open-ended nature of the endings of each episode serves as a cliff-hanger that more or less ensures audience viewing for the whole run of the show itself. Many Hollywood stars trace their roots from TV soap operas, taking advantage of the great recall of actors and actresses who form part of a long-running hit show.
Names that easily come to mind include Demi Moore, Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, Calista Flockhart, and Brad Pitt. Many actors and actresses who have set their sights on hitting the big time took the soap opera route and succeeded. Asian celebrities have likewise recognized the success formula that is mainly comprised of clinching a crucial role in a day-time or prime time telenovela that enjoys a large fan base.
Japan and Korea have their respective versions, and so does Thailand. The Thais refer to it as lakoms. But unlike its Western counterparts which provide cliffhanger episodes, lakoms are provided as finished stories which would run for about three months. Episodes are prepared two to three times a week. Lakoms follow a specific formula that includes a happy ending, two main lovers, and one bad female character. A lot of Thai celebrities have established their status as bankable lakom actors and actresses. Like their Hollywood counterparts, many lakom stars became full-fledged movie stars.
One of the more successful is Woranut Bhirombhakdi whose most popular lakoms include Pob Pee Fa, Rarknakara, and Mae ai sa eun where she won an acting award. Her film debut was Midnight My Love. The list of Asian celebrities in Hollywood has yet to include a Thai.
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