As a rule I don't watch soaps (soap operas) and haven't for a long time. I have my fair share of guilty pleasures where television series are concerned, but soaps don't count amongst them. I don't know if Heartbeat counts as a soap, but I somehow got to thinking that it would be a really good show for someone who was starting out writing for tv. It's formulaic, and period, meaning that there's an inexhaustible pool of known events that you can hook very simple, lighthearted stories around. A bit controversial but never daringly so.
One reason that I find soaps hard to understand is that there are always people trying to get into bed with other people - often the same people - and these bizarre relationships evolve over years. If you removed the sex element, and just left the jealousy, alcohol and local busybody, soap operas would get more change out of me.