Both UK and Australian soap operas feature comedic elements, often affectionate comic stereotypes such as the gossip or the grumpy old man, presented as a comic foil to the emotional turmoil that surrounds them.

Evening soap operas and those that air at a rate of one episode per week are more likely to feature the entire cast in each episode, and to represent all current storylines in each episode.

Evening soap operas and serials that run for only part of the year tend to bring things to a dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger.

UK soap operas also frequently foreground their geographic location as a key defining feature of the show while depicting and capitalising on the exotic appeal of the stereotypes connected to the location.

As examples, East Enders focuses on the tough and grim life in London's east end, while Coronation Street invokes Manchester and its characters exhibit the stereotypical characteristic of "Northern straight talking".

In 2012, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Lloyd wrote of daily dramas, "Although melodramatically eventful, soap operas such as this also have a luxury of space that makes them seem more naturalistic; indeed, the economics of the form demand long scenes, and conversations that a 22-episodes-per-season weekly series might dispense with in half a dozen lines of dialogue may be drawn out, as here, for pages.

You spend more time even with the minor characters; the apparent villains grow less apparently villainous." Soap opera storylines run concurrently, intersect and lead into further developments.

However, several South African soap operas started incorporating a multi-language format, the most prominent being 7de Laan, which incorporates Afrikaans, English, Zulu and several other Bantu languages which make up the 11 Official Languages of South Africa (the subtitles are always in English).

In many soap operas, in particular daytime serials in the US, the characters are frequently attractive, seductive, glamorous and wealthy.

Fitting in with these characteristics, most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place, or focus on a large extended family.

The storylines follow the day-to-day activities and personal relationships of these characters.

"If we want to blend an actor back into a show, there's always a way.