What is the difference between soap opera and drama?

And should I say sitcom is comedy soap opera or comedy drama?

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A soap opera, at least in my small town on Britain, is a show that poorly attempts to mimic real life.

A famous one in Britain is Eastenders, a show about a large and sometimes brutal east-London commuity.

A drama, I think, is less real-life based (Although soap opera's can be too!). They are usually more action based.

Yes, I would agree that a sitcom is a comedy drama.

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I'd like to point out the history of the term soap opera. They were originally [1950s onward] daily radio shows, melodramatic in nature, airing in the early afternoons for stay-at-home wives. They were normally sponsored by one brand of laundry detergent (or facial soap) or another. Now often called just "soaps" in the US, they are still usually more melodramatic than comedic in nature.
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I would never call anything "a comedy drama" (unless you mean it is intentially both funny and serious -- in that case I would write it as "comedy/drama"). I think you are using "drama" to mean any kind of show, but generally a drama is a serious show and a comedy is a funny show. A sitcom is a comedy, not a drama. ("Sitcom" means "situation comedy.")

A soap opera is generally a melodrama. Compared to a drama, the situations and emotions in a melodrama are heightened and exaggerated, and the characters are more likely to be steroetypes.
Additionally, in a typical drama or sit-com, in one episode you have a complete story. A soap opera, by design, has many story lines that continue throughout many episodes, sometimes lasting months or even years.
I disagree that a drama is less real-life based and usually more action based. Drama usually indicates a more serious theme, whether a TV show, move, or play. Drama is a broader word, and a soap opera could be considered a type of drama. Soap opera is usually used for daytime dramas that are contunue in series.

Sitcom comes from situation comedy, but I am not sure if it is as specifically defined. You probably could get by with saying a sitcom is a comedy soap opera or a comedy drama, though you would be using the meanings loosely and many people would disagree with either of those.

Notably, drama can also be used for real life situations involving interesting or intense conflict.
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