Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome


Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (SORAS) is a term used to describe the practice of accelerating the age of a television character (usually a child or teenager) in conflict with the timeline of a series and/or the real-world progression of time. Characters unseen on screen for a time might reappear portrayed by an actor several years older than the original. Usually coinciding with a recast, rapid aging is typically done to open up the character to a wider range of storylines, and to attract younger viewers.

The process originated in (and is most commonly used in) daytime soap operas. SORAS generally refers to cases in which a character’s rapid aging happens off-screen without any explanation, rather than to storylines in science fiction and fantasy in which a character ages rapidly due to technology, magic, or non-human biology. Coined by Soap Opera Weekly founding editor-in-chief Mimi Torchin in the early days of the magazine, the term is now widely used in the soap opera media.


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