Soap operas (soaps for short) are radio or television drama series following people's daily lives. They were so named because they were first sponsored in the US in the 1930s by soap manufacturers.
In the UK, of course, I mean Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Doctors, and the Australian-produced Neighbours and Home and Away. And of course the longest-running one of them all, The Archers (on Radio 4 since 1950). Nowadays people can also readily access soaps from other countries, especially, of course, the USA.