If you’re in need of something to watch on a weekday afternoon, you should check out the 5 best daytime soap operas. Full of plot twists and melodrama, daytime soap operas offer an unmatched brand of escapism. Be careful, though. These soap operas are so good that you might just find yourself hooked.

  1. “The Young and the Restless” This daytime soap opera has been airing on CBS since 1973, and with good reason. The soap found a formula that worked, staging bitter rivalries between two economically diverse families. Over the years, the characters’ motivations have changed, but the intrigue and backstabbing on this daytime soap opera are always constant.

  2. “General Hospital” Since this is the longest-running entry on the list of the five best daytime soap operas, you’ll have to ask your grandparents about the episodes that premiered on ABC in 1963. Since then, this soap opera has remained a ratings powerhouse, even topping thirty million viewers in 1981 for the wedding of famous characters Luke and Laura. Packed with socially conscious storylines and tender writing, this daytime soap opera has always mirrored relevant current events.

  3. “All My Children” ABC scored a winner with this daytime soap opera, first airing in 1970. The show has gone on to become one of the most recognizable soaps ever, boasting a high percentage of elusive male viewers. Career soap-star Susan Lucci is the highlight of this show, and its only original cast member. Lucci plays Erica Kane, a former fashion model whose depth and personality have turned her into a pop-culture icon.

  4. “One Life To Live” With a hefty emphasis on racial and social issues, this daytime soap opera has consistently pushed the boundaries of daytime television. Premiering on ABC in 1968, this soap has featured a diverse cast of characters, all enduring the darkest of plot lines. This daytime soap opera has featured episodes dealing with death, rape, cancer, murder and everything in between.

  5. “The Bold and the Beautiful” This entry differentiates itself from the rest of the five best daytime soap operas by being not only the newest, but also the shortest. With a running time of only thirty minutes, this daytime soap opera stuffs all of its drama and suspense into a tight package. First appearing on CBS in 1987, this show is one of the most-watched soap operas ever, boasting a veteran cast and plot lines centered around the high-profile fashion world.