I was wondering why I love crazy German ice-skating soap opera Alles Was Zählt, which I've been watching avidly online since last week (every single episode is available! It's awesome!). Then it dawned on me. We've got a plucky young ice-skater from the wrong side of the tracks who is discovered at random and chosen for the ice team of a fancy gym, only to become the rival of the owner's glamorous, evil daughter, whose hunky boyfriend is kind to our heroine. Our heroine's brutish stepfather has forbidden her to skate and when he finds out she's been deceiving him, kicks her out of the house and she is forced to go and stay with the owner's family. And when the hunky boyfriend gives her the new skates she needs, they initially hurt her feet so much that when she has to take a surprise skating exam (long story), she needs her scruffy old skates - but the evil rival has stolen them from her locker! So she has to skate in the painful new skates! But she's so awesome that she dazzles all the judges!
In what other medium would we find such a tale? Why, in old-school girls' comics, of course! The whole thing is straight out of Mandy or Judy! And that, I think, is why I love it. That and the fact that every episode ends on an awesome cliffhanger.