So... I've never been big into soap operas, but they can be interesting and/or fun. Certainly in other genres I like serial storylines sometimes more than episodic stories. And nothing is more serialized than soaps. Which of course gives a greater opportunity for character development, so you can really get to know and care about a show's characters. Especially with daytime soaps, which tend to air five days a week, instead of just one day. And rarely seem to have actual "seasons," because in my limited experience, daytime soaps just keep going and going, week after week, all year long. Primetime soaps are more like regular dramas, in that they only air once a week and do have seasons of a more standard length, and generally have better production values than daytime soaps... which is understandable, since there's a lot more time for the writers to write and the actors to rehearse. But that's not to say that daytime soaps can't have decent writing and acting. In fact, a great many famous actors got their start on daytime soaps... many of the actors of whom I'm a fan were probably on soaps that I've never seen, or never saw at the time they were on the shows. But there are actors I did first see on soaps. And then there are actors I always liked on soaps, who I always wished would go on to greater fame in other things, as well as actors I liked who did go on to bigger and better things... just not things in which I had any great interest. Which is disappointing.
Anyway... I should also say that there are plenty of primetime shows which have soap opera-ish elements, shows that some people might see as soaps, but which I don't include in this category, because they're more borderline. There was a brief series that aired in late afternoons, called Swans Crossing, which I definitely considered a soap, but I include it instead under "campy," because of how redonkulous it was. And there are a lot of shows I'll include under drama & dramedy which are somewhat soapish (Dawson's Creek, Desperate Housewives, The O.C., et al.) And in fact I'm sure shows I include in other genres may also have soapish elements.
What else can I say? Characters can start to feel like friends and family, storylines can be addictive, and there are obviously going to be lots of very attractive people to look at. I should also mention that, while some soap characters are played by the same actor throughout the series (sometimes for several decades), it's not uncommon for a part to be periodically recast. And often in the case of children, a new actor might be a few years older than the one they replace, so a character could be pre-teen in one episode, and in the next episode be in his or her mid-to-late teens, so they can have more interesting storylines (and, you know, be hotter, which is an important draw in soap operas). It's called "Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome" (see TV Tropes and/or Wikipedia). But anyway... my soap-watching days were mostly in the early to mid 1990s. But that doesn't necessarily mean that if a good new primetime soap came along, I wouldn't give it a chance. (Daytime soaps... less likely. The only ones I ever cared about, even a little, are all gone now.)