Brigham Young University has a very interesting website (here) that allows you to do word searches in various databases, one of which contains the scripts from American soap operas from 2001-2012.
I did a search for “Thailand,” and the results were pretty interesting. When the results come up you see the word “Thailand” in the sentence that it appeared in when it was spoken in the soap opera. So by reading what comes before and after the word, “Thailand,” you can get a sense of the context in which Thailand was mentioned.
First of all, some of the results that came up made Thailand seem like a kind of dangerous and violent place:
-I saw a man whipped in Thailand once. All he did was look at a woman the wrong way.
-Paige, I’m in jail – in Thailand. This is my one call.
-You see, I was poisoned in Thailand. . .
-This seems cruel and unusual. We’re not still in Thailand, you know.
It’s also a place where strange and illegal things happen with babies:
-No, it’s an American baby that my brother stashed in Thailand after he murdered its mother and blamed it on someone else.
-I’m going to Thailand, I’m going to find Margaret’s baby. . .
-. . .do you have any idea where they might keep adoption records in Thailand?
-I’m talking about your baby. Spencer sent you and your baby to Thailand.
-He probably sold him to some baby broker in Thailand.
But the most common situation in which Thailand has been mentioned in American soap operas in the past decade is as a place where people go. . . for usually unknown reasons:
-My guys have traced him to some island off the coast of Thailand.
-Well, my brother went to Thailand in February and nobody seems to know why.
-Did he tell you why he is in Thailand?
-David, I thought you were in Thailand.
-I believe he’s in Thailand – Bangkok to be exact.
-From there, he took a flight to Thailand, and that’s where the trail stops cold.
-We have a report that they have entered Thailand with fake passports.
-(Sharon) Did you find Adam? (Paul) Yeah, he’s in Thailand.
-How’d he end up in Thailand?
-(Michael) Where the hell is your mom? (Daniel) Thailand. (Michael) Thailand, -Wisconsin? (Daniel) Thailand, Thailand.
-John McBain found her living in Thailand, and he brought her back. . .
-. . . and she got on a plane to Thailand.
I think about the only clearly positive comment I found about Thailand was about Thai food:
-Gosh, Thai food is the best. Have you ever been to Thailand?
But the answer to this question was. . . “No.”