What are your favorite classic soap opera shows ?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by BrucetDuncan, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. BrucetDuncan

    BrucetDuncan Extra

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    Whether they're on DVD or aren't yet, what are your 4 personal favorite classic (English language) TV soap opera shows (as in ones no longer being made) and please elaborate on your reason/s why, for each ones named. For example, shows like Dallas, Melrose Place, etc. and ones that may be either more recent and / or even older than those. Soap opera shows currently in production, won't count.
     
  2. andyEckles

    andyEckles Agent

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    My top 4 are:

    4: Dallas - It's a classic show with larger than life characters, amazing acting, and shocking (at the time anyway) plots. I never get tired of watching this show. The Texas lifestyle is so brialliantly shown through this series.

    3. 2000 Malibu Road - It only lasted about 7 episodes, but it was totally addictive. Another Aaron Spelling gem from the 90's starring Lisa Hartman Black, Drew Barrymore, Tuesday Knight, and Jennifer Beals. It had a sleek, dark flair to it that I loved. I pray that this show will one day see the light on DVD. I remember it was like #1 or #2 in the Nielsen's every week it was on.

    2. Knots Landing - Very smart and sophisticated. Long, drawn out storylines were its specialty. The kidnapping of Val's twins storyline and it's repercussions lasted nearly three seasons. Fun, believable characters, a true sense of history, and realistic storys are why I love this show.

    1. Dynasty - my #1 favorite classic soap. Campy, over the top, glitzy, glamorous, ridiculous at times. But I loved every minute. It looks like you're watching an old movie like Casablanca, even down to the sepia tone it was filmed in. The first two seasons were extremely well plotted and acted (my favorite was Pamela Bellwood's crazy Claudia Carrington). The attention to detail was astounding - beautiful clothes, furnishings, food, you name it). I hope the rest of the seasons come soon on DVD!!! Season 1 of this show is the set that I watch more than any other series.
     
  3. Elena S

    Elena S Supporting Actor

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    I guess you're talking about prime time soaps. I would love to see the defunct daytime soap "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" with Donna Mills and David Birney on DVD.

    In primetime my favorite soap would have been "Boston Public." I don't think it was ever billed as a soap, but the stories continued from one week to the next, and it was filmed in soap fashion, with several stories going on at once. An excellent show.

    I also liked "Knot's Landing" and "Dallas," although I'm not sure I'd buy them on DVD. I would buy BP.
     
  4. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    As a longtime Dark Shadows fan, I'm the proud owner of all 1225 episodes on VHS, and now I'm buying the DVDs.

    Besides DS, my all-time favorites are:


    The Edge of Night- daytime's original suspense soap, inspiried by Perry Mason. A brilliant continuous whodunit populated by interesting characters.

    Dynasty- Glamour taken to the nth degree. The only TV show that came close to a Ross Hunter production out of Universal as directed by Douglas Sirk. Instead of Lana Turner dressed by Jean Louis, we have Linda Evans bedecked in Nolan Miller fashions, nobly suffering through all those seasons. Of course, this show had one thing that the Universal films lacked- a superbitch, and thank God for Joan Collins!

    Peyton Place- much better than the films based on the original novel. More than any other primietime soap, it followed the conventions of daytime TV soaps, and behind the scenes it had expericened soap writers (such as Guiding Light / As The World Turns creator Irna Phillips , Sam Hall, and Rita Lakin) creating plotlines. If Dynasty played like a Douglas Sirk melodrama, then Peyton Place was more like the Warner Brothers soapers made by Delmer Daves, with its emphasis on young love. And the cast- Mia Farrow as the ultimate ingenue Allison McKenzie, Ryan O'Neal as rich playboy Rodney Harrington, Barbara Parkins as misunderstood vixen Betty Anderson, Dorothy Malone as suffering "lady with a past" Constance McKenzie, Ed Nelson as the dashing Dr. Michael Rossi- and that's just the tip of the iceberg!! Why isn't this on DVD or being shown on SoapNet??

    And lastly, the show I've watched through thick and thin (for the past eight years it's been pretty thin!) since 1979: General Hospital. Aside from watching all of Dark Shadows, the most satisfying soap watching I ever did was seeing the whole original saga of Luke & Laura from its 1979 start to the characters' departure (for nine years, as it turned out!) in 1984. Yes, I was one of those teens who ran home from school to watch Tony Geary & Genie Francis create sheer magic that has never been equaled in soap history. On the other hand, the other actors and storylines on the show during the same time were also fantastic, which brings up a troubling point.
    Around 1996-97 the show underwent a seismic change with changes in producers & writers who have managed to stick around on and off since then, alienating longtime viewers with taking story emphasis away from the hospital and the shows' longtime characters and turning GH into daytime's version of The Godfather. I still watch in the hope that in the near future the current producers and writers will be dumped for a production/writing staff who actually respect the show's rich history and the audience. Out with the mobsters, back with the doctors!
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Which means you posted in the wrong area. This type of thread belongs in TV/HDTV Programming, which is where it is now.
     
  6. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    First and foremost Dark Shadows! I too, have all 1,225 episodes on VHS and currently getting the DVDs. There will never be another show like this one.

    Second would have to be Port Charles. True, it's a more recent soap, but for the last couple of years that it was on, it kind of tried to be another Dark Shadows. Had it not been canceled, it was really starting to gell into something really unique.

    Finally, it would have to be General Hospital. I've watched it on and off since about 1975 or so. I remeber when Gene Francis was new to the show. She was quite the snotty little brat. I remember the 1978 or was it 79 episode where Luke Spencer raped Laura in the Disco. Great, great soap. I barely watch it today because I just can't stand the direction the show has taken.

    I'm also a big fan of the 70's era of One Life To Live. Judith Lite as Karen Wollack was something to see. Her Emmy winning performance in the Marco Dain murder trial was priceless.
     
  7. David Rain

    David Rain Screenwriter

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    As far as daytime soaps, the earliest years of most of them simply don't exist anymore. Except perhaps in clip form or an odd entire episode that survived being thrown out or taped over. Most episodes from the late 70's and forward do still exist. These shows certainly could be edited into compilation DVD's based on storylines or characters. But that doesn't seem to be happening.
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    My "guilty pleasure" over the years has been General Hospital which I've watched since the very beginning. My exposure to this show was by accident. I was still in college in 1963 and, as luck (or bad luck?) would have it, was in the hospital on April 1, 1963 when the show debuted. A couple of the hospital staff members were milling around my room that afternoon and they asked whether they could watch this "new" soap on my room's TV since it was set in a hospital and I told them this would be o.k. As I recall, the show was only 15 minutes (or maybe a 1/2 hour) long at the beginning so it wasn't a difficult show to watch. Naturally, this became a daily ritual for the remainder of my stay and during a couple of weeks of convalescence at home. My school hours, and later my work hours made it fairly easy to catch the show at 3:00p.m. every weekday and I would say that for the next 12 years I probably didn't miss more than a handful of episodes. In 1975 this became a moot point because of one word: "Betamax" And the rest is history.

    I agree with most of the other comments here regarding the shift from a hospital-centric story line to a Godfather-type show. While it's interesting it's just not the same and, in some respects I find it disturbing how some of the original cast members who are still around from the early days are shoved aside for the current hot properties. I also realize that they are getting a lot older and that the rigors of regular appearances are probably beyond most of those remaining so at least it's understandable.

    The number of actors/actresses who started in or appeared in daytime soaps (like GH) is staggering and I always smile when I see how they've moved on to bigger, but not necessarily better things.

    (I'm also collecting the Dark Shadows DVDs. I watched a lot of those shows in the early days, too, but didn't catch it regularly so the DVDs are a nice addition to my library.)
     
  9. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    For my sisters, it was All My Children. It came on at lunch time, so it was easy to watch during the summer. For many years, that's all I knew about soap operas. Then I saw General Hospital only because of all the Luke & Laura hoopla (commercials, news coverage, etc.) while watching AMC. I didn't quite see Liz Taylor as a Cassadine, but I knew it was going on. I also did the taping thing, but to me GH will always be the time of Luke, Robert Scorpio (WSB), Scotty Baldwin, Heather, Bobby, Alan's mistress (Jason's mother), etc. In other words, late 70's early 80's. But then, this might be the "Godfather-type" shows some of you are saying you didn't enjoy. As a young man, it made soaps interesting to watch.

    The only nighttime soaps I ever watched were Dynasty (again, my siters), and Knots Landing (all mine, though I have absolutely no idea how I started watching it; I never even watched Dallas).
     
  10. Lucia Duran

    Lucia Duran Screenwriter

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    Days of Our Lives is the only soap I ever watched and I gave up around the time that Kristen Demira and John Black were a thing and there was some weird girl (played by the same actress that played Kristen) that Kristen took a baby from.

    I think I have caught recent episode when I was home during the day and I couldn't figure out for the life of me who was who any more...
     
  11. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    This is my all time favorites and am looking forward to the upcoming special on the show. I loved watching this week to week and was always routing for Gary and Val to be together.

    I obviously didnt have much of a life when I was teen because I also used to watch.
    Dynasty because of the campiness and the larger than life plotlines.

    Melrose Place because everyone was sleeping with everyone. Amanda was the best bitch of the 90's Soaps.

    Falcon Crest for the same reasons as the others above. Great cast.

    As for Daytime. Days of Our lives back in the 80's and still have a soft spot for it. I got hooked on while staying at my Aunts house and I still watch it occasionally and keep up with tht goings on.
    Some of these characters have been on and off for 20 years so it's interesting to see how the characters evolve and change and how they have grown up (Bo and Hope).
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    wow a thread with men discussing daytime soaps, nice.

    GH for me.
    been watching it since high school late 70's.
    those storylines with scorpio and luke and laura, good stuff.

    i think the mob stuff started due to the popularity of the sopranos about 7 years ago or so.

    the guy who plays sonny has won some daytime emmys for his trouble.
    not defending him, i dont like it either, but he hasnt been chopped liver.

    luke and scotty had been the 2 biggest, mosy interesting rivals on long running tv of any kind day or night.
     
  13. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    The show that introduced me to soaps and which I think of fondly was Somerset. (It also introduced me to Sigourney Weaver and Jobeth Williams and I used to get them confused as they were on about the same time.)

    My all-time favorite nighttime soap was Knots Landing. I loved the "black sheep" character of Gary Ewing from Dallas, although it took me a long while to adjust to Ted Shackelford as I really loved David Ackroyd in the role. The characters were just so well developed, and the core characters were very likeable.

    Does anyone remember Angel Falls? That show had such potential and a great cast, but didn't even go half a season. [​IMG]
     
  14. Will_J

    Will_J Auditioning

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    4: Dynasty: The glitziest and campest prime time soap. It's a shame about some of the plots but Alexis made it all worth while - waiting eagerly for season 2 on DVD

    3: Falcon Crest: Darker and more gothic in tone than it's sister Lorimar soaps, but with a great cast and the best theme music. Hurry up Warner's! I'm waiting for this one to be released on DVD

    2: Dallas: The first primetime soap I got into, and in its peak the best. However it all fell apart in the shower... and was just plain silly by the end. I have got seasons 1-4 on DVD and look forward to many more.

    1: Knot's Landing : It's a difficult choice but KL would have to be my favourite primetime soap. It may have begun as the poor Californian cousin of Dallas, but with it's mix of snappy dialog and well constructed characters it out lived its parent and maintained quality almost to the end. I did miss Abby terribly, she was the best soap character of her time, not evil just misunderstood!
     
  15. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    charles ellis, have you been tuned into GH lately?

    Scorpio(robin and robert have returned.)
    as well as Holly.

    rick springfeild has returned as dr noah drake.
     
  16. Gralen

    Gralen Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow this is crazy but Port Charles was my favorite. I liked it before the vampire stuff though. It tried to be Dark Shawdows which I use to look at as a kid. That was a good soap. I run home from school just to see Barnabas Collins. The other soap was Days of our Lives. Looked at it last week an all of them are still there. Wow
     

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