Forgotten soaps of the 90's

Carrie Fairchild

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Alexis

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Alexis

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Actually I am watching Sunset Beach at the moment and it was an NBC show, so the bumpers are constantly saying what the evening TV schedule is and they are bringing up Caroline And The City a lot so I guess it was very popular. They also mention a show called Jenny, which I think is Jenny McCarthy's sitcom, Fraiser and Mad About You and of course Friends was an NBC sitcom. Maybe the sitcoms of the '90s killed soap.
 

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Berrenger´s from 1985




The soap with the most creepy opening: Pasadena




The Hamptons from 1983

 

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Berrenger´s from 1985




The soap with the most creepy opening: Pasadena




The Hamptons from 1983

Why do the first and the last opening look so amateurish? They did hurt my eyes! Too bad they weren´t successful because there were a few good actors in them. Now I know where the minor cast from "Dallas" went...or came from.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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Berrenger´s from 1985




The soap with the most creepy opening: Pasadena




The Hamptons from 1983

Interesting to see The Hamptons opening sequence. I'd only ever seen a still of the opening plus a promo for the show. Randomly, I remember seeing an archive article where Jackie O's sister and Hamptons resident Lee Radziwill took exception at the show's representation of the area.
 

Willie Oleson

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The BERRENGER'S intro reminds me of Knots Landing: very vintage, but not something I would immediately associate with night time drama. It could have been one of those Love Boat/Hotel type of shows.
The HAMPTONS intro has that mini-series grandeur with the piano and trumpets and drumrolls, which is not to say that it was actually better than Berrenger's. I have no idea.
But who is the lovely Holly Roberts?
 

Carrie Fairchild

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I've finally managed to watch the opening episode of The Monroes (unfortunately this is the only episode that has washed up for now). William Devane and Susan Sullivan are great as always, bouncing off each other as the heads of the Kennedy-esque clan. Cecil Hoffmann's role as the daughter who may be sleeping with the President (a shot of the back of a grey haired head in her bed suggesting that it may be Bill Clinton) is interesting but after that the other Monroe offspring fall into standard soap tropes - politically ambitious but loose cannon congressman son who's cheating on his wife, quirky photographer daughter, youngest son who is a wannabe writer who longs to be treated normally for who he is, not what family he comes from and another son who is in the Navy and wants nothing to do with the family's political intrigues but will inevitably be drawn back into them.

There's enough going on that would've kept me interested enough to keep watching the show. It's family dynamics remind me of Dirty Sexy Money albeit without the sharp writing. Some of it is a bit 90's cliche (there's a running joke about putting down the family dog, the "rebellious" writer son has an earring & rides a motorbike) and the intro music couldn't be any more generic but the overall end product is decent soap with Sullivan and Devane being the main attractions. On that subject, it's interesting to read that Devane took umbrage with the press referring to it as a soap during it's launch when it quite clearly is just that. This isn't dramedy or The West Wing, it's family soap in the tradition of Dallas.
There's a retro TV account that I follow on Twitter and they post photos of old TV listing magazines and I see that The Monroes did actually get an airing in Ireland and the UK. It ran on Channel 4 in the 9:30am slot during the summer of 1997. I'm presuming Channel 4 bought it to run in primetime but relegated it to daytime when it bombed in the US. Similarly, I've discovered that ITV aired Return to Peyton Place in a rather random 10:30am slot on Saturday and Sunday mornings for a brief period in 1972/73.
 

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Interesting to see The Hamptons opening sequence. I'd only ever seen a still of the opening plus a promo for the show. Randomly, I remember seeing an archive article where Jackie O's sister and Hamptons resident Lee Radziwill took exception at the show's representation of the area.
I was the one who ripped that - as I went off on a tanget in the One Tree Hill thread it was released in Europe as a "mini-series" on two VHS tapes called "Long Island" as a mini-series. I'll get to around to rip the entire thing at one point and put it online for soap preservation purposes, but to be honest it's not very good. There's potential there, but none of it feels really fulfilled. At least it sort of ends on a note where it works as a mini-series.
 

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Department store - VERY glamorous. We’re lucky Berrenger’s didn’t take place at a supermarket. The opening credits would have shown clips of the food being scanned for purchase, the staff cleaning up spills in the aisles, the lotto counter, etc.
 

tommie

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Department store - VERY glamorous. We’re lucky Berrenger’s didn’t take place at a supermarket. The opening credits would have shown clips of the food being scanned for purchase, the staff cleaning up spills in the aisles, the lotto counter, etc.
LOL, well, I don't think department stores are seen as glamourous today, but I guess back then they were with things like Nordstrom.

Sweden also had a soap set at a department store, "Varuhuset", in the 80s that was successful (well, five season and 60 or so episodes, which was a lot by our standards back then), so it's not like Berrenger's didn't have any potential if the concept worked in other markets.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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I was the one who ripped that - as I went off on a tanget in the One Tree Hill thread it was released in Europe as a "mini-series" on two VHS tapes called "Long Island" as a mini-series. I'll get to around to rip the entire thing at one point and put it online for soap preservation purposes, but to be honest it's not very good. There's potential there, but none of it feels really fulfilled. At least it sort of ends on a note where it works as a mini-series.
It would be great to see it. Even if it's not very good, I'm interested to watch it as it's one of the 80's soaps that I figured would never show up online given that it had such a short run. Once I've seen this, Bare Essence is the last on my 80's soap wishlist. It's interesting to read that The Hamptons got the miniseries treatment in Europe. They did the same with Four Corners which was renamed Homestead but from what I can recall it didn't really feel like a miniseries as it just sort of finished whereas when they aired 2000 Malibu Road as a miniseries, they tacked on a voiceover at the end to give it some finality.
 

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It would be great to see it. Even if it's not very good, I'm interested to watch it as it's one of the 80's soaps that I figured would never show up online given that it had such a short run. Once I've seen this, Bare Essence is the last on my 80's soap wishlist. It's interesting to read that The Hamptons got the miniseries treatment in Europe. They did the same with Four Corners which was renamed Homestead but from what I can recall it didn't really feel like a miniseries as it just sort of finished whereas when they aired 2000 Malibu Road as a miniseries, they tacked on a voiceover at the end to give it some finality.
I'll be honest and say that I feel no rush in ripping it because... well, it's not very good so I'd like to get a further hang on transferring VHS to digital so that I only have to do it once. I ranted about this as I watched it, but it's a shame The Hamptons was shot on video tape because they did a lot of location shooting which would've looked gorgeous if they had shot it like a proper prime time series and might've elevated it from D-level status to at least C.

Also, I believe Hamptons was basically done to fulfill a contract with General Hospital honcho Gloria Monty rather than attempt to launch a proper prime time soap - hence it being cheaply shot and aired in the summer; I suspect they also knew it when they were shooting it, hence why they tied up the loose ends instead of going for a cliffhanger.
 
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Ray&Donna

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The monroes was probably doomed by it's time slot. Mainly shows that were hits in the 90s and aired at 10PM est were the more serious dramas like ER and NYPD blue. Which was also heavily promoted due to occasional nudity

The Monroes is a bit like Paper dolls in that the cast was overstuffed. I watched some of it on Soapnet, but it was a little bit dry watching
 

tommie

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The monroes was probably doomed by it's time slot. Mainly shows that were hits in the 90s and aired at 10PM est were the more serious dramas like ER and NYPD blue. Which was also heavily promoted due to occasional nudity

The Monroes is a bit like Paper dolls in that the cast was overstuffed. I watched some of it on Soapnet, but it was a little bit dry watching
ABCs entire Thursday night seemed to bomb that year, with both Charlie Grace and The Monroes being pulled after five episodes and Murder One quickly being moved to Mondays at 10PM, because I guess it suited programming like NYPD Blue. I wonder if a factor of The Monroes doing so disasterously was because Central Park West basically ate up all the promo and attention for being the new prime time soap on the block (and of course, ironically, that also flopped but that was down to dumb initial scheduling by CBS).
 

Carrie Fairchild

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ABCs entire Thursday night seemed to bomb that year, with both Charlie Grace and The Monroes being pulled after five episodes and Murder One quickly being moved to Mondays at 10PM, because I guess it suited programming like NYPD Blue. I wonder if a factor of The Monroes doing so disasterously was because Central Park West basically ate up all the promo and attention for being the new prime time soap on the block (and of course, ironically, that also flopped but that was down to dumb initial scheduling by CBS).
I thought that might be a factor too. That Central Park West was the soap that everyone was talking about and The Monroes were relegated to being a sidenote. I also wonder if audiences just weren't that interested in another family saga so soon after the 80's soaps had petered out?
 

Willie Oleson

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I also wonder if audiences just weren't that interested in another family saga so soon after the 80's soaps had petered out?
I think they had seen enough of the family drama in that particular format. The quirky, off-beat soap SISTERS had the family drama but offered something new.
Teen soaps became all the rage although I doubt that their audiences were ex-Dallas and ex-Dynasty fans. Personally, I never cared for it.

I watched The Monroes and I liked it, but the fact that I don't remember any of it says it all, I guess. Susan Sullivan was its biggest selling point for me, I don't think I knew any of the other actors.
It certainly was an oddity, especially for Dutch prime time. But then again, maybe they had hoped it would be the new Dynasty, maybe there was still a lust for that type of show in Europe - it would explain the success of Westenwind.

Guilty Pleasure TV was reinvented in the late 90s/early 2000s: Nip/Tuck and Footballer's Wives did things we had never seen before.
It was shocking, outrageous, sexy and extremely addictive.
Was the mid-90s still too conventional for a show like The Monroes? Should it have happened a few years later, and become a modern guilty pleasure?
 
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