Blood-Thirsty Cliffhangers

Caproni

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Wasn't there a discussion going once about FALCON CREST containing the most blood-thirsty cliffhangers? FALCON CREST seemed more willing over any of the other Big Four night-time soaps from the 1980s to take chances and kill off major and fan favorite characters.

Does anyone have any anecdotes about the cliffhangers this show employed?
 
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Angela's Cauldron

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I'm not sure I agree that Falcon Crest had "blood-thirsty" cliffhangers. The only one that fits that description was Maggie drowning in the pool. Most of characters that were killed off we didn't actually see the moment they died (Julia, Dan, Jacqueline, Michael, Philip, Linda). Duane died on screen but that was sad rather than blood thirsty.
 

Caproni

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I'm not sure I agree that Falcon Crest had "blood-thirsty" cliffhangers. The only one that fits that description was Maggie drowning in the pool. Most of characters that were killed off we didn't actually see the moment they died (Julia, Dan, Jacqueline, Michael, Philip, Linda). Duane died on screen but that was sad rather than blood thirsty.
Well, I think the phrase "blood-thirsty cliffhangers" applies more to the characters dying rather than the audience actually seeing them die. It isn't necessarily about seeing characters die in plane crashes or earthquakes, but yet knowing and seeing that they are in fact dead.​
 

Gioberti84

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Wasn't there a discussion going once about FALCON CREST containing the most blood-thirsty cliffhangers? FALCON CREST seemed more willing over any of the other Big Four night-time soaps from the 1980s to take chances and kill off major and fan favorite characters.

Does anyone have any anecdotes about the cliffhangers this show employed?
They certainly did that all right. My favourites were #2, #3 and #6.
 

Caproni

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They certainly did that all right. My favourites were #2, #3 and #6.
The Season 2 finale of FALCON CREST is easily one of my all-time favorite soap opera cliffhangers. The way Mr. Fong speaks and points his finger after saying, "I never thought he'd be murdered by you..." is priceless. The reaction of every one in the room couldn't have been any better. Of course, we all know who the killer was (if we've seen the show already, but I won't spoil it for newbies), and that individual producers a handgun. Shots are fired, the camera pans away from the mansion, and the final shot is of a coffin being lowered into the ground.

Fabulous television.

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I liked this cliffhanger better than the "Who Shot J.R.?" scenario that DALLAS produced. The who J.R. being shot hoopla initiated the cliffhanger for primetime serialized television, but I already knew who had shot him long before I ever watched DALLAS itself. The way it played out was good, sure, but FALCON CREST served it up better with their second season finale, perhaps because I hadn't seen the episodes before and I hadn't any idea of the outcome.​
 

Weenie Halloson

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The Season 2 finale of FALCON CREST is easily one of my all-time favorite soap opera cliffhangers
This cliffhanger got quite a bit of coverage in the Dutch media, perhaps they wanted it to be the next "WSJRE?".
But the third season was the last one we got in the 1980s, allegedly due to poor ratings or whatever. I never believed it.
The who J.R. being shot hoopla initiated the cliffhanger for primetime serialized television, but I already knew who had shot him long before I ever watched DALLAS itself.
Didn't baby John Ross have his season cliffhanger before JR?
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I don't think they could have predicted that WSJR? would become such a phenomenon, perhaps it had more to do with people reacting to each other rather than the cliffhanger itself. Sort of a soapandemic.

As for FC's brutal cliffhangers, let's not forget that Maggie and Richard totally did NOT die in that giant explosion. Not that I wanted that to happen, but it felt very pre-Moldavia.
But for whatever reason they always made Chase suffer, physically and mentally. He was a true soap hero.
 

Jock Dracula

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@Willie Oleson the cliff-hanger for John Ross was before the infamous J.R. gets the led season closure.

With the exception of season 1 and 8, FC could always be relied on to provide edge of the seat season finales. These finales would then lure the viewer for the new season, in the fall. The 1st season was practically guaranteed to continue into another season because of the pairing with DALLAS and the achievement of fairly good ratings. ULTIMATE ANWSERS was like an end of the book's first chapter, in which the grim reaper is yet to strike.

Interestingly the FC blogspot has a top five of the cliff-hangers, without the 2nd season finale in any of the top five placings:

Falcon Crest Top 5 Cliffhangers - YouTube


Months have passed since Eric was conditioned by the 13, to get rid of Richard. Angela is in a chapel, lighting candles. A hooded man, appears with a beard. It is dark and the figure is not obvious to the viewer. Could Chase have survived the San Francisco Bay incident, from a year ago? Is the man Richard incognito? Who in the world his he?, (a scene from season 7, 1987 - '88):

Angela approaches him and asks the question: "Isn't it about time Maggie knew you were still alive?"

Freeze frame on Angela; fade to black, the theme music and the closing credits.
 

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I think that Falcon Crest cliffhangers were more blood thirsty in the sense that when they put characters in peril at the end of a season, there was always a good chance that some of them wouldn't survive.
It gets a bit dull when soaps do a big cliffhanger but everybody in the main cast comes through without a scratch (yeah, I'm looking at you, Dynasty royal wedding shoot-out)
 
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