World Cup Tournament World Cup of 80s Soap Cliffhangers - Round 2, Week 8

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The poll will close at midday tomorrow, Wednesday 15th June.
Almost missed this one but due to the time difference I think I'm not too late.
We don’t know it was a dream when Blast from the Past aired so that’s not really fair to let that tarnish your voting.
Agreed.
Match 1: Dallas Season 9. A real hold-onto-your socks extravaganza.
Match 2: The Falcon Crest finale wasn't really a cliffhanger so Flamingo Road Season 1.
 

Angela Channing

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The voting has now closed and the results for last weeks matches are as follows:

Match 1
Dynasty Season 9 - 8 votes
Dallas Season 9 - 5 votes

Match 2
Flamingo Road Season 1 - 6 votes
Falcon Crest Season 9 - 7 votes

The winners going through to round 2 are Dynasty Season 9 (Dex and Alexis fall through the first floor banister and Blake is shot) and Falcon Crest Season 9 (Angela’s soliloquy ending in her toast to Falcon Crest).

 

Angela Channing

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That concludes the first round of The World Cup of Soap Cliffhangers.

Details of the first round 2 matches will be posted on this thread tomorrow.

Joining the 20 seasons that won their first round matches will be the 12 seasons who were given a round 1 bye and it will be the first time they appear in the tournament:

Dallas Season 6, 7, 10 & 12
Dynasty Season 1, 2 & 8
Falcon Crest Season 2 & 7
Knot Landing Season 6, 7 & 10


 

Angela Channing

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The poll is now open for you to choose which cliffhangers you would like to win the first 2 matches to go through to round 3.

You may vote for a winner of either match or for both matches but remember you are voting for your favourite cliffhanger, not your favourite episode or favourite soap opera.

Stating the reasons for your choices is encouraged as this makes the contest more interesting and may help others in making their decisions. However, this is entirely optional and you can just state your chosen winner of each match if you prefer.

Match 1

Falcon Crest Season 4 (
Maggie catches Chase snogging Connie causing her to run to Richard’s where she ends up snogging him. The Cartel explode a bomb around them) vs Falcon Crest Season 6 (Emma threatens to jump of the roof, Chao-Li collapses and falls down the stairs, Richard is revealed to be Angela’s son and Dan, Chase and Richard are missing in the San Francisco Bay).



 

Angela Channing

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Match 2

Knots Landing Season 3
(Valene leaves Gary after catching him in bed with Abby) vs Dallas Season 5 (Cliff takes an overdose of pills and Sue Ellen states she won’t remarry JR if Cliff dies).





The vote will close at midday on Wednesday 22 June.
 

colbyco

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Just as DYNASTY’s pilot episode addressed "taboo" topics the other ‘80s soaps scarcely acknowledged, much less spoke about in such irreverent terms, such as race ("At the upper management level, there are no Blacks, no Jews, no Eskimos and no women"), gays ("Give a cheer for a queer”; "The Steven Carrington Institute for the Treatment and Study of Faggotry") and even female masturbation ("Women have sexual fantasies just like men, except mine were always about you, Matthew"), it’s fitting that the series’ penultimate ever scene (reunions and reboots notwithstanding) should include Soap Land’s first ever reference to the menopause, with Alexis smirking about Sable’s “change of life baby.” The Alexis/Sable/Dex/Monica/Adam punch-up-cum-bitch fest at the Carlton is just so much fun. It may be the end of the series but everyone’s too busy spewing invective at each other to notice — at least until Adam’s blow that sends Dex and Alexis crashing through the railings (accompanied by some thrilling slow-motion screams). There’s something pleasingly traditional about this cliffhanger — it feels like a throwback to the great Falling Down epidemic of ’81 when Constance Carlyle, Kristin Shepard, Sid Fairgate and Jason Gioberti all plummeted off either a balcony or a cliff towards death or paralysis or, in Sid’s case, both.

The final seconds of the episode, following the staircase shoot-out which leaves both Blake and the crooked Captain Handler wounded (possibly fatally), are also interesting. Zorelli goes to Blake’s side and carefully takes the gun out of his hand without leaving any fingerprints on it. He then passes it, along with his own gun (which might or might not have fired the shot that hit Handler), to his former partner Rudy. Zorelli may no longer be a cop, but he clearly hasn’t forgotten police procedure. The same cannot be said for Rudy who simply grabs the guns, instantly putting his own prints all over them. It's an illogical moment on which to the end the series, and therefore a very DYNASTY one.

The traditional Soap Land cliffhanger is one where the drama steadily builds and builds, culminating in one event that somehow seems both shocking and inevitable — "Who shot JR?" being the classic example. At the end of the 85/6 season, however, both Ewing-verse finales deviate from this blueprint. Nothing that’s gone before prepares us in any way for what we’re presented with at the end of KNOTS and DALLAS. Karen Mackenzie awakens in a darkened cellar with no idea how she got there. She tries to escape when she hears a man call her name. Meanwhile, having remained offscreen since we watched him die a year earlier, Bobby Ewing is suddenly standing in Pam’s shower, smiling and telling her good morning. Just as there is no cutaway to the man speaking to Karen at the end of KNOTS, there is no reaction shot of Pam before the freeze frame, no clue as to how she, and therefore we, are meant to process this moment. As cliffhangers — and probably television moments in general — go, it simply has no precedent. The only downside, of course, is that this moment was heavily spoilered. One can only imagine the impact it might have had had we not been primed for Patrick Duffy’s return. The closest I've come to experiencing that would probably be the out-of-body sensation I felt when Kathy Beale suddenly appeared without warning with a “Hello, Phil” during the live 30th anniversary episode of EASTENDERS. Mind you, she’d been dead for nine years rather than Bobby's one.

DYNASTY!



FLAMINGO ROAD’s first season finale is a bit of an odd fish. Hurricane Michelle hits town, leading a motley assortment of series regulars and comedy bit players to seek shelter at Lute-Mae's wholesome whorehouse. Somewhere amongst them is the hitman who’s been on Lane Ballou’s trail since the series began. To identify the assassin in their midst, Lute Mae (in that Mae West wannabe way of hers) has the genius idea of dancing with all the men in turn in order to distinguish those with a holster strapped to their shoulder from those who are just pleased to see her. It's kinda fun, in a "Winds of Vengeance" meets THE LOVE BOAT sort of way, but altogether wackier than one might have expected from a Soap Land finale. After the briefest of shoot-outs, the bad guys are either all dead or under arrest and the episode is looming dangerously close to anti-climactic happy-ever-after territory as Lane is reunited with her true love Field. Fortunately, Constance Carlyle — the Sable to their Jason and Francesca — is on hand to renege on her promise to grant Field a divorce. A last minute fight between husband and wife at the top of Lute-Mae's staircase leads to Constance pre-empting DALLAS's season finale by a few weeks and DYNASTY's series finale by eight years by taking a slow motion dive through a broken railing to the floor below. Thus is regular Soap Land service resumed.

I kind of feel the opposite about Angela’s speech in the FALCON CREST finale to the way I do about Bobby’s return in the shower. Each comes at the end of a very atypical season for their respective show and is an attempt to restore that show to its more familiar self. Because I struggled with DALLAS’s generically nice, Bobby-less year (the only time I came close to giving up on the show) I welcomed his return — or more specifically, the subsequent dream explanation that wiped out the previous thirty-one episodes — with open arms. In contrast, I loved the mad, bad, completely unpredictable darkness of FC’s ninth season so I wasn’t crazy about having everybody hastily making nice and burying hatchets in the final ep to ensure a happy ending. It's not that I mind Angela’s ethereal eulogy in itself; rather, I find the events that pave the way for it somewhat underwhelming compared to the total insanity that had gone before.

Parts of Angela's eulogy dovetail with moments in the KNOTS season finale that aired the same week. Just as Angela looks back (“I think of all the people who have passed through these vineyards. There’s Chase, Maggie, Cole and Vicky — and that feisty Melissa Agretti”) so does Karen Mackenzie (“When you’re young, your whole life is new things, first times — your first date, your first prom, the first time you fall in love — and then one day, you look up and your life is full of last times.”) In the same way that Angela is aware of the pitfalls of nostalgia (“The past has its place, but I’ll keep looking to the future”) so are Val and Gary (“We can’t go back.” “So let’s go forward.”) As his wife Pat is disconnected from a life-support machine on KNOTS, Frank Williams quietly sings an old spiritual song: “Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world … I’m going home to live with my Lord.” For Angela, that home, that Higher Power, seems to be the land itself. “Always the land. People come and go, but the land endures,” she concludes. But ultimately, nothing endures like a soap character falling through a broken railing so …

FLAMINGO ROAD!
-OMG how you remember all this things ...
but while I did hate S9´s dark tone and welcomed the happy ending with Angela I also did like the Bobby-less year when the female characters were very strong.
 

Willie Oleson

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Match 1
There's a lot going in botch FC cliffhangers, but whereas Season 6 focuses on spectacle (some of it great, some of it not) Season 4 is all about big drama, the threat by the campy Rossinis plus that crowd-pleasing spectacular moment.
I love the panic in Melissa's eyes when she realizes she's about to get a taste of her own medicine.
And don't worry about Cole, I'll take extra special care of him.
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Of course, that very transparent promise doesn't even register with gullible goody two-shoes Cole Gioberti. Melissa knows exactly how it works.

I have mixed feelings about Peter's letter but it is undeniably one of SoapLand's greatest shockers, but to me it doesn't feel it had to happen in that particular season finale. Come to think of it, this spectacular reveal could have had a much bigger impact after the assassination in Season 7. And then, being so invested in the tragedy of it all, the final scene in the convent (and that should have been Julia, not Angela) could have tricked the audience in a "one out, one (back) in". Which is exactly what that mystery was all about, but Angela's part in it made it a little spoiler-ish.

Taking into account what had happened before and how these cliffhangers came about in the first place I think Falcon Crest's fourth season was still very proper soap while season 6 was very, very hit-or-miss. Melissa's accident looks great but knowing what had caused it - everything the viewers had to endure - well, it takes a lot of fun out of it.

Match 2.
Two cliffhangers that could have happened in any episode of their respective seasons, but there's also the similarity that these Ewing divas would not return to the place where all the soapy action is: the cul-de-sac or Southfork - an alarming prospect indeed.
There's the irony that JR, who practically laughed at Cliff's suicide attempt, now has to rely on Cliff's recovery in order to get Sue Ellen back. Frustrating, yes, but it doesn't feel big enough.
Everything about Gary and Valene's marriage seems high-stakes because we've witnessed that fragile relationship from the very beginning. They didn't even have that genuine optimism that Bobby and Pam had.


Match 1: Falcon Crest Season 4
Match 2: Knots Landing Season 3
 

Jock Og

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Match 1: FALCON CREST season 6.

The fourth season finale was a firecracker (excuse the pun) and the Rossini family doing what most would loved to have achieved but never did. However I'm plumping for 1986 - '87. We had four cliffhangers for the price of one, including a flashback from 45 years ago and things would never be quite the same.

Match 2: DALLAS season 5.

What a turning point for KL. Imho DALLAS has a slight edge here. Will poor Cliff live, to tell the tale?
 

Angela Channing

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Match 1
I like both these cliffhangers so I think it's a shame they were drawn against each other at this stage in the contest, however, there is a clear winner for me.

The best part of the season 3 cliffhanger was Maggie walking in on Chase kissing Connie. I always thought that she had the hots for him but until that point, I didn't think he had any romantic interest in her and in true soap style, he gets caught out immediately. Chase's response is to be totally unapologetic, telling Maggie to "get out" and then smashing up the place. Great drama! I was less impressed by the Rossini storyline as it seemed a bit tacked on to the end of the season to replace the far more exciting Gustav Riebmann plot but it was the first time in the series that we saw someone else have control over more of Falcon Crest than Angela so that was an interesting development . Maggie falling into Richard's arms (and lips) seemed both surprising and inevitable at the same time and their relationship literally started with a bang.

The season 6 cliffhanger is one of my all time favourites of any soap because it contained one of the best and most unexpected twists with Richard turning out to be Angela's son. The way the presented this plot twist was nothing short of brilliant, using that clip from the film The Blue Veil (1951) gave it a greater authenticity and made it easy to accept. The other elements of the cliffhanger were all first class in the own way but the shock, excitement and execution of the reveal of the relationship between Angela and Richard was one of the stand out moments in the entire run of the series. I always thought that should have been the final scene of the cliffhanger so a few years ago I re-edited the ending to show how I would have done it.


My winner for match 1 is:

Falcon Crest Season 6

Match 2

I loved how the tone of the pivotal scene of Abby and Gary in bed changed from defiance when Karen catches them to embarrassment and regret when Valene appears. It's a very well constructed scene. Gary and Valene's marriage was what introduced us to Knots Landing and now we were seeing the disintegrating which again was great drama. On the other hand, I always found the season 5 Dallas cliffhanger to be a bit underwhelming so my winner for match 2 is:

Knots Landing Season 3
 

Mel O'Drama

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Round 2 - Week 1




Match 1

This is proving a difficult decision for me. Instinctively I feel drawn to vote for Season Six. In the previous round I voted against Season Six because it was once again up against some tough opposition (The Colbys) and I want to redeem myself. However, its overwhelming popularity in this round is a little off-putting, and Willie's persuasive comments about Season Four's appeal have swayed me into choosing...

Falcon Crest - Season Four









Match 2


This one's easier. The Knots cliffhanger is a turning point for the characters and the series. Val and Gary were the bedrock of the series. Everything we knew of Knots Landing started with them. Even with what we'd seen of Gary, this episode really brought home that those foundations had been build on shifting sand, and the only thing left was to start all over again. It's one of the most important moments in the series' history, and it didn't make false promises.

The Dallas finale didn't feel big enough (as Willie said), was indeed underwhelming (as Angela pointed out) and ultimately didn't really change anything.

Knots Landing - Season Three
 

Victoriafan3

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I’m going to vote for two shows I never watched from the clips here…

Indeed both episodes of Falcon Creat here look cliffhangeree and fun so I’ll go with

Falcon Crest season 4

I watched Dallas but Blast from the Past was much bigger than this episode and much more interesting than if Cliff dies or not (which most people knew he would survive anyway cause Kenny was still in contract) so

Knots Landing gets the vote
 

Carrie Fairchild

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Match 1 - Falcon Crest season 6: Emma on the roof and Chao Li collapsing on the stairs feels like peril for the sake of peril but the use of the Blue Veil clip clinches my vote for the pure inventiveness of it.

Match 2 - Knots Landing season 3: as mentioned before, the Dallas cliffhanger is one that I don’t feel that strongly about either way, as it’s from a period in the show that I don’t know much about. Even if it was one I was familiar with, it’s always going to be Knots. The simple drama of the discovery and Val driving off was so effective and a huge turning point for the show as the floodgates were now opened for the more heightened but amazingly well written melodrama that followed.
 

Angela Channing

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Time is running out, you only have until midday tomorrow (Wednesday 22 June) to vote for the cliffhangers you want to win this week's matches.

You are voting for your winner between Falcon Crest Season 4 (Maggie catches Chase kissing Connie causing her to run to Richard’s where she ends up kissing him and the Cartel explode a bomb around them) vs Falcon Crest Season 6 (Emma threatens to jump of the roof, Chao-Li collapses and falls down the stairs, Richard is revealed to be Angela’s son and Dan, Chase and Richard are missing in the San Francisco Bay) and between Knots Landing Season 3 (Valene leaves Gary after catching him in bed with Abby) vs Dallas Season 5 (Cliff takes an overdose of pills and Sue Ellen says she won’t remarry JR if Cliff dies).

 
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