Berrenger's

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by bmasters9, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat Addict

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    Was just wondering-- did you ever hear of or see this short-lived 1985 NBC serial w/the late Sam Wanamaker? Per what I discovered, it was from the same people who were behind KL on CBS-- Roundelay and Lorimar.

    Here's a sample episode from it:



    And here's the opening:



    And the title card:

    berrengerstitle.jpg
     
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  2. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Champian

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    I don't think this series was screened in the UK, or at least it was never on terrestrial TV as far as I know, so I never watched it.
     
  3. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Berrenger's was the last time NBC tried to jump on the soap bandwagon during the 80's I think. It was their fourth short lived soap after Flamingo Road, The Yellow Rose and Bare Essence.

    I've only read about it online and it never really grabbed my interest in the same way as some of the other soap failures have. Every episode was on YouTube at one point and I never bothered to watch it. I felt the same way about Emerald Point NAS. They just struck me as a bit boring. Also, a department store doesn't strike me as the most interesting place in the world to set a soap. It feels like more of a sitcom setting. The Hamptons was similarly based around a New York department store dynasty but I think the bulk of the action was set in their beach side homes rather than them trading barbs as they folded sweaters in the drapery department.

    Anyway, NBC buried it on a Saturday night, which never really struck me as a soapy timeslot, so I think it was doomed to failure from the start. There's also the argument that viewers had reached "peak soap" by the time it came on air in 1985.
     
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  4. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    I watched this when the series was previously on YouTube and commented on it on the old forum. I guess the fact that I can't really remember anything about it says something...

    I do remember though that it didn't bore me and I saw it through to the end unlike Emerald Point NAS. It had some points of interest in the cast and a few of the characters.
     
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  5. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I don't know - in Sweden we had a pretty long-running soap set in a department store (well... five seasons / 60 episodes, which was much for that time). It worked pretty well.

    Also, don't forget - Pam worked in a department store on Dallas! A missed opportunity for a spin-off there...
     
  6. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Am I right in thinking that the store that Pam worked in was imaginatively named The Store?
     
  7. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Looking at articles from the time of Berrenger's launch, "prime-time soaps are dead / dying" seemed to be a popular narrative among TV writers, given the fact that Paper Dolls and Emerald Point NAS had both failed in the year leading up to Berrenger's short run. Although, it seems to have really bombed out, ranking 73rd for the year out of 75 shows.

    http://www.tvobscurities.com/articles/nbcsat84/
     
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  8. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    It's interesting it bombed so spectacularly because I wouldn't have said it was anywhere near deserving that. That said, sometimes I enjoy cancelled series when they have a very limited run. If I'd start watching Berrenger's knowing I had even 22 episodes ahead of me instead of 11 or whatever it was, I might have viewed it differently. It certainly didn't have the legs to run for multiple seasons.
     
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  9. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

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    These shows were really hard to do back then -- the show had to be perfectly cast and the producers seemed to have to know what their project was about from almost the beginning. So only four of them worked, and, yes, NBC never got one that did, FLAMINGO ROAD notwithstanding.

    I remember BERRENGER'S. It didn't seem like a Saturday night show, it's true, it had a cast which was disinteresting and piecemeal, the crassly posh vibe of the store indeed felt acutely like the 84/85 year somehow (I was in NYC that winter), and it was absolutely a bore. And David Jacobs, of all people, was involved as EP.

    The show didn't work, and I recall us laughing that "the Japanese" (or was it the Chinese?) had pulled out of an international deal because somebody had had an affair with somebody else.

    I also recall Esther Shapiro trashing the show for it's abominable story structure, the irony not lost on me even then -- especially since she promptly hired Diana Gould and Scott Hamner for DYNASTY!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat Addict

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    Hence the Roundelay card at the end (Roundelay, of course, being David Jacobs' vanity label that, around the middle of KL's run, IIRC, joined with MF Productions to make Roundelay-MF [MF of course being Michael Filerman, who would also be an E.P. w/the late Earl Hamner of Falcon Crest]).
     
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  11. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    PAPER DOLLS wasn't in the same league as the Big 4.5 (and maybe I should include Flamingo Road too) but I didn't dislike it. It looked well-produced and had a few good moments, mostly laughing-out-loud moments, but still.
    As a fan of the prime time soap genre, I simply want to watch them all. Good or bad, I want to know these stories.
    I still haven't reached my soap-peak, so that argument doesn't mean much to me.
    Hopefully someone will upload the complete BERRENGER'S again!
     
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  12. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    It's quite interesting that the US prime time soap machine never seems to have gotten a proper "work place" soap to go on for very long, unless you count drama/procedural hybrids like ER or Grey's Anatomy. We've had family soaps (Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest), "location" soaps (Knots Landing, Melrose Place) and "teen" soaps (Beverly Hills 90210, The OC, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl) to go on to fairly long runs, but for some reason things like Berrenger's, Models Inc and Paper Dolls never quite sticks with the US prime time soap crowd.

    Which is a shame, because work place soaps can very easily work as "location" soaps do where people can just move in and out of a neighbourhood without contrived explainations such as long-lost children/siblings/uncle/someone-who-once-knew-your-aunts-neighbours-dead-cat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  13. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    But didn't most people came home from a workplace and watched the soaps to escape the (boring) life of being an employee?

    Even if Models Inc didn't suck, I wouldn't say it was a workplace soap, since it was mostly about boyfriends and affairs.

    The only successful "workplace" soap I can think of is the prison soap. That's a closed community where characters can move in and out, but without being sidetracked by the world outside the prison walls. The only thing that's relevant is what's happening inside that building.
     
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  14. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    True, but I also think it's hard not for creators/writers to turn them into semi-procedurals as Grey's or ER since they're ripe for it, so not that many attempts have been made at it in addition to network interference.

    Well, my point is that Models Inc, as an agency, is in theory what holds the entire show together. You don't really have a core family such as the Ewings, the main character is - at least in theory - Models Inc itself. Hillary could've been written off after Grayson took it over etc.
     
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  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    But it doesn't take an awful lot of creativity to create drama for a hospital series.
    Watcha gonna do in a store or factory or model agency? Episode after episode, season after season?
    Well, there was CPW and its magazine publishing company, but as with most soaps it was limited to the characters in the boardroom.
    And then all the other stuff that happened that had nothing to do with the company.
    Same with Howards' Way.

    How about Pan Am?
    Or The Grand, I think this series focussed on the continuing story, but it's been a long time since I've seen it.
    [​IMG]

    Oh, and the New-Zealand soap GLOSS...although I think there was a family too...because someone has to own the company. But at least it was supposed to be a workplace soap.
     
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  16. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Addict

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    I remember Berringer's being on here after Knots Landing on Saturday nights but I never watched it.

    Knots was already on hideously late and the last thing I wanted was to stay up another hour for something that would break the mood.
     
  17. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Member

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    I remember it. As others pointed out, it was very 80s. I liked the upstairs/downstairs vibe of the show: we got to see the rich owners, as well as those who worked for them (I thought Dallas should have shifted to this type of structure later in the series when the original storylines started to run out of steam so we could see the lives of some of those who worked on the ranch).

    The cast was very hit and miss. Ben Murphy was pretty bland as the male hero, and he and Yvette Mimieux (the female lead) didn’t have much chemistry. The young sales clerks seemed interchangeable. But Sam Wannemaker, as the patriarch, was spot on, as was Anita Morris as his flighty, spoiled daughter. And Andrea Marcovicci was pretty memorable as Murphy’s wife, who stood between him and Mimieux getting together.
     
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  18. E-JULIAN

    E-JULIAN Soap Chat Member

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    In Spain, the catalonian network TV3 started the soap trend in 1994 with a soap centered on the Barcelona neighborhood that was completely renewed for the Olympic Games of 1992, "Poble Nou" (New Village), from then on they've offered soap after soap in the same timeslot (monday to friday). The first two soaps were written for a year run (with a summer hiatus) starting in january and ending in december. The second one "Family Secrets" (1995) as the title says centered around a working family with too many secrets long time silenced. The third one was the first one centered on a rich family and was not limited to a year run, running from Jan 1996- May 1998, titled "Power Saga" was our Falcon Crest, because it focused on a champagne (cava) clan with a very dark secret that involved a bastard son and an incestuous relationship between brother and sister. The rich family continued with "Passions Labyrinth" in 1998, the young heiress of a transportation company in love with a downstairs/working young man but married to an ambitious and dark husband and a company past linked to the Spanish Dictatorship and political crimes. After two upstairs/downstairs soaps TV3 returned to middle class in "The City's Heart" a location soap about different people living in a working neighborhood (Eastenders style), the longest running in Catalonia (2000-2009). The penultimate soap was "The Riera" (2010-2017) about a strong woman, Merce Riera and his family, set in the nouvelle cuisine world, beginning with a little and typical restaurant becoming a Michelin star thanks to the ambition of the owner and the talent of his son and his longtime love interest working for the family restaurant from the beginning. Mixed the cuisine world with shady business by another of the Riera sons and her bitchy ambitious wife and the lives of the restaurant workers or the different people living in the same village.
    As you see the soap trend lives in Catalonia 23 years after the first one... last september started the new one: "Like yesterday"... same time, same channel.
     
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