Best soaps of the 90s, 00s and 10s?

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Willie Oleson, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Absolutely.


    Ah, but that's easy to say if you have already watched it.

    Yes, if only it hadn't been a mini/limited-series disguised as a soap.
     
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  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't call Mad Men a soap.
     
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I think I agree, it didn't look as if they were telling that kind of story.
    And yet...I often had that feeling of "what's going to happen next", especially with all those office shenanigans.
    Compared to Peyton Place, when I could enjoy many episodes without being too concerned about the story's development.
     
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  4. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I also enjoyed Pan Am come to think of it! :lol:
    I was sad when it was cancelled.

    However as for Army Wives, I can recommend you to go back and watch the entire first season. I swear if you see the cliffhanger they'll leave you with at the end of season one you won't think the show is cosy anymore!


    I love this Toni. It's so funny because it's true!:Clol:
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  5. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Wow, sorry for the misunderstanding @Willie Oleson and @James from London! I meant the opposite: Second 3 of "Bloodline" is more of the same, ie it´s as good and absorbing as the first two seasons!! :re:

    And again, I didn´t mean "you won´t miss anything" but "you won´t miss ANYBODY" (I think JFL might know who I´m talking about...). I probably was more in oblivion than Sue Ellen after catching JR in bed with Holly Harwhore... :hide:
     
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  6. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    In my mind, I'd say the following series are NOT soaps:
    The Americans
    Mad Men
    House of Cards
    Game of Thrones
    Smallville

    And that's just going by feeling. I hate to say this, as I do love some soaps, but they feel "too good" to be compared to soaps. With soaps, there is just that feeling of "lesser quality" for me. Like comparing romance novels to the classics. Or comparing regular made for TV movies to the Oscar nominated movies.

    I've always felt that admitting to watching soaps is embarrassing, while admitting to watching shows like Mad Men, Game of Thrones etc feels more like bragging. I can love any show, soap or not, but when it comes to telling people what you like to watch, it's embarrassing to admit to liking the soaps, while I proudly count up the non-soaps.
     
  7. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Willie, you and JFL have made me think it over, and I still think the same, but I will elaborate a bit: "Mad Men" succeed in many ways in its first season: plot-wise, direction-wise, and also re the wonderful art direction and period detail. I won´t talk about the fantastic group of actors they made famous and capable to get other roles post-MM. But hey, this show lasted 7 seasons through 8 long years. In hindsight, I can´t say the storytelling was perfectly crafted: I loved and looked forward to watching the first 4 seasons, but when I watched Season 5, I realized that the show had lost something. Not going to get into the disappointing last episodes...

    upload_2018-1-7_23-50-48.jpeg
    No, they don´t. Thank you anyway.

    Suddenly a lot of plots were forced and others were left aside, and well, let´s say they pulled a Gabrielle when January Jones got pregnant and they made her wear a fat suit. She, the most classic beautiful actress of the show...! It didn´t work in "Desperate Housewives", nor in "Battlestar Galactica", nor in "MM" neither. Mini-shark jump. As usual, it was not one specific thing that caused the show lose some quality IMO, but a number of little things. I guess it didn´t help either that audiences seemed to be a little tired of the show, but it never was a matter of ratings with MM.

    [​IMG]
    Take it easy Betty.
    There are still 3 seasons left.

    As I watched recently the superb "The Handmaid´s Tale", I heard myself saying: "How underused Elisabeth Moss was in the later seasons of MM, and how much better this series might have been if they had given her better scripts and storylines." And I think the same of the other actresses: Jones, Hendricks, and Paré had the same problem. Only Kiernan Shipka, who played Sally Draper, got better and better stories (and even reminded me of that old sassy Olivia Cunningham from "Knots"!).

    [​IMG]
    How very Olivia from her.
    At least she had that old fart Gary!

    I also think that Jon Hamm, one of the most attractive and charismatic actors appeared in a show of this century, despite everything, is not as a good actor as they wanted us to believe. But his was the only character that kept himself up to the end. And, undeniably, the series and his character wouldn´t be the same without him.

    upload_2018-1-8_0-5-9.jpeg
    Just a little gratuitous exposure of
    Mr. Hamm´s hairy handsomeness
    :rolleyes::spinning:

    Sorry for going off-topic, but back to the soapiness of MM: When you see that a quality show like that is going through cliche territory, then they must be doing something wrong. And believe me: Julia Ormond's cynical, bitchy character was made of the stuff our 80´s villains are.

    upload_2018-1-8_0-16-3.jpeg
    Julia made MM a bit funnier.
    She was not an alcoholic, though.

    IMHO, they never "recovered" of Season 5´s low point, and maybe they (consciously or not) were trying to appeal wider audiences, but characters like Peggy, Betty or Joan didn´t deserve to be given second-rate subplots. In a way, I think the producers treated them and their performers with the same sexism the show portrayed, and sometimes even subtly condemned. If done by really talented writers (as happened here), soapiness equals laziness. And yes, I think it will be dated in a few years...and it´s set in the 60´s-70´s!! We´ll always have the actors and the fashions...Just my 2 cents.

    [​IMG]
    Oh yeah, Betty. And you didn´t sleep
    with Don on your first date! :re:


    Note to myself: Please don´t even try to re-watch MM in the next 5 years. You still have 500 new series to discover and 50 more to re-watch. :dance::confused:
     
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  8. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I feel the same because these shows don't seem to be designed as a soap, or started with a soap-y premise.
    From trashy fun to high quality drama is quite a spectrum, and I think many shows are somewhat in-between.
    It also depends on how you define the soaps: based on their best or worst storylines.

    A lot of stuff that happens on The Americans is unbelievable, or maybe I should say "the way it happens".
    I usually don't emotionally connect with fantasy/sci-fi stories, sometimes I find it beautiful to look at, but that's where it ends.
    Game Of Thrones is a fantastic production, but I don't think of it as a great story.

    If a soap is well-written, well-produced and well-performed, then you have a quality show.
    A comedy show has to be funny (probably the most difficult genre), a thriller series has to be suspenseful, a soap has to be dramatic etc. It's not the genre that defines the quality of these shows.

    30 years ago we had the mini-series, 3 episodes or 20 episodes, they told the story and that was it.
    These days, many stories are unnecessarily stretched to the max (why end something successful?), which gives them a soapy "feel". Because soaps are supposed to be continuing stories.

    I do get the stigma of soaps, the housewife's "guilty pleasure", as it were. Mostly because of the romantic aspect, I guess.
    But I also think there's a double standard going on, because it's perfectly acceptable to do a Greatest Lovestory movie.
    Or are you also embarrassed to admit that you liked, say, TITANIC?
     
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  9. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Thanks Toni, I found it very interesting to read your views on Mad Men.
    There's no right or wrong because we all want different things from our shows, TNT Dallas being a perfect example.
    But since this is a discussion forum...
    I got the idea that story development wasn't the angle of MM , eventhough it was exciting because I had no idea what was going to happen next (even if nothing particular happened).
    Also not really a character drama, but more about their way of living, the advertising industry in the sixties.
    How did they behave, and misbehave? The ambition, the egos, the sexism, the parties.
    Even the most beautiful women can get fat. I had not expected to see this, it doesn't even happen in soaps. A fat Morgan Fairchild? Never!
    I found it hard to rate him since his character kept most of his emotions inside. I think he did what he had to do and I don't see how another actor could have done a better job (with the same material).
    Btw, those shirtless Jon Hamm pictures are too small.
     
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  10. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    [​IMG]

    Is this BIG enough for you, Willy (your wish is my command, as usual...)? ​
     
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  11. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    DYNASTY had a fat nurse:p
     
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  13. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Jon Hamm's most infamous "big" photos tend to be more....casual? :eck:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I love how he goes "commando" all over town, then gets all "offended" when people obsess over it.
     
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  14. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    With HBO & Netflix etc etc today, we finally have more limited series again. Big Little Lies, Mary Kills People, The Bridge etc etc etc. And series with short seasons instead of 22 episodes a year.

    No wonder why the quality has improved so much lately! Even big movie actors are doing TV series these days, and I am loving it!!!


    I am not much for the big love story movies. I kinda like Titanic, but it most certainly is NOT because the boring Jack/Rose story. I like it because of the disaster of the sinking!! The Jack/Rose scenes just put me to sleep. In most cases, I dislike the "classic" love stories in movies & series. I prefer the more twisted or fun or unique love stories. :)
     
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  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Yes, I love the American Horror Stories, and I'm looking forward to Feud, True Detective 3 and Slasher 3 (different stories, not seasons).
    Many of the classic mini-series were quite impressive too (North & South, Centennial, Thorn Birds etc)
     
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  16. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    For the 1990s, my favourite soap has to be BH 90210, but literally only the first four seasons, I've never watched Melrose Place so I cant comment,

    In truth I prefer the soaps that came along in the 2000s, as soaps then were less focused on rich teenagers (the whole tragic rich teen thing for me should be left in 1994) DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES was to the 00s what DYNASTY and DALLAS were to the 80s.

    However ONE TREE HILL has to be my favourite soap in the 00s, it started off as teen drama but its so completely removed from BH 90210 a decade earlier, because we saw the OTH characters progress and mature from fourteen or fifteen year olds to 25 year old career folk with families of their own.

    Plus who can forget the who Nanny Carrie storyline :-D pure soap in my opinion.

    MAD MEN isn't a soap, however its one of my favourite shows and captures 60s America beautifully, I would also say that the Sopranos isn't a soap either but its one of my favourite shows of the 00s

    As for this decade, I'm disappointed in the revivals of DALLAS and DYNASTY, id rather leave them in the 1980s, haven't watched EMPIRE or REVENGE, but I am massively into RIVERDALE! Its shaping up to becoming a guilty pleasure not just for the 2010s but hopefully the 2020s too.
     
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  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Does anyone remember FASHION HOUSE?
    I think I stopped after 20 episodes or so, it was such a slow story and the characters weren't very interesting.

    The trailer looks fabulous though.
     
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  18. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    90's? Melrose Place, easily. If you're a soap fan and haven't watched it, then shame on you!
     
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  19. Gabriel Maxwell

    Gabriel Maxwell Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Heather Locklear occasionally responds to fans on her Instagram page and she says next to one of her photos how much she misses Amanda Woodward.

    It made me sad given the fact I read she's allegedly secretly entered rehab for a 6th time over the holidays.

    Amanda was the very peak of her career and that was 20 years ago and sadly nothing of that magnitude has come her way since. And she's so good at it.
     
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  20. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    I've just started watching Gran Hotel on Netflix after picking up comments about it here and there. Absolutely loving it so far. Reminding me somewhat of A Place to Call Home which is an Aussie period drama but equally as soapy.

    Only on episode 3 but think this is my new obsession...
     
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