Forgotten soaps of the 90's

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by Carrie Fairchild, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    While we regularly dissect the likes of Melrose Place, Central Park West, Models Inc and Savannah, there's a collection of 90's soaps that barely get a mention on here. This could be for good reason (they were sh*te) but I know little about them and was wondering what peoples memories (if any) of these shows are. There's a few that can be found online but there's others that there is very little trace of.

    Winnetka Road
    Short-lived suburban soap starring Josh Brolin and the mother from 7th Heaven. I only recently discovered that Aaron Spelling was involved in the production and that all episodes are online. Is it worth a look? From what I've read, it's kind of in the same region as Sisters in terms of soapiness.

    Angel Falls
    A post Twin Peaks Peggy Lipton, a pre-Models Inc Cassidy Rae and a brown haired Kim Cattrall were among the cast. It aired in the Knots Landing Thursday 10pm timeslot on CBS, the fall after KL ended. Did they promote it as a Knots replacement?



    Second Chances / Hotel Malibu
    Short-lived pair of interconnected shows that also aired in the old Knots slot, the season after it ended it's run. The shows get an occasional mention these days because Jennifer Lopez starred in both of them.

    The Monroes
    I'd love to see this show but there's very little online except a clip and a promo. Susan Sullivan and William Devane play the parents of a Kennedy-esque political dynasty. Was there much coverage of this when it launched or did Central Park West grab all the soapy headlines that fall?
     
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  2. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I'd LOVE to watch this one:
     
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  3. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    I've only ever heard good things about Homefront. I think it's also the longest running of the short lived soaps of the 90's, clocking in at 42 episodes. Considering some of the one season wonders that UK digital channels dig up as filler, I'm surprised Homefront hasn't made an appearance on the likes of CBS Drama yet.
     
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  4. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    THE MONROES was great, but perhaps a little too progressive for its time. And I don't mean too adult, although I remember feeling a bit shocked when I heard Susan Sullivan swearing (Lord knows she had more reason to swear on Falcon Crest).
    But it wasn't as juicy as Savannah and Central Park West, maybe that's why they couldn't find a loyal audience (I'm just guessing).
    To be honest I don't remember much of it, except for the daughter's mystery affair with a high placed person from the white house (was it the president himself?) and in the last episode I've seen this mystery lover was about to reveal himself to the audience. Well at least that's how I remember it.

    How odd that they would call a soap Winnetka Road when another soap was also situated in Winnetka. It's not like there weren't enough places to choose from.
     
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  5. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Especially odd when you consider it took over Sisters timeslot when that show went on a mid season break. I'm guessing some may have thought it was a spinoff of sorts.

    Susan Sullivan swearing seems to be the common thing that everyone remembers about The Monroes. I've seen that scene mentioned a few times. I've read that it got a rerun on Soapnet so I'm hopeful that episodes might show up online at some stage.
     
  6. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

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    I watched all of them when they aired...

    Winnetka Road... I always figured this was a limited series since most everything seemed to wrap up by the final episode. Meg Tilly had the most interesting story with the photographer... and Catherine Hicks was the every woman character.

    Angel Falls.. Ended on a cliffhanger... Kim Cattrall was sympathetic was the wife being cheated on... and Peggy Lipton was heartbreaking as a grieving mother.. It had a Knots Landing vibe to it.

    Second Chances was much better then Hotel Malibu... in fact, Second Chances only got pulled off the air because of a massive earth quake that destroyed all the sets.. and two of the three leads were pregnant in real life.. so even if they rebuilt the sets, they couldn't go back into production because of the pregnancies.. so they were cancelled.

    The Monroes.. too adult and slow moving. A slow burn that needed more time.



    2ooo Malibu Road was another promising show that ended on a cliffhanger.
     
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  7. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    I enjoyed 2000 Malibu Road. It's premise felt kind of limited though so I'm not sure how it would have played out as a long running show. I've seen an interview with Aaron Spelling where he stated that it was well received and CBS wanted to proceed with it but in the end, they couldn't agree on money and it was dropped.
     
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  8. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Another that has sprung to mind is The Round Table. It was a Spelling soap that aired briefly on NBC in 1992 (Aaron was really churning them out that year). I've only ever seen a promo for it but it looked a bit like Melrose Place year one. One of my favourites, Jessica Walter, was part of the cast.
     
  9. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I dunno
    That actually was sold as a mini-series in Europe and had a lame wrap up with a voice-over from Lisa Hartman.
     
  10. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    ^
    Maybe she should have sung it?
     
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  11. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    Models Inc and Return to Eden are another two that ended on cliffhangers in their home countries only to have extras added to bring closure to the show during their international airings.

    Four Corners got the miniseries treatment in Europe too. It was renamed Homestead and broadcast in 2/3 parts. From what I recall, they didn't bother with the voiceover wrap up, so it just kind of ended.
     
  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I remember TRADE WINDS, a 90s mini-series that couldn't be soapier even if it tried.
    [​IMG]

    A customer review reveals an interesting titbit, I hope you don't mind me re-posting it here:
    If I recall this correctly, back in 1993 NBC had the idea to make a weekly television show that was comprised of a series of short, unrelated miniseries. Kind of a 'romance theater' sort of thing (I believe they were called "Great Escapes"). Audiences would never have to commit to more than five or six weeks to see a whole story; and if one of the miniseries was particularly popular it could easily serve as a pilot and be made into it's own series.

    Well, first up was "Trade Winds" a six-hour drama with all the typical mini-series ingredients: beautiful young people, venerable older actors (Efram Zimblast Jr. in this case), forbidden love, vengeful villains, fueding families, exotic locales, catfights, a grand hotel setting, a mysterious murder, a lost treasure, a curse, courtroom dramatics etc. It was all cheesy and predictable in a guilty-pleasure 'Dynasty' way.
    The problem was that hardly anyone watched. In fact, the ratings tanked so badly that NBC yanked the show before showing the sixth and final hour.


    I don't recall any loose ends so I guess they showed the complete version on Dutch television, but now I'm very curious about the other planned mini-series (assuming the reviewer's information is correct).

    To be honest, these kind of 90s neo-soaps seemed a bit desperate, I just couldn't buy it anymore. Oh I don't think I could resist watching them, but the magic was gone.
    Dazzle and The Secrets Of Lake Success are examples of glossy mini-series that failed to be as glossy and mesmerizing as the 70s and 80s mini-series.
    Soaps had to become a bit nastier, and I think CPW and Savannah did a decent job or at least it was a very good idea. Hyperion Bay was kinda home-y and that worked too until Carmen Electra showed up, what were they thinking.
    The Monroes seemed to be the answer to modern clan-style soap but maybe they pushed the envelope a little bit.





     
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  13. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    According to a TV book that I have, The Secrets of Lake Success was aired under the Great Escapes banner after Trade Winds had ended but was dumped from the schedules after only three episodes.

    On the subject of short-lived winds, lest we forget this soapy shambles from 1998.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

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    I watched The Secrets of Lake Success... it was a three part mini series that resolved most of the stories.. with a door left open for a follow up if the ratings were good (which they weren't.

    I also sampled Wind on Water.... bad time slot.. and you didn't care nor like any of the characters... and the launch was odd with Bo Derek becoming a widow and being romanced by the father of the rival family within an episode or two.
     
  15. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    I think TRADE WINDS had the potential to become a soap series for one or two seasons.
    Perhaps TITANS should have started as a mini-series too instead of being a soap from the get-go. It usually doesn't hurt to have a solid foundation - although I must say that the first half of the series was entertaining enough. It wasn't great, but for the fans of the genre it was a nice little throwback.
     
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  16. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Fan

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    While glossy miniseries were a rarity in the early 00's, I do think it could've worked for Titans. One of the many problems that I found with the show was that they didn't seem to know what they were doing once they killed off Richard. A miniseries setup could've seen similar events happen - Richard unwittingly weds his son's ex, she schemes her way back into the son's bed, locks horns with the matriarch, shags Richard to death and when the family try to cast her out, she reveals she's pregnant with Richard's child and is going nowhere. End of miniseries.

    Returning as a series after a break would've given them a bit of time to formulate a better premise instead of the haphazard mess we got in the post-Richard episodes.
     
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  17. Soaplover

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    I think shows like Revenge, Once upon a Time, and Ugly Betty would have benefited from a mini series format.. and if it succeeded.. then move forward with a series.
     
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  18. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson drilling for soap

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    Oh yes, definitely REVENGE. I think it should have been a 10 or 12 episodes story and Emily's "revenge" part should have had some sort of conclusion, one way or another.
    The succeeding seasons could have been different chapters, more soap-y and "community", instead of twisting the original (and very limited) premise further and further.

    I've watched a few episodes of Ugly Betty, but just like with Sex In The City I had no idea what I was watching. Was it a comedy of sorts, I honestly couldn't tell.
     
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  19. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    I dunno
    I think the story is a bit more interesting - I think it was literally a left-over from the spring of 1992 that originally got a quick four week burn-off in the late summer. All cast options had by then ran out and sets had been destroyed so money became an issue when all stars basically wanted a raise when it became a surprise hit. They priced themselves out of 2000 Malibu Road essentially and Aaron wasn't having that, especially considering he had newbie Melrose Place to care for.
     
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  20. Carrie Fairchild

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    The last couple of Malibu Road episodes were scheduled against Melrose which Lisa Hartman reckons didn't help matters.

    This is another Aaron Spelling soap that never gets a mention. Probably because it looks absolutely awful. It ran briefly in syndication and went by the name of University Hospital although judging by the opening titles, it could've been called Nurses Inc.

     

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