US Daytime Soaps - Vintage Years - Help Needed

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Alexis, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    I have just ordered myself the complete collection of Sunset Beach on DVD. Bootleg of course and at a fair penny. It's something I have always wanted though, so Merry Christmas to me.

    Anyways I'm just not getting enough soap in my life. Dark Shadows is doing it for me and I have really made some headway in my viewing of that. I have reached the Barnabas episodes and even just made it to colour!

    However I am now hankering after some classic US daytime soap. Like I am wanting to buy complete years of a show. Like start at mid '80s or earlier if possible and work through it. I just am not sure what show is the best to go for.

    I keep being drawn to The Young And The Restless. That '70s and '80s sweeping opening theme is really doing it for me. And I know it's been incredibly popular in it's run. I'm not sure what's available to buy though.

    The soap I have seen offered the most though is Days of Our Lives, I think there are episodes from every year since 1984 available and I know Days was also a mega force in the '80s and early '90s.

    For those of you who were fans of the daytime soaps what were your favourite shows? Which do you think I would enjoy most?

    The shows I know about are, The Young And The Restless, The Bold And The Beautiful, As The World Turns, Guiding Light, Days Of Our Lives, General Hospital, All My Children, Another World, One Life To Live, Ryan's Hope.
     
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  2. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Star

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    Santa Barbara! It ran from 1984-1993 and was really good, especially in its first years with Lane Davies as Mason Capwell.
     
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  3. ChrisSumner

    ChrisSumner Soap Chat Active Member

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    It's not exactly a daytime soap, but if you haven't seen Peyton Place that is a MUST! It was inspired by Coronation Street and adapted from a popular book and movie. It's without a doubt one of the best soaps ever created. Another good daytime soap is Ryan's Hope which ran for years on SOAPnet. I believe the episodes are available to purchase or view on YouTube from 1975(the beginning) until around 1982 when SOAPnet stopped airing it.

    Currently I'm watching The Doctors which can also be found on YouTube and bootleg I'm sure. If you're interested in that one let me know and I can send you links. The episodes start in December 1967 and currently the show is airing episodes from 1976 or 77. I'm currently in 1971 and I can't get enough of this. Most of the actor takes place in a hospital and it's actually centered around their work as doctors so it feels different from other soaps. With time it became more traditional with your standard family setup and not many scenes at the hospital, but it's a smart adult drama.
     
  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I second The Doctors, which is easy to access on YT. The producers of The Doctors, as well as
    the producers of Ryan's Hope and Dark Shadows, were the only ones to save copies of their episodes rather than wiping the tapes and re-using them, which was standard practice in that period. This is why you can't find much of anything (other than single episodes here and there) of most other soaps prior to about 1982. I watched several batches of Doctors episodes, mostly to see the early work of Anna Stuart (one of my favorite actresses, she played Toni Ferra on TD) and liked it.​

    Another soap I liked that can likely be found on YT is The Edge of Night. Several years ago someone posted the last five years (1979-1984) of this series on YT and it likely is still up. In the late 1980s these episodes were aired on the USA Network, and the YT videos are copies of those. It's not on your list, but I think you'd like it because it had very well-crafted mysteries and memorable characters. It was done by Procter and Gamble (who also produced GL, ATWT, AW, and others) so it has a certain 'look' that they all had, but was more focused on crime dramas and mystery elements (though it had a fair share of romance).

    Both of these soaps are half-hour shows, so they're not as much of an investment of time.

    Soapchatter @Canon managed to get hold of a significant chunk of episodes of Another World from 1987-ish to 1993-ish, which was a great period for that soap (though I would argue there was no bad period for that show). Not sure how this was achieved (I ask no questions...). The closest I've found is a YT-er who edits together storylines across multiple episodes rather than just posting single episodes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  5. Canon

    Canon Soap Chat Fan

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    You ain't lived until you've seen Anne Heche play twins!
     
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  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    Didn't Julianne Moore also play twins on a daytime soap?
     
  7. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    What do you all think about Days Of Our Lives? Would it be worth the investment? Will it be a an 80s soap powerhouse of amazingness? I remember seeing bits of it in the 90s and liking it.
    Yet everything in me keeps screaming The Young And The Restless and that did spawn The Bold And The Beautiful which I was addicted to in the late '90s on channel 5 here. Even though I think the episodes I was watching were likely early to mid '90s.
     
  8. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    I have all of Peyton Place on DVD and finished it well over a year ago. It was after I finished that I got Dark Shadows.
    I hate watching anything on YouTube too. Even though I was loving Australian soap Sons And Daughters I think watching on YouTube put me off. I've been aware of The Doctors but I generally don't like Hospital dramas. And if it's more centred around that I don't think I would enjoy it as much. Though I could be wrong.

    What I do like in my soaps are all the usual ingredients. Waring families, the rich and the poor, The big house, or two! The family business and all the family bickering and feuding etc. Brother against brother etc. And of course a fabulous bitch/diva or 1600.
     
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  9. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Champion

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    Also I came across some episodes of Guiding Light on UK digital a few years back and I wasn't that impressed. I don't know if the format had changed a lot from it's original inception or what but it seemed like a cheaply shot Christian soap. Weird. Though I believe that this was around the time of it's cancellation.
     
  10. Justine

    Justine Soap Chat Fan

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    General Hospital in the 1980's and (especially) 1990's was so well written. It was the best American daytime soap I've watched; the complex storylines, the family dynamics etc. were all brilliantly done. From 1993-1999, it was one wonderful storyline after another: Luke and Laura's return; Maxie's heart condition and transplant, after B.J.'s death; Monica's breast cancer; Robin's HIV diagnosis, and Stone's death from AIDS; Jason's accident, and subsequent memory loss; the return of the Cassadine's; Carly's revenge against Bobbie; Emily's drug addiction; Elizabeth's rape, and the revisitation of Laura's earlier rape; Alan's pill addiction; Lucky's death; the annual Nurses Ball, when Lucy shows her knickers every year;):p I could honestly mention so many and I'm sure there are many more I've failed to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  11. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, Another World had the old-money (and highly dysfunctional) Love family living next door to the new-money (more conventional) Cory family, with various cross-romances. They also had the working-class Frame and McKinnon families whose lives were interwoven with the Loves and Corys. Over time, however, the Love family morphed into the Hudson family, once Donna Love married childhood sweetheart Michael Hudson, and Donna's evil father fell to his death from the Love Tower.
    The Cory mansion was their main "big house," at least after the Love mansion burned down; there was also Donna and Michael's luxurious co-op and Iris Wheeler's penthouse (with a private elevator opening in her living room). Cory Publishing was the central business concern, fought over by the family that Mac left behind when he died unexpectedly. The Hudson Group was the central concern of resident billionaire Michael Hudson; we never did quite know what the Hudson Group did, though. There was a famous brother-versus-brother rivalry between evil politician Grant Harrison and true-blue policeman Ryan Harrison (mostly to win the love of Vicky Hudson) which ended in Grant killing his brother in cold blood and basically getting away with it. That was rare, however, because most of the sibling rivalries were epic battles of sister-vs-sister. Sweet Marley Hudson versus her selfish and calculating twin sister, Vicky Hudson, was played to perfection by Anne Heche in both roles. Iris Wheeler (classic soap bitch) reigned supreme in her battle with her much-younger half-sister, Amanda Cory in the battle over their father's affections, and later his company after 'daddy's' death. Iris also declared all-out war on Paulina, the long-lost daughter of Mac's he had never known existed, but didn't fare as well because Paulina gave as good as she got. In addition to diva Iris, there was flamboyant romance author Felicia Gallant, rich socialite Donna Love Hudson, and reformed bad girl/heroine Rachel Cory.

    Yeah, pretty much the perfect soap. But then, I am so biased.
     
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  12. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    CBS and the producers of GL had decided the show was too expensive to produce (compared to the lackluster ad revenue it generated). Rather than pulling the plug on the longest running scripted program in existence, a new Executive Producer suggested filming the series using an entirely new production model. They left the NYC studios and filmed in tiny Peepack, NJ, using actual homes and businesses for settings. They used hand-held cameras and had the actors wearing microphones--it was all very, very low-tech, and it showed. People were so accustomed to the 'look' of soaps on sets with perfect hair and lighting, even as soaps are considered less cinematic than prime time, so this was a shock. It came off as a college TV station-type production, and everyone involved seemed to lose patience after a while. But this experiment was totally in response to the lack of budget. They wanted to keep the show on the air, and this was the only way (to hear talk about it at the time). Producer Ellen Wheeler had come from the front of the camera (an actress who won two Emmys) but had more willingness to experiment than most of the longtime producers in soapland. Ultimately people called the experiment a failure, mostly because the show got cancelled anyway (after 72 years on the air), but she kept the show going longer than it would have lasted if she had not been willing to try this format.
     
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  13. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's complicated. :)

    On As The World Turns in the early 1970s, Bob Hughes (town saint) was married to sweet Jennifer Ryan Hughes. Their boring union was upset when Jennifer's trampy (by 1970s soap standards) sister Kim Reynolds swept into town while on a singing tour. She and Bob had a brief affair that was quickly ended, but Kim turned up pregnant. At the same time, Jennifer turned up pregnant, as well. Kim was treated like a pariah even after she had a convenient miscarriage (as if she got pregnant by herself), and left town to continue her singing tour. Jennifer then gave birth to their daughter Frannie. A while later Jennifer died for some reason and Kim returned to town. They 'reformed' Kim into a nicer character, barely mentioning her early dalliance with married Bob. The show ultimately paired Bob and Kim in the 1980s and Frannie (now an adult) went off to Europe to go to school.
    While walking down a street in...London, I think...Frannie was shocked to briefly spot a woman who looked just like her. After a long, winding investigation and a lot of hand-waving, it was discovered that this woman, Sabrina, was in fact the baby that Kim had thought she'd miscarried. The doctor had lied to her and placed the baby with an English couple. Sabrina was Frannie's half-sister who just happened to look just like her. This was actually a nice, authentic (if farfetched) nod to actual events onscreen, since ATWT's original story with Bob and his two pregnant sisters had been a blockbuster plotline back in the old days.
    Julianne Moore left the show eventually and the show decided to write the sisters out. Moore agreed to make a cameo appearance in the lead-up to ATWT's cancellation, but I can't recall which sister she played. I don't think she played both.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  14. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Well, even though eventually the two soaps kinda became parts of the same universe, B&B did not start as a spin off. It was just that CBS liked William Bell as a head writer and when he offered to start a new soap, they jumped on the chance. Even the same universe statement is not exactly true, as some actors and actresses have played one role on Y&R and a different one on B&B (for instance, Don Diamont). B&B, as I am sure you know since you have watched it, is more tongue-in-cheek than Y&R. The funniest instance involves the character of Sheila Carter: she had a successful run on Y&R and, just when you thought she was backed into a corner, off she ships to B&B and she has a whole other life for many years. Then years after her story ends and Kimberly Brown, the portrayer, leaves B&B, Y&R decided to reuse the role, but with a different actress than Kimberly Brown, and came up with the "she had plastic surgery to look like another character" excuse to have the same actress playing both roles. When Kimberly Brown was again available on B&B, they had her respond to rumors of her plastic surgery and faking her death on Y&R with "who would be stupid enough to believe such crazy stories?" Also, when she met Ridge, who had been recast since she used to be on B&B, her first words were: "Ridge--you look different."
     
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  15. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert on US daytime soaps given that they were shown so sporadically on Irish and UK television, so some of the better versed members might be able to elaborate on my thoughts.

    Capitol is one that I've watched bits of online which ticks most of the boxes you mention above. It ran for five years in the 80's and followed the lives of two rival political families in Washington.

    I vaguely remember Santa Barbara when it originally aired and have since watched bits of it online. Some of the writing is quite funny and it has a good cast. If you like Sunset Beach, I reckon you'll like Santa Barbara as it covers similar ground in terms of it's setting and tone.

    There's a soap from the 90's called The City that I'd love to see more of. It was a direct follow on from cancelled soap Loving. It followed the lives of people living and working in a loft building in New York. Morgan Fairchild headlined the cast during it's first year. It looks and feels a bit different to other soaps given that it seemed to have a lot more location filming on the streets of New York.

    If you like the more off the wall elements of Sunset Beach (of which there are many) there is NBC's other soap from the same period, Passions. Now that show was bonkers. Like absolutely batshit crazy (the ghost of Princess Diana was used in one story arc and that's one of the tamer examples). It was nearly more of a parody presented as a soap. It'll give you a laugh if anything.
     
  16. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Funny you should mention Capitol, since its premature demise (it ran from 1982-1987) was not due to low ratings. It was actually quite successful.

    CBS was so 'fond' of Bill Bell and his ratings champ, Y&R, that they willingly cancelled Capitol just to make room for B&B. They also evicted As the World Turns from the post-Y&R slot and gave it to B&B to insure B&B's success...which caused ATWT's ratings to suffer.
     
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  17. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    In its early years, B&B's ratings were mediocre, and it wasn't until the crossover storyline with Sheila that it reached #2 in the daytime soaps for the first time (back when there were 12 of them). But CBS planned to cancel Capitol regardless of Bill Bell creating a new soap.

    Here is part of the wikipedia entry

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_(TV_series)

    "Cancellation
    During most of its run the show had steady ratings and held on in the middle of the pack of the soaps. The storylines that were resolved beginning in the 1985-86 season, however, caused a rather steep fall in ratings.

    By early summer 1986, CBS had lost faith in Capitol and, needing a replacement, then-head of CBS Daytime, Michael Brockman requested proposals from industry writers and producers. Veteran producer Paul Rauch responded with an idea for a more satirical serial called Grosse Pointe about a wealthy and dysfunctional blue blood family from Grosse Pointe, while Ryan's Hope co-creator Claire Labine's proposed drama was titled Celebration that would revolve around a middle class family in the suburbs of Cleveland that would be produced by Procter & Gamble. Her family-driven concept and traditional approach lacked the overt glamour of Capitol and fell more along the lines of As the World Turns or Another World, but would include a modern 80s twist to keep the show current. Ultimately, however, neither Rauch's nor Labine's concepts would make it to the air.

    That December, CBS announced that Capitol would be cancelled, with its final episode airing in March 1987. Premiering in its place would be Bill and Lee Phillip Bell's new production, a sister show to their very popular The Young and the Restless called, The Bold and the Beautiful.

    Capitol debuted on CBS in 1982 in 8th place in the ratings, roughly the same as Search for Tomorrow had done. Capitol remained in the middle of the ratings pack throughout its five-year run ranking between 7th and 9th, with its best ratings points of 6.4 achieved in the 1983-1984 television season, in which it ranked 8th. In 1985, ratings fell slightly from a 5.8 to a 5.1, prompting some CBS affiliates to drop the show. CBS subsequently canceled the show and replaced it with The Bold and the Beautiful on March 23, 1987. However, CBS put The Bold and the Beautiful in the 1:30/12:30 timeslot, bumping As the World Turnsto 2/1. The Bold and the Beautiful became both CBS' and America's second-highest rated soap opera, but its ratings never surpassed Capitol's ratings peak."

    By the way, I remember having seen some episodes of Capitol and I liked it. And thanks to European channels showing them years later than US airings, I remember watching both The Bold and he Beautiful and Capitol on the same day. I think it was shown on Super Channel.
     
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  18. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I do recall Capitol's stories becoming a bit thin toward the end, but some of their problems had been present from the very beginning. Though the show was set in Washington politics, they were never allowed to portray anyone as being part of a particular political party. They were the most opinion-less politcos you'll ever see. A soap opera set in DC not being allowed to comment on current politics made it difficult to write anything meaningful in their career trajectories, so they were forced to write odd stuff like Sloane Denning's involvement with that Arab prince and her father Mark being revealed as some kind of spy/double agent (memory is fuzzy on that).
     
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  19. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    What are people's thoughts on Dark Shadows knockoff Strange Paradise? Quite a lot of it is online and if I remember correctly, there was a viewing thread about it on the old forum. Worth a look?
     
  20. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been looking for All My Children from 1993-1995 since those were the years Sarah Michelle Gellar was on the show and she's my most favorite contemporary actress. So I have watched most of the movie and tv-series she's made. But not this one so I would love to see it. Does anyone know if it's available to watch anywhere?
     

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