Discussion in 'World Cup of Soaps' started by Angela Channing, Aug 20, 2019.
Match 5: Emmerdale
Match 6: Dynasty
Emmerdale - more specifically Emmerdale Farm - is on my viewing bucket list. I have the first 148 episodes lined up to watch one of these days. As it is, I’ve only tuned in for the occasional episode, mostly the highly publicised stuff: the plane crash, Kim Tate’s departure, etc. The scenery is beautiful. In fact I very recently visited Esholt and had lunch in The (real) Woolpack. I’m also intrigued by the leap it made from relatively cheap lunchtime filler to prime time supersoap. And from men in flat caps and wellies with hands up cows’ bums to glossy scandal and regular disasters.
Corrie has been part of the fabric of my world for as long as I can remember. It was probably the first soap I ever watched, and certainly the first British soap I watched with any regularity. Full of memorably iconic characters, much remembered scenarios and a heart that beats loudly and proudly. Even though the Eighties is the only decade throughout which I watched, I love what I’ve seen of the earlier decades. And there’s been some good stuff more recently. Even though it’s lost a great deal with the increasing weekly episode count and heightened drama, it’s still recognisably Corrie.
I’m voting for my old friend…
Falcon Crest is the American Emmerdale for me. A series I’m not too familiar with which I’d like to remedy. I like the premise, have enjoyed actors in other series (most notably Susan Sullivan and Robert Foxworth) and I like most of what I’ve read about it here. It also has one of the greatest themes in television.
Dynasty had some dire times. The Seventh Season alone does it considerable damage here. Thankfully, there’s far more to it than the series’ image - and some other comments in this thread - would have you believe. The First Season in particular stands out as some of the best quality soap there is on offer. And it had a cracking final season, head and shoulders above what most contemporaries were doing by that point. It’s not perfect, but when it was good it was great.
Familiarity wins again for me, which means…
Match 5) CORONATION STREET - Britain's most popular soap opera, it has been part of the nation's psyche since 1960.
Match 6) DYNASTY - I've never seen FC so, Dynasty gets my vote.
Emmerdale replaced Coronation Street as "the current British soap I watch that isn't EastEnders" a few years ago now. I really like it. It's fresh, funny, dramatic and copes with the demands of having to churn out a million episodes a week remarkably well. It also seems to be the preferred soap of people who don't really like soaps (for example, the writers of Harry Hill's TV Burp, who were obliged to watch TV round the clock). Also, not that it's in any way relevant, my impression from actors who've been in them is that Emmerdale is the nicest of the soaps to work on (Enders being the grimmest and Corrie the weirdest.)
However, I grew up watching Corrie and I feel like those cobbles are in my DNA. So Coronation Street it is for me.
Agreed. Having just re-watched all the 80s American soaps in their entirety (as you do), the one thing that bothered me more than anything else is when a show would wink at its audience as if to say, "Isn't this hilarious?" This would instantly kill whatever humour was in the scene stone dead. And because the scene was too busy trying to be funny to take itself seriously, it wouldn't be dramatic either. So all you're left with is a whole bunch of unfunny, self-satisfied nothingness. Falcon Crest did this too often. Dynasty never did it. However ridiculous it became, Dynasty played everything with a straight face. In fact, the episode where (almost) everyone gets up unharmed after being shot to death at the end of the previous episode is one of the most fascinatingly surreal Alice in Wonderland bits of TV I've ever seen precisely because everyone involved is taking it so seriously -- which allows the audience the option of laughing at it or buying into it (or even both at the same time) as it so chooses, which is one of the great pleasures of soap-watching.
That said, when Falcon Crest was on form, and it often was, it could be deliciously, viciously twisted in a way no other soap could -- no soap did underground parking lot violence as well as FC did, for example. But for sheer straight-faced melodrama (and that breathtaking first season), my vote goes to Dynasty.
I get the feeling that it's not going to be an easy win for Dallas!
I can't see it being anything but Dallas. Some of the Corrie fans would easily pick Dallas over the two. Going by the members who are taking part, I think Dynasty has the best chance out of all those taking part in giving Dallas a good fight.
I hope I'm wrong.
I think most of the current players would vote for Dallas. Fans from the Dynasty board usually don't participate in these games.
But Dallas vs. Knots...I think that's going to be a very interesting match. They both have very good reasons to win.
Match 5: My vote goes to Emmerdale in all its forms but especially for old, early Emmerdale which is so criminally underappreciated. For me it's up there with 80s Brookside as the best and most relatable of the English soaps.
Match 6: Mostly for that first year...Krystle, Corley's Steven, Fallon, the Blaisdels...I'm grabbing it around the middle and voting for Dynasty.
Match 5: The younger soap gets my vote - Emmerdale.
Match 6: The wine soap is my choice for this battle - Falcon Crest.
If I had to put money on it I would put it on Dallas but I don't think a Dallas win is a certainty. The result can be unpredictable because it depends on who votes and doesn't vote (and every week the electorate varies) and which soaps are up against each other.
At the start of last year's World Cup of US Prime Time Soap Characters, I would have bet that JR Ewing would have won or possibly Abby Cunningham and neither made the final. When we did the World Cup of Dallas Characters, I again thought JR would be victorious but he got knocked out in the first round. When we did the World Cup of Falcon Crest Characters, I thought Angela Channing would walk it and she only beat Richard Channing by one vote in the final. The only World Cup that was predictable was the World Cup of Falcon Crest Cliffhangers and season 2 won that one which I think most people expected.
The other factor that might lead to an unexpected result is the criteria that people use to decide on their choices. Reading comments it's clear that participants are not just voting for their favourite soaps but also how popular a soap is generally and the significance of the soap in history or in their personal life.
Taking everything together, I can see how Dallas can beaten at some point.
Game 5 - EMMERDALE: As I have said before IMHO CORONATION STREET has gone off the boil, in probably the last decade. The humour and earthiness long associated with the Manchester soap is not anywhere in the same league, as it was 10 or even 15 years ago. In recent times the once upon a time third ranking English soap opera EMMERDALE has toppled the cobbles set show, in the awards. Even when the Yorkshire goings on had FARM in it's title I preferred it to Corrie and the Easties (which I also admire). Therefore the Sugdens; the Tates, the Dingles and the Bartons get my vote, in this contest.
Game 6 - FALCON CREST: I have a high regard for DYNASTY, specifically season 1, 2, 3 and 9. The Colorado show was and still is a credible rival to the big gun DALLAS. However my heart is with the Tuscany Valley saga, for this ding dong. Although FC had the most changes in TPTB, compared to the other three, I still enjoyed approximately 80% of the nine seasons. Perhaps in hindsight Angela & Co. should have put a cork in the wine focused programme, two seasons before they actually did. Season 8 and the final season went downhill badly.
I don't know if the decline was in part the fault of Jeff Freilich's tendency to do sitcom, making anyone else who came in to put their stamp on the show a little harder to achieve convincingly. My view is that FC could be split into these categories, identity wise:
Season 1 to 3 (the finest gothic mixture).
Season 4 and 5 (still under Mr. Hamner's creative control, as the gothic style diminishes).
Season 6 and 7 (new honcho Jeff Freilich takes the show in a different direction).
Season 8 (Michael Filerman returns to steer the show back to it's roots, in his opinion).
Season 9 (a steamy grime and crime concoction from Messrs Thorpe and Surnow, bearing little resemblance to the entertainment we were accustomed to).
Still and all I'm choosing the 'Cresters', over DYNASTY.
You raise many great points.
But I'm still not sure it can be beaten...
Match 5 - I've had phases with most of the UK soaps over the years. Some fleeting and others more sustained. Emmerdale would probably fall into the fleeting category. It was always on TV when I was growing up as my mother and grandmother watched it but I only ever really dipped into it in phases of my own accord. Usually when something big was happening like the arrival of Patsy Kensit or the beginning of Robron. It is a great show. As pointed out, it is innovative compared to some of the other UK soaps and it's had some great eras and characters over the years. In my opinion, Kim Tate would have been remembered as one of the great UK soap characters had she not returned to the show as a panto version of herself. But Emmerdale doesn't hold the same place in my heart that Coronation Street does, which is why it's getting my vote for this match. Granted, Corrie has been shockingly bad for a number of years now but it's 90's era when Bet was running the Rovers with characters like the Duckworths, Mike Baldwin and Ivy Brennan propping up the bar is TV gold for me. And from before my time, some of the characters that it generated from the 1960's to the 90's are iconic on British TV. Elsie Tanner, Ena Sharples, Hilda Ogden and Annie Walker to name but a few. It had great writing and was real kitchen sink drama for many years before moving (along with every other UK soap) towards more sensationalised stories in the late 90's. But it's roots endure and below are a few of my best scenes from the 90's era (of which there are many).
Match 6 - Falcon Crest is the 80's soap that I've watched least despite me loving much of the bits that I have seen. Much like Peyton Place and Dark Shadows, it's on my ever growing to do list. Dynasty on the other hand is up there with my favourites, so it's an easy choice in this match. I know it's faults and love it anyway. Season One was high class drama with a writing style not often seen in the soaps of the time. Season Two is IMO a perfect example of soap opera. It had it's highs and lows as time wore on but exceptional characters like Alexis, Dominique, Sable, Caress, Ben, early Stephen and Claudia were standouts while the increasingly OTT plots and weekly fashion parade just added to it's charm for me.
That's interesting. I wonder why that is?
They already know that Dynasty is the best show. The very idea that it has to compete with other soaps is simply preposterous.
Or something like that!
5 - Coronation Street - immensely popular soap. Iconic in every way.
6 - Falcon Crest - I have to vote for Angela and the rest, despite it looking like they are going to loose this contest.
Emmerdale and Falcon Crest. Best of luck Dynasty fans, let the superior soap win. I still hope it isn't hard luck for the Falcon Crestees.
Julia is correct, the poll closes at midday on Tuesday. Vote for your winner between Falcon Crest and Dynasty and between Emmerdale and Coronation Street before it's too late.
It's ok @Zable, I've noted your vote already.
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