Best prime time soaps of the 2000's?

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by Wintry North Poleson, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    I mean there are many things that set Ugly Betty apart from the primetime soaps of the '80s and '90s. The most glaring of which would be the fact that it wasn't played straight and was in fact an extended sitcom dressed as a soap in a cheap Halloween costume.

    It had soapy elements as it was based on a Tele Novella I think, but it went through the ABC machine and came out as this very obvious comedy thing. More so than Desperate Housewives which at least had a darkness and a twee-ness that sometimes worked in it's favour.

    At that time that's what ABC was doing to shows probably because of Desperate Housewives success. They murdered Dirty, Sexy, Money when it could have been a decent show.

    Brothers & Sisters was probably the most soapy and consistent of the '00s soaps. Although it had all kinds of other elements to it ABC's Lost was also pretty soapy and I ate it up with a spoon.
     
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  2. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    Coincidentally, I've just completed a rewatch of B&S. I enjoyed elements of it at the time but pretty sure I dipped out for periods at a time. I definitely remember being pissed off that every season seemed to bring new showrunners and subsequently a complete change in the direction of the story. This was most obvious between seasons 4 and 5 where they'd set up a whole new business opportunity for the Walkers with lots of potential for conflict and ended on a car crash that killed Rob Lowe...

    Cue season 5 which skipped to 12 months later and completely reset all of the character dynamics again. The Harpers were packed off sloppily and the new business was scarcely mentioned.

    In spite of all that and the bizarre story choices, it is a warm and rewarding binge watch so I'd probably peg it as my top soap of the 2000s.

    Desperate Housewives started out promisingly but just turned into an utter mess. A nail gun approach to storytelling that very, very occasionally managed to hit something great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  3. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

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    The source material that Ugly Betty based itself from was very over the top bordering on the absurd. ABC/Selma Hayek actually grounded it making Betty a more responsible and together character than she was in the source material. It actually was made to be less sitcom/over the top than the original telenovela. I think that is why ABC purchased it because it fit into their colorful and whimsical vibe that it was going for in the 2000s.

    With that said, Jane the Virgin took an over the top premise (accidently being inseminated with someone's sperm).. and make something very grounded and heart warming (and rebelled against the typical CW edict that haunts the other shows).
     
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  4. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    I think every season (except for the last one) had something to enjoy. DH had some great, truly vile villains and also plenty of genuine dramatic moments (usually not for Gabrielle, and she was my least favourite character).
    "City On Fire" from season 5 I think is one of my favourite episodes and I certainly don't have a problem with OTT cliffhangers.
     
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  5. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    But how can that be the premise for a soap series?
     
  6. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    I binged Brothers & Sisters a year or so ago and loved it too. It's the show that felt most like it was happening in some kind of real world. For the most part.
     
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  7. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

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    Yea, to me it wasn't a soap. It was a zany sitcom stretched out to like 45 mins instead of 20 and tarted up to look like a soap. Sorta.
     
  8. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    I guess it's telling that no-one has mentioned TITANS yet.
    I'm glad someone had uploaded it to YT because I had always been curious to know what it was like, unfortunately I just couldn't bring myself to watch the last 5 or 6 episodes (and that's coming from a diehard prime time soap fan).
     
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  9. Piggy It's Kermit Outside

    Piggy It's Kermit Outside Soap Chat Star

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    I recently discovered a "limited series" called "Reunion" (only 13 episodes with a closed end, I think). I didn´t know a thing about it but I did recognize some of the main stars (Dave Annable pre-B & S, Alexa Davalos pre-Man in High Castle, Chyler Leigh pre-Supergirl, Will Estes pre-Blue Bloods, Amanda Righetti pre-Mentalist, and Mathew St. Patrick who had just finished "6 Feet Under"). So most of the cast was familiar to me, aside from two old stars from "Falcon Crest": Kate Vernon and Gregory Harrison (practically playing Michael Sharpe here too).

    At first the plot goes all "BV 90210" but, byt the end of the first episode, there is a twist a la "Revenge" that turns the whole thing into a deliciously dark tale. The story is told in every episode in two different timelines (starting in 1986) and there is a whodunit in the center of the plot. It´s part a period piece, with fashion, big hair and music from every year (and not whatever cheap song was available...but top hits), and in every episode, the accusing finger points at one of the friends of the group.

    Yes, we have seen it a lot of times before and after, but there is something in it that makes it special. The actors (even those who seem the weakest links, ie the two hunks) do a great job and some of them, especially Davalos and Leigh (and Vernon too), are really remarkable. I like it so much that I oblige myself to watch only one episode per week because...I don´t want it to end!!

    All in all, "Reunion" is a combo of "Revenge" Season 1, "Melrose" (with much better acting), the 80´s miniseries and those cable shows around a crime so popular nowadays ("Bloodline", eg). See below part of the undeniable talent of its stars:

    upload_2018-7-29_22-46-22.jpeg upload_2018-7-29_22-50-35.jpeg upload_2018-7-29_22-51-46.jpeg

    [​IMG] upload_2018-7-29_22-57-16.jpeg upload_2018-7-29_22-58-9.jpeg

    Another good thing about it is the fact that it was made in 2005 but it doesn´t look like it: you can really believe that it belongs to the late 80´s-early 90´s, and, as you can see, the physical types of these gorgeous people do remind us of stars from those decades (Sean Faris looks in episode 1 just like Tom Cruise from "Risky Business"!!).

    This is the synopsis from IMdB:
    A relentless New York City police detective, named Ken Marjorino, arrives in the town of Bedford, New York, to investigate the murder of a mysterious person at a 20th high school reunion. Through Marjorino's interviews with the suspects, the stories takes us back 20 years starting in 1986 where six close friends graduated from high school. They include good-natured and ambitious, blue-collared Will Malloy; wealthy and snobbish, white-collared Craig Brewster; overachieving but direction less Aaron Lewis; Craig's girlfriend Samantha Carlton who dreams of becoming a doctor; Samantha's best friend Carla Noll a struggling photographer; and the hip Jenna Moretti who's obsessed with becoming a world-famous actress. With each flashback we learn more about Will, Craig, Aaron, Samantha, Carla and Jenna over their various directions they take with their lives. With each passing year that we observe, it brings up more questions. Of the six, which one was murdered? Which one committed the crime?

    You can take a notebook and start to count the clichés used from minute one, but I myself didn´t care at all...I also read that the network didn´t air all the eppis so for me it´s another reason to think it´s something else...I´ll tell you what when I´m finished!

    PS: The pics posted here don´t belong to the show itself. I found others of them but I suspect they are fakes...:innocent:
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  10. Soaplover

    Soaplover Soap Chat Active Member

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    Originally it was suppose to be a 20 episode show with each episode spanning one year (I.e. episode 1 was 1986, episode 2 was 1987, etc)... but it was cancelled before it reached the end so there never was a conclusive answer as to who the killer was.
     
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  11. Piggy It's Kermit Outside

    Piggy It's Kermit Outside Soap Chat Star

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    Thanks Soaplover for the info. Whenever they don´t kill one of the protagonists in a car bombing TNT Dallas-style, I think we (Miss Piggy and moi) will enjoy the ride.
     
  12. JamesF

    JamesF Soap Chat Member

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    Yeah, don't get me wrong, I stuck with it and there was lots that I enjoyed but for me, it was great episodes or moments. The story never seemed cohesive (after season 1) and where there was dramatic momentum, it sometimes felt as though the comedy killed it like a frying pan over the head. That's probably why when I tried to rewatch it a few years ago, I gave up after the first few seasons and just jumped into the "big episodes" after that.

    Agree on the last season too...

    Good way of putting it, especially compared to the rest of the ABC stuff in that era. It's one of those rare shows that was a comfort watch and I feel a bit depressed now I've finished. Psychologically, I like to imagine the Walkers are still living their lives and I'm just not watching it.

    My solution is to give Nashville a try but that's one for the 2010s thread...
     
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  13. Wintry North Poleson

    Wintry North Poleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    True, they almost never gave those dramatic stories or scenes a chance to linger.
    Slightly off-topic: I thought Dana Delany was a better "Bree" than Marcia Cross - that is, until they started that silly lesbian storyline.
    Eventhough I thoroughly enjoyed it when I watched the episodes on tv, I have no intention whatsoever to re-watch it. Simply because the style of these shows haven't stood the test of time, well not for me anyway.
     
  14. SantaCarrintonEwingsBells

    SantaCarrintonEwingsBells Soap Chat Addict

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    What I liked most about ONE TREE HILL was that it never actively went out of its way to being campy, in fact there was no real campy moments on the series if i can recall, OTH was probably the closest we had to an 80s style soap in the 00s, a glorious mix of DALLAS & KNOTS LANDING.

    I recently had another binge of OTH and it made me miss the 2000s as a whole and appreciate the decade as a whole in a new light, I could never get into Brothers and Sisters, but I shall try to.

    Another 00s soap people rarely mention (probably because It was on cable) is NIP/TUCK (2003-2011) if OTH was the DALLAS/KNOTS of the 00s then NIP/TUCK was most definitely the DYNASTY equivalent, absolutely bat $h!t crazy storylines, convoluted love affairs, it perfectly displayed the hedonism and decadence of a post 9/11 world, it did get very silly towards its middle years bit I still like it.
     
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  15. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    Talk about a show that not only came at the wrong time (right after 9/11) and a horrible timeslot (Fridays on Fox 9PM). Catherine would've been up there among those most famous villain characters that ever existed if it had survived. Then of course Desperate Housewives stole its thunder.
     
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  16. MarkSinacori

    MarkSinacori Soap Chat Fan

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    Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives are at the top here. I was sooooooooooooo fortunate to get to work and be featured on both of them!

    Other shows I would say that had a LOT of potential to be great nighttime soaps were North Shore, Cane, and the crappy 90210 and even crappier Melrose Place that were on CW.
     
  17. ChrisSumner

    ChrisSumner Soap Chat Active Member

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    One that I almost forgot was Sex, Love and Secrets. It aired on UPN but was canceled very fast. I remember thinking it would be horrible, but I remember it being pretty good. It starred Denise Richards and reminded me a bit of Melrose Place. I think the bad name and the way it was promoted hurt the show. Being on UPN in it's final days didn't help either. I'd love to re-watch it if I can ever find it.
     
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  18. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    UPN was one network that tried out and out soaps in the 00's. As in a straightforward soap without any comedy drama / mystery twist to it. As well as Sex, Love & Secrets, they also had South Beach and the Empire-esque Platinum None of them lasted beyond a few episodes but they were attempts at the more traditional style of soap seen in the 90's and 00's.

    Regarding Sex, Love & Secrets, I caught one episode of it when CBS Drama aired it in Ireland & the UK. I don't recall much about it so it clearly didn't make a great impression on me.
     
  19. Kenny Coyote

    Kenny Coyote Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I looked for this on Amazon and didn't see it. Do you know where it is sold?
     
  20. Piggy It's Kermit Outside

    Piggy It's Kermit Outside Soap Chat Star

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    Kenny, happy new year! The whole thing is on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF02F5DE9EADBA7AF

    I don´t think it´s on dvd. Remember there is no conclusion to the whodunit (though I did find it in one of the producer´s more recent interviews, I can share it with you if you want).
     

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