Reviving the Soaps in the 90s

Discussion in 'Sundry Prime Time Soaps' started by ClassyCo, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    From multiple articles, blogs, and books I have read, authors generally agree that the soap opera genre was all but dead by the early 1990s. However, at the same time, they all agree that Fox's teen-aged/young adult-aimed night time dramas revived the "soap" genre.

    I've heard it explained like this... Comparing each 1990s soap to their 1980s counterpart.

    Beverly Hills, 90210 --- Dallas
    Melrose Place --- Dynasty
    Party of Five --- Knots Landing
    Models, Inc. --- The Colbys
    I couldn't exactly say if these comparisons are accurate, but it's simply what I've read. Could someone perhaps elaborate on this... Agree or disagree?
     
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  2. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I would compare BH 90210 to Dynasty and Knots, especially the early seasons when there was still a late 80s vibe until around 1993/94.

    I think 00s soaps have more one common with the 80s soaps.

    One Tree Hill is a Dallas/Knots hybrid, The OC definetly paid Homage to Dynasty and Desperate Housewives the most successful of the three was largely inspired by Knots Landing, I would also include Nip/Tuck as a 00s soap in fact it seems to relate to Dynasty and Dallas all in one.
     
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  3. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    I dunno
    Darren Star said that he always thought Melrose Place would go on for at least as long as Knots Landing - which makes sense. It's an apartment building where anyone can move in, so it should be the easiest show on earth to keep going. Too bad Frank South and Charles Pratt Jr happened.

    As for Models Inc - Paper Dolls?
     
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  4. NickLundy0911

    NickLundy0911 Soap Chat Member

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    Well, I always thought season 5 of MP had more of a Knots vibe. It was down to earth with the characters even Amanda and Michael got their edge back. Kimberly, Jake, and Allison's departures were poignant and even new characters like Taylor, Kyle, and Jennifer actually weren't bad editions (at first). Megan was definitely my favorite of this new crop. And as usual poor Sydney's luck turns worse even before she reaches the top. It's obvious that the wackeist of season 4 completely drained the writers out. I mean I enjoy season 4 for what it is, but I'd probably enjoy it better for what it could've been had Darren Star hadn't left. Kind of my same feelings on Dynasty seasons 3-8.

    And after 4 years don't you think it was time for some new people to actually move into that apartment complex?
     
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  5. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    It certainly had the setting for becoming a new Knots Landing. Wrong producer, I guess?
    Still, it never felt "Dynasty" to me. I'd say that Central Park West looked like the Dynasty for the 90s.
     
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  6. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Star

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    I dunno
    Looking back, season 7 of Melrose had a strong Knots vibe because of Peter Dunne. The entire structure of the season SCREAMS Knots Landing... you need to watch both Knots and Melrose to get this though.
     
  7. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Makes you think that because Knots Landing ran for 14 years betwen 1979 - 1993, could Melrose Place have lasted into the 00s?

    After all its an apartment complex people come and go all the time perhaps with new characters it could've ran for a few more seasons
     
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  8. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Aaron Spelling was hoping to squeeze one more year out of it. He's stated in interviews that he thought that FOX cancelled it a year too early. However I remember at the time, FOX pointed out that with Heather Locklear's salary alone, they could've produced an entire pilot. Here's an interesting article from 1999 about the finale. I find Thomas Calabro's comment about a potential reunion to be particularly amusing. He's so on the ball. http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/24/entertainment/ca-40358

    Back to the original topic, I always thought that comparing the soaps between the decades, Dynasty and Melrose Place were the most similar in structure rather than in how it looked. Both started out quite serious before descending into OTT camp. Both had poor ratings initially before a villainess was parachuted in and saved the show. Both had a memorable cliffhanger (Moldavia/Kim about to push the red button) from which the show struggled to recover. Both had really poor later seasons only to recover in it's final season with a mystery storyline from the past. Both had short-lived spinoff series.
     
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  9. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Interesting article thanks for sharing @Carrie Fairchild :)

    The Bomb storyline and season 5 was what killed MP for me, interesting how the article states this also, however I still thought that season 7 was the beginning of a new era, appropriate considering that had season 8 aired it would've coincided with the new decade to come: The 2000s, would MP have survived the next wave of primetime soaps of that decade such as: The OC, One Tree Hill and Desperate Housewives?
     
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  10. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I loved the season 7 cast. I think that they were a really strong group of characters in comparison to the two seasons that preceded it. The problem was that they left it too late to integrate new characters into the building. If they were hoping for a Knots length run, they should've gradually introduced new, younger tenants onto the show over the years in order to keep it going as the years progressed. Instead, they had more or less the "classic cast" of originals for the first four years, then when they started leaving, they introduced a barrage of new weaker characters from season five on (Megan and Lexi excluded) who were mostly gone by the final year. So if they were to try and revitalise the show and keep it going beyond 1999, it would've looked really obvious and contrived that they were parachuting a load of new characters in for "Melrose Place: The New Generation" rather than having new characters enter the fray organically. So while I would've liked to see more Melrose, I wouldn't have liked to have seen them pull a Scrubs for the sake of wringing a few more years out of the show.

    On the subject of pulling a Scrubs, I saw in the article I shared that Charles Pratt had written West Beverly, a revamped 90210 for the 2000-2001 season. This is the first I'd ever heard of this. I'm guessing that they were going to try and pull the contrived BS that I mentioned above and introduce a load of new characters to 90210?
     
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