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Pat Harrington Jr.
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Parody of television soap-operas--the show's humor relies on exaggerating soap-operas' characteristic plot implausibility and melodrama to ridiculous extremes, then adds a fair bit of the truly bizarre, including some remarkable characters. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The character of Father Flotsky was added as an in-joke to a character created by Lenny Bruce in a classic routine. See more »
This is the story of two sisters. Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell. These are the Tates, and these are the Campbells, and this is Soap.
Jessica Gatling Tate, Mary Gatling Dallas Campbell:
[after Burt and Chester start a physical altercation]
[soon the whole family tries to stop Burt and Chester from fighting]
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Original network broadcasts opened with an on-screen content warning. This was one of the first TV programs to include such a warning, though such disclaimers are now commonplace. See more »
These questions, and many more, will be answered...
I began watching this show when I was rather young - elementary-school aged, really, & because of its episodic nature (for I read comic books voraciously, & loved "to be continued" storylines) - well, probably because I liked the guy with the puppet - I was hooked. I watched it weekly & remember praying to God that it wouldn't be cancelled. The magic of the show was that it taught me so much. I knew little or nothing about homosexuality, infidelity, racism, hell, even the Mafia or Central American revolutions, until I watched this show. It was genuinely funny - Bert thinking he could turn invisible, Benson's "I ain't getting that," everyone talking to Bob when they knew damn well Chuck was throwing his voice - I laughed & laughed.
As I watch TV now, I really miss the topicality of this show - the fact that, with a simple parody of soap operas, they managed to bring important issues of the day to the forefront. No one was safe - even alien abductions were lampooned, years before there was an X-Files that could stand a bit of ribbing.
Yeah, it's dated, & when I saw a few episodes in repeats a while back, I was more moved by my old feelings - these were friends I hadn't seen in ages! - than by the story & the jokes. But the point was, it was brave - like "All In The Family," like "Good Times" - though not a Norman Lear creation - braver than anything on right now. Someone else suggested you watch from day one - that's not all that important, because you'll catch on soon enough (it's a soap opera, after all), but I do believe you'll come to care for the characters & their ridiculous predicaments soon enough. & you'll be amazed at how utterly clever it is.
Be warned, though - like "Twin Peaks" it doesn't really end, & if you're coming at it for the first time, you'll be sad when you get to season four's end & there's nothing following. I was.
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