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28 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Dripping with irony, sincere as it comes

Author: gadflyzzz from Rome, Italy
29 October 2003

Santa Barbara got me through a tough period in the late 1980s. For a while there it was the only thing i really looked forward to. Mason's rich sarcasm, Gina I's uncontrollable facial expressions, Gina II's bone structure, Eden's dreamy egotism, Kelly's bad luck, the coincidences, the overheard conversations, the misunderstandings that went on for weeks at a time, the laughter, the tears, the sorrow and the pity, the daily dose of hyperbole, hysteria and melodrama, the little bit of insanity in a sanitized world, that was Santa Barbara. It's been gone from our screens for years, in Australia at least, where i used to watch it. But it lives on in the backwaters of my mind, often resurfacing, at odd times, giving me solace in times of extreme absurdity. Thank you, Santa Barbara, I will never forget you.

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

THE BEST SOAP OPERA IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION!!!

Author: Chris Cory (crumbchris@hotmail.com) from Los Angeles, CA, USA
9 December 2002

I am simply overjoyed to see so much love for this unique and superior daytime soap! I have always loved this show (and I am NOT a daytime soap fan), and it seems to me that just about everyone who has seen it would agree that it was way above the cut. I came across it quite by accident and became addicted for years to come. Many people have mentioned how great the writing was, or how it managed to incorporate comedy into it regularly. The storylines were always intricate, thrilling and well thought-out. Some of the actors on this show were simply Oscar-worthy, and many have gone on to achieve considerable success in the industry, most notably Robin Wright Penn (She was always a natural). The relationship/repartee between Mason (Lane Davies) and Julia (Nancy Grahn) was pure, unadulterated genius. They were like "Moonlighting" meets Hepburn & Tracy. Gina (Robin Mattson) and Keith (Justin Deas) were simply outrageous! Never were two evil people so darn entertaining at every turn! Not only that, but Ms. Mattson managed to make Gina a character who you could sympathize with on same level, in spite of all her flaws. Her love for her son, Brandon, was NEVER in question, although her treatment of just about everyone else was deplorable! I should mention that the original Gina (Linda Gibboney) was simply outstanding, and I was shocked to see her go. It took me a while to warm up to Ms. Mattson, who gave the character a different twist, but in her capable and accomplished hands, I grew to love her portaryal. This show worked on so many levels. It definitely deserved the Emmys it won. In fact, it deserved many, many more. I would like to take a moment to comment on the real people behind the characters. I am an actor, writer, director, singer and producer. I used to watch this show when I was about 12 and 13 years old. As a young kid with stars in his eyes, I would write to all the actors, and so many of them were beyond accomodating. A Martinez, who played Cruz, used to write back to me every month. And, he didn't just drop a note. He would write complete letters, answering all my questions and responding to all my hopes and aspirations. He saw this young kid who looked up to him, and he embraced it. It is people like that who truly gave me inspiration to follow my dreams and goals. Another one who would always take the time to write me back was Jane Sibbett, who played Jane. These people really took the time to reach out to me and make me feel valued, and that has affected me into my adult years. I should point out that both of these actors work consisitently. Jane Sibbett was part of another superb show called "Herman's Head" for four years. I truly am happy for them. Finally, I had the pleasure of running into Judith McConnell, who played Sophia, at an audition recently. I couldn't resist telling her how much I loved the show. She was with her daughter, and her eyes just lit up. I can tell you, from speaking to her, that she loved doing the show as much as we loved watching it. They knew they had something special and extraordinary, and the years she spent on that show are very fond in her memory. Meeting her was a great experience, because I got to connect to her in a real way. She was very gracious and appreciative, and can I say she looks fabulous? She looks like she's still in her late thirties, and she's got to be about sixty! I wish every one who had a part in this show success, and I would be honored one day to work with just about any of them.

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The greatest Tv show ever

Author: caldisert
28 July 2000

Santa Barbara was very unique.Its great writing and amazing cast were something that has never been seen on TV. Santa Barbara created couples that will never be forgotten. Actors like Harley Jane Kozak,Lane Davies,Marcy Walker,A.Martinez,Jed Allan,Judith McConnell,Robin Mattson,Nancy Grahn etc. were outstanding.Cast like that will never be seen again. Through Santa Barbara we were able to live through most wonderful feelings and see the most beautiful lovestories. Santa Barbara will never be forgotten! We,the fans, will always be grateful for those beautiful memories that SB let us have.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Hooked by a Soap

Author: Gerard Witts from Belfast, Ireland
31 December 2003



What was it about "Santa Barbara" that managed to get dedicated non-Soapists like me hooked? Humour, in a word. SB is the only soap I'm aware of that had an all-the-way-thru' sense of humour about itself. I discovered this , as so many do, while surfing the channels. Up came an incident in SB when a lawyer character is seen in a coma. He fantasises himself into an all-white version of his lawyer's office (i.e. Heaven) where he is seen arriving bedecked in white from head to toe. His first stop is his secretary's desk. "She", also a vision in white, is not his real secretary but one of SB's male characters who is also a transvestite. He/she is seated at his/her desk, filing his/her nails AND--here is the piece of resistance that made SB irresistable to me--watching the opening credits of his/her favourite soap on the office TV. The favourite soap being--what else?--"Santa Barbara! A nice little touch of post-modernism there, I think.

Then there was the murder of the lounge singer by the local District Attorney and her husband.(A very Santa Barbara reversal of the usual plotline!) They hide the body in a freezer which provides a superb full- face picture of the corpse for the closing credits. The make-up artist has done a superb job, ice crystals mixing with mascara and blusher to achieve that all-over "dead" effect. AND, forgoing the Santa Barbara theme music, the episode ends with the dear departed lounge singer's own voice singing the highly appropriate "AM I BLUE?"!!!

From then on I was hooked. Humour and a wonderfully anarchic script that had characters trapped in dungeons at the beginning of an episode and attending a" black tie 'n' frocks party" at the end, are what made Santa Barbara a soap like no other. And I daresay we shall not see its like ever again.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A cult in Russia

Author: Adrian Engler from Switzerland
17 February 1999

Usually, I don't like soap operas, and I rarely watch them. But I was impressed by how enormously popular it was in Russia. It is a real cult there, and a big percentage of people watched it and talked about it. So, I watched it, too, when I was in Petersburg for some weeks, and I would say it was worth it. The stories are quite complex, and most of the various threads of the action are very interesting.

It is interesting how popular such a series can become abroad. In Russia, it is certainly much better-known than in the US. When I was in Russia, some liked it and others disliked it, but I don't think there is anyone who does not know it or has no opinion about it - which is just the more remarkable because the series is so sophisticated that watching several pieces is necessary for fully understanding it.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The highlight of American television.

Author: Carl Lund (carllund@bigfoot.com) from Eagle Butte, SD
6 December 1998

Santa Barbara remains the highlight not just of daytime TV, but of American television. Never before or since has such a plethora of extraordinary actors appeared on a series: Dame Judith Anderson, Robin Wright, Marcy Walker, A Martinez, Sydney Penny, Eric Close, Robin Mattson, Ally Walker, Kim Zimmer, Joseph Bottoms, John O' Hurley, Judith McConnell, Lane Davies, Harley Jane Kozak, Justin Deas. But besides the acting, Santa Barbara featured superlative writing and direction. Never before had there been a daytime comedy. Nor has there since. Totally unique in daytime history, SB was beyond brilliant.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

MUCH More than a Soap Opera!

Author: s-pac from United States
5 November 2005

Santa Barbara was never merely a soap opera. From the beautifully-acted, well-written stories, to the flawless lighting, make-up and set designs -- it was a show that raised the bar for daytime television to a standard that is rarely (if at all) equaled.

I'll always be thankful to QVC (the home-shopping television channel) for offering a payment plan that must have sounded good enough to my Mom to purchase our first VCR when I was about 13. Finally, I'd be able to TAPE Santa Barbara! As an only child with a busy and tired single Mom at home, the characters became my extended family -- their adventures and stories were my entertainment, my heartbreak . . . my inspiration.

It was the wonderful, exciting chemistry between A Martinez and Marcy Walker as Cruz and Eden that attracted me to the show. Much more that a super-couple -- Martinez and Walker chose to personally invest in the history and depth of their characters, which resulted in pure magic on-screen. My love and support for their extraordinary talents will always be strong.

I salute everyone that contributed (in a positive way) to that wonderful show.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A well-done soap opera

Author: DepartmentStoreLover from Australia
25 October 2003

I have good memories of this daytime serial, which debuted in Australia in 1987, when I was in high school. Even though the later years of the show were unwatchable, when the head writers in the early years were Bridget and Jerome Dobson, it was simply magical. I remember well the beautiful romances of Kelly and Joe (Robin Wright and Dane Witherspoon), the high-camp aristocratic antics of Augusta and Lionel (Louise Sorel and Nicolas Coster) and, and best of all, the heavenly romance between ex-nun Mary and the hard-bitten, cynical Mason (Harley Kozak and Lane Davies). This storyline in particular was brilliantly acted, movingly written, and thoroughly touching. Mason's transformation into a more sympathetic character through his love affair with Mary was wonderfully handled.

It is a shame that the programme is no longer on the air, but if it had firmer handling, it may have caught on and built a substantial audience. All it needed was more story consistency, and some more appealing love stories to hook the audience. SANTA BARBARA's penchant for the quick fix, and inability to give its actors stable storylines may have contributed to its undoing. Anyway, I hope that the show one day either turns up again on TV, if not in its full run, but even in 'best of' shows. I rate it as one of the best shows on TV, then, now, and everafter.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

"Santa Barbara"

Author: sb-7
6 February 1999

"Santa Barbara" was the best soap opera of all, only because it wasn't really a soap opera. The Dobsons were wonderful and "Santa Barbara" is the only soap I could bare to watch and even enjoy it. The acting was always excellent. "Santa Barbara" didn't deserve to get canceled. All other soaps do, but not "Santa Barbara". It should be a primetime show!! Hope there will be reruns, or better yet, please please please get the show making new episodes!!!!

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Unique, special, a perfect dream

10/10
Author: knowing-all-answers (schrumpelhaut@uboot.com)
14 May 2001

To understand why so many people LOVE this soap opera, why millions of fans are deeply moved and hooked on SANTA BARBARA, you only have to watch episode number 1 and you disclose this secret.

For a real fan the first episode is the most magical, suspenseful and spectacular event in TV history and the show is...beyond comparison. There's NOTHING not a quarter as good as SANTA BARBARA.

During episode #1 you get to know Joe Perkins (played adorable by Dane Witherspoon), who spent 5 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Joe was accused of killing Channing Capwell Jr. (Robert Brian Wilson in flashbacks, he is such a great actor !), son of multi millionaire CC Capwell (Peter Mark Richman was great, Paul Burke was fun and Charles Bateman was terrific. Jed Allan later impersonates this character). Joe is in love with Capwell's daughter Kelly (talented, beautiful and enchanting Robin Wright), but she believes he is guilty and wants to marry Peter Flint (Stephen Meadows: one of the best actors around). When Joe returns to town he is received by a repelling crowd. Santana Andrade (Ava Lazar: glamorous and sexy), Channing's love interest, for example, wants to kill him right away.

The most important storyline, the murder of Channing, embraces every character of the show and is one of the most clever and complex storylines ever written for tv. But there is so much more to admire. Every scene is played and directed with such a brilliance, you almost don't believe it. You get unforgettable impressions from actors like Lane Davies (Mason Capwell), Todd McKee and Julie Ronnie as Ted Capwell and Laken Lockridge who fight for their love because their families are the worst enemies, Dame Judith Anderson as Minx Lockridge (she calls the police because she feels disturbed by the noise of the Capwell party), Louise Sorel as Augusta Lockridge and Valorie Armstrong as Joe's mother Marissa Perkins.

WATCH it, FEEL it, LOVE it ! Santa Barbara is both fun and thrill, it is unique in every way.

In the show's run you can see A Martinez, Marcy Walker, John Allen Nelson, Harley Jane Kozak, Robin Mattson, Ally Walker, Justin Deas, Judith McConnell, Sherilyn Wolter, Mark Arnold and Julia Campbell to name a few. Perfect cast ! Perfect soap, almost a movie ! The first four years are the best. There is nothing to complain about, it is like a dream. It's SANTA BARBARA.

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