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PASSIONS: In the beginning...

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I was just over on About.com and they had a page up regarding all the news and information about the show before it premiered in 1999.

Based on this information, do you think it lived up to the hype and the show's descriptions?

The First Passions News:

Here's a quote from James E. Reilly, in Soap Opera Weekly Magazine, that I believe sums up what Passions will be about:

"...it really is passions of all kinds: It is a love and a passion for life, for evil, for hope. It is how people overcome their pasts."

NBC's Press Information adds to that sentiment with this:

"Romance, love, jealousy, secrets, surprises, tension, suspense, intrigue, treachery, comedy, families, marriages, sibling rivalry, life, death and crime and evil of both the supernatural and the very natural kind. Welcome to Harmony, the picturesque New England town where "Passions," NBC's new one-hour daytime drama launching Monday, July 5, comes to life."

  • Passions will be set in a New England town called Harmony.
  • You will find stock soap characters such as lawyers, doctors, police, etc...but you'll also find characters that have not been on soaps up until now.
  • James E. Reilly will be listed in the credits as the head writer. At this time that will be his only credit (other than creator).
  • Passions will be a cross between Peyton Place, Dark Shadows, and the X-Files. So expect a soap with many supernatural or science fiction twists.
  • Things are truly stepping up over on the Passions front. Positions (at least behind the scenes) are being filled and work is starting. Here's the latest rundown:

  • Richard Schilling has been named a producer.
  • Bob Bardo has been named coordinating producer.
  • Barry Williams has been named production designer.
  • Jackie Briskey will be the casting director.
  • Julia Rae Engelsman is the costume designer.

  • Location shooting is scheduled to begin towards the end of April and studio shooting begins June 7th. This means we should start seeing some casting information soon.
  • Lisa Hesser has been named executive producer of Passions. She's previously been the supervising producer of Sunset Beach.
  • Sony.com is reporting that Passions (the new NBC soap) is set to premiere July 1999.
  • NBC gives more detail saying that Passions will first air July 5, 1999. They go on to share that Passions will be set in a small New England town and focus on four core families.
  • Ben Masters has been cast to play Julian Crane. This is the first word on any official casting for the show. Stay tuned for more to come in the next weeks.
  • Expect plot devices such as a life-size doll named Timmy that comes alive. Passions is due to have many supernatural storylines.
  • Filming has begun in Paris, the show's first remote.
  • Passions is being marketed to foreign distributors from the beginning, which means that many foreign markets may air the show as it is also being aired here in the U.S.
  • The first 40 episodes of Passions will include copious amounts of remote footage shot in Camden, Maine and Paris, France.
  • This show is also following in Sunset Beach's footsteps as it is being geared to appeal to young viewers. NBC VP Jerry Petry is quoted as saying Passions will be "fresh, hip, and targeted to appeal to a younger demo."
  • In most markets Passions will air at 2:00pm following Days of Our Lives on NBC.
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In a word? No. But it was still decent, and MUCH better than today's PSNS. Production values were WAY better back then as well. Now the show just reflects the quality of its storylines by visually looking like crap too.

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The way they described the show, it sounded like something dark and mysterious and something that took itself seriously.

What we got was a camp-filled fun poking cartoon with a bunch of bad actors and lines so bad you almost didn't know whether to cry or choke yourself to death with laughter.

Describing it as a cross between Peyton Place, Dark Shadows, and the X-Files was a big mistake, because that's not what the show was... at all. In the first week, maybe. After that? Not even close.

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Agreed! I definitely think that it lived up to the hype in those first years. I actually still have some tapes from the first year, and had started to record the old eppys when Sci-Fi was airing them...anyhoo, a friend of mine, who watches the show occasionally now, saw several eppys from those first year that I have and couldn't even believe it was the same show...!

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No, this show sucked from the beginning. "Models who can't act" should have been the shows theme. Mind you, the characters were barely one-dimensional. Only Juliet Mills and Josh Evans could carry a scene. Tabitha lost her powers after about a year, and things just got worse. The writing sucked, the sets were cheap and it took YEARS before the shows "super-couples" even liked each other. The "slower than molasis" writing was even worse. Plus they had this "previously on passions: thing that made everything seem even slower. They should never have cancelled the devine Sunset Beach for this public access-type crap.

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In the beginning?


From July until October 1999, it was some of the most Godawful dreck you'd ever want to see.

But, from October 1999 through February 2001, Passions was on a roll. It was so much fun to watch everyday.

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No. Passions has always had good ideas, but overall the casting was poor and the writing is painfully awful on all of JER's shows. The script writers are hacks, the pacing is far too slow and secrets (obviously) take too long to play out. It's a shame they ruined the idea of bringing on another supernatural soap because Dark Shadows was one of the best.

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For part of 1999, no. But late 1999 yes after everything got started. Now it only lasted a few years.....until 2001. But, it did come back in 2002 but soon left. Then, from 2003 and then on (except for a short period in 2004-2005) no. It turned into a wreck, especially in mid/late 2005 and 2006. It's not even defendable anymore.

1999 was much better than current though. Way better.

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I'm sorry, the sets were NOT cheap. They were all BRILLIANTLY designed...BACK THEN. Now, the sets don't match as well as they should. Back in '99, the Lopez-Fitzgerald house was BRILLIANTLY designed, and was slice of life for a lower middle class family; the Bennetts' house matched their family; the Cranes' mansion matched exactly what the set designer told "Access Hollywood" back '99: that it should be a house that looks like a museum since it was passed down from generation to generation. (And that wasn't a cheap seat, as I believe the first set was taken from "The Nanny," GIRLFRIEND!!) Sheridan's cottage was PERFECT for her, colors and all. The Youth Center worked. ALL the sets worked, including the Seascape. For some reason, yes, the sets are all ugly now. They completely ruined the once regal Crane Mansion (WHAT THE HECK?!!!) and giving Pilar a nicer home was a BIG mistake. It just doesn't work for that family. What are they, rich now? Please.

That ridiculousness aside, YES, "Passions" lived up to the hype -- and then some. I was hopelessly addicted to the show. I too kept several tapes (and still do) from some of the most amazing episodes. (Yes, I'll admit there have been far fewer eps in that collection this year or last year than say, from 2002, 2001 and 2000.)

Now, let's see what else I can "b" about:

"Romance, love, jealousy, secrets, surprises, tension, suspense, intrigue, treachery, comedy, families, marriages, sibling rivalry, life, death and crime and evil of both the supernatural and the very natural kind. Welcome to Harmony, the picturesque New England town where "Passions," NBC's new one-hour daytime drama launching Monday, July 5, comes to life."

Romance = Shuis beginnings, Charguel beginnings, ET beginnings, Sam and Grace's strong marriage and amazing sex life

Love = Theresa's love for Ethan

Jealousy = Theresa jealous of Gwen, Gwen jealous of Theresa, Ivy jealous of Grace

Secrets = Ethan is Sam's son, Eve and Julian have a child, Tabitha's a witch

Surprises = A blindfolded Luis "feels" a woman at his birthday party in '99 and is suprised to learn it's Sheridan!

Tension = Sheridan and Luis' sexual tension

Suspense = Will Jean Luc and Pierre and the drug cartel kill Sheridan? Shuis adventures in Paris

Intrigue = Angel Girl, Tabitha, Timmy, Good/Evil Charity

Treachery = Theresa betrays Gwen, whose wedding she's planning; Gwen learns all of Theresa's wedding designs were so well-thought-out and well designed because Theresa had dreamed them for years for her wedding with Ethan

Comedy = Theresa's "accidents" with Ethan in the beginning; Tabitha and Timmy's slapstick and banter, etc etc etc

Families = Lopez-Fitzgeralds, Cranes, Bennetts, Russells

Marriages = several...duh

Sibling rivalry = Simone is jealous of Chad and Whitney, Luis forbids Theresa from seeing Ethan, Jessica and Kay drive each other crazy ("I must, I must, I must increase my bust!"

Life, death = duh, duh.

Crime = drug cartel, Crystal's murder

And that's just off the top of my head.



Ha ha ha.


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