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Santa Barbara Discussion Thread


dm.

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One of the most creative soaps that ever existed! At its creative peak, it could handle both serious subject matter and light campy humour. That's not an easy balance, later both Sunset Beach and even GH would try to emulate its model, but they've failed miserably. Not to mention, SB during its glory years (roughly 87-91) had the best dialogue on daytime television.

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Bumping this thread because I got nostalgic for some SB and happened upon some Robert and Eden edits yesterday on YouTube (hence my avatar). Wow. WOW. I am ashamed to admit I nearly cried, the quality was so good. The dialogue, the acting (Marcy Walker, Roscoe Born and A Martinez must have been the most intelligent, intuitive soap actors of the day).

I don't know how to explain but there was one scene where Eden told Robert that she loved him. Anyhoo, she hugged Robert and it's probably just me, but there was more chemistry in that one hug than about 90% of pairings right now on soaps.

Robert and Eden have it out:

Eden says goodbye to Robert:

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Despit the critical acclaim and Emmy awards to show for it, somehow Santa Barbara was not a huge hit in the US the way it was internationally (as evidenced by the numerous YouTube clips that are subtitled). I suspect premiering during the Summer Olympics and being scheduled opposite General Hospital (which was #1 for most of the 1980s) didn't help matters much.

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1984-87 were the golden years of Santa Barbara for me.

When Robin Wright and Lane Davies left they were both replaced by some great actors (Eileen Davidson, Terry Lester, Gordon Thomson to name a few) but the balance between the Capwell siblings was lost. I hated when they had Kelly turn against Eden, it was so out of character. They were not Lori and Leslie Brooks to fight over a guy.

I never understood why the Donelly family was introduced. The Celeste-Scott-Heather triangle had no place in the show. How about the Cain- Ming Li- Philip Hamilton-Andrea mess?

Does anyone remember anything about a character named Derek Griffin? From what I remember John Conboy's era was horrible.

I was madly in love with Mason Capwell as a child :) By the way NLG hasn't changed AT ALL since 1985!

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When Robin Wright and Lane Davies left they were both replaced by some great actors (Eileen Davidson, Terry Lester, Gordon Thomson to name a few) but the balance between the Capwell siblings was lost. I hated when they had Kelly turn against Eden, it was so out of character. They were not Lori and Leslie Brooks to fight over a guy.

Yeah it was but that whole Cruz/Eden/Robert/Kelly quad was great writing/acting by all involved. I preferred Carrington Garland's Kelly to all the others after Robin left.

Does anyone remember anything about a character named Derek Griffin? From what I remember John Conboy's era was horrible.

Derek was part of the 4 orphan storyline which included Craig Hunt (John Callahan), Stephen Slay (John O'Hurley) and Zack (can't remember his last name but Eden's gyno and rapist *shudders*). They were out to avenge the death of Cassie (who wasn't actually dead) who they thought was killed by Mason Capwell.

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Yeah it was but that whole Cruz/Eden/Robert/Kelly quad was great writing/acting by all involved. I preferred Carrington Garland's Kelly to all the others after Robin left.

ICAM! Yes it was out of character but that entire storyline was so well done that I didn't care. This is where Carrington truly came into her own as Kelly. Easily the best Kelly recast of them all- I liked her almost as much as Robin.

Derek was part of the 4 orphan storyline which included Craig Hunt (John Callahan), Stephen Slay (John O'Hurley) and Zack (can't remember his last name but Eden's gyno and rapist *shudders*). They were out to avenge the death of Cassie (who wasn't actually dead) who they thought was killed by Mason Capwell.

His name was Zack Kelton, but he was long gone before that storyline. The actor, Leigh McCloskey, had returned to the show at that point as D.A. Ethan Asher, who was the fourth orphan.

Edited by juniorz1
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ICAM! Yes it was out of character but that entire storyline was so well done that I didn't care. This is where Carrington truly came into her own as Kelly. Easily the best Kelly recast of them all- I liked her almost as much as Robin.

Yes she did. I remember reading an interview by Roscoe Born during that time and even he was highly impressed with Carrington. He stated how it was a pleasure to see her grow and become more confident in the great acting choices she was making.

And although Kelly turning on Eden seemed OOC it was so organically done that I bought ever bit of it. It was not completely unbelievable to me that Kelly, after spending years in Eden's shadow, would let some jealous come to the surface. Absolutely everybody was rootable in that storyline if you ask me - that's how good the writing/characterization was.

His name was Zack Kelton, but he was long gone before that storyline. The actor, Leigh McCloskey, had returned to the show at that point as D.A. Ethan Asher, who was the fourth orphan.

That's right --- Ethan was the 4th orphan.

I love you sig banner juniorz1.

Confession: I thought Marcy as Liz Colby on AMC was the most unattractive person ever. But my goodness did she turn into a swan -- absolutely beautiful as Eden.

Edited by Kapricorn
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Confession: I thought Marcy as Liz Colby on AMC was the most unattractive person ever. But my goodness did she turn into a swan -- absolutely beautiful as Eden.

IA. It seemed as if AMC just didn't know how to style or light Marcy Walker. On Santa Barbara, with her ultra-long hair and soft-spoken intensity (ignoring those 80s clothes), she glowed with fairy-tale beauty.

It's clear that Santa Barbara was by no means the perfect soap. When it was first launched, it underwent a couple of different CCs and many shifts in focus as the Perkins and many of the Lockridges were later phased out. I think SB was NBC Daytime's equivalent of a Dynasty or a Dallas. They threw a huge amount of publicity and money into the project and promoted it a great deal, even when the ratings were, relatively speaking, not great. And yes, that 3pm slot against GH was probably killer (but a 12 or 1pm slot might have been even worse).

Because so much money was riding on the show -- and because they kept acquiring big names from other soaps in order to draw in viewers -- the Dobsons were probably buffeted by network and producer interference from the get-go. This likely contributed to the variation in quality and sudden switches in SL and new characters (although I have fond memories of Charles Pratt's stint as HW). And I do remember Wednesday episodes being rather weak while Mondays and Fridays were amazing. Santa Barbara was a big believer in Cliffhanger Friday!

Despite whatever problems it had, I strongly feel that golden-era SB, while not 100% perfect, was perfect for me. I'm not just relying on my memories of the show. Some of the YouTube clips are even more powerful on second viewing. Great dialogue writers and unapologetically romantic HWs... a forward-thinking production crew... hugely talented actors who embody their roles completely... all this produced magic. At least it did for me. I got goosebumps watching the show when I was little. Now older and much more cynical, I still get them looking at some of the clips. When it was on-form, few shows could touch it. In particular, SB has spoiled me completely as far as depicting romance on a soap is concerned (though GH came super-close in the mid-90s). The Cruz/Eden/Robert/Kelly SL being a case in point. I still find some of the clips incredibly moving to watch in a way that soaps today just aren't, which is probably why I only watch the odd clip every once in a while! An intense viewing experience which I can't really describe adequately... perhaps that's why it only lasted 8 years. It burned too brightly, too quickly. :lol: I'm glad I was around during the great years, though.

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