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Santa Barbara Discussion Thread

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God, what a wonderful show this was. I still get goose bumps with some of the storylines on it.

I was an NBC soap watcher back in 1984, so I thought what the heck, I'll give this show a try. I was hooked from day one. The shooting of Channing Capwell, the whole Dominic/Sophia business, the Carnation Killer plot -- there was a lot of good stuff in its first year. Yes, the acting and the day-to-day plotting were wildly uneven, but on its best days this show was a lot of fun to watch.

It was around the fall of 1985/winter 1986 that SB exploded into an absolute must-see soap. Robin Mattson came aboard as Gina, Jed Allan as CC... the confrontation scenes between CC and Mason were extremely well written and Jed and Lane Davies acted the hell out of them.

The biggest problem the soap suffered from was too much turnover. If it wasn't an exec producer departing, it was a writer. If it wasn't a writer, it was an actor. Some of the actors fired, you could see coming. Some of the exits were mind-boggling (oh hi, Harley Kozak!! Tell Stacy Edwards and Marj Dusay that they both got screwed next time you see them, will ya?)

By early 1992, when Marcy Walker was gone and the shift to the Walkers had occurred, the show had lost it. It was still much better than a lot of what is on today, but back then the change in focus was what killed the soap. Well, that and all the network interference.

When I think of the lineup NBC could have had on if it hadn't stuck its mitt in the cookie jar, I get pissed. Then I remember the good old days and a show like SB. RIP. :(

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Beautifully stated Cat. ICAM with your assessment!

I miss RTSB!!! One of the best fan fictions ever!

Santa Barbara was one of my favorite soaps. Carrington Garland was amazing as Kelly but I will always will think of Robin as Kelly. I love Eileen Davidson but she was so wrong as Kelly. One of the best couples in Daytime was Cruz and Eden as well as Mason and Julia. I really wish that Santa Barbara was on Soapnet.

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Kinda OT, but going through my photobucket account, I have some random pics of SB -- including this hot-ass picture of Lane Davies as Mason. Raowl!











"Cruz. Cruz killed me, daddy."

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Does anyone know if Bridget and Jerome had any children? And how many?

Those two are 70, BTW, if anyone wanted to know.

I know they have, or had, a son, who was responsible for the financial side of their personal businesses. I think his name is/was Jeffrey.

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This is kind of AMC related, so I didn't want to start new topic. Marcy Walker (ex Liza-AMC) will be interviewed by Croatian television showbizz magazine "Red Carpet" this Sunday. The same reporter interviewed A Martinez two weeks back. They were interviewed because Santa Barbara, Cruz & Eden were / still are very popular in Croatia. Here is a picture...


Croatian reporter Ivana Nanut and Marcy Walker

Source (on Croatian):


YAY!!! :D

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A critique from Soap Opera Digest 1989 by John Kelly Genovese

santabarbara02_1.jpgvspacer.gifSANTA BARBARA is unquestionably the biggest cult soap since DARK SHADOWS. Its ratings never make headlines, but one would never know that by the way the show's followers talk about it. This is a loyal, vocal group that literally salivates over all the day-to-day action. Oddly enough, many of these viewers are he same folks who have watched ALL MY CHILDREN or AS THE WORLD TURNS for years, but they discuss the happenings on these shows in more reserved tones.

Of course, there is a fundamental difference between DARK SHADOWS and SANTA BARBARA. While DARK SHADOWS was obvious camp (a Gothic horror poof with werewolves, vampires and time warps), SB doesn't fit neatly into any one category. Through most of its five years on the air, it has been an unlikely blend of Hamlet, MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTAN, SOAP, WHEEL OF FORTUNE and Waiting for Mr. Goodbar.

Sure there have been serious moments. Cruz and Eden Castillo (A Martinez and Marcy Walker) dealt with Eden's rape with new level of dignity and maturity for daytime television — no soapy histrionics here. either Michael (Frank Runyeon) struggled convincingly as he questioned his commitment to the cloth (this was not a "guilt" storyline).

Nonetheless, SANTA BARBARA became known mostly for its raunchier, funnier elements. Gina (Robin Mattson) wasn't just a vamp, she was an exhibitionist. Mason Capwell (Lane Davies) put away an average of a fifth of scotch per episode, yet was never too tongue-tied to deliver an erudite dig. And who could forget the much missed Lionel and Augusta Lockridge (Nicolas Coster and Louise Sorel), who proved that sex was not only alive after forty, but could be more fun than ever?

In the past year, the show got even nuttier. Gina became entangled with a crossdresser named Bunny (Joe Marinelli). Mason was felled with amnesia and took on the alter-ego of redneck Sonny Sprocket. It was a hoot, but one began to wonder how much farther SB would go just to get laughs. We half expected Gina to become a nun, or Redd Foxx to show up as a long lost brother to millionaire C.C. Capwell (Jed Allan). Also, for far too long, the Capwells were the only family in town, and the writers seemed capable of writing for only one couple — Cruz and Eden.

vspacer.gifsantabarbara02_2.jpg But then, SB shifted gear and turned into a good old-fashioned romance, reinstating a classic soap ingredient — the love triangle. In their search for infant daughter Adriana, Cruz and Eden crossed paths with psychic Sandra Mills (Miranda Wilson), who is obsessed with Cruz. Feisty Sophia (Judith McConnell) is rethinking her independence from C.C. with the advent of romance novelist Megan Richardson (Meg Bennett). Mason, recently married to Julia (Nancy Grahn), has been facing his drinking problem with the very interested support of Lisa DiNapoli (Tawny Kitaen). Dr. Scott dark (Vincent Irizarry) is caught between Heather (Jane Rogers), who is pregnant with his child, and a rekindled high school romance with Lisa's ex-hooker sis, Celeste (Signy Coleman). Michael — minus the collar — is reminded of his past with Laura Asher (Christopher Norris), wife of suspender-clad DA Ethan Asher (Leigh McCloskey).

For SANTA BARBARA, this is pretty conservative stuff. Now that affairs of the heart have taken over, characters once again are allowed to sit and philosophize occasionally to examine their relationships without flippancy or risk of interruption. At the same time, the show never gets dreary. Mason and Julia enjoy sexual romps at the office; Gina still hurls her barbs; it is still great fun, but no longer absurd.

This turn of events is largely due to the show's head writer, the underrated Charles Pratt, Jr., who has brought back the values that Bridget and Jerome Dobson (SB's creators) instituted at the beginning. The relationship between C.C. and Mason has always been tragic. It is a classic representation of millions of fathers and sons who never really accepted one another; whose attempts to connect were marred by mutual disapproval and distrust. As C.C. bares his soul to Megan for biographical purposes, and Mason looks at his life through out-of-body experience in Heaven (followed by AA), this relationship shows signs of a new beginning. And thank goodness for the humanizing of Gina. She's still one sexy wench, but she is once again being portrayed as a survivor whose one constant in life is her love for her son, Brandon (Justin Gocke). She, too, is looking at her circumstances through a new set of glasses; envying the simplicity and innocence of the people around her. When she and Brandon were held hostage by the psychotic Kirk Cranston (played chillingly by Joseph Bottoms), Gina showed fortitude and savvy in setting Kirk up for Cruz's trap. The woman may like sex and money, but she's not a total dingbat.

santabarbara02_3.jpgvspacer.gifThese are examples of the wonderful "gray areas" that have made SB's characters so fascinating. Also better than ever is the overall caliber of the acting ensemble. Until recently, the cast was a combination of hits and misses. No more. The newcomers appear to be as strong as the veterans. Signy Coleman is absolutely endearing. Tawny Kitaen is one smashing lady — commanding in a self-assuredly feminine (never brash) way. Marcy Walker, Nancy Grahn and Judith McConnell also make for this brand of heroine.

SB's male actors are equally strong. A Martinez proves that TV cops can be vulnerable and believable. Todd McKee (Ted Capwell) is an appealing young actor who deserves more challenging material than the cutesy stuff he is often given. Frank Runyeon and Vincent Irizarry seem far more focused and comfortable with their characters than they were on their previous soaps (ex-Steve, ATWT; ex-Lujack, GL, respectively), and they have proven they can be super male leads. Lane Davies? This is a master. He is the pathetic clown, the sardonic Greek chorus, the idealistic lawyer, the mischievous lover. Give this guy an Emmy. SANTA BARBARA has given its audience many moments of fun in what some consider to be a dour medium. And it's still fun. The show is simply growing

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Thanks so much for posting this article. And it is an absolute crime that Lane Davies was never given an Emmy for his portrayal of Mason Capwell, let alone nominated.

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