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>
Inga Swenson played the villainous Swede with the thick Germanic accent, Ingrid Svenson. She was Corrine's real mother, and proved a painful thorn in the Tates' side early in the series. Interestingly, Swenson's character shared a similar name to her real-life name. In addition to Robert Guillaume, Swenson was also the only performer from this show to land a role in the spin-off Benson (1979). On Benson, Inga played Gretchen Krause, still Swedish, but no longer villainous, Gretchen was just a comic thorn in Benson's side, and eventually the two became friends. Caroline McWilliams also appeared in both series. See more »
You're 18. You're a man. I am no longer bound by any legal or moral code. I can safely give you your present, and tonight, I'm gonna light up every candle on your cake.
I'd better start thinking of a wish.
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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 »
On DVD, episode 2 is missing a short bit of Jody singing "There is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Pacific. See more »
Spoof take on daytime soap operas about 2 sisters & their families
I was only 10 years old when this show premiered on TV in London. But it was shown on Fridays (10.30pm) & I was allowed to enjoy the antics of the Campbells & the Tates. The characters & their situations were something I had never experienced on TV before, but the actors involved made the show an enjoyable one. Lead character Jessica (Katherine Helmond) was a lovable dope who could pull viewers heartstrings as well, she embarks on an extra marital affair with her tennis coach (who turns out to be her brother in-law's son) who's also having relationships with her daughter Corrine (Confused? You should be), who later turns her attentions to a Catholic priest. Jodie (Billy Crystal) was a gay guy intent on having gender re-alignment to win over his footballer boyfriend, when this failed he turned straight & fathered a baby girl which later sparked an ugly custody battle. Other characters worth mentioning were Burt (Jessica's brother in-law) a quirky guy who's impotent & had issues with his stepsons (wife Mary's boys)it later transpired that Burt killed Mary's first husband. Mary's first born Danny is a would be mobster who decides to quit the mob, in order to do this he enters a shotgun marriage to the boss's daughter (Danny's mob bosses went from being Italian to Jewish without mention). At the time the sexual references & American colloquialisms were unintelligible but watching re-runs on cable have reconfirmed my views that this daytime soap parody is a comic classic.
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