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Soap Review : PASSIONS

By Sean, sleeve@frontiernet.net

OK this is my second review in the same issue. I reviewed the last episode of Another World. This is a review of the new Soap Opera PASSIONS.

PASSIONS the new NBC soap, created by James E. Reilly, has hit the air waves. Set in the New England town of Harmony, the soap is full of romance, danger, intrigue, and super natural occurrences. It has been described as a cross between PEYTON PLACE and DARK SHADOWS.

The Soap centers on four families:

THE CRANES- the rich family of the town which many people don't like.

THE BENNETTS- all around good middle class family

THE RUSSELLS- close friends of the Bennetts

THE LOPEZ-FITZGERALDS- The Lower class family who struggle to survive.

I love new soaps and give everyone a chance, and I also must realize it has only been on a week or two so it starts out slow. I find this soap to be filled with likes and dislikes which I will go over:

LIKES

As always, the soaps are filled with hunks. My favorite man would have to be Jesse Metcalfe (Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald) because of his body, and voice.

The whole supernatural aspect of the show. I thought at first it would be stupid to have supernatural occurrences in this show but they fit well. I have always been a fan of the odd moments in a soap such as Marlena's devil possession on DAYS OF OUR LIVES (note: The story was done at the time in which Reilly was head writer on DOOL), and Reva's cloning on Guiding Light. I think that every soap needs something new and take a risk such as this. Having Tabitha Lenox, Harmony's answer to the wicked witch of the west, bring a doll she sewed together to life and creating havoc around town is great. I love it! Though I am a little offended for my Wiccan friends that yet again a witch is displayed as a bad thing.

DISLIKES

The idea that Sheridan Crane, a fictional character, was actually the best friend of Princess Di! Come on! We kicked England's ass in the Revolutionary war....this is adding insult to injury! I had to hear for the first two weeks of the show how they were best friends, and how many similarities they had. And then the character went through the same tunnel in which poor Princess Di lost her life, had an accident, and went to the same hospital as Princess Di and then Princess Di spoke to Sheridan. I think this was a poor idea on part of the writers.

This next problem should go away sooner or later but when new Soaps start out, the actors follow the script to it's finest point. That means they end up sound liking robots. A good soap actor will improvise statements, then the character will truly be their character!

Mediocre storylines are also going to plague this soap. Listening to the problem of Kay trying to keep her sister, Jessica, from telling Miguel that she likes him isn't that exciting. It's your basic crush and I really don't care if Miguel finds out or not! I feel like telling him so the damn story will be over with!

James E. Reilly said he created the Russell family so that everyone would have something to relate to in the soap. The Russell family (this sounds bad but I don't mean it that way believe me) is Harmony's black family. I am happy to see more black characters on TV because they have been neglected (except on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and ONE LIFE TO LIVE) throughout almost every soap opera I can think of. If Reilly wants to have a soap that everyone can relate to then why not have a gay character that will not go away. They are the other part of the people who watch soaps besides women.

Gay characters have notoriously been neglected on soaps. Sure they have been there (on such soaps as GENERAL HOSPITAL, ALL MY CHILDREN, and ONE LIFE TO LIVE) but they don't delve into the characters after the point they come out. They come out, deal with opposition, then people love them, then they are forgotten. Why can't we have that story and then expand upon that with the fear of a first relationship, or the fear and excitement of the first sexual experience? It just doesn't make sense.....maybe DAWSON'S CREEK is my only hope.

VERDICT

I rule that PASSIONS has some fine tuning to do before they are really good. For now though, they are doing just fine and I recommend watching it.


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