A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had started watching two old television series that I bought on DVD. The first of these series, of which I finished season one last night, is Melrose Place
, which ran for seven seasons, from 1992-1999. As with many television shows, when they are running for the first time, I generally ignore them, though I do remember catching a few bits and pieces here and there. Recently though I've gotten into watching some of these old shows from the beginning to see what I was missing. I'm disappointed that I didn't pick up season two recently for cheap money when I had the chance. I'll keep my eyes out for it and rectify that error as soon as I can. Warning: some plot spoilers follow, so if you've lived your adult life in a virtual prime time television vacuum like me, beware! Don't say I didn't warn you.
The thirty-two episode first season cast included ten major characters living at 4616 Melrose Place:Sandy Louise Harling (Amy Locane):
Blond bombshell from South Carolina who moved to Los Angeles to wait tables while trying to become an actress. Unfortunately her character was written off the show after only twelve episodes, though her leaving was adequately explained within the story. Apparently part of the problem was that they saddled the New Jersey born actress with a Southern accent, she didn't like working in LA and the producers saw limited future in her character's story line.Rhonda Blair (Vanessa Williams):
Trendy hip hop aerobics dance instructor gets engaged towards the end of season one and is married off the show after thirty two episodes, some of which must take place in season two, since I would hope they wouldn't drop the character without reasonable explanation. Season one ended with her getting re-engaged.Matt Fielding (Doug Savant):
One of the first openly gay television characters who runs a soup kitchen and halfway house, mentoring kids. His major story arc is that he gets beat up for being a homosexual, gets fired from his job for the same and wins an out of court settlement from his employer, whom he sues for discrimination, to get his job back.Jake Hanson (Grant Show):
Bad boy character from whom the show spun off after a short two episode stint in season two of Beverly Hills 90210
. Major story arc character is unemployed before getting a job as a motorcycle mechanic. When the store goes out of business, he partners with Jo to buy the shop and run it himself. Also discovers he's a dad through an old girlfriend and also that he may have HIV, as a result of a relationship with another former girlfriend.Jo Reynolds (Daphne Zuniga):
Moved to Los Angeles from New York to escape an alcoholic husband. Works as a freelance photographer and is Jake's love interest. She joined the show to replace the departed Amy Locane in the 13th
episode. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro):
Apartment building manager and resident intern at local hospital who works long hours. Because of that practically ignores his wife, which leads him into an affair with another doctor at the hospital. His turns out to be the longest running character on the show. Generally likable until his affair storyline.Jane Andrews Mancini (Josie Bissett):
Homemaker, boutique shop worker and budding clothing designer had several interesting plot lines including struggling as a newlywed, getting pregnant, having a miscarriage, struggling at work with an obsessive anal retentive boss and her husband's extramarital activities. This character wears some of the ugliest outfits ever. Must be the result of her character being a clothing designer. Few women look good with boyishly short hair. Josie Bissett is not one of them. Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue):
All around nice guy who struggles with trying to become a writer. Supports himself by driving a taxicab and then eventually gets a job working as a writer for a magazine. He has several interesting story lines, including getting mugged while driving his cab, the death of his father, a boss who throws the seduction moves around like a beach ball and dating your roommate's sexy boss. Not to mention a platonic relationship with his very attractive female roommate. Of all the characters on this show, I can relate best to him.Alison Parker (Courtney Thorne-Smith)
: Receptionist for D&D advertising, then promoted to a creative role, then lets job responsibilities slack and even quits her job because she's obsessed with a man who happens to be married. Finally has to deal with workplace rivalry caused by her boss dating her roommate. Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear):
Becomes Alison's boss when she gets promoted in the ad agency. Falls immediately in love with Billy and dates him despite Alison's objections, then uses that to cause workplace stress and friction. Gotta love a little workplace cat fight between two good looking women. After breaking up with Billy, discovers that she's pregnant with his baby and uses that in her feud with Alison to make her jealous and drive a wedge between her and Billy. She joined the show about 2/3rds
into season one and will end up appearing in the second most amount of episodes of all the cast.
Yeah, I'm hooked. Can't you tell?
Labels: old television shows