Picks and Pans Review: Santa Barbara
NBC (3 p.m. ET)
Santa Barbara is not just the worst soap. It could be the worst show on TV—ever. What a waste of videotape, film, talent and time. When the show premiered in July 1984, producers Bridget and Jerome Dobson promised to "out-Dynasty Dynasty in sex, wardrobe and every other way." Promises, promises. Bridget Dobson is the daughter of Frank and Doris Hursley, the couple who created General Hospital. Marcy Walker, a talented young actress, left a good role on TV's best soap, All My Children, to play S.B.'s Eden. She should fire her agent. She's paired with handsome A Martinez, but even Madame Curie couldn't provide chemistry for these two. The show premiered with three personable young performers: German-Italian actress Ava Lazar (playing a Hispanic named Santana), Steve Meadows (as the lady-killer, Peter) and Dane Witherspoon (as Joe, a man wrongly accused of murder). But they're all gone. In another bad career move, Witherspoon has joined the cast of CBS' Capitol. The writing on S.B. is ludicrous. Take the recent storyline about a cave-in below the Capwell mansion. Eden pleads with her father, C.C. Cap-well (Charles Bateman, the fourth actor in the part), to allow her to help in the excavation so she can save her lover and her brother. She begs, she pleads, she begs some more. He says no, no, no. "Too dangerous, I won't allow it." Finally, after 20 minutes of this badinage, he says, "Okay, but put these on," and he hands her a pair of gloves. Huh? This show rarely makes sense. The Dobsons are creators and writers as well as the producers. They apparently do everything but type the scripts and make the coffee. They're playing judge and jury, but what they're doing to daytime TV is criminal.
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