Monday, August 01, 2005

These Are the Tates...

Soap: The Complete Fourth Season hits DVD in October, making it one of the few non-current TV shows that Sony/Columbia has actually finished releasing. (Usually they release one or two seasons and then give up, as frustrated "Barney Miller" fans can confirm.) The fourth and last season of "Soap" is famous for being an example of how quickly a successful show can go off the rails. Creator Susan Harris lessened her involvement with the show -- she had written every single episode in the previous three seasons -- and the new writers came up with some unfortunate storylines. Also, Harris took Diana Canova off "Soap" to co-star in Harris's new show, "I'm a Big Girl Now" (with Danny Thomas, no less), and it opened up a hole in the "Soap" cast that the new writers kept trying to fill with new and frankly useless characters. By the end of the truncated fourth season "Soap" had become a mishmash of generically wacky comedy, like "Mork and Mindy" with a larger cast. But that cast is always worth watching, even operating at less than their best.

I offered some general thoughts on "Soap," and Susan Harris, here.

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