While many soaps included supernatural elements in their stories on occasion, Passions went all the way from the beginning, including a witch who brought a doll to life and a family with magical powers. It also included an obsessive teenager who mooned over a local celebrity and a number of deep, dark secrets.
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The lesson: don't push the envelope so far it falls off the table.
The pilot of this show started off with great promise: Lloyd Bridges played patriarch Johnny Forbes who shared a dark past with a madam played by Geraldine Page. By the end of the show, both characters were dead, but married Roger Forbes had just fallen in love with journalist Merrill Vochek. The tension between the two carried over when the show began in earnest the next day, and as we got to know his wife Ann Alden and their children Jack and Lorna, plus Merrill's fiance Doug Donovan, we knew it was only a matter of time before they would begin an affair that would ruin many lives.
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The show changed storylines so quickly that it, with a few exceptions, it was difficult to get a hold of who was a character worth investing in and who wasn't. The skill of the actors became essential in drawing that distinction, but the talent of the cast was wildly uneven.
The show morphed from Loving to The City after the majority of the cast was killed off by a character who had a psychotic break. However, The City had the same trouble maintaining a consistent narrative and the show was canceled within three years.
The lesson: every story needs to be about something.