What were your favorite cliffhangers from the 80s prime time serials?
My top 4:
1. Falcon Crest season 2, in which doormat Julia is revealed as Carlo Agretti's killer, and then goes shooting in Angela's house. I remember being totally shocked by this when watching it originally. We have to wait until September to find out whom Julia killed.
2. Dallas season 4, in which Cliff arrives at Southfork to find a body of a woman wearing white floating in the pool with JR standing at the balcony above. We're left to wonder if the woman was Kristin, Sue Ellen or Pam, who were all wearing white in that season finale episode.
3. Knots Landing season 4, in which Gary lingers in jail as a suspect in Ciji's murder, and Karen learns that Diana has run off with Chip. Not the most exciting cliffhanger in terms of plot development. It wasn't so much plot-based as it was character-based, which sometimes creates for more emotionally satisfying viewing.
4. Knots Landing season 5, in which Karen is shot and Abby is kidnapped during the climax to the convoluted Wolfbridge story (which I confess I still don't understand). It was a really exciting bite-your-nails cliffhanger that grew organically through the entire season.
What are your faves?
John Pleshette's back hair
Loved your Number 1, OP. I haven't seen it since it first aired but I remember seeing people graveside from the waist down, as they watched the casket beibng lowered into the ground.
Never liked the Moldavian massacre because by that time we'd had so many red herring cliffhangers you knew nobody important was going wind up dead.
Falcon Crest, to its credit, was far better with deadly.
1. Who Shot JR? At the time, it was new, and very surprising. It caused a sensation. After this, the cliffhanger became de rigueur for nighttime soaps.
2. Agree with OP's choice of Falcon Crest Season 2, Julia revealed as Carlo Agretti's killer. This completely took me by surprise.
3. Also agree with Knots Landing Season 4. It was the culmination of a few very good plots.
4. Knots Landing Season 6. Val comes close to getting her babies back.
5. Knots Landing Season 3. Val finds out about Gary's affair with Abby and leaves him. Broke my heart at the time and I always longed for Val and Gary to get back together.
7. Dallas Season 7. Bobby is killed after Katherine Wentworth runs him over the day after he and Pam had make up sex and decided to get back together. Too bad the it-was-all-a-dream plot ruined this cliffhanger's legacy or I'd place it second. At the time, it was really effective. I thought I was saying goodbye to a beloved character. Bobby was the knight in shining armor and I always loved him and Pam together.
A much better [italic]Dynasty[/italic] cliffhanger was Cecil's mid-coital heart attack. So trashy in the best possible way. Alexis's wig is a character all its own.
It wasn't a season ending cliffhanger, but the episode of Knots Landing when Ciji never shows up to perform her song at Richard's restaurant. So Ginger fills in, and as they're showing all the characters during Ginger's performance, and the tension between so many of them, they cut to Ciji's body washing up on the beach at night.
At the time, we didn't have spoilers, so that was so unexpected.
OP, I totally.agree with your #s 1 and four. The only down side to the FC cliffhanger was the reveal that Jacqueline was the body in the casket, so no more Lana.
I have to add the 1st season, "my God, that's my.Mother," DYNASTY cliffhanger plus the 6th season cliffhanger with the La Mirage fire and(best of all)Alexis finally taking the mansion from Blake and his "blonde tramp." Plus the added bonus of seeing Dominique bitch slap Alexis upside her head! And last but certainly not least, the final DYNASTY cliffhanger. Sad that ABC wouldn't give the show one more season or even an extra hour or two to resolve all those loose ends.
Yes, would have posted this too. I remember that shit being an event across the nation.
I don't think FC had any iconic cliffhangers, the ones that most random/casual viewers remember to this day. I think the only ones you can label iconic are the Moldavian massacre, JR being shot, and Val finding her babies. I think only the rest of us diehards remember the other ones season by season.
That episode where the threw a few scenes my way.
R18, that really was an amazing episode and a true surprise! Poor little Ciji.....
80s are over.
Diana calling Charles "Phillip Charles Arthur George" during the wedding vows. That was the funniest episode finale ever.
Certainly the most outrageous cliffhanger was Fallon flying off in a spaceship.
Did they know The Colbys had been cancelled when they filmed this, I wonder?