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What was the absolute best of the top Nighttime Soaps?

Which would you say is the best of all the Nighttime Soaps that were on prime time TV in the past?

For me, Knots Landing. It was always the most entertaining to me, and I loved the Paige years. Nicolette really elevated the series to new heights. However, Abby dealing with Olivia’s drug problem always resonated with me.

PS I know there are a million others I could have listed, but I only get 10 spots. You can name what you feel is better than these 10 in comments lol

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by Anonymousreply 93September 13, 2021 11:59 PM

Dynasty had bitches fighting, wedding massacres, gay dudes with face-swaps and hot ex-wives, and a ton of "surprise witnesses" in courtrooms.

Ain't nobody givin' a fuck about "Sisters." That show was "thirtysomething" meets "Desperate Housewives" meets a Boise whorehouse. It sucked.

by Anonymousreply 1August 8, 2021 3:59 AM

R1 actually I knew a lot of people who loved it back when it was on.

Didnt Sela Ward win her first Emmy for that show?

by Anonymousreply 2August 8, 2021 4:01 AM

Alec Baldwin was so sexy on Knots!

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by Anonymousreply 3August 8, 2021 4:08 AM


Make no mistake: Sela and Swoozie are lovely talents who haven't gotten near enough regard in this business, but that show still sucked.

It's four women with male names, and they kinda hate each other? And one is a drunk? And three are rich? And the drunk one moves away and is suddenly replaced by a half-sister we never met before that week?

by Anonymousreply 4August 8, 2021 4:10 AM

The main thing I remember from Sisters was Ashley Judd was on it.

by Anonymousreply 5August 8, 2021 4:12 AM

I could never get into Knots Landing, I didn't find the characters or setting compelling.

I enjoyed Dallas and Dynasty, but was devoted to Falcon Crest - didn't miss an episode from season 2 to season 6, losing interest after Chase died.

by Anonymousreply 6August 8, 2021 4:13 AM


Ashley Judd. Another talent who never got her due.

Was that because she wouldn't fuck Weinstein? Does this mean there are dozens of hacks out there who DID get ahead because they DID fuck Harvey?

I'm looking at you, Goop and Uma.

by Anonymousreply 7August 8, 2021 4:14 AM

Although the return of Bobby killed the show, Dallas was probably the strongest for its first eight or so seasons.

I think Knots Landing had the best writing.

Dynasty just hasn't aged well. It's fun to watch for nostalgia but it isn't something I like to watch over and over again like Dallas or Knots or Falcon Crest. The writing was so much better on those three shows. Dynasty didn't care about character development.

by Anonymousreply 8August 8, 2021 4:19 AM


What about the Dallas reboot? JR lost his mojo when he became too old and sickly to scam anything beyond a bowl of oatmeal.

by Anonymousreply 9August 8, 2021 4:20 AM

Dynasty for me. I was a huge Pamela Sue Martin fan, which was why I started watching about age 10. I loved John James. I used to obsess about the good vs evil characters & loved the saintly ones ((Krystle, Jeff). I never got the Alexis fandom!

by Anonymousreply 10August 8, 2021 7:12 AM

Knots Landing was by far the best to me. Best written and consistent by far, usually cast good actors and changed with the times. It outlasted the rest for those reasons.

by Anonymousreply 11August 8, 2021 7:26 AM

R11 agree

by Anonymousreply 12August 8, 2021 8:35 AM

I actually liked Sisters 🤷

by Anonymousreply 13August 8, 2021 11:58 AM

Dallas, Dynasty and Melrose Place all had a few peak seasons in which they were very entertaining, but all went to shit eventually,

by Anonymousreply 14August 8, 2021 12:42 PM

Agree with Knots being the best. It also had an edge and a sort of self-awareness of its own inherent absurdity the others didn’t.

by Anonymousreply 15August 8, 2021 12:46 PM

I think the reason I liked KL the best was because it didn’t do a lot of “business” storylines. I’ve never had any interest in that kind of stuff whether it be daytime or nighttime soaps. The only work storylines I enjoyed was on Melrose Place.

by Anonymousreply 16August 8, 2021 1:02 PM

Knots for days. The triumvirate of Abby, Karen and Valene was unrivaled in terms of three female leads who each brought something special to the series, generating tons of character driven storylines that kept viewers hooked. The show never generated the hype and hysteria of Dallas and Dynasty but it went the distance and has a cult following to this day. The second this series gets released on a streamer, it will be a moment.

by Anonymousreply 17August 8, 2021 1:15 PM

I voted for Dallas because it rather set the standard and was pretty brilliant in its heyday. If we make our choice just by the peak of each, then I’d vote for Melrose. MP was must see TV.

by Anonymousreply 18August 8, 2021 1:33 PM

“...were on Melrose Place.”

by Anonymousreply 19August 8, 2021 2:21 PM

Yes, Melrose Place was must see Tv that everyone watched and spoke about at work.

Knots also had a better cast than many of the others and better characters.

I do love Peyton Place too. I’ve been watching it on YouTube and it’s highly enjoyable for a 60s soap.

by Anonymousreply 20August 8, 2021 2:33 PM

Knots Landing had the best writing and a great ensemble cast. David Jacobs' way of running a serialized show really worked magic for this one. It's hard to keep a show good for that many years, keeping everything consistent without becoming formulaic.

Falcon Crest is still my favorite though: The first five years are still my favorites (even over KL). It had the perfect mix of glitz and glam, with two excellent villains, without being over the top. And it had the gorgeous setting of wine country which is still a setting I want to retire in when I'm old. I want to grow old in Chase Gioberti's house.

by Anonymousreply 21August 8, 2021 2:53 PM

I’ve never seen Hotel but my mom used to watch it.

by Anonymousreply 22August 8, 2021 2:57 PM

Falcon Crest was an example that shows what happens when studio and network don't care enough. Often enough the studio's meddling can really hurt a show and the show runner's vision. With Falcon Crest though the show runners changed way too often, four or five times in a nine year run. Lots of people like the sixth and seventh season for its added humor. But the show changed its character tremendously then. To me, it lost its homely feeling in wine country which made the shows' appeal imo. It also changed characters too much, like selfish Chase and horny Maggie. (Love Susan Sullivan but I did not need to see Maggie's sex life in Victoria's secret.) And don't get me started on the last two seasons.

I think with a bit more oversight by the studio the show could have been better. But it was never a first tier success in the ratings and therefore did not get the last 20% of care it needed to stay awesome.

by Anonymousreply 23August 8, 2021 3:04 PM

I agree with R11 that Knots Landing was the most consistent and best written of all the 1980s nighttime soaps. It was more character-driven and maintained its quality for longer than the others. Dynasty was very good its first year as well as its second when it added Joan Collins, but by its fourth year the storylines started to become ridiculous.

Dallas was the first and best for quite some time. It was very good all the way up until Bobby died. The Dream Season was not as bad as some make it out to be, but it still was the first dip. The return of Bobby was for me when it really dipped. Then Victoria Principal left. Bobby and Pam were the heart of the show, the Romeo and Juliet the show was originally supposed to be centered on until Larry Hagman became the focus, and rightly so, and Linda Gray stunned with her portrayal of Sue Ellen. But no matter what, Bobby and Pam were the couple most of the audience rooted for. When Pam left after having to endure a season without Bobby, the show sank for me.

Knots continued to deliver quality storylines. I was also always amazed at how Knots could add new characters that worked with the original ensemble. Probably the best addition of those was William Devane as Greg Sumner. By the end of the run, you thought of Devane as an original cast member. Knots faltered in its last couple years, but for 11 years it was a good, consistent show. Therefore, it gets top marks from me. But Dallas was a close second because of the first-rate quality of its first 8 seasons.

by Anonymousreply 24August 8, 2021 3:05 PM

Falcon Crest, season two finale, still the best cliffhanger ever. Julia was my favorite character and I screamed "No!" as the camera swirled around everyone then settled on her. Abby Dalton had a few powerful moments in the first two seasons but the following season she was deliciously over the top.

by Anonymousreply 25August 8, 2021 3:17 PM

Another great thing about the season 2 FC cliffhanger was that storylines were spun from it for years, unlike the one and done cliffhangers on Dallas and Dynasty.

by Anonymousreply 26August 8, 2021 4:00 PM

[quote]I could never get into Knots Landing, I didn't find the characters or setting compelling.

I was never sure why I didn't find it compelling, but I didn't. I think it was the actors, to be honest. Michelle Lee with her 2-expression face.

I want to give a vote for Peyton Place. This was my parents and grandparents' generation, but what a show, it was so popular it was on three nights a week at one point. The cast was pretty great. I most all of it in reruns in the 80s or 90s - I forget which network had it.

by Anonymousreply 27August 8, 2021 4:07 PM

*watched most of it in reruns

by Anonymousreply 28August 8, 2021 4:08 PM


by Anonymousreply 29August 8, 2021 4:11 PM

In a sick twisted way, Dallas was lucky to have lost Jim Davis after a couple seasons. It got a lot of mileage out of that loss. I think it took them half a season to pronounce him missing, and another half season for Miss Ellie to even acknowledge that he is dead. Then the entire year about the fight for Ewing Oil based on Jock's will. And all story lines came out of this thread for those two years. Really nice story telling. Again in an unfortunate way, I think it made a difference that Jim Davis had passed away. Imagine, they just had fired the actor. The story lines would not have had the same impact as they actually had. Once that second year after Jock was over, Dallas got back into business as usual.

by Anonymousreply 30August 8, 2021 4:30 PM

One of the things about these shows that I also loved were their openings. Pretty much all of them were great. They made you want to watch the show. KL - just for an example.

I disagree with networks eliminating theme song openings. I know it’s about the all mighty $ and having limited time to tell story, but boy, they really added to the shows.

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by Anonymousreply 31August 8, 2021 4:51 PM

Dynasty has one of my favorite openings because of its music. Very elegant and classy. Loved it!

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by Anonymousreply 32August 8, 2021 4:56 PM

A vote for THE COLBYS. The entire run is available on YouTube. Still holds up well. Naturally, you have to enter the land of suspended disbelief, but everyone hits their mark and does their own best work.

by Anonymousreply 33August 8, 2021 5:03 PM

My all time favorite is the season 4 arrangement of Falcon Crest.

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by Anonymousreply 34August 8, 2021 5:04 PM

Me too OP, Knots Landing was my drug. I'm still an addict every time i start watching it again. Can't get over this show. That being said, I didn't like when Val was married to Danny Waleska. My favs were: Karen McKenzy, Mac McKenzy, Laura Avery Sumner, Greg Sumner, Lilimae Clements, Abby Cunningham Ewing.

Ah Jeez, best times of my life.

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by Anonymousreply 35August 8, 2021 5:12 PM

R31 I agree 100% with you.

Here the French opening of Knots Landing. In France it was called Côte Ouest ( West Coast). I like the French opening too.

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by Anonymousreply 36August 8, 2021 5:16 PM

It's a toss up between Peyton Place and Knots Landing

by Anonymousreply 37August 8, 2021 5:16 PM

Aside from the ridiculous plotlines, Dynasty suffered from too many cast shake-ups with poor replacements. It's still immensely enjoyable, but the quality definitely suffered over time and none of the recasts were as good as the actors that originated the roles of the Carrington kids (Pamela Sue Martin, Al Corley, Catherine Oxenberg, etc.).

by Anonymousreply 38August 8, 2021 5:27 PM

Here's the Knots Landing Cast reunion just a few months ago during the pandemic;

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by Anonymousreply 39August 8, 2021 5:27 PM

Let's face it Alexis Colby Carrington, Krystle Carrington, Abby Cunningham Ewing and J.R Ewing were the absolute 80s divas

by Anonymousreply 40August 8, 2021 5:35 PM

"Flamingo Road" was my favorite, at least for the first season. (Like all these shows, the second season they brought in a new character that totally changed the show--in this case for the worse. The show only lasted two seasons.

by Anonymousreply 41August 8, 2021 5:39 PM

I love that even the PJs had shoulder pads back then.

by Anonymousreply 42August 8, 2021 5:59 PM

[quote] Ain't nobody givin' a fuck about "Sisters." That show was "thirtysomething" meets "Desperate Housewives" meets a Boise whorehouse. It sucked.

But it did introduce us to the eternally boyishly cute Paul Rudd.

by Anonymousreply 43August 8, 2021 8:50 PM

[quote] Dynasty for me. I was a huge Pamela Sue Martin fan, which was why I started watching about age 10.

Same here. I tuned in for PSM, and quit watching when she left. As for eye candy, my preference was Al Corley (whether the character was gay or not, Al was always hot).

by Anonymousreply 44August 8, 2021 8:53 PM

Knots Landing. We lasted 14 years... jealous bitches?

by Anonymousreply 45August 8, 2021 9:03 PM

Dynasty wins my vote, because seasons one and two were so distinct, with good acting, good writing and really, really good sets. It was rapidly as bad as the rest of them after Adam's reveal in season 3. Falcon Crest did well with stunt casting and willingness to kill almost anybody.

by Anonymousreply 46August 8, 2021 9:11 PM

When this thread quiets we should do a run off as the three way split between Dallas, Dynasty and Knots is interesting.

by Anonymousreply 47August 8, 2021 9:16 PM

My favorite will always be Knots Landing. One of the things I did find amusing was how, as time went on, the core characters original children were phased out in favor of toddlers in a desperate attempt to make them look eternally 35. Adios Lucy, Eric, Diana, Jason, and Annie. Seriously, by the time Megan came around it looked like grandparents fighting over a playdate.

by Anonymousreply 48August 8, 2021 9:17 PM

Knots Landing was the best. I like how it evolved over time. The first 3 seasons are a completely different show than the rest, but still required viewing because of how intimately we get to know these characters and how they did try to show middle class problems at first. Killing Sid was so shocking but it really did give Karen an amazing storyline and Michele Lee should have won an Emmy for that season, specifically her “Letting Go” speech. Then in season 4 the show gets a shot of energy with the arrival of Ciji and Chip and doesn’t lose the momentum until maybe season 9 when it starts to falter. But even when it faltered, it was still watchable all the way thru the end.

Dynasty had probably the best season of any 80s soap with season 2, but it could not keep the quality. The writing went to absolute shit after that and it became 100% style over substance. Still fun, but not the intelligent, semi-satirical/ironic show it started off as.

by Anonymousreply 49August 8, 2021 9:22 PM

It's interesting that people are still overall in favor of Dynasty. Only three seasons are considered good, the first two and the last. Everything in between is universally considered garbage. And yet, people still rank the show very high if not highest. Kinda confirms that Aaron Spelling's approach was right. His TV never aspired to be great or even good. He removed as much talent as possible from his show to save a buck. And people were (still are!) fine with it.

by Anonymousreply 50August 8, 2021 9:24 PM

R50 1, 2, and 9 are the only well-written seasons of Dynasty, but it still managed to be [italic]fun[/italic] trash until the Moldavian Massacre. That’s why it’s so shocking that another Spelling show would make the same mistake when Melrose had the apartment complex blow up (the end of that show being fun trash as well.)

by Anonymousreply 51August 8, 2021 9:29 PM

The best thing about Knots' last years... BOYD KESTNER!

What a damn waste. TIIC had no idea how to use this prime beef and wasted him with ugo-couger Kathleen Noone (Bleech). Claudia was no Abby.

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by Anonymousreply 52August 8, 2021 9:33 PM

Everyone trashed Melrose Place’s later seasons but I liked season 6 and 7. I thought Lexi was a great addition

by Anonymousreply 53August 8, 2021 9:40 PM

My favorite was Lar Park Lincoln ( the best name ever) as Linda Fairgate. What a mess. I'm assuming that Nicolette took all the shine from that character, because she should have been around to the end of the show's run.

by Anonymousreply 54August 8, 2021 11:53 PM

DLers always hate on Paige

by Anonymousreply 55August 9, 2021 12:01 AM

I loved Paige. Sheridan and Devane had great chemistry. Unfortunately Devane looked ten years older his age and Sheridan I think had to play a girl five years younger her age. And a twenty year old doesn't look good with a fifty year old. But still, she could totally hold her own against him and everybody else.

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by Anonymousreply 56August 9, 2021 12:35 AM

Linda Gray was fabulous on Dallas. The vodka, the big furs and luxury cars!

by Anonymousreply 57August 9, 2021 12:52 AM

FC was my favorite. The houses, parties, clothes and wine country setting seemed classy and cool compared to the over the top Dynasty and red neck tinged Dallas. It also had a female main character villain who was way past menopause. No other show had that. It was also the only show that had a real priest playing a priest and giving out real Catholic teaching advice to characters. And lastly it holds the record for the most bottles of wine opened, toasts and wine glasses filled.

by Anonymousreply 58August 9, 2021 2:42 AM

What was "redneck tinged" about Dallas r58?

by Anonymousreply 59August 9, 2021 7:40 AM

Dallas is back in the lead

by Anonymousreply 60August 9, 2021 9:26 AM

Knots went on to have the best cliffhangers. Valene arriving at The Fisher house (“Haaaaaaarrrrrry, gooooo! They waaaaannna take the baaaaaabeeees!!!”), Abby burying Peter Hollister (“I think it’s a settling crack… what do you think Abby?”), and of course, Jill forcing Valene to overdose (“I can’t without water!!!”).

by Anonymousreply 61August 9, 2021 11:44 AM

[quote] Jill forcing Valene to overdose (“I can’t without water!!!”).

Jill: You're going to commit suicide.

Val: No one's gonna believe that.

Jill: EVERYONE's going to be believe it! Listen to how trippingly it rolls off the tongue... Poor Val committed suicide.

by Anonymousreply 62August 10, 2021 3:01 AM

I have no idea if it's true or not, but Joan Van Ark said during the recent COVID reunion online that the horror and fear you see in her during those Jill scenes was real. For whatever reason, Van Ark was convinced they were really going to kill off her character.

It was one of their best ever cliffhangers. Tra-la-la-dada-dee-dee it gives me a thrill...

by Anonymousreply 63August 10, 2021 3:04 AM

R59 Dallas was "red neck tinged" because you could smell manure at Southfork, it was the south, they had southern accents, they wore cowboy hats to the office, and. . . need I go on? The Giobertis and Channings were cooler and classier. Their houses were nicer. Tasteful friends would agree. They dressed better. Mr. Blackwell would agree.

by Anonymousreply 64August 11, 2021 4:19 AM

Hotel was not really a prime-time soap. Not a serial. It followed the same format as The Love Boat.

by Anonymousreply 65August 11, 2021 4:23 AM

Hotel did get a bit soapy in its final seasons, after Anne Baxter's death necessitated the corresponding death of her character, hotel owner Victoria Cabot: Efram Zimbalist Jr became a rival for ownership of the hotel and had his daughter (Michelle Phillips) hired on to spy on everybody. But the parade of guest stars continued at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 66August 11, 2021 5:06 AM

I'm watching Falcon Crest for the first time. Can someone explain... what the hell is WRONG with Emma?

by Anonymousreply 67September 8, 2021 10:47 PM

R41, I too remember Flamingo Road fondly but it was too short lived to have any impact. It was campy, trashy with Morgan Fairchild, John Beck, Mark Harmon and other great cast.

by Anonymousreply 68September 8, 2021 11:07 PM

Jamie Rose, as teenage Vicky Gioberti, looked and sounded older than Susan Sullivan, playing her mother.

Jane Wyman had the perfect stink face and bitch voice for this role. I get a real kick out of Angela.

by Anonymousreply 69September 9, 2021 3:36 PM

I loved Flamingo Road, too. It was a hairy-chest-fest with John Beck and Mark Harmon.

by Anonymousreply 70September 9, 2021 3:40 PM

I need to watch Flamingo Road.

by Anonymousreply 71September 9, 2021 3:46 PM

[quote] It's interesting that people are still overall in favor of Dynasty. Only three seasons are considered good, the first two and the last. Everything in between is universally considered garbage.

Ma’am we’re talking about soap operas. Soap operas are garbage tv.

by Anonymousreply 72September 9, 2021 3:59 PM

R67 Nothing is suppose to be mentally or physically wrong with Emma. She's just an eccentric artsyish free bird really sweet type who loves her family a lot no matter what.

by Anonymousreply 73September 10, 2021 5:03 AM

Emma suffered from Laura Wingfield syndrome. It's kind of a stock character for soaps and melodrama: fragile, delicate flower under thumb of domineering parent or husband. Usually the character has an arc to play at least.

by Anonymousreply 74September 10, 2021 12:11 PM

"Emma is just fine and you were just leaving. CHAO-LI!"

I'm in Season 2 now. Carlo Agretti has been murdered. Yes, I know who did it.

by Anonymousreply 75September 10, 2021 1:55 PM

R75 where are you watching this?

by Anonymousreply 76September 10, 2021 2:02 PM

R76, Amazon Prime Video.

by Anonymousreply 77September 10, 2021 2:10 PM

R76 - They have the entire run of Falcon Crest? WTF? Where's my Knots Landing?!

by Anonymousreply 78September 10, 2021 10:00 PM

Knots is forgotten.

by Anonymousreply 79September 10, 2021 10:02 PM

Forget-me-knots! Falcon Crest hasn't aged well... it's like vinegar.

by Anonymousreply 80September 10, 2021 10:06 PM

Falcon Crest still has fans. Knots does but you never hear about it. It’s dead.

You still hear about Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest… but never Knots

by Anonymousreply 81September 10, 2021 10:08 PM

R81. Honey, there is a whole world outside of your head.

by Anonymousreply 82September 10, 2021 10:09 PM

R82 I know. I’m a realist who is telling the truth. Knots is dead in pop culture. That’s not an opinion.

by Anonymousreply 83September 10, 2021 10:10 PM

I'm doing a double feature of a few Dallas and a few Falcon Crest tonight.

On Dallas, Baby John Ross has been kidnapped but it's okay because Sue Ellen is indifferent to him anyhow. Also, he might be a Barnes and this is not particularly auspicious.

On Falcon Crest, Emma is on the lam (in some hilarious scenes on a bus) and Angela and Richard are fighting over shares in the newspaper for some reason. I think Angela wants control of the Globe? Never was I skilled at business storylines. I enjoy that handsome devil David Selby. I'd do anything Richard Channing told me to.

If you make friends with the Knots Landing social media and message board fandom, you may stumble upon access to Knots Landing streaming in high quality. I'm making it sound like the Ark of the Covenant, but that's how I got access some years ago. Luckily, I still have my 'sacred tapes' and two working VCRs. I was too young to watch these first-run, but I like my Knots Landing Thursdays and my Friday night Dallas and Falcon Crest.

by Anonymousreply 84September 11, 2021 12:33 AM


by Anonymousreply 85September 11, 2021 1:12 AM

You left the BEST ONE out of the survey. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

by Anonymousreply 86September 11, 2021 2:31 AM

I loved Knots Landing. I remember being very sad when it went off the air when I was 23. I was 9 when it premiered. Knots Landing sparked my loathing of March Madness, because it wouldn't be on due to basketball, and the most upsetting part of my being arrested for shoplifting when I was 16 was that it caused me to miss Knots Landing that night.

by Anonymousreply 87September 11, 2021 2:43 AM

Dynasty. For this.

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by Anonymousreply 88September 11, 2021 2:50 AM

[quote] That’s not an opinion.

Correct, R82 (et al.), it's lunacy.

by Anonymousreply 89September 11, 2021 4:24 AM

Secrets of Midland Heights, NAS Emerald Point, and Paper Dolls!

by Anonymousreply 90September 11, 2021 4:30 AM

The Catlins on Turner Broadcasting!

by Anonymousreply 91September 11, 2021 7:10 AM

Hotel was not a soap.

by Anonymousreply 92September 11, 2021 8:14 AM

Jane Wyman seemed to go from her afro wig to her Pearl Shay wig around S3. That was a wig, right?

I'm really addicted to Falcon Crest, enough to pay for it on Amazon.

Crazy Julia in prison: that's something you wouldn't get on Dallas or Knots.

This is my first time and I'm halfway through S3.

by Anonymousreply 93September 13, 2021 11:59 PM
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