If you were poor like me as a kid, summer probably sucked. Yeah, school was out, but there was very little to do at home. I had already played (and beat) all of my video games, I couldn’t afford to rent a lot of movies, there weren’t any local kids to play with, and I didn’t have cable TV. However, I would find myself channel surfing regardless. Normally I’d watch some Between The Lions, Clifford, Mr. Rogers, or whatever PBS was running at the time. If I was lucky, there might be a good syndicated game show, or re-runs of Family Matters. If I got REALLY bored, I might actually watch a soap opera. That’s how I discovered the show Passions.
Passions was a show that started in 1999 on NBC and was canceled just a few years ago. I remember originally stopping on it because of some nice eye candy. I continued watching when I realized how bat-shit crazy the show was. The plot of the show revolves around various families living in the same town. One of the families consists of some very rich socialites who do the things rich people do (which is apparently drinking scotch and slapping each other over really minor things). Another group is a Mexican family, whose mother works for the rich family, and whose daughter is obsessed with the rich heir of the family (not because she’s a gold-digger, but because she’s insane and thinks they’re destined to be together, because…destiny).
You quickly get a feel of the type of show it is, when you’re introduced to Tabitha (a witch) and Timmy (a doll she brought to life). In very campy ways, they always plant schemes to fuck with the residents of the town, and have a serious mad-on for Charity (a chick who is an earth born angel…or something. I never saw them bother to explain it). It works at one point, and they turn Charity evil…who proceeds to shoot lighting bolts out of her eyes/hands (forgive me, I’m working on memory here).
The show got a bunch of acclaim for having some of the first instances of gay couples in a bedroom scene. There was also a trans-gender guy who becomes pregnant with his father’s son. Yep. They didn’t just break ground. They drilled a fucking geyser in it.
After a few seasons, I lost interest in Passions (It was always one of those “nothing better on” shows anyway), due to a job and getting ready for college. I would catch an episode or two and chuckle at the continued ridiculousness (or just get confused by cast changes, like Ethan being swapped for the guy that would eventually play Green Arrow in Smallville). It seems like soap operas are going out of style, so I doubt we’ll ever see a show like Passions again. It’s not a great loss, no. It was pure schlock, but dammit, it was entertaining schlock.