Soap – The Complete Series
Katherine Helmond, Robert Guillaume, Billy Crystal
Richard Mulligan, Diana Canova, Robert Mandan
4 Seasons 12 DVDs
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2008
Danny Campbell has to kill his stepfather who is having problems in the bedroom because he killed his wife’s husband. Jessica Tate is cheating on her cheating husband with the tennis pro her daughter is sleeping with because she is in love with a priest. Confused? You won’t be after you watch the season one episodes of Soap The Complete Series.
Season 1 of Soap features some superb writing and acting. Many episodes allow one of the actors to shine in a very comics or sometimes dramatic scene. My favorite is the great comic timing scenes where Danny (Ted Wass) tries to kill Burt (Mulligan); the scene where guest Harold Gould tells Jodie (Billy Crystal) about his life is great drama.
This late seventies situation comedy was a spoof of afternoon TV dramas like Another World and General Hospital. The strange thing is these shows either ended up stealing plot lines from Soap or became even weirder.
Season one storylines by Susan Harris are as wild as they are funny: Jodie, his football player boyfriend, and a sex change operation; Jessica finding out about Chester; Corinne in love with a priest and discovering the truths about her tennis player boyfriend (Robert Urich) and her mother; Danny having to hide from and then marrying into the mob; and someone getting strangled bludgeoned shot stabbed and suffocated with just about everybody being the suspect; and Burt is invisible.
There are very few flaws in the first season of this situation comedy. One of them is the German investigator, a one joke character who immediately overstays his welcome. The courtroom scenes are a bit bland and even Jessica’s (Katherine Helmond) best and once too often effort to liven things up do not help. (Ever notice the similarity in character and delivery between Jessica Tate and
Soap The Complete Series features 12 DVDs. They are packaged in a thin plastic tray similar to those that come with cookies and the like. At this price though you are not paying for packaging so I would insert those plastic discs that come with DVD spindles between each disc in the set just to prevent scratches.
Look for series writer Susan Harris as Babette in the episode where one of the characters gets arrested. Inga Swenson would go on to play Gretchen Kraus in Benson while Dinah Manoff, the mobster’s daughter, was in Golden Girls spinoff Empty Nest with Richard Mulligan. Howard Hesseman, the prosecuting attorney, and Gordon Jump, the police chief, would later be on WKRP.
Our other seventies situation comedy DVD set reviews:
Our review Soap Season 2
Our review Soap Season 1
- 87Season Twof of wild situation comedy includes a devil baby, flying saucers, a prison escape, and other weird things.
- 82Situation comedy with Robert Guillaume is still good fun.
- 78Good deal except best episode unrestored
- 77Classic seventies situation comedy DVD set. 15 episodes with Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli.
- 77Fun lightweight family sitcom DVD set