25 October 2003 | DepartmentStoreLover
A well-done soap opera
I have good memories of this daytime serial, which debuted in Australia in 1987, when I was in high school. Even though the later years of the show were unwatchable, when the head writers in the early years were Bridget and Jerome Dobson, it was simply magical. I remember well the beautiful romances of Kelly and Joe (Robin Wright and Dane Witherspoon), the high-camp aristocratic antics of Augusta and Lionel (Louise Sorel and Nicolas Coster) and, and best of all, the heavenly romance between ex-nun Mary and the hard-bitten, cynical Mason (Harley Kozak and Lane Davies). This storyline in particular was brilliantly acted, movingly written, and thoroughly touching. Mason's transformation into a more sympathetic character through his love affair with Mary was wonderfully handled.
It is a shame that the programme is no longer on the air, but if it had firmer handling, it may have caught on and built a substantial audience. All it needed was more story consistency, and some more appealing love stories to hook the audience. SANTA BARBARA's penchant for the quick fix, and inability to give its actors stable storylines may have contributed to its undoing. Anyway, I hope that the show one day either turns up again on TV, if not in its full run, but even in 'best of' shows. I rate it as one of the best shows on TV, then, now, and everafter.