By Alan Scherstuhl
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Carolina Del Busto
By Amy Nicholson
By Simon Abrams
By Kevin Dilmore
By New Times
By Amy Nicholson
Soap operas are more wondrous and ridiculous than you may realize, especially if you're under the misapprehension that soaps — especially daytime ones — revolve around nothing but steamy affairs, unplanned pregnancies, and Maury-style DNA tests. In fact, we thought the same, until we started watching General Hospital to catch James Franco's stint as serial killer/modern artist "Franco" (no, really). It was then that we discovered that soaps hold to no normal plot rules, have no respect for sticking to genre, and are, frankly, the craziest fucking things on television.
Don't believe us? Here are the most absurd soap storylines of all time (so far).
Days of Our Lives Does Demonic Possession
In 1994, whoever makes the choices at Days of Our Lives decided it would be perfectly reasonable for one of its key characters, Marlena Evans, to become possessed by a demon. Demonic possession gave Marlena the power to fly, super-strength, lasers in her eyeballs, and allowed her to morph into other characters on the show. At one point she turned herself into a panther so she could attack some religious folk. The plot went on for months until someone finally stuck her on an altar and brought her back from the dead (even though a previous exorcism had failed). Classic!
The Colbys Does Alien Abduction
The Colbys was an awesome spin-off of Dynasty that lasted two seasons between 1985 and 1987. It is unlikely that anyone would even remember it were it not for the fact that a major character — Fallon Carrington Colby (!) — was abducted by aliens in the final episode. Despite flying away with the UFOs, Fallon later re-emerged on Dynasty, where she suffered a series of distressing flashbacks about the abduction. It was brilliant. Watch the scene here.
Dallas Has the Longest Dream Ever
In 1986, Dallas wasted everyone's time with an entire season that turned out to be a dream. This was all due to Patrick Duffy's decision to retire from his role as Bobby Ewing -- who was promptly killed off -- followed almost immediately by his decision to come back to the show. Larry Hagman — a.k.a. J.R. — was reportedly also demanding Bobby's return. As a result, the seventh season of Dallas was pointless from start to finish . . . Sorry, we mean even more pointless than usual.
Passions: Like a Regular Soap, Plus Satan
Passions was possibly the worst and best thing that has ever been on television. This was no normal soap — it was daytime drama that incorporated warlocks, witches, magic and, oh, you know, a closet that doubled as the gates of Hell. Believe it or not, this nightmare was on TV for nine years and only wrapped up in 2008. One of the most popular characters was Timmy, who started life as a doll until a witch named Tabitha turned him into a real boy. (He was played by teenaged actor with a form of dwarfism.) We seriously don't even know who this thing was aimed at.
General Hospital Does Vampires
Just weeks ago — as in January 2013 — General Hospital had a vampire storyline. And not a straightforward one, either. See, the vampire in question, Caleb Morley, is the doppelganger of respected Detective John McBain. And Caleb kidnapped McBain's friend Sam Morgan because she is the doppelganger of Caleb's long-lost love interest, Livvie Morley. This preposterous plot came about because the actors playing McBain and Sam also starred as Caleb and Livvie in vampire-centric General Hospital spin-off Port Charles in the late '90s. It's a freakin' mess, we tell ya…
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