Funny and Salacious and Dangerous (Ep. 5: Soap)

It's a little unfair that so many gay men adore The Golden Girls, but so few have heard of Soap, without which Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy wouldn't exist.

Both shows featured strong female characters sitting around a kitchen table eating baked goods and talking openly about sex, but Soap did it first. And according to my guest Andrew, did it better. The show was essentially a parody of soap operas, told in a sitcom style -- alien abductions, evil twins, sex changes, mystery diseases, and secret affairs kept the plot humming along for several years before it was cancelled in the midst of an infuriatingly unresolved cliffhanger.

Soap became a bit of an obsession for Andrew as a kid, particularly because of the motherly power of the character of Jessica. Though her family was fractured and weird, her love never wavered. That family loyalty made such an impression on him that he still thinks about -- and aspires to it -- to this day.

Here are a few clips, starting with the basic cast of characters and their drama.

I'm not sure what's up with the color here, but this gives you a sense of the tone of the show:

And here's the show getting awfully serious:

And here's the famous MASH episode with the gay soldier. Skip to around 8 minutes for the big scene. 

And one of my all time favorite episodes of Cheers:

Parisian Kevin MacLeod ( 
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