My old roommate Tommy had a thing for AMC, I remeber watching it with him the day in the mid80s when Erica had been in a plane crrash and was staggering through the wilderness (probably in five inch heels) to get help, only to be confronted by (obviosly edited in footage of ) an enormous bear, and she just started yelling at the bruin to get lost, ending her rant with "I'm Erica Kane!!!" whereupon you see the bear turn tail and flee. We couldn't help but be amused by this moment. Last time I seriosuly watched it Tad was still married to his first wife Dottie (whom I had a huge crush on). When I was in Shoal Creek in the mid 80s, the people everyone was a bit scared of had control of the tv in the dayroom and they watched As the World Turns and Guiding Light, so I watched those for about four years. When I was first dating James he came over one day and was making fun of Guiding Light and I said, "What were you and your brother watching last time I spent the night?" "Uh... the A-Team." "Well, okay, shut up then..." At one point I was living in my dad's rental houe from hell, that he couldn't even get $100 a month for anymore because so much was wrong with it, and sharing it with six gay guys, so I got to watch Dynasty every week with running commentary (the only way it's bearable!)
My other two favorite cult soap operas: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and Prisoner:Cell Block H, an Australian serial set in a women's prison, which is so campy it was turned into "Prisoner: Cell Block H--The Musical"in London some years back... full of large butch women acting out (which surprise! made me a devoted viewer)
I never said "Passions" was good... neither are all the 50s horror/scifi films like "The Thing That Wouldn't Die" that I'm addicted to, but they flood me with endorphins nonetheless. I turned on Passions today halfway through, and there's Norma Bates in the mental hospital, dressed up like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" and caterwauling "I've Written A letter to Daddy" from that movie (speaking of large butch women acting out...) and I realized, "Oh, it's Chritmas, time for her to escape an try to kill Tabby like she does very year," which did give me some holiday cheer...
I agree, Days of Our Lives does have the look of very low production values, every soap I've ever seen on NBC looked to me like it's shot on the cheapest video possible... there's this garish sheen to them that's off-putting. The first episode of Passions, was so bare bones it looked like an Ed Wood movie (or worse).. it's actually improved that way at least...
The one thing I can't stand that they do on most soaps is age the kids overnight from infancy to the age of consent, that's just stupid and puts me off completely (a few years I can understnd because of the problems inherent in working with infants and small kids, but if they're writing something with enough decent characters in each generation, they could let things evolve a bit more naturally.).