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Series: Melrose Place
Prime Time Soap which ran on Fox from 1992 to 1999.

Melrose Place was originally an ensemble drama spun off from Beverly Hills 90210. The series, produced by Aaron Spelling, focused on a set of attractive twentysomethings living in an apartment complex. The ratings were tepid, but as the storylines became more sensational and over-the-top, the show found a dedicated audience.

The original cast included Grant Show, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Andrew Shue, Josie Bissett, and Doug Savant (Savant played Matt, one of prime time's first regular characters to be openly gay.) Marcia Cross later joined the cast, and Heather Locklear was brought in as a guest star. Locklear quickly became the main character, but was billed as a "Special Guest Star" for the rest of the series' run.

Melrose Place may be the quintessential Guilty Pleasure. A Seinfeld episode saw Jerry repeatedly denying he watched it, until his policewoman girlfriend made him take a polygraph exam, under which he snapped and admitted his addiction.

A Revival series was launched on The CW in 2009, following in the footsteps of the 90210 revival, but ratings were extremely poor (even by CW standards) and the show was cancelled after a season.

This series provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Michael Mancini and his fourth wife as well, Megan (Lewis) Mancini.
  • All Women Are Lustful
  • Anyone Can Die: This trope turns up in full force during season finales.
  • Asshole Victim: Several:
    • Jess Hanson, Jake's abusive, unemoting half-brother.
    • Hayley Armstrong, the slimy, meddling billionaire father of Brooke, and, eventually, Brooke herself becomes one.
    • Kent DeMarr, the two-timing Jerk Ass boyfriend of Amanda and Eve in their high school days.
    • Rory Blake, Amanda's one-time ex-con husband who she ended up with in season 7.
    • Dr. Paul Graham, Matt's bisexual boyfriend who murdered his wife and framed him for it.
    • Vic, the crazed fan who ended up stalking and later assaulting Kimberly.
    • Reed, Jo's sleazy ex-classmate who she slept with (and became pregnant by) after his death who she killed in self-defense.
    • And of course, Jack Parezi, Amanda's rich and violent ex-husband.
  • Back for the Dead: Sydney (who was run over by a car in the original series and believed to be dead) was brought back in the sequel series for the sole purpose of being killed off again as a Shocking Swerve. Her death (drowned in the complex's swimming pool) motivates the plot of the first season.
    • And let's not forget Kimberly in season two of the original show. After being critically injured in an alcohol-related car crash with Michael, who was the driver, it is discovered that she died from her injuries. Sydney, knowing that he was drunk and that he forced Matt to fake the B.A.C. results, blackmails him into an unhappy marriage. However, just as he is beginning to love Sydney, Kimberly reappears hell-bent on revenge. It was learned that Kimberly's "death" was all a ploy by her mother to get Michael out of her daughter's life.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Taylor.
  • Blackmail: Oh so much.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: Sydney.
  • Breakout Character: Amanda Woodward, who essentially saved the show from being cancelled.
  • Broken Ace: Billy.
  • Bus Crash: Apparently, this is what happened to Matt, who perished in a car accident in season seven, although many fans take into consideration that due to its randomness and the secrets that were divulged only afterwards that it could all be just fake.
  • But Not Too Gay: The token gay character Matt Fielding wasn't allowed to kiss on screen.
  • Catfight: Several of both the physical and verbal kind, including a very memorable one berween Jane and Sydney in the complex pool.
  • Christmas Cake: Richard Hart's wife, Mackenzie Hart.
  • Christmas Episode: One for every season: A Melrose Place Christmas, Under The Mistletoe, Holiday On Ice, Oy! To The World, Crazy Love (sort of), A Tree Talks In Melrose, and The Usual Santas.
  • Citizenship Marriage: In season 2, Matt marries a Russian woman, Katya, so she can stay in the United States with her young daughter. However, she later returns to Russia to be with her family.
  • Cliffhanger: They have had nine: Till Death Do Us Part, They Shoot Mothers, Don't They?, The Big Bang Theory, No Lifeguard on Duty, Dead Sisters Walking, Great Sexpectations, Who's Afraid of Amanda Woodward?, Last Train to Baghdad, and Buona Sera, Mr. Campbell.
  • Coitus Ensues
  • Convenient Coma: Kimberly ended up in this towards the end of season four, after the riot at the mental institution and falling over a high railing.
  • Convenient Miscarriage / Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played straight and averted, respectively. Almost none of the pregnancies on Melrose Place was carried to term (and in the rare instance it was, either the baby or the character did not last on the show long after that) and both Sandy and Alison ended their pregnancies.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Matt's one-time boyfriend, Paul, who ended up killing his wife and framing Matt for the murder.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Allison, dear God. She and her sister were victims of molestation at the hands of her father, her mother knew about it yet turned a blind eye to it all and blamed the girls for it and told them she wished she never gave birth to either of them, her ex-boyfriend becomes obsessed with her and ends up committing suicide while she helplessly listens on the phone, she is forced to call off her fairytale wedding to her one true love, Billy, because the issues within her past, all of this happening sometime after he impregnates one of her rivals (who is also her boss, Amanda, who alternates between befriending her and bullying her) and before he abandons her and eventually marries another (who is also her coworker/stepdaughter, Brooke, who's a selfish, manipulative rich bitch), she ends up being temporarily blinded when Kimberly blew up the complex (and she was not even any of the intended targets), she is manipulated into marrying her aforementioned rival's billionaire father, who secretly and unceremoniously divorces her and cuts her out of his will a short time later right before his mysterious drowning death, which the stepdaughter/rival blames her for, she becomes pregnant by and marries longtime friend-turned-love interest, Jake, but is forced to terminate the pregnancy due to medical reasons and splits with him and after being forced to leave L.A., she eventually ends up in rehab for alcoholism, which she struggled with throughout the series and was directly caused by her traumatic childhood. If there is one soap opera character in need of a hug, it's definitely her.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Billy, originally.
  • Driven to Suicide: Poor, poor Bruce Teller, the original boss of D&D Advertising. Also, Craig Field does this towards the end of season six.
  • Dr. Jerk: Michael from the end of season one on and Peter's initial character while also going back and forth between being a humanly decent and dedicated M.D. and this.
  • Dull Surprise: Happened on occasion, but mainly with Billy, Craig and Jess Hanson.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While he was the resident Dr. Jerk (and not necessarily "evil" but rather slimy and womanizing), Michael also acted respectable at times, such as helping Peter in protecting Amanda after learning that her abusive ex-husband, Jack, was coming after her, as well as discovering old photos of a battered Amanda she had taken as evidence and giving Jo's baby back to her after realizing that Kimberly stole him.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex
  • Face-Heel Turn: Michael at the end of season one.
  • Fake Guest Star: Heather Locklear. She was on the show longer than most of the original cast, yet never lost her Guest Starring billing.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: There have been a couple of instances, but the coup de grace had to go to "Christine"note  who after knocking her head on the hood of a car was then placed on the railroad tracks by Nick and Taylor and ran over by a train in an attempt to make it look like she killed herself over losing Kyle to Amanda. Even worse, the Fox Censors actually allowed the "squishing" noise of her being run over to be heard.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Several examples, from Jo being beaten by Jake's brother Jess, to Jane's rape to Peter getting beaten up while in prison.
  • Fiery Redhead: Aplenty. Sydney, Kimberly and Lexie.
    • One could also argue for/include Coop into that category as well.
  • Freudian Excuse: Amanda's behavior can be traced back to her troubled childhood, which included an absent mother and a distant father who preferred to buy her off instead of spending time with her.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Heather Locklear's pregnancy in season six. Completely averted with Lisa Rinna, whose pregnancy was written in as her own character was also pregnant.note 
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Sydney. Later, Megan, "given" to Michael as a present by his wife Kimberley first when her illness dulls her libido and ends their sex life, then made official when she passes away for good.
  • Humiliation Conga / Trauma Conga Line: This happened to Brooke in season four. After her father's untimely death, his assets are frozen, she feigns a pregnancy to hold onto Billy, who, upon learning this instead of having a miscarriage, leaves her, she attempts suicide to try and get him back, which fails as he then throws her out, she ends up living in a hotel, which she cannot pay for and is kicked out of, she gets fired, tried to seduce her former fiance (whom she cheated on with Billy), who then humiliates her and confesses he only liked her for her father's money and then is left alone and dies by hitting her head in the complex pool while drunk and drowns.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Michael inadvertedly stops Taylor from committing suicide after discovering she was pregnant with his child and, in usual Taylor-style, she initially lied and said Peter was the father, who did not believe her and didn't want anything to do with her or the baby.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Michael.
  • Karma Houdini: Kimberly usually got away with a lot of her bad behavior, and when it did finally catch up with her, it was still looked at as Disproportionate Retribution.
    • For some reason, Sydney got away completely for stealing away Jane's one-time fiancee and poisoning her drink, causing her to be temporarily paralyzed.
  • Local Hangout: Jake's bar Shooters in the first five seasons, then Kyle's two places in the last two, his self-titled restaurant and the Upstairs, a local jazz hangout.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Oh yeah.
  • Mama Bear: Kimberly's mother, who ended up being quite scary in her own right. Then there is a matter of Michael and Jennifer's mother...
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: So many of the villianous actors on the show are actually really friendly in life. Heather Locklear is known to be sweet and soft-spoken, a total inversion of her Alpha Bitch character Amanda Woodward.
    • Perhaps even moreso with Thomas Calabro, who played Michael Mancini, who was nothing but kind and outgoing with a fun sense of humor. Unfortunately, fans translated his character to him in real life, with one even dumping a glass of milk on him. This prompted him to begin carrying cards with him in public to give to fans explaining that he was the total opposite of his show's character.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: Any woman who worked at D&D Advertising was required to sport one (if not a business suit of such), sans pantyhose, of course.
  • Monochrome Casting: Much like its parent show. The first season featured only one black character, who was quickly written out for lack of storyline.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Let's be honest. ALL of the men on Melrose Place were this (hello, Grant Show in the opening credits), even many of the guest stars, namely being popular male supermodel Antonio Sabato, Jr.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The women of Melrose Place were absolutely gorgeous. Heather Locklear was even considered one of the most beautiful women of the 1990s.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Allison experiences this after running down a young bicyclist while driving under the influence. Fortunately, the kid lives.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Amy Locane's "Southern" accent was all over the place. Also, Jo was apparently from New York City, yet had no trace of a New York accent.
  • Odd Friendship: Earnest Matt and philandering Michael were friends. In fact, Matt was one of Mike's closest and most loyal friends who stuck with him through alot of his B.S.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe. It's revealed that Michael used to be an exotic dancer to pay his way through medical school. It gets even worse when Peter learns about it.
  • One-Hour Work Week: In a place where your options for employment were at an advertising company, the only hospital in town, the only bar in town, fashion designing, coming from money or a prostitute, this is essentially what freelance photographer Jo had.
  • Poorly Disguised Pilot: its launch on Beverly Hills 90210.
  • Positive Discrimination: Matt, the most altruistic character, is gay.
  • Prime Time Soap
  • Prison Episode: Several, as many of the main cast has been in prison, and usually wrongfully accused.
  • Professionals Do It on Desks: Amanda and Kyle, anyone?
  • Put on a Bus: Half of the cast before season five ended.
  • Railing Kill: How Jess Hansonnote  dies after getting in a fight with Jake.
  • Rape as Drama: Richard did this to Jane, which slowly, but steadily, set the poor girl on a path of Heroic BSOD.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The season 3 finale Where Kimberly blows up the complex ended up being post-poned due to the Oklahoma City Bombing that took place weeks before the season finale and the show not wanting to seem insensitive to the tragedy. What date did the bombing ultimately take place? Season 4's premiere, September 11, 1995.
  • Retcon: In season four, Peter said his father had died many years ago, yet in season seven, he announced that his father just passed away.
    • A better-known version would be Jane, who was seen in family home movies as being brought out of the hospital after being born by her and Sydney's mother, who had just given birth to her, yet we learn in season five that she was adopted.
  • Retool: Originally a fairly staid drama, the series was eventually turned into trashy daytime soap for its second season.
  • Revival: The 2009 version.
  • Rule of Pool
  • Sanity Slippage: Kimberly for two whole seasons, culminating in her ending up with two split personalities, no less. Sadly enough, it may have to do with her previous head injury/brain surgery.
  • She Is All Grown Up: What fans thought upon seeing Alyssa Milano on the show.
  • Shirtless Scene
  • Shout-Out: Billy Campbell was named after actor Bill Campbell.
  • Smug Snake: Several, with Michael Mancini being the most notable.
    Jerry Seinfeld: "Oh, I hate that Michael, he's just so SMUG!!"
  • Spin-Off: the short-lived Models, Inc.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Marcia Cross, who stands 5'10".
    • Kelly Rutherford stands 5'9".
  • Straight Gay: Matt.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Jennifer Mancini for Sydney Andrews Mancini.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: Sydney in ''Boxing Sydney.''
  • Together in Death: Averted for the series finale. Peter and Amanda are believed to have perished in a cottage explosion, but in reality, did it for the insurance money and so they could remarry each other on a faraway beach at sunset. Aww.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Michael, Billy, Kyle and Ryan.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Michael, duh. Also, Billy for a short while after Brooke's death and learning that his true love Allison was going out with his close friend, Jake. He got over it, though.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: On the flipside of Jane, there was Amanda, who felt genuinely bad for both firing Allison and the serious injuries she suffered in the complex explosion, so much that it was noted that both women actually switched personalities. Not to mention, she became sympathetic after her abusive ex-husband had crawled his way back into her life.
    • Kimberly in season five, due to her declining health and genuine love and concern for Michael.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Michael, who suffered amnesia after being run over by Kimberly.
  • The Unfavorite: Sydney, in spades. Bobby Parezi also qualifies.
  • Unholy Matrimony
  • Unintentional Period Piece
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Michael and Peter. When they weren't stabbing each other in the back they were solid friends. Also Jo and Jane in season four while fighting over Richard.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Jake's half-brother, Jess, as well as many of the other losers in Jo's life, save for Jake, of course.
  • Yandere: Eve.
  • Your Cheating Heart: An abundance of it.

The Love BoatCreator/Aaron SpellingStarsky & Hutch
Knots LandingPrime Time SoapNeighbours
Beverly Hills 90210Creator/FoxBob's Burgers
Master ChefSeries of the 1990sThe Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes
Meet the PressAmerican SeriesMen Of A Certain Age

alternative title(s): Melrose Place
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