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Series / Loving

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Soap Opera that aired on ABC from June 26, 1983 to November 10, 1995. The show was notably co-created by Agnes Nixon.

The show was created as a response to the action/adventure and intrigue storylines dominating soaps in the 1980s, most notably featured on General Hospital. Unlike its stablemates, Loving would be a traditional soap opera with a major focus on romance.

The show was never a huge hit, generally ranking in the bottom 3 soaps during its 12 year run. Nevertheless, the show engendered a Spin-Off upon its cancellation called The City that would move most of the remaining cast to New York's SoHo district; this only lasted until 1997.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Cooper meets another woman while in Paris on business, breaking Steffy's heart. He comes back in time to find out that she's pregnant, and they reconcile.
  • Betty and Veronica: The basis for every Love Triangle, but both characters are fleshed out enough that neither is truly the "good" or "bad" girl/boy.
  • Bookends: The last scene of Loving is of Jacob and Angie leaving Corinth. The first scene of The City is of them arriving in New York.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Feeling that Cooper is better for her, especially since they have a son together, Casey arranges for Ally to walk in on him and Steffy, knowing that she'll dump him and go running to Cooper, thus providing their son with a stable family.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: On their way to New York, Angie and Jacob stop to read a sign that declares "You are now leaving Corinth", then look directly into the camera to invite the viewers to join them.
  • Bungled Suicide: Gywneth and Ally nearly become the next victims of the Serial Killer when they become trapped in the former's car, whose exhaust pipe has been stopped up, filling it with carbon monoxide. When it's revealed that Gwyneth was the killer all along, it becomes clear that she was trying to kill herself and take one last victim with her.
  • Celebrity Paradox: At one point, a character refers to "Erica Kane of All My Children", despite it having been well established that the two shows exist in a Shared Universe, with characters from both shows repeatedly crossing over between the two during late 1992.
  • Continuity Nod: Nearly two decades after "The Loving Murders", General Hospital's Luke and Holly found themselves in Corinth, in the abandoned Alden mansion, with several framed pictures of the victims, discussing the storyline.
  • Continuity Snarl: But at the same time, Laura showed up briefly also, even though Genie Francis, her actress, played a completely different character on Loving—Ceara Connor, an All My Children transplant.
  • Crossover: The show was established as part of the Shared Universe with the other soap operas airing on ABC. In the early 90s, a storyline had several characters crossing over to All My Children and vice versa, eventually adding several permanently, most notably Debbi Martin's Angie Hubbard.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Jeremy is the final victim of the "Loving Murders". But unlike the others, who merely drifted off to sleep without even knowing that they'd been poisoned, he was encased in quick-drying plaster and left to suffocate.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Ava gets more and more freaked out during The Loving Murders storyline, eventually leaving town—and husband Alex—because she can't deal with it anymore, thus paving the way for Alex's new romance with newcomer Jocelyn.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Paul, to Ava.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Jacob, to Angie, looking exactly like her late husband Jesse.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Subverted. When Cooper confronts the woman who molested him as a child, she makes the excuse that she needed to feel loved, an excuse that no male predator could ever have gotten away with— when Jocelyn confronts her father over abusing her, he uses the same excuse, only to be met with outrage and disgust. Cooper forgives his abuser once she offers this explanation. That said, her actions are shown to be just as damaging—he acts out, suffers from flashbacks, and struggles with intimacy—it's not until after therapy that he's able to consummate his relationship with his girlfriend.
  • Dramatic Half-Hour
  • Drugs Are Bad: Casey begins using and selling drugs, prompting Ally to leave him when he won't quit—and resulting in his death when he's killed by a rival dealer.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The few Corinth citizens who remain behind as the others leave for New York City all end up well off.
  • False Rape Accusation: Determined to make the man responsible for Casey's death pay, Ally seduces him, them trashes her living room and hits herself in the face. Afterwards, she calls the police and claims she's been raped. Similar to Romanticized Abuse, she and the guy begin a relationship after she confesses to lying.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Ally and Cooper decide on an abortion, which of course, she can't go through with, resulting in the birth of their son Tyler.
    • Steffy also can't bring herself to have one, even though she and Cooper's have broken up before she even got a chance to tell him she was pregnant. (The actress was pregnant in Real Life and TPTB decided to write it in).
  • Hot for Preacher: Shana for Jim. Ends tragically, of course—he's killed​ shortly after finally leaving the priesthood to be with her, but not before they conceive their son.
  • Interclass Romance: Cooper, scion of the wealthy Aldens, with all of his love interests, Hannah, Steffy, and Ally.
  • Love Triangle: Standard. "Quadrangle", rather. Steffy/Cooper/Ally overlapping with Cooper/Ally/Casey. Complicated by Cooper and Ally sleeping together and her getting pregnant. Eventually, Ally/Casey and Steffy/Cooper ended up together, though this was further complicated by Casey being killed off.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "Itsy Bitsy Spider" was often played over scenes of the "Loving Murders", or of the killer preparing to strike.
  • May–December Romance: Steffy and Clay. Rather icky considering he was once involved with her mother, and she with his nephew.
  • Meaningful Name: The detectives investigating the so-called "Loving Murders", note that the murders are indeed "loving"—the victims are poisoned and simply drift off to sleep with little to no pain. In fact, when the killer is identified, her motive is that she was ending their pain and sincerely believed she was doing a good thing.
  • Mercy Kill: What Gwyneth deluded herself into thinking she was doing for the victims of the "Loving Murders". Her breakdown gets even worse when she realizes she had no such motive for killing her boyfriend and only did it to make sure he couldn't turn her it. Completely deranged and unable to live with what she's done, she begs a friend to invoke this for her.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Trisha (and a handful of others) was wrongly suspected of being the Corinth Serial Killer.
    • Ava was set up to look like she killed Egypt (hubby Alex's ex) because she was fed up her interference in their relationship, and was herself a suspect in The Loving Murders.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: Throughout the "Loving Murders" storyline, the film would switch to black and white whenever the killer was near.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Ava is shot, Egypt realizes that it's her fault—if she hadn't framed Ava for killing her, Ava wouldn't have been at the police station and in the line of fire.
    • Gywneth upon realizing that SHE is responsible for the murders of her family. What's more, the final murder was of her boyfriend Jeremy, someone who wasn't in any pain as she believed her other victims were. She's forced to admit that she did it because he'd figured out she was the killer and keep him from calling the police.
  • Out with a Bang: Clay becomes the second victim of the "Loving Murders" after drinking poisoned brandy, but it doesn't kick in until he and Tess are having sex.
  • Red Herring: Curtis Alden is presented as a strong contender for the Corinth Serial Killer, given his years of mental illness and his recent obsession with Stacey, the first victim. That changes when he becomes victim #3.
    • He's the most prominent example, but a good chunk of characters were also presented as suspects (though none of them ended up as victims themselves). Not until the very end was it obvious who the killer was.
  • Serial Killer:
    • In mid-to-late 1995, as part of plans for a massive overhaul, one of these stalked and killed nearly half of the cast members. Very tellingly, most of the victims were older and/or had been on the show for a long time with no further storyline opportunities. When the killer was revealed, it turned out the demented woman sincerely believed she was doing a good thing, believing that her victims had been in pain and she was in fact performing a Mercy Kill. The storyline ended with a friend doing this for her.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Subverted. Although Steffy is pregnant with Cooper's baby, she tells Ally that she wants to name it after the late Casey in order to honor him.
  • Supernatural Soap Opera: In The '80s.
  • STD Immunity: A glaring example as Steffy prepared to seduce Clay. He rebuffed her advances, telling her, "I don't have any condoms", but she assured him that she was on the Pill, completely disregarding that this would only prevent pregnancy, not disease transmission.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Ally, from a one-night-stand with Cooper.
  • Together in Death: The fifth of the "Loving Murders", that of Cabot and Isabella Alden, had the elderly couple celebrating their 50th anniversary, lighting the candles given to them as a present, going to bed. . .and never waking up, having been fatally poisoned by the vapors released. Their devastated loved ones consoled themselves with the fact that they could invoke this trope.
  • Wedding/Death Juxtaposition: Cabot and Isabella are murdered the night of their 50th anniversary.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: Ava and Dinah Lee take off on a road trip in what is clearly a homage to Thelma & Louise.