Melrose Place is one of my all-time favorite shows. Every few years, I sit down and rewatch the entire series. It’s like coming home to friends. (To quote Chandler Bing, “I miss Melrose Place!”)
Originally positioned as a spin off of Beverly Hills 90210, the show did not really gain its footing until halfway through the first season. At that point, some deadweight was jettisoned, Michael went from being the perfect husband to being delightfully evil, Heather Locklear’s character Amanda shot into the foreground, and Dr. Peter Burns was brought on, every bit as evil as Michael, but far more competent. Plots ventured into the absurd - not so outrageous as Desperate Housewives, but certainly not the sorts of adventures an average LA apartment building full of hot twentysomethings could expect to encounter in real life. Everybody slept with everybody else, except for the gay Matt Fielding who (to the showrunners' credit) survived the great purge. Kimberly Shaw, who oddly did not make the main cast list for many seasons, died and was resurrected more times than I can count.
Casting was perfect. Plot lines were deliciously campy. Sex was constant. Humor abounded. This was serious must-see TV back in the day.
I introduced my daughter to Melrose Place when she was a teenager. Initially, we watched it together and made the discovery that eventually every episode ended with a cliffhanger. Since Melrose Place is basically a nighttime soap opera, meaning the plots carry on from episode to episode (and yet are quite fast paced), the best place to end our viewing for the evening was anywhere but the end of an episode! After we watched the first five seasons, my daughter then rewatched all of those episodes, probably 4 or 5 times. So I’m going to say Melrose Place withstood the test of time.
Seasons 1-5 were classic Melrose Place.
I was out of the country for a year, came back, settled in to watch Melrose Place, and was like, “Who ARE all these people?!” My mother responded, “They’re new people! They're better people!” They weren’t. There was a major cast reshuffling between Seasons 5 and 6. We lost a number of major characters. While some of the additions were good (Lexi), most were not particularly compelling. What kept the story going was the long-running Peter and Amanda storyline. Still, any Melrose Place is better than no Melrose Place. And towards the end, we were revisited by some familiar faces.
For a good time, I can solidly recommend the entire series. Watch Melrose Place! You’ll love it.