Television: Viewpoint: Soap, Betty & Rafferty

Mary Hartman without heart

Although the prèmiere is not until Sept. 13 (9:30 p.m. E.D.T.), Soap is already assured of its place in television history. This ABC sitcom, a bubble-headed parody of daytime soap operas, will always be remembered as the show that broke the TV sex barrier by spilling uninhibited promiscuity into the allegedly sacrosanct hours of prime time. Other prime-time shows trade in sex, of course, but Soap is the first to flaunt its carnal knowledge directly for the viewer. Even without the enfilade fire that has preceded its arrival, this series would still be the one sure hit of...

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