Television: Love, Money, Witches And Beach Grass

In Passions, NBC hopes to have that rarity, a successful new soap

With hope and a dash of contrarian good sense, this writer recently revisited the world of daytime soap opera, reasoning that like so much else in our postmodern culture--Las Vegas, fondue, Rob Lowe--afternoon dramas might have transitioned into hip. Little research was needed to prove this theory false. Sets still seem to draw their inspiration from the simulated Americana of a Holiday Inn lobby in Colonial Williamsburg. And on almost any given day, the chance of making it through the afternoon without hearing someone say, "I don't need any DNA test to prove that you're my son" or, maybe, "You slept...

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