What: Things that are called "ground-breaking" are usually not very fun. Sad, but often true. But not here! Nope, not here. Here, it is 95% rollicking along, and 5% thinking, "Hmmm, this TV show seems like it was ahead of its time."
Soap is a late-1970s satire of daytime soap operas. The breakneck plotting means that within the first couple of seasons alone, you get alien abductions, demonic possessions, copious adultery, murders, kidnappings, prison breaks, amnesia, mob connections, insanity, Latin American revolutionaries, and a repressed ventriloquist.
Comparable to: Writer/creator Susan Harris also executive produced Benson and The Golden Girls. And there's a clear absurdist trajectory that starts at Soap and ends at Arrested Development.
Opening lines: "This is the story of two sisters, Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell. These are the Tates . . . and these are the Campbells. And this is Soap."
"Our brother who fathered an illegitimate child with a Swedish maid and then disappeared into the wilds of Ecuador. Don't you find that a little peculiar?"
"Jessie, Randolph was peculiar. Any man who would go to Ecuador to sell wall-to-wall carpet is not all there."
You might not like it if: You're all, "What is Mona from Who's the Boss doing here? And a baby Billy Crystal? And . . . is that Robert Urich?" and these questions fill your brain until your head explodes.
How to get it: Be aware that it can be pretty difficult to do a general word search for this show. Be as specific as possible.
Plus: Take a peek at the infamous "Soap Memo."