SOAPnet cycled through the last episode of Melrose Place yesterday, meaning that after twenty-plus weeks of dedicated viewing, I have seen all 227 episodes of 90s America's favorite prime-time soap. If there are two things that helped me through it (besides my incredibly dogged stubbornness), they are TiVo and sobriety. I never could have done it without them. I would also like to thank my mother, my brother, John, and Kevin, all of whom watched at least partial bits of episodes when they were putting off stuff that needed to be done or were too hungover to get away.
So what did I take away from the experience? Well, I learned that the only worthwhile things in life are hooking up and succeeding in advertising, and that if either of those things happens it's really just a harbinger of misfortune to come, usually in the form of an explosion, catfight, or falling in the pool (although that last one also happens for comedic purposes). But more importantly, I learned that unlike the comeuppance delivered in the last episode of Seinfeld, you can be a reprehensible (but entertaining!) person for years and still be rewarded in the end. Which was especially true for Thomas Calabro's character, Dr. Michael Mancini, who lied, cheated, embezzled in at least two separate plotlines, and went through six wives in seven seasons, and still ended up with a million dollars, a hot nurse, and a cushy chief-of-staff position, smug as ever. Which may be a misconstrued version of Seinfeld's line "the best revenge is living well," but, hey, whatever works.