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Melrose Place was originally an ensemble drama spun off from Beverly Hills, 90210. The series, produced by Aaron Spelling, focused on a set of attractive twentysomethings living in an apartment complex. The ratings were tepid, but as the storylines became more sensational and over-the-top, the show found a dedicated audience.
The original cast included Grant Show, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Andrew Shue, Josie Bissett, and Doug Savant (Savant played Matt, one of prime time's first regular characters to be openly gay.) Marcia Cross later joined the cast, and Heather Locklear was brought in as a guest star. Locklear quickly became the main character, but was billed as a "Special Guest Star" for the rest of the series' run.
Melrose Place may be the quintessential Guilty Pleasure. A Seinfeld episode saw Jerry repeatedly denying he watched it, until his policewoman girlfriend made him take a polygraph exam, under which he snapped and admitted his addiction.
- All Women Are Lustful
- Anyone Can Die: This trope turns up in full force during season finales.
- Back for the Dead: Sydney (who was run over by a car in the original series and believed to be dead) was brought back in the sequel series for the sole purpose of being killed off again as a Shocking Swerve. Her death (drowned in the complex's swimming pool) motivates the plot of the first season.
- Blackmail: Oh so much.
- Breakout Character
- But Not Too Gay: The token gay character Matt Fielding wasn't allowed to kiss on screen.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex
- Fake Guest Star: Heather Locklear
- Hair of Gold: Alison
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Sydney.
- Poorly-Disguised Pilot (its launch on Beverly Hills, 90210)
- Positive Discrimination: Matt, the most altruistic character, is gay.
- Prime Time Soap
- Retool: Originally a fairly staid drama, the series was eventually turned into trashy daytime soap for its second season.
- Revival: The 2009 version.
- Rule of Pool
- Shirtless Scene
- Smug Snake: Several, with Michael Mancini being the most notable.
- Spin-Off (the short-lived Models, Inc.)
- Straight Gay: Matt.
- Unintentional Period Piece