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Quite possibly the definitive Guilty Pleasure of a daytime Soap Opera. Had a particularly large fandom in the United Kingdom during its heyday. Such was its popularity over there that petitions were sent to the UK broadcaster (Channel Five) begging them to have it Un Cancelled in America. This was despite the fact that the quality fell into So Bad It's Good status several times. Wobbly scenery, dodgy dialogue and woeful acting were abound.

The plot featured Meg who, after discovering that her fiancé was cheating on her on their wedding day, packs her bags and leaves her Kansas home-town for a HandsomeStranger with whom she has been conversing via e-mail for months. She arrives at his home-town of Sunset Beach and lodges at his mansion. At first she finds Ben withdrawn and unsociable, which she later finds out is due to the death of his first wife at sea. He even keeps a large portrait of her dressed in white, on a swing-set in his living room.

Meg finds a rival for Ben's affections in his childhood friend Annie Douglas who takes an immediate dislike to her. The Ben, Annie and Meg Love Triangle takes up the first story arc of the series, expanding to include the other residents of Sunset Beach in various yet interlocking story-lines. Gregory Richards, the mogul of the town, owns the newspaper for which Meg works. His wife Olivia is a secret drunk. Their daughter Caitlin is involved in a torrid love affair with Cole Deschanel, a con-artist whom Gregory despises and with whom Olivia is having a secret affair. Ben finances some of Gregory's operations.

Meg makes friends with the local lifeguard Casey who at the time is dating Rae, who is also Meg's doctor... Phew, got that yet? Now, Casey is also friends with Michael, a lifeguard, later sports physician, who is currently dating Vanessa, a plucky reporter with a nose for trouble. Vanessa also works for the same newspaper as Meg. Olivia's best friend Bette, who is the town gossip and dispenser of sage advice, provides Meg with a kind ear and information about Ben's past. Ricardo hates Ben because his first wife was Ricardo's sister. Ricardo is in a relationship with Paula Stevens, a fellow police offer. Both are involved in Long Lost Sibling sideplots. Together all these shared lives and histories form the basis of plots for the series.

Tropes featured in the show:

 Caitlin: Annie this isn't Melrose Place.

Annie: No, it's Sunset Beach.

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