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This triangle was the product of what we call the Santa Barbara Syndrome. It goes like this. One half of a couple doesn't admit that in the past he/she had an affair with someone he/she is not currently married or engaged to. And boy, isn't the other half of the couple surprised when he/she finds out that his/her better half and this outsider are still attracted to each other? Indeed. Ethan didn't know that, prior to his marriage to Laura, she and Michael had been lovers. When Mr. and Mrs. Asher moved to Santa Barbara, Laura and Michael pretended not to know each other... at all. Sound familiar?

Other victims of the Syndrome include Celeste, who returned to town and pretended not to know Scott (who was engaged to Heather), even thought hey had been high school sweethearts. And don't forget Mason and Julia. Their relationship has been complicated by the return of Sasha, with whom Mason had a brief fling in Europe. Of course, Sasha and Mason pretended not to know one another. Really dumb.

When you put so many of your romances through this kind of a wringer, you leave them to shapelessly drip-dry. Despite their Vesuvian passions, Michael and Laura had no chemistry.
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SOD Best & Worst -- 1989 · Soap Opera History & Discussion