Skip to main content

Kimberly Shaw Blew Up 'Melrose Place' 25 Years Ago


On May 22, 1995, Fox's Melrose Place ended its third season with one of the biggest cliffhangers of the decade -- and one of the most memorable in TV history. It was a delicious convergence of storylines that cemented the prime-time soap's legendary status in pop culture.

After two seasons of being betrayed, bothered, and bitchslapped, Dr. Kimberly Shaw (the marvelously wicked Marcia Cross, nearly a decade before she became one of the Desperate Housewives) had plenty of reasons to hate just about everyone who resided at the titular poolside apartment complex. She hated Michael for driving drunk and getting her into the car accident that ruined her life. She hated Matt for helping Michael hide damning evidence against him and for literally snatching her wig. She hated Sydney, Michael's former sister-in-law, for sleeping with him. She hated Jane, Michael's ex-wife, after Kimberly's plan to frame her for Michael's hit-and-run backfired. She hated Amanda for nearly stealing Michael and completely stealing Peter's attention away from her. And she hated Jo because she gave birth to the baby Kimberly could never have, which subsequently led to Kimberly kidnapping and breastfeeding said infant The-Hand-That-Rocks-The-Cradle-style. (And if you don't get that early-90s reference, then please do your psychological thriller homework.) Everyone else in the building was just collateral damage.

So what's a gal to do with all of that rage while being haunted by visions of her dead mother's rapist, whom she killed in self-defense as a little girl? Strategically plant four firebombs around the building and set 'em off, of course!


This iconic season finale kicked off the summer of 1995 and marked the end of my freshman year of high school. 15-year-old me was too old for summer camp yet too young to be legally employed at a crappy job. So I spent most of those months with my nose buried in horror novels, hanging out at my aunt and uncle's beach club bungalow, and speculating about the fate of these fictional characters.

Granted, the bombs at 4616 Melrose Place didn't go off until the September premiere of the drama's fourth season (due to the sensitivity surrounding the real-life Oklahoma City bombing), but here's what went down twenty-five years ago:


I know what you're thinking: That detonator was definitely not child-proof, a little too easy to activate, no? And how come there was just one casualty after all that? (R.I.P. Morgan Brittany's Mackenzie Hart, who only appeared in one episode.) In the end, the biggest damage done, other than structural, was Alison's vision; she was temporarily blinded by the blast. Everyone else walked away with minor cuts and bruises, leaving their body fat percentages intact. (After all, this was an Aaron Spelling production.)

And for those characters who missed out on the big bang, there was still plenty of death to deal with: Jake pushed his evil brother Jess (a goateed Dan Cortese) off a building, while Matt was framed for the murder of his boyfriend's wife (Paul, the boyfriend, did it). Also killed: the writers' ability to concoct more compelling stories over the series' highly unusual 32-episode-per-season order.

Did Melrose jump the shark with this blatant ratings stunt? Sure. But did it make for OMG-worthy TV during a pre-hashtag-trending era? You bet your miniskirt-covered ass it did.

#MelroseFinale #KrazyKimberly

@TheFirstEcho

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Class of '98 Turns 40

We are the Class of '98. We're a little too old to be Millennials, yet too young to be GenXers. As of now, half of our lives has lived in one century while the other half lives and moves forward in another. For us, Cabbage Patch Dolls were the 80s, Tamagotchi was the 90s, and Napster was the dawn of the 00s. We grew up with cassette tapes and Saturday morning cartoons. We came of age with CGI dinosaurs and the rise of the Frappucino. And we approach middle age with memes, reboots, and viral videos all designed to distract us from middle age. We were too young to fully understand the words "Challenger explosion." We were too young to appreciate the fall of the Berlin Wall. But by the time places like Waco, Oklahoma City, and Littleton pinged on everyone's radar, we started to grasp how scary the world could be. Our adolescence was defined by jagged little pills, prescriptions from Dr. Dre, and the fact that some of us were naughty by nature. We learned t


13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'The Golden Girls'

When one nostalgically binges on all seven seasons of The Golden Girls like me (I swear I have a life), you pick up on a few things. Certain patterns appear as you continuously witness the consumption of countless cheesecakes inside a fictitious Miami kitchen and hear one St. Olaf story too many. Here's what I noticed after playing my DVDs of this 80s classic over the past several months ( and if you're already familiar with the following factoids, excuse me for underestimating your fanaticism )... 1. Actor Harold Gould, who played Rose's long-term boyfriend Miles Webber from Season 5 to Season 7 (and throughout most of the short-lived spinoff,  The Golden Palace ), also appears in the first season as Arnie Peterson, Rose's first serious beau after her husband's death. 2. The same can be said for Sid Melton, who played Sophia's deceased husband Sal (in flashbacks and dream sequences). He also appears in a Season 6 episode as a jester in a medieval-

Just Because: 9 Music Videos That Take Place in Laundromats

It's one of the biggest music video tropes that's rarely explored in pop culture. The public laundromat has become a go-to location for artists when making a music video for a single they wish to sell to the masses. But WHAT IS IT about a space where ragtag groups of strangers gather to fluff and fold their delicates? Is it the obvious metaphor of dirty versus clean? The scintillating possibility of people stripping off their clothes for a wash? I was feeling a little nostalgic (as usual) and took a look at some of the vids that have fallen under the spell of spin cycles over the past 30 years... "EVERY HEARTBEAT" / AMY GRANT (1991) Back in the early 90s, the Christian pop tart followed up her massively successful "Baby Baby" with "Every Heartbeat," a personal childhood favorite of yours truly  (the Body & Soul Mix, of course). In one of the two vignettes featured in the video, a laundry-toting hottie attempts to flirt with a young