Good & Evil
|Good & Evil|
Soap opera parody
|Created by||Susan Harris|
|Directed by||Terry Hughes|
|Composer(s)||George Aliceson Tipton|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||11 (5 unaired)|
|Executive producer(s)||Tom Straw
Paul Junger Witt
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Witt–Thomas–Harris Productions
|Original release||September 25 – October 30, 1991|
Good & Evil is an American sitcom which was broadcast in the United States on ABC from September 25, 1991 until October 30, 1991. The series was created by Susan Harris, and produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions in association with Touchstone Television.
Good & Evil was the saga of two sisters, one an heir to the family cosmetics empire, the other a world-class scientist, and the backstabbing, jealousy, power struggles and other travails that occurred between them. Teri Garr starred as the "evil" sister, Denise Sandler, and Margaret Whitton as her "good" sister, Genevieve ("Genny"). Denise was icy and cutthroat, not just as CEO of Sandler Cosmetics, but in all other aspects of her life. However, it didn't always get her what she wanted. At work, she took great delight in mistreating her secretary Mary (Mary Gillis) and her dumb assistant Roger (Sherman Howard). Feeling long slighted by her family, Denise was now out to steal what she thought was rightfully hers—beginning with presidency of the company. Elegant mother Charlotte (Marian Seldes) still ruled over Sandler Cosmetics with an iron fist, and was all too knowing of what her ruthless daughter was capable of. Charlotte, vain and caught up in her own legacy, promised to give Denise the helm when she reached retirement age—but only when she looked 65 (her line of products made her look generations younger, in her eyes, at least). This was only the first motivation in Denise's extensive plotting. One of these plans was soon to include that of the man she felt destined to marry, dashing boyfriend Dr. Eric Haan (Lane Davies).
Genny, meanwhile, had put her idealistic life back together after the death of her husband, and was hard at work testing new potential viruses that could be wiped out before they spread the world. A purist, Genny preferred to do lab testing on herself instead of on animals. Sensitive Genny did have her concerns; she couldn't understand why her beautiful daughter Caroline (Brooke Theiss) had been mute since the time of her father's death. For this and the family drama that was to ensue, Genny began seeing George (Mark Blankfield), a blind psychiatrist, who soon had her fighting off his romantic advances. George's presence and his constant following of Genny was awkward to deal with, as his ineptitude with a cane caused him to demolish everything in sight.
Things became strenuous between cold Denise and sweet Genny when the latter was introduced to Dr. Eric. Genny and Dr. Eric had an instant falling for each other, and before long they gave in to the obvious and struck up an affair. When Denise witnessed this unfold, she drew up photo documents that threatened to blackmail Dr. Eric, so that Genny would disapprove of his so-called "seedy" behavior and dump him. The sisters feuded constantly after, with Denise's harsh intentions versus Genny's resilience as being the core conflict. Charlotte, who still couldn't accept that she was looking closer to her actual age, decided to retire—but passed over the presidency to her new Southern boyfriend, Harlan Shell (Lane Smith), a billionaire who just purchased the company. Denise added Harlan to her "revenge list", and eventually plotted murder against him.
In the premiere, Denise's husband Ronald (Marius Weyers), who had been presumed dead after a fall off Mount Everest four years earlier, was found to have remained frozen on the mountain and was thawed out by mountain climbers. Remarkably, Ronald remained physically unharmed but reassimilated back into society with revenge on his mind. He gave Denise and their teenage son David (Seth Green) a surprise homecoming, but it was quickly hinted that Denise, in fact, pushed Ronald off the cliff; in the following episodes, she had to keep Ronald's return a secret from everyone else and went to great lengths to get rid of him—in fact, she still wanted him dead. As Denise's evil plotting continued, David went on a search for the man he knew was his real father, lawyer Sonny (William Shockley). In the sixth episode, Denise successfully blackmailed Dr. Eric, exposing his closeted skeletons; in the aftermath, Eric's career was at stake and Genny dumped him before their wedding. Also, Caroline spoke for the first time since the loss of her father, and in the series; and as the half-hour came to a close, Denise was attempting to take Harlan's life. This cliffhanger would never be resolved for the viewing public to see, as Good & Evil was cancelled after that telecast.
- Teri Garr as Denise Sandler
- Margaret Whitton as Genevieve "Genny"
- Mary Gillis as Mary
- Marius Weyers as Ronald
- Lane Davies as Dr. Eric Haan
- Sherman Howard as Roger
- Marian Seldes as Charlotte Sandler
- Brooke Theiss as Caroline
- William Shockley as Sonny
- Seth Green as David
- Mark Blankfield as George
- Lane Smith as Harlan Shell
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Prior to ABC's cancellation of the show, 11 full episodes of Good & Evil had been produced. In the last five, still-unaired episodes, Denise murdered Harlan, launching a huge investigation that put everyone on edge. Imperious mother Charlotte came out of retirement and regained control of the company; despite this, Denise continued to fight for her own control.
Similarities to Soap and controversy
The ineptitude that blind George demonstrated in attempting to navigate his surroundings, frequently demolishing everything in sight with his red-tipped white cane, led to the picketing of ABC's offices by members of the National Federation of the Blind. ABC insisted that the program was not intended to be in any way realistic, but rather a "parody done to the extremes, and there is not a single character in the show intended to be believable."
Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows
- Cerone, Daniel (October 25, 1991). "ABC Drops 'Good & Evil,' Irks Series Creator". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2011.