August 12, 2014 11:28 AM EDT

This racy soap-opera parody was over the top of the top, with storylines ranging from Latin American revolutions to alien abductions to religious cults to demonic possession. Built around the saga of the upscale Tate family and the middle-class Campbells, the sitcom was unapologetically outrageous, but it wasn’t totally outlandish. Part of its appeal and daring was that it showed, at the tail end of the sexual revolution, that the real world was changing in ways that soaps could barely keep up with. Along with the wacky amnesia plots, there was also interracial marriage and prime time’s first un-closeted major gay character, played by Billy Crystal. Sure enough, the show was regularly protested by groups who considered it morally depraved. But, hey, it was the end of the ’70s. Who wasn’t depraved?

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