TV & Movies

'Sunset Beach': Top 5 Moments From the Soap Opera

Sunset Beach was a popular yet short-lived soap opera. The Aaron Spelling produced daytime serial premiered on January 6, 1997, on the NBC network. The series featured an all-star cast with actors Eddie Cibrian and Lesley-Anne Down.

The show ran for two years, with its final episode airing on December 31, 1999. Although it ended too soon, the soap opera was a hit with fans who couldn’t get enough of its sizzling drama. In honor of its 25th anniversary, let’s take a look at five of the show’s memorable moments.

‘Sunset Beach’ characters Ben Evans and Meg Cummings were the show’s super couple

Every soap opera has its super couple, and for Sunset Beach, that was Ben Evans (Clive Robertson) and Meg Cummings (Susan Ward). Meg’s series premiere leaves her unfaithful fiancé Tim Truman (Dax Griffin) at the altar in the series premiere. She travels to Sunset Beach to meet her mysterious internet friend whom she’d been chatting with.

Meg and Ben instantly hit it off, but they faced their share of obstacles. Annie Douglas (Sarah Buxton) teams with Tim to break up the couple, but their attempts prove futile. Meg and Ben’s relationship is also altered when his presumed dead wife, Maria Torres (Christina Chambers), returns.

No matter how many problems were thrown their way, Meg and Ben’s love never wavered, which is why they were a fan favorite.

Cole Deschanel and Olivia Richards’ affair

Another couple that created a stir on Sunset Beach were Cole Deschanel (Cibrian) and Olivia Richards (Down). Cole sleeps with Olivia, unaware she’s the mother of his girlfriend, Caitlin Richards (Kam Heskin). When Cole and Olivia learn each other’s identity, they try to keep their affair a secret. However, the situation becomes more complicated when Olivia and Caitlin become pregnant at the same time.

Annie Douglas steals Olivia Richards’ baby

When Olivia becomes pregnant, she’s unsure whether Gregory Richards (Sam Behrens) or Cole is the father. Meanwhile, Caitlin is pregnant with Cole’s child but later miscarries after a car accident. Fearing she’ll lose Cole, Caitlin enlists Annie’s help in finding another baby.

Annie is Olivia’s arch nemesis’ and hatched a plot to kidnap Olivia’s baby and give him to Caitlin. Her plan worked perfectly with Caitlin having baby Trey and Olivia believing her son had died. However, Annie’s plot is later exposed along with Olivia and Cole’s affair when it’s revealed he’s Trey’s father.

The Terror Island killer

Sunset Beach delved into the horror aspect of soap operas with its Terror Island storyline. The plot had Meg and other town residents, sans Ben, head to a secluded island getaway. Trouble looms as a storm approaches, and the group realizes there’s a killer on the loose.

The story took a drastic turn when Mark Wolper (Nick Stabile) was murdered. However, during a scuffle with the killer, he ripped off the man’s mask, which was revealed to be Ben. The moment was shocking and had fans questioning if Ben was really a villain.

As with many soap operas, there was a twist to this story, and it was Ben’s evil twin Derek who was the killer.

Twists in the series finale

On New Year’s Eve 1999, Sunset Beach had its series finale. The soap opera managed to wrap up many of its storylines, with characters getting their happy endings. After two long years, Meg and Ben finally married. However, there were a few twists at the end.

Meg woke in her bedroom back in Kansas, still engaged to Tim and realizing her relationship with Ben was a dream. She then went downstairs to her engagement party, where many Sunset Beach residents played her neighbors. Yet, the writers weren’t finished with the plot twists.

It turns out the scenario in Kansas was another dream sequence. This time Meg woke up next to Ben and realized their wedding and life in Sunset Beach was real.

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