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Fur on TV – Paper Dolls (1984)

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“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.'” Now that John Greenleaf Whittier is spinning in his grave over the use of that rather brilliant turn of phrase on a blog, we can move on to talk about Paper Dolls.

Paper Dolls – The Show

From September to December of 1984, ABC attempted to duplicate the Dynasty gravy train with another high-society evening soap. The setting: high fashion modeling. The year: 1984. In summation: major fur glamor.

Sadly, this 80’s fur-fueled epic was not to last, stripping human history of years of glamorous stars in enormous fox coats. We have only our fantasies to guide us about what the years to come may have brought, and all that remains are 14 all-to-brief episodes of fur glory.

Paper Dolls – The Pilot

The series pilot comes out swinging on cold days and nights, forcing one of the last of the great 80’s fur stars, Morgan Fairchild, to do what she does best, look fantastic in a big . One might quibble over Brenda Vaccaro and how she went a bit downhill so many years after Midnight Cowboy, but I have to look on the bright side and think it could have been worse.

Who else should appear but a very young Mimi Rogers, pimping a very nice full-length fur coat? Paper Dolls obviously had a budget behind it. I would have been happy with just “foxes of many colors,” but you can’t complain about tossing in some high-end lynx.

The Leads

Speaking of very young, Nicollette Sheridan made her acting debut on Paper Dolls. She’d later bring the fur in Knots Landing and ever so briefly in Desperate Housewives, but this was her start, and what a start it was. Perhaps if the show was not canceled, she’d have made fox coats all the rage with the teenage set.

Making sure she covers her fundamentals, Nicollette also gets some time in. Sadly, she did not have the opportunity to wrap up in some blue fox before the show’s premature departure.

Who is that she’s talking to? Yes, Trek fans, that’s none other than Jadzia Dax of Deep Space Nine, Terry Farrell. Sadly, Terry’s character was the more grounded, reserved, and modestly incomed of the two leading model players. She was the level-headed ying to Nicollette’s wild-child yang. Thankfully, she did not go completely furless the entire short run.

Granted, given a choice, I’m kind of glad if there had to be only 1 of the two that wore furs more often; it was Nicollette. This isn’t to say if Dax had been walking around Deep Space Nine in enormous fox coats all the time, I would have minded.

Bonus Shots

Just a few extras, as it’s not like I don’t have a lot of them. Here’s Morgan Fairchild in what appears to be or maybe just a pleasantly colored mink. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Morgan’s teased-out blond on top and the fur on the bottom.

I think this is Jennifer Warren in a lovely . I love the dyed foxes, though my preferences are more towards hot pink than purple. The exciting thing about this one is that it’s very similar to the coat that shows up in an episode of Dallas. Same alternate sleeve dyes and all.

Brenda is going for extra points with the cigarette holder here. Smoking, good, cigarette holders, awesome.

And that’s it for Paper Dolls. This isn’t all the fur there was on the show, even. It displayed so much potential, only to be cut down before it could amass a good 100 episodes of massive fox coats. Sadly, there was no grassroots campaign to bring the show back before mass Internet connectivity.

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