Audra Lindley and Norman Fell were magic as Helen and Stanley. They developed a large fan base from their appearance on Three’s Company. When ABC made the decision to replace the Ropers with a new talent, Don Knots, many questioned their methods.
The charm of the Ropers was there chemistry. Stanley loved Helen, but his character was grouchy and made to be a typical cranky old man. Helen was a character many women could relate too. Helen was in a marriage with no affection, which she desperately desired. She was flamboyant and loved loud colors and bright rings; she was cutting edge for her era. Somehow the Ropers worked as a super couple of the 70′s.
The Ropers had a good base, being a couple coming from nothing moving up to a posh neighborhood. The nosy neighbor, Jeffry, who always seemed to be in their business, was a good base for drama. What lacked was the amount of plots that could be done with just the small 5 character cast. Having the “kids” from Three’s Company stop by was great, but having the ability to create more dramatic story lines, was ultimately the downfall of the Ropers. Many felt that given a different time slot and a bit more time, the Ropers could have been a hit.
You thought this was good? Brace yourself: Part 3 of 3: “The Ropers” the one that should be lost and forgotten.