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Ryan's Hope Discussion Thread

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Like many, I'm hooked on the SoapNet re-runs of this canceled soap. At its peak, it was perhaps that most realistic and gritty American soap to be produced. It had an exceptional core cast, add to that the fantastic writing from Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer during its golden years and you have a gem.

So, any other RH fans out there?

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Ive seen it a few times on SN and always found it to be boring as hell. I dont get why this was praised bc I havent seen anything interesting

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Ive seen it a few times on SN and always found it to be boring as hell. I dont get why this was praised bc I havent seen anything interesting

Me neither.

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I think it holds up very well, as least the first 5 years or so. The 1975-1980 period of this show WAS some of the best soap opera ever written. The show during this era was real and gritty. The New York backdrop and the "ethnic" vibe made it extremely atmospheric. When ABC bought the show from Labine and Mayer, the new writers began adding more and more fantasy elements, which really went against the show's grain. The 75-80 episodes would be among my "desert island" collection, along with the Harding LeMay years at AW, and some other select shows.

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RH was the last ABC soap I watched growing up since my mom wasn't a regular viewer so I hadn't originally seen the first 5 years until I got Soapnet. I loved how intimately this show delved into the family dynamics. I think Soapnet only has the rights for the first few years and then they rebroadcast it again from the beginning, but I would love to see the story that originally hooked me on RH: Charlotte Greer claiming she was Frank's first wife. Charlotte was played by Judith Chapman and I don't remember the full details, but she was somehow connected to Maeve and was out for revenge.

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RH was the last ABC soap I watched growing up since my mom wasn't a regular viewer so I hadn't originally seen the first 5 years until I got Soapnet. I loved how intimately this show delved into the family dynamics. I think Soapnet only has the rights for the first few years and then they rebroadcast it again from the beginning, but I would love to see the story that originally hooked me on RH: Charlotte Greer claiming she was Frank's first wife. Charlotte was played by Judith Chapman and I don't remember the full details, but she was somehow connected to Maeve and was out for revenge.

If I remember correctly, Charlotte married Frank in order to carry out some vendetta that her parents had toward Maeve and Johnny. Her mother was played by ATWT's Kathleen Widdoes (Emma). The storyline was interesting and it played alongside a political storyline they had going at the time (with ATWT EP Chris Goutman playing a political advisor named Doug Waterman. Geez, the things that remain etched in the mind!) Labine and Mayer penned these stories after being rehired by ABC to write the show, but they weren't able to get the ratings up. These stories were dispensed with rather quickly when Pat Falken Smith took over as HW and turned the show into the "Max Dubujak Show."

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RH was the last ABC soap I watched growing up since my mom wasn't a regular viewer so I hadn't originally seen the first 5 years until I got Soapnet. I loved how intimately this show delved into the family dynamics. I think Soapnet only has the rights for the first few years and then they rebroadcast it again from the beginning, but I would love to see the story that originally hooked me on RH: Charlotte Greer claiming she was Frank's first wife. Charlotte was played by Judith Chapman and I don't remember the full details, but she was somehow connected to Maeve and was out for revenge.

It's the music rights that are an issue. In the early 80's they started using pop songs a lot more and the rights to rebroadcast that music is prohibitively expensive. I keep hoping that issue will be worked out one of these days so we can see the last 8 years or so.

I think Ryan's hope is very slow paced and that's why a lot of people find it boring. I always think of RH when people start saying they want more family scenes. RH was had such a strong family core, at least in the beginning. It's truly a character driven show. I wish there were room for another soap like it today, but I just don't see it. People expect a faster pace and more outrageous drama than shows like RH have. I find it so endearing because on RH a divorce was such a huge , scandalous thing and people actually believe you should be married forever. Now most main characters have been married 7 or 8 times, so things like affairs and divorce really don't create all that much drama.

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Some of the folks who have collections of the post 1981 episodes say that there's not a whole lot of music so that reason seems to be called into question. Also, if I remember, that was the reason/theory given by Claire Labine when she was asked by someone from the SoapNet board and only afterwards, it was what SN themselves claimed. There is also the question of why they told people that the reason for the previous rewind (the one before this one) was so that new fans could see the show from the beginning. In other words...if it's indeed the music rights, why was this never said until recently?

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I love Ryan's Hope. It's too bad it's on so late at night now. My favorite stories were the earliest, with Jack/Mary, Pat/Delia/Frank/Jill and the first incarnation of Siobhan. She was great.

Did Labine write the Greer story line? I've always heard what a brilliant story that was.

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Some of the folks who have collections of the post 1981 episodes say that there's not a whole lot of music so that reason seems to be called into question.

Yeah, there isn't much compared to other soaps of the time, but, in the later years, there was usually music playing in the scenes set at Ryan's, which I suppose could be enough to make further airings cost prohibitive (One use of music I particularly remember involved Ryan Fenelli listening to Madonna's "Like a Virgin" as she considered losing her virginity to D.J. LaSalle).

Did Labine write the Greer story line? I've always heard what a brilliant story that was.

Yep, the Greer saga was the focus of Labine & Mayer's brief stint in 1983, which won the show's sixth and final Emmy for Outstanding Writing. There are tons of clips of it on YouTube (for reference, the story ran from April 1983 to August 1983).

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I watch this show and LOVE IT and wasn't even alive for most of its run. I discovered it on soapnet when my insomnia got bad (it plays at 5:00 am and 5:30 for godssake) and LOVE IT. Its my favorite soap of all time besides Sunset Beach which of course could not be any more different lol

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Okay, I finally got SOAPnet a few days ago and last night, I forced myself to stay up to watch RH (no VCR/DVR on the TV...bummer) and I just fricken loved it. The two episodes focused mainly on the baptism and christening of Ryan, with some conflicts going on between Mary and Jack. I don't even know how to explain it...it was just good stuff. There was such a sense of family and togetherness, but at the same time, all of the soapy elements of the storylines still came through.

It's criminal that SOAPnet airs the show in such a suckass timieslot. Their schedule wouldn't be bad if they didn't double-play all of the teen dramas. "The OC" and "One Tree Hill" should only be one episode a day, and after some adjusting, that would easily free up two hours for late morning showings of "Dallas" and "Ryan's Hope." Hell, they could put RH in its two old ABC timeslots, 11am and 11:30am.

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RH was one of the few soaps I caught from episode one. I'll never forget Frank tumbling down those stair during the whole episode. I really loved that show. I loved Mary and Jack, Nell and Seneca, Jillian, and Bucky Carter (Later Keith Timmons on SB) Just a really well rounded soap with a great cast.

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I started to DVR the show since Soapnet started airing it again and it holds up really well. A lot of young viewers might find it boring and very slow paced, but the writing is so much better than a lot of soaps today. (If you want to talk about slow paced, watch some old ATWT. My mom loved that show but the stories moved along slower than a snails pace). I grew up watching RH and Edge of Night and was sad when they went off the air.

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