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Ryan's Hope Discussion Thread

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My first post.

The time slot change in October 1984 sealed RH's fate, and it is very unfortunate. Not to cast dispersions on "Loving", but that show never attained the numbers RH had garnered in its first few years on the air.

In response to some earlier posts, the Charlotte Greer storyline was one of the best ones to come out of 1983. Judith Chapman did an excellent job as the mysterious actress who turned into a grade-A nutjob--and her verbal catfight with Rae Woodard was classic. 1983 was a year that saw so many changes take place on RH. Labine and Mayer returned sometime around March 1983, in which Frank Ryan returned to the canvas after a long absence. The focus went back to the Ryan's after a year in which most of the attention was on the Kirkland family and Rae Woodard. Despite their efforts, Labine and Mayer were fired again by ABC, and Pat Falken Smith took over the headwriting reigns in late 1983. By this time, the Ryan's were lost in the shuffle again as the storylines concentrated on Jill Coleridge's half-sister Maggie Shelby and her mother, Bess, and Siobhan Ryan's struggle with holding on to Joe Novak (now played by Michael Hennessy) while being romantically involved with fellow police officer Bill Hyde. One of the high points of 1983 was the addition of Felicity La Fortune as the bubbly, feisty Leigh Kirkland. She and Jack Fenelli had a romance that looked promising until the arrival of Sydney Price, who threw a wrench into their relationship.

Now that we can be certain that SoapNet will never show anything RH after 1981, keep in mind that post-1981 were also good for RH. And one of the highlights of the Tom King/Millee Taggart period (1985-87) was the return of Ilene Kristen as Delia in September 1986.

Edited by OldSchoolSoapFan

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That's such a pretty color, the blue.

What did you think of the various recasts of the Ryans? And what did you think of the 1981 RH episodes? Personally I was so put off by them the first time I saw them that I have never really watched them since. It doesn't help that I think some of the worst characters on the show were shoved at people non stop during this timeframe.

Have you watched any of the 1983-89 episodes that are on Youtube?

What did you think of the Dakota Smith story?

Edited by CarlD2

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Thanks Carl! I like the blue as well.

I think RH was a wonderful soap throughout its entire run. Like any show, it went through rough periods and perhaps rougher directions. I'd say 1983-86 falls into that category, only because that era deviated so far away from the RH its longtime viewers were familiar with. However, I liked the dashing Daniel Pilon as Max Dubujak very much!!

With regards to the RH recasts, I can think of two off the bat I didn't care for at all: Ann Gillespie replacing Sarah Felder as Siobhan Ryan. That was a bitter pill to swallow. Ann was not the wisest choice for a replacement, not so much for the physical attributes but for delivery. Recently I watched an episode from late 1981 where she referred to Da as "daddy". It seemed so bizarre to me, and so out of character. The other recast I wasn't fond of was Michael Hennessy replacing Roscoe Born as Joe Novak in the latter part of 1983. Roscoe brought a lot of sensuality to Joe and the overall package was just perfect (actually, he replaced Richard Muenz in the role in 1981, and Muenz I liked also--so this was a good recast). However, Michael Hennessy I found to be very stiff. His acting left a lot to be desired in my opinion, and personally I didn't find him to be visually appealing. His voice sounded juvenile and he came across as a mangina as opposed to a supposed-to-be reformed mobster. I can see why he only lasted six months in the role.

I watched some of the 1983-89 episodes on You Tube and enjoyed them very much. Unfortunately there are many major gaps missing from what's been posted on YT, and some of those missing periods were very good.

I liked the Dakota Smith storyline, and I personally enjoyed watching Nancy Addison Altman let her hair down to play a common gal in the person of Sarah Jane Hillyer. The Dakota years (1985-88) were good, and that period of RH had James Wlcek (Ben Shelby/Shelley) and the handsome Brian McGovern (Chaz Saybrook) on it, which made me very happy!! :)

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Who was Chaz?

I know what you mean about Ann Gillespie. I always think of that laughalympics scene where her Siobhan ran around the orange cones for her police test. I just never could see Siobhan as a cop. I guess if it were Marg Helgenberger, maybe.

It makes the whole thing even more sad after I learned that Sarah Felder was fired by ABC for not being attractive enough.

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Who was Chaz?

I know what you mean about Ann Gillespie. I always think of that laughalympics scene where her Siobhan ran around the orange cones for her police test. I just never could see Siobhan as a cop. I guess if it were Marg Helgenberger, maybe.

It makes the whole thing even more sad after I learned that Sarah Felder was fired by ABC for not being attractive enough.

Chaz Saybrook was on RH from 1987-89. I forget who he was related to, but he was a very preppy blond, dressed really nice and had a really dreamy smile! :) He was involved with Nancy Don and Ryan when he was in Riverside.

Marg Helgenberger could pull the cop persona off pretty well. In 1983 they portrayed her as being a bitter shrew, which I didn't care for, but when they paired her with Bill Hyde she softened up considerably. Back then, soaps sort of had this thing of casting redheads as policewomen. EDGE OF NIGHT did it with Deborah Saxon, ANOTHER WORLD with M.J. MacKinnon and RYAN'S HOPE with Siobhan. I could never see Sarah Felder playing a cop if she was still in the role. I don't think we'll ever know the truth about Felder's departure. One source said she wasn't sexy enough, the other says Sarah wanted more money. It's anyone's guess...

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What was the Sarah Jane story about?

Claire Labine claims Felder was fired for not being attractive enough.

Did you like Yasmine Bleeth?

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What was the Sarah Jane story about?

Claire Labine claims Felder was fired for not being attractive enough.

Did you like Yasmine Bleeth?

Sarah Jane was Jill's alias when she had amnesia. This was in late 1985. Dakota Smith discovered her on the fishing dock and Jill (Sarah Jane) eventually got a job as a waitress at a local hangout. If you ever thought you'd never see Jill in a pair of jeans or wearing clips in her teased hair, she does in those shows--it's a hoot!

Yasmine was good as Ryan--a case where SORAS was needed. The original Ryan was a little thing when she was on RH and she and Leigh Kirkland had a mother-daughter like relationship in 1983. Felicity LaFortune wasn't on RH when Yasmine took over the role in 1985.

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Did you see the episode where Kate Mulgrew returned when Ryan got married?

Who was Ryan with after her marriage to Rick ended?

Was Siobhan with another mobster at the end?

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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.

The Charlotte Greer storyline was one of the great ones RH ever had. Charlotte Greer was an actress paid by Rae Woodard to ruin Frank Ryan's political career by pretending to be his wife. This cost him the bid to be councilman, so Jill took his place instead. It turns out that this act wasn't just out of revenge on Rae's part; it was also revenge on the MacCurtain's part as well. Charlotte's father, Neil MacCurtain and his wife, Una, came to New York to kill Frank Ryan as part of a plan to avenge a 40-year-old tragedy that happened in Ireland. It was a classic case of intense family rivalry. In an ambush, Neil's wife was killed. She was the sister of Una, who married Neil. Their hatred towards the Ryans only intensified with the passing years. Rae found out that Charlotte hadn't left NYC like she was supposed to and when she confronted her, Charlotte told Rae that she and her family had their own plan of sabotaging Frank and his family, hinting at death. Charlotte blackmailed Rae with threats of leaking the funding and photocopies of the payment statements to the media. By this time Neil and Una had already arrived in NYC. They had told Frank that they needed his help--by going to Ireland with them to settle a money problem. Turns out they sent Frank to an abandoned garage in the New York City piers and planned to set him up by having the truck inside the garage filled with drugs, weapons and other assorted goodies. Frank was shot when Maeve, Johnny, the other Ryan's and the police were on the scene. Neil eventually died soon after, and Una went all psycho on everyone--pointing a gun at them and going into massive delusions, thinking Maeve was her sister, Fiona. Charlotte fled the scene before she could be caught. This was the gist of that storyline. Frank suffered a major loss of blood but survived the ordeal.

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Who was Ryan with after her marriage to Rick ended?

Was Siobhan with another mobster at the end?

After Rick and Ryan's marriage ended in August 1987, Ryan was primarily involved with Chaz Saybrooke (played by Brian McGovern), a yuppie-in-training of sorts who was introduced via his aunt Emily Hall, a social worker who dated Jack Fenelli. Mark D'Angelo, a journalist like Ryan, was also interested in Ryan around the same time, but it was very one-sided.

Siobhan married Max Dubujak in 1985. Max was a mobster who also happened to be Joe's former father-in-law and was also the man who ordered a hit on Joe that forced Joe into hiding. Max had supposedly reformed by the time he married Siobhan, but, when Joe returned in 1986 played by Walt Willey, she became aware of some of his more nefarious dealings. A series of events led to Max plummeting over a cliff, and Joe and Siobhan re-married and left Riverside in 1987. When Siobhan and Joe (now played again by Roscoe Born) returned in 1988, Max revealed himself to be alive and broke into their apartment, only to be killed by Joe. Unbeknownst to Joe and Siobhan, Max planted a bomb in a music box in their apartment; it ultimately killed Joe. In the final two months of the show, Siobhan found herself gradually falling in love with detective Fenno Moore, the man who had helped Joe and Siobhan investigate Max upon their return in 1988. In the show's final episode, Siobhan - after a heart-to-heart with Maeve - accepted Fenno's offer to be his partner.

It's a shame SoapNet never aired episodes past-1981. Virtually everything written by Pat Falken Smith (from November 1983-March 1985) is admittedly god-awful with lots of awful plots centering around hastily introduced characters as well as a lot of veteran characters being written completely out-of-character, but there are a lot of wonderful stories that followed the end of Smith's tenure. Tom King and Millee Taggart's tenure had a pretty shaky beginning, but they eventually got the show back on track. And Claire Labine's returns -- in 1987 as well as in 1983 -- boasted some great stories.

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That quote about Michael Hawkin's sensitivity cracks me up. He was a plank of wood on RH.

Such lovely photos. I especially love the one with the cast. Kate Mulgrew seems to be in her own universe.

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Thanks Sean! So was Ryan with Chaz at the end? I remember some kind of cringeworthy scenes from a late St. Patrick's Day episode when Ryan was throwing pots and pans in the kitchen and someone said, "She's just like her mother" (which I thought was odd as Mary never did anything like that). I can't remember who she was with at that time.

For some reason I thought Fenner was another mobster. I guess that's a comfort at least...

Do you think it's true what some say that the Dubujaks were a burden to the show? Someone once told me that the Dubjuak sister or daughter was the worst character ever on the show. I think you'd have to work hard to beat Kim for that honor though.

I wonder why Falken Smith did a bad job on here, as she did well elsewhere. Then again she wasn't that popular at GL either.

What did you think of Dave Greenberg? Did they ever show Ida Greenberg or was she gone by that time?

OSSF the photos are great. I remember one of Geoffrey Pierson where Maggie flashed back to him wandering around shirtless. No other Frank could compare to those pecs.

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