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Sean

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About Sean

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  1. Yeah, there was definitely a surprising paucity of black characters until the late 1980s. Minor recurring characters like Miriam George and Nell Carter's Ethel Green (and later "Flash," a worker at Greenberg's Deli) aside, the show didn't have a major black character until the introduction of Tracey Ross as Diana Douglas, a DA with whom Frank was involved while Jill was with Dakota Smith. Diana's father was against her involvement with a white man; once Frank reunited with Jill, Diana stuck around for a few months before being written out. The show also introduced Irving Allen Lee as Dr. Evan Cooper around the same time; he ran the Riverside Clinic with Pat and became involved with Chris Hannold (Lydia Hannibal). Neither one was especially prominent, though; after departing in 1988, they both returned for the final episode but didn't have any lines, which tells you a lot about how important they were to the show. I did love Tichina Arnold as Zena, though. She was great on her own but also played well off Michael Levin. Faith and Jill made up after Faith almost died during the Meritkara storyline. They remained close until the end of 1983. Jill moved back into the Coleridge house and brought Frank and John Reid with her, as well as her newly discovered mother Bess and half-sister Maggie. Understandably, Faith felt a bit suffocated, especially considering that it had been a kind of silent agreement among the Coleridge siblings that Faith had control over the majority of the brownstone, Roger's downstairs apartment aside. Faith ended up leaving without saying goodbye to either Jill or Pat (her last scenes were with Roger and Bob, who took her to the airport). Over the years, there were a lot of references to Faith that made it clear that she had reconciled with Jill; Pat also mentioned having spoken to her shortly before he married Melinda Weaver. When Faith returned during the last two weeks of the show, she got along fine with Roger and Jill. Mary: Definitely Kate Mulgrew. No one else came close, though Mary Carney was my favorite of the fauxMarys. Kathleen Tolan = worst recast the show ever had, easily. Delia: Ilene Kristen. I loved Randall (she was my first Delia) and everything she did with the character, but Ilene remains my favorite. She did some stellar dramatic work during her first stint and was great portraying the more comic Delia of the show's final years. Siobhan: Sarah Felder. After she left, the character really became watered down. Marg Helgenberger and Barbara Blackburn were both really good but didn't quite achieve the same heights as Felder. Ann Gillespie was mediocre. Carrell Myers was bland and forgettable. Pat: Malcolm Groome, whose Pat was one of my favorite characters. John Blazo and Robert Finoccoli were too wooden. Haven't seen enough of Patrick James Clarke to judge him. Nancy: Nana Visitor, though that's not saying much. I found every actress in this role forgettable and the Nancy/Pat relationship dull. Faith: Catherine Hicks, who was the only Faith I truly loved. I didn't have much of a problem with Karen Morris-Gowdy, who was admittedly icier than Hicks. Faith Catlin was painful and Nancy Barrett wasn't around long enough to make an impression. Frank: Daniel Hugh-Kelly, but this was a hard one to pick. Geoff Pierson and John Sanderford were virtually just as good, IMO. Sanderford had great chemistry with Nancy Addison. Andrew Robinson was fine but started out very wooden, though even in the beginning he wasn't nearly as bad as Michael Hawkins. Joe: Richard Muenz. I thought Roscoe Born was fine but I've only seen the first year of his run, when his character became too despicable for me to ever really care about. Michael Hennessy was a nonentity in the part, and Walt Willey just wasn't Joe.
  2. There definitely wasn't any heart to Smith's conception of the show. No one ever seemed happy and everyone was at everyone else's throats. I also hated the way she broke up Jack and Leigh after Labine set them up so beautifully together. Labine and Mayer had them face some obstacles before they were fired, but I loathed how Smith had Jack suddenly cheat on Leigh on an impulse (and then Leigh stayed on for another year and a half simply waiting to see if Jack would reunite with her). I can understand that, though I enjoyed the 1980-81 episodes (not to the same degree as what came before, but... ). There's not much out there from 1982, though it's essentially a continuation of what came before. 1983 was a banner year for the show -- the focus was squarely on the Ryans and Coleridges and the Charlotte Greer storyline was a classic. 1984 and 1985 were both pretty horrendous and don't have much in the way of compelling storylines (though I did find the Dakota storyline intriguing, and that began in October 1985). Things really did pick up once Ilene Kristen's Delia returned in the fall of 1986. The Maggie/Roger/Delia triangle was pretty golden, though the Operation Overlord storyline with Max, Carrell Myers' Siobhan (very bland), and Walt Willey's Joe was going on concurrently and was not very good (though that may be because of the actors involved). Once Labine returned in February 1987, the show solidified the quality it had started to pick up during the last days of Taggart and King. Granted, it was not necessarily the Ryan's Hope of old, as there was an entire new generation of characters at point - but it was consistently well-written and well-acted with attention returning to the Ryans and Coleridges. And I loved how so many people came back during the last month and a half the show was on-air. Ruth Jaroslow played Norma from 1977 through 1979. Sally Ann Golden played her for one episode in 1980. I'm not sure how long it was around based on the tapes I have, but Mrs. Lem does make an appearance in the 1984 St. Patrick's Day episode. I'm not sure if she was still being played by the original actress, Mary Mon Toy.
  3. By the end of 1988, Chaz and Ryan had broken up, and Chaz was pursuing a relationship with Nancy Don Lewis. During the show's last week, Ryan and Chaz reunited, and Nancy Don ultimately decided to follow Ben Shelby to Australia. I'm only familiar with the show's post-1982 run from tapes I got on the SoapNet board (most of which have been posted by someone else on YouTube), but I loathed the Dubujaks. From roughly early 1984 to mid-1985, they took over the show to a much greater degree than the Kirklands ever did. Max Dubujak (played by Daniel Pilon from 1983-1987 and briefly in 1988) was the easiest to bear, but the writing for the character was very inconsistent. Smith wrote him as someone who was undoubtedly a bad guy before Taggart and King came in and reformed him via his romance with Siobhan only for them to later revert his character back to the way he was originally conceived. But yes, his daughter, Jacqueline (Gerit Quealy), was awful. Easily worse than Kimbo, IMO. Utterly pointless and nothing but a shrew. The other Dubujaks -- Max's ex-wife Gabrielle (Susan Scannell) and his mother Chantal (Marisa Pavan) -- were also a waste of time, and their storyline (with Max and Siobhan) really dominated the show in mid-1985. Scannell played out a storyline in which her character had been locked up in a French sanatarium for years against her will. It turned out that Max and Gabrielle had gotten into an argument during which she hit her head. He thought she was dead; Chantal ushered her away and locked her up against her will for 20 years. Chantal later hired a double to impersonate her and secure the money that had been left to her in Max's father's will, only for the real Gabrielle to escape and wreak havoc. [unrelated fact: I believe Pavan was the only actor on contract to receive special billing -- she was always listed at the end of the credits with 'and' before her name.] The biggest problem with her tenure was the way she mistreated the show's core characters, either completely rewriting their personalities or putting them on the backburner. Jill, Frank, and Roger really suffered as characters. Jill and Frank as a couple became unbearable. Frank constantly tried to hook up with Maggie, Jill's half-sister, while Jill frequently flirted with Max. They would then endlessly yell at each other about one another's perceived infidelity. When Taggart and King came onboard, they backburnered the two for a few months before giving Jill amnesia. Smith reverted Roger to an alcoholic and had him attempt to rape Maggie. He then also attacked Frank with a two-by-four. Maeve and Johnny were both heavily backburnered. For most of Smith's tenure, Ryan's simply didn't exist; it was bombed by the mob in January 1984 and didn't reopen until Thanksgiving. Pat basically served no other purpose than to have someone for Frank and Siobhan to confide in. Seneca and Bob served similar purposes, and both simply disappeared. Dave wasn't bad, though I didn't find him particularly interesting as a lead character. I never totally bought his relationship with Maggie (the writing for her was also very schizo under Smith), and there wasn't much passion in his relationship with Katie Thompson, either. Norma Greenberg (played by Teri Keane) did appear on the show in June 1985, as both she and her husband Saul (Sam Gray) returned for Dave and Maggie's wedding. They stuck around long enough to see Katie admit her love for Dave at a party celebrating a production Dave and Katie put together.
  4. 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.
  5. Marland was the show's HW through at least November 1984 - I have an episode from that month on tape (tried uploading it online, but the video is too jumpy) which credits him.
  6. 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). 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).
  7. Pan's Labyrinth Holy crap. It was an absolute masterpiece. The movie itself looked beautiful, and the script was really well-done - I can't think of a single thing I'd change about the entire film. It was easily the best movie of 2006 that I've seen and hopefully it'll get some Oscar love on Tuesday.
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