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j swift

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  1. I was referring to early Phoebe and early Liz, before they both developed a sense of humor
  2. This made me reflect that one couldn't create a character like Phoebe or Liz today without including some degree of camp. I would pin it to Alexis on Dynasty, that ever since that period it is hard to name an older female character who is just mean, without the injection of some camp (e.g. big hats, witty bon mots, boy toys).
  3. I really appreciate this character dissection because (1) it is a great distraction during an awful time, (2) it brings back memories of when I was devoted fan of soaps and they inspired so many ideas about the culture, and (3) we experienced characters subjectively which makes us all experts. I get a little frustrated by posts that claim to know the motives and creative process of the production because those arguments always seem reductive and often ill informed.
  4. This is an interesting hypothesis that gave me pause. However, what held my interest in the early Rachel/Steve/Alice triangle was that Rachel and Steve's motives (as the "bad people") were well explained. One of the highlights of AW was that every talk-to in Bay City had some sort of Freudian ability to analyze Rachel and Steve so that the audience understood their backstory. Ada was frequently explaining how Rachel was seeking the type of attention that was denied by her missing father. John figured out that Steve escaped his family of origin and was trying to recreate a new family in Bay City. So, their actions made sense and never seemed plot driven. In contrast characters like Alice were never as well defined. She was just a 'good girl.' My humorous take on her is derived from the fact that she often got away with poor behavior because other characters defined her motives as benevolent. However, in hindsight, her actions were often selfish and inconsiderate. My take on the characters of today is that their motivations are never as well defined. I have no idea why Gabby on Days maintains a different set of values from her brother Rafe. Modern soaps are filled with unidimensional citizens who engage in behaviors for no explicable reason. Also, the lack of multigenerational characters offers little insight into the younger set thus there is therefore less investment into their lives. I'm not so sure about this because my addled memory was that Alice's return coincided with David's death and Sally initially hid the fact that she was Kevin's mother because she feared Alice's reaction. Of course, the whole story was a retrofit that never gibbed with the history of Sally that we watched on screen.
  5. At the risk of repeating a blasphemous hot take on Alice from a few years back on this forum; I never liked her or her family (except for Pat and Aunt Liz). Alice was emotionally unstable and sexually stunted, yet her siblings considered her to be bonanza rather than a burdon. Whether it was Steve, Elliot Bancroft, or Ray Gordon, Alice was always the consolation prize trying to be top banana. Alice tried to slut shame Rachel, as if Steve didn't play a role in their affair. She was so jealous that Rachel had a child first that she tried to keep Steve from bonding with Jamie and demanded that he never have time with Jamie and Rachel together. That resulted in Steve becoming so crazed in his need to spend time with his son that he conspired a fraud with Rachel's father in the custody trial and went to jail. She was also snobby with Lenore about Rachel's desires to want Russ to provide a good life. As if Alice couldn't understand why Rachel wouldn't want to live as a newlywed in her husband's teenaged bedroom, with her father-in-law, his sister, and two daughters. Yet, as soon as Steve built her a house, she never wanted to give it up, despite the fact that Steve's son was the rightful heir to his property upon his death. Alice pretty much stole Sally from her parents family when they died because everyone in Bay City knew that she was desperate for a kid. After she got tired of raising Sally, she sent her off to a soapland school to grow up on her own. Until Sally became a teenager and moved in with Aunt Liz (an honorary Matthews by marriage). Then, when Alice finally returned to town in the mid 80's, she slut shamed Sally for having a child with David, while totally ignoring that she missed Sally's weddings to Peter, Caitlin, and Denny. Later when Sally died, Alice never sought custody of her grandson and allowed Kevin to be raised by his ex-stepfather (who barely knew him) and his convicted murderer wife. BTW, for those who mourned Sally as gone too soon, she ate up a lifetime worth of plots in her five years as an adult on the show. Also, I hate a soap romance where one partner tries to domesticate the other. Alice's insistence on calling him Steven, when the rest of town called him Steve was the perfect example of her misguided attempts to change him. She then pressured him to sell his football team in order to go into construction and employ her drunk brother-in-law. Any relationship based on the false ideal that love can change someone's true nature is bound to fail in soapland. Obviously some of this is written in jest. But, in hindsight, Steve's stay in Australia makes sense if he was trying to avoid Alice at any cost.
  6. Not to rejudicate plots from 40 years (although that's what we do on these boards), but I think the replay of the Steve/Alice/Rachel plot failed for more reasons than just the recast. David Canary was an excellent Steven Frame, he was sexy, debonair, and had an easy chemistry with most female leads. The build up of the story was great because everyone was talking about Edward Black before he came to town. That created intrigue about the character while there was never a clue about his true identity (much like the introduction of Adam Chandler on AMC). I remember the silhouette of what seemed to be Reinholt turn into David Canary in his first scene even before seeing it again in the clip that was posted because it was such a classic cliffhanger. And sufficient time had passed between the actors that the recast was less jarring. However, (from a plot point of view), the breakup of Rachel and Mac to facilitate the triangle seemed rushed. Mitch was a viable option for Rachel, but as an audience member, the true rooting value was for Rachel and Mac to reunite. She had changed so much during their romance, and she had fought Iris and Janice in order to be with Mac, that it made no sense that Rachel would regress to point of wanting to get back together with Steve. Also, Mac was caddish playboy with a wandering eye when he met Rachel, so sweet nurse Alice was unlikely match for such a lusty guy. Furthermore, it didn't help matters that during the storyline Rachel (who had just survived a barn fire) suffered from car-accident-induced-amnesia and then car-accident-induced-blindness making her the most accident prone character in Bay City. George Reinholt,(like many soap hunks in a triangle) was never the appeal of the original story. He was wooden, he had terrible hair, and his delivery was so contrived he made Drake Hogestyn look like Laurence Olivier. We tuned in to watch Alice and Rachel fight. The classic scenes were Rachel crueling informing Alice that she was pregnant at the engagement party and then Rachel crueling trying to kick Alice out of the house when Steve died. But, by the 1980's Rachel had outgrown her cruel nature. She was still impulsive, but she was no longer driven by a need for attachment to men who didn't want her, like her father. So, the story felt like a big step backward for Rachel. Also, without Jamie as a major character within the story, Steve's motivation was suspect. Jamie was in Bay City during the storyline, but he did not have much of an impact on the plot. Why would Steven abandon Jamie after fighting so hard for custody that he went to jail? Why would Steven be so devoted to his horse loving stepdaughter Diana that he would forget to ask about Jamie's well being? Why would Steven build a new company and not want to take care of Jamey financially? So much great plot resulted from Steve's death, including the evolution of Willis (my favorite AW male character beside Robert Delaney), the introduction of Ray Gordon and Olive Randolph, and mostly the Mac/Rachel/Iris storyline that reviving the character at any point afterward would never be as good.
  7. My couples are characters that are a bit past their prime and need to stop chasing partners that want to change them and start investing in relationships with people who share similar values. Y&R - Jill Foster and Jack Abbott - I know they had a brief affair, but I have always thought that Jack and Jill were destined to be together. Heck, even their names have literary relevance. They both had issues with abandoned mothers and long-lost sons. They both felt as if they were their parent's second (or third) favorite child, so they were both willing to be the third wheel in a love triangle (please excuse the mixed metaphor). I think it is time that both characters stop trying to make it work with people who don't prioritize them and seek out solace in each other's arms. AW - Cass Winthrop and Donna Love - another couple of a "certain age", who needed to finally find a partner who accepted them for who they were. Cass's wives always wanted him to settle down and establish a career. Donna's husbands always tried to temper her impulsive desires and need to control her family. Together they could have eaten caviar for breakfast, stopped working so hard, and use their snobbery for good by criticizing Rachel for never redecorating the Cory mansion. DAYS - Hope Williams and Shane Donovan - Hope was never meant for a small town police force like the Salem PD; she's ISA all the way. The Bradys made her stay by the fish market and live in Marlena's hand-me-down house, but Hope was a rich brat in her teen years and she would not have settled for her current life. With Eve and Theresa out of town, Shane and Hope are also more age appropriate for each other. Shane brings a European flare that would appeal to the Princess Gina inside of her. Also, given the failings of the local cops to solve the most obvious crimes in Salem, Hope could use the resources of the ISA to finally crack a case. Finally, if we are going for gay fan-fic, then I would nominate Adam Newman and Michael Baldwin. They both have a history of violence toward women that could be easily analyzed as a displacement of their anger over unfulfilled desires for the same sex. Adam has always obsessed over his partners, which is the kind of attention that Michael wants in a relationship. They could both share a wardrobe, which any gay man will tell you is one of the benefits of an all male household. And, Adam's forgotten-almost-blindness would allow Michael to stop injecting fillers in his face.
  8. ABC soaps always seemed to exist in a shared universe. Citizens of Landview knew those who lived in Pine Valley. People in Corinth knew people from Center City. Even in eras where there weren't crossover stories, the ABC soaps seemed to share a style and personality. Soap promotions on ABC tended to include multiple shows and viewers were encouraged to watch the entire lineup. Love in the Afternoon defined the heyday of ABC soaps as much as the stories that it promoted (despite being first used in NBC promos). Because of their history going back to radio, CBS soaps always felt more beholden to history and nostalgia. The families on CBS soaps were kept in the mix for decades. New characters were usually introduced as members of existing families (Matt Reardon was a cousin of the Reardon family, Ivy Forrester was from the long lost Aussie side of the family) . Heroes and villains maintained their motives based on historic family rivalries that existed for generations (Newmans vs Abbotts, McCandless vs Clegg, Spaulding vs Lewis). Regardless of regime change, writers on CBS soaps generally maintained the initial structure of their stories over time. NBC soaps felt more experimental. There were a lot of "firsts" on NBC soaps. The first 60 minute soap. The first soap written by staff who didn't have prior soap experience. The first genre bending soaps. Perhaps because NBC usually struggled to maintain ratings, they were more willing to try new things or take elements that had been tried on other networks and heighten them in order to attract new viewers (SFT's flood, AW's special single topic episodes, male heroes with perms).
  9. @FrankoDo you have the link to the source you are using for 1981 summaries?
  10. First of all, I thought it was an interesting detail that both Kyle and Dorit now live in the valley. Dorit said she is two minutes away from Kyle, and Kyle lives in Encino, so that was a revelation. Erika lives in Pasadena, Denise lives in Malibu, Garcelle seems to be moving to some suburban subdivision, and Sutton lives in the much tonier Bel Air. Thus, only Teddi and Rinna actually live in BH-proper. Which begs the question, why would Rinna travel with Erika to Encino when they live 30 miles apart from each other? Also, lesson learned, whether you are an actress in the umpteenth revival of Halloween, a broadway star in the 95th recast of Roxie Hart, a real estate agent, or a nuclear physicist, nobody wants to hear you monologue about your job at a dinner party.
  11. The 1969-1979 part of Sophia's timeline is what never made sense to me. The storyline led us to believe that CC and Sophia were destined to be together. However, she was married to the Count three years longer than CC, and she had an affair with Lionel twice during their marriage. There are several loose ends that were never resolved. Did Marcello spend the entire series in jail? Why did Joe only served five years for shooting Channing, but Marcello spent nine years in prison for falsifying evidence? Why did Sophia completely forget about Marcello, with whom she had a longer relationship than she did with her own children (like she forgot about Brick and his child)? What did Armonti Industries produce and why did they move their manufacturing from Italy to Santa Barbara? Obviously, some of those are written in jest. However, Sophia deserved to be a much more layered character. Her history is suggests conflicting interests in fulfilling her own desires for fame or lust, versus her duties to the needs of her family. She was redeemed through a cancer storyline which made her into a martyr and as a result her history was quickly dismissed. Changing writers and a focus on the younger characters never allowed her to be explored as fully as she could have been.
  12. Lionel pursued Eden when they both originally returned to town in the first few months of the series because she reminded him of Sophia. Although from Eden's first episode when she mistakenly skydived into Lockridge estate it seemed like the plan was to pair her with Warren. Then, when the earthquake hit, Lionel turned his attention back to Augusta in order to support her during her blindness. In hindsight, not pursuing a Lionel/Sophia paring at any point in the plotline was a missed opportunity. Like most, I would assume, Lionel and Augusta seemed like each others endgame because the actors were so charming and they exuded chemistry. They certainly made more sense than the eventual Lionel and Gina pairing which seemed to stem from the fact that there was nobody left for them to hook up with by the end of the show, rather than any actual character history. However, Sophia could have been a viable threat to the Augusta and Lionel's marriage, especially during her periods of estrangement from CC when she seemed to always choose the most unsuitable men in town.
  13. Also, how many hairdos and don'ts could Matthew Ashford rock in one year?
  14. @I Am A SwedeWhile I can appreciate a devotion to the classics, I am a sucker for a disco remix with the characters dancing to the theme song - exhibit B - this cheeseball intro to SFT
  15. I used to read Lynda's weekly column in the newspaper and now I follow her online, so I was saddened to hear that she is struggling to survive the illness. Like the early days of SOD, (before it became a series of network released summaries using cryptic gobbledygook), Lynda writes about her personal experience of watching soaps as a fan. The demise of SID reminded of a time when one could follow a soap plotline by reading the summaries in print. I miss those days and hope for better ones ahead. https://www.creators.com/read/lynda-hirsch-on-soaps
  16. Oy, has it been that long? Like many, I've been strictly Instacart and Prime Now shopping during lockdown which reduces the chances for impulse purchasing at checkout that were the marketing staple of digest magazines.
  17. I know its cheesy, but there's something about all of that spinning that seemed so glamorous and exciting, even when they were trying to sell peanut butter and vegetable lard. I've also always appreciated the Emmerdale revamp, it somehow reminded me of Falcon Crest with its rural setting with rich and poor families living side by side
  18. I miss the talking-head style of cultural history specials like I Love the 90's. So, I hope this is a return to that format which seems simple to produce during the lockdown and nostalgia is always a welcome distraction.
  19. With SID ending, TV Guide going large, and the dissolution of comics, is SOD the last of the digest-sized magazines at the checkout stand?
  20. Though it feels odd to quote myself, I stand by that this is my favorite minute in soap history. I also find it so clever that Logan telling Raven that she was incapable of loving another was the catalyst for leaving Jamey with April, and it became a character trait that haunted Raven until she had children with Sky.
  21. It's ironic how we personalize, (and romanticize) the failing of retail. However, like many industries, the failures in retails are multi-variate. Take Barney's for example, real estate was more of an issue than sales in the demise of the company. Once Barney's expanded from their initial site on the UWS of Manhattan they were subjected to rental prices that rose and fell regardless of the sales of their designer garments. GAP once owned vast amounts of San Francisco real estate, that was sold in order to finance bonds to fund further expansion. While I've not shopped at Banana Republic for years because I have all of the khaki workwear that I'll ever need, their sales stock is not what is tanking that brand as much as the cost of maintaining employee health care and the demands of stockholders wanting to raid corporate pensions and other cash assets. Locally, in Los Angeles, I was amazed that long standing companies have been unable to sustain the loss of a single month's revenue during lockdown, simply due to debts incurred by selling off their real estate holdings, and then being unable to leverage its value during a downturn in sales. While this is a relatively trivial concern, it will be interesting to see how older luxury brands will survive in the current market. Chanel once produced couture collections as publicity for their high margin items like cosmetics and perfumes, because customers enjoyed the experience of buying luxury items from specialty retail spaces within department stores. However, with young luxury customers more interested in hyping their purchases on Instagram, the days of wanting to experience an interaction with a snooty perfume saleswoman are gone. As a result, last year, Dior made more from the sales of tee-shirts than cosmetics because the customer wants something that can be seen on social media rather than the experience of personal interactions with luxury brand salespeople. Who needs a $50 lipstick, when you can get one for $5 and achieve the same look in pics?
  22. My hazy memory of the 90 minute episodes was that they were not structured like the 30 or 60 minute episodes of today. The increasing cast meant that episodes would often start with one set of characters, then a second set of characters would interact for the next 30 minutes, and then the show would return to the first set of characters for that day's finale. As a result, it felt more like watching a set of shows in the NBC lineup, as opposed to one long drama. I cannot recall a single episode in which characters would have more scenes than would be usual in a regular 60 minute episode. In other words, the scenes weren't longer, there were just more of them in a single episode. Thus, it felt similar to the days of AW Bay City and AW Somerset, without the break between the two shows. But, this was a stark contrast to the quick scene changes that were revolutionizing shows like GH on ABC. Unfortunately, very few of the increased characters were as intriguing as the core cast from before the 90 minute extension. Similar to this year's Vanderpump cast infusion, long term fans did not care for the new faces or the stories that they introduced. Rather than expanding upon historic AW families, the newer cast members had very little to do with AW stalwarts like the Cory's and the Matthews'. And unlike when new families like the Love's were introduced in the 80's, viewers were forced to watch these new character for protracted stories that did not overlap with pre-existing characters. Y&R (for my money) was always the best at balancing a large cast because there would be Newman days, Abbott days, and days in which other Genoa City denizens were the focus of the story, usually indicated by that day's introductory opening sequence. For example, in 1986 I was a big Brad Carlton fan, and you knew that if the opening ended on Katherine putting on her necklace, Brad was not going to show up in his cutoffs on that day's episode. Unlike EON, where any character could suddenly have a scene in the middle of the half hour episode. However, AW's 90 minute episodes did not allow for cross-story interaction, like Y&R's costume ball. As a result, one never experienced the excitement of special events when the entire town got together. Instead everyone existed on their own separate story island and the show lost the concept of what it felt like to live in Bay City because the events in one part of town rarely impacts citizens in the other parts of the town.
  23. The tux is a rather convoluted red herring of the Channing murder mystery. Warren wore Lionel's tux to Channing's party in order to convince Channing not to follow through on his plan for revenge against Lionel. Channing knew that Warren had stolen coins from CC's office that were recovered from the sunken treasure of the yacht named The Amanda Lockridge and he threatened to expose Lionel and Sophia's affair at his party if Warren didn't return the coins. Warren threw on his father's tux, climbed over the fence that divided their homes, and went to the party. But, when he attempted to return the coins, the door to CC's study was locked from the inside. Unbeknownst to Warren, Channing was already dead inside the room (we learn this detail during Cruz's reenactment of Channing's party). At the start of the series, Warren has the coins in his locker at the beach where he was working as a lifeguard. Then, Warren threw the coins into the fireplace of the Lockridge living room but someone (later revealed to be Dominic) mysteriously retrieved them from the fire. Once Lionel returned he told him about the coins and they decided to dive for the sunken treasure from the Amanda Lockridge. Warren taught Summer how to dive, at the same time Eden was trying to get Cruz to teach her how to dive, and Lionel struck up a friendship with Elizabeth Peale, whose father Sir Richard Peale had studied the treasures of the Amanda Lockridge. Lionel winds up diving for the treasure. They set up a party at the museum to uncover the results of the dive. Lionel wears the tux to the party and Sofia/Dominic tips off Cruz that the stolen coins are in Lionel's jacket. Cruz arrests Lionel which is why the Lockridges celebrate Xmas in the Santa Barbara jail. But, Lionel was later freed when Warren admits to the Cruz that he borrowed the tux that night. Meanwhile, between the sunken masterpieces on the yacht and the stolen art in the tunnels between the Lockridge and Capwell estates, both families needed to learn to just rent a storage container at the local U-Haul lot and avoid all of these long lost family heirlooms. Also, Sofia's motivation was never sufficiently explained. I know that she thought that Lionel did it, she wanted to exonerate Joe Perkins, and she didn't remember shooting Channing. But why did she wait five years until Joe was released from prison to return to Santa Barbara? Why go through the bother of putting on a disguise if both Joe and Cruz and had never met her? And why was her fragile mental state completely ignored once she stop using her drag king persona? I wonder if there was a re-write along the way, or if the Dobson's hadn't properly planned a solution to the mystery at the beginning of the story because so much of Pamela's backstory was a repeat of Sophia's past (including marrying European nobility, devoted stepchildren, returning to town in disguise, and emotional instability).
  24. I still think it's funny that Esther the maid came as a maid. As well as the idea that both Esther and Mamie abandoned their respective kitchens to attend the ball. Ryan is so impressed the ball is so fancy, but every housekeeper, chef, and waiter in town is on the guest list.
  25. I have a mixed review of the murder story. On the one hand, the murders themselves were very inventive and the clicking pen promos were some of the best ever produced for daytime. Given that it was the end of series, anyone could have been a victim, unlike other soap mysteries where the lead actors always survive. I also enjoyed the nods to the history of the show and the characters who had left town (I'm trying to avoid spoilers for those who haven't seen the whole story now that it has been re-posted). However, on the other hand, there really weren't any salient clues given within the story that allowed viewers to play along with solving the crime. It seems to me that part of the fun of any mystery is trying to solve the crime before it is exposed on screen. Agatha Christie's novels are beloved because if you re-read the story, the clues to solution were there all along. Yet, with the Loving Murders, the actual murderer seemed a little random under the circumstances. Her motivation was explained in a single scene at the end, with no resolve as to why she started murdering at that point, given that her family was subjected to tragedies for years prior. Her opportunity was never established, and her methodology was never explained. How did she get from place to place? How did she learn to rig a cement bucket, concoct a poisonous candle, and create toxic face powder (she certainly order them from Amazon)? Toward the end of the series even the infamous clicking pen proved to be a red herring.
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