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j swift

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Posts posted by j swift


  1. As much as I like a blond IRL, they tend to be synonymous with blandness when it comes to soaps.

     

    Ryan's Hope  - Chaz Seybrooke -  perfect soap opera name, but kind of a nothing character, he was the rebound guy for Ryan after Rick left her (I can never remember if it was the actor or Rick who went to RADA),  he was involved in a minor insider trading story that was much too simple to be intriguing

     

    Bold and Beautiful  - Thorne Forrester - it is hard to be that dull with a fascinating mother, but he pulled it off, a character so boring that his job is literally in the basement

     

    All My Children - Greg Nelson - his big love story with Jenny is mostly remembered for her time away from him in New York, he was strictly an object of desire with no substance - special mention to Dr. Cliff Warner, the slightly older version of the same character, a guy who we are told women long for, but we never found out why

     

    Loving -Jack Forbes, not actually blond, but you know a guy is bland when he was the center of the drama for the first year and then he disappeared and nobody noticed for a long time

     

    Santa Barbara - Brick Wallace, also not blond, but a character name was never as prophetic.  Here's a guy who was the son of Sophia and Lionel, (arguably two of the most intriguing, sophisticated,  and smartest characters in town ) and he was a complete bore.  He also grew up in the circus, and yet it did nothing to make him more likable or interesting.  His background is strikingly similar to Dinah on GL (raised by carnies, abandoned child of two intellectual characters), and yet somehow their paths were very different.


  2. 12 hours ago, Xanthe said:

     

    I would love to know what they thought they were doing when they decided to let the audience vote on the verdict in Brittany's trial, and then essentially ignored it to have Brittany and Catlin leave the state (!) together while Zach appealed it. Regarding whether Britt was conning Peter, there was no doubt that she deceived him into thinking he was the father of her baby. 

    As I recall from one of the podcast interviews with the actress, her real-life pregnancy and resulting child with special needs were impetuous for her character's departure, which was sad to hear and made me give AW a pass on their exit, but not on the prior errors in establishing the character.   


  3. Regarding the shoulda/woulda/coulda of 1985-1987, I think it is important to add that the plot ascendance of The Loves also the end of an era at the Cory Mansion.  Sandy left with mis-recast Blaine while he investigating Carl during his post-escort stint as a journalist.  Jamey had left town with his tail between his knees after his drug addiction.  In retrospect, some would say these moves were to set up Nancy was the sole ingenue in the Cory family.  However, I think Neil and Adam Cory were clumsily introduced, and then discarded, due to shifts in the writing of the Cory storyline which diminished Sandy and Jamey, who rightly should have helped Nancy fight Carl.  

     

    In addition, Sharon Gabet as Brittney is the real loser of this period.  While being a deaf-mute with a dead baby and a passion for horses was a hyperbolic contrast to Sally, the character was never built to sustain.  It was a soap so the audience was immediately waiting for Britney's cure.  Then, once she could speak, fans were assured in the soap press that she would be different from Raven.  There were many options.  Raven was a contrast of self-assurance with very low self-worth, as a result, she made many poor decisions based on her survival instinct without regarding the welfare of those around her.  Britney could have been self-assured in another way either due to her prowess with animals or working with men on the ranch for so long.  In contrast to Sally who was always needing to be rescued, Britney could have been a good rival.  Instead, once Britney could speak, she became all of the worst parts of Raven and never had her own routing value.  Much like Blaine or Rachel, Britney needed a "talk-to" to make her more sympathetic to the audience.  Her motives for marrying Peter were so ill-explained that I recall being unable to tell if she was conning him or being conned.  It seemed like a classic example of a soap hiring an actress expecting them to be the character rather than writing for them. 


  4. On 7/22/2019 at 5:34 AM, Paul Raven said:
     
     
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    7 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

    De Priest and Whitsell were all about the Corys, Loves and McKinnons as the core families when they started.

    Then they dropped Nancy and plans to bring on Pam.

    Can you imagine the amount of exposition it would take to re-introduce Pam?

     

    "Oh look there's my half-sister Pam who worked on a steamboat casino with my rarely-discussed father who was paid to testify against me by Steve Frame in my custody battle over Jamey.  Not to be confused with Pamela, Steve's wife from his time away from Bay City with whom he had Dianna, who ran off with a stable boy."


  5. Donna Love's age was always odd because if you do the math she had the twins when she was 16, and they were turning 18 when introduced, which means she was only 34 when returned to Bay City.  However, they always made her a contemporary of Rachel and Felicia who were easily ten years older.  

     

    I mention it because the excellent idea of getting Pat to marry into another family would have interesting if Pat went for Reginald Love or Spencer Harrison (RIP the actor today).  She liked vaguely European men and she liked an older man, so either guy would have fit the bill.  I would be excited for Pat to have a power base to avenge her loss of Brava and set a new magazine for a rival of Mac's. 


  6. On 7/19/2019 at 10:34 AM, Efulton said:
     
     
     
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    On 7/19/2019 at 10:34 AM, Efulton said:

    I wish I could find the interview with DePriest, John Whitesell and Donna Swajeski (she worked at NBC then).  They talked about how the were resetting the show around 3 families (Corys, Loves and McKinnnons) and Cass / Felicia.  They literally bragged about how the cast was almost completely different.

    Found it!

     

    https://classicsodaw.tumblr.com/post/162125238869/classicsodnews-another-world-makes-its-move

     

    While I get the critique in retrospect, (hell it probably could have been predicted from the date of the article's publication), I was thinking that Donna Love would probably not be as beloved if this period had not existed.  During the Sally/Catlin years, Donna was a harpy who seemed older than her years and her character was mostly a spanner who kept other couples from getting together.  However, the post-Catlin story helped flesh out the character and made her more of a sympathetic diva.

     

    Also, I hereby reject reactions the suggest that a certain writer or producer "killed off" a legacy family.  The Matthews are a perfect example.  While it is true that new family members could have revived them, by the late 80s there were too few Matthews around Bay City to make a character out of the family as a whole.  They stopped having a home base set, Liz was mostly seen at work, and once Sally died there was not a future generation in town to carry on the legacy (as much as I liked Michael and Maryanne, they were stuck in the 70s and never procreated).  For as much as I liked Pat, I never wished for more character details from her brother Russ.  They were a family that was almost defined by their good nature and that is a ubiquitous characteristic that could be found in many other characters.

     

    Lastly, the "Chris Whitesell as boy wonder" PR continues to fascinate me.  His resume before AW was tenuous at best.  The short term SFT stint was never fully explained and therefore why NBC kept placing him in high-level jobs was a mystery.  The comparisons to current producers also are interesting because he was clearly a fan of the genre and wanted to center his career around soaps despite the fact that they were dying off at the time.


  7. The longevity of a character like Larry Ewing is remarkable.  He was the lone survivor of both the Hobson and Ewing families.  I think he existed at the police station beyond the last appearance of his wife Clarice.  He was a voice of reason for Clarice, Blaine, and Caitlin, but outlasted them all.  I wonder the ratio of the ubiquitous nature of the character that allowed him to be in multiple storylines versus the likability of the actor that is the cause of such a long life for a fairly underdeveloped guy.


  8. 22 hours ago, Khan said:

     

    Once, when Matthew Cowles was in Theater for a New Audience's 2012 production of "The Taming of the Shrew," he sat next to yours truly on the front row.  (This particular production had a framing device, where Cowles, as Christopher Sly, is duped into believing he's a rich lord, and that the rest of the company is putting on the play for his (and our) amusement).  It was all I could do NOT to say, "I can't believe I'm sitting next to Billy. Clyde. Tuggle."

    Here's the thing, it was definitely a choice to keep the mustache and haircut for over 20 years because the accent was fictional but the look was deliberately creepy.  I'd love to see who Christine Baranski is dating now to see if she has a type - maybe Larry the cable guy? 


  9. AMC's Billy Clyde Tuggle was a real menace.  Given that his victim Jenny was being pushed into working at a sleazy bar in Center City by her own mother, Opal, we knew that Jenny wasn't safe and anything could happen to her.  His voice and demeanor were terrifying.  Around 1997 I saw Matthew Knowles at a CBS party attended by his wife Christine Baranski and I instinctively gasped.   I know people will comment about how he became a parody of himself as a character during the Dixie storyline.  However, in his initial introduction, he seemed like a real unchecked threat and he freaked me out.

     

    Additional mentions go to Y&R's  Vanessa Prentice, (she was scary because everyone underestimated her as a bitch and not an evil villain), early Marco Dane OLTL,(super creepy with Tina), and Y&R when David Kimbell had "murderer" carved into his forehead it really made me nervous to watch, especially because it evoked Charles Manson memories (from when he carved into his forehead during his trial).  And finally Billie Hayes as Scorpio's WSB mentor O'Reilly, not because of the character who was amusing, but Ms. Hayes's voice scared me on HR Puffenstuff as a kid. 

     

      


  10. @victoria foxtonThank you, it is rare to get such an exact answer to a question.  I appreciate the effort.  It is fascinating to hear that Tony still owned the Weber house while Lucy and her brood lived there.

     

    Does neither the Port Charles PD nor WSB pay enough for Anna & Robert to buy a place (and is that why Bert Ramsey turned to crime)?  Or do they rent so that they can get out of town at a moment's notice?  

     

    BTW that scene also told me why Robert and Anna were never meant to be.  He is penthouses and cantilevered stairs and she is shabby chic.  Although Anna's sudden desire to burn dinners is as perplexing as the purple Egyptian decor that she used to for the Weber house (maybe that was Robert's stuff that she had to work into the design?). 

     

    I appreciated how dressed up they both were, including hairdos and jewelry, when meeting for lunch at Ruby's (where the chopped salad seems ill-advised).   

     

    Also did Amy Vining get bupkiss?  I know she wasn't Lesley's biological daughter, but she lived in the house for years.  Robyn's no-name friend gets more airtime than Amy.


  11. I thought Mac got the Webber house in his marriage to Felicia because she lived there with baby Georgie and Maxie (who got BJ's heart and her house), her fiance Colton Shore, and his mother Charlene, who moved there with her niece Lucy Coe, who got the house in her divorce settlement, (negotiated by Scotty) from Dr. Tony Jones, who bought the house to raise BJ (RIP) with Tania (RIP) from his colleague Dr. Rick Webber, who inherited it when he was widowed by Leslie?

     

    I'm guessing there are multiple levels that we never see where they all slept, and I think we haven't seen the kitchen since Aunt Charlene cooked there.

     

    But, my question is when and why did Robert and Anna live there?

     

    Also, did you ever notice that between Sean's penthouse, the Quartermaine Mansion, and the Webber house, GH sets often did not include a kitchen?


  12. The history of where people live in Port Charles (or any soap town) has always interested me.  Especially when new producers come in and characters just show up living in a new house.  I was reading Today in Soaps over on WeLoveSoaps.com and this tidbit came up which totally confused me.

     

    1991: On General Hospital, Robert told Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) that he got the penthouse next door to Sean Donely's for them to live in.

     

    I recall Robert living in that gorgeous house with Holly and the cantilevered staircase when Anna arrived in the late 80s.  The Scorpio's bought it to convince immigration authorities that they were not in a "green card" marriage in order to avoid the scandal that Holly was pregnant with Luke's baby.  Then, by 1990, Anna and Robin lived in a cottage when she was the Co-Captain of Police and they were visited by Casey the alien.   

     

    I think that the progression was that Luke got ready in the penthouse the day he married Laura,  which was the first time that I noticed the set existed, (but, I thought they moved to the Haunted Star after their wedding)?  Then, Sean Donnelly moved in and installed the secret computer room by the front door (a dumb place for a secret room), and then Sonny bought it.  Sonny sold it when he started to have too many children (and baby's mothers) to fit. 

     

    My next recollection was the penthouse next door to Sean's was where Anna tied Robert to the pillar before that got remarried.  Robert and Anna moved in next door and eventually, Jason took over their penthouse.   However, I was recently watching a clip where Robert and Anna lived in the Weber House which was garishly redecorated and I was confused by the timeline of when they moved there?

     

    Also, I think it's a shame that it was referred to as the Webber House when Leslie bought it (with Cameron?) and lived it in originally.  She should have dumped Rick's last name as soon as he humiliated her with Monica.  But I guess that was the legacy of those unchivalrous Webber brothers.  And it may have become too confusing for future writers to have Laura Vining be the daughter of Lesley Williams, so everyone became a Weber to simplify things. 


  13. When Michael O'Leary left the role of Rick Bauer in the early '90 SOD ran articles in two successive issues that the role would be recast.  Of course, he wasn't and as a result, Rick missed Phillip and Beth's second wedding.  However, I've been wondering if there was any info on who had been offered the part or if any new characters at the time were supposed to be the Rick-recast.


  14. Re-watching ep 200-300 as they are being re-posted online.

     

    Noticing the oddness of the pacing this time.  Warren finally gets with Maggie the Cop.  They flirt and kiss in the morning and he leaves.  While still in lingerie, the nurse wheels her comatose husband in from where ever he was the night before.  She feels conflicted, the next episode she calls it off with Warren and leaves tow to help her husband recuperate,

     

    This story was on the heels of Ted's teacher who he kissed and then she had to go recuperate out of town.  Big build-ups, small pay-offs, and then they leave town forever.

     

     

     

      


  15. 1 hour ago, redontop4 said:

    Nadine's exit actually bothered me more than Maureen's. At least Mo was given a big, very dramatic, exquisitely written, beautifully produced send-off. Nadine's was quick and cheesy and ultimately macabre

    My recollection is slightly different.  Nadine's murder was shocking because it raised the stakes in Brent's plot to where it felt like any character could be at risk.  Most soap serial killers only kill off superfluous characters, so when someone that close to Lucy died it had a great deal of impact. 

     

    Although, your point is well taken that Mo's family got better written, (and performed), grieving scenes.  The exception is that most of her family of origin wasn't around to watch grieve by the time she left this mortal coil.

     

    Also, I vaguely recall that SOW did not have spoilers that the actress was leaving, which contributed to the surprise.  However, I think that the SOW editors did not approve of either the violence or the loss of the character.


  16. 18 hours ago, Eboneece said:

    The criticism of Bell was oddly personalized in retrospect. Much different than Brad Bell. I suspect some sexism at play here.

    I considered whether or not to call out the sexism in my original post, but then I remembered that Ken Corday gets a lot of the same criticism at DAYS.

     

    I would add that one of the flaws in her storytelling were the exposition dumps required by characters to explain the plot to the audience.  I recall when Phillip came back to Genoa City, he spent days explaining to Nina et all where he had been and why.  I enjoy an emotional monologue, but those scenes seemed written to answer the viewer's concerns rather than the other characters. 

     

    Didn't she also undo Jill as Kaye's daughter and made her a Fenmore?  I always felt the dive into Jill's parentage seemed unnecessary.  It only seemed to annoy the audience that had been introduced to Jill with her family intact.  Which begs to the tangential question - Why wasn't Jill more interested in nail-care at Jabot after her training as a manicurist?


  17. @BillBauer I agree that not all Bauers were good guys.  Upon reflection, I don't even think Rick was very virtuous.  He had multiple affairs, he cheated in med school with Claire, and he practiced while under the influence with Annie.  It is a flaw in my writing/posting style that I always wind up comparing characters which causes more a focus on the comparison as opposed to the original comment.  

     

    @Mitch I never noticed how much I didn't enjoy Peter Simon's characterization until I watched Springfielder's YT profiles.  He was so stiff and stuffy, and not at all sexy. 


  18. The beginning of her tenure seemed so focused on correcting historical Y&R plotholes that I've always wondered how much of the criticism should be attributed to her co-writer Hogan Sheffield who tended to more grandiose storylines.   I also think she was oddly the subject of a lot of negative fan projections because of her last name.  

     

    I always recall the detail that Brad Bell's first storyline proposal at Y&R was Lauren's stalker culminating in her being buried alive.  Although Y&R had previous women-in-peril stories, that one seemed tonally different at the time.  So, perhaps it was not that unexpected that newer generations would want to stretch the genre based on other fictional interests with the expected reactive pushback from fans who had grown used to another type/pace of story.


  19. RHONY - I know we will see some poor behavior from Luann this week, given the preview, however, I don't get Bethanny's beef with her?  Bethanny keeps misinterpreting Lu's social niceties as personal attacks.  It seems natural that when a friend is leaving a room you express that you wish they would stay, even when you don't mean it.  When people say, "sad to you go", does Bethanny expect that they will literally cry upon her departure?  I don't think Luann is questioning her parenting, in fact, it is such a superficial comment that I'm certain she forgot that she said it.  I feel comically terrible for Luann that every time she enters a room she expects applause but she only gets heckled.


  20. I associated Maureen's death with the eradication of the Reardons.  I know they are not as historic, but I think it is a shame that the Reardons didn't survive as a family.  I was just watching Kassie DePaiva's Chelsea Reardon, arguably the least revered Reardon girl, and she was so charming (you can hear her trying to suppress her southern accent in all the early scenes).  Tony, Jim and all of the sisters were adventurous and romantic.  I adore the idea of a boarding house as a soap setting.  Especially with new nurses and doctors at Cedars.  Along with Matt and Bridget Reardon, they were one of those families that could have produced endless cousins and nephews. 

     

    We all know that if the internet was around at the time, every jumbo and their sister would be screaming about how this new family overtook the show.  But isn't that the course for every new family on a soap?  Personally, I think that every writer should get a crack at a new family, some stick and some don't, like the Norris family.  They owned an airline, one would think that there would be a stray cousin.  Otherwise, Holly's inheritance must have been huge.  I know she bought WSPR, but how did she wind up in that tiny apartment at the end?  Also, I forget if Ken got anything in Stanley's will, or if he wound up with Janet, or if they had any kids because I never liked Janet.

     

    I guess the Bauers were all "good guys" and that is the characteristic feature of the family?  I would also hazard to guess that the Coopers made them redundant (because it is forbidden by the soap gods to have more than one lower-middle-class family at a time).  Also, who names one kid Harley Davidson and the other one Frank?  However, I thought the Reardons were more worthy of regret upon their demise as a unit, so I decided to bring them up again.


  21. On 5/24/2019 at 8:21 AM, MichaelGL said:

    Who knows that might be changing, I have a feeling Callum/Whitney are going to be swept up into the Ben drama, one way or another. 

    Good Prediction, although with a twist

     

    Has there ever been a young lovey female character with as tragic a love life as Whitney?  She's been sold into prostitution, married a guy with an anxiety disorder, then she kissed his father.  Poor Whitney had yet to find a true love in the E20.


  22. Which begs the question - When did Cass become a lawyer? 

     

    He came to town working for a rival publisher and trying to sign Felicia Gallant away from Cory Publishing.  Then he helped run Nicole's fashion business and a coffeehouse.  However, when was he first established as a lawyer, and what was his first case?


  23. 5 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

    Holly even brought up the fact that it was hard to believe that Roger would use the pseudonym "Adam," considering the bad blood between Roger and his father...which resulted in more exposition.

    I was just reading Roger's wiki bio and I thought the same thing about his choice to masquerade as Adam Malik, given that his father was one of only two people in attendance for two of his weddings.  It is always good to hear when writers try to tie up loose ends like those mentioned.  I am a sucker for any scene when a vet character sits down with a newbie to discuss the history of the town.

     

     
     
     
    5 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

    I don't think soap fans, particularly veteran viewers, mind how long a character has been gone, as long as the story surrounding his return is well-written and his former ties to the other characters on canvas are explained.

     

    One of the best-received decisions TGL made in 1996 was to bring back Aunt Meta, who by that point had been off-screen (and largely unmentioned, except for twice) for a whopping 22 years. Soap fans love history.

    It's an excellent point, however, Meta had ties to Rick and Ed, I don't think they could have brought back the long lost child of Dr Sarah McIntyre in 1996 and expect most of the audience to remember her.

     

    The erratic quality of young Holly (Maureen Garrett's not the other one) was really captivating to watch.  Her despair at being a housewife and her difficulties controlling her sexual desires were such 1970's stories.  Today's young female characters want to have a baby as soon as they are married, and nobody ever plays with the ambivalence.  That was a much more sophisticated time of storytelling, when writers appreciated that the audience could understand and relate to a character with more than one motivation

     

    It was also remarkably sexier.  Not only was there more skin being shown than we see today, but also everyone was talking about sex and the quality and quantity of sex they were having.  I don't think I've heard DAYS Hope and Jennifer discuss the quality of their orgasms, despite a plethora of ads about erectile dysfunction and vaginal mesh that play between the shows every hour. 

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