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  1. I saw an interview one time with Sharon Gabet, where she talked about her relationship with Henry Slesar. She said that Slesar watched the show every afternoon, and he tailored his writing to the strengths and weaknesses of the performers. If he observed a quirk or a trait in an actor that appealed to him, he worked it into the character. He obviously studied her very closely and worked her best traits into the Raven character. It also helped that he wrote Raven's "adversaries" with certain strengths, so that they often just appeared fed-up with Raven, instead of cowering in terror when she tormented them. It made her interactions with each of them more riveting and interesting than just a run-of-the-mill "vixen versus hero/heroine" scenario.
  2. Besides playing so well off all the leading men that you mentioned, Sharon Gabet also had some incredible chemistry with Geraldine Saxon, Deborah Saxon, and April Scott.
  3. The ONLY things going for that scene were the snowflakes in the windows and the music. The way it played out, Phyllis didn't look as though she were even trying to DECIDE whether or not to tell Nick her news. It looked as though she just walked in to confide in the hostess --- her best friend and confidante -- that she had some information about Nick's brother, but she'd determined in advance to "take the high road", and she was just letting her dear friend, the hostess, know what was going on. How stupid. Would've been ten times better if she'd given it some thought, taken a step toward him, changed her mind, then said, "Naw, I'm taking the high road" and left. It's really hard to watch scene after scene fall flat on its face like this.
  4. That sounds about right. Henry Slesar seemed to be on a VERY tight timeline with Kim Hunter, in particular. I'm sure she didn't come cheaply, plus she got "star" billing ("and Kim Hunter as Nola", in the closing credits). The budget probably dictated how long she could stay on the show, and how hurriedly her storyline had to conclude. The most GLARING example involved the speediness of the Draper Scott trial, which would conclude with certain confessions from Nola Madison. In one episode Draper was indicted, in the next episode Logan broke the news to Draper that he'd been indicted, and in the next episode his trial began. Not much time for the prosecution and the defense to prepare a case for a murder trial! I was watching it a few days and scratching my head about the speediness of it all, but then realized that Kim Hunter's exit probably dictated that Draper had to be sentenced by March the whatever of 1980 so that Kim Hunter's paychecks could end.
  5. Yes, indeed! Complete idiots. I'm sure P&G was bewildered why "Edge" wasn't performing well in the ratings, while the rest of ABC's line-up was soaring. But the problem was clearly the time slot (very low clearance in many major markets), as well as the "niche" appeal of a 1940s-style detective story with off-beat characters and twist endings. The problem was never the writer. Slesar was an expert at crafting clever tales, dropping vague hints, throwing in red herrings, keeping us guessing, and surprising us at the end. Lee Sheldon didn't just have what it takes; maybe he got slightly better once he settled in, but he was never anywhere near in the league of a Henry Slesar. I remember reading a short story by Henry Slesar when I was a kid, and being very impressed. Once I realized that he was writing "Edge", I was hooked until the day they canned him.
  6. My recollection is that Tony Craig left on his own, fairly abruptly, and without much advance notice. I believe the actor's official story was that he was suffering from "burn out". You could sense there was some backstage scrambling and re-writing going on to explain his exit. Suddenly one day Draper was appointed to some special "crime council" in London, and the next day, during the middle of an episode he said, "Oh, and by the way, I'm leaving today. Bye!" It was just a bizarre and jarring exit for a character who'd been on daily for the past several years. (I would assume that at contract negotiation time, everyone thought Tony Craig would be re-signing for another three years, and instead he evidently said, "No thanks" at the last moment.) Terry Davis, of course, was on a different contract schedule from Tony Craig, and just because he left, that didn't mean she had to be disposed of also. Henry Slesar kept April Scott in Monticello for several more weeks (probably until Terry Davis's next 13-week contract cycle was up). Then April said, "Oh, by the way, I'm joining Draper in London. Good-bye, everyone! Here, Miles, you can have my penthouse!" And she left too. My feeling is that if she'd been written out when Tony Craig left, the show would've probably been obliged to PAY her for the remainder of her contract, so they just waited until her next 13-week "drop date", and then exercised their chance to let her go without a big pay-out. Someone else may recall more details. I was just a kid, then, but it all seemed haphazard, unplanned and sudden to me --- which always stuck-out like a sore thumb on a show that was, in most respects, so carefully plotted and scripted.
  7. J Swift, as I'm re-watching the old episodes from 1979 to 1981, the word that keeps crossing my mind to describe Draper Scott is YUPPIE. We see Logan Swift as charming and clever; Cliff Nelson is hilariously immature and theatrical; Miles Cavanaugh is smart, sincere, and dedicated; Mike Karr is perceptive and intuitive, and provides the necessary "gravitas" to his courtroom scenes. Schuyler Whitney, when he appears later, is a suave, sophisticated, worldly young tycoon. Draper Scott provides another archetype entirely --- the fairly bland, handsome, upwardly mobile yuppie. I'd never even heard the word "yuppie" in 1980, as the word didn't become fashionable until the middle-1980s, but obviously young, climbing urban professionals were a demographic that existed in 1980 (especially in the legal profession), and Henry Slesar put all the components in place for Draper. We learned that Draper would ditch Monticello in a heartbeat, if he could secure a position with the prestigious, upscale Seward, Paxton, & Whiteside law firm in New York City, and, as we would expect, Draper throws a childish hissy fit when Margo Huntington denies him the opportunity to move. He decides to live in a trendy home in the suburban utopia of Oakdale, and when he finds out that Margo paid $35,000 to make the house more affordable to him and April, he becomes offended and says, "By God, I'm going to pay for my OWN house for MY wife!" For Draper, everything should be prep-school perfect, and when things don't fit his preconceived Ivy League whitebread notions of life, he's embarrassed by them. ("Oh, April, don't tell these people about your premonitions; they're not interested!") He's sheepishly ashamed of his father Ansel's tendency to rendezvous with attractive young starlets and wealthy widows. Raven's fondness for utilizing sex as a bargaining tool --- well, that kind of behavior is just downright EMBARRASSING to Draper. That doesn't fit into his ideal of how people should behave in the junior chamber of commerce. Yes, he could be dull as hell, but he provided a much-needed archetype on the show, and one that Slesar evidently loved writing for, because for long periods of time, Draper literally appeared in five episodes per week. Maybe not so much for what Tony Craig brought to the part, but rather for the interactions generated by the other quirky characters when they played off the Yuppie. I really feel that Henry Slesar lost some steam when his Yuppie (and by necessity of course, April) were removed from his canvas of characters.
  8. Same here. I rarely skipped an episode while Sally Sussman was writing. I didn't care for her the writers who preceeded her, and haven't cared for the ones who've succeeded her. But I thought she did all right. Yeah, some of her material was pretty dull, but it seemed like Y&R, and it seemed to moving forward in a somewhat logical manner. None of the other writers since about 2005 have even come close to crafting anything I've cared to watch daily.
  9. Check out the very brief scene from 15:10 to about 17:10, from January 1980, where Henry Slesar takes the huge risk of effectively "spoiling" the entire storyline that he's crafted to last through the entire summer of 1980. Over an innocuous game of Monopoly while Logan Swift is recovering from the flu, Draper and April discuss April's recent dreams --- she's in the hospital with a new baby named "Julia" (whose name she's unable to explain the origins of), a plaintive train whistle blows, a man appears with silver bracelets, and Draper disappears to some strange and faraway place where April is unable to locate him. In this brief two minute scene, we are given a preview of Draper's arrest for Margo's murder (though Margo is still alive and well when this scene aired), the train derailment at Grant's Falls, Draper's "abduction" by Dr. Gault and Emily Michaels, and April's subsequent relationship with Logan while Draper is presumed dead. This is definitely "high stakes spoiling" on Henry Slear's part, but he wraps-up the entire scene in such a vague and mysterious manner that it only leaves you WONDERING instead of truly "spoiling" anything at all.
  10. Seems to me (in hindsight) that the show really suffered a lot after Tony Craig (Draper) left, because Draper & April were really in the "heart" of the storyline from about 1978 until their departures. I've been watching the Margo Dorn storyline on You Tube, followed by Kirk & Emily Michaels, followed by the Clown Puppet, and then of course there's Dr. Bryson. It's amazing how much of those stories are centered almost entirely around the lives of April and Draper. Back in the day, I thought April and Draper were kinda "goody-goody", and were therefore fairly dull. But in hindsight they aren't that way at all. Draper is fairly flawed (too much pride, too resentful of Margo's presence in his life), and April is downright MEAN sometimes -- sarcastic, cutting, and impatient. They definitely weren't traditional hero and heroine material. And they were very good foils for Sharon Gabet's manipulative Raven character. She sees them as soft, weak, and vulnerable, and she bats her eyes, smirks and tries to run all over them, which usually results in them raising their voices too loudly, rolling their eyes, and throwing her out on her tail. Once April and Draper were gone, Slesar seemed to position Miles and Nicole in the roles of the "young married centerpiece couple". But they really ARE awfully goody-goody, and they don't have the biting interactions with Raven that characterized April and Draper's relationship with her. Just something missing from thenceforth onward.
  11. It's no telling what horrible writer they've actually got their eyes on. Whoever it is, I'm sure he or she is wretched. But it does seem mighty coincidental that an actual GOOD writer suddenly and inexplicably leaves a Bell soap, and publicly announces that he's not retiring, just when another Bell soap is in dire need of a good writer and the current headwriter's contract is about to expire. But I ain't getting my hopes up.
  12. I've been assuming it's Patrick Mulcahey. Seems like Mal Young was terminated in December of last year, so I figured Josh Griffith would get his walking papers this December. If there's a three-month extension on Griffith's contract, perhaps it's so that Mulcahey will have an opportunity to better research the show and its characters before diving in.
  13. Yes, and the way "Robert Tyrone" walked around looking and sounding exactly like Tyrone Jackson (but dipped in all-purpose flour and wearing Groucho Marx glasses & mustache), but no one in the Syndicate noticed any similarity.
  14. It was as dreadful as Y&R's other "I'm-in-disguise" storylines. She basically put on a pair of eyeglasses and draped a mop head over her hair, and that fooled them.
  15. Yeah, I think Jill loved Phillip (in her own selfish way), but as Phillip pointed out in his testimony ("she abandoned me YEARS ago!"), he was often merely an inconvenience to her, and she was more than happy to ship him away -- out-of-sight, out-of-mind. It was only Kay's interest in Phillip that re-energized Jill's own interest in him, as she didn't want to lose her son to Kay Chancellor in the same manner as she lost her husband to Kay Chancellor. And Jill was definitely smug in this episode, knowing that Kay was about to be exposed as the wicked old witch who stripped him of his name and his inheritance when he was an infant. I think that's the fundamental key to Jill's behavior --- her love for her son always took a backseat to her hatred for Kay Chancellor. Somebody mentioned Joe Blair, and how long he was around. I believe these were some of his last scenes. "Capitol" went off the air in March of 1987, and soon afterwards, Todd Curtis(?) who'd played Jordy Clegg on "Capitol" was moved to Y&R as photographer Skip Evans.
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