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Everything posted by EricMontreal22

  1. I don't like to argue with Erika, but that's the only time I've ever heard that Gillian was fired, and didn't want out on her own. It doesn't make much sense (especially, of course, since there was a Vicki between them). And yeah, Erika, for some reason, has always been a bit too kind towards Frons I think lol. In that respect I prefer Susan Lucci and Agnes Nixon's take (two women who are usually loathe to say anything negative)
  2. Yes, but there did seem to be more involvement than in other forms of TV--I guess I should have said "relatively". I was also thinking of radio soaps--the big forces there were women--Irna, Anne Hummert (OK, with her husband Frank ) and Elaine Carrington. Though it's true actual writers (and creators at the Hummert factory) were often men, Robert Harvey Andrews, Orin Tovrov etc. Agnes Nixon has claimed in her memoirs that the daytime industry was much more welcoming to opportunities for women in writing and producing where they wouldn't have been considered in similar jobs in prime time. But your point is fair Well your last comment is depressing Maybe the soap fans I know who miss them are mostly older (ie outside the demos networks would care about) and they can't even follow those reality shows lol. Thanks for some of that behind the scenes info! So very bizarre that the studios were stingy with their footage (and, seemingly, would prefer that they use technically illegal Youtube footage??)
  3. Scenes from episode one (ie after the pilot) of Loving (this probably has been posted before, but I just came upon it)
  4. I agree with you--and I think that's a good point about following these people--and it being similar that extent. I just wonder how many former soap watchers watch something like Kardashians. In my experience, not many--but that's my personal experience. I've seen the examples where it does seem to be true online. As for using youtube footage--it could be that this was rushed, but honestly that seems to be (I hate this term which I always hear now) the new normal. All those CNN decade by decade documentaries use youtube footage, the talk shows do, the news does...
  5. I'll have to get back to you . 1983 often is mentioned as a strong year, though... On the AW thread, Will posted a link to the Bill Bell script archives... Which all seem to make sense except there is one for AMC that says beside it SERIES IDEA. ??? http://pdf.oac.cdlib.org/pdf/ucla/pasc/wjbell.pdf
  6. Awesome! I knew that Bell helped create AW, but didn't realize until recently that originally it was credited on the show as being co-created by him. I always wonder why he never became HW when it was having trouble, instead going to DAYS and Nixon went to AW. And woah--why in that collection is there one for All My Children that says "Series Idea"???
  7. I mean Sony did release the very first episode of Y&R as a promo online for one of the anniversaries (the 40th?) and I noticed they haven't removed it. But yeah... I guess with B&B part of the thing is the main characters even in the first week are... more or less... recognizable to audiences.
  8. Ah good old Spyder Games! I didn't grow up in a household with any soap watchers. My grandma remembers listening to Ma Perkins and Guiding Light and others when they were radio soaps and she was a kid, but that's it. I do remember being very little and here in Canada AMC aired after Sesame Street (the Canadian version with French inserts instead of Spanish ) and it fascinated me, especially that book, but mom would make me turn it off because soaps weren't appropriate for kids. Anyway then when I was 11, Summer of 1991, I was stuck at home recovering from pneumonia, and somehow I started watching All My Children with the Natalie in the well/Introduction of Wildwind, etc, etc storyline. I was hooked. By the time I was back in school I had started rushing home during my lunch hour to watch as much as I could (it aired at noon here), and then within a few months I was recording it every day. Even as a kid I was a geek about such things, so already I was getting every book about soap operas that I could from the library, I rather naively even wrote a letter to ABC asking for a tape copy of the first episode of AMC (they replied explaining they couldn't provide copies of episodes--it wasn't until much later that I sadly found out that there is no copy of the first episode...) Schemering's wonderful Soap Opera Encyclopedia gave me a ton of the background/history of the genre, as did Dan Wakefield's All Her Children, still one of my fave soap books. I did begin watching bits of the other soaps when I'd be home, though stuck faithfully to AMC. At some point I did become hooked on Loving when I found out about the AMC crossovers (first Ceara and then the much more extensive Carter Jones one)--funny enough I had never even heard of Loving before--and also sometime in 1992 I became aware of the Billy Douglas storyline on One Life to Live so became hooked on it too (during one of its best eras, of course--but ABC was pretty strong in general then). And, the rest is history. I've gone in and out with soaps ever since, though I did stay loyal to AMC through thick and thin, Loving/The City until it finished and One Life to Live although there were a few rough spots where between being really busy, and the show being in a rough patch (such as the late 90s) I wasn't paying super close attention.
  9. It's too bad other soaps haven't done this (yes, I know about those brief GL and ATWT releases--but I'm surprised Days or Y&R haven't). Why 16 episodes though? Wouldn't it make sense to end at 15 or 20 (for a full month?) There's a German release under the same title, except it's 25 episodes (five discs) per set and they've released 8 volumes--the first 200 episodes (which I guess is almost the first year). They are in English and German but in European PAL format I believe.
  10. Oh I know Andy was a huge soap fan--the anecdote Susan Lucci told in her youtube interview last week confirms that even more. Yes, that's exactly how I feel about people like Eric (Braeden, not me ) griping that they made it sound like only women watched. And I say that as someone who has, since I was 11 or 12, spent a lot of time trying to dispel stereotypes that men don't watch soaps. But I do feel that sometimes when it is acknowledged that there's a male audience, it comes off as sort of like "See, these shows do have worth! Men watch them as well!" Completely agreed. Obviously so many people watching soaps on video tape affected their ratings (and exposure to their sponsors, or lack thereof) more than with primetime shows. I know that in the early 90s numerous articles would quote that All My Children was the most video taped program in North America and I suspect other soaps weren't far behind.
  11. That's a fair point. I've never watched enough to really be able to fairly comment on them, just that they don't appeal to me. (And when people suggest they fill the gap left without soaps, it just makes me think that those people didn't watch soaps for most of the same reasons I did. You know stuff like well written dramatic scenes, deep family relationships over decades, sensitive depictions of controversial social storylines... If the Housewives franchise is known for these, than I apologize). And yes--Andy's reaction is so... Andy. And it's why so many people find him so obnoxious. The Vulture piece I linked to with the producer does mention she got the idea to pitch this when she was originally going to pitch something about reality shows, and she saw a connection. So it does seem pretty clear why he was asked... Thanks for that--you're absolutely right and it is important to acknowledge that. I jumped unfairly on Sara's comment--and ironically after I made a post where I thought that Eric objecting to the show pointing out how soaps were primarily, initially written for women sorta missed why it was important to stress that. I guess part of my reaction is it is still undeniable that people (particularly women) going into the workforce played a big part in ratings falling (and probably also why the young student demo became increasingly important).
  12. Oh yes, it was idiotic. Add to that that the pairing really wasn't appealing anyway (I hate to say it now after is sudden recent death, but Lawford's Charlie never really worked, not did Cecily's return). Thanks!
  13. Superb Right, but part of that is kinda just semantics. A lot of women had domestic jobs (either a their own place or working for others) which included the kind of work you could, at least in theory, do while watching your soaps...
  14. Wow, DC, as always your analysis is indispensable--thank you. For some reason I always thought I started watching under Addie Walsh, but maybe that's just when I began paying attention to the credits, as I definitely started watching when I could when Ceara crossed over to the show (which was done well but seemed an odd choice--she hadn't even been on AMC that long, of course back then when I was 11 I didn't realize she was the actress who played Laura!). I didn't start taping it daily though until a year later (I remember Kate, I think, locking Jeremy and Ceara in a garden shed or something so that they'd resolve their feelings). In hindsight she probably would have fit better on Loving permanently than Jeremy, but of course her character was killed off camera when they were to move to Corinth (and Genie already had left the role). I wonder if Munistari was fired or quit. I admit even at the time, I thought it was a mistake how Haidee phased out the campus setting. Walsh's second tenure between Nixon and Brown/Esensten was very brief, and more of an interim job, wasn't it?
  15. Was Keith seen as a Shemar clone? I never thought Shemar was shown to be "from the ghetto" to the same extent (I think there was even controversy about that and if it was too much of a stereotype)
  16. Sure. Wilkie Collins basically invented the genre with The Woman in White (which was a phenomenon--they had so much merchandise, including perfumes, fans, etc, connected to it)--but basically he just took what his friend Dickens had been doing and updated the Gothic serials and combined them (as a rule sensation fiction will flirt with supernatural elements but unlike the Gothic they are based in reality--Henry James famously said that sensation serials were the first to take advantage of modern, even often middle class, settings, new technology like the railroad, etc). And it's still agreat read--there have been numerous film and TV adaptations that really mess with the story, though the recent BBC series is pretty good and faithful. Wilkie Collins wrote a lot, but his most famous four sensation serials are White, No Name, The Moonstone and, one of my all time fave novels, Armadale which is wonderful and *crazy* (and surprising in how it deals with things like a sympathetic villainous, racial prejudice, etc). Incidentally after Woman in White was serialized in Dickens' magazine, All the Year Round and caused circulation to spike, the followup serial by someone else caused circulation to plummet. Dickens immediately took the serial he was about to launch himself, and re-edited what he had written to make it much more in the "sensation" model--upping the twists and revelations and use of cliffhangers and reformatting it for weekly installments--that became Great Expectations. The other really most famous sensation works are by two women. One is Mary Elizabeth Braddon whose most famous work, Lady Audley's Secret is pretty amazing, and one of the first examples of having a female anti-hero (and Agnes Nixon surely got the Natalie in the well story from a famous part of this). The follow up Aurora Floyd is also notable. The other author is Ellen Wood, due mostly to one novel, East Lynne which would have still been a title the general public would recognize well into the 1930s. The central theme of this, involving a character who returns to her previous family in disguise to be close to her child, is one soaps have long borrowed from... Wiki's rather basic page about sensation fiction is a pretty good summary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensation_novel I mean he's been vocal about his feelings about soaps before (both that he loved them and that there's absolutely no future for them), so this wasn't too surprising. He did seem to acknowledge that a bit by pointing out that Lucci does not agree with him about Real Housewives serving the same function so I appreciated that at least (and yet Lucci was still praising him in her web interview last week).
  17. Yes, that was it. And you're right, I knew from the title what to expect. Still, it did give the impression that they only thought soaps worthy of noting when they moved into primetime success.
  18. One of the talking heads did point out with a smile how the ratings for a current primetime hit on network tv would have gotten that show canceled twenty five years ago--but oddly she didn't point out that soaps also had higher ratings than nearly everything on primetime tv does now. The odd thing about the show becoming more negative about soaps in the last quarter was they did have all these people talking about how they were dead--and then in the fianl bit before the credits it seemed like they did a 180 and were all "we need escapism! everyone must watch the remaining soaps". Like other segments, it definitely was a mixed message. A couple of years back PBS had a series about TV history that had an episode devoted to soaps. And it was ALL about the rise of primetime soaps post Dallas... I mean I agree with you, but I can't blame him for sticking around in his job at all. Especially with so little alternatives to work in the industry--I hate to say it but I doubt I would behave any differently in his shoes. There's such meaty material that can be used here too. I know when I was doing my MA thesis for English and connecting soaps to the infamous Victorian sensation serials (particularly from "the sensational [18]60s") the parallels were astounding. Sensation serials were read particularly by women, and, increasingly, written by women, the basically perfected plot points like amnesia, people thrown down wells, doppelgangers, etc, while also craftily integrating taboo social issues into their storylines, they increased serialization from monthly to weekly which caused a lot of (snobby, often male and upper class) intellectuals to fear that they were addicting their readers like a drug and those readers could no longer tell what was real and what wasn't (exactly the fear that radio soaps caused), etc, etc. I know a number of people who came to my various MA presentations with zero knowledge of soap operas told me how fascinating they found it all--there's definitely work to make a compelling doc series... I'm in the same boat--I was 12, and noticed the Billy storyline so started setting my recorder to tape OLTL after AMC, but always made sure to watch it when my mom wasn't home...
  19. You know, usually the assumption that men don't watch soaps drives me crazy, but it didn't particularly in this special for some reason. I felt that they DID make the point that men watched soaps. It's true that the second (third?) segment was all about "by women for women" or whatever, which I can see ruffling feathers. That said, I think it is a very important part of the soap opera narrative that traditionally these were stories aimed at women and often made by women. That's a *huge* reason that they have not had much respect historically, and I think it's important to acknowledge that. I know no one here is doing this, but elsewhere I've seen male viewership used as an indication of quality. "I loved Edge of Night--did you know it had a large male viewership? That's because it was so good." (It's similar to how the press and others used to like to give soaps some legitimacy by naming all the celebrity fans--you know, it's not just something those uneducated housewives like!). I think Eric Braeden is over-focusing on this element of the special when there's other stuff to complain about. Oh, I get only focusing on American soaps. I think it simply becomes WAY too broad to mention the soap tradition in other countries (and then you kinda have to go into how they are similar and yet so different in many ways). But I mentioned how they should have at *least* labelled those clips (which would not have been hard at all) and maybe dated them too. As I said, it felt like the show both wanted to be accessible for soap newbies, and yet assumed an awful lot of knowledge from its audiences (even when they name drop, say, Gloria Monty they don't clearly say what exactly her role was at GH. Or when they did their Irna and Agnes Nixon mentions--couldn't they at least write on the screen the soap operas they created??) Ah but they are European so it doesn't count
  20. You recognize me from another forum? Uh OH... Are you sure you're not thinking of the ABC special devoted to the weddings of AMC/OLTL and GH? It was marketed as a video tape but may have aired on tv too. (I have a copy somewhere). Those credits were often wrong--they never mentioned Brown writing Loving or co-creating The City for example (and also listed all the dates he was at the shows--as headwriter or just as script writer, but I guess that's understandable).
  21. It was a great year for AMC (mostly due to interim HW Hal Corley and then Lorraine Broderick). I'm surprised they didn't mention the gay umbrella storyline on AMC starting, but I guess that really began in December 1995 (when Michael Delaney came out to his class). "Worst Contemporary Story - Lost In Cyberspace - AMC" Was this the dumb storyline between, I think, Cecily and Charlie who were on an online dating site?
  22. As many on here know, I'm a Sondheim fanatic (shocking, I know--a highlight in my life was getting to interview him as a teenager). But this is way too hard... I'll have to think on it Fun fact. Suzanne Rogers played one of the showgirl ghosts as a replacement cast member when the show, after closing (way too early) on Broadway moved with most of the original cast for a limited run in LA. Also, I think people tend to think Follies should be cast older than it really is meant to be (this may be partly because modern actors, and people in general as life spans lengthen, often to age slower than they did when it premier in 1971. Similarly why Blanche DuBois in Streetcar is rarely now cast with a woman in her mid 30s as she originally was). Ben, Phyllis, Buddy and Sally should all be cast around the ages of 45-50 (which to modern audiences of course does not really seem like someone past their prime). Their characters performed right at the end of the Follies shows. Some of the other characters can be cast significantly older... Also, I nearly spat out my coffee at Brenda Dickson playing Heidi, the *opera singer* (and oldest of the Follies girls) and singing One More Kiss lol
  23. They really should have mentioned that Bill Bell was essentially the other one of Irna Phillips' proteges. But, I guess the problem was they spoke about Irna and Agnes in the section about how it was groundbreaking for being so overwhelmingly by women creators. (And I still think they could have at least listed all the shows those women created/worked on). Agreed about when it really fell apart--I linked to the Vulture interview with the producer, above, and that part must have been left over from her desire to do something about reality tv and she just couldn't drop it. It was clever juxtaposing it with the GH AIDS story scenes, although I'm not sure ultimately if that was needed. I like John Hamm, and I liked his comments, but he was the one actor I really had no idea why he was there... Yes. Seriously, if they are pulling from Youtube, in most cases the soap episode original broadcast dates *are* listed. Would it have been hard to just put a little label with the name of the show and the year? I was reminded of how annoyed my mom gets with internet FB and blog posts where someone posts photos and never identifies them I mean sure most of us could probably roughly place nearly all of the clips, but... And yeah--the whole Youtube thing from that perspective has been a mess for a while now. I've seen network news, etc, use YT clips (say for when an actor dies, or whatever) for nearly ten years now with no concern of copyright--and yet when it benefits them to remember they own the copyright... (Also, I'm sorry, *someone* should have pointed out that Peyton Place was, briefly, something of a phenomenon and helped boost newbie ABC, when they called Dallas the very first primetime soap... )
  24. Vulture praised it. But what's really interesting is the interview with the EP. She admits she came to the subject when she first was looking into doing something about reality tv--which makes a lot of sense now. https://www.vulture.com/2020/05/the-story-of-soaps-abc-tv-history.html
  25. I thought it was better than I expected, though I can't argue with these complaints. I know with Andy Cohen there we'd have a whole thing about reality shows giving viewers their soap fix, which rives me crazy. I know people here who I have a ton of respect for watch Real Housewives--I just can not handle it. But regardless, the idea that watching it is the same as watching a soap has never held weight for me (though I've encountered it all the time--when I was working on my MA essay about soaps a number of people automatically thought I must watch Housewives). More pertinent was pointing out how much current "prestige" TV, which is almost all serialized, owe to soaps, but that was pretty briefly mentioned. Like a lot of these types of broad specials, I think the problem was you wonder who the audience was. In many ways it wanted to give a historical introduction to soaps and their importance to people who might not know much about soaps. But on the other hand, as All My Shadows mentioned, it assumed that the audience would know a lot. I mean they talk about Irna Phillips and Agnes Nixon but, aside from mentioning Nixon and All My Children, I don't remember them even giving a quick rundown on what shows the women created and wrote. At least with the longer clips, why not say where the clip is from? I'm not really sure what a better format would have been for all of this (it's not like we were gonna get a multi episode series that could really focus on different aspects) but... I did appreciate the talking heads for people I don't often see interviewed (I'm not even sure I really knew what Lorraine Broderick looked like). But yeah, the main fault was it was neither specific or even general enough. Still, I guess I'm glad that they did it--more than wishing they hadn't. I wasn't offended by anything in it really (the reality bit aside). It was interesting to get into topics like the Luke and Laura rape, but again with that story, without the audience knowing a bit more about the deeper context, would it mean much? Youtube has become the bane of these types of shows (as well as the local news, where maybe I am more keen to excuse it). I swear for about 2 seconds they showed a bit from the Cortland Masquerade ball from 1980 on AMC that *I* uploaded to Youtube. I mean on one hand it must make putting together a show like this so so much easier. But the quality really suffers and is all over the map (and it does make me think about the irony of these networks who often don't officially approve of such uploads, then using the uploads to save money on their own programming) They are 100% pulled from Youtube. Yes but those characters never really broke into the mainstream zeitgeist the way Luke and Laura did. Tons of non soap viewers had some idea who Luke and Laura were. This has only happened with a few other soap characters (Erica Kane being an obvious one). I think Victor Newman is pretty recognizable now but still if you said "Victor and Nikki" few non viewers would have any idea who you meant. Was it the 1994 CBS special "50 Years of Soaps"? Some good stuff there--more fitting for the time, it was done in a sorta award show format.
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