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  1. Great to see a full episode in English! I think the first two episodes were online years ago dubbed in Italian. I believe this episode is about a week or so after the infamous "murder mystery contest" episode that ended with a bunch of different cliffhangers most of which seemed to be very quickly resolved by this episode. The episode itself was very plot heavy, but, coming off the previous week, the writers were probably trying to maintain momentum when it might have made more sense to slow things down. It was interesting seeing Kelly Bennett as Michelle Davenport. This character was eventually revealed to be Sarah Gallagher's daughter by Patrick Chapin, but not before she slept with her half-brother Carter Robertson. It was also nice seeing Janice Heiden playing Marissa Mallory. I liked the potential in that friendship (Michelle / Marissa) but I think Marissa is on her way out. I think her trying to poison Carter was her last hurrah. I was actually surprised they mentioned the poisoning (the issue with the vents). I am actually really surprised by how engaging I find Laurie Burton, the actress who plays Sarah Gallagher. I see why the show made her a more central figure as time went on. I believe they briefly paired her with Anthony Ponzini's police captain character. The stuff with Christina and Clay was less than appealing. I like both characters, but this just was pure plot. In regards to the connection between the book and the show, as previously stated, there were significant rewrites and story evolution that is grounded in the original source material. The Taylor Chapin / Julia Field / Logan Williams set up is lifted straight from the novel. In the book, Judd McBroom would bed most of the female students, which was one of the 'rituals' at the all girls' school. Judd impregnated Charlotte, who married a wealthy bisexual, and passed Judd's daughter Priscilla off as Sterling Lawson's. In the original pilot, Joe Lambie played Judd McBroom, Philece Sampler played Priscilla, and Christine Jones played Charlotte. Also in the pilot was Barbara Crampton as Sandy, who, in the book, is revealed to be the daughter of Priscilla's perceived father. When the pilot tested poorly, there were several significant rewrites. In one unused version, the show managed to retain the original source material by keeping the story ingrained in the all girls school but by adding in some significant older characters. Bayard Lawson was the industrialist grandfather of Laura Lawson, previously Priscilla. Bayard would eventually become Patrick Chapin. There was also an older female president who was a sort of Alice Horton type. Sarah Gallagher was originally named Jenny and played in the pilot by Stephanie Braxton. In this alternate version, Jenny had been raped by Turner Lawson, Bayard's son and Laura's "father," and birthed a police officer son (who would later evolve into Tom Gallagher). I recently read a newsbrief about Christine Jones from September 1984 saying that her character had gone from Charlotte Lawson to Ashley Tafton to Whitney Robertson to Susan Robertson to Christina Robertson. So the tweaking was pretty insane. Going back to Charlotte / Judd / Prisc story, in the soap, Taylor and Logan were lovers in their youth before Taylor married Carson Field and quickly birthed a daughter, Julia. Taylor and Logan were rekindling their romance and Julia was attempting to act as a spoiler. From what I've read, there seems to be hints that Logan was suppose to be Julia's father, but that was never revealed. I suspect that this was going to replay many of the elemetns of the original source, but they decided to scrap it. Julia had daddy issues and was involved with her older lover Berhardt, who eventually married Julia's frumpy roomate, heiress Patty Dupont. Julia was briefly involved with Clay Travis, who is involved with Christina in this clip, before they paired her with African American cop Lucky Washington. Once they brought on Peter Haskell as C.J., I think they had long abandoned the idea of Julia being another man's child. As disappointing as this episode was, it gives me hope more of it is out there.
  2. Neat article. If I had to venture a guess, it wasn't Patrick Johnson alone that the audience was rejecting, but the Curtis storyline. My first introduction to "Loving" were the old rec.arts.television.soaps messages; that crowd was not found of the Kuwait storyline. Watching those episodes in more recent years, Patrick Johnson has the misfortune of arriving several weeks before Noelle Beck leaves and is positioned in a major pairing with Dinahlee with some very bizarre trappings (the false names, the introduction of the country western bar). Jessica Collins had managed to sell so many different versions of the Dinahlee character, but this just wasn't going to work. The idea of a Curtis / Dinahlee / Clay triangle was much more interesting on paper than it was in execution. I prefer Lord over Johnson, but Lord overplayed a lot of the material. Also, I'm not sure we would have gotten crazy Curtis if it wasn't for Lord. With that said, I would have liked to see what would have happened if he had been given a few more months in the role. Prior to Lord's Curtis leaving, Curtis had been messing with Dinahlee's birthcontrol and I suspect they might have done a Who's the Daddy storyline involving Curtis, Dinahlee, and Clay or maybe Trucker. Part of the issue with Curytis was the character had been a mess for several iterations prior to his 1993 return. Chip Albers Curtis was too young and sending Curtis off to the Persian Gulf would have worked better if they used the experience to age the character (both in terms of actor and characterization). Instead, they continued playing him in the younger crowd when he was Trisha's older brother. I don't think anyone could have made that material work as it was written. The Shana / Leo storyline is good. Shana's desire to have a child was a smart move for the character. Taggart and Guza made Leo super chauvinistic which gave the characters some very natural conflict to play. Add in Ava and you had a very interesting set of circumstances. Sometimes they overplayed the slapstick in this story, but I felt the meat of the story (Shana's baby having developmental delays, Burnell's being owned by Shana) was enough to keep the story going much longer than Nixon did.
  3. Ruby mostly was with Lloyd and Stephanie in the stuff I've seen, but the pre-AOL material is spotty in places. Summer of 1983 is definitely one of them. I believe there was initially some build up to the owner of the paper. I want to say both Lloyd and Stephanie were separately trying to buy it because the owner had died and the widow was looking to sell it. In the character's backstory, Ruby and Stephanie had both vied, I believe, for the newspaper owner, but Ruby had won out. Given where the story was heading, I think the show was just using Ruby to help set up more situations for Lloyd and Stephanie, who I suspect were the show's longterm goal. I think the Steve stuff was more foundational than longterm.
  4. I think at the start of the storyline, Gina mentioned that there had been medical advances made which is why she was thinking of having a child. Though, it was definitely a minor detail that was never explored or developed further. I know this is unpopular, but I've enjoyed the bulk of what I've seen of the Dobsons 1991 run, but more scenes than storylines. As someone who doesn't live, eat, and breath Cruz and Eden, I find the final Eden storyline captivating in terms of the Eden is Channing, Jr. personality. Those scenes are just wonderful. Louise Sorel is also given some wonderful drunken monologues as she stumbles into a hospital room and laments on her life. I think the trial for Dr. Jameson running down Santana plays on the show's history nicely. I think the shooting of Mason leads to some nice courtroom drama as well. I don't hate Mason / Cassandra / Warren the way others do, but they do take up so much of the storyline. There are also way too many storylines that introduce international characters strictly to appear in criminal storylines or act as pure agitators. That said, to get through these scenes, you often have to put up with waste of space scenes with characters like Katrina and Dash or Eileen Davidson's Kelly. I also am not a huge fan of the Michael Brainard in those early scenes.
  5. Would Rosemary Forsyth's departure and Judith McConnell's arrival line up with Mary-Ellis Bunim's arrival on the show? Ava Lazar mentioned that Bunim (the new producer) wanted to work with actors she had worked with in New York. I believe McConnell would fall into that category.
  6. Ruby Ashford was on for a few weeks between June and July 1983. She first arrived during some big fundraiser party and left a little while later after selling Lloyd Kendall the newspaper.
  7. @JosephNatalie Schafer's Eleanor Carlyle was mentally ill. I believe she was released from a mental hospital and arrived on the scene after they killed of Baylor. If I remember reading correctly, Eleanor was Duncan's mother and Tracey's stepmother. Somewhere, I have the original proposal for "The Survivors" which was very different. I believe Duncan was originally suppose to be the focus and the storyline for the first year was very action oriented. There were a lot of production problems and I believe several episodes were filmed quite early on that were thrown out. Actually, they ended up being repackaged as a telefilm called "The Last of the Power Seekers" and it aired internationally. In regards to Krystle/Alexis angle, one of the only other forgotten 1980s soaps that went that angle, and has been seemingly forgotten, was the late night "Behind the Screen." The patriarch character, Gerry Holmby, headwriter for the soap opera "Generations," had a second wife, his writing partner Dory, and his ambitious first wife, Angela Aries. I wish "Behind the Screen" would pop up the way other 1980s primetime soaps have.
  8. I don't think the show really appreciated what they had in Clay and Gwyn. I know bickering divorced couples who love each other in a different way are a staple of soap opera, but it would have been nice to have a least a few weeks of them happy together before they would tear the band aid off. Parlato and Heinle shouldn't have worked as well together as they did. Parlato kept Clay from being completely creepy despite the fact that the age of his girlfriends seem to consistently decrease. Trisha and Jack were both dead to Trucker and Stacey. The guilt about betraying the loves of their lives is about the only energy the story would have had. I'm not personally advocating for a grand romance, but I do think that Stacey and Trucker heading a mixed match brood of kids in a working class surburban household would have made a semblance of sense. It just would have reduced the characters to tentpoles rather than active agents in the story. I have complained about Tess for many years. Catherine Hickland is talented, but Tess was such a cluster of a character. Hickland managed to salavage the character when the writing wasn't there. I would argue the only time Tess worked was when Nixon was writing and she was mostly just manipulative and self destructive. Taggart and Guza's grifter was unlikeable. I don't remember much of Tess' story under Walsh/McCarthy, but Tess just seemed present. The final version of Tess under Brown and Essensten was terribly harsh and crass. It was really a turn off. With that said, she had great chemistry with everyone. I thought Tess and Cooper worked together in a twisted way. That was probably my favorite pairing for Hickland on "Loving." Though I think they could have done a nice marriage made in hell between Tess and Clay if Deborah hadn't shown up. It was great seeing Woodall. I wish he had tried another show. He still has the same energy and vibe that he did when he was on "Loving" 30 years ago. It was a nice treat. I still think they should have tried to bring Matt back when they wrote out Casey.
  9. To me, Trucker and Trisha were simply a Trisha / Steve redux. If you were going to go that road, why not make Trucker a Sowolosky or a Rescott and call it a day. In the final days (March 1993) of Trisha and Trucker, they were simple a young married couple hanging out with their friends and living a happy life. Without all the constant melodrama, I understood why the couple was appealing, but they were just a lot to take as the show's central couple. I certainly agree that Stacey and Trucker would have been a thing had the show just continued. I just felt they got along too well and had nothing unique to keep them together as a couple. If the show was okay with Stacey and Trucker setting up house in the Donovan place and offering advice to the miserable people of Corinth that would have been fine. I just can't see them driving major story as a couple as either did in other pairings. There are times I wish they had cast Larkin Malloy as an Alden cousin. I don't think the writing was necessarily bad, but it wasn't right for Clay. I didn't appreciate how Addie Walsh found it necessary to write Dinahlee as a victim in order to keep her relationship with Clay going. Parlato's Clay cohabitating at the Alden mansion with Tudor Newman's Gwyn lusting after Collins' Dinahlee while Marcantel's Curtis slowly unraveled was a missed opportunity. If Buck wasn't brought on for that specific reason, I do think the idea occurred along the way. Buck was an invention of Guza and Taggart who arrived shortly before Noelle Beck departed. The whole Persian Gulf backstory with Buck, Tess, and Curtis wasn't my favorite. I think Taggart and Guza would have commited to Tess / Trucker as end game which I think would have been very unfortunate. Stacey / Buck / Gwyn was an unlikely storyline that really worked. Brown had nice chemistry with both actresses. I didn't like the pregnancy storyline, but I do think it was a mistake to move Gwyn out of Stacey and Buck's orbit so quickly only to turn around and blow up a Clay / Gwyn revisit all in the name of accomodating the albatross that was Jeremy Hunter. @DRW50, you are spot on. I'd say there are a few more I enjoy. After Ally gets pregnant, I can take pretty much any configuration of the youth quad: Ally / Casey, Casey / Steffi, Cooper / Steffi, and Cooper / Ally. To be honest, Casey / Steffi was my favorite. I liked Clay and Gwyn with Parlato and Tudor Newman. Under Taggart / Guza, I did like Shana / Leo. After the initial reunion in the fall of 1993, I felt the Ava / Alex story could be trying at times. I enjoy things like Egypt's murder, but it is a story that required Egypt to go to the extremes in order to facilitate it. Ava taking over AE had huge potential, but that story was quickly nixed. I don't know if they ever properly dealt with the fallout of Alex shooting Gilbert, but I think that also had some legs. Ultimately, I don't hate that Alex and Ava didn't end together, but rather that Alex moved on with Jocelyn. Nixon is credited in September 1993. Debbi Morgan arrived in August 1993. It's entirely possible this was all in place and due to contracts. Taggart had previewed some big surprise returns for the show's tenth anniversary but none of that came to be. I'm not sure if she was talking about Alex Masters and Angie (return to daytime). Angie is introduced as the doctor helping Shana with her pregnancy. We also see her dealing with a very rebellious Frankie, who Trucker offers to take under his wing. Through Frankie, Trucker and Angie meet and Trucker asks Angie out, but Angie rejects this. The show had just moved Tess out of Trucker's orbit and into Curtis / Clay's worlds. Peluso definitely could deliver a solid performance even when the writing wasn't up to par. Jeremy and Ava had potential, but there stories didn't work. I actually liked Gilbert and Ava a little bit, but only in the sense of a tragic couple who would never be able to make it work. Ava and Alex in the mid 1990s always seemed to be in a story bubble and it would have been nice to seen them a bit more integrated.
  10. I do believe they made Rick a bit crazy. Originally, it appeared that Rick was brought on to replace Curtis on the canvas as the Alden troublemaker, but in a different way. By that point in the story, Curtis was involved with Lotty and they were already making him more of a traditional romantic lead. Rick seemed like he could be trouble. Rick was involved in the Lily story, which would have made more sense with Curtis in the role given Curtis' history with everyone. I wasn't one who was impressed with Taggart's 2002-2003 stint the way others were. To be fair, she was still contending with Paul Raunch for most of it. I thought the Marah / Tony rape me scene was very off putting as was Cassie stripping for Danny. The end worked much better for me with the stalker storyline and the mystery about Gus. I have come to appreciate her work a lot more in recent years when it comes to "Loving," but also still hold to the belief that significant periods of her run with the show were mediocre at best. The 1991 material from Taggart (and Tom King) can be a bit heavy. The birth and death of Trisha and Trucker's son is pretty rough. Killing both Jim and Jimmy in a plane crash was a bit much. I thought the Abril baby story was a nice unifying thread that united many parts of the canvas. I also liked the love triangle with Carly / Ava / Paul even if it wasn't anything terribly original.
  11. @Broderick I believe you are talking about the summer of 1979. Your comment about the looseness of the canvas would make sense. John and Joyce Corrington were the headwriters at the time. They can write some very enjoyable soap opera, but they were not always great about keeping connected characters interacting. On their own show "Texas," they often kept members of the Marshall family in segmented parts of the canvas. Also, the Dekkers also had a tendency not interact enough as a family. I'm curious if this was a "Search for Tomorrow" isuse or a writer's issue. With that said, "Search for Tomorrow" also had a tendency to keep characters even after their connections faded. I'm always surprised how long David Sutton stays on for example.
  12. From the limited episdoes I've seen of that period, Robin Mattson's Gina doesn't really gel under the Dobsons until they introduced Lily Light. Gibboney and Mattson played them so differently. Anne Howard Bailey taking over the writing really benefitted Mattson. Mattson's Gina worked well with Justin Deas' Keith, and it was under Bailey that they really succeeded as a couple. I didn't hate the stuff with Michael Conrad and Gina, but I'm not sure they could have gone much farther than they did with that couple. I wish the Lily stuff had gone on longer.
  13. This is a quote from Todd McDurmott explaining his departure from "Loving." Joe Hardy was EP at the time and Millee Taggart and Tom King were headwriting. Honestly, I think McDurmott made the right choice. That proposed storyline sounds pretty terrible. Also, King and Taggart definitely had a history of taking third wheel characters to the extreme (Dan Hollister and Jeff Hartman spring to mind). To be quite honest, I don't think King and Taggart's work was very good until Jacqueline Babbin came in and Babbin inferred that she had to lean heavy into the writers to adjust the writing. Taggart's 1993 run is much stronger and set up Nixon very well for her return even though she used very little of the foundations.
  14. I agree @Forever8 about Peluso. Her Ava goes through several character shifts and Peluso just seems to maintain a consistent throughline even when it doesn't seem logically possible. I think the Ava / Leo / Shana trianle was fun when it wasn't being absurd with some of the fantasy sequences. Peluso and LeClerc had nice chemistry, but I didn't care for Jeremy and Ava as a couple. I wish they had allowed the sequence where Ava learned that the Aldens had cheated the Sowolskys and Cabot turned over significant portion of AE to Kate and Ava. I felt like that had the potential to be the best Ava story, but instead they went with the Gilbert tale which seemed an early taste of the campy style plots that would overrun soaps in the next decade. I spent a little time last summer thinking about what could have been with "Loving" had it survived. I think the murders secured James Harmon Brown and Barbara Essensten their lengthy stay at the show (nearly 2 years which hadn't happened since Tom King and Millee Taggert in 1988-1991). Without the ratings bump from the murders, I figure they probably would have been out by late 1995 or early 1996. Personally, I would have liked to see if Millee Taggart and Mary Ryan Munisteri could have worked together. I also wouldn't have hated to see someone like Richard and Carolyn Culliton have taken over the show. Though I've read the monkey's paw, so if the show had lived, we would have been subjected to Megan McTavish's "Loving," which would have been nothing short of brutal.
  15. I'm particular to Dennis Parlato, but I haven't seen all that much of James Horan's work consistently. To be fair, I have a hard time distinguishing some of the writing from how I feel about the character. Those 1990-1991 episodes that have showed up have shown Clay as a bit cowardly and weak. I feel like Clay just sort of lets Trucker take the blame for the plane crash rather than actively playing a role in the set up, but maybe I'm remembering it wrong. Clay only becoming interested in Abril's baby because of the will was interesting. I would like to have seen a longer tale with James Horan's Clay married to Colleen Quinn's Carly while raising baby Tommy. I think the tension between the couple and Trucker and Trisha and the couple and Abril would have been very interesting. Larkin Malloy's Clay was written by Walsh who briefly played Clay as this lovelorn romantic lead which didn't suit the character. By the time Clay becomes menancing again, I just couldn't rectify this with the overly sappy Clay who was helping Dinahlee to pretend to be Trucker for Hannah's sake several months earlier. If Malloy had stayed, maybe my mind would have changed. Parlato plays Clay for the bulk of the gaslighting story and just embraces the darkness that Clay has within him beautifully. Then, Taggert and Guza humanize him a bit by making it clear he does care for Dinahlee despite all the terrible things he did. I think the potential of Clay and Curtis as rivals both romantic (for Dinahlee and maybe Tess) and business rivals (Curtis rejoined AE in July 1993 when Michael Lord took over) had potential. I wish the Clay - Cooper relationship had been developed more as I felt that was a dynamic that had serious potential to develop story. I also think Parlato did a good job selling the Clay / Steffi story which could have just felt creepy. Had the show not been cancelled in 1995 and hobbled along a few more years, I wonder what they would have done when Parlato left in 1995. I think it might have been good to rest Clay for a little bit and to bring back Anne Alden back into the story. Similarly, with Wesley Addy passing in January 1996, I wonder what the show would have done with the Alden family all together.
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