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  1. That channel went up to 1992...I know, because I had been binging the Natalie-in-the-well story in recent weeks, for the first time. I found this period fascinating, in part because the backstage drama I've read about was so obviously spilling over onscreen. The show was clearly shifting its focus, but there were still elements of Pine Valley being a community where people had to deal with real/mundane day-to-day things amid the melodrama. It was clearly not going to be sustainable, but it made for compelling viewing while it lasted, and the Natalie story was the over-the-top, gari
  2. Thank you. Oh yeah, I can see why the network gave PFS more latitude than Munsteri. If anything, I'm just more surprised that they (temporarily) abandoned the idea of turning RH into a more generic show at all after the brief Kirkland era, as opposed to scapegoating Munisteri for the poor showing and immediately replacing her with a more established head writer from one of the more popular shows of the era. In fact, seeing those early '80s ratings—thank you for sharing those—and how GL was the highest rated non-ABC soap that one month when RH rode GH's coatta
  3. I think she's not so much contradicting herself as admitting she wasn't an objective source. She was ordered to create a new, paint-by-numbers family, but admittedly had no inspiration to do so and maybe that was partly why it didn't work. The early Buchanans (and the Lewises, for that matter) seem like shameless Dallas rip-offs in some ways, but someone at least was excited to be writing for them and seemed to genuinely have a vision for how they could shake things up...I suspect that's partly why those families evolved and carved out niche roles for themselves in their respective canvases,
  4. Several years after Mary was killed off, Kate Mulgrew returned for a few episodes, in which Jack and Maeve imagined conversations with Mary that helped them make peace with her death. The impetus for everyone having Mary on the brain was supposed to be Jack's budding relationship with Leigh—whom they all discussed by name, and at length, in those Mulgrew scenes. Several news articles reported that those scenes were pre-taped almost a year in advance, before the show had even cast Leigh, apparently to accommodate Mulgrew's schedule. However, before those scenes could air, the show
  5. These are great finds, especially that '82 cast photo. (Side note: How recently did lower-rated soaps still get swanky all-cast parties for off-year anniversaries?) Interesting that Claire Labine is standing with Haskell and Nancy Addison, though. It reminds me that the early recaps involving Hollis had him interacting with Jill. I wonder if Claire had more of that planned. Jill representing Hollis in his efforts to take Delia's restaurant—while Rae seethed at the idea of her secret first love spending time with Jill—would have made for lots of interesting scenes, at least. Or would Holl
  6. To be fair, Catherine Hicks took over the role just after Faith had a psychotic break and underwent intensive, in-patient psychiatric treatment (off-screen). There were many references to Faith having confronted and overcome her neuroses in that process. Labine and especially Mayer (who found a new career as a therapist) were big believers in psychoanalysis. Whether or not I 100% shared their perspective that the best therapist in the world could have ever turned Faith Catlin's interpretation of Faith into Hicks', I think Faith had an arc and it made sense internally, and I was willing to s
  7. I was reminded of Ron Hale's quote when watching that one late 1982 episode on YouTube, because to my surprised Roger was prominently featured in the Kirkland intrigue that day. I tend to think it came from a place of Hale being genuine concerned about the show's identity starting to erode, as opposed to pettiness and ego about being backburnered for a few months. Again, it was also such a blink of an eye period in the show's history that it seems impossible to know who would or wouldn't have had airtime if Munisteri's long-term vision had materialized. That said, I also get the
  8. That I would have watched! Better yet, Maeve's partner from that 1982 dance hall story could have been a secretly rich Hollis Kirkland/Max Dubujak type—and all of his evil, uber-rich deeds were just part of his master plan to make Maeve his Queen of the Night. And if he'd had a history with Rae, to top it off... In all seriousness, though, I just rewatched that first Max episode and now that you mention it, he was pretty much laser-focused on Jill's slide. Despite the fact that they ended up crossing paths about as much as Stefano and Julie did; and, in that very same episode, R
  9. Virtually none, to my knowledge: Pat Falken Smith was credited as head writer in Max's first episode. His first scene, to @Neil Johnson's point, was very Stefano DiMera–esque (didn't PFS create him as well?) and indeed jarring—the same week Faith was written out and right before New Year's, driving home the point that it was a new era. Max was in some far-flung locale viewing photos of the Ryans, et al, on a slide projector while a henchman briefed him on their backstories. I think the Labines did bring Max back for a cameo as part of the story that introduced Barbara Blackburn's
  10. For sure, I get that—but I could see how Zenk might have been annoyed, having played the initial story with Margo and James, if Barbara was treated as just a pariah when she tried to get Tom back. At minimum, I think Barbara could have helped justify it to herself because of that history, even if it was ancient history by that point. I guess part of my question was whether Margo's evolution had made sense and that history could have been presented as a major component of the triangle with Barbara and Tom, or if getting into that too much to justify Barbara's actions would have ope
  11. Was there a layer to Barbara's initial transformation (in the triangle with Tom and Margo) where she justified her actions—and/or any other characters at least sort of sided with her—specifically because Margo had been Barbara's husband's mistress? I admittedly do not understand how Margo went from that to the HBS/ED scrappy heroine version, and I've seen very little of Barbara in vixen mode before she was sort of redeemed once James came back from the dead and put her through (more) hell. In fact, most of Barbara's mid-'80s villainy that I have seen involved Brian and Shannon, wh
  12. Fascinating. Well, in those scenes when Holly moved in the house was...not that. Ross made a joke about Holly being alone in the middle of the woods like in a horror movie... Was it ever stated on-air that Holly's was supposed to be the same house where Reva lived, or is it possible they just reused the set?
  13. When I think about everything I've read about the Kirklands, I have to remind myself how short-lived they really were. Especially Christine Jones, who, as you mentioned, came and went in three months. That's the kind of turnover we didn't start to see on soaps in the '90s and '00s. I loved most everything about Labine/Mayer's 1983 return (except Delia's material or lack thereof, likely because of ABC's influence) and on principle I'm opposed to the idea of any show's creators being forced out and a new core family being forced down everyone's throats. But especially in light of the turmoil
  14. I'm making my way through those February 1991 episodes. I'm not sure how much of this was posted before, but I think I skipped whatever bandstandmike had posted from earlier that year and started with the summer—although I always meant to go back and see how Curlee/Demorest, et al laid the groundwork for what came later. I'm curious how far out in the middle of nowhere was Holly's (previously Reva's, I know) house supposed to be? The way her first visitors were carrying on was surprising to me because, in later years, it seemed to be as centrally located as anywhere else in Sprin
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