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About JamesF

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  • Birthday 02/15/1985

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  1. I'm up to around episode 346 (I think) and the Angela story has just started. It is such a strange story...I get that it was most likely done to elicit sympathy for Stephanie but I can't imagine what the long term plan was. I know about the ultimate deception but I don't really buy (yet) that it was Bell's intention from the offset. Susan Flannery continues to amaze me. Having only watched from the mid-90s onwards, I'm used to the bulldozer she became, always a hair's breadth from fury. This earlier version is far more nuanced and Flannery's exhausted resignation when she told Eric and then the kids about Angela was perfection. I've always been a Brooke stan but watching these early years does provide so much colour and texture to the later stuff.
  2. Thanks that's interesting to know and reassuring I hadn't simply missed it. The Logan stuff is important context to the set up of the show and I can't put my finger on what doesn't work for me. The casting is stronger than I'd expected but other than Brooke and to a lesser extent Donna, I don't really connect with them. I'm also very intrigued about the recasting of Judith Baldwin with Nancy Burnett. Judith set Beth up as a kind and strikingly beautiful woman who life hadn't been kind to; one you could imagine, when watching for the first time, might realistically win Eric's heart and take her place in the house on the hill. Nancy Burnett however just does not play that character.
  3. Add me to that list, I absolutely ate up the 1992 episodes. I've just started watching from the beginning thanks to this thread and with some judicious FFing (mainly the Logans) I'm up to episode 50. I've always been a huge fan of Susan Flannery but her characterisation in these early episodes is mesmerising; to me she holds the entire show together. She's both terrifying (genuinely, not the cartoon slap slap 2000s version) and tragic. I do have a question about Stephanie in these episodes though. In the first couple of weeks she received a phone call at home and did the classic soapy "I told you never to call me here" routine. Do we find out who the mystery caller was? I assumed it would be to do with "Angela" but it seems very early for that to have been factored in.
  4. In essence, I'd say so from my limited observation 🤣 God knows moneyed Cheshire is a whole other universe... I've only seen a few eps of this return so the Barbour look sounds exactly right and an updated follow on from her 90s style. But I saw her in some really unflattering outfits with false nails and her hair looking a bit Cheshire. I did see an episode where she "dressed down" after Moira shoved her in a mud mountain - it was natural and understated. Perhaps I've not seen enough to judge fairly. I do hope though that fans (and I guess the show) move on from the age related potshots. I've never thought of Kim as the kind of character who'd put herself in the position to invite cheap, low blows.
  5. I dipped in again to see how they'd handle Kim's permanent return and dipped right back out again; there is nothing compelling or even logical about the way they're attempting to integrate her back into the show. Practically begging Cain for sex, nearly getting into a fist fight with fish wife Moira and propping up the bar at the Woolpack like an old lush. All while being presented as a femme fatale for the ages. It's so coarse and crass and lacking any kind of realism - not helped by her floating around the cardboard and glitter Home Farm set the rest of the time. It's third rate Footballers' Wives stuff and the styling does Claire King absolutely no favours. No wealthy, sophisticated woman who lives in rural Yorkshire dresses that way (even if they have come out of prison) nor does it correspond with the character as she was in the 1990s. The hair, makeup and nails make her look like a hard woman who spends half her life on sun beds and smokes 40 a day. Ironically, she actually looked better on Corrie when she was playing exactly that kind of character.
  6. I've had a chill out day today and decided to binge through a load of the 1992 episodes posted up thread. When I watched in the UK, episodes started from 1994 and although I've gone back and worn out YouTube since then, I've never watched so many consecutive full episodes from before the time. I've watched a fair bit of 1987 but it's all a bit dry and lifeless as Bill Bell got a grip on what worked. Having got to mid-December 92, it's such addictively trashy soap. Even though by my reckoning there are 5 or 6 fewer contract characters than there are in 2019, the show feels so much more expansive and varied. It also (in spite of being 100% pulpy entertainment) feels so much more like it exists in the real world. I've always (well...bar 2018...) loved Sheila but she is such a shot of energy and the different dynamics with the other characters are fascinating to see play out. The Eric/Brooke/Sheila awkwardness feels way more modern than anything you'd see on soaps today. All trying to be adult but stepping on egg shells. It made me reflect on the state of the show today. Instead of lurching from one story to another and letting the show basically eat itself alive, I wish someone could take over with a long term view. Work out the ideal shape and size of the canvas, types of stories etc and then get there. Ridge/Brooke/Taylor should be filling the roles that Eric/Stephanie/Jack/Sally fulfilled in 92, not repeating the same stuff they were doing themselves. On the other side, Karen just does not work as a character at all. Joanna Johnson is perfectly appealing but I've got no concept of what Karen's personality is supposed to be. There's also a gross scene with her insinuating to an icked out Bill that she's going to "do things" with Thorne in spite of being a virgin. This is in the same set of episodes where Eric talks earnestly with Ridge about whether he does or doesn't want to have a new sexual relationship. Guess some things were always consistent. Zack and Felicia are zzz too but that story seemed to be finished up quickly. No one story dominates for weeks on end. I sincerely hope for 1993 in the future because from what I've seen, it's even better.
  7. Thank you, it's been a few years since I've seen that stuff and still got me! That in itself links to comments in this thread - it gets me because I grew up with the show and those characters. Equally, I also used to absolutely love B&B and hands down class the Stephanie/Brooke BeLieF storyline in 1993 as some of the best soap ever created (the clips are in the US soap thread). It appeals to me in a completely different way. I was on the edge of my seat, I was willing Brooke to slap Stephanie back (thankfully she did) and it was immensely satisfying drama. But I cannot recall a time that show has ever made me even close to shedding a tear. That's not not its function for me or its identity. I got quite into Guiding Light in the mid-noughties, admittedly not an era that long term fans rate in any way whatsoever. The appeal was seeing something in US soaps that was a little more domesticated and "real". It also led me to a blog that posted classic GL clips from over the years with lots of explanatory detail on the context of the scenes. The material around Maureen Bauer's death (again posted in the US soap thread) made a really significant impact me in taking US soaps seriously as drama as opposed to popcorn entertainment. Another scene that I think belongs in this thread. A rare example of Corrie showing real heart these days; the whole episode was excellent:
  8. I think that's probably the best work that she's done on the show; she also had some very meaty material a few years before where she revealed that she had helped her mother to die when she was a teenager. I love the show and always will because it's "my soap", I'm the same age as it and grew up with it. I completely see its flaws and I'm lucky that there have been only a few periods where I've had to stop watching. The quality has never plummeted through the floor so dramatically that I think the damage is irreparable but there have been some very close calls. That said, it is wildly inconsistent... if I take Jackie Woodburne as an example, I feel like she shines when she's absolutely committed to the material as above. She's phenomenally talented but unlike some actresses, she can't sell the hokey stuff and around 2005-6, the tone of storylines changed so dramatically for her that she became used to doing these heightened, campy performances and I think she enjoyed getting to play more of an edge to her character. Her last great work I think was when the character was diagnosed with MS in 2007. There is one particular scene which I desperately looked for to post (but couldn't find it) where she is temporary blind but hasn't yet been diagnosed. She's in hospital for a CT scan and freaks out halfway through until Karl goes in to her. They'd been rather stoic up to this point and then both break down - I've not seen it for some time but it always used to have me in floods. As for other soaps, ironically, I think many of the best moments are more difficult to track down online than they are for the US soaps. The Laurel scenes in Emmerdale are on my list so glad to see they've been posted. I'll ponder anything else that I might be able to find. Edited: As if by magic, that's one of the scenes I remember vividly!
  9. http://www.digitalspy.com/soaps/emmerdale/news/a868277/emmerdale-spoilers-kim-tate-return-confirmed-claire-king/ So there we have it... I'll pop back in to the show again when she returns but assuming it'll be Kim Tate vs the Dingles I won't be sticking around.
  10. I've not seen a great deal of Joseph at all but can see why you'd feel that way because I can't bear any of those characters either The Tates though are so iconic to me and when I read ages ago that they were being revisited, I had misplaced hopes that it was the start of building a next generation. Particularly because the show is not one to draw on history from that era and I thought there was so much potential in it. Another side note and complaint, wtf has happened to the Home Farm set? It looks like it was designed and dressed for a school play.
  11. Probably 2000, around when it went to five nights a week and Sarah Sugden was killed. I never particularly cared for that character (I found the actress irritating) but she served a clear purpose in the Sugden family. When she went, it felt like the start of a decline I guess. There was this air of transforming the show into something else that was more ITV cookie cutter. This was a period where I recall the whole drama slate on ITV becoming very basic and broad strokes. With Emmerdale this seemed to be through hollowing out the families, relationships and characters that had built up during the 90s (the building blocks of what makes a soap a soap) and replacing them with gimmicky, comedy characters. I remember finding Bernice really jarring in those days. I never liked the Dingles and they came to feel like the only stable family. I've kept tabs on and off over the years and the only period I actually enjoyed again was Gavin Blythe's era at the helm. The Wyldes, that Fatal Attraction story and Aaron stuff pulled me back in. It wasn't high quality per se but there was cohesion to it and soapy twists and turns that at least had some logic to them. I remember finding the Emma Barton stuff ludicrous a couple of years ago but I watched that week and appreciated the audacity of it. At least it felt like they were putting in huge amounts of effort and playing it straight. But this week...they've effectively shat on the memories of what I enjoyed when I loved the show. Kim is unrecognisable (I couldn't even call her a character), the story makes no sense and killing off Joe is insane. I rarely feel truly sentimental about soaps and certainly never thought I'd feel so outraged by Emmerdale but these episodes are appalling. Story, acting, production. Absolutely everything.
  12. Seconded. I've watched this week because I've always said the only thing that could lure me back was Kim Tate. I cannot believe the tacky pantomime I'm watching... I might post more thoughts once the week is out but at the moment I'm astounded adults have been paid to produce what I've watched.
  13. I think some of that is down to the fact that it was a more ambitious rip off of the similarly named Sons and Daughters from Australia. It replaced that show in most ITV regions when it debuted and had a very similar set up (one wealthy family, one poor, two siblings-who-don't-know-they're-siblings fall in love). I've only got very hazy memories of it when I was off school but remember it changed significantly in its last year or so. It started to revolve around a wealthy family and village in Cheshire; kind of early 90s Emmerdale without the farming. As a sidenote, I'm about two thirds of the way through Sons and Daughters as it's now online in its entirety. What a mental show that is. Way beyond anything Families attempted! I really threw myself in to Crossroads and Night and Day when they debuted. As a 16 year old soap obsessive, I was beside myself to get not one but two new soaps and was going off a lot of what was being offered in the established ones. Crossroads disappointed in both incarnations. The first was just drab and a bit...well...Doctors. The second was unbearably cheap. The stories and concepts could potentially have worked if they'd had the money to back it up (and weren't going with ridiculous character names like Angel Samson and Betty Waddle, two that stick out in my memory). Night and Day was so much more interesting but it lost me in the middle period. It felt like the producers were rebelling against its failure (and ITV) by making it as insane as they possibly could. This meant that I struggled to grasp WTF was going on and when it was shunted to late night I saw the writing on the wall and gave up. I do remember the final episode which was a fitting finale. Only some time after Corinne Hollingworth took over as producer so maybe the last 3-4 months. The beginning was absolute dross. I seem to remember the turning point being when the bar owner was beaten up and left for dead. It was quite a brutal cliffhanger and sticks in memory; the female residents all then rallied round her over the course of the following few weeks and were able to demonstrate a bit of actual character.
  14. I'm only watching Y&R very sporadically but to temper the concern somewhat... If MY is essentially saying he wants to replicate the UK/Aus approach through "one ep=one day", there are plenty of times when they don't follow this rule. Particularly around big cliffhangers, weddings etc where the day may be stretched over 2-3 episodes. I would hope that the same common sense would be used for Y&R so that it's not completely arbitrary.
  15. That Sheila/Sally scene is absolutely magic. A testament to Darlene Conley, Kimberlin Brown and the juicy soapy goodness that B&B used to be. I was only around 13 when that aired and I still distinctly remember the thrill of those two characters interacting because I hadn't seen it before (and don't recall it happening again). Yet more reminders of the squandered potential the show has. Edited - I've just watched the clip of Sheila/Stephanie where Sheila asks if she never wanted to lose control when Brooke went after Eric. "I never wanted to attack her physically!" At the time I just loathed Stephanie has a hypocrite but now I suspect it was just the start of the writing rot setting in.
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