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Posts posted by beebs

  1. 8 hours ago, Franko said:

    Mike and Margo's wedding, of course, resulted in an unintentionally hilarious photo.


    That might be the funniest wedding photo I've ever seen. WTF¬†ūü§£ūü§£ūü§£


    I feel it says something about Patty Weaver's charisma that she was able to be so popular in two roles despite the writing for her being so unforgiving (especially at DAYS, though I disliked what a perpetual victim she was at Y&R too).



    August time!


    So, the direction they're going with Maggie/Mickey/Janice/Joanne is starting to become clear. Basically, Mickey, Maggie, and Joanne all agree to not let Janice know that Joanne is her natural mother. Except Hope overheard someone talk about it, so Hope opens her big mouth to Janice, who is now treating Maggie like sh*t. She starts taking a few drinks because, between Janice rejecting her, and Mickey working so much, she feels isolated. Of course, the drinking makes it worse, so when Mickey asks her to do things, Maggie has a "migraine".


    Janice and Melissa are becoming fast friends, and with Maggie drinking so much and Janice being so snipey toward her, Maggie doesn't mind. Except...


    Linda has her big party for Steve, and Maggie decides not to go, because of her "migraines". Mickey gets there and sees Joanne working the party, and is even more pissed off when Linda tells him that Joanne is her permanent maid. Mickey's suddenly glad Maggie had that "migraine". He confronts Joanne about it, but insists that Mickey let her keep the job, as it's the only stability she has and it isn't even really in Salem (since it's out at Bob's lakehouse). Mickey isn't entirely convinced but goes along with it.


    He does end up breaking the news to her. Melissa invites Janice to a party at her house. Maggie doesn't want Janice to go, Mickey says that that would be the worst thing for her relationship with Janice. 


    So, now Janice is going to Melissa's regularly, and now is spending all kinds of time with Joanne, while Maggie stands back in silent horror at, and, instead of stepping in to do something about it, drinks about it. Janice eventually asks Joanne if she's her real mom, but Joanne tells her that if they wish to stay friends, Janice must never ask that question again. Mickey and Maggie, meanwhile, are somehow convinced Janice doesn't know she's adopted. That somehow Janice is just...rebelling? And do nothing except wring their hands.


    Another story that required everyone to lose a few IQ points to make work, it seems.


    Laura, who, incidentally, thinks Maggie is overreacting in her fears that Joanne wants to take Janice away, finally convinces Bill to come with her to check on Maggie. They find the house on fire, and Maggie taking a nap after getting sloshed because Janice is at a sleepover at Melissa's. The next morning, Maggie picks Janice up at the Andersons' and rips Joanne a new one, telling her to get out of town or she'll press kidnapping charges after her little fairy godmother stunt in Florida.






    Ann Marcus certainly loves inventing family members for characters on this show. Within a week of each other, we get Neil's cousin Pete Curtis (played by Meegan King) and Chris' sister Amy Kositchek show up. Pete instantly falls for Donna, who is uninterested in him because she's got a creepy infatuation with Don! So THAT's why she's been such a pain in Marlena's backside all this time. Pete is apparently of age, so Neil wans him to back off since Donna is 15. He doesn't listen, and Don encourages Donna to go because she has no friends her own age (Salem apparently was going through a baby rut in the Mid 60s if this is Don's solution). Donna intentionally withholds an apology message from Don to Marlena after one of their endless arguments. An interesting note, Marlena's ex Dr. Paul Whitman comes back to town for a second time (this man was Marlena's great love before she came to Salem, which made JER's inventing Alex North all the more silly). He came before after Marlena got out of Bayview in '77. He comes for a short visit, and once again tries to insinuate himself in Marlena's life while she on the outs with Don. But Marlena insists she will marry Don. Donna uses this to make Don angry and jealous again. When Don confronts Marlena about it, she blames Donna, and Don storms out. Fool.


    Amy, meanwhile, comes to town looking for a job for college tuition. She initially wants a loan, and Mary's willing to give one to her, but because Chris is a typical man of the 70s and doesn't want to be outshone by his ladyfriend, he refuses.


    Chris and Mary want to officially move in together, but Chris will only do so if they adhere to HIS lifestyle. Which, because he quit the executive position at Anderson, is pretty sh*tty. He feels guilty, and moves out. 



    David finally tracks Jeri down while Trish is in Italy, takes "Timmy", moves back to Salem, hires Amy as his nanny, and renames him Scott. Then finds out from Danny that Valerie moved back to Washington and, I guess because she realized his life is with Scotty and she's not gonna raise this twit's baby for her, cuts David off permanently (for now). I think they're trying to hint at something more than a employer/employee relationship with Amy, though I know that won't go far.


    Doug and Julie continues to be a nonsense story. Theresa isn't interested in Doug romantically, but is flirting with him anyway because she wants to get him involved more seriously in the record business. This irritates Julie, who takes off with Steve to Europe to buy more antiques for her new project, an antiques store. When she returns, she gets snarly with Theresa, insisting she stay the hell away from Doug. Doug finds Julie's jealousy adorable. Theresa can't handle the suspicions and hostility, and threatens to quit and leave town after nearly falling off the wagon (God knows why this woman with a drinking problem is working at a bar, but I digress). Doug convinces her to stay.


    Greg is offered a position at a hospital in Chicago. Amanda doesn't want him to take the position, as she's already feeling neglected by him in Salem. 


    Margo turns to Alice for comfort about the fact she's dying. Alice proselytizes at her until she's in a good mood again. 



    Is it just me or is Ann Marcus dropping a LOT of stories midway here? Like...an unusual number of stories and story threads get picked up, only to disappear from view and memory within weeks, sometimes before they even begin. Is Linda even trying to gather dirt on the Andersons anymore? She rebuffs Bob's insinuation that they start a family, but otherwise has been pretty quiet this month. She's done NOTHING with the information on Neil and Mary's affair, and there's been no mention of her trying to find information on Brooke at all. I can't tell if that's an Ann Marcus failing or bad summary writing on SOD's part.


    I really don't like how quickly Maggie turns to drinking. It was a rather instantaneous addiction that came out of left field a bit. I could see depression, maybe, but the turn to the bottle was abrupt. Laura/Bill/Kate stays on the backburner, though it seems like Elaine Princi stays on the show into 1979, so maybe they're coming back to it. They definitely were ramping it up before, only to drop it before it even really happened. All to focus on Donna's daddy issues. Yikes!

  2. 21 minutes ago, TV4Me said:

    Beth Ehlers was not a flop on All My Children. Taylor was a strong female character with a lot of potential. Chuck Pratt was the flop. He refused to write for her. She was on for 14 months, a lot longer than many much raved about stints. She refused to sign a new contract (can you blame her?). Funny thing is Chuck Pratt being fired right before Thanksgiving!

    OK, Beth.

  3. Okay, July 1978 is even more bonkers than June, somehow. 


    I'm realizing that I'm going to have to take advantage of both the weekly Tune In Tomorrow updates and SOD because SOD is REALLY bad at fleshing out their stories. Entire beats of stories are missing from their recaps, and it's shockingly hard to follow the stories if you aren't able to watch. The nice part about DSN was that, if you weren't watching, you still got a real sense of exactly what was going on on the show, regardless. SOD, not so much.

    Struggling a bit to figure out where to begin with this.


    Suffice to say, the Anderson story remains the only story worth watching, but even THAT is starting to get chipped away at. I...am thoroughly unsurprised by the .9 ratings drop DAYS had during 1977-78. Though after reading TIT's recaps, even June made a lot more sense. So...

    Follow me here.


    Going back to June a bit, they fleshed out Samantha's story a bit more than what SOD talked about. Sam's guilt about what she did to Marlena really eats at her, so she left for Hollywood for a new film. I suppose Sam's guilt and resolve to clean herself up from her pill addiction really made it plain to Marlena that Sam really did love her, thus explaining her forgiveness, but I still feel like it was a bit easy for Marlena to forgive so quickly.

    In July,

    Marlena gets the memo about Don, and returns from Colorado in time for Bill to realize that if he doesn't inject Don with this EXPERIMENTAL DRUG, Don will DIE! (oh brother) Apparently this staph infection has caused internal bleeding, which necessitated surgery. 


    Don gets the drug, he recovers...except HE'S DEAF (I literally hollered upon reading this, WTF!!) He's mopey and brooding in the typical Don fashion about this, and it pisses Marlena right off, until she makes it clear to him how he's hurting her, then he magically becomes tender and loving again...until he decides to move back into his own apartment instead of with Marlena. Apparently Donna is now trying to break Don and Marlena up?? Again, NO idea why she's suddenly become enamoured with Don at Marlena's expense, when she was super chummy with Marlena before, but Marlena is now very resentful of Donna's intrusion, even though she precipitated it. Donna moves into the Horton house, since, apparently she doesn't like Marlena anymore.


    Also, Greg thinks Marlena is not just rundown from her annus horribilis but actually physically ill (were they hinting at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?)



    Apparently completely absent from the SOD recaps was that Linda was all set to move into a new house with Melissa and Bob, only to have it burn down just before she moved in, thus the houseswap with Neil. Neil is being so generous with Linda as a means to potentially get in her pants (the ol' horndog). Linda isn't interested, but will gladly take whatever he's offering (sucker).


    Chris' job with a rival company of Anderson's was a low level job to keep money coming in while Chris set up his own business with Mary. This does, however, lead to a new opportunity. The new employer utilizes Chris' connections to Anderson to head up an environmental group objecting to Anderson's new project. Anderson's new project takes them into the last remaining wildlife refuge in Salem city boundary (this is starting to sound like my fanfic! Yikes!) and Chris works to try to convince Anderson to build in a different location. Bob agrees, Linda decides to, instead, fight to destroy Chris and his new employer, Jim Bradley, in order to make sure Anderson's new project goes ahead in its initial (cheaper) location.


    While this goes on, Linda continues to manipulate, throwing Steve a huge welcome party to outdo the Hortons, and simultaneously starts fishing for info about Brooke's involvement with the Andersons, after listening in on Mary tips her off.


    Jeri MOVED from Salem to meet Trish and live with/take care of Timmy/Scotty. I still don't know why Whiny Trish is so insistent David not see TimmyScotty. A PI tracks down Jeri and Trish in California, where Trish is getting into films. David decides to go to California to bring TimmyScotty home, but the family warns him not to in case of a court battle. Because, even though Trish did exactly the same thing, if David does it, it constitutes kidnapping and will play against him in court. At the same time David plans this trip, Trish gets a role in a film to be shot in Italy (spaghetti western, I'm presuming). She's bringing Jeri and the kid with her. This will end well.


    Before David leaves, a plant manager at Anderson lets him know that Paul Grant died of a heart attack. He comforts Valerie, and they seem on the path to full reconciliation again.I honestly do not see how Ann Marcus' plan was not to have David and Valerie as endgame, given the way the story is moving here. Why go to the trouble of killing Paul off otherwise?


    Bland Margo decides to start dating other men after rejecting Mike's marriage proposal. Mike's jealous. A week later they reconcile, and then marry. Whoopie!


    Steve returns to Salem, and immediately becomes involved in a whole whack of stories. First, Doug hires a new singer to replace Whiny Trish (I confess I've always found Patty Weaver's singing akin to nails on a chalkboard). Her name? THERESA!


    Theresa, played by Elisabeth Brooks (Toronto, represent!), is immediately Steve's romantic fixation, and yet makes Julie jealous as well. Money starts disappearing from Doug's Place. Robert suspects Theresa. It is obviously actually Steve. Steve meets Mary, and is instantly attracted. Doug suspects Steve is only after Mary's money. Doug is a moron, and hires Steve at the club.


    Mickey tries to get Joanne out of town ASAP, but Bill and Tom insist that Joanne stay to recuperate, with Bill feeling responsible for his patient. Mickey reluctantly agrees. They'll regret this.



    Beebs' thoughts:

    There is too much going on now. Most of it is bad. I really wish someone would explain to me how Trish was a popular character for eight years, because I find her utterly insufferable. 


    Bill and Kate is well and truly dropped, I think. I'm fairly certain that they tried to make Kate Roberts into Kate Winograd when the character was first introduced (Alice very definitely recalled Austin's eyes as being extremely familiar, and Julie warned Bill about selling the house to Jack and Jennifer because "you know what happened in that house", it was absolutely being set up). But JER played FAR too fast and loose with history here. And the fact that it was only 15 years in the past at that point, it seems ludicrous to be THAT liberal with history if you don't plan to be faithful to it. Though, it is telling that the story began under Sheri Anderson. I suspect if Sheri had remained, that the massive plot holes would have been filled in a lot better than they were, but even then, given the fact that their relationship never evolved past flirtation, I would have difficulty buying Lucas as their son.

    Onto August!

    Apologies if this is less than cogent. I'm a bottle of wine in as I type this, so, bear with me.

  4. 3 hours ago, Titus Andronicus said:

    Yeah, the melodrama seems extremely thick at this point.

    I didn't see a mention of Laura. I've been looking forward to how the Kate infatuation played out, but nothing. I would have liked Laura's name to pop up, maybe to have to her concerned about how he's been pulled into the Joanne situation. 

    Yeah, Laura...I don't even think was MENTIONED in SOD for the month. It's really weird.I think they had relegated her back to being the catch-all psychiatrist and nothing more for the moment while they figured out what to do with her and Bill.I think the only mention she got at all might have been in giving Donna psychotherapy after she tried to kill herself.

  5. So it looks like May 1978 was the last Daytime Serial Newsletter, and that's a shame, because I'm not entirely enamoured with (I'm guessing) SOD's writeups. They're more detailed, technically, but somehow a touch more shallow, and because they jump between storylines, it's harder to follow what happens. I'm finding myself with a number of questions as to character motivations that I didn't get with DSN. Anyway, a lot happened in June 1978, so I'll just go into that one.

    So Donna so screws up her young life that she threatens to jump off a ledge. Marlena and Don talk her down, but while helping her in, Don falls off and ends up in the hospital. He's fine for awhile, but develops a staph infection and is at death's door by month's end. Marlena at first is bitter with Donna (she can't help but be hostile to Donna, but Sam tortures and nearly kills her but it's okay because...drugs???), but Donna ends up in the UH psych ward and breaks out to visit Don, and tells him she's sorry she's hurting the people she loves (meaning Don and Marlena, d'awww *gag*) and signs his cast, saying "you're the greatest". Apparently all is forgiven, but Marlena is still so stressed that Bill and Don sent her to her parents' in Colorado, and she's off camping with her dad, so Marlena doesn't realize Don's now a step from death. Oops!

    Doug and Julie, fresh off Julie's exoneration for Larry Atwood's murder, go to Paris on holiday. There they try to track down Julie's brother Steve (Stephen Schnetzer). I guess he blew through his inheritance, because he's now scammed a loan out of both Doug AND Julie without the other one knowing.

    Joanne Barnes has kidnapped Janice, promising she's a fairy godmother who'll take Janice to Disney World for a week and no one will notice she's gone because time will actually stay still in Salem. Of course, Mickey and Maggie notice, and get an anonymous note on their doorstep saying Janice is fine and she'll be brought back "when I'm done with her". When this doesn't inspire confidence, they report Janice missing. The last day Janice and Joanne are in Florida, Joanne has a heart attack and ends up in hospital. Her doctor in Florida traces a pill bottle he found in her things to Tom Horton. After a week of Joanne's name coming up repeatedly, the Hortons put two and two together and realize Joanne is actually Janice's bio mom and Mickey and Maggie fly down to reunite with Janice, who's happy to see them, but is now, of course, enamoured with Joanne. Maggie's sympathetic, but Mickey wants to go home and forget Joanne ever existed (probably where the smart money is, tbh). Maggie hears Joanne talk about how she's a welfare patient and her surgery is basically at the back of the line behind the paying patients. If she doesn't have her heart surgery for her angina soon, she'll die. Mickey gets sucked in and arranges for Bill to do Joanne's surgery in Salem. I would say this is compassionate and kind hearted of them, but I know where this story is going, so I think they're all putzes for going along with this right now.



    Margo decides not to marry Mike because of her leukemia and dumps him, and now Mike's mopey again and transfers out of town with Anderson. Byeeeee.


    Jeri hears from whiny Trish, who wants Jeri to come visit her at a secret location, and to not tell David, because...reasons. 

    I should point out right now an error I made earlier in these posts. Sybil--er--Trish did NOT kill her father. Jack Clayton was her STEPfather. Her bio dad is remarried and Timmy/Scotty is living with him, for reasons that have never been made particularly clear to me. 


    Jeri takes about ten minutes to call bullsh!t on Trish's demand and calls David and says to come to her place and they'd head out to meet Trish and "Timmy" together...then leaves early without David when she changes her mind, leaving a note saying she's sorry for the past [???] but is loyal to her [stupid] daughter, not David and the Hortons. So Jeri goes to meet Trish, tells her to let David see his son, and Trish says no, and apparently continues to not give a good reason for it. (My loathing for this character never ceases to grow exponentially with every passing month I read).

    David, meanwhile, is miserable, until he goes to a party at Mary and Chris' and finds Valerie there! They start dating again. I feel like Ann Marcus really did see David and Valerie as a strong pairing, but with Tina Andrews gone, and I suspect the brass at either Columbia, NBC, or within Corday being reticent to revisit the interracial romance, she couldn't do more than dip her toes in periodically. It's a shame, because I've enjoyed David and Valerie together. She is a calm, steadying hand in David's life, while the other women in David's life are so transient and wildly unpredictable. It's a real shame Ann Marcus' attempts to feature the Grants more heavily were stifled, because you can clearly tell there was an interest there.


    The strongest story on the show continues to be the Anderson family drama. Chris quits as an Anderson exec after repeated run-ins with Linda, who's continuing to manipulate the company and Bob to her advantage. Chris attempts to start his own construction firm, and convinces Mary to join him. Bob returns from a business trip to discover both Mary and Chris have quit, and Linda won't give any indication as to why. Bob doesn't press. 

    Chris then lands a job with a rival firm to Anderson, so...so much for going it alone, I guess.

    SOD really cocks up the timeline here, but from what I'm figuring out, Neil offered to homeswap with Linda and Bob, giving Bob and Linda the keys to Neil and Phyllis' house (since Phyllis is out of the country pretending she isn't married to a philandering twunt), and Neil moves into Linda's apartment. Chris and Mary find this out by having an intimate moment interrupted by Melissa, as Mary's house is on Neil and Phyllis' property. So Mary goes down to Neil's to ask him if he offered the houseswap or Phyllis (curiously THIS beat was earlier in the SOD article than the explanation of the houseswap, so I got a little confused for a minute). Neil confirms that he did, and then quickly changes the subject before Mary can tear him in half for it to their affair. Mary goes to leave, but it's too late, Linda's in the doorway and overheard the whole thing. Now she has ammunition she can lord over Mary's head at will. 



    I feel like they were really setting up to make Linda the queen bee of Salem. Manipulator, business powerhouse.  A similar role to what Kate Roberts would take on in more recent history. It's a shame they took her too far later on. I really enjoy her, and Margaret Mason is made for that kind of role. I would just LOVE to see her in action.

    These stories are, otherwise, so clunky, and melodramatic for no reason, it's hard to engage in them. I see Bill and Kate's affair storyline has been sidelined. Possibly to be picked up later, but it seems it never extended further than flirtation and angst.

    Onto July! *braces himself*


    ETA: I am really glad you guys are enjoying this. It's a lot of fun to read and share with you all. And until Sony stops being the dragon sitting on their mountain of gold and lets us actually view the archive, I guess this is as close as we'll get to being able to actually SEE the episodes.

  6. 23 minutes ago, OzFrog said:


    Woah woah woah... Donna wasn’t even Don’s daughter after all???

    Unless Ann Marcus did a 180 on this, it seems he isn't! Donna blew the whole scam by telling the lawyer who was representing Lorraine in the custody suit all about the scam because she stupidly thought he was in on it. Her actual father is apparently some GI who Lorraine slept with before moving in with Don. She was already pregnant when she lived with Don. 

  7. Made to May 1978 now in the Daytime Serial Newsletters.

    Ann Marcus seems to have settled into the job as headwriter now a year in, and is starting to find her groove. It's still not anything like it had been in Bell or Pat Falken Smith, but her show is finding its footing. 


    I think if I'm to look at Ann Marcus' run through cynical modern eyes, it's easier to find fault in it than it is in the context of where daytime soaps were in 1978. I'll agree with @Paul Raven that Julie being raped by Larry Atwood was unnecessary, but I think part of me looks at it that way because SO MANY women on DAYS have been raped now, it just seems excessive. But by 1978, only Laura had experienced this, and under vastly different circumstances, so I don't necessarily think the twist was ill-advised. Am I a fan of the Atwood underworld caper? No. But I've seen worse.

    Larry Atwood murder story is somewhat interesting, but I think years of GH centring so heavily on the mob has put me off any kind of underworld story on soaps. At least this organization seems a little slapdash, and not omnipotent like some of these organizations tend to be, but then that leads to me not taking them all that seriously either. I never get the sense that Larry Atwood or his associates are a real and pressing threat over Doug and Julie. Doug, indeed, is off singing on cruise ships all this time, and isn't exactly calling on anyone to watch over Julie while he's away. He just seems to sorta...leave her to her own devices.


    I also think revealing Arlo Roberts, bit player waiter from Doug's Place who was a plant by Larry to try to undermine Doug and Julie's business was a cop-out. I would've much rather seen someone like Jeri Clayton be revealed to be Larry's killer, especially considering her ties to Atwood, and her anger at what she perceived to be Larry's two-timing her with Julie. Have her kill him, and block out the memory of that, plus the revelation that Julie was raped, which would be what incites Jeri to kill him, and we've got a story. It's not like Jeri was a cornerstone of the show, but she mattered far more than Arlo the Waiter.

    Sam throwing Marlena in Bayview and taking over her life is another story that's been done so many times since, I can't help but roll my eyes at it, but it was a well-constructed story, at least. There's scripts posted from when Sam visits Marlena in Bayview, demanding she consent to shock therapy which I was fortunate enough to read (thanks Jason47!) that are very intense. Sam is cold, and menacing to Marlena, even threatening to kill her if she doesn't comply, before realizing that, DUH, SHE'S SAM! She can sign her OWN damn consent form! Of course, Marlena's saved, and Sam goes to rehab, but when Don and Marlena are to be married the next year, Marlena agrees to have Sam be her maid of honour??? Between Sam and now Ben, Marlena may be the most selectively forgiving person on the planet.

    One angle of Ann Marcus' show I'm really liking is how she's writing the Andersons. Phyllis and Linda, in particular, have flourished under her. I like how cunning Linda has become, playing Tommy and Bob against each other, all with the plan of not just marrying Bob, but becoming indispensable to his business, and, indeed, the REAL person with all the power at Anderson. It's been a fascinating transformation and I find myself rooting for her at every turn. Mary and Chris have been a decent match as well. I've also been really enjoying Phyllis finally growing a spine against all the sh!tty men in her life. The moment she finds out about her husband Neil carrying on an affair with her daughter, Mary, she begins to sabotage their relationship, calling Neil on dates with Mary that Mary doesn't show up to because Mary never made the date to begin with. Later, Phyllis cavorts about with her tennis instructor right in front of Neil while refusing to share Neil's bed. Mary won't speak to Neil either, so a sex-starved Neil tries to try it on with the nurse at his clinic, and she immediately quits in response! Brilliant! After years of Neil being a slimebucket and a horndog, he finally gets some comeuppance, and Phyllis regains some power. The best part for me was reading that she finally ended up leaving for a few months on a world tour after this because she "got bored" with emasculating Neil. An absolute delight.

    I notice the hotshot Dr. Griffin and his teenage daughter who was set to be paired with Mike got dropped with a quickness, as did Danny Grant and Toni's story. DAYS is now back to being lilly-white, I guess. Trish randomly decides she doesn't actually love David and runs off to Gary, Indiana (of all places) where Arlo the waiter has her singing at some random club, and just has her baby adopted out (Timothy but I know he eventually somehow becomes Scotty??). I'm guessing Patty Weaver left the show around this time because this seems like a real sharp left turn in the story, with Mike now hooking up with Chris' new secretary Margo, who immediately is diagnosed with leukemia and we're supposed to care a lot about her because she's mousy and blonde, I think.


    Mike goes running after her when she finds out, because she "doesn't want to be loved out of pity" (barf), but Mike flies cross-country to Margo's twatty mother's house and throws a bunch of platitudes at her and she falls for it and now they're getting married. Yawn. Cue what I know to be the slowest death from cancer in soap opera history.

    The Barton family saga ended in a nice neat little bow. Abused wife Jean tries to leave her husband, Fred. He trips over her suitcase while he's trying to get at her, falls down the stairs and has to go into surgery for a head injury. Because the hotshot Dr. Griffin was too busy looking for his daughter that night who was on a date with some dweeb he didn't like, Dr. Griffin couldn't be bothered to do the surgery. Bill and Kate found an intern to do it, but the guy was so nervous he ran off, so Bill had to, despite still having a sh!te hand after Mickey shot him while in his psychotic rage over Laura. Fred Barton wakes up and can't walk. Laura says it's psychosomatic. Fred sues University Hospital, so Kate and Bill are up for dismissal with the hospital board. The intern turns out to be a spineless rat who conveniently neglects to share his part in the debacle with the board and says Bill MADE him leave the OR, so Kate and Bill are fired. This is where Kate and Bill get to the point of emotional affair (it so far hasn't become sexual), as Laura feels Bill is threatened by the fact she's working and he isn't, and Bill and Kate were getting close as Bill became more involved in anesthesiology, which Kate is the head of for UH, or I guess, was, until she got sacked.

    Either way, they manage to convince the intern to stop being a baby and tell the truth, Kate and Bill are rehired, and Kate won't screw Bill because he's married. So...for now, that's it for that angle. Incidentally, the only discernible characteristic I've been able to uncover about Kate Winograd is that she REALLY REALLY REALLY doesn't want to be "the other woman". So, A+ character development there.

    The Bartons, on the other hand...Fred gets on an elevator with Marlena, who tries to shrink him on the fly. He's not having it, but then the elevator gets stuck between floors and Marlena has time to work her magic, and he goes on about how his mom got beat by his drunk dad and he has a sad and that's why he's a prick to his wife when he's stressed. A week later, he shows up to court and walks. His case against UH is dropped, Fred suddenly decides therapy is A-OK, and suddenly, Mickey & Maggie might as well have an empty apartment above them, because we never hear from the Bartons again...

    ...or Kate Woodville's Marie, who apparently disintegrated into the counselling program she was volunteering at after Alice finally snapped at her for taking over her home and family. Interesting that, other than a few minute conversation on the subject, Tommy and Marie's bonkers history was all-but-ignored on this run. I wonder what Ann Marcus' plan was for Marie, cos it certainly went nowhere.

    Also, Janice's bio mom moves into Mickey & Maggie's neighbourhood and is apparently pretending to be Janice's fairy godmother. This will end well.

    Aaaaand finally, we get to Don's senatorial campaign, in which the big scandal was going to be Marlena and Don LIVING IN SIN, causing Don to temporarily move out. This becomes mitigated by Don proposing...until Lorraine shows up. Lorraine apparently lived with Don for a month in 1964 until he found out she was turning tricks, and he never heard from her again, but apparently now he has a daughter: Tracey E. Bregman's Donna. And despite being clumsily named after him, he turns out not to even be her father, and it was all a scam to get money out of Don. Except, when it all was exposed, Lorraine skips town and leaves Donna in Salem??? WTF! So now she's Marlena's ward-du-jour. 








    Again, I think my biggest complaint about Ann Marcus' writing of this show is that it moves SO FAST she has burned through all this story in just one year. It must have been INCREDIBLY jarring for the audience so accustomed to tightly-focused, slow-moving psychological character studies, and suddenly having so much big-stakes, largely plot-based story thrust at them like this. There really is little room for dramatic tension, and when I read some of these writeups, I am absolutely rolling my eyes at a lot more of the plot points than I ever did under PFS, who I spent more time considering the nuance of the characters' behaviours with. 

    It feels like Ann Marcus' intention was to play with similar themes as before, but in a far shallower, perhaps more accessible way, but I think that sells the audience short, as DAYS was extremely successful for a very long time without dumbing down the story. I still really enjoy the more empowering way she writes many of the women of the show, but it really does feel a lot more stereotypically soap opera than what came before, and that's disappointing, because it comes off as lazy writing.

    Anyway, onto June we go. More ramblings to come.

  8. 1 hour ago, amybrickwallace said:

    I wonder why "Loving" was EP'ed by so many producers who not only never helmed a soap again, but seemed to vanish from the industry altogether. Ironically, their first EP was Joe Stuart, who came in with a decade of showrunning TD and OLTL - though I believe "Loving" was also HIS swan song in soaps.

    If I'm to believe Ellen Holly, he may have been such a tyrant to work for that nobody wanted to hire him anymore. 

  9. Thanks for the links @victoria foxton, and yeah, I'm less than engaged in Ann Marcus' stories so far, tbh. I watched the March 1979 episode earlier, which is early in Elizabeth Harrower's run. It already seems to be shifting back into a more intense style of the Bell era. Stephanie frying her fingertips off to stop the folks at Anderson from finding out she's actually Brooke is still shocking viewing 40 years later. As silly as the whole "Brooke comes back with a new name and face" story was (another Ann Marcus plotty story twist), I really do wish her identity had come out more naturally, and Stephanie had stuck around post-1980. She was a fascinating character to me.



  10. 1 minute ago, Franko said:

    Thanks. I see it as a slow burner. Maggie has an extra drink or two at Christmas and New Year's, then other parties, then with dinner, then without dinner. It doesn't have to be a cliché if it's told honestly and relatably.

    I love it. And you're absolutely right. Play it so slowly we hardly notice it happening until it's right in our faces. It can so easily be done, especially since the real story is Maggie's insecurity, and longing for the simplicity of her previous country life. Eventually, that could've even led to Maggie resenting Mickey having come into her life, driving him back toward Linda, for example.

    Ann Marcus seems allergic to this kind of story so far, as everything I listed above, plus Brooke spying on Bob, getting caught, and trying to run out of town and crashing her car and "dying", all within her first five months. It's absolute whiplash compared to previous years.

  11. 7 hours ago, AbcNbc247 said:

    @beebs that was the best rant I've ever read lol


    I can see why the ratings dropped a little at this time. The change from years of psychological realism under Bell and Falken Smith to melodrama must have been quite jarring.

    LOL thank you @AbcNbc247, I'm gonna keep reading the Daytime Serial Newsletters and maybe post a little more about what happens as I go along. Do we know when the last DSN was published? I really like the detail they put into their summaries.

    It honestly feels as though Ann Marcus put all the stories on fast-forward and simplified everyone's emotions in order to get a handle on the show. I can appreciate how, as a new writer coming into a show you're somewhat unfamiliar with, this particular show would be daunting and rather dense from a characterization point of view. But, having said this, I totally get why people say she dumbed the characters down. And yes, the stories are relatively melodramatic and less controversial than what PFS was writing. It suddenly feels like a stereotypical soap, which is especially unfortunate, given what Ann Marcus was handed when she arrived. 


    The only thing I will give Ann Marcus credit for is that her DAYS seems to have the women more dominant in story, and gives them a lot more agency than PFS, who seemed to have rather aggressive men dominating the narrative. Phyllis exacting revenge on her gross, philandering sleaze husband Neil has been delightful, and a nice surprise considering how psychologically fragile she was previously.

    Either way, I'll keep reading and update everyone on my findings, haha. I'm curious to see the change between Ann Marcus and Elizabeth Harrower.

    3 hours ago, Franko said:


    I spent my afternoon trying to come up with alternative story path for Maggie. Suppose she became an alcoholic because of her fish out of water situation. Here she is, feeling like she's coming up short as a wife, potential mother, member of Salem society, etc. A story about anxiety and low self-esteem tells itself in 2020, but it could have worked in the late '70s, too. Maggie could end up befriending every young woman in town (Trish, Margo, Donna, Melissa) with maybe a little jealousy about the liberation she was just a little too old for/isolated from, but also genuine friendship for her mentees. Maggie will still make mistakes (yes to the idea of a fling with Jay), but she's also learning to appreciate herself (and Mickey) along the way.

    I really love this angle. It seems a much more organic way to lead to alcoholism for Maggie, and takes the threads PFS laid out and runs with them, as opposed to dropping them like a sack of cement, which appears to be what happened.


    3 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

    I think that Mickey's recovery /re-integration was maybe a little rushed,

    After everything he'd been through, for him to return to being a respected lawyer and upstanding citizen seemed a waste.

    Maybe he could have uncomfortable at being pressured to return to his old life and the rivalry with Bill could have been simmering.

    Maggie could be caught in the middle dealing with her own issues.

    I honestly wonder if that wasn't Ann Marcus abandoning a story that had been accused of being too heavy and unpopular. I don't really fault her for that, given the state the show was in when she arrived, but it seems as though she overlooked the decade that that story had been front-and-centre on the show, and, in doing so, threw away the loyalty of the millions who had stuck with it through all that time. I feel like it would've been far better payoff to stick with PFS' plan to see Mickey through that recovery to finally struggle to earn the trust and respect of the community and his loved ones again.


    The newsletters suggest that while Mickey's time in Bayview was heavy, but it was handled carefully and thoughtfully, and was heading in an optimistic direction. Why not stick with it? Maybe follow it through to another big court case that Mickey successfully tries, signalling his return to prominence in the community. Perhaps tied to the baby Dougie custody case?

  12. 44 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

    Thanks for posting this - very interesting to read. I have to agree with most of what you wrote.


    Ann Marcus had a tough job to fill in that Days had been pretty much guided by Bill Bell and the PFS since its debut and they were both top notch writers who had an insight and set a tone that was hard to replicate.

    But as you pointed out PFS was beginning to falter and ratings were reflecting that.

    Days had 2 powerhouse stories that carried it through the 60's and 70's - the trevails of Julie, culminating in her finding Doug and the Bill/Laura/Mickey saga.

    By the end of her tenure, both of those stories had been resolved and we had Bill and Laura/Doug and Julie  happily wed.

    The challenge then was to keep those popular couples prominent without breaking them up - always a challenge in a soap.

    The story planned for the Duvalls was obviously changed so it was all a bit muddled under Marcus and there was the additional issue of Susan Flannery no longer playing Laura, which changed the dynamics.

    Having Mickey and Maggie playing happy families and doing the next door neighbor /social issue story was a poor choice. Why should we care about the Bartons?

    There should have been more drama mined from Maggie trying to fit into Salem.

    The other issue with these characters is that they were all middle aged and in the case of Bill and Mickey looked every day of it so hardly appealing to younger viewers soaps were always chasing.


    Thanks for that, it's reassuring to know that the newsletters are giving me a relatively clear picture of what's going on.

    It's true, Doug and Julie's wedding seemed to really seal their fate in terms of story prominence. Suddenly both characters are sidelined and mostly are talk-to's after their wedding, up until the custody fight for baby Dougie in Summer '77. I have to say, it's another story I'm kinda going WTF about, largely because, wouldn't this be an optimal time to reveal that Dougie is actually Doug's son, allowing Doug and Julie to perhaps fight for custody? Instead the secret stays a secret, and Rebecca leaves town with her immature, grumpy boyfriend Johnny AND Dougie. I get that it was to give story to Robert, who was married to Rebecca, but I still find it an odd direction to go in, and it leaves Doug and Julie once again on the peripheral of the action, when the fact they're happily married and raising Hope together would only strengthen the tension and stakes of the custody story, IMO. I would certainly care more about Doug & Julie fighting Rebecca & Johnny for custody, knowing both sides have more of a chance of victory. 


    Definitely agree about Maggie. Just her feeling like a fish out of water could've really heightened the drama, and with Linda still lurking about, still trying to win Mickey over, there was years of story still able to be told there. Seems silly to throw it all out the window so quickly, but, as you said, the focus on middle-aged characters was starting to be a real problem here. I suspect this is why the focus was shifted so heavily to whiny Mike and perpetual victim Trish.

    Not having seen any of the Lauras in any long term capacity barring Jamie Lyn Bauer (and believe me, I know she's Laura Horton in name only), it's hard to really see the dynamic shift in earnest here. I've obviously seen Susan Flannery for years, so I have a good picture of how she would have fit into the role, but the other two are almost entirely mysteries to me, having only seen quick flashes of them. Do you have any insights into how either Susan Oliver or Rosemary Forsythe played the character? 

    I also wonder if the recast Marie wasn't working either. I know Lanna Saunders was successful in the role, but I didn't even realize Marie had come back in '77. Do you remember anything about Kate Woodville in the role? She looks, to my eyes, nothing like either Marie before or after her, so I struggle a bit to picture her in the role.

  13. 10 hours ago, AbcNbc247 said:

    Was it true that she dumbed most of the characters down during her tenure?


    I know that she was the one who wrote Samantha locking Marlena in a sanitarium and taking her place, which I don't understand how they pulled off. Identical or not, Marlena and Samantha (Deidre and Andrea) can clearly be told apart.

    So, obviously not being old enough to have watched at the time, I've been instead reading the Daytime Serial Newsletter write-ups about the show from this era, and...even just reading the writeups from the beginning through to Ann Marcus' tenure, you can see a definite shift the moment Pat Falken Smith leaves in April 1977 and Ann Marcus takes over. The writing is suddenly far less psychological, the stories are less compelling and emotional, though definitely still rooted in the same characterizations as before. The writing is far more broad, and it becomes much more plot-based.

    I appreciate that there wasn't a real rush to end the David/Valerie story like I've come to believe. Valerie and David split up, but remain in limbo while David tries to sort out what to do about his fathering Trish's baby, and Ann Marcus even gives Danny Grant more of a story, starting a romance with Trish's roommate Toni, but instead of the drama coming from characters we know and interpersonal drama, the main source of conflict for Danny and Toni is this mob type named Kenny who's stalking and ultimately attacks Toni and Trish in an attempt to track down Toni's baby's father. Of course, in hitting Trish, Trish goes into early labour. Then Danny shows up, and Kenny pulls a gun on him! Trish faints and it distracts Kenny long enough for Toni to get the gun and give it to Danny, who saves the day! It's a bit more the type of story DAYS would take on in the 80s, albeit with far less flights of fancy and high-stakes treasures and such, than what it had been known for in the past, and frankly, I don't like this shift.


    Marlena's story also takes a shallow turn. Under PFS, Marlena and Don seemed set to enter into a triangle with Sharon Duval, who seems be written at the beginning as a sexually provocative socialite whose main trouble seems to be replacing the affections denied her by her absentee husband with sex with other men. Suddenly within weeks of Ann Marcus taking over, Sharon becomes a different character, seemingly deranged with "sexual confusion" and confesses her love for her friend Julie, who has an (IMO) uncharacteristically homophobic reaction to the news, considering Julie's otherwise very open-minded attitude toward David and Valerie's relationship, plus the fact she was living in San Francisco for a year or two in the late 60s, you'd think she'd have dropped some of these rather provincial attitudes, but I guess I'm looking at it from my smug, modern perspective. Oh well. Sharon is so distraught by being rejected by Julie she twice attempts suicide (I mean, I know Julie's the most desired woman in Salem at this time, but come on!) and is sent to Bayview, before her husband finally shows up and whisks her away to Spain, never to be seen or heard from again.

    It's at this point that Don and Marlena have to deal with Sam showing up, and they proceed to hit everyone over the head with the notion that Sam and Marlena are SO SIMILAR that everyone's always confusing one for the other, despite the fact Sam and Marlena's voices are distinctly different pitches and Sam has decidedly harsher features than Marlena. I could definitely see that this was where folks got the impression the characters were being dumbed down. You'd have to be pretty dim to confuse these two women if you knew they were twins.


    Elsewhere you get relatively decent stuff like Tom having a series of strokes that requires Marie to come to town to look after him, taking a leave of absence from the nunnery in NYC. This leads to a story where Marie is so helpful to Tom and effective in the household, that Alice, usually a very active woman, becomes bored and depressed, feeling sidelined by her own daughter. Yet doesn't think to actually TALK to Marie about any of this, just mopes to her temporary doctor, Dr. Griffin about it, who then decides to perform a hysterectomy on her (!!!) because his "experimental testing equipment" told him there MIGHT be a problem later on if he doesn't. Bill and Tom don't like this doctor very much, as they see him as a hotshot, but because Bill was so mouthy about how pissed off he was that Greg Peters got the Chief-of-staff job over Tom (which, in part, caused Tom's stroke), Greg reflexively sides with this hotshot doctor over the Hortons.

    Maggie and Mickey's struggles are sidelined, as under PFS, they were still struggling to rekindle their relationship after Mickey's breakdown over Bill raping Laura, suddenly all is well, and they get an apartment in town and nothing's wrong with their relationship. Instead, Maggie's now a confidant to her upstairs neighbour, an abused wife named Jean Barton. I'm sure it's an important story to tell, but there's still enough meat to Mickey and Maggie's story, that I think to rush a full reconciliation when you have so many other characters that could still complicate their road to happiness, it seems a little unnecessary, and I can't help but feel it's a little PSA-story-by-numbers. It may have played out onscreen with a fair bit more nuance, but the summaries are quite detailed, and I've never felt that vibe before Ann Marcus' arrival.

    I'll keep reading and maybe fill some more info in, but I am fascinated by the Vietnamese character Ann Marcus spoke of leading to her being replaced by Elizabeth Harrower in '79. I expect NBC were gunshy after the response David/Valerie received, though I suspect the ratings drop was more due to the fact that the stories grew very intense and heavy in 1976, and there seemed to be an intense focus on Mike and Trish, two characters I tend to find rather eyeroll-worthy. I wonder if the viewing audience were similarly put off not by David and Valerie, nor Mickey's breakdown, which are often cited as being the 1-2 punch that caused DAYS' ratings drop in 1976-77, but the intense focus given to Trish's endless string of problems at the expense of other stories during that time. Again, I'm just going off Daytime Serial Newsletter, but considering February 1977's breakdown was almost ENTIRELY centred around Trish whacking her pervy father to death with an iron and immediately splitting into three personalities (which, thanks to Ann Marcus, were almost immediately magically integrated by May), I have reason to believe she dominated story near the end of PFS' run, and considering what a perpetual victim Trish seems to be, and what an irritating whiner Mike seems to be, I wouldn't be surprised if that put more people off than anything else.

    Okay, rant over.ūü§£

    Also, if I'm super-wrong about any of this, PLEASE feel free to fill me in, because I'm fascinated by what I'm reading, but since I can't actually watch in real time, the newsletters are the closest thing I have to go on.

  14. 1 hour ago, Manny said:

    While I do agree that there are some great creative people here, I would not only blame today's writers for the state of soaps. I think a lot of them don't get to write what they want. Us here writing our own little projects, we don't have budgets or corporation managers to approve our stories. I think it is not that easy to be a soap writer these days. I would actually blame more the network managers for the state of soaps than writers. Although I am sure some of them at least are useless and stuck in the past. 

    No, it's a fair point. I think there's too many cooks in the kitchen right now for anything good to come out. 


    I just wish there was at least some coherent story as the end result. I don't understand how the execs are so allergic to compelling storytelling. 

  15. 2 hours ago, Lust4Life76 said:


    Okay, so I wasn't crazy for thinking Catherine O'Hara's "Violet McKay" reminded me of Another's World's Beveree McKinsey's "Iris"? 

    Check it out...


    Yup. Mojo was absolutely Vivien. And I feel like Clay Collins was this fusion of David Banning and Chris Kositchek in mannerism. I'm sure I'm missing a couple more moments that stood out to me, but... Yeah. The similarities absolutely did not get past me. 

  16. On 8/24/2020 at 12:50 PM, AbcNbc247 said:

    @Lust4Life76 I've heard of "Days of the Week" but I've never seen it.

    I've read some of your fanfic. It's really good! And your original work sounds good as well. 

    Lmao that's ok. Not too long ago I realized that I named my little town "Lakeview", yet there was no lake to view lol I'll have to remember to include a lake in the story if I decide to reboot it.

    Definitely check out Days of the Week. It's all on YouTube. I'll be honest, whoever wrote that sketch had NBC daytime on all the time, cos there was a lot of little things that stuck out to me as familiar. 


    Thank you! It's probably just my own impossible standards that make me self-critical, but it's reassuring to hear others enjoy my ideas. 


    We have a world of talent in this forum, and it frustrates me so much that none of that talent is ever seen onscreen on any of the big shows. We struggle through our own little projects here and there, thankfully. But it really annoys me how insular the TV soap world is. Its basically eating itself. 


    The ones that seem to get ahead are definitely NOT the ones whose ideas I enjoy seeing actualized. 

  17. I mean, obviously I've been working on a DAYS fanfic here for years. I've got so many years of story mapped out still, and honestly, considering I've been working on this for 6 years now, finishing up a lot of my initial stories are starting to pain me because I've changed and grown so much in that time, that I spend more time filling in plot holes and gritting my teeth through a lot of what I'm posting, while dreaming of the stuff that's to come that I never seem to get to. At least it motivates me to continue, I guess!

    As for my own soap, absolutely. When I was 12 (so around 1998-99), I worked as a paperboy for the local newspaper in my hometown, and to make the miserable cold Canadian winter mornings bearable, I'd plot out a soap in my mind. Well, I never forgot about it, and over time, have developed it further and further, while never quite getting it down on paper (on disk? Online???). I think I began to blog it here for a minute as A World Away, and it basically revolved around a small Northern city in some undetermined US state with a automotive company as its central industry. The two quarrelling families being the founding family of the Atlantic Motor Co., and their rival family, who head up the local factory union. I forget the family names but they're written down somewhere there.


    A third family would act as a sort of bridge between the two, and by the time I was writing it in adulthood, it was essentially as rooted in messy psychosexual drama as I could make it without weirding myself out. One of the stories that I especially enjoyed plotting out was the twins falling for the same man. The rich family would be highly conservative, they would have fraternal twins, Jennifer and Robert, who both fall for the same handsome doctor at the local hospital, Michael, who ends up being bisexual and in love with both of them, but knowing how rigid their family is (as well as his own), he keeps a lid on his orientation. This is in part to protect Robert, who, when the family DOES eventually find out, is excommunicated from the family, and forced to resign from his job. Robert and Michael then concoct a plan to have Robert "die" very publicly, and then secretly work together to take over the company from under the family's nose, while the family blame Michael for Robert's supposed death. The same family that rejected him now fight Michael over Robert's will, and even try to sue Michael for medical malpractice.

    There's a scene I've kept in my mind all these years, of Robert's bigoted family heading to the board meeting where they'll meet the CEO of the company that's taken theirs over, hoping desperately that they'll be able to keep some control of the company they helped build. When the chair at the head of the table spins around, and Robert's looking back at them, the look of sheer horror on their faces as Robert fires each and every one of them is so delicious to me.

    Of course, Robert will be as otherwise viciously conservative as the others in the family, but in this one particular instance, he's in direct opposition to his family's views. This would eventually complicate his future relationship with Michael, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

    UGH, I need to actually write this show out properly. One day.

  18. I will also add that many of these new shows (with the exceptions of Generations and Loving, whose timeslots were killers) were hour-long from the outset. That's a major time investment in virtual strangers to make every day, especially at the tail end of a soap lineup. I think a big part of B&B's and Capitol's relative ratings success is down to being a short half hour blip between familiar shows for viewers.


    I could easily sit down and sample a taste of a new half hour show daily while I wait for my old beloved hour-long show to start. But I'm way less likely to keep the TV tuned in to an hour of unfamiliar faces at the tail end of the daily lineup. You're way likelier to get folks changing the channel for that hour. IMO, a new soap can never be a full hour from the outset and be successful. Not unless TPTB were okay slogging it out for 5-10 years with mediocre ratings while the show would find its audience. They almost did with SB, but even then...inevitable cracks began to show.

  19. 37 minutes ago, VanessaReardon said:

    You caught me! How did you find me out? I‚Äôm so ashamed that I‚Äôve been outed. ūü§≠ RME. First, you people find out that Beth Ehlers is posting on here and now you find me out. Really good detectives, I tell ya.¬†

    Poor Ellen Parker never had much of a career after GL. She did a play near where I live a few years back. The Playhouse sat 50 people. She must’ve made big bucks on that one!  

    I don't really care, but your spirited defenses of someone you presumably don't know and whom largely elicits contempt from almost every corner of the soap fandom makes me wonder what stakes you have in it. 


    You gave your opinion, folks disagree with it. Move on. No need for the series of petulant, nasty responses because folks had the audacity to say something you dislike. 

    10 minutes ago, Vee said:

    Don't feed the troll just because it's belatedly attempting to change up its play style. It's about finding a topic, any topic which will inflame users and make people respond. Same as the Y&R threads a few years ago. Memes and GIFs only feed it. Block or ignore. I'd say report, but....

    You know, you're right, Vee. *sigh* already given this one too much of my energy. Moving on. 

  20. 1 hour ago, VanessaReardon said:

    Put out to pasture? lol I picture Jill spending her days counting her Emmys (11 of them) - no other EP has 11 emmys, counting her money, and being glad that she isn’t in the crapfest known as daytime. I’m certain that she doesn’t feel like she was put out to pasture. She sold her home a couple years ago for something like $2.4 million so she’s not hurting for money. She probably lives in an even bigger home now. I’m sure that JFP is just fine and sends her love. 

    How could Kevin be let out of his contract in 1981 to do Animal House when Animal House was released in 1978? 

    Okay, Jill. ūüôĄ

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