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Santa Barbara Discussion Thread

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For just years, simply years, there was a story that claimed that when "Santa Barbara" won its first Daytime Emmy award, it happened to be while Bridget Dobson was locked out of the studio - while Bridget & Jerry were fighting with NBC over firing HW Anne Haward Bailey & things had devolved into a lawsuit. However, at the Emmy celebration, there were essentially 2 Executive Producers present - Bridget, the permanent one - and JFP, the Interim one. So, for years the tale said that these 2 ladies had a knock-down drag-out fight over this Emmy! But, really, Bridget reached the podium first & took the Emmy & made a gracious speech, with JFP standing to her left looking miserable!

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I’ve been meeting a bunch of people who grew up in Pakistan (in their 30s-40s now), and a whole generation there watched this show for years in primetime as if it were Seinfeld or Friends. Keith/Gina were popular with the folks I’ve chatted with.

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I've been binge watching for a while, and I have to say that Nic Coster and Louise Sorel had amazing chemistry, some of the best I've ever seen. I love Lionel and Augusta, they were so great together

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I've been rewatching some the Eden/Cruz/Robert Barr storyline, and I was startled by how Robert manhandles Eden and then I remember the cave scene with Cruz and Eden. Why didn't someone rewrite this considering Eden's rape? I know SB was known for its rape storylines, but wow, it's shocking how they didn't think it was bad idea to put Eden through this stuff.

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I think it's interesting, or odd even, that NBC monetarily penalized Robin Wright to let her go from SB to do THE PRINCESS BRIDE. I love the movie! And, I love the book, AS YOU WISH, which Cary Elwes wrote as an anniversary salutation. All the cast member took their turns in the book. https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&p=youtube+as+you+wish+princess+bride#id=1&vid=a887905831ab67b000a067ac238b6f2f&action=click

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On 9/20/2019 at 7:28 PM, AbcNbc247 said:

I've been binge watching for a while, and I have to say that Nic Coster and Louise Sorel had amazing chemistry, some of the best I've ever seen. I love Lionel and Augusta, they were so great together

 

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I recently read an interview with Patrick Mulcahey. I think maybe more SB stuff is showing up because they're going to do that SB Reunion Cruise. He was interesting & candid & personable. I've always liked him as a writer, anyway. Right off he said that working at SB was a little bit nutsoid. Funny, huh? He was at SB from 1984-1991.

 

These are my Qs with his As.

Q: What's his advice on writing?

I think the best, maybe the only way to start a life as a writer is by writing without any thought of a career.

 

Q: What did you write first?

I didn't start writing plays till I moved to New Orleans (for love) in my early twenties. I fell in with a group of actors just graduated from Lousiana State University who were looking to do plays together.


It was also where I learned to really listen to actors. ... when a good actor is struggling and telling you something is wrong in the material, you the writer must believe him and find it and fix it. Doing that has led to some great breakthroughs for me.

 

Q: What came next?
Still, after a half-dozen or so years of the starving-artist thing, I was ready when the call came asking me, "How would you like to write for Search for Tomorrow ?" "Sure," I said, "What is it ?" I didn't have a television myself.
 
Q: And, next after that? 

After working with Douglas Marland on Guiding Light and then on Loving, which I hated (and where Agnes Nixon was like some psychotic schoolmarm on speed, making copious condescending red-pen "corrections" in the margins of scripts - "You used the same word on page 2 and on page 34 ! Too repetitive !") - after that, I decided I was done with writing for soaps.

 

(Okay, imagine that! Marland is divine but Aggie is a mess. Who knew? Out of all I've ever read or thought even about Agnes Nixon I have never once thought of 'psychotic schoolmarm on speed'!)

 

Q: Then, you got a call from Bridget as they prepared themselves to fo into production with SB, right?

... when the phone rang. The woman on the other end identified herself as Bridget Dobson. Did I want to write for the new show she and her husband had just created called Santa Barbara ? Once again I didn't have a television, and I'd never seen the show. But I knew its name.

 

They were to meet the next day to go over little details like what his salary would be!

 

That night he was walking this nice lady to her stubway stop when someone slowed down their car & leaned out & hollered, "Die, Liza, you bitch!" Turned out she was Marcy Walker, on tap to move to SB. So, there was someone he'd know and someone he'd write for.

 

SB had more comedy than any other show I've been on. 

 

That came from Justin Deas, Lane Davies and Heather Mattson. Everyone else just had to keep up.

 

The Dobsons "were great bosses, good people, loyal friends and good writers."

 

"Bridget and Jerry. They always allowed me story input, though the story was theirs." 

 

... on Santa Barbara, which was another way that show was special. All of us talked.  Actors, directors, designers, writers. Or anyway, I did, and nobody stopped me. It made a world of difference. Partly because, as I said, I had learned how to listen to actors, and they could tell, so they listened to me.

 

"Then once in a while you get an A Martinez, who can do anything, or a Justin Deas or a Marcy Walker or a Robin Wright or a Nancy Grahn or Louise Sorel or Robin Mattson - and then you can't stop thinking of new things you want to see them do."

 

"My sense is that A Martinez, just by virtue of who he is, set a standard of professionalism, patience and mutual respect that everyone tried to live up to..."

 

For some reason I can't name myself, I really want to stop here and say I loved writing for Roscoe Born. I resisted the Robert Barr story; it was shoved down our throats by Jackie Smith, the network exec, for whom I had no respect. But she was right about casting Roscoe.  A wonderful, mysterious actor who works from a very deep, even dark place. Anyone else we threw in with A and Marcy would've faded into insignificance.


You left Santa Barbara in 1991. What were the reasons of your departure ?
Jackie Smith brought in a new executive producer named John Conboy, who might've been a really nice guy - I didn't stick around long enough to find out - but he played like a caricature of The Dumb New Boss. The one who says, "I know how to fix what's wrong around here - let's remodel !" We had one meeting, he told me his plans, I said, "No, thank you, I'm done."

 

(Yikes! John Conboy!)

 

Q: With the recent show cancellations - GL, ATWT, AMC, OLTL, ... ... what are your feelings about the future of the daytime soap-operas media ?

 

That soaps really don't have a future. We needed to change or die, and the only changes we made were for the worse.
I don't know, Brad's still in there pitching anyway. I love that guy.

 

Edited by Donna B
Oops, gotta cut more.

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As the Santa Barbara Cruise approaches Lane Davies speaks about his memories of the show from Soap Opera Central.

 

https://www.soapcentral.com/soapcentral/news/2019/0625-lane_davies_santa_barbara_cruise_interview.php

In Cary Elwes book to commemorate the book and the movie, he invites everyone into the text. Robin Wright auditions with many for the part of Buttercup the most beautiful girl in the kingdom. Her thoughts about why she got cast are that they were worn out and they just had to cast somebody. Later she tells us about going to supper with Andre the giant. Apparently he ate everything and then asked for seconds!

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On 9/26/2019 at 12:27 AM, chrisml said:

I've been rewatching some the Eden/Cruz/Robert Barr storyline, and I was startled by how Robert manhandles Eden and then I remember the cave scene with Cruz and Eden. Why didn't someone rewrite this considering Eden's rape? I know SB was known for its rape storylines, but wow, it's shocking how they didn't think it was bad idea to put Eden through this stuff.

 

It is very disturbing, especially in light of the fact that Eden's rape was so graphic. It's even more disturbing because MW was pregnant in real life when they filmed those scenes (a double did the most physically taxing stuff). It's disturbing that SB chose to write so many rape stories, but that's another rant for another day.

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I would proffer that the Dash/Julia/Augusta story was even more offensive that Eden's rape.  Not that there should be a competition, but the Dash stuff is particularly tone deaf in retrospect.

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