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Santa Barbara Discussion Thread


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Episodes 846 to 850

  • Returning the role of Kirk Cranston is a classic soap move that today would not work; today's soaps would tease the role by mentioning Kirk's name non-stop within dialogue... but a drop surprise? And, in a non-Sweeps month? Awesome! However, as eerie as Joseph Bottoms is in the role, I cannot help but feel like I would have preferred Robert Newman return in the role, despite his return to Guiding Light in 1986. However, the production behind his scenes is insane. It's eerie, it's dark and it definitely changes the pacing of Santa Barbara, apparent by Jill Farren Phelps' influence.
  • You can tell Phelps is slowly turning the tides in changing the character of Pamela Capwell Conrad. It makes me wonder what would have happend to the role had Marj Dusay been cast from the start, and had the Dobsons introduced her when the originally intended.
  • The immediate refocus on Cruz & Eden as a couple is bothersome, especially since the only time I bought them together was when they danced as Joe & Kelly's wedding. Other than that, it's a "no" from me.
  • These episodes have an overall darker production vibe to them... an attempt to enrich the production value a bit? I know Phelps' previous mention of music (from her Alan Locher interview) is apparent in these set of episodes. The music is stellar.
  • Showing the cracks in the marriage of C.C. and Sophia is brilliant to me. Disappointing, given they were not remarried for that long, but it is a classic soap marriage where happiness does not sell. Slowly the threads are being pulled to dismantle them.
  • I feel like the writers, along with the portrayal of Scott Jaeck, are changing the Cain Garver character. I do believe the original concept was to make him a bit more Kirk-esque, but, with the return of the latter, they decided to lessen that pull.
  • Hung up on the Mexican here," oy! The amount of cultural appropriation and blatant race-biting this soap displayed in 1987 is concerning. It would not fly today and it should not have flown in 1987.
  • Connecting Elena to Kirk was brilliant in my opinion. Wish it had been a fleshed out just a bit more, though.
  • The short-term stunt-return of Kirk really explains the stunt-return of Santana two-years following.
  • It is also clear they are pushing Victoria out, and pursuing the connection between Julia & Mason.
  • C.C. vs. Pamela is long overdue. That is some juicy kind of storytelling that even today is missing with ex-spouses.
  • With the introduction of The Lair, it is nice to have a more communal space for characters to come. A classic late 1980s nightclub set. I do feel, however, it is a bit dark, but I do like its introduction. Again, another use of Phelps' move to make Santa Barbara more of the typical soap opera.
  • Is it me, or is Olivia Welles giving me make-shift Ginger Jones vibes?
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Liberty City said:

Showing the cracks in the marriage of C.C. and Sophia is brilliant to me. Disappointing, given they were not remarried for that long, but it is a classic soap marriage where happiness does not sell. Slowly the threads are being pulled to dismantle them.

It tracks because Sophia cheated on CC during their first marriage, but it is also lamentable that she never tried to restart her relationship with Lionel.  With the exception of that brief period in the first year when they were stranded in the western town, Sophia and Lionel never share any flirtations, or even that much consideration of each other's plight.

 

4 hours ago, Liberty City said:

I feel like the writers, along with the portrayal of Scott Jaeck, are changing the Cain Garver character. I do believe the original concept was to make him a bit more Kirk-esque, but, with the return of the latter, they decided to lessen that pull.

Totally agree, I remember watching during Eden's presumed death and Cain's motivations to keep Eden in his cabin were always confusing as a viewer.  I didn't know if he was benevolent in trying to help Eden convalesce or if his actions were more malicious.  

 

4 hours ago, Liberty City said:

C.C. vs. Pamela is long overdue. That is some juicy kind of storytelling that even today is missing with ex-spouses.

It is an interesting contrast because Sophia betrayed CC with Lionel, but CC betrayed Pamela with Sophia, and yet they never really play out the fact that both of them had similar experiences.  In fact, except when Pamela goes batty, there is too much redundancy between Pamela and Sophia (both married Europeans, both returned in disguise during a murder investigation, both harbored a grudge with CC, but felt no guilt about leaving their kids with him).

 

Although it is never explicitly discussed, it was interesting to me that CC was always second choice.  Pamela dated his brother Grant before she dated CC, than she had an affair with Scott's Uncle Hal.  And Sophia cheated on him within the first year of their marriage (although the timeline of the affair with Lionel is always questionable).

 

4 hours ago, Liberty City said:

With the introduction of The Lair, it is nice to have a more communal space for characters to come. A classic late 1980s nightclub set. I do feel, however, it is a bit dark, but I do like its introduction.

The problem over time was that The Liar became more of a lounge than a nightclub.  Characters would inexplicably go there for lunch, and they stopped playing music.  IRL there's something depressing about being a club during daylight and that was my problem with The Liar.

 

BTW - My favorite part of the Elena story was how bold she was as a villain toward Eden.  She mocked Eden's paralysis in a way that was unforgivable.  Given that Sherilyn Wolter had previously played such a sweet character on GH, it was shocking to see how vile she could be in those scenes.  It is always fun when an actress is allowed to play against type, and she did it very well (which is probably why they had her play a similar role on GL, just to complete her triple play of roles in 2pm soaps).

 

Edited by j swift
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8 minutes ago, j swift said:

It tracks because Sophia cheated on CC during their first marriage, but it is also lamentable that she never tried to restart her relationship with Lionel.  With the exception of that brief period in the first year when they were stranded in the western town, Sophia and Lionel never share any flirtations, or even that much consideration of each other's plight.

 

Not truly going for a re-visit of Lionel and Sophia is another missed mark of the Dobsons and subsequent regimes. So much potential... instead, we got Caroline and her daughter.

 

9 minutes ago, j swift said:

Totally agree, I remember watching during Eden's presumed death and Cain's motivations to keep Eden in his cabin were always confusing as a viewer.  I didn't know if he was benevolent in trying to help Eden convalesce or if his actions were more malicious.  

 

I feel like the Dobsons might have wanted him go more Kirk-esque, but, when Phelps came on she had the writers re-shift his character.

 

10 minutes ago, j swift said:

It is an interesting contrast because Sophia betrayed CC with Lionel, but CC betrayed Pamela with Sophia, and yet they never really play out the fact that both of them had similar experiences.  In fact, except when Pamela goes batty, there is too much redundancy between Pamela and Sophia (both married Europeans, both returned in disguise during a murder investigation, both harbored a grudge with CC, but felt no guilt about leaving their kids with him).

 

More reason why the Dobsons were not innocent in the many mis-handlings they made as executive producers, and even during their time as head writers.

 

11 minutes ago, j swift said:

The problem over time was that The Liar became more of a lounge than a nightclub.  Characters would inexplicably go there for lunch, and they stopped playing music.  IRL there's something depressing about being a club during daylight and that was my problem with The Liar.

 

Ew. Really? That's gross and unfortunate. They had the Orient Express for lunch dates.

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8 hours ago, Liberty City said:

They had the Orient Express for lunch dates.

 

I loved the Orient Express (and the homage to The Towering Inferno when Eden and Cruz tried to have their first wedding there in 1985). How long did it stay around? I don't recall why that restaurant was phased out.

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8 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

 

I loved the Orient Express (and the homage to The Towering Inferno when Eden and Cruz tried to have their first wedding there in 1985). How long did it stay around? I don't recall why that restaurant was phased out.

Well, according to what I read, by the end of 1988 the set was completely re-painted white and it just kind of was phased out... probably in favour of the Country Club set (introduced in the spring of 1988) and The Lair.

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7 hours ago, Liberty City said:

Well, according to what I read, by the end of 1988 the set was completely re-painted white and it just kind of was phased out... probably in favour of the Country Club set (introduced in the spring of 1988) and The Lair.

The Orient Express was basically replaced by The Oasis set, which Mason ran.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/5/2021 at 4:23 PM, j swift said:

BTW - My favorite part of the Elena story was how bold she was as a villain toward Eden.  She mocked Eden's paralysis in a way that was unforgivable.  Given that Sherilyn Wolter had previously played such a sweet character on GH, it was shocking to see how vile she could be in those scenes.  It is always fun when an actress is allowed to play against type, and she did it very well (which is probably why they had her play a similar role on GL, just to complete her triple play of roles in 2pm soaps).

 

Sherilyn Wolter was one of my favorite daytime actresses of the 80s, but she's never gotten her due.  Her portrayals were always sublime, but sadly overshadowed by those other actresses the soap press fawned over.  Sherilyn deserves more respect...

Edited by gimmetoo
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The fans don't talk very much about sets and now that you're talking , what sets do you like most and which ones do you dislike?
I really liked Eden and Cruz's second and white house. Also The country club but only the first version which was very big. Then they did it small.
I don't like bars like the Bar Noone or something like that. Don't like the Oasis.
From smaller sets I like Mason's apartament, Kelly's cottage and don't like Nicks apartment or Nikki's/Celeste apartment which was almost the same.
Like both Capwell house.
Like the Lockridge but I always thought it looked so small, not even a mansion.
Some beaches were good but some very bad. I remember in the Robert Barr era they put a moon in the beach that was so fake looking.
There's a lot more but I'll wait if someone puts their ones.

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4 hours ago, Connelly said:

The fans don't talk very much about sets and now that you're talking , what sets do you like most and which ones do you dislike?

I'm a set wh*re. Haha.

4 hours ago, Connelly said:

what sets do you like most

Based on what I've watched thus far:

  • The first Capwell mansion
  • Lockridge mansion (pre-indigo paint)
  • Santana Andrade's apartment
  • Kirk Cranston's apartment
  • Kelly and Jeffrey's house
  • Pamela Conrad's house
  • Capwell Hotel
  • Buzz's Place / Johnny's Place
  • The hospital
  • Courtroom

Based on preview photographs:

  • Cruz and Eden's second beach house
  • The second Capwell mansion
  • Ballymoor residence
  • Oasis
  • Howie's Diner
  • Capwell & Capwell offices
4 hours ago, Connelly said:

which ones do you dislike?

A lot of the sets, from my perspective (especially once Jill Farren Phelps became executive producer), feel too dark. And we know that by the time the 2000's hit, all sets would've been diminished to nothing.
But, part of me wishes we had seen Santa Barbara produced in high definition.

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Posted (edited)

While I appreciate the Capwell mansion set, (with the well lit atrium and hand painted floors to look like tiles),  I thought the bedrooms were uninspired.  CC's office was prominent in the first year as it was the site of Channing's murder and it led to the secret tunnel.  It included a stunning use of wooden paneling, antiques, and art.  However, once CC went into his coma, his main suite did not look lush or well appointed.

Similarly, I liked the Lockridge living room, (and the modernity that they never showed their kitchen), but the bedrooms seemed very generic.  For example, I get that Minx would have occupied the main bedroom, but I would have thought that a stylish woman like Augusta would have redecorated her room with a bit more pizazz, and certainly it would not have been pastel colored.  Warren's room, much like Ted Capwell's room, was mainly a bed, with no teen-aged boy memorabilia, no video games, and no posters.

I also really liked Cruz's houseboat, as they were constantly dealing with real boat issues like where the fridge goes, how to attach a landline phone, and the small closet space

In terms of the community sets, La Mesa and the Diner made sense for the actual town of Santa Barbara.  One expects that there would be at least one Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara where they still make the waitresses wear mariachi dresses as uniforms (as opposed to AW's oddly placed Cafe Paradise).  The Liar made less sense, as the actual Santa Barbara is a little sleepy when it comes to nightclubs and bars.  Most residents still venture to LA if they are looking for nightlife, because the bars in SB tend to be either for the university crowd or tourists.  Also, the first Capwell Hotel and Orient Express were geographically incorrect because there are very few highrise buildings in town, and the major hotels mostly resemble European spas with Spanish architecture (like the later used Oasis set and exteriors), not tall boxy structures with signs on the roof (which I think are actually illegal because they look bad, not because they are prone to killing nuns).

Edited by j swift
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1 hour ago, j swift said:

Also, the first Capwell Hotel and Orient Express were geographically incorrect because there are very few highrise buildings in town, and the major hotels mostly resemble European spas with Spanish architecture (like the later used Oasis set and exteriors), not tall boxy structures with signs on the roof (which I think are actually illegal because they look bad, not because they are prone to killing nuns).

I've been to the city of Santa Barbara quite a few times. I believe three stories may be the limit in height for buildings. Also of note is that business signs are VERY small compared to other cities, and if you're not used to them, it's easy to pass someplace by. I remember the McDonalds on State Street just had a small sign with the yellow "M" not the whole name. Another surprise is that no drive-thrus are allowed in the city. You have to go in to get your fast food.

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 The architecture is closely controlled by the city government to maintain the city's "style."

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