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Ryan's Hope Discussion Thread


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33 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

Delia regressed even more once Illene came back.  She even said in 1982 that she struggled to play Delia because she was in a different place than back in 1979.

 

My late mom watched a 1981 episode..and wondered who that person was (i.e Delia).  When I told her that was Delia..my mom didn't believe me since 1981 Delia seemed put together and wasn't a hot mess at least on the outside lol

 

Delia was still a mess with Randall, but was more of a hurt little girl and less of the abject schemer - even when she was scheming it was much more scattershot and fragile. Sadly, the writing in Randall's last year devolved Delia and worked overtime to degrade her in their failed attempt to push KMG's Faith as a central heroine. 

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You know a few months ago I had a dream where a character stand-in was berating Faith and Roger for their treatment of Delia. And I rarely have soap dreams. This whole sham, incredibly regressive and incredibly predictable writing choice made with Delia (one they kept repeating for nearly a full decade!) bothers me more than just about anything else on soaps, for whatever reason. 

Edited by DRW50
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Robin had a 6 month deal on RH and didnt renew, they wanted her to. That is why Delia's 1984 exit was aburpt.

 

How long was Christian Slater on RH. I know he left to do Name of The Rose and wanted to return but ended up as Caleb on AMC with Cliff and Nina for a stint

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7 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

Delia was still a mess with Randall, but was more of a hurt little girl and less of the abject schemer - even when she was scheming it was much more scattershot and fragile. Sadly, the writing in Randall's last year devolved Delia and worked overtime to degrade her in their failed attempt to push KMG's Faith as a central heroine. 

There's a quote from Ilene Kristen where she describes Delia as a walking open wound, which I think perfectly describes the way the other characters handled Delia from 1975-78. By the time Randall Edwards assumed the role she was usually more restrained in her destructiveness (not always, but usually).

 

I think 1980 was probably RE's best year in the role, story-wise (notably all the stuff with Barry). In re-watching the 1979 episodes, I've been struck by how much the show wastes RE by having her constantly interfere with Pat and Nancy's relationship, which is a shame since her Delia was many magnitudes more interesting than either of them. She got plenty of airtime but wasn't necessarily well-served by it. That dynamic kind of repeated itself in late 1981 in the E.J. Ryan storyline. (Though I did enjoy E.J. a lot, which I realize puts me in the minority.)

 

IK's return in 1986 certainly feels like a more successful synthesis of the Delia she played in her first stint and the more whimsical interpretation of the character that was foregrounded by the show during the RE era, though it's hard to tell given how little of her second stint is available.

 

6 hours ago, John said:

Robin had a 6 month deal on RH and didnt renew, they wanted her to. That is why Delia's 1984 exit was aburpt.

 

How long was Christian Slater on RH. I know he left to do Name of The Rose and wanted to return but ended up as Caleb on AMC with Cliff and Nina for a stint

Christian Slater was on from May 1985 through November 1985. From the recaps I've read, his character kind of just faded away, which seemed to happen a lot to characters under Tom King and Millee Taggart (most notably to Seneca, Leigh Kirkland, Bill Hyde, and a whole slew of characters written out at the end of 1985). 

 

IIRC, Robin Mattson left GH at the end of her 3-year contract after ABC refused to raise her salary, but that ABC subsequently agreed to pay her a higher salary at RH even though it was a shorter program. She felt the offer was too good to refuse but left RH after 6 months so that she could participate in pilot season on the West Coast.

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2 hours ago, Sean said:

I think 1980 was probably RE's best year in the role, story-wise (notably all the stuff with Barry). In re-watching the 1979 episodes, I've been struck by how much the show wastes RE by having her constantly interfere with Pat and Nancy's relationship, which is a shame since her Delia was many magnitudes more interesting than either of them. She got plenty of airtime but wasn't necessarily well-served by it. That dynamic kind of repeated itself in late 1981 in the E.J. Ryan storyline. (Though I did enjoy E.J. a lot, which I realize puts me in the minority.)

 

I've only seen the first few months of EJ's run, but I think the decision to make her the "good" to Delia's "bad" was a mistake, as was lumbering her with Roger. I also never knew why they wrote Barry out right before she arrived. Maureen Garrett was such a natural - I wish it had worked out. 

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Ilene is such a talented actress. They could have rehabbed Delia even more after Randall’s stint, with Dee and her schemes serving as comic relief, and making her less desperate. Instead, they had storylines like the one where Delia frames little John for stealing money from Jill’s purse. Ugh. They could have made her into someone who had issues, but whom the audience could root for. Give her some victories. Maybe all the attention Maeve gave to her could have started to pay off. Something uplifting.

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Wow...I believe that Christmastime episode is the first one from the Kirkland era ever to be posted on YouTube (except for the early 1983 ones that came next in this batch and have also been posted previously, in which the newly returned Labine and Mayer ushered most of their family off the show and brought Frank back all in the same handful of gorgeously written scenes).  I can't believe I wasn't aware this was on YouTube sooner.

 

It's fascinating to see the original Ryan's Bar set with Maeve and Johnny on hand, even as the emphasis shifted to those infamous new characters.  A part of me wishes someone had been able to make this show work without Claire Labine involved, even if it inevitably would have lost some of its uniqueness and the focus shifted, or at least expanded.  This wasn't it, from what I can see, but it's probably the closest the show ever came to getting it right without either creator involved.  They played around with shorter scenes and introduced more plot-driven/sensational elements (a serial killer targeting presumably never-seen-on-air sex workers...how early '80s), but still made at least a superficial effort to keep the core intact.

 

The rest of me knows full well that even if new blood had somehow bought the show more time without completely gutting it, I would not have wanted to see what the network would have likely done to it in the late '90s, let alone later.

 

I do recall seeing a video of those scenes of Faith grieving over Mitch before, and I've seen photos of him, but in my mind I must have confused him with the Jim Speed policeman character from a year or two earlier.  What an odd choice of love interest for the show's then-longest-running 20-something romantic ingenue, at a time when new management was emphasizing youth and glamour.  I wonder if they actually had some kind of offbeat chemistry that worked or...what.

 

He seemed like a solid character actor FWIW, but then of course Christine Jones and Pater Haskell were certainly capable as well.  A far cry from some of the atrocious acting I've seen when attempting to watch mid-'80s scenes.  It almost seemed like they were just trying something slightly different in 1982, instead of actually ushering in a new generation.

Edited by DeliaIrisFan
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On 12/26/2020 at 5:57 PM, Chris 2 said:

Ilene is such a talented actress. They could have rehabbed Delia even more after Randall’s stint, with Dee and her schemes serving as comic relief, and making her less desperate. Instead, they had storylines like the one where Delia frames little John for stealing money from Jill’s purse. Ugh. They could have made her into someone who had issues, but whom the audience could root for. Give her some victories. Maybe all the attention Maeve gave to her could have started to pay off. Something uplifting.

 

OMG that’s what happened in that episode? What was the backstory behind that? Why was she stealing money in the first place??

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Frank had just returned (recast with Geoff Pierson) after 18 months in St. Louis. Delia decided she wanted him back, and that the best way to spend time with him would be to convince him that little John was troubled by his absentee father (which, in fairness, was a legitimate argument). So she started pushing that narrative, and then framed him for the missing money so that Frank would start spending more time with both of them.

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This wasn't the first time that Delia used Little John to try to get Frank back. In January 1981, the school psychologist wrote a letter to Delia and Frank saying that she was leaving and that Little John had been doing well at school. Delia doctored the letter to try and convince Frank that Little John was maladjusted and that he needed to spend more time with both of his parents together. There was a great reaction from Bob who reads the letter and basically states that the psychobabble is poorly written catching on to Delia's scheming. 

 

In regards to Mary Ryan Munisteri, I think Labine was fond of her tenure. The majority of her tenure seems mostly like what you'd expect from "Ryan's Hope" but slightly diluted with the introduction of Hollis and Amanda. I don't think the show overloads itself with Kirkland drama until the tailend when Christine Jones is introduced as Catsy Kirkland in December 1982. I would like to see the dance hall storyline from that time where Johnny and Maeve spar because Maeve ends up spending more time with her dancing partner which makes Johnny jealous. 

 

I love the Ryans, but I feel like the desire to make them the family everyone wanted to be a part of often led to characters ignoring character flaws. Many of the Ryans came off as hypocritical because they struggled to see in themselves the problems they saw in others. I really liked Faith laying into Maeve after Frank dumped Faith, but I can now see the problem of having Faith do that while trying to position her as a heroine. I like Karen Morris Gowdy, but I don't think they ever knew how to best utilize that character in terms of character type. 

 

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The Nancy Barrett/Catharine Hicks version of Faith was the best position for the character.  While Karen G had a similar look to Catherine Hicks...she was colder and more passive.  A weird combo.

 

Randall's Delia had a more vulnerable vibe that made me understand why Maeve would keep giving her chances.  Illene's Delia was funnier, but seemed more like an annoyance that you kept around in small doses.

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20 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

While Karen G had a similar look to Catherine Hicks...she was colder and more passive.  

 

KMG was a solid performer, but I don't think any of the writers had any idea who or what Faith was with her in the role. To be honest, I don't think they really knew what to do with her even with OG Faith Catlin. Maybe Faith was just a superfluous character? 

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I think Catherine Hicks’ version of Faith was the best. I think the writers wrote to her strengths, and then adjusted again when Karen Morris Gowdy, who didn’t have CH’s natural warmth, assumed the role. The KMG version of Faith was an interesting character, because she was so different than the usual soap ingenue. But she was a total downer - a little of her went a long way. Her worst period was after the end of Frankenfaith. She was intolerable then.

Edited by Chris 2
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