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Ryan's Hope Discussion Thread


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On 12/30/2020 at 3:36 PM, dc11786 said:

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.

 

 

When I think about everything I've read about the Kirklands, I have to remind myself how short-lived they really were.  Especially Christine Jones, who, as you mentioned, came and went in three months.  That's the kind of turnover we didn't start to see on soaps in the '90s and '00s.  I loved most everything about Labine/Mayer's 1983 return (except Delia's material or lack thereof, likely because of ABC's influence) and on principle I'm opposed to the idea of any show's creators being forced out and a new core family being forced down everyone's throats.  But especially in light of the turmoil that was still to come, a part of me wonders what would have happened if the Kirklands had just run their course for at least a full year.  Presumably ABC would have introduced more of the types of younger characters that came in 1984 at the same time.  Assuming it wouldn't have worked, maybe Labine and Mayer wouldn't have been driven away yet again after they ultimately returned.

 

I too would love to see an episode from that dance hall story.

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Posted (edited)

It is amusing that certain criticisms (like Kirkland's Hope) get repeated over time and become part of the folklore of the show.  I feel that the Dubujak clan were far more corrosive to the Ryan's cannon.  Max's mobsters were described as international crime lords, and they were concerned with things like espionage and currency trading.  In essence, the Dubujak's took the focus outside of the neighborhood of Riverside and extended the world of Ryan's Hope too far from the bar (both literally and figuratively because they blew it up).  Whereas the Novotny mobsters were involved in gambling and racketeering which would actually affect the daily lives of the Ryan's.  The Novak/Novotnys were far more of a threat to the vulnerable, or morally corruptible, members of the extended Ryan family, and their violent tactics seemed scarier since they had followed through on actually killing Mary.

 

Max completely derailed the character of Siobhan, and turned her from woman with her own agency into a damsel in distress.  I never enjoy a male character to whom everyone is drawn toward despite having no redeemable values.  Then, by the time you introduce Max's crazy mother, first wife, and daughter with their inexplicably variable accents (aka the Hilaria Baldwins of the 1980's), and his returns from the dead, I think it subverted the core values of the show much more than the introduction of the Kirkland's.

Edited by j swift
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13 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

 

So ABC had a Sonny Corinthos in the 1980s?

 

Max was less like Sonny Corinthos, and more like Stefano Dimera.  A Euro-trash mobster with 9-lives.  Far too unrealistic for a fairly believable soap like Ryan's Hope.  But Labine was probably under tremendous pressure from ABC to add a mustache-twirling super-villain to the show.  I honestly believe Max was originally planned to be a relatively temporary character, and his daughter Jacquline was slated to be a long-term villainess.  But Max had chemistry with Siobhan (the actors, I mean), so they more-or-less ditched Jacquline, and kept Max.      

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9 minutes ago, Neil Johnson said:

 

Max was less like Sonny Corinthos, and more like Stefano Dimera.  A Euro-trash mobster with 9-lives.  Far too unrealistic for a fairly believable soap like Ryan's Hope.  But Labine was probably under tremendous pressure from ABC to add a mustache-twirling super-villain to the show.  I honestly believe Max was originally planned to be a relatively temporary character, and his daughter Jacquline was slated to be a long-term villainess.  But Max had chemistry with Siobhan (the actors, I mean), so they more-or-less ditched Jacquline, and kept Max.      

 

How much of Labine's tenure overlapped with Max?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, j swift said:

I never enjoy a male character to whom everyone is drawn toward despite having no redeemable values.

Like Victor Newman? Unattractive, overbearing, and played by a one-note actor. And yet everyone on the show is always falling all over him.

Edited by Chris 2
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

How much of Labine's tenure overlapped with Max?

 

Virtually none, to my knowledge: Pat Falken Smith was credited as head writer in Max's first episode.  His first scene, to @Neil Johnson's point, was very Stefano DiMera–esque (didn't PFS create him as well?) and indeed jarring—the same week Faith was written out and right before New Year's, driving home the point that it was a new era.  Max was in some far-flung locale viewing photos of the Ryans, et al, on a slide projector while a henchman briefed him on their backstories.

 

I think the Labines did bring Max back for a cameo as part of the story that introduced Barbara Blackburn's Siobhan, but that was around the time of the writers' strike—so who knows?—and anyway it was a means to an end: a way to kill off Joe for good in a way that brought closure to their story and freed Siobhan up for new relationships (just before the show got canceled, alas).  I can see how Max would have seemed like the most expedient choice of villain.  The one thing I will say is that if Joe had died saving Siobhan and/or other Ryans from a member of his own family, it would have hearkened back to Mary's murder, which in my mind was much more interesting history than what I've seen of the Max/Siobhan interlude.  I believe at some point Joe had a cousin or something on Uncle Tiso's side, but I skipped most of the mid-'80s episodes that have been posted on YouTube, so I have no idea how he was written out or if it would have been at all plausible to bring him back.

 

@j swift, the Dubujaks are definitely a good example of the future turnover I was thinking of that almost made the Kirklands seem down-to-earth by comparison.  Again, I wonder if the fact that the Kirklands never ran their course may have indirectly led to the even more drastic changes that came later in the decade.  ABC may have justified it because Labine/Mayer's return and their back-to-basics approach didn't improve the ratings, and it wasn't completely off-base to conclude that the Kirklands hadn't actually been around long enough to prove that the show couldn't be successfully reinvented for the Dynasty era (not that Labine/Mayer were given much time or likely full creative control either).  You're right, the Dubujaks were way more omnipresent and omnipotent—and, presumably, even richer—than the Kirklands, by all accounts, and the acting was much worse.

 

Although a part of me is surprised ABC didn't bring back Kimberly yet again in 1984 and try and center the show once more around her and her various long-lost relatives—either the Kirklands and/or Arley as the new teen ingenue, assuming she had aged at the same rate Kim's pregnancy had progressed.

 

@amybrickwallace, I suspect the actors who returned for the finale did so mainly as a favor to the writers/remaining cast members, and I don't imagine there was much love lost on the Kirkland portrayers' part after they were let go, even if there was any interest on the part of anyone still working at the show.  Jack and Leigh did mention Hollis Kirkland by name on-screen several days/weeks before the last episode, and I will say their absence from their wedding didn't seem glaring given the history.

Edited by DeliaIrisFan
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18 minutes ago, DeliaIrisFan said:

 

Virtually none, to my knowledge: Pat Falken Smith was credited as head writer in Max's first episode.  His first scenes, to @Neil Johnson's point, was very Stefano DiMera–esque (didn't PFS create him as well?) and indeed jarring—the same week Faith was written out and right before New Year's, driving home the point that it was a new era.  Max was in some far-flung locale viewing photos of the Ryans, et al, on a slide projector while a henchman briefed him on their backstories.

Correct on both counts. PFS was ripping herself off.

 

(from the old Who's Who in Salem page)

In early February, 1982, Tony DiMera went to Rome, Italy, to visit his powerful father, Stefano, who was making plans for coming to Salem to move the DiMera business and build a family there. Stefano had asked Tony to bring slides of the life and people of Salem. Tony had recently held a gala at his home which he had secretly taped for his father. Viewing the images from this party, Stefano got to know the good people of Salem before he arrived, acquiring a great advantage over them. However, he also wanted to see the female scenery. While watching the video, two women stood out to Stefano: Dr. Marlena Evans and Julie Williams. Marlena, Stefano thought, would make a great addition to the DiMera family as a bride to Tony. He believed her to be a great choice to give birth to a future DiMera heir. But Julie...Stefano wanted Julie for himself, despite the fact that she was married. A third woman, Kayla Brady, also caught their eye and they believed her to be very valuable in the future, although Tony warned Stefano that her brother was a captain in the police force.

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Just now, Franko said:

Correct on both counts. PFS was ripping herself off.

 

(from the old Who's Who in Salem page)

In early February, 1982, Tony DiMera went to Rome, Italy, to visit his powerful father, Stefano, who was making plans for coming to Salem to move the DiMera business and build a family there. Stefano had asked Tony to bring slides of the life and people of Salem. Tony had recently held a gala at his home which he had secretly taped for his father. Viewing the images from this party, Stefano got to know the good people of Salem before he arrived, acquiring a great advantage over them. However, he also wanted to see the female scenery. While watching the video, two women stood out to Stefano: Dr. Marlena Evans and Julie Williams. Marlena, Stefano thought, would make a great addition to the DiMera family as a bride to Tony. He believed her to be a great choice to give birth to a future DiMera heir. But Julie...Stefano wanted Julie for himself, despite the fact that she was married. A third woman, Kayla Brady, also caught their eye and they believed her to be very valuable in the future, although Tony warned Stefano that her brother was a captain in the police force.

 

Wow.

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Franko said:

Now, of course, the real fun would occur if Max had acted exactly as Stefano did. Imagine him being drawn to Maeve!

 

That I would have watched!  Better yet, Maeve's partner from that 1982 dance hall story could have been a secretly rich Hollis Kirkland/Max Dubujak type—and all of his evil, uber-rich deeds were just part of his master plan to make Maeve his Queen of the Night.  And if he'd had a history with Rae, to top it off...

 

In all seriousness, though, I just rewatched that first Max episode and now that you mention it, he was pretty much laser-focused on Jill's slide.  Despite the fact that they ended up crossing paths about as much as Stefano and Julie did; and, in that very same episode, Rae commented on the fact that Jill already had her hands full with drama.  However, RH hadn't completely overhauled its writing team, not yet anyway (Judith Pinsker and Nancy Ford were still credited, among others), so Max's henchman at least made a show of talking up Jill's time on the Yale Law Review and her recent run for Congress.  The implication being she might prove to be a thought partner or whatever, and Jill's photo (probably Nancy Addison's headshot IRL) conceivably came from whatever source prominent individuals willingly provided with such images pre-Google.  Whereas it sounds like Stefano was just ogling photos of women taken without their consent based solely on their looks...ick.

Edited by DeliaIrisFan
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1 hour ago, DeliaIrisFan said:

Now, of course, the real fun would occur if Max had acted exactly as Stefano did. Imagine him being drawn to Maeve!

 

Are you suggesting Maeve and Julie were counterparts on their respective shows?  I'd say Maeve was the counterpart to Alice Horton, not Julie.  Alice and Maeve were both matriarchs of large families (and matriarchs to their entire shows).  Julie was the female romantic lead of DOOL at that point.  Marlena did not take over that role until at least 1983 -- and even then, she had to share the "title" with grown-up Hope.   

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28 minutes ago, Neil Johnson said:

Are you suggesting Maeve and Julie were counterparts on their respective shows?  I'd say Maeve was the counterpart to Alice Horton, not Julie.  Alice and Maeve were both matriarchs of large families (and matriarchs to their entire shows).  Julie was the female romantic lead of DOOL at that point.  Marlena did not take over that role until at least 1983 -- and even then, she had to share the "title" with grown-up Hope.   

Answering this 'cause I was the one who wrote it. No, I know Maeve and Julie are two different types of characters. I was just amusing myself imagining someone like Maeve ending up in crazy, DAYS-esque shenanigans. Of course, as countless parents will attest, it starts out funny and then ends up with tears.

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I noticed during the Kirkland era in 1982..that Jill was briefly in the orbit..with a potential pairing hinted at before that was dropped.  Putting her into the attorney role with an occasional shoulder to cry on for Seneca before Frank returned. 

 

When Max first came in...Jill was teased as a possible fling/connection with him before that was dropped.

 

I guess I'm curious why a viable character such as Jill was never written for outside Frank?  Even Faith was branched out to other viable stories outside Pat.

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