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Ryan's Hope Discussion Thread


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At the risk of stating an unpopular opinion, what would future conflicts be for Mary once she had reunited with Jack? 

Certainly I would not have wanted to see them struggle through ten more years of marital conflict.  And Siobhan had taken up the rein of mob destroyer.  So, while it may have been a function of difficulties with re-casting, I cannot imagine a story for Mary that wasn't redundant for Jill, Siobhan, or Faith. 

Thus, by the time the character was killed off there may have been many causes, including the fact that Ryan's Hope was top heavy with too female leads, and I would not have sacrificed any other character for a third recast of Mary.

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12 minutes ago, j swift said:

At the risk of stating an unpopular opinion, what would future conflicts be for Mary once she had reunited with Jack? 

Certainly I would not have wanted to see them struggle through ten more years of marital conflict.  And Siobhan had taken up the rein of mob destroyer.  So, while it may have been a function of difficulties with re-casting, I cannot imagine a story for Mary that wasn't redundant for Jill, Siobhan, or Faith. 

Thus, by the time the character was killed off there may have been many causes, including the fact that Ryan's Hope was top heavy with too female leads, and I would not have sacrificed any other character for a third recast of Mary.

I think Labine/Mayer probably felt the same as you and for the same reasons. Didn't Claire Labine come straight out and say that they lost interest in Mary after Kate Mulgrew left?

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I would have preferred they just have Mary leave town instead of killing her off.  They sent Pat, Frank, and Siobhan away.

Claire from December 1979
"When you have a happily married couple like Jack and Mary you lose plot flexibility. We couldn't separate them romantically. The audience wouldn't have accepted it. Frankly, Paul and I were unequal to the task of keeping them married and still providing a front-burner story for Jack, who maintained incredible audience appeal."

So the viewers weren't accepting the recasts of Mary- yet I find it interesting that she says the audience wouldn't accept Mary and Jack breaking up. 

There was another quote, which I cannot find right now, where Claire, again said, she has trouble writing for married couples.

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18 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

I didn't see the show originally (just through SoapNet and YouTube), but I wonder how the audience back then would have taken it had RH gone all out and paired Jack and Siobhan. That could have driven story for years!!

i, for one, would have loved it! 

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If Ryan's Hope had been more of a mystery-based soap then there may have been more story opportunities for two crime reporters like Jack and Mary, but that wasn't Labine/Mayer's forte.

1 hour ago, safe said:

I would have preferred they just have Mary leave town instead of killing her off.  They sent Pat, Frank, and Siobhan away.

But, she couldn't move away given that Jack's bonding with baby Ryan was such a huge story point for the character that he never would have let them move to another city without him.  Some might say that Baby Ryan was the titular force of Ryan's Hope, so she and her mother couldn't leave.

Mary was related to most of the other leading men and nobody needed more sisterly romantic triangles after Jill and Faith.

48 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

I wonder how the audience back then would have taken it had RH gone all out and paired Jack and Siobhan.

They certainly chem-tested Jack and Siobhan, but I found their fraternal relationship to be refreshing, and I enjoyed many of Jack's other romances like Leigh.  Also, Joe and Siobhan had sizzling chemistry.  

Also, I would argue that killing Mary let the audience know that the stakes were high when dealing with the New York city mob because they were willing to take out a major character.  If the mob only killed day players, their threat to the livelihoods of those in Riverside would not have seemed so real.

Edited by j swift
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3 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

I didn't see the show originally (just through SoapNet and YouTube), but I wonder how the audience back then would have taken it had RH gone all out and paired Jack and Siobhan. That could have driven story for years!!

That would have worked for me, too, though I didn't see much of RH in those days. By the way, I thought Mary Carney was improving as Mary just before they dropped her, and the subsequent Mary recasts were not as good.

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I'm glad they never fully went there with Jack and Siobhan, even with Sarah Felder.

It would have made sense for Jack and Mary's differences to continue to drive a wedge between them, even after Jack took responsibility for Ryan and they reconciled.  There were surely all sorts of other Ryan family heirlooms that would trigger Jack in new ways.

To j swift's point, there is a way they could have justified Mary leaving NY and upped the stakes of the mob story even more than they did by killing her off: if baby Ryan had been accidentally(?) killed in an Uncle Tiso–ordered explosion or something.  Instead of killing off Edmond, which never packed as much of a punch because Frank was clearly too self-absorbed to really care about his children, but none of the other characters seemingly noticed.  Whereas Jack and everyone else besides Mary and Maeve swore up and down he'd never be a good father, but we actually saw him grow to love Ryan.

Claire Labine would have written the hell out of it, of course.  Maybe Kate Mulgrew could have been persuaded to return longer-term at some point in the '80s, between gigs, and Jack and Mary could have tried to deal with their mutual grief and make it work again, but ultimately...

On 9/26/2021 at 8:21 AM, amybrickwallace said:

Were Maggie and Dave really that popular of a couple? I do know that she was much more interesting as a vixen than she was as an ingenue.

When/how did they go from romantic location shoots for Maggie and Dave to Maggie being the spoiler for Dave and the cheerleader from Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (I know she was supposed to be playing one of Kathleen's daughters, but from what little I saw of her run, I suspect she had a way better role in Romy and Michelle)?  Didn't I read that the mid-'80s writers recycle one or more of Delia's desperate antics to hang onto Frank/Pat with Maggie/Dave, or am I making that up?  Never mind that this promo was mere months after she was conspiring—among other things—with Roger to ingratiate herself as Jill's long-lost sister.

I like what I've seen of CT's intro and Maggie doing battle with Delia toward the show's end, but I have a hard time believing there was a plausible throughline for Maggie's character in the intervening years.

Edited by DeliaIrisFan
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34 minutes ago, DeliaIrisFan said:

like what I've seen of CT's intro and Maggie doing battle with Delia toward the show's end, but I have a hard time believing there was a plausible throughline for Maggie's character in the intervening years.

I was also a fan of Cali TImmins so I enjoyed her portrayal of Maggie.  It was unfortunate that she started as sort of a replacement for Kimberly after the Kirkland debacle (young pretty actress striving to make it in the big city by any means necessary).  Then, Maggie got caught up in the worst parts of the Max DeBujak saga, including hidden rooms and plans for world domination.  So, her romance with Dave was a highlight.  On a personal note, I'm a sucker for Jewish representation, and the fact that a New York based soap had no deli or Jewish characters seemed like an oversight.  Although, if internet boards were around at the time, I'm sure many fans would have been up in arms that the deli diverted attention away from Ryan's Bar as it was reconstructed after a bomb.

34 minutes ago, DeliaIrisFan said:

Mary leaving NY and upped the stakes of the mob story even more than they did by killing her off: if baby Ryan had been accidentally(?) killed in an Uncle Tiso–ordered explosion or something.

Heaven forbid! She was the titular Ryan of Ryan's Hope.  What would they all have hoped for if she was killed off?

Edited by j swift
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