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Loving/The City Discussion Thread

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There's a scene of Clay asking Gwen about Curtis's mental health, "as a psychologist", on the actor who played Curtis's YT reel.  Was Gweneth a psychologist or is Clay just trying to be snarky?  I know she worked in a diner, but I had no idea she completed graduate studies.

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Parlato doesn't seem to be delivering that line with any snark. I think Gwyn may have gone back to school in either 1994 or 1995. Nixon paired Gwyn with Jeremy Hunter, has her experience menopause, and had her working at the ad agency after several years back in the corporate circles at AE. 

 

I'm up to March 1992 and I'm surprised to experience so many forgotten stories. The mystery at the Tides is something @EricMontreal22 mentioned several times but to see it play out day to day is bizarre. I'm curious to see how cohesive it will turn out as they've hinted once at the resolution (Clay is not Cabot's son) but the rest of the story seems to suggest this is all about Cabot's infidelity. It's also surprising to see it started out under Mary Ryan Munisteri back in November. 

 

The end of the Matt Ford story was incredibly disappointing especially since they saddled Ally with an obsession for a newly sanitized Giff Bowman and a rather extensive side story involving her mother Bonnie getting pregnant by her new boyfriend. Also, Mary Ryan Munisteri lays the groundwork for Casey. Gif has been married three times and has three children, one by each former wife. Revel (Casey's birth name) is visiting Corinth at Christmas (offscreen) and is a musician. in the transition from Munisteri to Walsh there is a brief young crowd introduced around Matt, Alky, and Reggie involving a band. I imagine the plan was to have Revel involved in the band. 

 

Ally also has a brief flirtation with Sam, the senator's son who Dinahlee spent some time with. Sam was a member of the main frat. 

 

Walsh spends a lot of time making Clay and Dinahlee happen. After mentioning bring her family to town, Dinahlee now claims it's just her and Hannag, her half sister. Mom apparently abandoned them to pursue her dreams to be a singer. Not a big Dinahlee / Clay fan. 

 

The he show really struggles with Becks latest maternity leave. Trucker and Stacey are trying to solve the mystery of the Tides, which is probably why Haidee Granger pursued that angle later in the year. The infighting at AE started out interesting with Jack, Shana, and Gwyn uniting against Clay but Isabelle's meddling has become cumbersome. I didn't realize John Schneider was on contract to play Larry Lamont, a businessman looking to work with AE and seducing Shana. 

 

Also shocked how Walsh sidelines Ava and completely shifts the focus of Carly / Paul / Ava / Flynn to make Paul and Carly endgame without any plan in place for Ava. It's really upsetting to see the story shift gears to Michaels heart problem and some rather generic interactions between characters who previously had a bunch of layers. 

 

I understand why people liked Arthur, the assistant at Truckers auto shop. They lay the nerd layer on pretty thick but the actor gives him dimension. 

 

I did did jump ahead and watched some May 1992 episodes and things do seem to settle a bit, but the show has been a bit of a task in Walsh's early episodes.

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Jimmy Kimmel's Bryan Cranston interview has a brief Loving clip, which their Youtube channel makes sure to remind us is "embarrassing." 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zgtb4v-xbA

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On 11/13/2018 at 7:35 PM, EricMontreal22 said:

Are these episodes on YT?  I only vaguely started watching then.  Man it still amazes me all the turnaround Loving had despite staying under (to some degree) Agnes Nixon's control.

 

No. I got these episodes from another source. Mostly full episodes (often missing credits) with long stretches with very few episodes missing. 

 

Even though Millee Taggert and Tom King had a good stretch (two and half years), there were three different executive producers they worked under. From the bits I've seen, Taggert/King and Babbin seem to have the strongest material, but I think the show also made some major changes to the canvas that hurt the show in the long run and weren't rectified for quite some time. 

 

I love Sears/ Ryan Munisteri's run, but Munisteri's strength lies in character rather than plotting. With that said, I did enjoy a lot of the story. Ava/Paul/Carly/Flynn is an incredible quad that easily could have been generic but the characterization is so rich (and definitely builds on what King and Taggert were already doing) that the story remains deeply engaging. I love that Paul never really gives up on Ava despite all the terrible things she has done. I also think that by allowing both Ava and Kate know Carly's secret, a lot of strong natural tension was built between the Rescott women and the Slavinski men. The Ally / Matt pairing was well done, but Matt's story is certainly more engaging. Laura (Sisk) Wright is more at ease in the role of slightly devious schemer than she is as a more outgoing ingenue. Eric Woodall just works beautifully with every actor they pair him with. Matt's relationship with Kate and Louie is very poignant, and the connection with Ceara provides some of the show's strongest moments. The story that Munisteri builds for Trucker and Trisha was probably not well received by that fanbase. It made Trucker and Trisha both look human and even terrible at times. The conflict with Jack and Stacey that comes out of the situation with Dinahlee nicely ties into the story with Trucker and Trisha, but overall glances over the role that Shana has played in all of it. If Munisteri had stayed, I suspect that Shana would have been shipped to Hong Kong like Isabelle intended. The introduction of street kid Michael, snarky artist Giff, soulful Flynn, and spirited Dinahlee added deeper layers to the stories and the canvas. 

 

From what I've seen of Sears / Walsh, the characterization goes to pot fairly quickly. Characters are now people but more types. Isabelle is simply a meddling mother and grandmother without the appreciation of what has led her to become this in such a short period of time. Michael, who was hustler and slightly devious, suddenly becomes your average soap kid. Matt, deeply aware of all his baggage, wants to rush into marriage and move out of town with Ally despite not wanting to rush her into sex weeks earlier. Only Gwyn seems to get a bit more depth, and it is her story which seems most interesting, but is also one of the slowest building. Walsh' plotting is a bit stronger, but the stories are not as interesting. Clay becomes involved with Dinahlee because he's down on his luck and hopes to keep an eye on her. Upon the arrival of Hannah, Clay pretends to be Trucker to keep Dinahlee from disappointing Hannah having told her a fairy tale about being engaged to a very rich man, Trucker McKenzie. This dominates a good portion of the episodes. Stacey is presented a chance to write an article on the Alden family for Brava, but instead nixes the offer at Isabelle's request. Instead, Stacey becomes obsessed with some love nest that Cabot had in the Tides and the mystery surrounding who the lover might be. Again, in terms of a story, it is interesting, but it isn't impacting the characters in any real meaningful way. The alliances being built in order to prevent Clay from taking over Alden Enterprises is an intriguing concept and is a story that at least gives the Aldens a sense of family unity, but it also seems to meander a bit. More things happen under Walsh, they just don't have the impact without the story. 

 

What I've caught of Haidee Granger's work is bizarre. The storyline ideas are definitely meant to grab eyes (Giff goes crazy and kidnaps Trisha! There's a ghost at 35 Maple Street!), but the scriptwriters and actors manage to make some moments very meaningful. As much as I hate seeing the destruction of Giff Bowman, Cox and Stewart are pretty damn amazing in some of their final confrontations where Casey is trying to convince Giff to tell him where Trisha and Christopher are. For all the complaints made about Matt not having ties, Casey has the same issues once Richard Cox departs, but both actors give the characters an edge. On an hour show, Woodall and Stewart could have driven story for years, it's a shame they weren't given that opportunity.

 

On 11/18/2018 at 9:57 PM, DRW50 said:

Jimmy Kimmel's Bryan Cranston interview has a brief Loving clip, which their Youtube channel makes sure to remind us is "embarrassing." 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zgtb4v-xbA

 

Shame on them for not looking for something more unique and truly 'embarassing' like the Jonathan Maitland story. Then again, maybe the deal with the devil stuff was under Jonathan Maitland's second run.

 

On 11/20/2018 at 5:40 AM, EricMontreal22 said:

I'm sure there is much more "embarrassing" footage from his career out there...  Sigh.

It is crazy how quickly most of the Donovans were written out...

 

I think the Vochek / Donovan family structures were flawed. I think they should have had killed off Patrick Donovan in the pilot as a result of the prostitution story with Johnny Forbes helping hide Amelia leading to Patrick finding her and being shot in the final showdown. I would have sent Amelia to prison and had Johnny get off by turning on her. This would have built more tension between the Forbes / Donovan clans which could have played nicely into the Merill / Roger / Doug storyline. I also believe I have mentioned that I would have had featured the Vochek father instead of Patrick Donovan. I would have built a slow burning romance between him and Rose Donovan which would have been complicated by the revelation that his wife wasn't dead and had in fact abandoned the family. When she returned to town, she could have been involved with Johnny Forbes, which would again escalate the tension between the families as well as complicate her husband's divorce plans. Also, if Rose was a staunch Catholic, this might have been an end to that relationship. I think more story at the parent level would have enhanced story at the child level. 

 

I know it was probably too early for it, but I think they should have bitten the bullet and had Doug been deeply in the closet. Doug and Merrill's relationship could have been beneficial because they were both involved in forbidden relationships (Merrill with a married man and Doug with a man). It would certainly have been a different dynamic for the Roger / Merrill relationship. Also, I don't remember the show really playing up the fact that Roger's career should have been hindered, at least slightly, by the scandal involving his father's murder. I guess they were going for a JFK angle with Roger, but I think it would have made more sense to use the prostitution ring to keep Roger in Corinth for a year or so before he could really build up his political plans (which should have been the case anyway since he was president of the college). I think Doug's sexuality could easily have been used in the AIDS storyline they wanted to tell, but I also think that story might have been interesting if they sort of played a sexually fluid Curtis Alden. Again, I think some of this never would have made it past the network, but its always interesting to consider. 

 

I think Nixon wrote Noreen and Mike out after Marland brought Noreen back in his final weeks, though I believe Nixon brought back Doug for the relationship with Shana. Later, Taggert / King brought back Rose and Patrick and were used during Munisteri's run. The last mention I've gotten of them was at Christmas 1991 when Stacey says they are with Doug in California. 

 

Overall, the Donovans and Vocheks needed more inherent tension that a family like the Rescotts provided. I think they could have worked, but it would have meant a major overhaul. 

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13 hours ago, dc11786 said:

 

No. I got these episodes from another source. Mostly full episodes (often missing credits) with long stretches with very few episodes missing. 

 

Even though Millee Taggert and Tom King had a good stretch (two and half years), there were three different executive producers they worked under. From the bits I've seen, Taggert/King and Babbin seem to have the strongest material, but I think the show also made some major changes to the canvas that hurt the show in the long run and weren't rectified for quite some time. 

 

I guess Taggert really (with different other writers) has the most accumulated years writing for Loving--four or so?  I find her late 80s stuff with King has good individual scenes but kinda dull stories--a lot of corporate world based stories which never seemed to be what Loving should be about. I agree that Babbin helped them create their strongest work.  In a soap rag interview I found with her when she came on, she has a clear vision for the show--unfortunately she also says she has only agreed to join on as a "favour" (I assume to Nixon after their time at AMC?) and will ONLY be there for a year, which in soap terms isn't really all that long as you know...  (Ironically though Fran Sears stayed on as EP after her for even less time, and I doubt the year commitment was one of her conditions)

13 hours ago, dc11786 said:

 

I love Sears/ Ryan Munisteri's run, but Munisteri's strength lies in character rather than plotting. With that said, I did enjoy a lot of the story. Ava/Paul/Carly/Flynn is an incredible quad that easily could have been generic but the characterization is so rich (and definitely builds on what King and Taggert were already doing) that the story remains deeply engaging. I love that Paul never really gives up on Ava despite all the terrible things she has done. I also think that by allowing both Ava and Kate know Carly's secret, a lot of strong natural tension was built between the Rescott women and the Slavinski men. The Ally / Matt pairing was well done, but Matt's story is certainly more engaging. Laura (Sisk) Wright is more at ease in the role of slightly devious schemer than she is as a more outgoing ingenue. Eric Woodall just works beautifully with every actor they pair him with. Matt's relationship with Kate and Louie is very poignant, and the connection with Ceara provides some of the show's strongest moments

 

I forgot that Ceara interacted with them--well I mean I know she stayed at the Rescott's in that first AMC crossover in '91, but... 

 

13 hours ago, dc11786 said:

The alliances being built in order to prevent Clay from taking over Alden Enterprises is an intriguing concept and is a story that at least gives the Aldens a sense of family unity, but it also seems to meander a bit. More things happen under Walsh, they just don't have the impact without the story. 

 

That sounds fair--I probably hold Walsh's Loving to too high a standard because it's when I started to watch the show as a kid (I was an AMC nut and only became aware and started watching Loving with the 91 AMC crossover, and only started watching daily the following summer with the full on Carter Jones AMC/LOV crossover). 

 

13 hours ago, dc11786 said:

What I've caught of Haidee Granger's work is bizarre. The storyline ideas are definitely meant to grab eyes (Giff goes crazy and kidnaps Trisha! There's a ghost at 35 Maple Street!), but the scriptwriters and actors manage to make some moments very meaningful. As much as I hate seeing the destruction of Giff Bowman, Cox and Stewart are pretty damn amazing in some of their final confrontations where Casey is trying to convince Giff to tell him where Trisha and Christopher are. For all the complaints made about Matt not having ties, Casey has the same issues once Richard Cox departs, but both actors give the characters an edge. On an hour show, Woodall and Stewart could have driven story for years, it's a shame they weren't given that opportunity.

 

 

Shame on them for not looking for something more unique and truly 'embarassing' like the Jonathan Maitland story. Then again, maybe the deal with the devil stuff was under Jonathan Maitland's second run.

 

It was 1986 wasn't it that the snake happened?  I adore the fact that Agnes Nixon always maintained that was one of her all time favourite storylines :D I mean I've tracked down very little of it, but just due to the rep it has, etc, it kinda makes me happy that Agnes stands by it.

I would love to know more details about why Granger and Walsh disagreed so strongly that Walsh broke her contract leaving the show without a headwriter for four or so months (and that woulda been just when the AMC Carter crossover was revving up *I think* if I have my dates right--I always wondered who wrote what for that--Agnes Nixon had just passed the official AMC headwriting reigns over to McTavish but she was still involved obviously in both soaps...  I assume you're not at those episodes yet (and I may have the dates wrong...)

 

13 hours ago, dc11786 said:

 

Also, if Rose was a staunch Catholic, this might have been an end to that relationship. I think more story at the parent level would have enhanced story at the child level. 

 

I know it was probably too early for it, but I think they should have bitten the bullet and had Doug been deeply in the closet. Doug and Merrill's relationship

 

Agreed about the parent/child stuff...  Agnes Nixon probably had no interest in trying another gay storyline--while researching my MA essay about gays on her soaps I found a brief interview where she mentions how little story they were allowed to tell with the 1983 Lynn Carter lesbian storyline on AMC (and of course Agnes originally wanted it to be a gay male storyline but ABC said they already had a gay male on TV--Stephen on Dynasty) and finally realized it was just "too soon" to tell that story, so diving into a gay story on her new soap right around the same time probably felt useless.  But it's not a bad idea.  Early Loving certainly wanted to push the boundaries (and they could have tied it into the AIDS research story which really went nowhere even if it was even just groundbreaking to mention AIDS on a soap in 1983).  I'm not saying Doug would have AIDS but...  (And I see you just had the same thought lower down in your post LOL sorry I'm replying as I read...)

 

13 hours ago, dc11786 said:

 

 

Overall, the Donovans and Vocheks needed more inherent tension that a family like the Rescotts provided. I think they could have worked, but it would have meant a major overhaul. 

 

Agreed there.  I wonder if that was partly Marland's fault.  The Donovans seem to want to fit into his Snyder prototype sorta boring lower middle class family slot that he's so attached to but I find kinda dull...

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IMillee Taggert has the most time between her ‘88-‘91 run and her ‘92-‘93 stint. Despite this, her long range impact is uneven. There is no denying that Trisha abd Trucker’s romance shaped the show for many years and that Taggert created that. I’ve already said before I don’t think Trisha / Trucker should have been end game. Taggert and King do introduce realClay into the story. They also wrote the Louie / Kate romance and created Carly abd Paul. Some of this should have been better utilized by subsequent regimes and some of should have just been ignored. While it’s often overlooked, Taggert and King did try to diversify the canvas with the Domeqs and adding Det. Hindman’s children to the younger set. 

 

What did did you think @EricMontreal22 of Taggert’s second run? I think she smartly swapped Steffi for Hannah and continued to play Ally’s pregnancy as the main complication in the younger quad. Shana’s desire to have a baby seems strong as does the brief Shana / Leo / Ava triangle l. Yet there are so many other clunkers: the Dinahlee / Curtis pairing, the convoluted backstory with Curtis / Buck / Tess, the return of Trucker’s father, the Jeremy / Ava Universal Studios caper, and the open ended exit story for Trisha. 

 

Whike i I get what you mean regarding King and Taggert’s corporate stories, the second half of Marland’s run had the trademark Maryland business world: Amourelle Cosmetics, Forbes Construction, Burnell’s Department Store, the Beecham brothers, and the fight for AE. The difference is Marland’s stories seemed to be grounded in how they would impact others. Nixon was never really a big business type writer and that difference makes for a rough transition in 1985. 

 

I think Babbin’s year worked for “Loving.” The show seems to ground the story more in reality while still injecting bits of humor. On the other hand she also sets in motion things that were detrimental in the long run: firing Perry Stephens, okaying the dismantling of the Alden family, and failing to recast Dane when Anthony Herrera left. 

 

Sears is interesting because what she does shapes the remainder of show’s run. The introduction of Casey and Cooper as well as positioning Ally as a lead gives the show a jolt. Jessica Collins manages to make Dinahlee something even when the story isn’t there to support it. All the sets she introduces remain for quiet some time. Also she incorporates a lot of modern music (music rights are probably one of the reasons this is never replayed). I wish we didn’t have to lose Carly and Paul in the process. 

 

Sears fast departure is a shock. The much remembered revamp was something she spearheaded along with Walsh. Haidee Granger is there for over a year I think. I’d also love to know what changed with Walsh, but Grangers solo work is so over the top that I think Walsh may have felt that it was to big a conflict. Also, Granger quickly squashed Cooper’s sexual abuse story by having Coop claim he wanted to have sex with Selina his nanny. If this was something that Walsh was being told she had to pen, I think I might have quit too. 

 

The bits I’ve seen of later in Walsh’s run are stronger (May 1992). As we have seen though in what has appeared online, it’s just such a tonal shift from one regime to another. Being a fan of the Claire Labine school of soap writing, Mary Ryan Munisteri’s work (while flawed in ways) speaks to me more than Walsh’s does. 

 

I thought the deal with the devil and the snakes was all at the tail end of the first Maitland story set on the Golden Gate Bridge (November 1984). It may have been later. I think Jonathan kidnaps Keith and replaces him in the final weeks of Marland’s run (May 1985). Either way I know Nixon had stated it was a favorite. While it’s clear she has massive influence over the story, she isn’t credited long as head writer. Jack and Stacey’s engagement party (February 1986) is credited to William Levinson. 

 

I’ve stalled in March 1992. I don’t have the fall crossover episodes but they are available. You are correct though Granger is de facto writer during the crossover. Taggerts hiring is announced in November. 

 

Regarding the gay storyline on “All My Children,” you raise an interesting point. I’ve read Marland planned to reveal Tom, the character recently introduced on episodes of “The Doctors” airing on Retro, was gay. I’m also curious what the plan was, if any, regarding the AIDS research on “Loving.” I imagine it would have mostly be a talking piece for university in fighting (older conservative donors not wanting their money thrown into research for “those people”). Would they have even attempted to humanize the story by introducing someone suffering from the disease. I believe Curtis returns to Corinth in July 1983 after years of drugs and sex in Europe. I think there was a real story to tell there while not necessarily diagnosing Curtis with the disease. An interesting sidebar, Brian Frons WANTED the Dobsons to tell an AIDS storyline in the first few years of “Santa Barbara” so networks weren’t 100% against it. 

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Well after a not great day, while looking through several boxes of things I still haven;t unpacked since a move a year ago, I found the 10 DVDRs I made of my recordings of the final 70 episodes of the Loving Murders, which I thought was long lost!  I basically started at the start with Stacy's death, and they still look great.  I know a lot of this stuff is on YT but still, I'm pretty pleased.

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I am busy with my grad school stuff for two more weeks but then will have a LOT of free time trying to figure out what to do with my life so can do it then (it'll take me a while to figure out how to--I've never encoded from a DVD before to a computer file).  If I forget remind me after Xmas ;)

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19 minutes ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Well after a not great day, while looking through several boxes of things I still haven;t unpacked since a move a year ago, I found the 10 DVDRs I made of my recordings of the final 70 episodes of the Loving Murders, which I thought was long lost!  I basically started at the start with Stacy's death, and they still look great.  I know a lot of this stuff is on YT but still, I'm pretty pleased.

 

Only a few episodes are on Youtube, really. 

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Oh!  When I'm done grad school in two weeks and Christmas stuff maybe I'll try to upload some key episodes that aren't there.  I admit I did a quick look and I think a few years back there were a lot more episodes from the Murders on YT that seem to be down (I remember the creepy one with Curtis' hospital hydrotherapy bath death being there).

I also have the last three months of The City (again I know some of that is online, but this is better quality and complete).

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18 minutes ago, EricMontreal22 said:

I am busy with my grad school stuff for two more weeks but then will have a LOT of free time trying to figure out what to do with my life so can do it then (it'll take me a while to figure out how to--I've never encoded from a DVD before to a computer file).  If I forget remind me after Xmas ;)

No worries. Thank you.

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