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Loving/The City Discussion Thread

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35 minutes ago, EricMontreal22 said:

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).

 

This is all that is up at present.

 

(I'm not saying this because I expect you to put up the other episodes, obviously) 

 

 

 

 

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I’m in April 1992. The AU revamp is in full swing. Eden Atwood’s Staige was underutilized. The interaction between Ally and Staige is an early example of a soap frenemy relationship. At first, I didn’t think much of the sorority/fraternity storyline. For one, it won’t last long. I think by the summer the show abandons Bleak House and the Alpha Dels. Secondly, the show has introduced a series of new characters and roped in characters like a member of Matt’s band and the senator’s son who was interested in Dinahlee for a hot minute. With that said, Laura Sisk has emerged as a stronger actress now that Ally is a scheming social climber. Ally and Staige are both into Cooper for their own reasons. It is their push-pull is more interesting than the inclusion of country girl Hannah Mayberry. With that said, the Hannah-Cooper dynamic has created one of the show’s more intriguing stories.

It seems that with Hannah and Cooper there is an attempt to recreate the Lily, Jack, and Curtis tale. Like Lily, Hannah is a pianist and Cooper has endured sexual abuse. The sexual abuse story is slowly building. We have only had some hints of it. Upon his arrival, Cooper is pulled aside by Isabelle who confronts him over his past: being kicked out of colleges, jumping from boarding school to boarding school, and the family’s inability to keep a nanny. The nanny becomes a sore point when Cooper and Clay clash when Clay moves out of the Alden manor. Clay recounts Cabot’s 60th birthday party where a young Coop spiked the punch. When Clay recalls the beautiful nanny, Coop lashes out. His personality completely flips. I wonder if the show was considering giving Cooper MPD, but I suspect it was just an example of Cooper being triggered.

 

Cooper and Ally do seem to be the relationship the show is most committed to at the moment. Staige attempts to thwart Ally and Coop’s romance by telling Ally to keep away and later undermining Ally’s confidence when Ally alludes to being a virgin.

Kent is underdeveloped. It’s hard to tell if Howarth is green or not because he is given so little to do.


Rebecca Gayheart’s Hannah could give you diabetes she’s so sickeningly sweet. Her relationship with Keith Grummet’s Arthur is a sweet dalliance, but I cannot see where they would take it.

 

It’s interesting how little details emerge. Julie Bowen’s character is Steffy, Eden’s ‘little sister’ at the sorority who is dating Sam Maxwell, the young man who was after Dinahlee back in the winter. I’m curious to see how long it takes for these people to completely disappear. Daisy Fuentes seems to be fading now as Tess once they’ve introduced the sorority set.  

 

The show is more interesting when it interacts. For example, the aforementioned Coop/Clay scene was very well done. Two characters, both introduced under Addie Walsh and Jeff Ryder, who have very unique viewpoints. When Coop tries to come at Clay, Clay makes a deep cut; questioning whether or not Coop has any true friends. I think the interplay between Clay and Coop is fun. It is the old sullen black sheep versus the new one. I can see why Coop vs. Clay would become a bigger thing under future regimes.

 

Similarly, there is a great scene set at Burnell’s where Dinahlee and Hannah are shopping for a Dinahlee’s first real date with Clay, Isabelle and Gwyn are engaging in some shopping therapy, and Ava and Ally are hunting for a new wardrobe for the newest Alpha Del. The camera shifts between the three scenes and ends with a Gwyn/Dinahlee standoff in the same dress. The show is definitely building a Dinahlee / Clay / Gwyn triangle with Isabelle nudging a Gwyn / Clay reconciliation both openly and privately by encouraging Gwyn to take on the role of CEO of AE in order to lure Clay back into the fold. In another stand out scene, Clay drops by Gwyn at her room at the hotel where they sit an watch an old film on television and skirt around their unresolved feelings for one another.

 

While Gwyn’s arc is building very slowly, and is developing into something intriguing, the Jack / Shana angles of the AE story are not as strong. Jack’s need to defend his position isn’t grounded in anything other than story needs. The Isabelle / Jack animosity comes out of nowhere. Meanwhile, Shana’s romance with Larry Lamont is very dry and to the point. It doesn’t even seem to be building naturally to the revelation that Larry and his assistant Jeanne are scheming to con Jack and Shana out of money. It just seems to move step by step without much nuance. In the latest episodes, it appears that Larry has developed true feelings for Shana without any real angst. Jeanne emerges as a basic threat to Larry and Shana’s happiness, but it is stated that she may have made a play for Jack (off camera). The only element that works is that this all means Jack is too busy for Stacey, who now has significant motivation to become obsessed with the secret of the love nest at the Tides.

 

The Rescott storyline has fallen apart. Kate and Louie are now supporting players in other people’s stories. Louie, now working at the bowling alley, has become a confidant for Dinahlee and I assume will usurp Maggie’s role. In other orbits, Kate is now acting as a social secretary for Isabelle usurping Bethel Leslie’s position. It does connect Kate more to the larger world, but her own family has suffered.

 

The Paul / Ava / Carly story is winding down. Flynn has been quickly killed off in a hit and run shot on location in the city. Carly starts drinking while Michael has been brought home to Corinth. Michael is now completely your average soap kid without any of the personality that was crafted under Mary Ryan Munisteri. There is potential for a great moment when Carly returns from several days of drinking in New York and reunites with Michael, who smells the booze on her breath and immediately calls her out. He is reminded of Ruth Austen, the woman who raised and abandoned him. It has the potential to be a powerful moment, and it is, to an extent. It all plays as soap by numbers rather than actually delving into the emotional turmoil this should really cause.

 

Failed potential is the name of the game right now. Within the same set of episodes, Isabelle receives a phone call about the plane crash that killed her nephew Tyler and his wife Cynthia (Cooper’s parents) and Shana recounting to Larry about the crash that killed Jim and Jimmy. Shana’s monologue is a touching moment, but it seems to be a missed opportunity to connect the old with the new. And yet, Kate has mentioned on two separate occasions that she lost her husband.

 

For a show called “Loving,” there isn’t a lot of it. The show’s main romantic couple is Dinahlee and Clay. Day in and day out, they get a bulk of the show’s story time. In my latest viewing, Clay and Dinahlee have faked a wedding to convince Hannah that her sister isn’t a liar. This leads to Gwyn forcing Dinahlee’s hand resulting in Dinahlee confessing all her dirty deeds to Hannah. With everything on the table, Dinahlee and Clay are free to move forward as a couple. Now, Dinahlee has confessed she has feelings for Clay and has moved passed her feelings for Trucker. And yet, despite his screen time, he is missing from stories that he is critical for. The main thrust in the AE storyline is Isabelle’s desire to see Clay in charge of AE, but Clay shows no interest in AE. Similarly, Gwyn talks about Clay’s desire to reunite with Trisha and how Clay’s relationship with Dinahlee would impact that, but there is no real talk to Clay about Trisha or the family outside his scenes with Gwyn. At least with Dinahlee, she spends time with Hannah, who seems to be her main non-romantic focus.

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I'm in the final episodes I have of May 1992. There is a five week gap in episodes. When I resume, it will be late June. 

 

It is clear that there has been a change in production. Establishing shots for scenes have been introduced and we have a greater sense of what Corinth feels like. The story also is taking us outside of Corinth. The mystery of the love nest at the Tides has Stacey and Trucker in Atlanta meeting with Tim Sullivan and his friend/neighbor Mary-Pat (played by soap vet Peg Murray). The Atlanta excursion is a bit bizarre as it leads to a building attraction between Stacey and Trucker. I didn't realize this was a story beat that was played this early. Trucker and Stacey nearly kiss in Atlanta, but it seems all but forgotten upon returning to Corinth. In Colorado, Giff visits his first wife's grave to celebrate her birthday where we meet the last member of the younger set, Revel Bowman. Revel is now going by Casey in honor of his late mother (Alise Casey Bowman). Paul Anthony Stewart is a find. He immediately throws himself into Casey's lost boy soulfulness which makes the character immediately likeable compared to most of the rest of the newly introduced younger set.  A dayplayer artist pal of Giff, Oliver, returns to reveal that Trisha is also in Colorado. Trisha returns mid-May after being absent since mid-February (Noelle Beck's second maternity leave). Trucker and Trisha's reunion is a mess. Trucker's PI has tracked Giff and Trisha down to Porter's Point or wherever the commune was and immediately trashes the place and attacks Giff. It's the over the top reaction I've come to expect under Walsh, but I'm not sure if Walsh is still writing. 

 

The scenes in Colorado are a mixed bag. Trisha's return grounds her motivation in her own history that is very relevant to the current story (she doesn't want to raise her child the way she was raised around volatile Gwyn and Clay) and Beck is glowing post pregnancy. I'm not sure what the plan is for Trucker and Trisha. They are back tracking now; the previously happily reunited Trisha and Trucker are now at each other's throats. There is definitely groundwork being laid for Trisha / Giff (Casey notices the attraction), but none of this seems to be heading anywhere good. It's clear that Walsh and Granger had no idea of how to use Richard Cox's Giff, which is a shame since he was such a breath of fresh air under Ryan Munisteri. 

 

In other segments of the story, the AE story is becoming more intriguing. Both Shana and Jack have been completely sidelined since the end of the Take Off story in late April. Shana and Larry have an attempt at an emotional moment after Shana learns she and Jack have been scammed, but it has no impact on Jack and Shana's stories. It does, however, fuel Isabelle's plot to push Gwyn forward as CEO of AE after ousting Jack for misappropriating funds into a project that was a fraud. The AE stockholders appear fairly regularly, Howard (an older gentleman who acts as Isabelle's partner in crime) and Ellen Saunders (an older woman who seems fairly recognizable). Gwyn's pursuit of the CEO position lures Clay back into the fold, which is a great story point. Pompous Clay doesn't believe Gwyn can handle it, while Jack and Shana call out Isabelle for using Gwyn to get Clay back on board. It's a shining moment for Christine Tudor Newman. She does so much with so very little. She interacts well with everyone in her story. There are also just some nice moments for Gwyn. At the art studio, Gwyn reconnects with Giff hoping to use Giff to help her lure a board member to her side. It's a nice moment that is used to show a dynamic that is missing on this show: friendship. Anyway, it's now officially a Dinahlee / Clay / Gwyn triangle. In a very well done scene, Dinahlee confesses to Louie she fears she will always feel like an outsider among Clay's family while Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" plays in the bowling alley. Clay confronts Gwyn at the opera and Gwyn tells Clay to get Dinahlee out of town if he loves her (Dinahlee). Later, Clay and DInahlee accept a job offer in Chicago to work as executives for a bowling conglomerate that wants to buy Pins. The job offer provides Clay and Dinahlee with a decent conflict that plays on what Walsh has been building for the past five months. 

 

At the start of the month, Carly, Paul, and Michael are shipped off to New York. There story was awful under Walsh so I don't miss them. In revisiting their story under Walsh, Carly and Paul had a lot of plot but it never was developed. Michael had a serious heart condition, Carly and Michael moved to New York, Carly reunites with Flynn, Flynn and Carly become engaged, Paul realizes he loves Carly, Carly tells Flynn she loves Paul leading to Flynn's fatal hit and run, and Carly develops a bit of a drinking problem. It all sounds exciting, but it is all so poorly executed. What is most surprising is Ava remains on the backburner almost the entire time. As her relationship collapses, Ava takes the high road and maturely accepts defeat when it comes to Carly and Paul. Lisa Peluso does some fine work, but it's a shock to see her go from an A-player to a C-lister. In the last few episodes, they have launched Ava's new story revolving around her new job at Burnell's and her mysterious boss. 

 

The mystery of the Tides moves nicely now that they've established Stacey's main motivation (boredom) for looking into the story. Tim Sullivan has just arrived in Corinth in late May, and I believe he will already be dead when my episodes resume in late June. Part of the problem though is the mystery is mainly misguided. Stacey and Trucker are looking for an older woman who has been hired by Isabelle to scare them off. The reasoning by hiring an older woman (in her late 50s /early 60s) is never completely established. I can only assume Isabelle is trying to lead Stacey and Trucker to believe that this woman was one of Cabot's mistresses to throw them off the scent. Again, it's a bit of a bizarre tale but also interesting. 

 

They are still trying to find their way with the younger set. Hannah and Cooper now appear to be the major couple with a bit of Cooper / Ally and even Cooper / Staige thrown in for good measure. Arthur is still hanging around Hannah, but it's clear that he won't be for much longer. Hannah and Coop have complications from both Clay and Dinahlee as well as Isabelle. Coop and Ally's romance is thwarted by young sexuality; Ally is a virgin and Coop has a traumatic history that is slowly being unveiled. There is a nice scene in mid-May where Hannah, Coop, and Ally all end up at Burnell's just as Hannah puts on a more sexy black dress just as Coop arrives and Ally spots the look between the two. There is also some fun infighting between Staige and Ally over Coop, but it feels like the sorority stuff is already beginning to fade out. 

 

I definitely think things are shaping up, but I'm fearful to see all the momentum killed when the next set of episodes start. The story is already switching. 

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I read Agnes Nixon's memoir, and while very interesting in some points, I felt let down that not once did she mention Loving. Sure, it wasn't the success that AMC or OLTL was, but it did run for 13 years. Hardly a complete failure! Plus, it would have been interesting to get her viewpoint on WHY it never developed into a huge hit.

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On 9/21/2009 at 5:03 PM, DRW50 said:

I was just watching some clips of Casey and Ally. Laura Wright and PAS had such great chemistry together (and it was nice to see Laura before she became so cold as an actress). I wish GL hadn't chickened out in their plans to put them together -- they still had good chemistry even as Danny and Cassie.

 

I hope PAS can get a good soap job soon.

I was watching a playlist of Casey/Ally this weekend (this was a soap binge weekend for me, for some reason), but man, were they incredible together. I’d forgotten what it was like to be invested in a soap romance, and they pulled me in immediately. (Sorry for digging up this post from a decade ago.)

 

Loving had such a strong young cast in the early ‘90s. 

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I've been watching the episodes from the time period Casey was introduced. As I viewer, I could immediately connect with Paul Anthony Stewart's Casey. He's strong, silent, and deeply emotional. He was the perfect successor to Eric Woodall's Matt Ford, who's departure left a big hole on the canvas. 

 

I'm curious about what the plan was originally for Casey. He is mentioned as early as late December or early January 1992 when Giff informs Gwyn that Casey (then called Revel) had visited him for Christmas (offscreen) as well as mentioning that Revel was a musician. In January, Walsh takes over and Matt briefly joins a band with a character named James who makes a move on Ally during a short rebellion period from Ally. It's Matt and Ally's final story, but I wonder if James was what Mary Ryan Munisteri intended Revel to be, a bit of a threat to the Ally / Matt coupling. 

 

After Matt departs, Ally's story involves going to school and scheming to get into Giff Bowman's art class. It's a very brief storyline that involves Ally faking a pregnancy in order to gain Giff's confidence while at the same time she is dealing with the fact that her mother Bonnie is pregnant by her artist boyfriend, who Bonnie plans to marry. In some ways, Taggart will repeat the story in a year with Jeremy Hunter and Hannah Mayberry, but I can only imagine that the Giff/Ally story was meant to create some natural tension for an Ally / Casey pairing down the line. Yet, I haven't seen any indication in the material I have that Giff had any issue with Ally.

 

The Casey / Ava flirtation is also interesting, maybe because I forgot that soaps use to do little chemistry tests like this. I haven't reviewed all the clips, but I imagine those Casey clips include some of the cocaine smuggling storyline involving Basil and Burnell's. It surprises me that the show seems to continue to play this coupling afterwards with Ava oblivious to Casey's romantic intentions, while Casey seems to overread every reaction Ava has even while the show has Casey continue as Ally's confidante.

 

It seems, to me at least, that in the summer of 1992 the show intends Ally to be a longterm spoiler for Cooper and Hannah with no clear indication where they are going with Casey. He has feelings for Ally, he spends a lot of time with Hannah, and then he has a crush on Ava. In a way, it's nice to watch something where the story isn't set in stone because there still seems to be some direction. 

 

The younger set introduced in 1992 is pretty strong, but I think its a rougher start than most remember probably because (smartly) the show launches the frat/sorority storyline in late March and pretty much drops that angle by early summer. Kent is written out after the Casablanca Dance, all the supporting characters from the early days of the story aren't even present at the dance, and Staige morphs into a sounding board for Ally when previously she seems to have the potential to be a leading character. Even Rebecca Gayheart, who can be annoying with her sickeningly sweet voice, seems to have found a better way to attack the character of Hannah. 

 

It's truly been astounishing to watch the resolution of Coop's secret. He manages to get a P.I. to track Selena Walker to Minneapolis where she is working as a nurse. In Minneapolis, he asks her what happened the night of his birthday and we get an actual flashback of before and after Selena and Cooper slept together (with a brief glimpse at Tyler and Cynthia Alden reacting to their twelve year old son in bed with his governess). The dialogue states that Cooper wanting to sleep with Selena, that Selena pitied him so she did, and that Tyler and Cynthia were wrong for running Selena out of Cooper's life. I cannot imagine a show doing this storyline with a gender reversal of an older man saying a young girl wanted to have sex with him. It's really uncomfortable to watch as the actor playing Cooper in the flashback plays Coop as so innocent and unaware of the sexual nature of the scenes. This also plays alongside a rather over the top scene of Stacey (who I believe was headed to the Caribbean) rushing into the Alden patio to announce that Jack has been lost at sea. 

 

The younger set certainly brings an energy to the show when a lot of the other parts weren't as gripping. 

Edited by dc11786

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Thank you. Wow. That Selena and Cooper stuff sounds ridiculous. And I never remember hearing much about it at all. Only in recent years, and even then only haltingly, has anyone started to address the damage of relationships like those, rather than just pretend it's some rite to manhood.

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I was a little weirded out by how rough PAS got with Laura and Lisa when Casey was jerking his body away when Ally and Ava tried to comfort him after his father’s death. I’m sure it was all fine, and PAS is a professional by all accounts, but it made me super uncomfortable for some reason, especially as soaps have peddled violence against women as super sexy. 

 

He was one hell of an actor, though. So many soaps have attempted the Brando/James Dean-like misunderstood boy who’s rough on the outside but really a bit soft and prone to tears, but PAS sells it much better than the Pelphreys and the Howarths of the world. And we were talking about gay men who are completely convincing as straight, and PAS absolutely is. He’s just the real deal. One of the best performers the genre has *ever* seen IMO.

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On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 9:00 PM, dc11786 said:

 

The younger set certainly brings an energy to the show when a lot of the other parts weren't as gripping. 

The younger characters were definitely the highlight of Loving in its last few years with some really solid actors. It's a shame that it didn't translate into higher ratings with younger viewers.

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On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 6:10 AM, DRW50 said:

Thank you. Wow. That Selena and Cooper stuff sounds ridiculous. And I never remember hearing much about it at all. Only in recent years, and even then only haltingly, has anyone started to address the damage of relationships like those, rather than just pretend it's some rite to manhood.

 

I need to clarify. Apparently, all Cooper did was touch Selina's breast. In the flashback scene, Tyler and Cynthia surprise 12 year old Cooper in his bedroom with the two in bed. They seem to jump to conclusions and Cooper develops a complex. 

 

The lead up is actually pretty decent. Cooper ends up going to therapy with Dr. Turner for one session where he skirts around his sexual problems (he seems to be impotent, but they never have either character say that). Turner even asks Cooper if he is gay, and this is handled with more care than I expected. A lot of the story is written as if Cooper isn't sure what has happened; did it happen or did he make it up? Later, Nixon rectifies the story and ends up having Cooper say Selena molested him, but that doesn't happen until about June 1994. 

 

Addie Walsh is credited in the August 1992 episodes I've gotten to. I guess she will remain listed as writer even though Granger unofficially has taken over. The show's plots are pretty lame, but the character interaction is really strong. The most fascinating element of all of this is how many forgotten plots are playing out. The show basically spends all of 1992 trying to make Stacey and Trucker a thing. Also, Ava is now involved in this "Phantom of the Opera"-esque storyline involving the mystery owner of the store involving some rather involved dream sequences with people who do not appear to be James Carroll playing the role of Mr. Burnell. The Giff / Trisha pairing and Giff's insanity pop up almost instantly. The change in Giff is drastic and not subtle at all. The show quickly burns through plot: the custody situation for baby Christopher is resolved by Lynn Thigpeg in about 2 episodes, Gwyn and Clay married in June and have annulled the marriage in August, and the whole Selena story is over. 

 

There seems to be more energy and direction with the younger crew now that its pretty much Casey / Ally and Cooper / Hannah. The fall out of Kent tampering with the breaks leads to some nice Ally scheming; she befriends Isabelle (in another hospital room recovering from her heart attack) and lands a stint at the Alden mansion as Isabelle's companion. Ava learns of the scheme and calls Ally on her masquerade. It's actually really nice. Ava also happens to be at the mansion when news of Jack's death reaches that Aldens. We get a brief, underplayed, reaction to that which was nice. I definitely enjoy HOW the characters are involved in different stories, just not the stories themselves.

 

Casey and Ally's first kiss was well done and that's a dynamic that works well. The show has now transitioned into the brief 35 Maple Street storyline which means I get to look forward to the ghost storyline. 1992 is such a mess.   

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8 hours ago, dc11786 said:

 

 

Also, Ava is now involved in this "Phantom of the Opera"-esque storyline involving the mystery owner of the store involving some rather involved dream sequences with people who do not appear to be James Carroll playing the role of Mr. Burnell. The Giff / Trisha pairing and Giff's insanity pop up almost instantly. The change in Giff is drastic and not subtle at all. The show quickly burns through plot: the custody situation for baby Christopher is resolved by Lynn Thigpeg in about 2 episodes, Gwyn and Clay married in June and have annulled the marriage in August, and the whole Selena story is over. 

 

Did the story with Ava and Mr. Burnell ever get resolved?

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