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Loving/The City Discussion Thread

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Someone put up a 1989 episode (they were asking about the date, if anyone knows). The Curtis/Rocky/Todd portions have been around before (even if I never get tired of seeing Rocky basically fantasize about wanting a threesome), but the scenes with Ava, Clay and Cabot are new to me. And so is the full credits with the full Loving theme.

 

 

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I think it is between these two weeks:

 

March 27 – 31, 1989: While Alex undergoes surgery, the camp is bombed. Surviving, he is plagued by dreams that Ava leaves him. He begs the doctor to release him, but the doctor says it is physically impossible, and the government man tells Alex that, as of now, Alex Masters is dead. Although he is in great pain, Alex slips away from the camp. Ava is upset when she responds to Clay’s kiss. Harry realizes the damage he has caused when Ava pleads with him to stay out of her life. Jeff is shocked when he learns Clay has given Trucker and Trisha his blessing. Rick learns that Stacey is pregnant. Cabot and Clay wonder why Alex didn’t steal money. Ava is puzzled when Clay appears to care about what happens to her and Alex. Rocky loves to hear Todd talk about owning his own restaurant. Todd is not pleased about the attraction between Rocky and Curtis. Jack learns that Stacey is pregnant.

April 3 – 7, 1989: Jeff can’t stand Trucker and Trisha’s continued romance. Ava is confused by her attraction to Clay. Curtis, Todd, and Rocky are locked in the restaurant. Rocky finds it hard to believe that Curtis was once a spoiled snob. Alex makes his way to Corinth. Jack is infuriated at the news that Stacey is pregnant by Rick, but Rick is thrilled with the idea of becoming a father. When Todd, Rocky, and Curtis are released by the overzealous guard who had locked them in the restaurant, Trucker doesn’t buy Rocky’s story and forbids her to see Todd.

 

In trying to locate the timing of the episode, I stumbled upon a few details I either didn't know or had forgotten. When Jack Forbes locates Alex Masters in South America, he has gone down to locate his own presumed dead father, Roger Forbes. It's interesting that, in 1989, Roger Forbes was still used to generate some story. I wonder if there were actual plans to bring him back or this was simple a way of using history to move the story. In other synopses from this year, there are references to Harry Sowolsky still being in love with Ann Alden Forbes and Curtis using Forbes Construction for the restaurant project.

 

There was also a reference to Rocky and Trucker having a wicked stepfather. I've been watching the Mac Huston story in 1993. Millee Taggart is writing at this time as well. There were references to Rocky and Trucker's mother being heartbroken, but I have very little use for Mac. There are few scenes, from what I've watched, between Mac and Buck. Mac is clearly just there to get the inheritance, which seems overkill as you already have Tess Wilder circling like a vulture. I don't think it was a bad idea to bring on Trucker and Buck's absent father, but the writing is pretty weak. 

 

The 1993 episode that @DRW50 posted is from late September 1993. Agnes Nixon is credited as the headwriter. I imagine this is pretty early in her last run. The tornado works to provide some interesting setups. I think those Dinahlee/Alex scenes are pretty strong. I love Alex realizing that Dinahlee is talking about his one time son Curtis and his adversary Clay. The Clay / Alex story can be a bit wonky at times, but it is probably one of the longest running, and most developed, stories "Loving" tells. The Tess / Shana scenes at least provide something different, but I'm not sure if they actually go anywhere in terms of character dynamic. Seeing Buck and Stacey, I don't hate them as much as I do reading about them, but I just don't see much potential for conflict. With that said, it did, briefly, create a nice rivalry between Gwyn and Stacey. 

 

The 1989 episode has some nice moments. I like the thread they seem to be building around Rick about the trust fund. He clearly has not been provided money despite being the eldest Alden heir. Even Sandy, per this episode, has a trust. In reading the synopses, I wonder if Rick was hoping to access the money that would be set aside for Stacey's baby. I also enjoy the conflict between Ava and Clay over the tape. True to Ava, she struggles to tell the truth. I thought the moment between Cabot and Ava was nice, but I would like to know if anyone question whether Ava was in on the deception. Clay clearly does, but he also has proof. I would love to see a scene with bitchy Stacey telling Trisha that Ava was in on it the entire time citing Ava's history of lies as her only evidence. I really don't have much use for Rocky / Todd / Curtis. The dance number worked thematically, but I don't really care for anyone involved.  

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Thank you, @dc11786 . Such detailed synopses and such depth, as always. 

 

The uploader put up a promo that aired during this episode, a promo for Edie Lehmann appearing on the Home Show "tomorrow." Clips from that appearance are on Youtube as March 31, 1989. So I assume this episode is March 30. 

 

I agree about liking the Clay and Ava scene. Lisa always brings so much depth to what could be a caricature. So did Wesley Addy. Loving was lucky to have the cast it did. 

Edited by DRW50

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Thank you, @victoria foxton , for that 1993 episode. I had missed it somehow. Very enjoyable. I thought the episode felt very full of character, unlike the 1989 episode, which was much more generic. Clunky as it was, I liked the theme of Stacey and JJ struggling to let go of Jack. The scene with Buck talking tough to JJ was a highlight, and another reminder of what a strong child actor Geoffrey Wigdor was. I also liked the scene near the end where Stacey mourned the tree she and Jack had planted. Some terrific scenes with Clay and Gwyn - so much chemistry between Christine Tudor and Dennis Parlato. Parlato was so ideal for this role it's a shame he only got to play him for a few years. Dinah Lee and Alex were also fine. 

 

The Shana and Tess scenes stuck out for me. While it makes sense for Shana, who was so isolated during her years in Corinth, to help usher in a loner like Tess, the expository dialogue given to Tess just makes me wince. And while I just adored Susan Keith as Cecile, she had a very alienating, chilly acting style that must have been a challenge to write for. I can kind of see why they gave up on Shana, even though I wish they hadn't. 

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It's interesting to jump between time periods on "Loving."

 

In the 1989 episode, the scene I found most effective was Rick interacting with Curtis because it didn't guide the plot. Also, there was no other Rick scene in the episode. It was nice to see a lot of that simple relationship stuff. I find the Alex / Clay imposter story infuriating (mostly because I haven't seen all of it) and fascinating (because of the potential to it). Watching Taggart and King play the Curtis / Rick dynamic, I'm curious what the relationships between Rick and Clay and Rick and Alex were like. From what I recall, Rick arrived in town when Alex was playing Clay, which was why Rick was initially dismissed as an imposter because Clay's (Alex) and Gwyn's blood types didn't match up with Rick's. I think having Rick drawn to Clay and Curtis to Alex could have produce some interesting twists in the stories. Anyway,  maybe more "Loving" will appear. 

 

I finally watched a bit of the Stacey / Jack clips from around the time that Stacey / Jack / Lilly has all come out. These would be probably from spring/summer 1988 when either Ralph Ellis or the scab writers were writing the show. I find them compelling in a completely generic sort of way. I do like the potential conflict between Anne and Stacey over Anne's knowledge of the affair. I guess it was more engrossing if you knew and loved the characters, but I don't think this style of drama is really the forte of either Perry Stephens or Lauren Marie Taylor. With that said, it's nice to see Lauren Marie Taylor front and center. 

 

Back to the 1993 episode, the JJ / Buck dynamic was interesting. I have one episode where Buck comes over to the Forbes house and Stacey ends up going out (either by herself or with Jeremy Hunter). I think that dynamic is also interesting, and that would have been where the real conflict would have been in a Stacey / Buck / Jack triangle when the show smartened up and brought back Jack. 

 

Sometimes I misread things, but Tess had been around for several months by the time that 1993 episode aired. I imagine it was Nixon resetting the character, who easily could have been written out. When Tess initially arrived, she was Christopher's nanny and deadset on getting her hands on the money Trucker was due to inherit once Trisha's will had been probated. At the same time, she was also the source of conflict between Curtis and Buck as they had been involved in the death of her husband in Kuwait. Tess seemed like an attempt to create a Dinahlee-esque character as she was in her original form. I think it's entirely possible that Dinahlee may have even been a Taggart creation. Anyway, Tess worked mostly as a scheming con artist. By the end of Taggart / Guza's run, they had clearly given up on Curtis and were shifting Buck into Stacey's orbit and Tess into Clay's. 

 

@DRW50 your point about Susan Keith is interesting. From what I've seen, Mary Ryan Munisteri had little material for her to play and Isabelle, upon returning to Corinth, was planning to ship Shana off to Hong Kong. Addie Walsh gave her that brief affair with Larry Lamont during the diet scam, but if that lasted a full contract cycle I would be shocked. Taggart and Guza seemed to have the best angle for Shana with the triangle involving Ava and Leo, but a lot of this was just a retread of Julia and Mason from "Santa Barbara." At times, Guza and Taggart try too hard with that triangle and some of the comedy and dream sequences are off. I will say, there is a pretty funny scene from August 1993 where a pregnant Shana has been arrested for messing with Ava and has to deal with cops and judge who hate her because she has defended people they feel should be in jail. It is Nixon who writes Shana and Leo out after having them deal with Patti's developmental issues. 

 

I think there was definitely story to play involving Shana and Leo. Given the issues with Patti's development and Leo's past, an old flame could have easily come to town with a child, whether it be Leo's or not, and presented itself with a situation. I also think that Shana and Leo would have been torn by the revelation that the Rescotts were the real recipients of the Alden fortune in the same way Alex and Ava should have been torn up by this situation and loyalties would be divided.

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