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Loving/The City Discussion Thread


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13 minutes ago, dc11786 said:

I also watched the last few episodes recently. Who were people rooting for at the end in terms of the quad with Carla, Danny, Tony, and Ally? Carla is fun, but I still find Danny sleazy. Tony has mellowed, but I don't necessarily find him some big catch. I also don't get a strong connection between Laura Sisk and George Palermo which is what the show sees as the "it" couple. 


I never really could figure out who we should root for. I think we were meant to see Tony and Ally as the money couple, but they had little chemistry. Tony and Carla had more chemistry, but I just didn't care about Tony. Danny and Ally had more chemistry than Tony and Ally, but how could anyone get past his role in Casey's death and her accusing him of rape (both of which hung over the characters even in that later period)? Carla and Danny were a "just because" couple, which is rarely worth the watch.


The City didn't really have any rooting couples. I do think they had actors who had chemistry, but not a single couple who had been together for more than a month or two (if even that) before the show began. Jacob and Angie were closest, but that's down more to the chemistry between Debbi and Darnell. I also thought Nick and Lorraine had a lot of chemistry, but then he was tangled with Sydney for most of the show's run, wasn't he? 


I agree about B&E bringing some depth to Loving in places. I will probably always wish it had been done in a different way than slaughtering the Aldens, but I can't deny the strengths of the story.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, dc11786 said:


Thanks. In that context, Tess moving to the City makes sense. I just get so bogged down by her clunky backstory with Dante, Curtis, Buck, and Kuwait. Nixon made the best of the situation and fleshed out a more complicated backstory for Tess to rationalize her decision to enter into a violent marriage. In what I've seen, a lot of that complexity doesn't come across in later material once Nixon leaves. 


In defense of Brown and Essensten, I do think they helped to rectify one of the problems I had with "Loving." "Loving" had a tendency to be too light at times. There was definitely a maturity to the material I watched in those summer 1995 episodes. It just was just so jarring in context of the amplified snark over some rather gritty matters. 


The possible culture clash between the suburbanite Corinthians and the urban New Yorkers would have given the show something more to play in those early episodes that didn't come across. 



I think it would have been for the best to write out Steffi earlier like you suggested. 


"The City" might have worked if they had done it a year and a half earlier in mid-1994 when Michael Weatherly, Amelia Heinle, Paul Anthony Stewart, and Laura Sisk Wright were still all present and had around a year left to their contracts. That younger group worked. I don't hate what I've seen of Corey Page's Richard in the later material from "The City" though I found the character incredibly crass and obnoxious on "Loving." Amy Van Horne seemed like a solid junior vixen, but a lot of the other younger actors were still developing their characters. 



Jill Farren Phelps was hired to revamp "Another World" around the same time and was doing a lot of primetime influenced things. There was the introduction of a new hospital set, police station, and Italian restaurant which were suppose to be the hub of stories. Then, you had a bunch of older contract players written out, the brutal of a young mother, and a stronger emphasis on younger characters. I do think that "The City" went farther, but I think both were looking to accomplish similar goals. 


For the most part, I was referring to the first year or so of the show. I've seen a lot less of that then "Loving." I will agree that the end is an improvement and is closer to reaching those goals. In watching some later episodes recently, I still feel the show slips into the problems I talked about though. I think the episodes with the fake Quartermaines are fun, and the confrontation between Carla and Tracey is well played. In my recent reviewing of these episodes, I find something still seems off. The relationship between Carla and Tracey is intriguing, but it's still harsh and brittle in the context there is nothing to contrast it in those episodes. Everyone working to cover up for Tracey does build into that family element, but everything is based on a con job. I think playing up the fact that they have to lie to Dillon about his grandparents leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 


I do think there was an attempt to make the more salacious elements less tasteless, while still crossing the line. Didn't Gino die in bed with a prostitute who he thought was Tracey? That seems to be an attempt to integrate something flashy into a bigger story where that event is not the sole climax of the story. 


I also watched the last few episodes recently. Who were people rooting for at the end in terms of the quad with Carla, Danny, Tony, and Ally? Carla is fun, but I still find Danny sleazy. Tony has mellowed, but I don't necessarily find him some big catch. I also don't get a strong connection between Laura Sisk and George Palermo which is what the show sees as the "it" couple. 


I thought the final story with the arrival of baby Cassandra was sort of sloppy. I imagine the plans may have accelerated to accommodate the conclusion, but the psychic stuff with Lorraine seemed less intriguing to me than watching Lorraine and Nick's relationship a few months earlier after Nick had been released from the hospital. 


It's nice to think that, if given more time, Essensten and Brown would have gotten it together, but they were given two years with the same producer, which hadn't happened on "Loving" since Doug Marland and Joseph Stuart. 


Well they were given a year and five months--not two years 

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. Sure, you could say two years if you count their time on Loving--yes, with the same EP, but writing for that show was such a completely different *thing* (and of course was focused around one major storyline--I will say ABC's "suggestion" that they open The City with a similar serial killer storyline was bad on every level)  I dunno, maybe I am being too generous, but with all the growing pains of the show (the camera work for the first few months was hard to take) etc, I think they deserved at least two full years.  And again, I do think that from the point Tracy came on, it's compelling, good, stuff.  At the time I thought it was the best thing ABC had on the air (granted 97 was when their other soaps were having troubles...) 

I do know that B/E said the Cassandra storyline was one they felt they had to finish before the show ended and so drastically rewrote to bring it to a quick conclusion.  Not sure about any other storylines...

Edited by EricMontreal22
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January 1994 was better than December 1993 in my opinion so I'm glad those are popping up. 


Without watching it, I believe January 3 is Pat Barry's final episode as Isabelle. Isabelle announces she plans to leave Corinth and is signing over her shares to Clay. There is a brief attempt on Isabelle's part to get Stacey to understand her choice, but Stacey is still tiffed. It's a very quick exit. We don't see Isabelle again until August 1994 when Augusta Dabney returns in the final days of Nixon or the first days of Addie Walsh and Laurie McCarthy. There are hints in the spring of 1994 that Isabelle might be returning as Shana and Leo plan their wedding, but that goes nowhere. 


@EricMontreal22 I don't disagree that the Tracey Q sequence is better, but I think it represents one of the fundamental issues with the show. It was suppose to be about the younger characters, but the show is defined by two distinct periods characterized by the show's older female lead. That should be telling of the younger cast. And only a few of those younger characters first appeared on "The City." They were introduced on "Loving" and those contracts were carried over into the revamp. Brown and Essensten's "Loving" was always more than just the serial killer story, but the problem was they only really developed that story rather than really setting up strong story foundations for the characters once they arrived in Corinth. 


Also, a lot of those final stories were linked directly to stories that B&E told on "Loving." Lorraine's involvement in Jacob and Angie's romance. Was Lorraine really suppose to be their surrogate? Lorraine, only a year or so sober after many years of drinking, was going to carry Jacob and Angie's child? Buck and Tess were already a thing when B&E arrived but I don't see anything significant that they did with them. 

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On 4/1/2021 at 9:04 PM, EricMontreal22 said:

Within two weeks--hang on to your hats--I should be able to upload and post some of the Jonathan sells his soul to the devil/turns into a snake storyline

A lot of the actors I'm looking for are from 1984-86, so I'm looking forward to seeing more from this era!


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