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Love of Life Discussion Thread

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Cat   

I've read up on the history of Roy Winsor's "Love of Life" (1951-1980) via Wikipedia and ols WoST. The premise of the two sisters -- Vanessa and Meg -- and the people around them really appealed. Especially since one was "the good one" and the other, the scheming manipulator!

I am most interested in 1970s LoL, in particular when Paul Avila Mayer and Claire Labine reinvigorated the show. They brought back manipulative Meg (played by the stunningly intense and queen-like Tudi Wiggins) along with her emotionally fragile daughter Cal and son Ben (played by a young Christopher Reeve).

I've only ever seen one episode of the show (on YouTube) from this period, but I have fallen in love with its stunning opening credits (featuring roses -- referring to the fictional town of Rosehill, NY, where it was set) and theme tune. And the show seemed imbued with sweetness and tension and suspense and longing. It was only a half-hour program!

I also read up some SOD recaps which recreated the atmosphere of the show alongside recounting "what happened."

Anyhoo... thoughts, commentary, information. I'd be grateful to hear any of your stories with regards to Love of Life.

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Cat, I saw that youtube episode too, and I was enthralled. Tudi Wiggins was something else. I remember being impressed with her when she was on AMC in the early 80s, but she was a force to be reckoned with on LoL. I've read some stuff about the show, mostly about how unwatchable it was before Labine/Mayer came aboard. They had to pick up the pieces that the former writer left behind, whose name I don't recall. She had been a radio soap writer and essentially applied the same technique she used in radio to TV, but that method did not translate well at all. I've read that during her stint, the show was dull and preposterous, centering around a stripper named Bambi Brewster and her search for her real father. It does sound horrible. Nobody in my house watched the CBS soaps when I was growing up in the 70s, so I never saw any of them in real time back then. AMC and AW, and to a lesser extent RH and OLTL, were the big ones in my house.

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They had to pick up the pieces that the former writer left behind, whose name I don't recall. She had been a radio soap writer and essentially applied the same technique she used in radio to TV, but that method did not translate well at all. I've read that during her stint, the show was dull and preposterous, centering around a stripper named Bambi Brewster and her search for her real father. It does sound horrible.

I think you're referring to Jean Holloway, but most of the sources I've seen (wikipedia, soapoperahistory.com) put her stint on the show after the Labine/Mayer era, actually around the show's last year or two. I've read that Jean's stories, coupled with the show's outrageous timeslot change (late morning to mid-afternoon) made the ratings sink even lower and eventually the show was canceled.

I, too, have seen that YouTube episode and absolutely adored it. I loved it so much that I wrote down all of the dialogue (except for the last scene, with Meg and Ed Aleata). Tudi Wiggins had the amazing ability to lay down the law and show who was running things just within the first act! "I'm sick to death of everything and everybody, so just leave me alone!!"

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Shadows, you're right, her name was Jean Holloway. I kept thinking of the name Jean Rouverol (sp?), a former soap scribe, who wrote a terrific book of soap writing back in the 80s, but I knew it couldn't be her. Maybe you're right...maybe she did come after Labine/Mayer. Now that I think about it, she must have. Labine/Mayer couldn't have written LoL past 1974, as RH began in 1975. LoL would continue for another 5/6 years after that. I LOVE discussing old, cancelled soaps, especially the ones that I never really saw but have read a lot about. I can't praise that youtube episode enough. From the incredible score, the marvelous acting, and the soapy writing, it was just wonderful, wonderful old school soap that producers and writers are embarrassed to do nowadays.

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Cat   
Kay Alden's favourite soap.

LOL, really? I never knew that.

And Tudi Wiggins was to LoL in the 1970s what Susan Flannery was/is to B&B. A force of nature. That YouTube episode where she snaps in frustration about Cal "This time she called me a murderess." I don't know how to describe it but she said it so right. I suspect Cal may have been onto something, but Tudi Wiggins's delivery made me believe Meg was the wronged party.

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What? :angry: I'm not kidding. She loved Claire's Where the Heart Is.

Just kidding, of course. LOL! "The Catlins" was a laughable soap. Anyone in their right mind would not look to that as the best soaps have to offer. Kay seemed to like the Labine/Mayer writing in general. In that transcript posted here last year, she said that RH had some of the best writing ever, or something to that effect.

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Sylph   
Just kidding, of course. LOL! "The Catlins" was a laughable soap.

:D No wonder, Elizabeth Page was a writer on that one! :lol: Although... the reviewr on IMDB praised the soap.

Anyone in their right mind would not look to that as the best soaps have to offer. Kay seemed to like the Labine/Mayer writing in general. In that transcript posted here last year, she said that RH had some of the best writing ever, or something to that effect.

Actually, I think she didn't say very nice things about RH in that MIT podcast. What transcripts are you referring to?

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:D No wonder, Elizabeth Page was a writer on that one! :lol: Although... the reviewr on IMDB praised the soap.

Actually, I think she didn't say very nice things about RH in that MIT podcast. What transcripts are you referring to?

Page wrote for "The Catlins"? She just lost some points with me LOL. It was really a bad show. On paper the idea sounded great...an old Southern family living on a plantation-type home...but the execution was horrendous. It was actually kind of fun to watch, just because it could be such a train wreck. Most of the acting was beyond bad. They tried to salvage the show near the end by hiring some popular "name" P&G actors like Barbara Rucker from "Texas", David Forsythe from "Texas," the actor who played Nick Andropolous on ATWT (his name escapes me), Terri Vanderbosh from ATWT, and Julie Ridley from ATWT. At one point, TBS paired with 1/2-hour abridged versions of "Texas," which had been cancelled a few years earlier, just to connect the southern themes. That was probably a ratings disaster, since that experiment didn't last very long.

Yeah, was referring to the MIT podcast. One woman in the audience, a rabid RH fan who went on about how she woke up at 5am to catch the show on Soapnet, was raving about the writing. From what I remember, Alden agreed that it was an excellently written soap. Thinking back now, not sure if she really meant that or was trying to appease what she perceived to be a fan whose life seemed to revolve around those early-morning RH airings.

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Let's see...I remember Vanessa who was married to Bruce Sterling, and he had a daughter who got involved with a guy named Rick Latimer who was running some kind of casino. Rick's boss had a daughter who was very much interested in Rick. (That part sounds a little like GH, to me. :lol: ) I remember Joan Copeland played two characters on the show...Maggie, who died of leukemia...and a (twin?) sister with blonde hair later (probably because someone realized they killed Maggie off too soon). Bonnie Bedalia (not sure of the spelling for her name) played Maggie's daughter. I was too young to really understand the plots on this show, but I watched it with my mother. Now I feel very old. :(

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That Youtube ep is from the end of the Labine/Avila era when they were about to move to their own soap, RH--aren't they even in the credits? I agree it's a terrific episode. Sadly from reading a LOT I think this was the only era of Love of Life at least since the 50s and early 60s that would interest me much--(is RH even on SoapNet anymore? I wish I could watch it at 5am :D )

Of course it was the writing award Labine/Avila won for their 2 year long stint at WHere the HEart Is that got them transfered to Love of Life andother CBS show when it was canceled.

And I always thought Elizabeth Page was a decent writer (her 1999 stint at AMC as co head with Agnes Nixonw as certainly better than when Jean passanante replaced her for some reason) but knowing she wrote the Caitlins has lowere dmy view of her as well ;)

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