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Love of Life Discussion Thread

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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 )

I wrote down the credits for the episode (I loved it THAT much), but there aren't any mentions of who wrote or directed. Just four actor credits (Ron Tomme, Elizabeth Kemp, Christopher Reeve, and Birgitta Tolksdorf) and some other random credits.

I think the Labine/Mayer era of LoL is what I'd probably be the most interested in seeing, too, but I think I like the idea of the show in the early-mid 1960s, with Vanessa moving to Rosehill with Bruce and having to deal with his and his first wife's family. If I remember my reading right, Bruce's son Alan and his first wife's father Henry thought Vanessa was sweet and liked her, but Bruce's daughter Barbara and Henry's wife Vivian couldn't stand her. Barbara went through some trials and tribulations, Vanessa and Bruce went through some trials and tribulations, Alan had his own dramas, etc. Barbara ended up marrying Rick Latimer, had his child, and they divorced (Barbara was supposedly immature and that's also what tanked her first marriage). Barbara left Rosehill and never returned. I think it would have been epic to have Barbara and Meg in town at the same time! Imagine them teaming up against Van!

Another story from the late 1960s/early 1970s that interests me is the love story of Tess Krakauer and Bill Prentiss, played by Gene and Toni Bull Bua.

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Cat   

Bill Prentissssssssssssssssssssss. Oooo. I love that last name. And why does that remind me of early Y&R for some reason?

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Bill Prentissssssssssssssssssssss. Oooo. I love that last name. And why does that remind me of early Y&R for some reason?

Prentiss is SUCH a 70s soapy name. In the late 70s, Y&R had brothers Lance and Lucas Prentiss (Lance was played by B&B's John McCook), and also Vanessa Prentiss. The original DAYS announcer (the one who did the "like sands..." for the first year) was named Ed Prentiss.

Y&R's Prentisses were actually popular enough that one of my older cousins named his son Prentiss lol

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I wrote down the credits for the episode (I loved it THAT much), but there aren't any mentions of who wrote or directed. Just four actor credits (Ron Tomme, Elizabeth Kemp, Christopher Reeve, and Birgitta Tolksdorf) and some other random credits.

I think the Labine/Mayer era of LoL is what I'd probably be the most interested in seeing, too, but I think I like the idea of the show in the early-mid 1960s, with Vanessa moving to Rosehill with Bruce and having to deal with his and his first wife's family. If I remember my reading right, Bruce's son Alan and his first wife's father Henry thought Vanessa was sweet and liked her, but Bruce's daughter Barbara and Henry's wife Vivian couldn't stand her. Barbara went through some trials and tribulations, Vanessa and Bruce went through some trials and tribulations, Alan had his own dramas, etc. Barbara ended up marrying Rick Latimer, had his child, and they divorced (Barbara was supposedly immature and that's also what tanked her first marriage). Barbara left Rosehill and never returned. I think it would have been epic to have Barbara and Meg in town at the same time! Imagine them teaming up against Van!

Another story from the late 1960s/early 1970s that interests me is the love story of Tess Krakauer and Bill Prentiss, played by Gene and Toni Bull Bua.

I remember reading about Bill and Tess. What was so great about these young couples from the 60s and 70s (another that comes to mind that I've read about is Amy Ames and Kip Rysdale on Secret Storm, also Jeff and Penny on ATWT) was that they didn't dominate their shows and that they were allowed to be just another part of the ensemble. I don't think the idea of supercouples dominating their shows has done daytime any favors over the years. I love Gloria Monty, but the super couple trend she started has done more harm than good IMO.

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Cat   
Prentiss is SUCH a 70s soapy name. In the late 70s, Y&R had brothers Lance and Lucas Prentiss (Lance was played by B&B's John McCook), and also Vanessa Prentiss. The original DAYS announcer (the one who did the "like sands..." for the first year) was named Ed Prentiss.

Y&R's Prentisses were actually popular enough that one of my older cousins named his son Prentiss lol

LOL. I once met some a girl called Eden -- named after the Santa Barbara heroine.

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Cat   
I remember reading about Bill and Tess. What was so great about these young couples from the 60s and 70s (another that comes to mind that I've read about is Amy Ames and Kip Rysdale on Secret Storm, also Jeff and Penny on ATWT) was that they didn't dominate their shows and that they were allowed to be just another part of the ensemble. I don't think the idea of supercouples dominating their shows has done daytime any favors over the years. I love Gloria Monty, but the super couple trend she started has done more harm than good IMO.

Gloria Monty introduced some great things to GH -- including suspense and mystery -- and many of her pairings were so chemistry-filled and swoony that I can forgive her a lot.

But I agree that her constant frontburnering of popular couples is directly contributing to the demise of the genre we see today.

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Gloria Monty introduced some great things to GH -- including suspense and mystery -- and many of her pairings were so chemistry-filled and swoony that I can forgive her a lot.

But I agree that her constant frontburnering of popular couples is directly contributing to the demise of the genre we see today.

Most producers and writers would probably say that the over-the-top supercouple is what has enabled soaps to survive all these years and that the genre would've been dead long ago if a more subtle approach to writing couples had been continued. Not sure I'd agree with that. I watch these shows DESPITE the supercouples. I've always been drawn to the family/intergenerational/community feeling these shows offer, well at least used to offer. The actual couples have always been secondary with me.

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Cat   
Most producers and writers would probably say that the over-the-top supercouple is what has enabled soaps to survive all these years and that the genre would've been dead long ago if a more subtle approach to writing couples had been continued. Not sure I'd agree with that. I watch these shows DESPITE the supercouples. I've always been drawn to the family/intergenerational/community feeling these shows offer, well at least used to offer. The actual couples have always been secondary with me.

I'm a fan of balance. :lol: I like the romance mixed with the family and intergenerational stuff.

Watching the odd clip or two of some of these veteran soaps -- Love of Life, Love is a Many Splendored Thing and 1970s Another World spring to mind -- I am struck by how much purpose there was even in the most mundane scenes. The stories were going somewhere, the scenes showcasing two or three people's relationship meant something.

Like in the LoL episode posted on YouTube. Ron Tomme and Birgitta Tolksdorf are in the B story. And yet the scene represents somewhat of a turning point in RT's story. BT, meanwhile, glows. She doesn't really have a story but she delivers like a star!

Also, the shows back then seemed to be focused on people's psyches (especially fragile and emotional psyches). Why they were acting the way they were. On tragedy mixed with fleeting happiness (witness Steve and Alice on Another World). That really interests me. I don't find that many soap characters have much psychological depth these days. Which perhaps explains why I go through moments trawling YouTube and other archives looking for clips from cancelled soaps like these.

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LOL. I once met some a girl called Eden -- named after the Santa Barbara heroine.

I very briefly dated a Lance who told me once that his mom named him after a Y&R character--I guess that was it. Our running joke was at least she didn't name him SNapper :D

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Like in the LoL episode posted on YouTube. Ron Tomme and Birgitta Tolksdorf are in the B story. And yet the scene represents somewhat of a turning point in RT's story. BT, meanwhile, glows. She doesn't really have a story but she delivers like a star!

I think you mean Birgitta and Brian Farrell, who played David. That was one of my favorite scenes of the episode, exactly for the reasons you listed. I loved Arlene so much that I took a screen cap of her lol

Also, the shows back then seemed to be focused on people's psyches (especially fragile and emotional psyches). Why they were acting the way they were. On tragedy mixed with fleeting happiness (witness Steve and Alice on Another World). That really interests me. I don't find that many soap characters have much psychological depth these days. Which perhaps explains why I go through moments trawling YouTube and other archives looking for clips from cancelled soaps like these.

One of the things that I love to read about early DAYS is how adjectives such as "hypersexual" and "psychological" are used to describe it. I imagine characters who are having sex all over the place then pacing around, agonizing about it for weeks on end LOL That's so vintage.

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Cat   
I think you mean Birgitta and Brian Farrell, who played David. That was one of my favorite scenes of the episode, exactly for the reasons you listed. I loved Arlene so much that I took a screen cap of her lol

LOL, I don't know what it was about the actress (or the character) but she just glowed with sweetness! I imagine Arlene was one of those heart-of-gold, hard-working heroines with a possibly dodgy past who would fall in love with the town doctor whose family did not approve of her? :lol: In other words, a core heroine for a soap like Love of Life.

One of the things that I love to read about early DAYS is how adjectives such as "hypersexual" and "psychological" are used to describe it. I imagine characters who are having sex all over the place then pacing around, agonizing about it for weeks on end LOL That's so vintage.

If that's the case then I love vintage. :lol:

Quick question: what was Meg's daughter, Cal, like? From reading the SOD synopses, she seemed like an emotionally fragile woman who was constantly battling her over-controlling mother and dealing with traumas of one kind or another.

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For the record (and hopefully further discussion) Love of Life's headwriters

John Hess

Harry Junkin

Don Ettlinger

John Pickard and Frank Provo

Loring Mandel

Robert Soderberg

Robert J Shaw

Roy Winsor

Eileen and Robert Mason Pollock

Ray Goldstone

Paul Roberts and Don Wallace

Esther and Richard Shapiro

Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer 73-75

Margaret DePriest 75

Paul and Margaret Schneider

Gabrielle Upton

Jean Holloway 79-80

Ann Marcus 80

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KMan101   

OK, can anyone go through the main characters, who was related to whom, key storylines, what the last year was like, and who was the focus?

And wasn't Matt once creating a fan-fic of Love of Life?

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dc11786   

Matt's published his fan fiction for a few weeks in the spring of 2007. I remember Leann Hunley had just been rehired at "Days of our Lives" when it ended because Matt announced he was planning to recast Betsy when the show returned. I'm almost positive it's still in the blogs section as are SOD synopses for mid October 1979 through February 1980.

The last year of "Love of Life" was bizarre. When the year started, Jean Holloway was writing the series. Holloway had written for the popular radio soap "When A Girl Marries", among others. Her early television work had been criticized for not utilizing the medium, which I believe referred to the lack of action in the story. When Holloway wrote "Love of Life', the big storyline was the Bambi Brewster mystery. Bambi Brewster had been introduced several years earlier as a waitress at former criminal Ray Slater's club who Ray and his wife Arlene looked after. Bambi's parentage was in question and when she went searching for the truth everyone's lives were in danger. She was attacked several times, Ray was kidnapped, and the search for her true parents invovled a religious zealot determined to keep the truth secret, several women claiming to be or know the REAL Barbara Brewster, and a woman donning a blonde wig and alternating between the names Ruth and Eloise. The storyline was something out of "Stella Dallas".

The Bambi Brewster was really the only storyline allowed to play out. I suspect it was an umbrella storyline gone wrong, but damn the storyline was bad from the synopses I've read. The only other stories playing out on a regular basis seemed to be Ben Harper and Betsy Lang's chaperoned romance by geratric lawyer Timothy McCauley and Meg's sex games with Scott Carmichael, a businessman who had no intention of marrying Meg, a woman looking to settle down.

I believe during this mess Cathi Abbi must have been hired as the executive producer. Things certainly changed in quick order. While the Brewster storyline reached its high, Dr. Lianne Wilson was introduced. Lianne became involved with Tom Crawford, Betsy's brother, and provided some career conflict at Rosehill Hospital when Dr. Tucker disapproved of the fraternization. Similarly, Andrew and Mia's reconcilliation, which seemed like a side story, was dropped in favor of Andrew focusing on workplace drama.

While this storyline was being built up, Vanessa Sterling, the aging heroine of the serial, returned from Switzerland after tending to her former ward, Lynn Henderson, who had been involved in a ski accident (Lynn had been on the show several years earlier). Vanessa went to work to for a college professor before being offered a position teaching commercial art at the college. Bruce was upset at this, but he too had found work at the college teaching law. Neither Vanessa nor Bruce had any background in their fields, however I believe at one time Bruce had been a school master for a private school. Most recently, I beleive Vanessa had been a newspaper reporter.

To keep this story interesting, Paul Craggs was brought on as Steve Harbach, an ex-con who had served time with Ben Harper when he was imprisoned for bigamy. Steve moved into the apartment over the Sterlings garage and used Ben to get his Uncle Bruce to help him get into the law program. It was a fairly good use of the show's history, especially since the ramifications of Ben's bigamy still remained a vital part of the canvas. Steve soon became interested in Vanessa Sterling, and during the duration of the storyline, he began to have sexual fantasies about her. The tenson between Steve and Vanessa played out for the remainder of the show's run. While it was clear it was a one-sided attraction, it sounds like a neat story. It certainly caused conflict for Bruce and Van.

As "Love of Life" continued its movement towards a more youthful canvas, Wes Osbourne arrived in town to stay with his sister Mia Marriott for the summer. Wes found work as a life guard and became interested in sweet and innocent Gina Gaspero, Ray Slater's underage sister who was staying with her brother and sister-in-law while her parents vacationed in Italy. Virginal Gina was conflicted about giving it up to Wes and watched Christy Bringham try to steal Wes away. During a party, Gina ate some pot brownies and had a bad trip. Later, she and Wes slept together and a pregnancy scare followed. Gina confessed to Ray, who was determined to press charges against Wes for statuatory rape. When Gina learned she wasn't pregnant, the charges were dropped, Gina went home to her parents, and Wes returned to school.

Wes' departure was probably actor dictated. Woody Brown appeared in the pilot movie for nighttime soap "Flamingo Road" in January 1980. I suspect he was filming the movie during his four to six week absense from the soap. Wes departed in September and returned in November after quitting Harvard to settle in Rosehill. Wes found work as a disk jockey at Ray Slater's club, he was hestitant at first because of the Gina scenario, and gained love interests in the form of Kelly Wilson, Liane's sister who arrived in Janaury to attend Rosehill University, and Cheryl Kingsley, another co-ed introduced as the show was only weeks from leaving the air.

The other major younger characters introduced were Amy Russell and Joel. Both college students, Joel and Amy were partners in crime, but they had different reasons. Joel was romantically interested in Amy, while Amy was determined to ruin her biological father- Bruce Sterling! Bruce had abandoned her mother Loretta King when they were in law school together. Amy became close to Steve in order to infiltrate the family even going to the wedding of Vanessa's mother Sarah to professor Timothy McCauley on Christmas or New Year's Eve. Amy's mother Loretta sent Bruce a letter around the same time threatening him.

Probably the biggest, and most talked about storyline in the show's final year, was the continuing love story of Ben Harper and Betsy Crawford. In June, Betsy's politically ambitious husband Elliott Lang raped her. Betsy's rape resulted in a pregnancy and Betsy opted to have an abortion, but couldn't go through with it. Elliott believed the baby to be Ben's intially, but was delighted to learn it was in fact his. Elliott used the pregnancy as a ploy in his campaign to be elected to the district attorney's position. Betsy refused to let Elliott use her. Elliott plotted with Mia Marriott to keep the two apart.

Mia's big scheme resulted in a rather dramatic November sweeps. While Ben and Betsy went away on a romantic weekend at a lakeside cabin, Mia called and went into details about her relationship with Ben to Betsy pretending she beleived she was talking to Ben. Mia's insinuation deeply upset Betsy and she rushed to the lake to clear her thoughts. Ben followed her and they discussed their problems as they were rowing the boat. When a snake appeared, Ben raised the oar to kill it, but, in the process, the boat flipped. Betsy was injured and rushed to the hospital where she lost the baby she was carrying. Elliott was furious, and, believing Ben had done this on purpose, vowed vengeance by mercilessly prosecuting Ben in his newly elected D.A. position. The trial was nasty and things didn't look good for Ben. A fisherman had pictures of Ben swinging the oar and Meg's bribery of witness Mia Marriott made Mia look like a liar when she revealed the truth. Betsy, conveniently, suffered a bout of amnesia. In the final episodes, Betsy recovered her memory and testified at the trial just before the verdict was to be served. As the final episode came to a close, Betsy collapsed on the stand.

Another major trial was on the verge of happening as the show went off the air. The roadblock to Liane and Tom's budding romance came when a recently rejected Meg Hart, who lost Scott Carmichael when he left town, took an interest in Tom. She funded his cardiac project and wanted to take him as a lover. Tom gave her what she wanted after Meg had managed to keep separating the two. Meanwhile, Liane fought off the attention of Dr. Andrew Marriott. In the fall, once Tom had finally succumbed to Meg's demands, Liane ended things with Tom. Tom was upset and later fought with Meg resulting in her taking a tumble down a flight of stairs. Liane went against the orders of her superiors and performed the necessary surgery to save Meg's life, only for Meg to end up paralyzed. Meg, to get even with her romantic foe, pressed charges against Liane and was mounting a law suit against Lianne and the hospital for malpractice. Liane ended up being suspended and she went to stay with her friend Maggie.

Meg did offer Tom an ultimatum. If he agreed to marry her, Meg would drop the suit. Liane was reinstated to the hospital, but was unaware of how much in debt to Meg Tom was. As the show concluded, it appeared Meg and Tom would marry and Liane would end up find solace, for the meantime, with Andrew Marriott.

Arlene and Ray had little to do after the Brewster mystery. They played heavies in the Gina and Wes romance and only when Hal Carson returned to Rosehill in November did there story begin to heat up. Ray, who had played father to Arlene's baby April, wanted a child of his own and convinced Arlene to try to have another child. Initially, Arlene wasn't interested, but eventually she conceded. Hoping to keep it a suprise, Arlene stopped taking her birth control and actively plotted to conceive a child. Unfortunately, Hal returned to town at the same time. Hal and Arlene were involved in a November sweeps plane crash that left them stranded in the mountains. Hal admitted he loved Arlene while she was in a fevered state. When Arlene returned home, Ray's jealousies were ignited. When Arlene revealed she was pregnant, Ray beleived the father to be Hal.

Bambi Brewster had been involved in a triangle with Dr. Paul Graham and Tony Alfonso. Tony and Bambi became endgame and Tony's former lover Kim Soo Ling arrived in town hoping to locate the child she gave up for adoption. She revealed Tony was the father and Tony vowed ot help her.He even left Bambi at the alter in September during Kim's suicide attempt. Eventually, the child, Tran, was located and the with one of the adopted parents dying, Tony and Kim agreed to leave the child alone during this time. In the last episodes, Kim left town so Bambi and Tony would be happy.

I think this was a majority of what happened in the last year of the series.

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