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Those scenes with Mia and Ben were...not very good, to say the least. I can see why someone said Veleka Gray was miscast in that role. It's tough to watch her.

Was Meg in the hospital at the same time as Betsy? The Meg story is a little hysterical but seems interesting.

I'm disturbed by how physical the men are with the women. Ben almost chokes Mia. The way the men behave is just excessive.

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Meg fell down the stairs in October, and Betsy was injured on the lake in November. There was some crossover with them in the hospital.

Personally, I did not care for Margo McKenna's Betsy. I liked Liz Kemp much better. Her Betsy was not as fragile and shrill.

Veleka Gray was miscast, but the role was unnecessary. Labine and Mayer left LOL in wonderful shape back in 1975. The Betsy/Ben/Arlene triangle could have run for years and years along with Meg vying with daughter Cal for Rick's attention. Subsequent writers dropped both storylines and added characters whose function in the narrative was never as good as the concepts left by Labine and Mayer. CBS mismanaged and botched LOL to nth degree. Watch the 1975 episode posted on Youtube and then the ones uploaded by CHH. They are like two completely different soaps, and in my humble opinion the latter is vastly inferior to the former.

In 1979, the cast was good, and the production were fine, but the characters and stories needed so much improvement. Ann Marcus dipping back into the old marital rape and subsequent pregnancy plot was inexplicable. If CBS truly wanted to contemporise the serial, why pull out those hoary story twists? Think of how much better it could have been had LOL gone the way of GL and written a story in which Betsy pressed charges against Eliott rather than covering up the crime. Ben was even worse, pressuring Betsy to have sex after she had been raped and impregnated by Elliot, and then cheating on her with Mia because she would not put out. Add to that Ray Slater's Neanderthal treatment of Arlene, and you can see why viewers were turning over to Edge of Night in droves.

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Thanks for all the extra details. You're right. It's an especially big contrast with EON's female characters, who were by and large all very strong (yet human) in late 1979. The women and men in these LOL episodes remind me of today's soaps. That's not a compliment.

If they were writing Meg out soon I wonder where that story was leading.

Edited by CarlD2

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I've never been able to handle how utterly douchey Ben is in every single scene I've seen him in. Also, his acting style reminds me very much of everything I've ever seen AW's George Reinhold do. Margo McKenna just seems so whiney as Betsy, but I really appreciated her later as Edge of Night warped and desperate Emily. And god bless her, but Veleka Gary was just... not very good in that scene. That crying fit at the end was painful. No surprise, but Tudi Wiggins was the best of the bunch. I like the set up of Leanne (Meg's presumed romantic rival) being forced to operate on Meg to save her life and then being accused of deliberately causing complications. IMO, that's a really nice set up for a story. Although I simply hate that the series ended with Meg still stuck in that wheelchair.

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I loved Elizabeth Kemp's Betsy. She came across as gentle and sensitive without seeming weak. Of course, Christopher Reeve was a much better Ben too. What in the world happened to Birgitta Tolksdorf's hair in these clips?! Tudi Wiggins was still the best thing about this show at this time.

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Variety December 14th 1955

Peggy McCay, who recently retired from starring role in CBS TV's "Love of Life" soap opera series, returns to nighttime tv this Sunday (18) night as female lead in "Appointment with Adventure."

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Watching the final episode of LOL, I was struck at how much the show seemed to still be in transition. Granted, the show was not allowed to tie up loose ends due to the short notice given to them by the network.. but I still think the show was changing.

When I saw Betsy collapse on the witness stand, I was hoping that she was going to end up dying cause I couldn't take one more second of her whining and acting so fragile. I'm interested to see if Ann Marcus would have written out her character, or at least given Betsy some backbone after all the crap she had to endure.

It is interesting to read about Betsy being raped by her husband, ending up pregnant, and just keeping quiet about it. Realistically, a lot of women didn't come forward in 1979 especially if their husband was the one who raped them. I see LOL and GL telling the same story except they wrote the story to fit the character, not vice versa. From what I can tell, Betsy seems to be the type who would be too afraid of reporting it while Holly on GL was the type of character that wouldn't be quite as afraid given her personality.

With that said, I did like the brief scenes of Dr. Lianne.. she seemed like the type who would stand up for herself. Am I mistaken to assume this?

I'm curious about the Ray/Arlene marriage, because he seems like a controlling SOB though the final scene with her walking away from him and up the stairs after it comes out that she was telling the truth gives me hope that she would divorce him. I liked how that ended because you could come up with your own conclusion on how they would end up.

I liked watching the other brief youtube of Dana Delaney. She didn't seem like a pushover like Betsy and it makes me think that if Ann Marcus had continued writing the show longer then several months that perhaps she would have bought on more stronger women characters.

My theory on how the Meg/Tom/Lianne story would have ended is that Meg would probably have gotten use of her legs back but decided to fake it in order to keep Tom and Lianne apart. I bet good sister Van would have found out thus insuring a confrontation between the two sisters then forced her sister tell the truth or she would herself. I bet Tom would have broken up with Meg, tried to get together with Lianne while Meg decides to just leave town again especially if her son Ben was found guilty due to her trying to pay off Mia.

I didn't see enough of Mia to form a clear opinion of her, but from what I read in past posts.. she was created to replace Arlene as the spoiler to Ben/Betsy. Though I did read some of the write ups from 1976 where Ray and arlene meet right after the bigamy story was exposed and it looks like it was written during the Depriest era.. but I have a feeling she would have gradually changed the landscape instead of doing a knee jerk change like Gabrielle Union did, imho.

I guess the Bambi story had been resolved thus she was just support in the final episode. Even though she seemed nice and kind of passive, I didn't gag watching her as I did watching Betsy so that's a plus. Would be interested to see the Bambi Brewster story with the blonde wig wearing woman to see how it resembles the old school radio dramas.

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October 1974 TV Radio Mirror

TV Moonlighting column

CHANGE ON LIFE:

There's much excitement brewing on the Love of Life set these days. First, there'll be the introduction of some talented young actors and actresses in the coming episodes. One you'll be seeing is Oliver Crawford, who'll portray one of Betsy Crawford's (Elizabeth Kemp) brothers. He'll be making his debut on the soap later this summer...Sally Stark (Kate Swanson Phillips) has been traveling to Atlanda and Chicago with Forrest Compton of The Edge of Night on a major publicity junket for the coming fall season. With her is hubby Ron Harper (formerly of Where The Heart Is) promioting his new CBS show Planet of the Apes in which he'll have a starring role along with Roddy McDowell...And says Tom de Villiers, associate producers of LOL, "Many former favorites will be returning for short stints."...And if you're a music buff, you'll enjoy the recently recorded Love of Life theme ("The Life That You Live"). The twenty-piece orchestra was conducted by Vladimir Selensky in the same studio where Mary Stuart recorded her hit album.

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October 1974 TV Radio Mirror

TV Moonlighting column

CHANGE ON LIFE:

There's much excitement brewing on the Love of Life set these days. First, there'll be the introduction of some talented young actors and actresses in the coming episodes. One you'll be seeing is Oliver Crawford, who'll portray one of Betsy Crawford's (Elizabeth Kemp) brothers. He'll be making his debut on the soap later this summer...Sally Stark (Kate Swanson Phillips) has been traveling to Atlanda and Chicago with Forrest Compton of The Edge of Night on a major publicity junket for the coming fall season. With her is hubby Ron Harper (formerly of Where The Heart Is) promioting his new CBS show Planet of the Apes in which he'll have a starring role along with Roddy McDowell...And says Tom de Villiers, associate producers of LOL, "Many former favorites will be returning for short stints."...And if you're a music buff, you'll enjoy the recently recorded Love of Life theme ("The Life That You Live"). The twenty-piece orchestra was conducted by Vladimir Selensky in the same studio where Mary Stuart recorded her hit album.

I wonder if Oliver Crawford was the same character who later evolved as Dr. Tom Crawford, or if they were completely different? Oliver would have been created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer. I believe Tom was introduced under Paul & Margaret Schneider. I also wonder if perhaps Jameson Parker would have been cast as Oliver. Parker had been the first choice to play Ben Harper, but CBS preferred Chris Reeve because his dark features more closely resembled Tudi Wiggins'. Parker's blonde looks would have matched Liz Kemp's Betsy very well.

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The way the article is written, I assumed that Oliver Crawford was an actor, not a character.

I wonder if Oliver Crawford was the same character who later evolved as Dr. Tom Crawford, or if they were completely different? Oliver would have been created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer. I believe Tom was introduced under Paul & Margaret Schneider. I also wonder if perhaps Jameson Parker would have been cast as Oliver. Parker had been the first choice to play Ben Harper, but CBS preferred Chris Reeve because his dark features more closely resembled Tudi Wiggins'. Parker's blonde looks would have matched Liz Kemp's Betsy very well.

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