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MichaelGL

The Doctors

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I'm one of the few that buys Ann's change...the Pollocks started it in spring 1975...and Cendella continued it with Ann siding with Steve even when he was wrong...and when he pursued her...he awoke her repressed sexual side..and she went to desperate means to keep hold of that...and Depriest had a scene where she couldn't believe what she had to do to get Steve..and was beating herself up being unable to help Matt because of what she did.

 

I've noticed the new scriptwriters lack fun and snappy dialogue....I dread Paul and Ann interacting because these new writers won't write their scenes as well.  I wish Marland kept Depriests script writers because I liked the ene3gy and psychological tone Depriest brought.  Lakin and Edelstein provided that as well as being forward thinking.

 

GH was more. Marlands speed...it was more about harmony and community...the doctors was more emotional with conflict and more forward thinking (right to die was a hot topic, and feminism was huge in the mid 70s.).  

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I posted this earlier on another site...

 

While I have been enjoying Doug Marland's writing...I have to say that there are more scenes in the Powers home and Aldrich home than at the hospital. When we do see the hospital it's focused around the board meetings. We really are not seeing any of the doctors practicing medicine. Even Althea's scenes consist mostly of drinking coffee and chatting with Eleanor. You'd never know she was a doctor if she wasn't wearing her white lab coat. And we never see Paul or Hank really practicing medicine either. They never talk with patients. They mostly stand around talking to each other. Maggie's never really featured anymore in clinic scenes.

While I think Marland is very good with the domestic strife, it's clear he's not much into medical drama, which is really the foundation of this particular soap. Some episodes take place entirely at the Powers, at the Aldriches, at Andre's, or at the Dancy apartment, and we only see the hospital set in the opening and closing credits with some day player looking at clipboards and answering the phone at the nurses station.

It feels like the show is losing its sense of identity. I figured this would happen after the Pollocks left, but at this point, 15 months after their exit, it is really noticeable. I don't think the current producer (Jeff Young) really understood what the show was supposed to be about. It's just becoming more of a routine soap opera, less medical, less about the issues that drove the stories in the 60s and first half of the 70s.

And repeated scenes of Carolee in some other place calling out for Steve and Billy just feels like stalling, and none of that feels very medical-related either. I wonder how viewers in 1976 felt about all this.

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16 hours ago, JarrodMFiresofLove said:

I posted this earlier on another site...

 

While I have been enjoying Doug Marland's writing...I have to say that there are more scenes in the Powers home and Aldrich home than at the hospital. When we do see the hospital it's focused around the board meetings. We really are not seeing any of the doctors practicing medicine. Even Althea's scenes consist mostly of drinking coffee and chatting with Eleanor. You'd never know she was a doctor if she wasn't wearing her white lab coat. And we never see Paul or Hank really practicing medicine either. They never talk with patients. They mostly stand around talking to each other. Maggie's never really featured anymore in clinic scenes.

While I think Marland is very good with the domestic strife, it's clear he's not much into medical drama, which is really the foundation of this particular soap. Some episodes take place entirely at the Powers, at the Aldriches, at Andre's, or at the Dancy apartment, and we only see the hospital set in the opening and closing credits with some day player looking at clipboards and answering the phone at the nurses station.

It feels like the show is losing its sense of identity. I figured this would happen after the Pollocks left, but at this point, 15 months after their exit, it is really noticeable. I don't think the current producer (Jeff Young) really understood what the show was supposed to be about. It's just becoming more of a routine soap opera, less medical, less about the issues that drove the stories in the 60s and first half of the 70s.

And repeated scenes of Carolee in some other place calling out for Steve and Billy just feels like stalling, and none of that feels very medical-related either. I wonder how viewers in 1976 felt about all this.

It was all intentional. There is an interview with Marland circulating online from around June 1977 where he discusses his vision for the show. It doesn't seem that it was Young who didn't understand what the show was supposed to be about, but Marland. He discussed his plan to refocus the show on the families -- the Powers, Aldriches, and Dancys, and the need for the show to focus on romance. I don't know if he even mentioned Hope Memorial. The interview can be found on page 98 of this thread. 

 

As for the "silent ones" looking at clipboards and answering the phones, we're seeing less and less of the extras who have been around since the 60s. That's sad to see as they always enhanced Hope Memorial and its presence. I miss seeing Nurse Dorothy, orderly Joe, Nurse Rios and her blue sweater, and the others. But I always got a kick about how busy they were answering the phone during the closing credits when the phone seldom rings when we see scenes at the hospital.

 

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4 hours ago, robbwolff said:

It was all intentional. There is an interview with Marland circulating online from around June 1977 where he discusses his vision for the show. It doesn't seem that it was Young who didn't understand what the show was supposed to be about, but Marland. He discussed his plan to refocus the show on the families -- the Powers, Aldriches, and Dancys, and the need for the show to focus on romance. I don't know if he even mentioned Hope Memorial. The interview can be found on page 98 of this thread. 

 

As for the "silent ones" looking at clipboards and answering the phones, we're seeing less and less of the extras who have been around since the 60s. That's sad to see as they always enhanced Hope Memorial and its presence. I miss seeing Nurse Dorothy, orderly Joe, Nurse Rios and her blue sweater, and the others. But I always got a kick about how busy they were answering the phone during the closing credits when the phone seldom rings when we see scenes at the hospital.

 

 

Did you mean June 1976, since Marland took over in '76. I think he was on his way out by June '77.

 

The day players answering the phones also cracks me up. I guess it's the only prop that makes them look busy, aside from checking the clipboards. When the phone rings during one of the program's main scenes, it's always because someone like Matt, Maggie or Althea are on their way home trying to catch the elevator, and a phone call brings them back to the desk for more dialogue.

 

My biggest gripe is that the show's main doctors do not really practice medicine on camera. We don't even see them dispense aspirin to anyone! Even when Paul's giving Stacy pills, it's usually on another set, like at his place, or at the restaurant. There is really no medicine being practiced at Hope Memorial. All those board room scenes and people getting on and off the elevator seems to be the bulk of the action. We do have Carolee getting treatment somewhere, but it's in some other hospital.

 

I think it's clear Marland hasn't gone back and looked at any of the Pollocks' material. In a recent episode he's having Jerry explain to Penny about the grand jury process. But hello, she was once up before the grand jury herself when her stepfather John was shot and killed. So she's been through this process, and she should be telling him that.

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We’re still seeing Big Joe.  The lack of medical stories started prior to Marland. Aren’t Joan Dancy’s OD and Althea’s multiple brain surgeries the only ones we’ve seen at Hope Memorial in 1976?  Rico was never seen treating his own patients.

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I noticed when Cendella first took over that he really focused on the hospital with a couple of recurring patients (especially that daffy lady that always annoyed Althea) as well as starting the paramedic unit to help lower income areas (which is when Penny first met Jerry and saved Joan Dancy's life)... as well as Dr. Tom dying.. which all but ended the focus on the lab.

 

Depriest had a good balance between the hospital and the personal lives of the characters.. and I do wonder how she would have concluded the Joan Dancy story and the Carolee story.  

 

Marland has concluded the shift away from the hospital to the personal lives of all the characters.  Quite frankly, he isn't the right fit for the show.  I think General Hospital was a better fit for him (hence why he worked wonders on that show) because that show was always about the romantic/personal lives of the staff at General Hospital... while the Doctors was more about the innerworkings of a hospital with some romantic/soap plots going on.

 

 

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8 hours ago, JarrodMFiresofLove said:

 

Did you mean June 1976, since Marland took over in '76. I think he was on his way out by June '77.

 

The day players answering the phones also cracks me up. I guess it's the only prop that makes them look busy, aside from checking the clipboards. When the phone rings during one of the program's main scenes, it's always because someone like Matt, Maggie or Althea are on their way home trying to catch the elevator, and a phone call brings them back to the desk for more dialogue.

 

My biggest gripe is that the show's main doctors do not really practice medicine on camera. We don't even see them dispense aspirin to anyone! Even when Paul's giving Stacy pills, it's usually on another set, like at his place, or at the restaurant. There is really no medicine being practiced at Hope Memorial. All those board room scenes and people getting on and off the elevator seems to be the bulk of the action. We do have Carolee getting treatment somewhere, but it's in some other hospital.

 

I think it's clear Marland hasn't gone back and looked at any of the Pollocks' material. In a recent episode he's having Jerry explain to Penny about the grand jury process. But hello, she was once up before the grand jury herself when her stepfather John was shot and killed. So she's been through this process, and she should be telling him that.

Nope. I meant June 1977. Althea and Jerry were last seen around May 1977 and the interview with Marland took place after Elizabeth Hubbard left the show. He was vocal in the interview about Julia Duffy quitting without giving much notice since he had a storyline in mind for her. He complained about Hubbard in the interview, too. 

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20 hours ago, robbwolff said:

Nope. I meant June 1977. Althea and Jerry were last seen around May 1977 and the interview with Marland took place after Elizabeth Hubbard left the show. He was vocal in the interview about Julia Duffy quitting without giving much notice since he had a storyline in mind for her. He complained about Hubbard in the interview, too. 

 

I'll have to go back and find the article. I was always under the impression he was a fan of Hubbard's since he wrote many storylines for her on ATWT. Maybe he had a grudging respect for her talent.

 

Duffy was probably anxious to get to the west coast and try her luck in primetime. I went to several tapings of Designing Women in 1991-1992, the season where Duffy played a character that was basically Delta Burke's replacement. She was let go after one year, at the end of the sixth season. I suspected mainly because the show's producers were quite liberal, and she was more conservative. It was sad to watch her film her last episode. Between the scenes, she sat off to the side by herself. She did not associate with the other cast or with the crew. Everyone on the set was rather close, except for her. Earlier in the season, it wasn't so noticeable. But by the end of that year, it was clear she just didn't fit in and was about to be fired. Despite how difficult it was for her, she managed to do an excellent job. Under the circumstances she maintained her professionalism.

 

The high point of her TV career was/is probably her role on Newhart.

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The soap press at the time reported that Julia left because she felt that she had outgrown the role.  I do think TD squandered her the last few years by not having her drive her own stories.  Penny should have stayed in medical school.  She turned dumb under DePriest.   TD didn’t seem to know what to do with its young female characters, in general.  Toni and Liz were in a similar situation.  

 

I believe Marland’s complaint about LH was that she refused to say the lines as written.  It’s too bad because I’m finally liking Althea again for the first time in years. She’s much better when she’s not moping, getting hysterical over a man, and/or recovering from brain surgery.  I don’t understand why Althea wasn’t the first choice to be Acting COS, with her long tenure, plus she’s been a department head.

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2 minutes ago, jam6242 said:

The soap press at the time reported that Julia left because she felt that she had outgrown the role.  I do think TD squandered her the last few years by not having her drive her own stories.  Penny should have stayed in medical school.  She turned dumb under DePriest.   TD didn’t seem to know what to do with its young female characters, in general.  Toni and Liz were in a similar situation.  

 

I believe Marland’s complaint about LH was that she refused to say the lines as written.  It’s too bad because I’m finally liking Althea again for the first time in years. She’s much better when she’s not moping, getting hysterical over a man, and/or recovering from brain surgery.  I don’t understand why Althea wasn’t the first choice to be Acting COS, with her long tenure, plus she’s been a department head.

I can't seem to find the article, which I reread yesterday. In it, Marland complained that it was unprofessional of Julia Duffy to quit the show so abruptly, and said he had a story in place for Penny. And you're right...he did complain about Hubbard not saying the lines as they were written. He was not pleased with that at all. Isn't the story that he referenced the Hubbard Squash on ATWT frequently as a dig against Liz Hubbard (the Hubbard Squash has a hard outer shell)?

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Oh, I hadn’t heard about the Hubbard Squash reference.  Too funny!  How suddenly could Julia have quit if she was a contract player?  

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2 hours ago, jam6242 said:

Oh, I hadn’t heard about the Hubbard Squash reference.  Too funny!  How suddenly could Julia have quit if she was a contract player?  

Guess her contract was coming up for renewal and it was assumed she'd continue. Maybe her reps had intimated that and negotiations were underway etc... and then Julia announced she wasn't renewing.

Don't know why they didn't just recast...

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3 hours ago, robbwolff said:

I can't seem to find the article, which I reread yesterday. In it, Marland complained that it was unprofessional of Julia Duffy to quit the show so abruptly, and said he had a story in place for Penny. And you're right...he did complain about Hubbard not saying the lines as they were written. He was not pleased with that at all. Isn't the story that he referenced the Hubbard Squash on ATWT frequently as a dig against Liz Hubbard (the Hubbard Squash has a hard outer shell)?

 

Here is the article. I posted it a few years back.

 

 

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Thanks for reposting the article. It's a great article. I think he's right about the core families, but he doesn't mention the hospital at all...and the hospital staff do function as a family unit too, so keeping Althea as Chief of Staff would have made her the mother of that family, even with Penny's departure. So I think he overlooked some key things, especially with regards to the foundation of the show. It originally was about these doctors and nurses on staff working side by side, then spinning off into their personal lives. But the hospital was always central to everything. He's not really keeping much of that.

 

I do think he has made M.J. more relevant, and yes, Lauren White did deserve a front burner storyline. Humanizing Matt is a good thing, and showing Maggie as more than just Matt's wife is also a smart move.

 

He got rid of boring characters DePriest and Cenedella created, like Dr. McIntyre and Scott Conrad. I wonder if he thought Hank and Martha were boring too?

 

I don't think the child abuse storyline for M.J. and Tom is very medical related. It starts with Tom saying he has Huntington's disease, but then we find out that's a lie and it becomes more about domestic violence and psychotherapy. At least from what I've been reading in the Soap Opera Digest summaries. I'm curious to see how it will play out, but it's definitely not medical. The only medical storyline I see him doing is Stephanie's surgery, which Ann performs around February '77.

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Even good writers aren't a good fit on the show, no matter how talented he was.

 

I'm curious if Penny will be featured in story between November 1976 and her departure in mid 1977... because if not, than I don't blame her for bailing.

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