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ALL: Are you a Nixon or a Bell??

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Having spent my past week of flu-ish delerium, watching hours of old soap operas, I've come to realize there is a sharp devision in the 60s, dividing Irna Phillips' soaps. Bell made a masterful example of the almost hypnotic, super soap. Music, sex, beauty and tragedy were intermingled. Nixon's soaps were some of the first to have humour--sometimes overemphaszied--but no less soap elements highlighted.

It seems to me the modern soap fan is a variant of either of these two cliches.

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I would have to say I am a mixture of the two with a slight lean to Nixon.

I loved Bell's Days. I love what he did with early Y&R esp. but he was very poor early on at incorporating social issues into Y&R. Nixon was much better. Nixon had a way of incorporating things to not make them preachy. I can remember the dialogue as written by Bell and Alden in the 70's was atrocious. You would have Chris talking to Snapper and one of the would say stuff like "Did you know that 1 out of every 4 teenagers gets pregnant out of wedlock?" And the other one would reply "Oh no what can we do."

Even his biggest stars criticized the dialogue in those days.

I can remember Daytime TV magazine finally giving Bell a kudo on a socially relevant story done right when he had Snapper and Casey (played by David Hasselhoff and Roberta Leighton) playfully demonstrate the Heimlich Maneuver. They were flirting with one another and it just kind of played into that.

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Try doing searches around for tape trading on the Internet. I have seen them at several locations before.

I know there is one site that sells several episodes of the old soaps:

check out - http://www.tvdays.com/soaps.htm

I have never bought those tapes but have wanted to. They have Hawkins Falls, Love of Life, Guiding Light, and others available.

Also The Another World Home Page has several old episodes of Another World available for sale.

I have always wanted to buy these but never have. But I see the tape trading things all the time. Sometimes if you don't have any to trade, they will sell you copies of what they have - I have been told.


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Now that is a hard one.

I would have to say no. I love Harding Lemay. Although I despise his firings of Reinholt, Courtney, & Dwyer, I love Lemay's writing. His 8 years of AW were great.

I would have to say I rank my favorite Daytime writers in this order:

1) Douglas Marland

2) Harding Lemay

3) Agnes Nixon

4) William J. Bell

5) Jerome & Bridget Dobson

6) Eileen & Robert Mason Pollock

7) Henry Slesar

8) The Soderbergs

9) Wisner Washam

10) Claire Labine & Paul Mayer

11) Pamela Long

12) Gordon Russell

13) Sam Hall

14) Pat Falken Smith

15) Margaret DePreist

16) Lou Scofield

17) Roy Winsor

18) Frank & Doris Hursley

19) David Cherrill/Elizabeth Levin

20) Tom King

I think all 10 of those are good writers, but not only that I have pretty much enjoyed all of what they put onscreen at the time. If I was just going by BEST, I would of course have to put Irna in there somewhere, but I never got to see much of her actual stuff in my lifetime. But those 20 are the ones that based on writing skill and my enjoyment of their shows are the best for me.

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I just had an epiphany: imagine a soap written by Bill Bell and Harding Lemay. That would be the best soap opera ever. Harding was a really multifaceted storyteller: he could do family drama, business intrigue, social issues... Everything. Whereas, Bill... He had some problems in some areas.

Although... Whether those two would clash frequently is another matter.

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I would have to say I am a blend....

Growing up watching All My Children on the surface you could say I am a Nixon, but I too enjoyed the extravegance that came with a Bell writing style. The glitz, the glamour, the scandal. It was always fun to see on Y&R in its hay day.

I would definitely say I am a hybrid.

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