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11 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

Interestingly, the week AW went to 90 minutes seems to be a very iconic week for P&G soaps - Roger's rape of Holly on GL and the Wade Meecham murder on EON both aired that same week. Likely to stifle AW's 90 minute expansion. 

You're right. It was also the same day Karen Wolek admitted on the witness stand that she was a hooker and that Marco was her pimp on OLTL. There had to have been a little competition between the shows.

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Maybe @vetsoapfan or someone actively following the soaps at this time can comment on the competition between them and how difficult in the pre-internet and even pre-VCR days it was to keep up with all of them, especially when major developments and stories were unfolding. 

 

In a week where AW expanded to 90 minutes, Roger's rape of Holly on GL, the Wade Meecham murder on EON, and Karen Wolek's testimony on OLTL - how the heck could you keep up if you followed all these shows, lol? Were some of these stories looked upon fondly only years later but weren't at the time (obviously AW's 90 minute expansion seemed to be a bomb from the start)? 

Edited by BetterForgotten

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1 hour ago, BetterForgotten said:

Maybe @vetsoapfan or someone actively following the soaps at this time can comment on the competition between them and how difficult in the pre-internet and even pre-VCR days it was to keep up with all of them, especially when major developments and stories were unfolding. 

 

In a week where AW expanded to 90 minutes, Roger's rape of Holly on GL, the Wade Meecham murder on EON, and Karen Woklek's testimony on OLTL - how the heck could you keep up if you followed all these shows, lol? Were some of these stories looked up fondly only years later but weren't at the time (obviously AW's 90 minute expansion seemed to be a bomb from the start)? 

 

To me, the 1970s were the very best years of the soap opera genre. I mean, we had William J. Bell, Pat Falken Smith, Agnes Nixon, Henry Slesar, Douglas Marland, Harding Lemay, Claire Labine, the Dobsons, Ann Marcus, Rick Edelstein, Robert Soderberg and Edith Sommer, Gordon Russell and Sam Hall, etc., at the top of their game, giving us riveting storylines that were must-see TV. Trying to keep up with all the shows during that decade was a herculean challenge. At first I recorded them all on multiple audio cassette recorders (which I set up in different rooms of the house), but as soon as I could afford a VCR (in 1976), I bought one of those. And then another. I would use my Beta to record from one network, my VHS to record from a second network, and then watch the third network live. If I had to be out of the house, I would use my old standby, an audio tape recorder, to tape the third network.

 

Back then, soaps were a HUGE money-maker for all the networks, so because millions of dollars in profit were at stake, competition was always fierce. Lousy writers and incompetent producers did not last for YEARS as they would later on, when ratings (and profits) plummeted and the networks and P&G lost interest in putting out quality product anymore.

 

Back then, the audience EXPECTED to see great soap opera because it was what we were used to; what we demanded. Competition to produce quality television was strong, because viewers had so many good soaps to choose from, and wouldn't settle for mediocre (or worse) drivel.

 

How times have changed! Today, the audience is served nothing but drivel, and we are grateful to see ANYTHING on ANY remaining show that rises to the level of, "not as awful as usual."

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Actress Sally Spencer (M.J. McKinnon) has passed away   

 

From Ed Frye:   "My friend and colleague, Sally Spencer, passed away yesterday. She had been ill with leukemia, treated, home and by all accounts doing well.

She and I were "almost TV man and wife", but we were instant and long term friends. I'm heartsick at this news. She is one of those vivid, generous, loving, wise, smiling souls that the world can never have enough of.

After TV, she put all of her deep empathy and intelligence to work as an educator. Dr. Sally Spencer at Cal State is worth reading about. https://www2.calstate.edu/…/past-awardees/Pages/spencer.aspx

May the Angels sing to you in seven octaves of welcome, Sally, to that place of beauty and rest you so richly deserve. See you further along, my friend."

 

 

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Rest in Peace

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Sally had a bad hand at AW, as she was a recast of an actress who had made a strong impression in the role, and she was handed a misogynist, ugly storyline that mostly called for her to be victimized. 

 

I liked her work. I thought she had a sweetness and vulnerability about her and she made me care about MJ even though the writing did not. 

 

I'm sorry to hear she's gone. She was clearly a great person, especially if a co-star of 30 years ago was still a part of her life.

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I liked Sally as MJ. She had great chemistry with both Fry and Burgi  She had a good sisterly chemistry with Kathleen & Cheryl. But that back story of MJ being a hooker was so badly written. Sally did the best she could with that mess. RIP lx8BmM.gif

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I saw episodes when Sally first took over...and she played MJ as spirited and fiesty..but she had a passive vibe that the other actress didnt..so the writers wrote to that...too much..imho

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13 hours ago, AbcNbc247 said:

Did they ever give a reason why M.J (a woman) was named Michael Joseph?

There was a scene where I think they said it had to do with Vince wanting a boy and when they had a girl they decided to keep the name that was already chosen.

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2 hours ago, Efulton said:

There was a scene where I think they said it had to do with Vince wanting a boy and when they had a girl they decided to keep the name that was already chosen.

 

Wow. Thank goodness MJ on The Doctors was short for Mary Jane!!

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10 hours ago, Efulton said:

There was a scene where I think they said it had to do with Vince wanting a boy and when they had a girl they decided to keep the name that was already chosen.

Thanks for the info! That's still kind of weird though lol

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On 7/17/2019 at 6:11 AM, AbcNbc247 said:

Thanks for the info! That's still kind of weird though lol

I think from a story point of view, when MJ was introduced she was dealing with not being perceived as sufficiently feminine because police detective was "traditionally male". So the little detail that she had been saddled with a masculine name was to flavour that. In the May 4 1984 episode which is on YouTube, when MJ arrives at Larry's dressed for the party, he makes a comment about how much of a sensation she would create if she dressed like that at work.

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1 hour ago, Xanthe said:

I think from a story point of view, when MJ was introduced she was dealing with not being perceived as sufficiently feminine because police detective was "traditionally male". So the little detail that she had been saddled with a masculine name was to flavour that. In the May 4 1984 episode which is on YouTube, when MJ arrives at Larry's dressed for the party, he makes a comment about how much of a sensation she would create if she dressed like that at work.

Well, it does make sense when you put it like that.

 

I wish the writers hadn’t nixed their Larry and M.J affair story. It would’ve provided Kathleen Layman, Rick Porter and Gail Brown with some good material and it would’ve been a lot better than that Miami Vice rip-off drug storyline that they saddled Larry with.

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