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I'm rewatching the AW Locher Room episodes. The beauty of AW, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, was not really rooted in family by blood but friends who made families of their own. Seeing the Zoom chats, it's obvious that those bonds were real and unchanged 20+ years since the show left the air.

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I took some time this weekend and watched the Locher Room with JFP.  I have to say, I liked her candor.  And I get her position.  (That just may get me thrown out of here...)  She was hired to do a job.  Often with a hand of cards that had serious issues.  People leaving, budgets, etc.  To think that a woman who had a 35 year career in an industry had a secret desire to destroy that industry is ridiculous. She made mistakes, of course, I would love to see anyone who whether in this chat or a general fan, has not made mistakes, missteps, bad judgment calls.  While not AW, she said in the interview her directive was to bring Y&R into the 21st century.  And I get it.  Young and the Restless is neither Young nor Restless today.  Middle aged upper income people wandering around looking for problems....it is what it is.  So, while we may not agree, I do understand where she was coming from and applaud her for having a vision and being able to execute it, perhaps to the delight or the dismay of the audience.  

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, ScottyBman said:

I took some time this weekend and watched the Locher Room with JFP.  I have to say, I liked her candor.  And I get her position.  (That just may get me thrown out of here...)  She was hired to do a job.  Often with a hand of cards that had serious issues.  People leaving, budgets, etc.  To think that a woman who had a 35 year career in an industry had a secret desire to destroy that industry is ridiculous. She made mistakes, of course, I would love to see anyone who whether in this chat or a general fan, has not made mistakes, missteps, bad judgment calls.  While not AW, she said in the interview her directive was to bring Y&R into the 21st century.  And I get it.  Young and the Restless is neither Young nor Restless today.  Middle aged upper income people wandering around looking for problems....it is what it is.  So, while we may not agree, I do understand where she was coming from and applaud her for having a vision and being able to execute it, perhaps to the delight or the dismay of the audience.  

 

All I heard from her was excuses. You do not modernize a show by killing off legacy characters, firing veteran actors and destroying familiar sets. You write modern stories that have not been told before and cast unique, diverse actors.  Shocking moments (murders explosion, etc) may give a short term increase to the ratings but if they are not part of a character driven story they end up alienating fans. JFP produced some brilliant episodes but left all 6 shows in worse shape than she found them.

Edited by Efulton
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11 minutes ago, Efulton said:

JFP produced some brilliant episodes but left all 6 shows in worse shape than she found them.

I agree with that assessment but I think the point ScottyBman makes that is worth considering is that the notion she is intentionally *setting out* to destroy an industry she has worked in for 35 years is wrong.

She is misguided in her beliefs as to what works and how to "improve" the shows but the fact she has kept getting hired means that the suits agree with her and that some of the overall damage she did, she did out of conviction that it was for the brest and it would have been done by someone else if not by her.

Which is emphatically not an excuse nor a defense of the substance of her legacy but a somewhat defense of her intent. She is wrong but out of love for the genre.
Her defensiveness and mealy-mouthed defense of things like killing off Maureen and Frankie are because she knows how unpopular they are but she still thinks deep down those are the right moves and fans are just reacting emotionally rather than looking at the big picture.
She is wrong but I have somewhat more respect for her having a vision, misguided as it is, than some of the other folks who have destroyed the genre out of ego or incompetence or indifference. Frons and Goutman are infinitely worse because some of what they did was just out of personal pique or personal tastes.
Whatever one can say about JFP, she was competent at doing what she wanted to do and she knew what she wanted to do.
Alas, what she wanted to do was damaging.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/6/2021 at 9:39 AM, DRW50 said:

A part of me has wished they had tried the story, just because the Loves needed expanding and it would have given Donna more story down the line, but most likely he would have been forgotten in a year anyway. 

If Scott had been a triplet, he would probably have done more to expand the Hudsons than the Loves. But it's hard to imagine what Scott as a triplet could have brought to the story that Victoria had not already done or that he as Mary and Reginald's adopted son was not already doing. If they had wanted to expand the Love family then I think maintaining Peter and Nicole as viable would have been better. They could have married [other people! not each other!] and had children (or possibly better have acquired older stepchildren or inlaws who could drive story).

I could possibly have enjoyed a storyline in which Reginald convinced Donna that Scott was a triplet only to have it revealed later that it was a lie. (That would have been better than the nonsense that John Hudson holding twin infants in a photo was evidence that he was Marley and Victoria's father.)

Edited by Xanthe
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So some people believe that the writing for Donna went downhill in 1986..in the last months of AS stint and remained when Philece played the part.  However, I don't totally agree.

Donna came in 1983 as a cold, controlled snob where appearance was everything.  Given how happiness was robbed of her as a teen, it made sense she was like that.  

'Little sister' Marley coming home in 1984 was the first dent in Donna's armor. This was her daughter, but had to view and interact with her as a sister.  Having Marley in boarding school allowed Donna to repress things...but having her in Bay City would make that hard.

Than Vicky comes along in 1985..who Donna had no idea about.  Causes internal issues for Donna..leading her to realize she has 2 daughters, not one.

Then Michael comes back in 1986..but both are different people from when they were teens..but agree to start again.  So Donna's icy exterior is starting to melt because she has her daughters and her 1st love back in her life. 

However, her dad Reginald appears again...the one who sent Michael away and took away her babies.  So she loses it because she never dealt with what her dad did..and since he 'passed', she figured she was free of him.  Not so...and she loses her mind literally.

And lastly Donna becomes pregnant with Michael again...her 2nd chance...but her father also takes her baby away by being the cause of her miscarriage.

 

Had someone like Harding Lemay been writing long term, he would have had a field day with Donna and Marley.

However,  most writers viewed Vicky as the easier character to write...and Marley as a throwaway.  Marley had more to play to..imho.

 

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31 minutes ago, FrenchBug82 said:

I agree with that assessment but I think the point ScottyBman makes that is worth considering is that the notion she is intentionally *setting out* to destroy an industry she has worked in for 35 years is wrong.

She is misguided in her beliefs as to what works and how to "improve" the shows but the fact she has kept getting hired means that the suits agree with her and that some of the overall damage she did, she did out of conviction that it was for the brest and it would have been done by someone else if not by her.

Which is emphatically not an excuse nor a defense of the substance of her legacy but a somewhat defense of her intent. She is wrong but out of love for the genre.
Her defensiveness and mealy-mouthed defense of things like killing off Maureen and Frankie are because she knows how unpopular they are but she still thinks deep down those are the right moves and fans are just reacting emotionally rather than looking at the big picture.
She is wrong but I have somewhat more respect for her having a vision, misguided as it is, than some of the other folks who have destroyed the genre out of ego or incompetence or indifference. Frons and Goutman are infinitely worse because some of what they did was just out of personal pique or personal tastes.
Whatever one can say about JFP, she was competent at doing what she wanted to do and she knew what she wanted to do.
Alas, what she wanted to do was damaging.

Being incompetent but not intentionally incompetent does not make feel differently about JFP.  AW never recovered from from her disastrous decisions followed up my the equally disastrous decisions made by Charlotte Savitz. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Efulton said:

Being incompetent but not intentionally incompetent does not make feel differently about JFP.  AW never recovered from from her disastrous decisions followed up my the equally disastrous decisions made by Charlotte Savitz. 

I also question her love for the genre. As Eddie Drueding mentioned at the time, she was obsessed with shows like Cheers, ER, NYPD Blue, etc. None of those were daytime soaps. I do not believe she had any respect for the genre - not with the way she treated people, or the shows she worked on. Yes, some decisions were out of her hands, but that is also true of others like Claire Labine who, even if I had issues with her writing on various soaps, I still felt she loved the soap genre. I never felt that with JFP. Every interview she gave was about herself, first and last, nothing in-between. 

Edited by DRW50
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This might be a bit off topic, but I don't see how JFP even made Y&R modern. She made it quite stale IMO. If there was any EP that Y&R had recently that attempted to shake things up and bring it to the 21st century, it was Mal Young, for all his faults, made a valid attempt to freshen up the show. 

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16 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

I also question her love for the genre. As Eddie Drueding mentioned at the time, she was obsessed with shows like Cheers, ER, NYPD Blue, etc. None of those were daytime soaps. I do not believe she had any respect for the genre - not with the way she treated people, or the shows she worked on. Yes, some decisions were out of her hands, but that is also true of others like Claire Labine who, even if I had issues with her writing on various soaps, I still felt she loved the soap genre. I never felt that with JFP. Every interview she gave was about herself, first and last, nothing in-between. 

I've been reading Eight Years In Another World, and Lemay's attitude was not of respect for the genre -- at least not as Irna Phillips defined it. He mentions bringing in plots from classic literature and drama and trying to cast actors who could bring depth and subtlety to the performance. He abhorred what he presented as Phillips' view that a character was either a Saint or a Sinner and must behave accordingly (even Walter Curtin whose sins must all be whitewashed to preserve him as a Saint). But he also learned to structure plots to work within the serial framework. It wouldn't necessarily be wrong for a producer to take aspects from other TV genres to enliven the soap/serial . . . it's all in the implementation.

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2 minutes ago, Xanthe said:

 It wouldn't necessarily be wrong for a producer to take aspects from other TV genres to enliven the soap/serial . . . it's all in the implementation.

This.

The difference however between LeMay and JFP is that LeMay got inspired by other genre but spotted the things about soaps that made them soap and preserved the RIGHT things while changing some things that benefitted from being changed.
JFP's error was trying to import things from other genre - primetime in particular - that actually destroyed some of the things that made soaps special.  It is an incredibly grave error but plenty of people who love soaps can disagree about why soaps are soaps - is it the stories? the pacing? the type of acting? the type of directing? Etc. What she thought was key and what she thought was disposable was VERY misguided but the very notion of injecting other elements to freshen up the genre was not in itself a sign she disliked daytime soaps.

I am not thrilled being in the position to sound like I am defending her; I mean, I think her legacy is horrendous. And maybe this is a distinction without a difference.
But bad strategic judgement is different from incompetence. She knew how to stage a show, how to produce a show. She just put those skills in the service of a bad vision.

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1 hour ago, Soaplovers said:

So some people believe that the writing for Donna went downhill in 1986..in the last months of AS stint and remained when Philece played the part.  However, I don't totally agree.

Donna came in 1983 as a cold, controlled snob where appearance was everything.  Given how happiness was robbed of her as a teen, it made sense she was like that.  

'Little sister' Marley coming home in 1984 was the first dent in Donna's armor. This was her daughter, but had to view and interact with her as a sister.  Having Marley in boarding school allowed Donna to repress things...but having her in Bay City would make that hard.

Than Vicky comes along in 1985..who Donna had no idea about.  Causes internal issues for Donna..leading her to realize she has 2 daughters, not one.

Then Michael comes back in 1986..but both are different people from when they were teens..but agree to start again.  So Donna's icy exterior is starting to melt because she has her daughters and her 1st love back in her life. 

However, her dad Reginald appears again...the one who sent Michael away and took away her babies.  So she loses it because she never dealt with what her dad did..and since he 'passed', she figured she was free of him.  Not so...and she loses her mind literally.

And lastly Donna becomes pregnant with Michael again...her 2nd chance...but her father also takes her baby away by being the cause of her miscarriage.

 

Had someone like Harding Lemay been writing long term, he would have had a field day with Donna and Marley.

However,  most writers viewed Vicky as the easier character to write...and Marley as a throwaway.  Marley had more to play to..imho.

Totally agree. Do you think the recasting of Donna ruined the momentum of the Love/Hudson story? I wasn't watching back then in real time.

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21 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

Totally agree. Do you think the recasting of Donna ruined the momentum of the Love/Hudson story? I wasn't watching back then in real time.

I think it was a problem that both Ellen Wheeler and Anna Stuart left and there was a gap there for a while. The recast for Victoria didn't have strong material and the recast Nicole functioned more as a placeholder providing support for Michael rather than having feelings or goals of her own regarding Reginald. Peter was occupied with Brittany and when Donna returned as Philece everything was in an uproar because of the Sin Stalker.

IMO there was no reason why the momentum could not have been maintained if Vicky and Nicole had been given strong stories to play during Donna's hiatus instead of making them secondary to Michael and Reginald. But that also presumes that there would have been a better story for Donna than the Sin Stalker and Donna's uncontrollable lust for John that Donna as Philece was given.

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