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Paul Raven

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Posted (edited)

Curlee revealed some great tidbits.  First, it was mentioned that she wrote for AMC and GH although her name was never in the credits, and that she was 'negotiating' with ABC to head write GH when she got pregnant. She was definitely being generous about JFP; everyone knows that Phelps took over every show's writing room at one time or another. Remember: Curlee was only co-head for 1 year after Long left (with her husband and Reilly) then she took a year maternity leave and Broderick stepped in to fill her shoes.  When Curlee returned, Reilly left for DOOL; Broderick stayed for six months then moved over to AW to become a break down writer.  That's when Curlee/Demorest were given full reign of GL but it didn't last long.  It was said at the time that Curlee needed to retire to parent full time, but I never bought it. Phelps then took over and had five writers work together under her as de.facto head writer after which she brought in an English professor, Doug Anderson, a disaster period for the show. 

The other interesting thing is that Curlee revealed that when she and Stephen first took over GL they were under the tutelage of Harding LeMay.  I know P&G had vet writers behind the scenes not getting on air credit.  LeMay would only be listed as GL consultant during the Doug Anderson year. Then Phelps took LeMay to AW where he got creative consultant credit with King/Carlson.  I recall reading an article about Henry Slesar of Edge of Night where he revealed that in the late 80s (1988 I think) he was consulting on AW. He never was credited on air either.  Most viewers have no idea where all the plots originated because in many circumstances over the years the producers purchased long stories and brought in uncredited consultants.

The interview also validated for me that Stephen was not a natural head writer; Nancy was the visionary. He went on to other shows mostly as a solid break down writer, and interim co head on ATWT but never made it as a HW.  

I agree that Locher missed the boat on so many topics but, all in all, it was a great interview.  GL was lucky to have Nancy and that three year period in the show's history was its last best.

Edited by RavenWhitney
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I actually think the 88 to 90 period was not only well balanced, but had a sense of fun and whimsy along with the kitchen sink mentality NC spoke of.

I was a kid during the Adam Malick period...and my mom knew it was Roger the whole time..but went along for the ride because only Roger would do something like that.

So it sounds like Long came up with the Adam Malick angle..which NC didn't care for...but I think it all worked...imho.

I think Curlee and Long made a good team..each balancing one another out.  While 1991 to 1993 were quality years, there lacked excitement.  Everyone seemed too earnest.  Nadine lost her original spirit, Holly became too neurotic, Maureen became a tad too judgmental (and she didn't have Chelsea there to occasionally call her out, nor had as much humor as did under Long).

 

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6 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

Holly became too neurotic, Maureen became a tad too judgmental (and she didn't have Chelsea there to occasionally call her out, nor had as much humor as did under Long).

 

I did love biz smart, sarcastic wry Holly..so different then any other female character on a soap. I was hoping when Fletcher dumped her and took the kid she would return to that...but she became a stalker.. Where did Chelsea go when they wrote her off. I wouldn't have minded a recast Chelsea to come back after Mo since she was embedded with the Bauers already..to try to help Ed out with Chele and Bridget....and maybe get together with Rick. Just NO singing!

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2021 at 12:54 PM, Liberty City said:

Alan is definitely a niche interviewer. Sticks to a format that I don't believe he likes to break. I remember when people used to cuss, and his heart would stop as if he'd never heard the word before.

He's not even a particularly good interviewer, either. He interrupts, talks over people and doesn't do his homework (i.e. correctly pronouncing someone's name!). The best Locher Room episodes are when the guests get on a roll and with each other so the less Alan gets to speak, the better.

How many times does a guest finish a funny or touching anecdote and his only response is, "that's crazy"? Let's just say I only watch for the guests.

Edited by amybrickwallace
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1 minute ago, amybrickwallace said:

He's not even a particularly good interviewer, either. He interrupts, talks over people and doesn't do his homework (i.e. correctly pronouncing someone's name!). The best Locher Room episodes are when the guests get on a roll and with each other so the less Alan gets to speak, the better.

How many times does a guest finish a funny or touching anecdote and his only response is, "that's crazy"? Let's just say I only watch for the guests.

I think the original premise of The Locher Room should've kept, instead of him branching out to other soaps and trying to host a more conventional soap interview.

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47 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

 

How many times does a guest finish a funny or touching anecdote and his only response is, "that's crazy"? Let's just say I only watch for the guests.

This made me laugh out loud because it's so true and it grates on my nerves when he says that. He wastes so many opportunities to go deeper into something by just saying "That's so crazy". It immediately stops everyone from talking. How does one respond to "That's crazy"? It makes him seem simple. 

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I interpreted what Curlee said about the decision(s) to kill Maureen as partly declining to point fingers, for sure, but I'll buy that she was the one who committed to going all-in for realism.  That seemed to be her calling card.  I'm actually not sure JFP would have cared so much about making the death irreversible.  I agree the off-the-cuff story idea Curlee threw out about Roger wouldn't have worked for reasons discussed above, and I doubt Maureen being alive off-camera would have minimized the backlash anyway.  And I'm not sure anyone would have given their all to that story if it were just a typical soap opera "death" - including Curlee herself, based on what she said about the writing being influenced by her mother having died a few years before, which I had not heard her say before.

I do wish Curlee had spoken more about her thoughts on McKinsey's reasons for leaving while she was away, but I can see why she declined with her husband and co–head writer sitting there.  What would she have pushed back on as far as the Alex/Mindy dynamic, and/or how might she have blunted the impact on Alex's character?

The GH tidbit is fascinating.  Not only would their hiring have presumably meant a radically different direction for GH itself than the one in which it ended up going as 1996 wore on, but that year also seems like such a turning point for soaps as a whole in hindsight. 

Essentially all the soaps, or at least the non–creator owned ones, were in creative turmoil by year-end, and at the time that could realistically be blamed on the head writer turnover that was also happening across the board.  I can't help but wonder what would have happened if there had been a few more seasoned head writers in charge by midyear who were willing to go to the mat for their vision, back in those early days of Disney owning ABC (and the new guard at P&G, for that matter) when everyone was still figuring out how to work together.

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3 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

He's not even a particularly good interviewer, either. He interrupts, talks over people and doesn't do his homework (i.e. correctly pronouncing someone's name!). The best Locher Room episodes are when the guests get on a roll and with each other so the less Alan gets to speak, the better.

How many times does a guest finish a funny or touching anecdote and his only response is, "that's crazy"? Let's just say I only watch for the guests.

 Followed by noticeable silence and a drag in conversation. Somehow I heard the "that's crazy" exactly in his voice.

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Of course, he's not a journalist but it still wouldn't hurt him to do more research so he can ask decent questions. That way, there wouldn't be awkward pauses and inane comments from him. 

I did laugh when he asked one actress (I don't remember who the actress was) his go-to question of "do you remember your first day?" She simply said "yes" and left it at that. It was hilarious.

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2 minutes ago, amybrickwallace said:

Of course, he's not a journalist but it still wouldn't hurt him to do more research so he can ask decent questions. That way, there wouldn't be awkward pauses and inane comments from him. 

I did laugh when he asked one actress (I don't remember who the actress was) his go-to question of "do you remember your first day?" She simply said "yes" and left it at that. It was hilarious.

I think Alan relies a lot of his guests navigating dialogue... at least, that was in the initial "interviews," and unfortunate he is pushing for a more interview-type platform, and he isn't adapting himself for that.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

He's not even a particularly good interviewer, either. He interrupts, talks over people and doesn't do his homework (i.e. correctly pronouncing someone's name!). The best Locher Room episodes are when the guests get on a roll and with each other so the less Alan gets to speak, the better.

How many times does a guest finish a funny or touching anecdote and his only response is, "that's crazy"? Let's just say I only watch for the guests.

A spot on assessment. I can't stand him. 

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Edited by victoria foxton
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1 minute ago, Liberty City said:

I think Alan relies a lot of his guests navigating dialogue... at least, that was in the initial "interviews," and unfortunate he is pushing for a more interview-type platform, and he isn't adapting himself for that.

The best episodes of his show are when his guests start reminiscing with each other and end up almost ignoring him. That's not an insult to Alan, but the guests sometimes just kind of do the heavy lifting for him. It feels almost organic.

Today, I listened to the Mart Hulswit/Fran Myers episode. They were both terrific and I was especially charmed by Mart. His voice was so gentle yet commanding. I could have listened to him forever. I wanted to shush Alan every time he interrupted Mart and Fran.

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