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EricMontreal22

Best of Everything

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I've never thought much of this soap seeing as it was created by the awful James Lipton (soap killer extraordinare, Broadway musical writing hack, who now inexplicably, and famously, hosts, along with his massive ego, Inside the Actor's Studio) but I admit these youtube promos intrigue me--it seemed pretty racy for 1970 and had a very strong cast (lotsa Oscar talent). Was it canceled just cuz itand World Apart didn't do as well as AMC out of te new ABC 1970 soaps?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfKrrd8NLBM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flZ14xZylsQ

Edited by EricMontreal22

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Eric,thanks for starting this thread.This show and Hidden Faces have always interested me as they were both very short lived,yet launched at a time when soaps were pretty strong.

The ratings for TBOE were appalling.

I wonder what ABC's expectations were at the time.

It replaced Bewitched which moved to 11.30 as lead-in.The competition was Jeopardy on NBC and Where The Heart Is on CBS.

It boasted a good cast and name recognition,band ABC obviously wanted it to succeed but perhaps clearances were poor.In those days,some areas still did not have an ABC affiliate.

Incidentally,I met Patty McCormack at a film festival for her classic movie The Bad Seed.She was very approachable and charming.I mentioned Best of Everything and she said she had a great time on that show and made a best friend in Julie Mannix and that they are still friends today.

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LOVE the Bad Seed--that's great. I always like it when stars tell of good experiences at their soaps lol.

I have such a hate on for Lipton that this show has never had ANY interest for me--and while out of soaps from that 10 year era I'm still more sdesperate to see ANY of Where the Heart Is and Friends and Lovers/For RIcher for Poorer, I have to admit these promos have me very interested in seeing more. It feels like a very sophisticated show for its time, maybe too sophisticated (especially for an early morning time slot). Just compare it to this promo for AMC at the same time (which is I admit a GREAT promo--it woulda hooked me)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXwMBKsdPgI

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The soap also intrigues me, but I doubt if tapings still exist today. Going through archives, comparing it to articles of other soap operas, I can conclude that it only received little (press) attention by the time. I've read about storylines of a kid taking LSD. Unfortunately, not much is known about the show. I was curious about it, because the show features a dark-haired Kathy Glass and because I liked the 1959 film.

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Welcome Bojangles.

Re BOE,it looked like part of a concerted effort by ABC to get a soap block happening from noon till 1.30.Really,to cancel the show so quickly made no sense.

Apart from a few photos in various soap books,little exists on the show.

I was hoping to talk more to Patty McCormack at Palm Springs Film Noir Fest,but there was one particularly pushy chick that wanted Patty all to herself! Bitch was lucky I didn't go all Rhoda Penmark on her...

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I am a new member. I was a regular viewer of "The Best of Everything," and will be happy to share my memories should anyone be interested.

Brent Usher

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Welcome! The board just went through a down period for a few days so that may be why there haven't been any responses. Anything you have to tell us about the show, it would be great. Were there any characters or stories you particularly admired? What happened in the last episode?

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Welcome! The board just went through a down period for a few days so that may be why there haven't been any responses. Anything you have to tell us about the show, it would be great. Were there any characters or stories you particularly admired? What happened in the last episode?

Greetings to all:

I only just came across this response and I haven't much time at the moment. I noticed another poster saying that this program was "ahead of it's time,". I am not sure I am qualified to rule on that as I havent' watched a serial in decades and am sorely out of touch with modern trends in entertainment.

In my student days, however, I did watch "Secret Storm," "Edge of Night" and "Dark Shadows" as other activities, (chiefly homework!) permitted. "Secret Storm" was the best serial on the air in the 60's and I have many memories of it, --Joan Crawford's appearances were no where near as bad as many are lead to believe. I saw them and she comported herself professionally.

As to "Best of Everthing," contrary to what another poster surmised, the program DID receive it's fair share of publicity in the serial magazines, (I then subsribed to "Afternoon TV" which I wish I had saved.) What intriqued me was its star line up--Gale Sondergaard, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Patty McCormack--three movie stars of different generations, all of whom either won or were nominated for the Oscar. I am not sure that any other serial had this distinction.

My mother had thoroughley acquainted me with the Golden Age of Hollywood and so I had books, and photographs of all of these ladies, and marvelled at how beautiful Geraldine Fitzgerald had been during her youth. Miss McCormack was then coming off a movie phase wherein she was cast as young crime prone vixens, (titles like "The Mini-Skirt Mob" playing at our local drive in--were forbidden me by my parents). I had, however, read the play "The Bad Seed" and though I hadn't yet seen the film--I was sufficiently interested to carve out a spot for "The Best of Everything" during the summer it played, in the hours before I repaired to the swimming pool.

Will weigh in with more detail later, after I rack my memory banks! Best,

Brent Usher.

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Recollections of "Best of Everything"

I'll do my best to shed some light on the impressions this show made. I was of course, very young--Junior High, so my memories are patchy. It has been a long time.

"Best of Everything" was based on the Rona Jaffe novel of the late 50's which was successfully filmed in 1959. The serial was an update of the same basic yarn--three young secretaries in the steno pool of a major publishing house, are recruited to the executive suite where they are in daily interpersonal contact with the movers and shakers.

The typists were Patty McCormack, Julie Mannix, and Katherine Glass. There was a much reproduced promotional photo of them all walking in Central Park that appeared in the newspapers at that time.

Presumably, what an earlier poster meant by the show being ahead of its time was the emphasis on youth, and though the program featured two seniors, Misses Sondergaard and Fitzgerald, it does seem in retrospect like the the lion's share of the focus was on the young women.

Julie Mannix was very attractive with a beautiful head of hair, and a charmingly slight overbite. I was already familiar with her by virtue of her having been on "The Secret Storm." Patty McCormack was also very good looking. Both of these two had long blonde hair. Katherine Glass was the brunette who for whatever reason made less of an impression on me.

Gale Sondergaard was by this time, a wizened old woman with prominent teeth, who was at least given the benefit of a smashing wardbrobe, (the girls too were all very well dressed). Sondergaard's scenes (in my memory anyway) were largely confined to a salon or drawing room of the mansion her character inhabited, (she was a controlling owner of the publishing house.) The room was very elegant, with flocked wallpaper, crystal sconces, and many floral arrangements. Indeed, the sets from the show are something that stand out in my memory as being excellent--a cut above serial standards at that time, and though I don't know who the production designer was, I should not be surprised if it was Sy Thomashoff.

Sondergaard was the villainous and I particularly recall her elegant 5th Avenue diction.

Alas, my memories of particular plot lines is foggy, but I'll do my best.

Rochelle Oliver, vivid in my memory, owing to her prominent close set eyes, and shoulder length hair parted in the middle, was a young woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. She had many tense scenes with a young blonde man, who played her husband. I do not know if they were separated, or what caused the problems, (but being a soap probably adultery!) but I do remember a particular scene in which the husband was attempting to effect a reconcialation. He wanted to buy her a piece of jewelry and asked what she'd like. She answered "I'd like something in white enamel..." It's trivia I know but this kid did not know about enamel yet, and I was surprised she didn't ask for something in gold or silver. Forgive how minor this detail is.

There was another plot involving a very sinister character named "Squirrel" played by Gregory Rosakis. Mr. Rosakis was Italian with very sensual facial features and a mop of tousled, uncombed black curly hair. He insinuated himself into Katherine Glass's family under the pretext of being her suitor.

This greatly upset her mother, Geraldine Fitzgerald, who expressed concern that he drove a motorcyle upon which her daughter would be a passenger. She tried to forbid it, and I remember the scene where everyone tried to calm her down--that it was OK, and that she had to get up with the times.

Miss Fitzgerald was by this time, heavy, and also wore her long dark hair shoulder length, (which was doubly aging). Her legendary beauty was by this time quite gone--she played a warm sort of earth mother, who was a confidant to all the office girls. While I do not remember the domestic arrangements of any of the three young leads, I DO remember scenes taking place in the apt. of Fitzgerald and her husband, an avuncular man. Though I don't know whether the plot outline will bear this out, I recall them as being rather academic, bookish types, and wonder if they were connected with a university etc.

Fitgerald turned out to be right about Squirrel. He was a pusher who operated out of an apartment in the slums. Very dangerous guy. Somehow or other Katherine Glass got on to him, and he figured she was about to blow the whistle. Afterwards, she was savagely attacked at night on a dark street, (more on this in a moment).

Someone asked about memorable scenes--2 stick out.

First, a little boy, about say 12 or 13 wondered into the laboratory one day, (there was a lab in this show--I am not sure in what connection, but I remember the shelves with glass phials etc.--I believe the handsome young dark headed doctor, (another Italian) may have worked in the lab.

Anyhow, the plot had by this point indicated that a pan of brownies were laced with LSD! This was probably somehow Squirrel's doing, but I don't remember who they were intended for. Anyway, the boy innocently at a brownie and immediately dropped to the floor and began writhing, screaming, gyrating etc. I was about his age, and have always wondered if that is the immediate effect LSD would have.

The other memorable scene, which was on the Labor Day show, (I was off from school and tape recorded it, though I can no longer locate the tape) featured a night club sequence. The dark headed doctor took a date to the club, and shortly after they had been seated a Vegas like announcer said "Ladies and Gentleman--Miss Connie Eaton!". At this point, a pretty young woman, elaborately coiffed and gowned, took to the stage and sang the programs title song. I was astonished that the melodic instrumental that I liked so much under the shows's opening credits had lyrics! The song was arranged and delivered very much in the Petula Clark mode. An effective song, which was in its own way and on its own terms, just as good as the also excellent Johnny Mathis theme for the 59 film.

The show's music was unusual in that, (like Dark Shadows) it did not use the organ but had symphonic underscoring.

My FINAL memory of the show, occurred about a week before it was cancelled, when owing to a doctor's appointment I got some time off from school. It was then that I saw Katherine Glass lying in an alley, amidst shattered glass, and slowly getting to her feet, with multiple injuries and staggering about seeking help. She had been severely beaten up, and left for dead. Very lurid and creepy.

The show's closing credits featured sea gulls! surprising since it was set in Manhatten.

Hope these patchy recollections are worth your consideration.

All Best,

BU

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Thanks so much, that was a great amount of detail! I wonder if whoever wrote the LSD-laced brownies sequence went on to write for Ryan's Hope, they did the same story with Rae Woodard, thanks to her evil daughter Kimberly. And Gale was also on RH briefly, in 1976, as Seneca Beaulac's mother.

It sounds like Kathy Glass was put in some tough stories. Did you watch when she played Jenny Wolek later on?

At the time did the show stand out to you as being better, or worse, than other soaps you were watching? Do you think if the show had been given more of a chance it might have been a hit?

Edited by CarlD2

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It's really sad that today's soaps think druhs like Marijuana and Pain Killers are interesting.

I want to see LSD/Cocaine (even though this is still a weaker drug)/Heroine/Meth.

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Thanks so much, that was a great amount of detail! I wonder if whoever wrote the LSD-laced brownies sequence went on to write for Ryan's Hope, they did the same story with Rae Woodard, thanks to her evil daughter Kimberly. And Gale was also on RH briefly, in 1976, as Seneca Beaulac's mother.

It sounds like Kathy Glass was put in some tough stories. Did you watch when she played Jenny Wolek later on?

At the time did the show stand out to you as being better, or worse, than other soaps you were watching? Do you think if the show had been given more of a chance it might have been a hit?

I didn't see the later programs you reference with Kathy Glass. How did the Rae Woodard LSD sequence play out? Did the LSD have an immediate effect?

As to "Best of Everything" vs. other soaps then, the main point I would make by way of comparison is that it had 3 major motion picture names in it.

With reference to whether it would have lasted--I'm not sure--though I do think the ratings had improved, and I definately recall Gale Sondergaard telling the press that it had not been a ratings issue. Others have suggested problems re: the rights via Rona Jaffe, although I am sure that was all ironed out legally before it went on the air in the first place. In any case they didn't give it much time. I found it gripping in any case.

Best,

BU

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P.S.--Re: The Best of Everything. 5/25/10

If you wish to see a publicity photo of the 4 young actresses from "BOE" go to E-bay and type in Patty McCormack. Item #A2714 depicts her and the 3 others in a somber pose on a Victorian settee.

BU

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I didn't see the later programs you reference with Kathy Glass. How did the Rae Woodard LSD sequence play out? Did the LSD have an immediate effect?

In 1975 or 1976 Kathy played Jenny Wolek on OLTL. Her main story as Jenny was about deciding to abandon her plans to become a nun, so she could marry her soulmate, Tim Siegel (played by Tom Berenger). During an argument with Jenny's cousin Vince, Tim fell down a flight of stairs, and Jenny married him on his deathbed. When she left the role it was recast with Brynn Thayer.

Now that I think about it the RH story may have involved pot, not LSD. Sorry. (Her daughter wanted to set her up with a man so she drugged their brownies, but the man didn't show up, so Rae ate them all, and ended up falling off the balcony and being put in traction).

General Hospital did have an LSD story in 1978 or so. Heather Webber wanted to slip her rival a mickey with LSD to try to discredit her, but the drinks were switched and Heather drank it, resulting in her being institutionalized for several years.

That's interesting, what you mention about the ratings not being an issue. I didn't even know how many times actors were interviewed about their soaps back then. Was Gale interviewed for a daytime TV type magazine?

I can't remember what replaced Best of Everything. Did you ever watch that?

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