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ATWT: Your view on the Snyder family


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So, as ATWT winds down, the 25 year anniversary of the Snyder debut is not too far off. The Snyders, albeit in a reduced fashion, have been a major part of ATWT from their arrival. I know some hate the family and see them as being grafted onto the show by Marland at the expense of some other core families. And then others may have started watching because of the Snyders, or iconic stories they were involved in, such as the Holden/Lily romance.

What did you think of the family? Who were your favorite or least favorite members of the family?

For me, the family worked best when they were about the dynamics between the siblings and with Emma, and how they affected other characters. Marland and the producers at that time (I guess it was Robert Calhoun) cast actors who were by and large not only very talented, but also believable as siblings. The relationships were also extremely believable, even if some of the partner-swapping dragged that down.

I think starting around 1993 or 1994 when most of the early Snyders were going for good or were hard to care about, there wasn't much left for the family, and since that time it's been more a spattering of individual characters (Holden, Meg, and the cousin, Jack) who have driven story. The days where they were an actual family unit seem long gone. Or I guess I should say the family unit of the mother and the big family and their history. I know Holden has his own family now, and Jack has his own family. I just don't see the collective Snyder bond that was once there.

My favorite Snyders have always been Seth and Iva, and when Michael David Morrison was in the role, Caleb. I always felt a strong connection to Iva and her pain, even if it almost became a self-parody at some points. Lisa Brown was just so damn good. In some ways she might have been too good, as that character has followed her performances everywhere since leaving ATWT, but she was a big reason why I got hooked on the show. Just something about her eyes and her voice and how she kept on trying no matter what. Seth, the big brother, sensitive, noble, yet also capable of being stupid. Caleb, the hothead who couldn't shake Julie. Looking back I think I might have had a crush on Morrison which made me blind to some of the character's more annoying traits.

My least favorite Snyders were Meg (what I did see of Jennifer Ashe's Meg, which was mostly visits, was her being a buttinsky...I don't dislike Marie Wilson's Meg but I don't really care about her), Holden up to about 1997 (I haven't had a big problem with him since his return but my apathy towards him turned into white-hot loathing starting around 1993-1994, especially when he took Aaron from Iva and dumped him off on Emma at every opportunity), and Graham Winton's Caleb never did a lot for me, I thought he was just a self-righteous bore and I kept hoping Julie would find someone more entertaining. Honorable mention goes to John Lopreino's Brad, who was ugh ugh ugh ugh on every level.

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Great thread. Although I think I've loved almost everything else about ATWT, I don't like the Snyders, never have. Emma always struck me as the worst hypocrite in all of daytime to have raised the amoral brood she raised, and to have always passed judgment on others. I know some loved her 'onion speech' to Carly (that Carly was like an onion, peel back the layers and there's nothing there) but I hated it and grew to loathe the partner swapping Snyders even more.

The only Snyder I ever liked was Caleb -- and only because he was the black sheep of the family, but the only honest one about what a greedy manipulator he was. He owned his crap and I loved the character even when I shouldn't have. Michael David Morrison was a brilliant actor (what a tragic loss) who gave Caleb a brilliant touch of vulnerability. The writers must have seen it in MDM too and I think it's why they trusted him enough with the Angel Lang storyline. They were two wounded birds. When Caleb broke down knowing what he cost her, AH! A beautiful moment.

Outside of that, the Snyders were all the same, too whiny, too needy, and in the case of Meg and pre-reformed Holden - too greedy.

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I have to admit that I ignored most of the tongue-lashings Emma gave Carly. I thought they were ridiculous and I never liked Rosanna being shoehorned into the family in the first place (I know it was all supposed to be like early Lily but even Lily didn't go into all those long whines about how she hated having money and she just needed to spend her time baling hay). I just treated Emma like I treat a relative I love but sometimes can't listen to. I really miss what Emma used to be, I guess up to about 1993 or 1994 -- sorry I keep bringing up those years again and again. She could still be self-righteous and angry and the mama bear but she also laughed and smiled more and had more of a life of her own.

I thought the Angel stuff was tremendous, and all the performances were underrated. On paper, Angel being with all the Snyder brothers should have been just awful, but onscreen I bought all the relationships and was moved by her stories with Caleb and with Seth.

You sum up Morrison's Caleb so well. He was such a strong presence, and he was such a beautiful man, even with all those demons which he apparently had offscreen as well as on.And I had known so many people like his Caleb, as I'd known a lot of people like Iva, so I think I was drawn to them for that reason as well.

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I think only Marland could ever write for this family, and it's showed since he died...

ITA. And even under Marland, they were damn annoying and the way they shared significant others was downright incestuous. Emma and homespun lectures, Iva and her whining got on my last nerve as did Holden, Seth, and Caleb. Meg and Ellie were the only two I didn't want to slap on a regular basis. I loved that Meg went her own way and never really fit in with that family. Since I adored William Fitchner who made me feel for Josh, Meg and Josh were one of my favorite couples. Let me add that I cheered when Ellie got Kirk. Iva felt that Kirk should wait on her forever. Ridiculous.

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I have to admit that I ignored most of the tongue-lashings Emma gave Carly. I thought they were ridiculous and I never liked Rosanna being shoehorned into the family in the first place (I know it was all supposed to be like early Lily but even Lily didn't go into all those long whines about how she hated having money and she just needed to spend her time baling hay)...

Ditto! I never understood why the Snyders didn't just shake Ro out of her shoes when she started complaining about how hard her life was, unlike Emma - who lost a husband, or Iva - dealing with what she believed to be an incestuous sexual assault, or the other snyders.

I can admit that I use to want to like Meg. She was such a fun bad girl, just awful and she always took things one step too far. Jennifer Ashe had that look that seemed to make you think Meg was snarling, even when she wasn't. I'm lukewarm about Marie Wilson's take on Meg, but JA? Priceless.

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Marie Wilson as Meg was an insult to Jennifer Ashe's Meg.

Before Emma's annoying lectures to Carly, I used to find her frequent lectures Lucinda about Lily intolerable. Emma's children were a freaking mess who did she think she was passing out advice on how to be a good mother. Egads.

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I loved them all. Some more than others--but I loved the show so much when Doug Marland wrote it, that the good feelings outweigh the bad.

Jack is obviously my fave. :D

I know some bitch that the Hughes and Stewarts deserve more focus as the show ends...but I realized I've never really been as wrapped up in them as the Snyders. Some of that is because of my age...but for instance, I've never really "loved" Tom Hughes. I really don't have any memories of Justin Deas in the role, but for a majority of my experience, Tom has been an uptight blowhard.

ETA---and since I don't really recall Emma's "onion speech" to Carly, I still love her.

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ITA. And even under Marland, they were damn annoying and the way they shared significant others was downright incestuous. Emma and homespun lectures, Iva and her whining got on my last nerve as did Holden, Seth, and Caleb. Meg and Ellie were the only two I didn't want to slap on a regular basis. I loved that Meg went her own way and never really fit in with that family. Since I adored William Fitchner who made me feel for Josh, Meg and Josh were one of my favorite couples. Let me add that I cheered when Ellie got Kirk. Iva felt that Kirk should wait on her forever. Ridiculous.

When I started watching the Youtube episodes of Meg, I had mixed feelings on her, because Jennifer Ashe was very spirited and Meg's role in the family made a lot of sense, she needed to be there, yet she was also as princessy as Lily, even though she resented Lily (although I couldn't blame her there). She was also a little too hyperactive for me.

The story with Josh I was really impressed by. The chemistry between Jennifer Ashe and Bill Fitchner was beyond intense and there was such a rawness and an intimacy in their scenes together. And Jennifer's work as Meg at that point was very layered, she was still young and vulnerable but also jaded and needing to be healed.

I can't remember a lot of Ellie now, but at the time I thought she was a fun offbeat character yet she still seemed believable and there was a certain lost quality to her, and an intelligence. That type of character, like Felicia on B&B or Siobhan on Ryan's Hope, they are what I miss on soaps.

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I can't remember a lot of Ellie now, but at the time I thought she was a fun offbeat character yet she still seemed believable and there was a certain lost quality to her, and an intelligence. That type of character, like Felicia on B&B or Siobhan on Ryan's Hope, they are what I miss on soaps.

Poor Ellie.

It's surprising ATWT didn't recast her when they recast Meg with Marie Wilson.

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I loved them all. Some more than others--but I loved the show so much when Doug Marland wrote it, that the good feelings outweigh the bad.

Jack is obviously my fave. :D

I know some bitch that the Hughes and Stewarts deserve more focus as the show ends...but I realized I've never really been as wrapped up in them as the Snyders. Some of that is because of my age...but for instance, I've never really "loved" Tom Hughes. I really don't have any memories of Justin Deas in the role, but for a majority of my experience, Tom has been an uptight blowhard.

ETA---and since I don't really recall Emma's "onion speech" to Carly, I still love her.

When I started watching ATWT the Stewarts were Emily, Susan, and Ellen. I didn't know of any of the others until Dani came to live with Ellen or Susan or whoever and Betsy stopped in briefly (I think Ellen was still on the show then wasn't she?). I didn't really know what I had missed. Now that I've seen more of them through Youtube, I like Betsy a lot, and I wish they could have found a way to keep her around, but I don't know if the others (Annie, Dee) were a huge loss to the show. I think the family was already pretty much on the way out even before the Snyders.

The Hughes I did love and I guess I can see where people would feel the Snyders supplanted them but for me they always felt like they were an equal part of the show. They both had a lot of stories under Marland. Then after a few years, when Valente came in, he took an axe to both families. Actually under his tenure I would say the Hughes had more to do than the Snyders did. I think the show was trying to phase them out and replace them with the Kasnoffs. It was only the return of Jon Hensley and the last minute decision to make Jack a Snyder cousin which really kicked the family into a second gear. Even then I don't think Holden has driven story in a long time, and while Jack has had his share of story it has often been about hyping other people (Reid/David, Hunt Block's Craig, Katie, Janet, etc.). I can't really say for Marie Wilson's Meg because I had pretty much stopped watching before she showed up and only started back again regularly when she was turned into NutMeg.

As for Tom, pre-Youtube I only ever really knew Scott Holmes. I loved Tom and Margo when they had their humor, but sometime around the time Valente came in that left them and has never come back, sadly.

Poor Ellie.

It's surprising ATWT didn't recast her when they recast Meg with Marie Wilson.

I guess they thought they could do more with Meg (although considering her very tumultuous story with Josh, which they basically ignored, I'm surprised they didn't see Ellie as an easier option), but it does seem strange she came back out of nowhere while Ellie stayed there.

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