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OLTL: Question about 1991 story


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Phillyvideofan has put up some clips from a story I only barely remember reading about, I think on the old OLTL History Pages, or perhaps in the anniversary book from 1998. Basically, Cord and Tina believe Clint is having an affair with a poet in PINE VALLEY and Viki, who is appalled at this idea, has to drive to PINE VALLEY to see for herself. Viki FREAKS OUT in a very...melodramatic performance from Erika Slezak. Only this woman, who is played by the utterly sublime Olivia Birkelund (not so much here but in her work as Arlene on AMC), is a poet AND a medical doctor, and has been helping Clint through a medical problem which is supposed to be terminal, going back to when he was shot by Jamie Sanders. This leads to some strong stuff with Clint and Viki and Clint trying to handle death, and some good scenes where the family is told, although that weird Spock-looking Kevin recast, Joey Thrower or Matthew Vipond I can never remember which, bothers me.

Anyway, can anyone who knows all the backstage history to a tee or who was watching at the time tell me if this story was very late Rauch and, was this when Leah Laiman was there? Or is this very early Linda Gottlieb and...she was there for a while without Malone wasn't she? The heightened hysteria and fakeouts and sense of family remind me more of Rauch, but I read that Gottlieb did a lot of very quick stories early in her run and this seemed like a quick story. There are a lot of Rauch characters here (Rafe, Jake, Nicholas Walker Max) but I don't know if they were still there when Gottlieb took over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBAAGQE-gVA&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7ejhcX8xe0&feature=channel

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Thanks! So Laiman was gone by this time?

Did you think Carlson and DePriest were any good with this show or were they not around long enough for you to say? Did they write Jake's exit or was that Gottlieb?

I know OLTL was pretty much creatively bankrupt at this point but I do still like the strong Buchanan family dynamics here, which were whittled away under Gottlieb (although they only really went away starting in the mid/late 90s).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi0oFTUzfUg&feature=channel

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Oh and does anyone know if the Sondra character, the woman who helped Clint, would have stayed around if there wasn't a regime change? Didn't Sarah Gordon kind of come in this same way, as Clint's helper?

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I haven't finished watching all the clips yet, but I'm also unfamiliar with this s/l. I am such a fan of LG's tenure and I know that ES is not, and I believe that has something to do with Viki's cheating on Clint (among other things). Learning about this here s/l, I wonder if ES felt that her Viki looked bad enough as an adulterer but to add insult to injury came across as an awful hypocrite too given her reaction to Clint's alleged cheating.

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So Laiman was gone by this time?

I believe so. Maggie DePriest, who had been an Associate Head Writer under Carlson and Laiman, was promoted to Co-HW after Laiman's exit. For the record, DePriest's previous gig had been as HW at AMC, but Agnes Nixon replaced her after ratings dropped; and before Carlson and Laiman served as HW, they were AHW's for S. Michael Schnessel.

Did you think Carlson and DePriest were any good with this show or were they not around long enough for you to say? Did they write Jake's exit or was that Gottlieb?

If you're talking about Megan's death/"Escape from Jaba City," then that (Jake/Joe Lando's departure) was during Gottlieb and Michael Malone.

Even while it was happening, I thought there was a lot of crap going on - Badderley, Johnny Dee, Megan's split personality (at least, I think it was a split personality - she was w/ Marco Dane, that much I know), the early Cain/Tina stuff, the (good Lord) rap storyline - that just plain didn't work. (Not sure if Carlson and/or DePriest were singlehandedly responsible for all that, but given the timelines and such, they certainly had a hand in it.) However, in retrospect, it was probably the last time OLTL felt like OLTL. Either way, though, Carlson and DePriest weren't exactly trailblazing visionaries. They just kept stories progressing and characters in check without too many WTF? moments.

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I wonder if ES felt that her Viki looked bad enough as an adulterer but to add insult to injury came across as an awful hypocrite too given her reaction to Clint's alleged cheating.

I think Gottlieb and Malone (and Josh Griffith) tried to give Viki enough "justification" for cheating on Clint, but I don't think they knew or appreciated just how much Clint and Viki had withstood through the years to have one or the other risk it all for an indiscretion. Even when Viki was tempted by Megan's dad, Roger Gordon, she ultimately chose to remain faithful to Clint.

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If you're talking about Megan's death/"Escape from Jaba City," then that (Jake/Joe Lando's departure) was during Gottlieb and Michael Malone.

For some reason I thought that Joe Lando had left the show when Jake was captured in Jaba City, then Lando returned for the story where Megan, who went off the rails after Jake was gone, died. I haven't seen very much of that actual time period though, I guess I should look more (I don't know if the clips of her partying and basically killing herself are online or not).

This era of the show does seem like a mess. Megan started playing Ruby Bright for Fraternity Row or for fun times with Marco, then when she was traumatized by Austin Buchanan shooting Viki, she actually DID become Ruby. Ruby and Marco had fun adventures, but Marco took her back to her family for help, even though Ruby genuinely loved him.

I think Cain and Tina might have been Gottlieb and Malone, although I don't know the timelines on that either, I can never completely remember if Cord was gone (presumed dead) when Cain showed up in Llanview.

The time period which usually confuses me most is between when Gabrielle left (I assume all this was Rauch), when Jake was in Jaba City, and when people like Luna began appearing and when Rafe, Dan Wolek, Brenda McGillis, Nick Walker's Max, etc. got their walking papers.

It always intrigues me because I think in Rauch's last few years he still managed to create some interesting, if very repetitive, stuff that was made stronger thanks to Gabrielle, Megan, Viki, and he even did an OK job recasting a role which is in many ways unrecastable (Tina). Yet so much else seemed to be off. So I wonder sometimes what he might have had in mind if he'd stayed around, what he was putting onscreen not long before he was replaced, and so on.

I guess one example of late Rauch bad writing/campy entertainment was the DuAnn stuff. This with Viki calling her "honey" always cracks me up.

I think one of the biggest changes when I see this turnover period was that I think Rauch got Asa, whereas the early Gottlieb/Malone stuff seems a bit horrified by him and uses him as a nasty man constantly dismissing Renee or being used to shore up pity points for Lee Ann. Do you know if Lee Ann was brought in with Rauch or with Gottlieb? I guess he created the awful Stephanie, played by John Wayne Bobbitt's friend.

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I think Gottlieb and Malone (and Josh Griffith) tried to give Viki enough "justification" for cheating on Clint, but I don't think they knew or appreciated just how much Clint and Viki had withstood through the years to have one or the other risk it all for an indiscretion. Even when Viki was tempted by Megan's dad, Roger Gordon, she ultimately chose to remain faithful to Clint.

When I watch that story I can see where Viki was drawn to Sloan and where she cared for him and where he brought her to a new part of her life, but I just wish they hadn't treated Clint the way they did, the worst being the scene where, as he beats up Sloan, Viki tries to stop him and he almost backhands her. Clint wasn't a saint (he threatened to "snap Maria's neck" once - then again, as much fun as she was, I think even Carol Brady might have put Maria in traction), but I don't believe he would ever, even reflexively, raise his hand to Viki, and seeing scenes like "Viki can't talk to Clint because she fears a beating" just take away from the power the storyline had.

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Something else with this timeframe I was wondering:

Does anyone know if it was Rauch or Gottlieb who brought in Laura Bonarringo as Cassie? That timeframe with Bo I don't know a lot about. Was Bo ever actually with Alex after Sarah "died"? Did she stay on the show that whole time and just slowly go insane? Did Rauch or did Gottlieb start the Cassie/Bo romance? I know Gottlieb is the one who did the episodes where Cassie and Bo married and then Alex brought Sarah back from the dead -- pretty decent stuff, OTT but I think OTT suited characters like Alex the most.

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For some reason I thought that Joe Lando had left the show when Jake was captured in Jaba City, then Lando returned for the story where Megan, who went off the rails after Jake was gone, died.

That's right; he did. I wasn't sure, however, whether you were asking about Jake's departure for Jaba City, or his second exit after Megan's death.

Megan started playing Ruby Bright for Fraternity Row or for fun times with Marco, then when she was traumatized by Austin Buchanan shooting Viki, she actually DID become Ruby.

Ironically enough, Dena Higley really was making a nod toward history w/ the original Jess/Tess story (though, I doubt she knew at all about Megan, let alone Ruby). Ain't that a kick in the head!

I think Cain and Tina might have been Gottlieb and Malone, although I don't know the timelines on that either, I can never completely remember if Cord was gone (presumed dead) when Cain showed up in Llanview.

Nah, Tina/Cain was definitely Carlson and DePriest's story at the start. I can't recall whether it was Malone's first or second "official" day as HW, but the first time I recognized a definite change in the HW'ing guard was the double-cross (on Cain) that he'd scripted for Cord and Tina. Then, Malone added to that story by introducing Angela Halliday (Holliday?), turning what had been a rather pedestrian Cord/Tina caper into a serious (and seriously boring) romantic quadrangle.

The time period which usually confuses me most is between when Gabrielle left (I assume all this was Rauch), when Jake was in Jaba City, and when people like Luna began appearing and when Rafe, Dan Wolek, Brenda McGillis, Nick Walker's Max, etc. got their walking papers.

All early Gottlieb/Malone, with the exception of Fiona Hutchison's departure. IIRC, Hutchison and Rauch both addressed her exit at the time in an article for SOD, saying it basically came down to money, and that then-incoming ABCD Vice-President Dennis Swanson, who'd been transplanted from the network's sports division, sure was making his presence felt by playing hardball on financial matters (...or something like that).

Do you know if Lee Ann was brought in with Rauch or with Gottlieb? I guess he created the awful Stephanie, played by John Wayne Bobbitt's friend.

Rauch brought in Lee Ann and Stephanie, I'm afraid. Gottlieb and Malone did many things I didn't like, but one thing they did do that I did like was get rid of those two first chance they got.

When I watch that story I can see where Viki was drawn to Sloan and where she cared for him and where he brought her to a new part of her life, but I just wish they hadn't treated Clint the way they did, the worst being the scene where, as he beats up Sloan, Viki tries to stop him and he almost backhands her. Clint wasn't a saint (he threatened to "snap Maria's neck" once - then again, as much fun as she was, I think even Carol Brady might have put Maria in traction), but I don't believe he would ever, even reflexively, raise his hand to Viki, and seeing scenes like "Viki can't talk to Clint because she fears a beating" just take away from the power the storyline had.

Can't argue with you there. Michael Malone did not "get" Clint at all.

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Something else with this timeframe I was wondering:

Does anyone know if it was Rauch or Gottlieb who brought in Laura Bonarringo as Cassie? That timeframe with Bo I don't know a lot about. Was Bo ever actually with Alex after Sarah "died"? Did she stay on the show that whole time and just slowly go insane? Did Rauch or did Gottlieb start the Cassie/Bo romance? I know Gottlieb is the one who did the episodes where Cassie and Bo married and then Alex brought Sarah back from the dead -- pretty decent stuff, OTT but I think OTT suited characters like Alex the most.

Laura Bonarringo came in at the very very end of Rauch's tenure, so he cast her, though she didn't work under him for more than a month.

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Does anyone know if it was Rauch or Gottlieb who brought in Laura Bonarringo as Cassie?

Gottlieb. IIRC, Michael Malone penned a "meet-cute" scene for Bo and Cassie where the two stumbled into each other and Cassie's suitcase accidentally opened, causing all her underwear to fall out.

Was Bo ever actually with Alex after Sarah "died"? Did she stay on the show that whole time and just slowly go insane?

Yes, and yes - although, I hesitate to say Alex's descent into madness was slow. It seems to me like there was no time at all between Bo and Alex's relationship petering out, Alex causing "accidents" to herself in order to get his attention, and Alex trying to drown Shelley Winters Cassie in that "A Place in the Sun" ripoff remote on Loon Lake.

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I wonder what plans Rauch might have had for Megan on her own if he was there when Jake left the first time. I guess it was common knowledge that Jessica Tuck was also leaving.

Nah, Tina/Cain was definitely Carlson and DePriest's story at the start. I can't recall whether it was Malone's first or second "official" day as HW, but the first time I recognized a definite change in the HW'ing guard was the double-cross (on Cain) that he'd scripted for Cord and Tina. Then, Malone added to that story by introducing Angela Halliday (Holliday?), turning what had been a rather pedestrian Cord/Tina caper into a serious (and seriously boring) romantic quadrangle.

That's fascinating, I had always assumed that Cain was all Malone.

I liked Angela Holiday, although I liked her relationship with Dorian and her genuine fondness for Rebecca more than the caper and con stuff...I think everyone involved did a good job with the performances but it's a bit "cute" and also a tricky balance between Tina the con and Tina the loving mother (which they generally pulled off, but Malone decided to thrash her character over and over after that anyway).

So Rauch was out not too long after Gabrielle then? Did they ever say what they were going to do with Max? I wonder if Rauch was also planning to bring JDP back. I know JDP hated the Luna stuff but I think that was probably a decent direction for the character.

Rauch brought in Lee Ann and Stephanie, I'm afraid. Gottlieb and Malone did many things I didn't like, but one thing they did do that I did like was get rid of those two first chance they got.

Did Rauch cast both Joey Thrower and Matthew Vipond Kevin? I never remember which is which. They're just so awful.

Sorry for all the questions, I know there are probably no answers to some of these. This is one of those where the transition period is most interesting because the two regimes were so completely different.

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