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Some stuff from Marland's bible

My intention with Clem's introduction (along with using his presence to great advantage in Lily's story) was to introduce a struggling, lower income family of Holdens as a much needed contrast to the upper middle class family units that now dominate the tapestry of ATWT. Since we must assume that the more rural areas that surround Oakdale would certainly include farms and their farmers (and since to my knowledge there's no such family existing on other daytime dramas), I feel the contribution such a family might make to the overall canvas of our series, would be invaluable. In my final notes you will see the list of existing characters I would suggest writing out and my reasons for their exodus. This would afford us the opportunity (and budget) to bring in the Holdens and the added richness to existing storylines I see them contributing strongly to. I don't suggest we suddenly flood the screen with several new characters, but rather introduce them as needed, always keeping other family members and close friends alive off screen as possible antagonists or protagonists for future story complications. In looking carefully at the Hughes family unit, Lisa, Brian, Barbara, certainly Lucinda and her brood, there seems to be no representation of the "have nots" in our society who want the comfort and financial ease that is represented by our more affluent, successful characters. Clem of course is one of those "have nots" who can make a dramatic and sexy contribution to the Lily/Dusty storyline, but I feel the gradual introduction of other members of the Holden clan are necessary in time to allow us to understand Clem better by learning more of his background. I urge your consideration of this point, believing it would add realism to the series and broaden its audience appeal.)

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2 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

Some stuff from Marland's bible

My intention with Clem's introduction (along with using his presence to great advantage in Lily's story) was to introduce a struggling, lower income family of Holdens as a much needed contrast to the upper middle class family units that now dominate the tapestry of ATWT. Since we must assume that the more rural areas that surround Oakdale would certainly include farms and their farmers (and since to my knowledge there's no such family existing on other daytime dramas), I feel the contribution such a family might make to the overall canvas of our series, would be invaluable. In my final notes you will see the list of existing characters I would suggest writing out and my reasons for their exodus. This would afford us the opportunity (and budget) to bring in the Holdens and the added richness to existing storylines I see them contributing strongly to. I don't suggest we suddenly flood the screen with several new characters, but rather introduce them as needed, always keeping other family members and close friends alive off screen as possible antagonists or protagonists for future story complications. In looking carefully at the Hughes family unit, Lisa, Brian, Barbara, certainly Lucinda and her brood, there seems to be no representation of the "have nots" in our society who want the comfort and financial ease that is represented by our more affluent, successful characters. Clem of course is one of those "have nots" who can make a dramatic and sexy contribution to the Lily/Dusty storyline, but I feel the gradual introduction of other members of the Holden clan are necessary in time to allow us to understand Clem better by learning more of his background. I urge your consideration of this point, believing it would add realism to the series and broaden its audience appeal.)

 

Interesting. So at what point was the last name changed to Snyder I wonder. It's hard to believe there were no other rural characters on other soaps at this time. I thought there were some on Another World. I didn't watch AW but weren't the Frames lower class, and didn't Sharlene Frame live on a farm?

 

I'd like to see his list of people he was writing off. Did he change his mind on any of those? What possible reason could he have given for writing Maggie, Frank and baby Jill off? There was so much they could have done with them. Plus it was nice having a female attorney on a soap since they were rare in daytime, especially in the 80s.

 

He did flood the canvas with newbies. By the end of 85 he'd added Holden, Emma and Iva (Meg would appear the second week of January 86), plus there was Harriet Corbman and all those characters for the Doug Cummings mystery. And he had Tonio in the wings to complicate Craig and Sierra's relationship.

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22 minutes ago, JarrodMFiresofLove said:

 

Interesting. So at what point was the last name changed to Snyder I wonder. It's hard to believe there were no other rural characters on other soaps at this time. I thought there were some on Another World. I didn't watch AW but weren't the Frames lower class, and didn't Sharlene Frame live on a farm?

 

I'd like to see his list of people he was writing off. Did he change his mind on any of those? What possible reason could he have given for writing Maggie, Frank and baby Jill off? There was so much they could have done with them. Plus it was nice having a female attorney on a soap since they were rare in daytime, especially in the 80s.

 

He did flood the canvas with newbies. By the end of 85 he'd added Holden, Emma and Iva (Meg would appear the second week of January 86), plus there was Harriet Corbman and all those characters for the Doug Cummings mystery. And he had Tonio in the wings to complicate Craig and Sierra's relationship.

About a decade ago, Tom Casiello had a blog that looked at Marland's bible. His bible only referenced two new characters: Doug Cummings and Clem Holden. He discussed writing out Maggie, Frank, Jay, Heather Dalton, and Cal Randolph, all of whom were written out. He also discussed writing out Paul and Andy.

 

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14 minutes ago, robbwolff said:

About a decade ago, Tom Casiello had a blog that looked at Marland's bible. His bible only referenced two new characters: Doug Cummings and Clem Holden. He discussed writing out Maggie, Frank, Jay, Heather Dalton, and Cal Randolph, all of whom were written out. He also discussed writing out Paul and Andy.

 

 

Well he did write out Paul in 85. In those newspaper synopses it says that Barbara sent Paul away to a boarding school. Obviously done to age him off camera. He came back in time for James' return from the dead in late 86. I don't know about Andy-- did they age him/recast him too?

 

I still think it was a mistake to write out Maggie, as she was connected to Lyla and Lyla's brood. Even though the bible only mentioned Clem Holden there is the comment that Marland planned to bring in the rest of that family. And he wasted no time doing that. Holden was introduced in mid-October 85 and Emma and Iva were on screen the first week of November, with Meg appearing two months later in the new year.

 

Today a headwriter would not be able to write out someone like Heather Dalton. A token minority character would not get cut. She might experience a reduction in screen time but she would not get fired. I agree that Cal Randolph had run his course by this point and was deadwood. Ditto for Jay.

Edited by JarrodMFiresofLove

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15 minutes ago, JarrodMFiresofLove said:

 

Well he did write out Paul in 85. In those newspaper synopses it says that Barbara sent Paul away to a boarding school. Obviously done to age him off camera. He came back in time for James' return from the dead in late 86. I don't know about Andy-- did they age him/recast him too?

 

I still think it was a mistake to write out Maggie, as she was connected to Lyla and Lyla's brood. Even though the bible only mentioned Clem Holden there is the comment that Marland planned to bring in the rest of that family. And he wasted no time doing that. Holden was introduced in mid-October 85 and Emma and Iva were on screen the first week of November, with Meg appearing two months later in the new year.

 

Today a headwriter would not be able to write out someone like Heather Dalton. A token minority character would not get cut. She might experience a reduction in screen time but she would not get fired. I agree that Cal Randolph had run his course by this point and was deadwood. Ditto for Jay.

Paul was supposed to move to Europe to live with his grandmother; Andy to go to military school.

 

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I'd like to read the bibles of subsequent headwriters who justified the removal of some of Marland's characters, especially those Snyders who were written out (like Iva and Caleb). And how they justified re-building the Snyders around cousin Jack and his brother Brad.

 

Also I'd really like to see the memos where they decided to let Patricia Bruder go. Getting rid of a historic character like Ellen Stewart was a big thing, but they did it sort of quietly. I am sure their reason was budget and lack of story ideas for her. And it would be interesting to know how they decided to kill Hal off instead of continuing with one of Ben Hendrickson's replacements, after his suicide. All those interesting behind-the-scenes things that we can only speculate about.

Edited by JarrodMFiresofLove

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Marland talked in his bible about introducing characters slowly... yet within weeks of starting, he floods the show with the Snyders and isolating them to a farm instead of a working class section of Oakdale.  And I never bought spoiled princess Lily willingly wanting to go to a farm, even spending the night there countless times... it just never rang true.  Now if the 1st actress playing Lily was still playing the part, I would have bought it because the actress played Lily more like a town boy than Martha did.. who played Lily as an over dramatic teen princess that seemed happily at a country club than on a farm.

 

What was his reason for writing Maggie/Frank out of the show?  

 

And watching the show a pre-teen in the early 90s, I understood why Iva was written out since her story seemed to be complete once she married and left to start life anew.. same with Seth/Angel.  Some characters have a shorter shelf life than other characters.. and writers sometimes don't recognize that.  I think even Marland recognized that hence why he had mentioned the Kasnoff clan in his future outlines before he passed away.. since I think even he knew the Snyders shelf life was coming to an end.

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1 hour ago, Soaplovers said:

Marland talked in his bible about introducing characters slowly... yet within weeks of starting, he floods the show with the Snyders and isolating them to a farm instead of a working class section of Oakdale.  And I never bought spoiled princess Lily willingly wanting to go to a farm, even spending the night there countless times... it just never rang true.  Now if the 1st actress playing Lily was still playing the part, I would have bought it because the actress played Lily more like a town boy than Martha did.. who played Lily as an over dramatic teen princess that seemed happily at a country club than on a farm.

 

What was his reason for writing Maggie/Frank out of the show?  

 

And watching the show a pre-teen in the early 90s, I understood why Iva was written out since her story seemed to be complete once she married and left to start life anew.. same with Seth/Angel.  Some characters have a shorter shelf life than other characters.. and writers sometimes don't recognize that.  I think even Marland recognized that hence why he had mentioned the Kasnoff clan in his future outlines before he passed away.. since I think even he knew the Snyders shelf life was coming to an end.

 

The Snyders' shelf life was extended by Jack. If not for Jack (and Brad), Holden would have just been absorbed into Lily and Lucinda's world with their kids and the Snyder farm as a setting would likely have been dropped.

 

I agree that Martha's version of Lily wanting to hang out at the farm was contrived. If anything it should have been the other way around-- characters like Meg and Ellie wanting to get off the farm and spend the night in town.

 

When Marland makes the show more business-based in 1989 and after, he really gets away from the whole idea of the have nots. By that point, Holden has married Emily then Lily and has come into money. Ellie has married Kirk and come into money. Iva's got a good job at the hospital and involved with John who has money. Meg's married Josh and isn't Josh working for Cal Stricklyn, which means they have money. And Emma was selling books and involved with Ned Simon who had money. Seth was an author and making money and living in New York.

 

The only character in the family that did not become well-off was Caleb who was a working class policeman. So for the most part Marland had upgraded the Snyders financially. Within a five year period they were far removed from anything related to rural poverty or rural hardship.

Edited by JarrodMFiresofLove

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I wouldn't say Marland got away from the concept of "have nots". Yes, in the '90's, Emma's eternal farm struggles quit being a plot, but there were other people introduced---the Hutchinsons, the kids of the Earl Mitchell Center, Julie, Duke, Jess' family who felt like she "got out" and left them behind, Hal's Kentucky roots, etc. Granted they may not have "invaded" Oakdale ala the Snyders, but it was a more balanced show than the herd of doctor/lawyers at the beginning of the '80's.

 

And I still rankle at it being called an "invasion" of Snyders. Yes, Emma, Holden, Iva and Meg were introduced in the first four months of Marland's tour. Seth appears from 86-88 (and returns from 91-94), but Caleb and Ellie show up in 88 and Meg leaves in early 89. I'm sure you could point to numerous families (ala the Montgomerys or McColl's) who showed up in a similar roll out.

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4 hours ago, JarrodMFiresofLove said:

Today a headwriter would not be able to write out someone like Heather Dalton. A token minority character would not get cut. She might experience a reduction in screen time but she would not get fired. I agree that Cal Randolph had run his course by this point and was deadwood. Ditto for Jay.

 

Well, I don't know about that.  Y&R continues to add token POC characters and give them marginal story before unceremoniously writing them out.  The Michaelsons and Jordan Wilde immediately come to mind.  The only difference is that with Y&R's recent characters, they were attached to core families but in all honesty the Winters have never fully occupied screen time the way that the Newmans and the Abbotts do.

 

2 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

Marland talked in his bible about introducing characters slowly... yet within weeks of starting, he floods the show with the Snyders and isolating them to a farm instead of a working class section of Oakdale. 

 

That's the one realistic thing about the Snyders.  Marginalized people like low income and many minorities tend to be fairly well, marginalized in the U.S., except for working spaces.  Even in working class sections of a town or cities there is an invisible "red line" that people are relegated to.  In the beginning where Holden only interacted with the Walshes at work, through the stables...that was a dose of reality.  Where the soap opera fantasy comes in is where Lily crosses that line by walking into the Snyder house (muddy shoes and all).

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1 hour ago, JarrodMFiresofLove said:

 

The Snyders' shelf life was extended by Jack. If not for Jack (and Brad), Holden would have just been absorbed into Lily and Lucinda's world with their kids and the Snyder farm as a setting would likely have been dropped.

 

I agree that Martha's version of Lily wanting to hang out at the farm was contrived. If anything it should have been the other way around-- characters like Meg and Ellie wanting to get off the farm and spend the night in town.

 

When Marland makes the show more business-based in 1989 and after, he really gets away from the whole idea of the have nots. By that point, Holden has married Emily then Lily and has come into money. Ellie has married Kirk and come into money. Iva's got a good job at the hospital and involved with John who has money. Meg's married Josh and isn't Josh working for Cal Stricklyn, which means they have money. And Emma was selling books and involved with Ned Simon who had money. Seth was an author and making money and living in New York.

 

The only character in the family that did not become well-off was Caleb who was a working class policeman. So for the most part Marland had upgraded the Snyders financially. Within a five year period they were far removed from anything related to rural poverty or rural hardship.

 

Jack/Brad should never have been introduced... the Snyders were finally gone by the mid 90s and it felt like heaven.  

 

I'll probably be slammed for saying this.. but when the show had the all female 50th special... I thought Emma was out of place and didn't belong.  It was fine with the other six.. and it just symbolized how Marland and future writers kept trying to keep the Snyder family going past their expiration date. 

1 minute ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

That's the one realistic thing about the Snyders.  Marginalized people like low income and many minorities tend to be fairly well, marginalized in the U.S., except for working spaces.  Even in working class sections of a town or cities there is an invisible "red line" that people are relegated to.  In the beginning where Holden only interacted with the Walshes at work, through the stables...that was a dose of reality.  Where the soap opera fantasy comes in is where Lily crosses that line by walking into the Snyder house (muddy shoes and all).

 

Yeah, it would have made more sense for Meg to buddy up to Lily.. and want to venture to the Walsh Mansion.. and to hob nob with all the rich teens that Lily knew... over Lily wanting to spend all her time at the Snyder Farm.

 

And the isolation would have still worked if the Snyders were on the poor side of Oakdale... but I guess Marland wanted to have a throwback to how the Hughes family started out as a farm family until Chris H made the break from that life to live in the big city.  I guess perhaps having the Snyders realize that the farm is too much for them to handle and to have them sell to a corporate entity thus becoming more middle class would have been more realistic given the farm crisis in real life in the late 80s/90s where small family farms were being eaten by corporate farming.

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36 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

And the isolation would have still worked if the Snyders were on the poor side of Oakdale... but I guess Marland wanted to have a throwback to how the Hughes family started out as a farm family until Chris H made the break from that life to live in the big city.  I guess perhaps having the Snyders realize that the farm is too much for them to handle and to have them sell to a corporate entity thus becoming more middle class would have been more realistic given the farm crisis in real life in the late 80s/90s where small family farms were being eaten by corporate farming.

 

I do think there was a desire (in Marland) to achieve what the show had previously left behind, part of the soap's origin story of an agrarian farming family. 

When ATWT began, the Hughes family had all but completely abandoned the farm, even Pa Hughes was struggling to adjust to live 'in town'.  Marland likely was fascinated in showing what life might have been like for an agrarian Hughes family in the Snyder clan.  I'm not mad at that but there were some problems for a rural family being dramatized on a daytime soap and that is the isolation involved and we know on soaps, characters generally are most effective when they mix it up with lots of other characters on the canvas.  This is probably why the Snyders became somewhat incestuous, in a matter of speaking (fun parlor game is to count the number of Snyders who shared the same partners).

 

Roy's family lived in Oakdale and they were definitely isolated, so much so that when they once tried to have Roy's parents mingle at the Mona Lisa, presumably to attend Nella and Meg's graduating party (from the nursing program), it felt contrived and I kept thinking that it was a nice attempt but Nella's parents looked out of place.

I think the Franklin's could've been better, ahem, integrated onto the canvas but that would've involved more screen time.  For example, Roy's father Leonard (yes, I remember his name, lol) was a bus driver for Oakdale's transit department and there were characters like Meg, who supposedly frequently took the bus to get into Oakdale.  There could've been a scene (or more) where Meg is riding into town, presumably, at a time when she wasn't supposed to be, lied about here comings and goings when Leonard inadvertently mentions her being at the bus as a certain time of day to Iva or Holden or some family member who he's likely to run into in town.  That could've been the beginning of making more connections among other characters, as a start anyway.

 

There are ways of connecting characters but it would involve spreading screen time out among more characters and soap fans can sometimes me averse to this.

Marland with his tendencies to concentrate storylines among certain characters, was still one of the more judicious storytellers in terms of how many characters he tended to incorporate into his stories.  I've seen headwriters who were far more stingy with what/how many of their characters got meaty stories on soaps.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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34 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Well, I don't know about that.  Y&R continues to add token POC characters and give them marginal story before unceremoniously writing them out.  The Michaelsons and Jordan Wilde immediately come to mind.  The only difference is that with Y&R's recent characters, they were attached to core families but in all honesty the Winters have never fully occupied screen time the way that the Newmans and the Abbotts do.

 

Yep. There's barely a difference. Whether its LA, Salem or Port Chuck, POC get less story wise disappear with little fanfare.

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33 minutes ago, P.J. said:

 

Yep. There's barely a difference. Whether its LA, Salem or Port Chuck, POC get less story wise disappear with little fanfare.

 

True.  This is the reason why I think the problem is more systemic and industry-wide rather than the fault of one particular writer or production company.

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1 hour ago, Soaplovers said:

 

Jack/Brad should never have been introduced... the Snyders were finally gone by the mid 90s and it felt like heaven.  

 

I'll probably be slammed for saying this.. but when the show had the all female 50th special... I thought Emma was out of place and didn't belong.  It was fine with the other six.. and it just symbolized how Marland and future writers kept trying to keep the Snyder family going past their expiration date.

 

I agree with this. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time but I think you're right. I just chalked it up to the theme that all those women had once been involved with John-- but I never felt that Emma would have ever caught John's eye. That was Marland trying to make the Snyders relevant and connecting them to one of the show's iconic legacy characters like John Dixon. So when they included Emma in that anniversary episode it reminded me of how forced the Emma-John relationship felt when I first watched it in the 80s.

*****

Speaking of Roy's family, how many Franklins were there shown on screen? I can't even remember the mother's name. The party at the Mona Lisa to celebrate Nella's graduation from nursing played up the fact that Nella was friends with Pam Wagner who had also just graduated from the nursing program at Oakdale Memorial.

Edited by JarrodMFiresofLove

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