Jump to content
edgeofnik

As The World Turns Discussion Thread

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, DRW50 said:

 

That was before Broderick by about a year. FMB made that decision almost immediately upon her arrival, and I think various scriptwriters were headwriting at that time and up to spring 1997. Then Jessica Klein was headwriter for summer and early fall. And then I think interim writers took over until Lorraine Broderick's material began in early 1998. I remember some talk at the time about how much the quality had improved when the interim writers were in charge (this was when Kim was visited by Jennifer's ghost, Barbara and John lost their baby, etc.).

 

My main memory of Broderick's tenure was how incredibly out of control everything seemed. I never got the impression the show had any real idea what it wanted to do with characters like Molly and Carly. And there were so many new characters. I also thought the Emily and Tom story was grotesque and destroyed her character. It just didn't feel like ATWT to me. You could tell that FMB and Broderick were mainly from ABC soaps. ATWT was not an ABC soap, no matter how much P&G spent the last 10-15 years of its existence wanting it to be.

I remember the Emily/Tom affair, but didn’t they push it as some clever remake of the Susan/Bob infidelity?

 

It didn’t seem like too many characters introduced in that era (98-99) stuck around. Brad took a long break before Austin Peck took over. Maybe TC’s version of Katie is the only one.

 

It’s interesting that even when AMC/OLTL/GH slipped in total viewers during the ‘90s (and AMC and OLTL falling behind ATWT/GL at times), the ABC lineup still did so much better in the demos. A lot of that was just the lingering success and buzz from the ‘80s.

 

But in certain weeks in the 2000s, AMC/GH/OLTL (and DAYS) all outrated Y&R in female 18-49 some weeks, even when they were far behind it in households. It was this “if we can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality that really hurt the CBS shows and accelerated their demises. (I suppose it was easier to try to replicate the banal hipness of ABC than the crazy, Reilly-era DAYS, even though we certainly saw a lot of Reilly-esque stupidity all over in the late ‘90s.)

 

 

 

Edited by Faulkner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

I remember the Emily/Tom affair, but didn’t they push it as some clever remake of the Susan/Bob infidelity?

 

They may have, but it didn't really work, partly because the Susan and Bob story was about a genuine bond which went too far, while the Emily/Tom relationship was about Emily scheming and scheming. She stabbed Margo in the back after Margo had supported her over being raped. Most disgusting of all was when Margo miscarried Tom's child and Emily made him think the child was from Eddie and also that she'd had an abortion. It was just gruesome, nasty storytelling. That time period was full of this type of stuff, which felt like they were uninterested in or contemptuous towards ATWT and what was left of its longtime viewers. And it was needlessly coarse just for the sake of coarseness. I remember when Denise was introduced, they would have her go around shouting things like "high yellow!!" at Camille. While colorism is a very prominent issue in the black community, who decided it was a good idea to have a new character debut this way? Most viewers loathed the character due to the way she acted and due to her selling her baby, and I'm not sure she ever really recovered, even though I thought she had a lot of promise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

What I noticed about Marland's writing was that it was more energetic/fun in his first two years or so (fall 1985 until early 1988).. partly because he was carrying on the tone established by the previous headwriter (Bledsoe Horgan) and writing the story threads started by her, including characters created by her (Shannon O'hara.. at least early Shannon is an exact copy of Bledsoe Horgan.. quirky/life coach/whimsical). 

 

However, I noticed after the writers strike that his tone of writing started to get more somber/serious/darker.. even fun characters like Shannon got watered down.  I often wondered if he was going with the trend of soaps at that time to be less over the top/flashy and more somber/serious?

 

It's why when I rewatch his era.. I liked the first two years because there is an energy and sense of fun that is missing by the late 80s/early 90s (though I do admit I liked his one comical creation Dana.. who was the surrogate for Darryl/Carolyn.. and her attempts at doing Margo's hair and also her being more of a hindrance to a hitman that took her hostage).  

 

I mentioned before I liked Noelle Beck/Heather Rattray better than Martha Bryne as Lily... so I'll also say I liked Mary Ellen Stuart better than Julianne Moore as Frannie.  

 

Mary Ellen was my first Frannie, so I will always identify her most with the role. I do think Julianne Moore was very good - you can see everything that made her a star in her work, just without the assurance she got later on - but she never really had the chance to have that defining moment as Frannie.

 

I tend to prefer Marland's last few years at ATWT because I think the writing had more depth and grit to it, but I can see why people enjoyed the first few years. I think my biggest problem with that period, beyond Lily, is that it sometimes feels forced and also the placid atmosphere contrasts oddly with some really terrible stuff (like Iva being in porn while underage, being raped, giving her baby up, having to face her rapist; Steve becoming a drug trafficker and being put in prison for decades, etc.), although the actresses of that era help make the material feel much more real. 

 

Anyway, since we were talking about 1997, someone put up an episode they said they didn't see on Youtube. It's one of the early Molly episodes and early Jack episodes. Hearing her backstory makes the whole bit about her being cousins with Carly seem even more contrived. This is when Molly was still written as sort of sympathetic rather than a bitch.

 

(the scene where Molly got Emma to tell her about Holden and Lily not being related made me laugh - I'm really not sure why that scene was necessary as obviously Molly was going to know they weren't blood-related).

 

 

Ew, Susan Batten Conner is in this episode. 

Edited by DRW50

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LB’s writing was contrived and FMB’s production values had a cheap plastic quality, though I somewhat marvel at the expansive and elaborate sets of the time. And that FMB music makes my ears bleed.

 

Unpopular opinion: I preferred Leah Laiman’s run over anything from Lorraine Broderick. I loved that CG and LL gave Kathryn Hays so much material.  I wish that KH and Eileen Fulton were active on social media. I would love to see recent pictures of the two. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

What I noticed about Marland's writing was that it was more energetic/fun in his first two years or so (fall 1985 until early 1988).. partly because he was carrying on the tone established by the previous headwriter (Bledsoe Horgan) and writing the story threads started by her, including characters created by her (Shannon O'hara.. at least early Shannon is an exact copy of Bledsoe Horgan.. quirky/life coach/whimsical). 

 

 

YES..I loved Marland's first two years..he really made the Hughes family front and center and started honoring history. But there still was energy and camp and fun...as dumb as the Castle was I loved the monks and James first return...Shannon was fun and not the drip she became..Lisa and Lucinda were camping it up all over town and sniping at each other..Doug Cummings and the murders...it hadnt quite got to be a Lily fest and not everyone in town was mouthing off about "honesty"  being the most important part in a relationship..Tom and Margo were fun and sexy and made marriage look fun and sexy...Babs was going bad in a fun way and teen sexpot Emily was oozing bad girl charisma...and then....it all became a drab morose mess of earnest dullness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think Broderick "got" the vets and just "rebooted" them as she saw fit. '98 is really kind of a lost year, where nothing really worked, and most of what happened was just swept under the rug and rarely ever referred to again. JHC, it was thanks to her Carly married three men in fourteen months while lusting for Jack. Not to mention, the ever changing terms of that 50 million dollar trust.

 

Eddie, Georgia, Alec Wallace, Brad and Delores....pretty much clunkers. Denise was offensive, and initially a '70's era stereotype. The Lucinda/James previous relationship made zero sense. Don't even get me started on "running from a Prince in a hat and glasses disguise" drip Julia Lindsey.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mitch said:

YES..I loved Marland's first two years..he really made the Hughes family front and center and started honoring history. But there still was energy and camp and fun...as dumb as the Castle was I loved the monks and James first return...Shannon was fun and not the drip she became..Lisa and Lucinda were camping it up all over town and sniping at each other..Doug Cummings and the murders...it hadnt quite got to be a Lily fest and not everyone in town was mouthing off about "honesty"  being the most important part in a relationship..Tom and Margo were fun and sexy and made marriage look fun and sexy...Babs was going bad in a fun way and teen sexpot Emily was oozing bad girl charisma...and then....it all became a drab morose mess of earnest dullness.

 

I think some of Shannon's spirited attitude spilled over into a third year (I liked 'bad gal Shannon' who once asked Margo if she wanted her to kick Bab's ass :lol:) before the WGA Strike, which had an unfortunate effect on the show. The other aspect that I believe affected the show was that there was a trickle of really good actors who left between '87-89 because they got noticed for their work, they got opportunities to do other things and they left.

 

In terms of Marland acquiring a morose quality to his writing, this is just a thought I have occasionally but I wonder whether health problems started affecting him earlier than anybody knew.  Many people claimed that his death was sudden but perhaps he had health problems for longer than people knew and he simply kept it to himself.  If someone is carrying a burden like that, with the demands of writing a show that airs every weekday, some of that is bound to bleed into the work-- especially when the work encompasses emotion.

Some of the storylines written during the last years of Marland's life had to do with unexpected illness (Casey Peretti), sudden mortality (David Stewart), deterioration of the brain and the body (Lt. Dan McClosky) , it just makes me wonder if these issues were persistent in his thoughts.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing I noticed about Marland's final year or two was his old tendency to drag out a story longer than it should instead of quickly trying to resolve it, plus trying to recreate situations that worked in the early part of his regime again for the early 90s.

 

We had the whole Dusty/Lily/Holden/Meg story that worked in the early part of his run as writer.. but when he attempted to recreate a similar situation with Hutch/Rosanna/Debbie/Evan.. it didn't seem to work quite as well (though it does prove that Sharon Case did use to have really nice thick hair once upon a time).  Would the outcome have differed if he hadn't died in the middle of that situation?  Whose to say.

 

We also had the whole Carolyn Crawford mystery that dragged on for over a year and half featuring the death of a character that had only been on for a few months.  I heard a rumor (not sure if true or not) where the original killer was to be her hubby, but that Marland changed it.... not sure if that's true or not.  Based on the early part of the story, it did look as if he was going to be the killer given Frannie's sudden love for him and his sudden rush to marry.  Personally, the story would have worked better if he had been the killer and Frannie saved herself... while having Barbara/Frannie having tension due to Jennifer being Darryl's, etc.

 

@DramatistDreamer I do agree with your theory that perhaps he was suffering from health problems long before his sudden death because the tone of the last few years was dark, somber, and focused more on death, illness, and sadness.. than his first 2 1/2 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

I heard a rumor (not sure if true or not) where the original killer was to be her hubby, but that Marland changed it.... not sure if that's true or not. 

 

It's true.  Julie Poll, who worked on the writing staff, admitted as much to one of the soap mags.  According to Poll, that move was unusual on his part, as he rarely changed the outcome on his stories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, P.J. said:

I don't think Broderick "got" the vets and just "rebooted" them as she saw fit. '98 is really kind of a lost year, where nothing really worked, and most of what happened was just swept under the rug and rarely ever referred to again. JHC, it was thanks to her Carly married three men in fourteen months while lusting for Jack. Not to mention, the ever changing terms of that 50 million dollar trust.

 

I still don't understand what they were trying to do with Carly - did they see her as an anti-heroine...did they see her as a bitch we should root against compared to the wonderful, wonderful Julia? By the end they seemed to want to sell that Brad was the man she should be with while Jack was the main she convinced herself she should be with, but they really chose the wrong actor for Brad there, as John Loprieno just wasn't believable in the role. 

 

It's a credit to Maura West that Carly remained as popular as she did because so much of her second stint in the role was so poorly written. 

 

Back to the 1997 episode, it was a pleasant surprise to see so much of Emma and talk of Emma's family and past, but I also couldn't shake that they were just kind of using the character to move the plot along and had little interest in Emma as her own person. Which was pretty much the case for all of ATWT's last 15 years. I still can't believe they didn't even have Emma on the last months of the show. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn’t really remember the LB era all that well, so now I’m reading SOC recaps from that era... and what a plot-driven mess. I can’t even really make sense out of the recaps without watching some clips for context, and yet I strangely have no desire to do that. 

 

Way too many new characters, and way too many characters doing things just because. 

 

And David switching a black baby with a white one and nobody noticing still has to be one of the dumbest storylines of all time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

I still don't understand what they were trying to do with Carly - did they see her as an anti-heroine...did they see her as a bitch we should root against compared to the wonderful, wonderful Julia? By the end they seemed to want to sell that Brad was the man she should be with while Jack was the main she convinced herself she should be with, but they really chose the wrong actor for Brad there, as John Loprieno just wasn't believable in the role. 

 

It's a credit to Maura West that Carly remained as popular as she did because so much of her second stint in the role was so poorly written. 

 

Back to the 1997 episode, it was a pleasant surprise to see so much of Emma and talk of Emma's family and past, but I also couldn't shake that they were just kind of using the character to move the plot along and had little interest in Emma as her own person. Which was pretty much the case for all of ATWT's last 15 years. I still can't believe they didn't even have Emma on the last months of the show. 

 

 

My guess is that Broderick (with her AMC ties) was writing her version of  young Erica Kane. And totally wrote Julia as the Mary Sue foil. I think by the end, they were setting up a sextet with Reid/Julia/Jack/Carly/Brad/Molly, but Kokotais left them in the lurch. They seemed to think Loprieno was a coup and retooled the character for some head-scratching reason. 

 

To Broderick's credit though, she was turning Carly around before she was fired. 

 

I was sad Kathleen didn't get to come back for the finale. I've never heard anything, but maybe she just didn't want to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, P.J. said:

 

 

My guess is that Broderick (with her AMC ties) was writing her version of  young Erica Kane. And totally wrote Julia as the Mary Sue foil. I think by the end, they were setting up a sextet with Reid/Julia/Jack/Carly/Brad/Molly, but Kokotais left them in the lurch. They seemed to think Loprieno was a coup and retooled the character for some head-scratching reason. 

 

To Broderick's credit though, she was turning Carly around before she was fired. 

 

I was sad Kathleen didn't get to come back for the finale. I've never heard anything, but maybe she just didn't want to. 

If I recall correctly Kathleen Widdoes was in a play during the final weeks of ATWT.  However, there could be more to the story.  I was also sad that we did not get a few last scenes with Emma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/9/2019 at 3:12 PM, Soaplovers said:

We also had the whole Carolyn Crawford mystery that dragged on for over a year and half featuring the death of a character that had only been on for a few months.  I heard a rumor (not sure if true or not) where the original killer was to be her hubby, but that Marland changed it.... not sure if that's true or not.  Based on the early part of the story, it did look as if he was going to be the killer given Frannie's sudden love for him and his sudden rush to marry.  Personally, the story would have worked better if he had been the killer and Frannie saved herself... while having Barbara/Frannie having tension due to Jennifer being Darryl's, etc.

1

It is always interesting to note that Carolyn Crawford is an example of Marland not following his own "rules" about establishing new characters slowly and not centering them on stories immediately.  

 

It is also hard not to compare it with Bill Bell's "George Rawlings Murder" which wrapped up with Cassandra finally exiting Y&R in 1991; a few years before Carolyn Crawford.  It was also a very long story that lasted more than a year which was not that unusual for CBS fans.  However, it had twists and turns that unfolded in real time within the story.  I recall the Crawford Murder didn't have a lot of clues, or other classic mystery tropes that would earn such a high stakes ending.   

 

I also don't think it helped that the appeal of Darryl, as played by Rex Smith, was not evident by any charm or charisma.  So, the fact that Barbara, Margo, Vicki, and Frannie all flung themselves at him defied credulity.  Each of those women were in relationships with men who seemed like a better catch. 

 

Finally, it's odd that the story affected the history of the show by creating Jennifer's backstory.  However, I don't recall any mention of Darryl, or his daughter Carrie, once Jennifer was SORASed.  Which, of course, had its own issues...      

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×