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As The World Turns Discussion Thread

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No problem @j swift.

 

This did get me thinking though... it would've meant a great deal if someone had culled/curated the top 50 (hell, I'd even settle for 25 or 20) episodes that dramatized the evolution of Kim (I'm not going to type out all her married names, lol).

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1 hour ago, j swift said:

@P.J. & @DramatistDreamer I used the term anachronism to express the oddity of seeing the morality of that era through today's standards, sorry if I was unclear.

 

I wasn't really considering abortion as much as the idea that the three female leads all had stories where they got pregnant under less than ideal circumstances.  I was struck that the female characters were being punished for their desires, and how different it was/is for male characters.  For example, Susan's conception of Emily with Dan limits his ability to form a relationship with Kim.  Given the times, Susan is portrayed as selfish, and Kim a victim, but Dan doesn't suffer and nobody judges him for shtooping Susan after a glass of wine.  

 

Now that is out of way, -  Was there less of an outcry at the loss of Stewarts on ATWT relative to the Bauers leaving TGL?  Is Liz's stairway death the infamous case of writer's revenge?  Did anyone like Paul? And wasn't there a Daytime TV article posted somewhere in these boards that suggests that the Jacqueline's (Schultz and Courtney) were somehow related?

 

I believe I missed the word. But I wouldn't consider Susan "punished" for her desire---she was an ambitious woman who married for prestige and then got pregnant to save the marriage. 

 

Any woman who wanted a career at the time seems to have been portrayed as a bitch and punished for valuing that over a happy domestic life and children. Susan, Sandy (who was married to Bob but wanted to model), Kim (the tart lounge singer who got knocked up) and even Jennifer, who earned Nancy's disapproval for wanting to continue nursing.

 

It does seem though that no one got married because they were happily in love with who they married. 

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Anyone who hasn't read Sarah Joy Brown's Twitter timeline, it's worth a quick read.

 

She pretty much states that Les Moonves cratered her acting career. 

 

If you remember her character Julia Larrabee was murdered by her abusive ex husband Les.  Yes, Les!

 

It's as I always suspected that those executives as CBS had a long reach and were not above interfering in the inner workings of the show.

 

Marland was likely the last ATWT headwriter who had any type of true autonomy/independence over the show's creative direction. 

 

Perhaps, in a weird way Goutman had some some type of autonomy but by then very few of the network or PGP executives actually cared about preserving the show, ATWT was in 'sunset' mode by 2001.  (I know because I was in communication with someone at PGP's NYC office). 

 

4 hours ago, j swift said:

Is Liz's stairway death the infamous case of writer's revenge? 

 

That was a well documented case of Phillips having the final say over the actions of a character when she couldn't get the final say over the actions of the actor.

 

According to ATWT folklore, the actress had been performing in a B'way play where her role required nudity, which Phillips was opposed to.  Apparently Irna Phillips made her feelings known and the actress was given an ultimatum which she disregarded.  So Phillips killed off the character and the method was having her fall while going up the stairs. This was before I was born so I've only heard of it. 

I would've loved to have seen even a clip but right now, I'd settle for being able to read the script.  If only I could get a copy of that script!!

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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Well, maybe us "crazy CarJackers" can be absolved of "getting her fired". 

 

No one should have their career tanked through the good ol' boys network, but it's hard to envision her as NCIS' Kate, for example. 

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I just viewed an episode of As the World Turns on YouTube.  It was from 1961, I think.

 

Characters shown were Chris (Don McLauglin), Grace (Frances Reid), Penny (Rosemary Prinz), Doug (Nat Pollen), Jeff (Mark Rydell), and someone named Tom.   I do not remember Tom.   He seemed to be interested in Ellen.   I do remember Jim Norman, who became engaged to Ellen.   Can anyone tell me more about Tom, especially the name of the actor who played him?

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11 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 That was a well documented case of Phillips having the final say over the actions of a character when she couldn't get the final say over the actions of the actor.

 

According to ATWT folklore, the actress had been performing in a B'way play where her role required nudity, which Phillips was opposed to.  Apparently Irna Phillips made her feelings known and the actress was given an ultimatum which she disregarded.  So Phillips killed off the character and the method was having her fall while going up the stairs. This was before I was born so I've only heard of it. 

I would've loved to have seen even a clip but right now, I'd settle for being able to read the script.  If only I could get a copy of that script!!

 

Supposedly Philips originally planned to kill Liz via illness. Viewers wrote in, angry and upset, so she was pressured to let Liz live. Jane House was still uncomfortable over her treatment, so she left the role. Philips continued to want the character dead, even with a new actress. I think she planned to kill her in a fire on her wedding night to Dan, but another P&G soap had recently done a similar plot, so it was nixed. This is how we got the fall up the stairs. 

 

Not long after all this, all of the actors in the Stewart family, as well as Marie Masters, were told that they were being fired, and were written out accordingly. Only after Irna was let go did they come back. 

Edited by DRW50

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The genius of Irna Phillips was definitely in her ability to create and conceptualize these show and some of their characters and story trajectories.  Those were her skills, which, unfortunately did not include human resources, personnel or talent relations. 

 

I also think that being a woman in any position of authority, especially during those times required a strong hand, and Phillips likely felt that she had to demonstrate a 'show of strength' as a woman doing what is generally thought of as a man's position.  The problem is that, on occasion that 'show of strength' appeared to have ventured into tyrannical territory-- there really can be a fine line sometimes.

 

It continues to be a source of great disappointment that there has never been a thoroughly complex, holistic assessment of Phillips and the industry that she created.  It is worthy of a documentary series on the scale of Ken Burns' Jazz but it's yet another acknowledgement of how little people think of the daytime drama genre, even people within the industry seem to think very little of it, particularly the history.

 

12 hours ago, P.J. said:

Well, maybe us "crazy CarJackers" can be absolved of "getting her fired". 

 

No one should have their career tanked through the good ol' boys network, but it's hard to envision her as NCIS' Kate, for example. 

 

I believe that quite a few soap actresses had their careers tanked by abusive male executives and their long retaliatory reach. 

In fact, I think these same abusive execs eventually helped to sink the genre, which is why only shards remain.

 

This is why I never believed the generalization that CBS executives stayed out of the affairs of their soaps.   They were clearly the unseen hand, dipping in where they saw fit.  If a network is airing your show, (especially if your program was housed in their network's building for a quarter of a century) even if they are not producing it, there is no such thing as no interference.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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5 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

The genius of Irna Phillips was definitely in her ability to create and conceptualize these show and some of their characters and story trajectories.  Those were her skills, which, unfortunately did not include human resources, personnel or talent relations. 

 

I also think that being a woman in any position of authority, especially during those times required a strong hand, and Phillips likely felt that she had to demonstrate a 'show of strength' as a woman doing what is generally thought of as a man's position.  The problem is that, on occasion that 'show of strength' appeared to have ventured into tyrannical territory-- there really can be a fine line sometimes.

 

It continues to be a source of great disappointment that there has never been a thoroughly complex, holistic assessment of Phillips and the industry that she created.  It is worthy of a documentary series on the scale of Ken Burns' Jazz but it's yet another acknowledgement of how little people think of the daytime drama genre, even people within the industry seem to think very little of it, particularly the history.

 

The sad thing is the closest we're likely to get is the GL anniversary episode with Beth Ehlers as Irna.

 

I really would love to see some of her last run on ATWT. It seems like she went all out in imposing her psyche onto the show, especially since she had been burned on other soaps like Love Is A Many Splendored Thing. I would be so happy if I could ever see any of her Kim material. 

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2 hours ago, DRW50 said:

I think she planned to kill her in a fire on her wedding night to Dan, but another P&G soap had recently done a similar plot, so it was nixed. This is how we got the fall up the stairs.

 

IIRC, the plan was for Liz's wedding gown to catch fire after brushing against some candles, thereby burning her alive.

 

Talk about "dark."

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20 minutes ago, Khan said:

 

IIRC, the plan was for Liz's wedding gown to catch fire after brushing against some candles, thereby burning her alive.

 

Talk about "dark."

 

Indeed. Given that Irna also had a woman's wheelchair accidentally pushed into oncoming traffic by a group of children, I guess she had a taste for the macabre. You can kind of see it in fuller form in her proteges Bill and Agnes. 

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8 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

Indeed. Given that Irna also had a woman's wheelchair accidentally pushed into oncoming traffic by a group of children, I guess she had a taste for the macabre. You can kind of see it in fuller form in her proteges Bill and Agnes. 

 

Alfred Hitchcock made a lifetime career of these types of creative renderings. Perhaps Phillips missed her calling in suspense.

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2 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

Indeed. Given that Irna also had a woman's wheelchair accidentally pushed into oncoming traffic by a group of children, I guess she had a taste for the macabre. You can kind of see it in fuller form in her proteges Bill and Agnes. 

 A bride who burns to death in her dress, a wheelchair pushed into traffic by kids..Damn Irna...I would be all in to watching that!!  I like that a show as supposedly "old fashioned" and waspy could be so damn dark.

 

I loved Ehlers version of Irna...the first (and last) time I liked her acting in years.

 

I never understood if they wanted to put ATWT and GL to bed they didnt do it with style and go out on a high note with good writing. Also just announce.."Hey we are done" and set a date a few years out, instead it limped along and just dwindled away.

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1 hour ago, Mitch said:

I never understood if they wanted to put ATWT and GL to bed they didnt do it with style and go out on a high note with good writing. Also just announce.."Hey we are done" and set a date a few years out, instead it limped along and just dwindled away.

 

They were likely afraid of even greater resistence had PGP made it publicly known years in advance.  So much more, had the show actually have been of good quality writing/production.  They may have wanted to prevent those 'crazy soap fanatics' from doing the utmost to keep a still good quality show on the air.

 

The higher the level of degradation in terms of quality, the less mass resistance to the show going off air.  And if it was a 'slow bleed', so much the better for them.  Fans would be too fatigued and depressed to mount a vigorous fight by the end.

In the process, the fallout would be reduced. 

(*Case in point, I don't see much in the way of boycotting P&G's products. 

What dropoff they've had in sales has mostly to do with basic competition from new companies offering better alternatives (non-toxic, organic, minimal ingredient, etc.) to what they offer.  Tide detergent is being outflanked by the likes of Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer's.  Ivory has intense competition from Lever produced soaps and 'natural' brands like Dr. Bronners.  There is just more and better variety of products on the market. By the looks of things, PGP has adapted to a smaller percentage of market share anyway*).

 

Corporations are far more adept at playing the 'long game' than many of us actually realize.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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10 hours ago, danfling said:

I just viewed an episode of As the World Turns on YouTube.  It was from 1961, I think.

 

Characters shown were Chris (Don McLauglin), Grace (Frances Reid), Penny (Rosemary Prinz), Doug (Nat Pollen), Jeff (Mark Rydell), and someone named Tom.   I do not remember Tom.   He seemed to be interested in Ellen.   I do remember Jim Norman, who became engaged to Ellen.   Can anyone tell me more about Tom, especially the name of the actor who played him?

 

The character's full name is Tom Pope. He's been played by both Hal Hamilton and Charles Baxter, but I believe it's Baxter playing the role in that episode.

This was all long before I was born, so I only know what I gathered from the scrapbook: he was Chris' assistant at the law firm and he was a suitor for Penny. I think he and Penny were even engaged for a while, but finally Penny ended the engagement to reunite with Jeff.

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12 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

Supposedly Philips originally planned to kill Liz via illness. Viewers wrote in, angry and upset, so she was pressured to let Liz live. Jane House was still uncomfortable over her treatment, so she left the role. Philips continued to want the character dead, even with a new actress. I think she planned to kill her in a fire on her wedding night to Dan, but another P&G soap had recently done a similar plot, so it was nixed. This is how we got the fall up the stairs. 

 

Not long after all this, all of the actors in the Stewart family, as well as Marie Masters, were told that they were being fired, and were written out accordingly. Only after Irna was let go did they come back. 

 

Irna's autocratic behavior is legendary!

 

I was so annoyed at losing Liz Stewart. I had not really adjusted to the recast actress yet, but thought I probably would over time. Irna's determination to kill the character was just so unnecessary. At least her drive to get rid of Liz gave viewers that memorable, if baffling, "bottle of hope" scene between Ellen Stewart and Liz on her deathbed.

10 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

Indeed. Given that Irna also had a woman's wheelchair accidentally pushed into oncoming traffic by a group of children, I guess she had a taste for the macabre. You can kind of see it in fuller form in her proteges Bill and Agnes. 

 

Irna had planned for Jacquie Courtney's Alice (AW) to burn to death in a summer camp fire, too. 

 

La Phillips was grisly.

7 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

They were likely afraid of even greater resistence had PGP made it publicly known years in advance.  So much more, had the show actually have been of good quality writing/production.  They may have wanted to prevent those 'crazy soap fanatics' from doing the utmost to keep a still good quality show on the air.

 

The higher the level of degradation in terms of quality, the less mass resistance to the show going off air.  And if it was a 'slow bleed', so much the better for them.  Fans would be too fatigued and depressed to mount a vigorous fight by the end.

In the process, the fallout would be reduced. 

(*Case in point, I don't see much in the way of boycotting P&G's products. 

What dropoff they've had in sales has mostly to do with basic competition from new companies offering better alternatives (non-toxic, organic, minimal ingredient, etc.) to what they offer.  Tide detergent is being outflanked by the likes of Seventh Generation and Mrs. Meyer's.  Ivory has intense competition from Lever produced soaps and 'natural' brands like Dr. Bronners.  There is just more and better variety of products on the market. By the looks of things, PGP has adapted to a smaller percentage of market share anyway*).

 

Corporations are far more adept at playing the 'long game' than many of us actually realize.

 

This is so true.

 

Even as a rabidly devoted, decades-long fan, the shows had become so butchered and unwatchable, that by the time they were finally cancelled, even I saw it as a necessary mercy killing.

 

If they been axed when the shows were still high-quality, recognizable versions of themselves, however, the cancellations would have driven me and other loyal fans postal.

 

As it was, I just didn't care anymore. AW, ATWT and TGL didn't even give me final episodes which I could enjoy. :(

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