Jump to content
edgeofnik

As The World Turns Discussion Thread

Recommended Posts

I think even towards the last year or two of Marland's stint, things were slowly deteriorating. It just got expedited when he left us as no one knew how to tell a damn coherent story. A series of really unusual blunders were made by people who didn't understand the show. All of the P&G soaps were experiencing a rough patch during this time, and hiring people like MADD to oversee them didn't end up being the most intelligent decision. 

 

I think Ed Trach's retirement at P&G marked an end of an era for those soaps - they just weren't managed effectively after he left. Granted, I do think he favored ATWT/GL over AW, but that may have been because P&G had a stronger relationship with CBS than NBC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

I think even towards the last year or two of Marland's stint, things were slowly deteriorating. It just got expedited when he left us as no one knew how to tell a damn coherent story. A series of really unusual blunders were made by people who didn't understand the show. All of the P&G soaps were experiencing a rough patch during this time, and hiring people like MADD to oversee them didn't end up being the most intelligent decision. 

 

I think Ed Trach's retirement at P&G marked an end of an era for those soaps - they just weren't managed effectively after he left. Granted, I do think he favored ATWT/GL over AW, but that may have been because P&G had a stronger relationship with CBS than NBC. 

EVERYTHING you just said.  I mean all of it.  

 

It seems like a lot of the greats had a hard time taking someone under their wings, and that left us with the mess we have been viewing for about three decades now.  Sheri Anderson was schooled the right way, but I start drawing blanks after that.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

I think even towards the last year or two of Marland's stint, things were slowly deteriorating. It just got expedited when he left us as no one knew how to tell a damn coherent story. A series of really unusual blunders were made by people who didn't understand the show. All of the P&G soaps were experiencing a rough patch during this time, and hiring people like MADD to oversee them didn't end up being the most intelligent decision. 

 

I think Ed Trach's retirement at P&G marked an end of an era for those soaps - they just weren't managed effectively after he left. Granted, I do think he favored ATWT/GL over AW, but that may have been because P&G had a stronger relationship with CBS than NBC. 

 

Marland's health was also likely deteriorating over the last two years of his run.

 

Soaps had a weak to non-existent awareness of the idea of apprenticeship.  With all the prestigious pre-professional writing programs in the country, some just a stone's throw away from CBS, you would've thought these writing programs would've provided a feeder for apprenticeships for these soaps' writing rooms but nope.

 

In the worlds of visual art and architecture, the master painters and master builders all had apprentices who learned how to recreate and mimic their style so that they could finish the projects that were started and the master artist could move onto a different project.  People don't honestly believe that Michelangelo, DaVinci and Frank Lloyd Wright did all those works on their own, do they? 

 

Having a long running-show spanning decades, it should've dawned on these production companies and networks that if they wanted some continuity, they had to create a formal pipeline of trained talent but the soap industry was content to operate in a helter-skelter fashion.  And that lack of professionalism is part of the demise of countless numbers of these daytime soaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Marland's health was also likely deteriorating over the last two years of his run.

 

I also think he may have stayed too long at that point and may have been burnt out. I guess he violated one of his own "rules."

 

As much as consistency is important on a long-running soap, so is change IMO. The issue is no one at P&G was doing any long-term planning and or had any consideration what would become of ATWT when Marland was no longer there - whether it be health related or if he simply left on his own accord.

 

Marland also had such a unique style, so it was always going to be impossible to emulate him, but talent is out there, and no one in in daytime is interested in cultivating it and haven't been for years. 

Edited by BetterForgotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

I also think he may have stayed too long at that point and may have been burnt out. I guess he violated one of his own "rules."

 

As much as consistency is important on a long-running soap, so is change IMO. The issue is no one at P&G was doing any long-term planning and or had any consideration what would become of ATWT when Marland was no longer there - whether it be health related or if he simply left on his own accord.

 

Marland also had such a unique style, so it was always going to be impossible to emulate him, but talent is out there, and no one in in daytime is interested in cultivating it and haven't been for years. 

 

I meant consistency in characterizations by the way.  The change really should come in the situations and plots (tweaked for the change in times) but changing a long time character to  do some wild sh*t just because you want to "shake things up" tends to alienate viewers.

 

I'm of the opinion that even when you have a head writer, at some point that HW should take on an emeritus role where trained talented writers write the script under supervision.  In fact, Marland most likely should have had a co-HW like a Susan Bedsow-Horgan, who had been there and knew the characters and the show's creative landscape.  Relying on one writer to do all the heavy lifting on a show that airs five days a week is the surest way to kill that writer, which is essentially what happened.

 

If you look closely at the storylines, there is a morose morbidity running all through the show in the last couple years.  That should've been a sign to someone at P&G that all was not well.  Marland was not well and he telegraphed it, but no one was paying attention.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, BetterForgotten said:

I think even towards the last year or two of Marland's stint, things were slowly deteriorating.

You couldn't tell ratings wise as it was still at the top and sometimes #2 behind Y&R. I thought the stories were still good of course every writer has his clunkers. Many say ATWT became very dark the last two years and some contribute that to Marland's health issues that most didn't know about.

Edited by Soapsuds

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Soapsuds said:

I thought the stories were still good of course every writer has his clunkers.

 

Of course.  Unlike some other HWs, though, Douglas Marland was one who excelled at writing many different KINDS of storylines.  You name it -- (murder) mysteries, action/adventure stories, Gothic (and other) romances, love triangles, topically relevant dramas and kitchen-sink family dramas -- and Marland wrote at least one great example from that genre.

 

That's what I admire about him most.  That, and the fact that he always respected history, and he never wrote down to his audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While he was good at story and pacing, i always found his ATWT to be cold and not inviting...at least to me.  It's why I wish he had a co head writer that could provide warmth and emotion.  

 

I think that's why I was more drawn to GL in that era because it was warmer, passionate and full of spirit.  Plus, the show had Curlee for story/history...and Long for warmth/drama/excitement.

 

I do wonder who would have been a good counterpart for Marland to provide that element.

 

I actually thought Cullitons year stint in the mid 90s was pretty good..more emotion and excitement...to me anyway.

Share this post


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

I actually thought Cullitons year stint in the mid 90s was pretty good..more emotion and excitement...to me anyway.

 

Didn't he write the Lisa/John malpractice suit story? I've never seen it, but I read that it was Eileen Fulton's first major storyline in years and how she rose to the challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Khan said:

 

Of course.  Unlike some other HWs, though, Douglas Marland was one who excelled at writing many different KINDS of storylines.  You name it -- (murder) mysteries, action/adventure stories, Gothic (and other) romances, love triangles, topically relevant dramas and kitchen-sink family dramas -- and Marland wrote at least one great example from that genre.

 

That's what I admire about him most.  That, and the fact that he always respected history, and he never wrote down to his audience.

 

+1

I agree with your assessment, but I know from personal experience that writing at an intense level can be taxing on your health.  I remember in grad school, there would be times when I'd be up at 3 o'clock in the morning and my heart was beating at a rate that I knew wasn't good and frankly, it unnerved me.   What if that were my experience several days a week on a regular basis?  And I can't imagine putting in those type of late night grinds in my 50s!  IJS that it might have spared his health had he had someone else who he could truly share a vision and the creative load once they hit the early 90s.

Once I got my M.F.A. whenever I got an assignment, I'd make sure to limit late nights, get some regular exercise and eat as healthy as I could because when you're really focused on writing and you almost don't want to stop to take a breath, it can get intense and you can neglect your self-care without even realize you're doing it!

Edited by DramatistDreamer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't doubt he was burning out---he'd been in the job 7+ years, and was famous for having his hand in it from the first script to the last. Not to mention, he was working a YEAR ahead in terms of outlines. IIRC, while he'd been continously writing since his acting days---ATWT was the longest he'd ever stuck at one show.

 

And I'll throw it out there---could his "darker" tone have been influenced by the AIDS crisis? As a gay man in the entertainment industry, he had to have friends affected by it.

Share this post


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

I wouldn't doubt he was burning out---he'd been in the job 7+ years, and was famous for having his hand in it from the first script to the last. Not to mention, he was working a YEAR ahead in terms of outlines. IIRC, while he'd been continously writing since his acting days---ATWT was the longest he'd ever stuck at one show.

 

And I'll throw it out there---could his "darker" tone have been influenced by the AIDS crisis? As a gay man in the entertainment industry, he had to have friends affected by it.

 

From what I've read and heard from other artists from that time, gay and straight, it was painful to lose so many friends.  I would imagine that Marland felt it keenly.  And often the most poignant written words are the ones that came from what you know.  The storyline with Hank Elliott and his lover Charles, who dies of AIDS was very detailed about how Hank had to commute back and forth-- there was so much specificity in that story that I'd guess that he knew someone who was going through that experience. Still, even the tone of the Hank Elliott story didn't feel as somber as some of the storylines of his last couple of years, that writing felt quite intimate in its preoccupation with loss. 

Yes, you can write from observation (and write very well) or even from research (I've had to do this for a historical drama script) but there is something about a topic that is feels so close to you that compels you to write about it and it's just a feeling I get everytime I watch that those aspects were very much a preoccupation with Marland. I actually try not to think about it too much when I've watched those episodes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was watching a May 14, 1981 episode that ends with a blind John falling down the stairs after an argument with Margo (over her affair with James Stenbeck) and damn, where's the next episode?!  I hate when this happens!!:jeal0002::(:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...