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Oh my...boring Sophia...(why are Nick and Kim taking care of her..she is his wife who he hated daughter right???) It looks like they were going in an interesting direction where she was hating on Kim..they could have had her be a bad influence on Betsy..so that could have been good, but the Dobs, who created her, got rid of her when they came back. Too bad. Boring Hayley and Eric...shows when good actors are stuck in bad roles. This was the start of the drug syndicate storyline that the Dobs turned into Mr. Big.

 

Poor Bruder..they were trying hard to turn her into Nancy Hughes (Wager left during this time and the Hughes were totally obscured..) when she wasnt in the same generation. Dee's slight Jersey accent is annoying for someone who grew up in Illinois!

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Oddly Ellen was dressed more youthful in the mid 80s to early 90a..than she was in the late 70s/early 80s.

 

I did like the 1982 story where David was caught between Cynthia and Ellen...and Ellen being single with her brief fling with a doctor.  Even better, David was conflicted when Karen and Annie fought over Jeff Ward.  Was it ever mentiones his response when not only did his daughter Dee marry John Dixon..but so did his 'surrogate' daughter Karen?  Or was the Karen/David connection ignored by than?

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On 5/23/2019 at 11:14 AM, Mitch said:

Oh my...boring Sophia...(why are Nick and Kim taking care of her..she is his wife who he hated daughter right???) It looks like they were going in an interesting direction where she was hating on Kim..they could have had her be a bad influence on Betsy..so that could have been good, but the Dobs, who created her, got rid of her when they came back. Too bad. Boring Hayley and Eric...shows when good actors are stuck in bad roles. This was the start of the drug syndicate storyline that the Dobs turned into Mr. Big.

 

Poor Bruder..they were trying hard to turn her into Nancy Hughes (Wager left during this time and the Hughes were totally obscured..) when she wasnt in the same generation. Dee's slight Jersey accent is annoying for someone who grew up in Illinois!

 

Ugh. Mr. Big. The story that fired the first bullet into the once-intelligent, healthy and stable ATWT.

 

I adored Bruder and Ellen Stewart, but the show seemed to be confused about how to handle her properly and consistently; a problem that lasted for many years. With almost no storyline of her own after David left permanently, I'm surprised Ellen lasted as long as she did. I was grateful that Marland continued to have her appear, even as a talk-to with no real storyline importance. And I was furious, but not really surprised, when later PTB just let her fade into oblivion.

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Ellen is the poster child for why SORAS is evil and should've never become a soap opera staple. Patricia Bruder is like three years younger than Kathryn Hays, yet in the late 80s, Ellen was on the verge of becoming a great-grandmother while Kim was raising her newborn/toddler son Chris. It's just stupid and embarrassing and big part of why soaps couldn't just stick with their core families.

Edited by All My Shadows

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Okay, it's taking longer than I anticipated but I've seen about 3 out of 5 of those episodes uploaded by Patricia Bruder-Debrovner.  I hope she will upload more episodes, I like it when actors upload episodes of their shows, I know that Margaret Reed has uploaded some, mainly for reels but at least they looked like complete episodes.  I know some soap fans are only interested in clips and character/couple edits but from a writer's perspective, I find it more informative and more immersive to watch full episodes.

 

Mr. Big was quite... over the top.  It's unusual to see a six and a half minute opening scene compared today's soaps where it's more common to see a three or four minute scene max before seeing the opening theme song.  ATWT really made a conscious decision to indulge in these scenes. Brent Collins, Justin Deas and Margaret Colin did seem to be enjoying themselves, playing it up to the hilt as illustrated by the interplay--Mr. Big asking Tom & Margo "Are you lovers?" (it seems that Mr. Big could see into the future) and Margo's comment about cigars stunting one's growth and Mr. Big's reaction was amusing.  Also Mr. Big's analysis of Tom and Margo's individual traits (spot-on) made me wonder whether, in some twisted way, was Mr. Big the conduit for bringing Tom & Margo together? Yet the pacing of the scenes seemed to drag, for some reason.  Oh, and I would've loved if somehow some of these episodes could be digitally remastered to see if the colors could be made a bit more vibrant.  The lighting is also dull, unfortunately.  The incongruity of the BGM with the tone of the Mr. Big was highly noticeable but I guess it was a product of those post-disco times.

 

Ellen looking for an apartment for herself? I'd like to see more.

 

COMMERCIAL BREAK NOTE:  Lauren Bacall was too good to be pitching some off-brand coffee.

 

Karen and her genie style culottes is a "Lewk"!  That scene of Karen 'on the couch' with the psychiatrist proves that Doug Marland wasn't the only writer who liked to put characters in analysis. That scene is positively minimalist compared to what today's soaps would do-- minimal BGM, no flashbacks, mainly a monologue full of introspection delivered by Karen which escalates into a combative dialogue with the shrink during her session.

 

As amusing as Ellen's low-key hostility toward John was, his appearance in the nearly empty Stewart house seemed a bit contrived.  If John wanted to know where David was, surely he could've called his office?  Perhaps it was a ruse for John to snoop and taunt but it mostly seemed like a way to get out exposition.

 

(*Gasps*) what was in Mr. Big's room?

 

You know something I've noticed through these very early 1980s episodes? I see moments of tenderness, moments of subtle contention and low-key hostility (Everybody Hates Joyce) but I don't see much in the way of passion onscreen.  I guess perhaps network standards and social mores for television might have dictated how expressive characters/actors could be with each other--at least for one or two more years to come.

 

It was nice to see Nancy and Chris as a couple and not just the elderly grandparents that I would see them as right before Don McLoughlin passed in the mid 1980s, which was how I mostly remembered them together.

 

Kim and Bob's scenes seem to flow and have a nice pace to them.  I'm not sure whether this is owing mostly to the writing or the chemistry between Hays and Hastings. I'd chalk it up to chemistry and the actors setting a rhythm for each other.

 

Strangely enough, I think Linda Dano would have been a better fit for the show down the road in the late 1980s and early 90s and beyond but by then she'd be well into creating an inimitable character on AW. Just as well, since ATWT seemed to have more than its fair share of standout women characters in Dano's age group.

 

In the 3/31/80 episode, I like how the women are styled.  Lisa looks very 'rich lady chic' and they even gave Ellen more of a bombshell look.  Ellen looked more youthful when her hair was down or they just let her curls be free. 

 

COMMERCIAL BREAK NOTE:  Sheryl Lee Ralph for a Pampers commercial.  I'd recognize that smile anywhere!

 

It was jarring to see Don so combative with his father Chris Hughes.  I'm not sure what transpired between them but at the end of that scene, I felt sorry for Chris.  His downtrodden expression said it all.

 

So much of what I grew up seeing involved Lisa getting along famously with her ex-husband, so it's interesting to see them being sort of contentious in this episode.

Speaking of Lisa- 

So many times I've talked about the great (combative) chemistry that Eileen Fulton had with Elizabeth Hubbard but I've neglected to appreciate the great long-lasting chemistry that Eileen and Colleen Zenk have. Lisa and Barbara have gone back and forth, from friendly and warmth to combative and sparring back to warm, loving and protective and the two actresses made it work.  Still, it is a bit strange to reconcile these scenes of them talking as prospective mother and daughter-in-law knowing what's to come for Barbara and Tom.  Also the fact that, for a while, it was a closely guarded secret that Paul was Barbara's (and James') biological son is turning in my mind--in a few years Paul's name would constantly be on Barbara's lips and James would become obsessed with having his son under his influence.

 

Question: Had David temporarily lost his medical license or something?  Why mining?

 

Another Question:  Was that gym where Brad, then Dee arrived to exercise a company gym?  It looked awfully cramped!  I would've preferred working out at home to that!

 

COMMERCIAL BREAK NOTE:  Theresa Saldana (does everybody know her story?) in a Kraft Zesty Italian commercial. By the way, the dressing looks like cloudy water, ick.

 

I miss seeing the closing credits (was that Suzanne Davidson playing Betsy?  If so, does anybody know what she looks like now?) but again, I'd love it if more ATWT alums would upload episodes to YouTube. As much as people might think there are a lot of episodes already uploaded, there are some fun and key episodes that have yet to be uploaded.

We were just talking about this in another thread, how much people enjoy episodes like masquerade balls and big parties and weddings, etc.  There are some fun 80s parties that I wish were uploaded to YouTube.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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Just finished watching the December 1981 episode (A.K.A. The PCP Episode) and whoa!  The jump cuts alone were jarring!  I know that some of those jump cuts were done to emphasize the disorienting, frenetic quality of a 'drug trip' by trying to put the viewer in Sofia's P.O.V. but it also had the added effect of extending that chaotic quality to other scenes that were probably supposed to be more staid. Also, I couldn't help wondering whether it would have helped if I had seen the previous episode where Eric and Sofia end up taking the PCP-- maybe it would have made the consequences seem more grave and less like an afterschool special.

From what I've read, I know that somehow Barbara unknowingly ended up giving Eric PCP but I would've liked to see the actual episode and can't help but feel that I'm missing a critical piece that would have made me feel more invested in this aspect of the episode. 

 

One thing I don't understand is, I thought PCP was a drug that was more popular in the 60s and part of the 70s? Maybe I'm wrong but I just looked on Wikipedia and it seems that drug use peaked in the 70s and declined in the 80s.  The article also claimed that it was consumed by a relatively very small percentage of the population compared to other recreational drugs. In other words, it's popularity was quite limited.   It just seems that ATWT was getting in on talking/lecturing/dramatizing about a drug that had waned considerably already and whose use was marginal to begin with.  Now, if the story had revolved around cocaine overdoses...in the 1980s, well that would've been topical!

 

At first, the cameo by Dr. Joyce Brothers made me do a double-take but I actually found myself liking her scene with "Dr. Bob Hughes", although the scene read more like a PSA in some regards.  I instantly began to wonder whether Dr. Joyce Brothers had ever made another cameo and if not, why not? I would've been cool to see her return to Oakdale, especially when Frannie Hughes was undertaking serious study in psychology.  Dr. Joyce Brothers might have served as a sort of mentor to Frannie.

 

So interesting to see how ambivalent James was in regards to getting involved in the drug trade.  We all know that ambivalence would not last.  Also, it says a lot about Bob that his first reaction is to conclude that Miranda and James were involved romantically, rather than the fact that they could've been colluding in some nefarious activity.

 

They way TPTB just had John Dixon involved in all aspects of the Stewarts' lives was just...oof!  It does look as though there was some chemistry between Linda Dano and Henderson Forsythe but still, it was odd to see them together.  Perhaps if I had seen the storyline from the beginning, it would be less of an obstacle to taking it in.

 

COMMERCIAL NOTES:  Charles Kimbrough on a deodorant commercial!  Ilene Graff (Mr. Belvedere) on a fabric softener commercial.  Kim Field's mother Chip, on a dishwashing liquid commerical.  Virginia Capers (Lena Younger, Raisin In The Sun) in a commercial for Lawry's Seasoned Salt, or at least I think that's her?

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What was David’s deal? Did he have amnesia or a split personality. It’s strange that the writers gave David and Ellen a big juicy story at the same time that Chris and Nancy left town due to neglect from the writers. I wonder if these writers just preferred the Stewarts over the Hughes.

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Seems as if there was a concerted effort to make the scenes more 'active' in the 1982 episodes.  Even in the scenes that were conversation-heavy there seemed to be a quickened pace compared to the previous episodes that I recently saw (from 1980/1981). 

 

I guess the fallout from Lyla's courtroom revelation is impacting relationship.  There's a noticeable distance between Bob and Lyla and the group of Jeff, Lyla and Bob almost seem to form a web of solidarity to ice John out of the circle, which seems to matter little to John, who seems to be resigned to, almost relish his outsider status.

With the way John and Hayley are interacting, I wonder if the writers were considering a potential romantic entanglement, especially given John's predilection toward younger women and Hayley being especially vulnerable. 

Seeing the obvious enmity between David and John in this episode- it's something of a miracle that they were even able to carry on a civil conversation in the years going forward. I do appreciate that, even years later, there would always an icy aloofness between the Stewarts and John, particularly Ellen and David.

 

So this was the episode where James Stenbeck gifted the cottage to Margo!  Looks as if those stained glass windows were switched out at some point, I wonder when?  James mentioned the proximity to the stables, was this ever acknowledged when Tom and Margo were married and living in the cottage?  Margo as a character seemed pretty aimless-- from a stable girl to an orderly (should she really be the in the position of discussing medication protocol with John when she's more or less a candy striper?  I guess it was a chance to show Margo being cool and indifferent to John while struggling to be professional), simultaneously being James Stenbeck's 'side-piece' and still looking down her nose at John.  Margo seemed to be all over the place at this time. 

 

That was quite an intense conversation between Lyla and Maggie about John.  Perhaps this is coming from the vantage point of witnessing the #MeToo movement in action but I am surprised that John is still working at the hospital and hasn't been suspended pending the outcome of his rape trial. 

 

COMMERCIAL BREAK NOTE: Completely forgot and hadn't seen a commercial for the Wilfred Academy since I was a kid!  I looked them up to see if they were still around.  It appears that the beauty school closed two years ago after fraud charges and failure to properly accredit and license students led to lawsuits by their former students.  

 

The lady who cajoled Carol to allow her five/six year old daughter to get on the elevator and ride unaccompanied...who does that?!  Is she not aware that anyone could enter the elevator between floors and the little girl could get abducted while riding to the ground floor?  What happened to that little girl?

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On 6/6/2019 at 6:07 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

Mr. Big was quite... over the top. 

I was in high school at the time and loved Mr. Big..though I knew it was stupid. The drug storyline was started before the Dobsons came back and the writers were referring to a Mr. Big so they decided to make it funny.

 

On 6/6/2019 at 6:07 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

Karen and her genie style culottes is a "Lewk"!  That scene of Karen 'on the couch' with the psychiatrist proves that Doug Marland wasn't the only writer who liked to put characters in analysis.

I thought it would have been more interesting to make Karen a guy..(it is revealed later that Karen has a gay brother who is a teacher and James tried to blackmail Karen with revealing that to make him loose his job..ahead of its time and an interesting plot point.) who looks up to David as a father figure and David looks at him as a son to fill the space of the two sons he already lost. The character would still be "grey" and that would have caused tension in the Stewart family as David could not cut him out of his life.

 

On 6/6/2019 at 9:00 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

It does look as though there was some chemistry between Linda Dano and Henderson Forsythe but still, it was odd to see them together.

It would have been interesting if they developed that more.  At this point I would have recast Don and, after Mary dies, he comes back to Oakdale with the kid and gets involved with Ellen again..instead they threw some boring new doctor at her. The end game would be David and Ellen remarrying of course but it would be nice to see it dragged out and to explore their characters on their own right.

 

On 6/6/2019 at 6:07 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

As amusing as Ellen's low-key hostility toward John was, his appearance in the nearly empty Stewart house seemed a bit contrived.  If John wanted to know where David was, surely he could've called his office? 

I missed the days of John being the outsider..I loved that he would always turn up like a bad penny at just the wrong time and every character would open the door with a "Oh..hello John" and annoyed look on their face.

 

On 6/6/2019 at 6:07 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

Lisa looks very 'rich lady chic'

Fulton was looking her best at this time..they just had the Lisa "look" down. I hated when she went a bit nuts and tried to get attention by dying her hair that hideous shade of red with that bad Nancy Reagan do.

 

On 6/6/2019 at 6:07 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

So many times I've talked about the great (combative) chemistry that Eileen Fulton had with Elizabeth Hubbard but I've neglected to appreciate the great long-lasting chemistry that Eileen and Colleen Zenk have.

Loved their chemistry and their friendship one of the most underated in soaps..and its also the most real one. They are both "edgy" women who love each other and both annoy each other at times but always have each other's back. One of the high points of Nancy Hughes death episode is Barbara going looking for Lisa at Fashions (did Babs still own Fashions with Lisa?) and Lisa hiding from her. Babs calls her on her cell and at the end throws in a "I love you," that you could tell Zenk added as it seemed so natural. And even more natural would be if they were arguing the next episode...it woudlnt have seemed weird.

18 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

So this was the episode where James Stenbeck gifted the cottage to Margo!  Looks as if those stained glass windows were switched out at some point, I wonder when?  James mentioned the proximity to the stables, was this ever acknowledged when Tom and Margo were married and living in the cottage?

I hated that damn cottage. During that summer they were in that set every damn day. It just was weird that Tom would live in the house her married lover gave to her and that Margo who had changed so much, would still be there.  Margo was a weird character at that time and its really only due to Collin's talent and her chemistry with Deas that the character became so invaluable.  Speaking of, was their ever a big reveal of James and Margos realtionship.? I don't remember that. it seems they were sneaking around and poof everyone knew what was going on. Did Babs and her ever have one of those great..."You BITCH!" scenes??

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After re-watching 1994, 1995, parts of 1996(ho boy did this show go off the rails, even by today's standards!) and 1997, any recommendations of what ATWT year I should re-watch next? I was thinking skipping ahead to 2000, but also wanted to revisit the glory days. 

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35 minutes ago, soapfan770 said:

After re-watching 1994, 1995, parts of 1996(ho boy did this show go off the rails, even by today's standards!) and 1997, any recommendations of what ATWT year I should re-watch next? I was thinking skipping ahead to 2000, but also wanted to revisit the glory days. 

I would recommend 2000-02. Mid nineties ATWT, It's so hard to watch. I tried recently and stop. 

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