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4 hours ago, Mitch said:

Now I know why I stopped watching ATWT and just kept to GL. The show is so morose and wooden here.  Marland really lost his "spark" from the start of his run which balanced some camp, family storylines, business, young love. The era is personified by Iva..morose and bland.

 

It's always been said that Marland died suddenly without warning.  But I've wondered if perhaps he was ill for the last year or so of his ATWT run.  The writing in general didn't seem up to his normal level, and the Carolyn Crawford murder story certainly didn't have  the trademarks of Marland's typically well-planned murder mysteries.  Plus, didn't the show get a new executive producer a year to two before Marland's death?  Perhaps the new ex-prod had a negative influence.   

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2 hours ago, Neil Johnson said:

 

It's always been said that Marland died suddenly without warning.  But I've wondered if perhaps he was ill for the last year or so of his ATWT run.  The writing in general didn't seem up to his normal level, and the Carolyn Crawford murder story certainly didn't have  the trademarks of Marland's typically well-planned murder mysteries.  Plus, didn't the show get a new executive producer a year to two before Marland's death?  Perhaps the new ex-prod had a negative influence.   

 

Laurie Caso joined the show around mid or late-1989. I think he was one of the reasons Hillary Bailey Smith left, as he didn't work with her to keep her around the way his predecessor did, IIRC. 

 

I feel like Marland's writing changed after the strike. The presentation became much more somber and camp slowly but surely disappeared, as did some of the more natural weaving in of comedy. Incredibly depressing and character inappropriate stories like Shannon's pregnancy and miscarriage would not have happened before then.

 

With that said, other than Rosanna, I mostly enjoyed his last year as headwriter - if that is the right word. 

 

(the Carolyn story went off the rails because he changed his mind about Darryl being the killer - I also think they rushed the early beats [her death and Darryl/Frannie] way too much compared to the later stalling out)

Edited by DRW50
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HBS did say that Marland reached out to her to return. Casio didnt give a damn if she returned or not. I believe Melanie Smith also said Marland wanted her back but Casio got KMH.

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32 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

Laurie Caso joined the show around mid or late-1989. I think he was one of the reasons Hillary Bailey Smith left, as he didn't work with her to keep her around the way his predecessor did, IIRC. 

 

I feel like Marland's writing changed after the strike. The presentation became much more somber and camp slowly but surely disappeared, as did some of the more natural weaving in of comedy. Incredibly depressing and character inappropriate stories like Shannon's pregnancy and miscarriage would not have happened before then.

 

With that said, other than Rosanna, I mostly enjoyed his last year as headwriter - if that is the right word. 

 

(the Carolyn story went off the rails because he changed his mind about Darryl being the killer - I also think they rushed the early beats [her death and Darryl/Frannie] way too much compared to the later stalling out)

 

Are you suggesting camp is a good thing?  I don't remember Marland ever writing much camp.  But maybe you and I don't define camp the same way.  I don't like (intentional) camp on soaps, and I am not a fan of comedy either.  Humor is okay, as long as it is based in character, and not situation.  Shannon and Harriet were quite humorous, but they came right up to the line of over-doing it, in my opinion.   I always thought Marland's soaps were the stories of relatively happy people confronting problems, while Harding Lemay's AW was a story of people who were generally unhappy.   

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33 minutes ago, Neil Johnson said:

 

Are you suggesting camp is a good thing?  I don't remember Marland ever writing much camp.  But maybe you and I don't define camp the same way.  I don't like (intentional) camp on soaps, and I am not a fan of comedy either.  Humor is okay, as long as it is based in character, and not situation.  Shannon and Harriet were quite humorous, but they came right up to the line of over-doing it, in my opinion.   I always thought Marland's soaps were the stories of relatively happy people confronting problems, while Harding Lemay's AW was a story of people who were generally unhappy.   

 

I think camp can be fun if done right - it's just not usually done right, especially on soaps. I think Marland veered in that direction more early in his run at ATWT - 1986 had a number of wild fantasy sequences for Meg and for Sierra, including one for Sierra where she dreamt of Lucinda, Craig and Tonio in a sauna or somewhere and it was basically said she was having it off with both of them. I don't think they worked on ATWT

 

This is one of the last I remember (I don't know if it was intended as camp or not...)

 

 

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Early Marland had an energy that peetered out by 1987/1988.  

 

I noticed on GL and ATWT, he successfully maintained the tone set forth by his predecessors..but overtime the tone changed.  

 

With ATWT, Bledsoe had a slightly quirky energy in her writing (I've seen interviews with her..and she reminds me of Shannon on ATWT)...which Marland maintained.  Problem was he lost the ability to balance the darker tone with the energy of his early tenure.  Labine had that issue at GH after awhile as well.

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13 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

Early Marland had an energy that peetered out by 1987/1988.  

 

I noticed on GL and ATWT, he successfully maintained the tone set forth by his predecessors..but overtime the tone changed.  

 

With ATWT, Bledsoe had a slightly quirky energy in her writing (I've seen interviews with her..and she reminds me of Shannon on ATWT)...which Marland maintained.  Problem was he lost the ability to balance the darker tone with the energy of his early tenure.  Labine had that issue at GH after awhile as well.

Marland 85-86 of ATWT was great but didn't reflect in the ratings until 1986-1987 which was outstanding and earned them an Emmy. 

 

IMO Shannon was written better under Bedsow. As time went on she got very boring and stale under Marland. I would say that about Margo too but it was the actress that bore me not the writing same with Emily.

Edited by Soapsuds
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10 hours ago, Mitch said:

Now I know why I stopped watching ATWT and just kept to GL. The show is so morose and wooden here.  Marland really lost his "spark" from the start of his run which balanced some camp, family storylines, business, young love. The era is personified by Iva..morose and bland.

 

Agreed, Iva had a lot of screen time even though she wasn't the most engaging.  Of all the 80s era Snyders, Meg (under Jennifer Ashe) and Caleb (Michael David Morrison) were the most intriguing.  I don't think Ashe and Morrison get enough credit for the fire they brought.  Without those two, the Snyders would have been a dull, boring and dreary farm family.

Edited by gimmetoo
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2 hours ago, gimmetoo said:

 

Agreed, Iva had a lot of screen time even though she wasn't the most engaging.  Of all the 80s era Snyders, Meg (under Jennifer Ashe) and Caleb (Michael David Morrison) were the most intriguing.  I don't think Ashe and Morrison get enough credit for the fire they brought.  Without those two, the Snyders would have been a dull, boring and dreary farm family.

 

It took me decades (seriously!) to appreciate Jennifer Ashe. She was spot on trying to portray a nice girl to her mother, all the while wondering how she could be part of the one per cent. There's a scene from the summer of 1986 while Meg was staying with the Walshes, and she was on the phone with Holden. I'm paraphrasing, but she said something like "Did she [Lucinda] know you were there with her precious Lily?". Her delivery was so damn good. There was this glean in her voice and single eyebrow raise that was the true Meg, but when Holden told her to knock it off, she went back to baby sister Meg. 

 

I wonder what she would've brought to role instead of Marie Wilson, who I am sure is a lovely lady. She was never Meg to me...kind of wet blanket.

 

Even when Jennifer Ashe had spot duty in the early 1990s, she was a breath of fresh air compared to matronly Iva, who had become a total drag by that point.

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9 hours ago, mango said:

It took me decades (seriously!) to appreciate Jennifer Ashe. 

 

I wonder what she would've brought to role instead of Marie Wilson,

 

Back in the day, Meg the tartlet used to annoy me as I considered her to be an obstacle to Lily and Dusty in the beginning but Ashe had such range as an actress that she was totally convincing in the character's evolution and by the time her character left the canvas, Meg was fully appreciated by me.

 

Now, as a writer, I look back at those scenes and I truly appreciate the conflict and sense of tension and restlessness that Meg brought. Dramatically, you need the conflict and tension. You also need a sense of restless energy in any youthful character.

 

I also often wondered what Ashe would've brought to the role had she been playing Meg when the character returned in the show's last decade. It's hard for any performer to overcome bad writing and Meg was plagued with poor writing in the final decade (it's also possible that TIIC would have fired her for asking too many questions about the character's trajectory, like they did with Scott Bryce) but I would like to think that Ashe would, at the very least have brought more energy and intensity to the character. Ashe has been doing a lot of theater in the intervening years, so I think her dramatic instincts would have been much sharper than Wilson's.

Also, no disrespect to Marie Wilson but Ashe, as an actress displayed more range. Marland and co. likely knew this from her work on Loving.

5 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

 

 

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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I really wish ivy had more of a spark, because Lisa Brown plays that so well.

 

She is so much fun as Nola, and such a drip as Ivy (from the episodes I have seen).  Although I did like the stuff I saw with her and Craig.

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1 hour ago, titan1978 said:

I really wish ivy had more of a spark, because Lisa Brown plays that so well.

 

She is so much fun as Nola, and such a drip as Ivy (from the episodes I have seen).  Although I did like the stuff I saw with her and Craig.

 

The earliest part of Iva's courtship with Kirk was the most fiery and spirited I'd ever seen the character, until she became weighted down with trauma, which afaic, was a way to facilitate a breakup between Kirk and Iva and clear a path for Kirk and Ellie, creating a holding pattern for the Iva character, from which she seemingly never emerged (for no good reason since, Kirk and Ellie didn't really work very well, at least, not beyond the short term).

 

I saw the livestream interview with Paul Leyden and was astonished about his revelation that the show actually coughed up the cash to fly out half a dozen Australian guys business class to NYC ca. 2000-01 just to test for the Simon Frasier role?? You could already see cuts to the show production. I wonder what went into that decision to fly all those Aussies from one side of the world to the other just for a few days? Was this the best use of the show's decreasing budget?

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3 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

The earliest part of Iva's courtship with Kirk was the most fiery and spirited I'd ever seen the character, until she became weighted down with trauma, which afaic, was a way to facilitate a breakup between Kirk and Iva and clear a path for Kirk and Ellie, creating a holding pattern for the Iva character, from which she seemingly never emerged (for no good reason since, Kirk and Ellie didn't really work very well, at least, not beyond the short term).

 

 

 

In the most recent ATWT reunion, Tom Wiggins spoke of how much he enjoyed being paired w/ Renee Props.  The Kirk and Ellie romance was his personal favorite.  Renee Props had a much stronger comic chemistry w/ Wiggins than his other leading ladies.

 

 

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19 hours ago, gimmetoo said:

 

Agreed, Iva had a lot of screen time even though she wasn't the most engaging.  Of all the 80s era Snyders, Meg (under Jennifer Ashe) and Caleb (Michael David Morrison) were the most intriguing.  I don't think Ashe and Morrison get enough credit for the fire they brought.  Without those two, the Snyders would have been a dull, boring and dreary farm family.

 

I think Iva worked as a character in those early years because she was a more haunted contrast to the flashier people around her, like Meg or Lucinda. As the years passed and the Snyders, along with Lucinda and even Lily, became more somber, Iva just ended becoming even more depressed, to the point of near-catatonia. Still, I loved the character, and Lisa Brown's nuanced work.

 

I agree with you about MDM and Ashe, although I think Ashe really only came into her own in her last year in the role. Meg as a vixen or as a rival to Lily didn't work for me.

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2 hours ago, gimmetoo said:

 

In the most recent ATWT reunion, Tom Wiggins spoke of how much he enjoyed being paired w/ Renee Props.  The Kirk and Ellie romance was his personal favorite.  Renee Props had a much stronger comic chemistry w/ Wiggins than his other leading ladies.

 

 

 

He has also spoken previously about his confusion over why Kirk and Iva were broken up and how fans still mentioned how much they loved Kirk and Iva. As much as I liked Babette Renee Props, the pairing between Kirk and Ellie had no genuine staying power and toward the end became as dowdy and depressing as anything Kirk went through with Iva toward the end of that relationship. Not to mention, that wedding ceremony was tacky as all get out. Even Meg's barnyard nuptials to her former cousin had more elegance.

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