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Courtney had relatable problems compared to Marland's main pretty princesses (Lily, Rosanna), and I think there is something to be said with her struggling with her body image, with Andy's inability to break out of toxic patterns, etc. 

 

The main reason I don't care for her is because onscreen, I just don't think this was very interesting to watch. She spent years being unhappy, with little to no personality trait beyond being unhappy. Whether she was with her brother, or Ellen, or Andy, or Evan, that was all you got. She had no real personality or inner life. That's why when she married Andy, her story was essentially over, and we got odd writing choices like her becoming a cop, which I never remember her caring about before that point.

 

Andy was one of my favorite characters, but I generally was more drawn into his stories when they had some type of ugly dramatic element, whether it be the consequences of his drinking, or his relationships with "bad girls." I'm not saying Courtney had to be "bad" to be interesting (Iva, Connor, etc. weren't), I'm just saying the Courtney we got, in writing and acting, felt like a drag to me. As time passes I blame that more on Marland's problem writing for ingenues, and less on Hayley Barr, who went on to do some good temp work on GL (to the point where a number of fans who were tired of Beth Ehlers wanted her to take over the part). 

Edited by DRW50
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1 hour ago, DRW50 said:

Courtney had relatable problems compared to Marland's main pretty princesses (Lily, Rosanna), and I think there is something to be said with her struggling with her body image, with Andy's inability to break out of toxic patterns, etc. 

 

The main reason I don't care for her is because onscreen, I just don't think this was very interesting to watch. She spent years being unhappy, with little to no personality trait beyond being unhappy. Whether she was with her brother, or Ellen, or Andy, or Evan, that was all you got. She had no real personality or inner life. That's why when she married Andy, her story was essentially over, and we got odd writing choices like her becoming a cop, which I never remember her caring about before that point.

 

Andy was one of my favorite characters, but I generally was more drawn into his stories when they had some type of ugly dramatic element, whether it be the consequences of his drinking, or his relationships with "bad girls." I'm not saying Courtney had to be "bad" to be interesting (Iva, Connor, etc. weren't), I'm just saying the Courtney we got, in writing and acting, felt like a drag to me. As time passes I blame that more on Marland's problem writing for ingenues, and less on Hayley Barr, who went on to do some good temp work on GL (to the point where a number of fans who were tired of Beth Ehlers wanted her to take over the part). 

 

I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday and I think that this was an industry-wide problem, not just a Marland problem.  Soaps relied too much on one HW figure to write an enormous canvas full of characters and I doubt that staff writers had enough backing from the production company and network execs to truly offer a "corrective" vision that may contrast with the showrunner's projections for the characters.

Did anyone read that book "The Checklist"? There is an illuminating chapter on the Korean aviation industry in the 1980s that has an interesting correlation (albeit not nearly as life and death with the soaps) to the way the daytime soaps industry operates.

You simply cannot expect a middle aged white man to successfully write a full, rich interior life of a neurotic middle-class girl without some help. Writers, like everyone else have blindspots. Bill Bell and Agnes Nixon had them also. And unlike them, Marland was not the creator, so it should have been easier for the producers, execs and network to intervene, but their ranks lacked diversity and likely would have made things even worse. The problems that ATWT had were numerous, systemic and not limited to one or two regimes. As we see now, in the remaining soaps the problems remain and certainly outlived Marland, Bell and Nixon.

 

That promo set at Dreams' End is really good. The P&G soaps were adept at filming these exterior sequences for their stories.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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On 12/31/2020 at 6:38 PM, DRW50 said:

 

Her affair with Diego, which included scenes where they essentially tortured a blind Sam, breaking into her home, gaslighting her, making out in front of her as she called out to know who was there, etc. It was really crass, unpleasant material that made Emily look like a sociopath.

 

I stumbled upon some of that on YouTube (not sure now, as things have been taken down, sadly) and God, that was AWFUL trash. So bad.

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15 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

You simply cannot expect a middle aged white man to successfully write a full, rich interior life of a neurotic middle-class girl without some help. Writers, like everyone else have blindspots. Bill Bell and Agnes Nixon had them also. And unlike them, Marland was not the creator, so it should have been easier for the producers, execs and network to intervene, but their ranks lacked diversity and likely would have made things even worse. The problems that ATWT had were numerous, systemic and not limited to one or two regimes. As we see now, in the remaining soaps the problems remain and certainly outlived Marland, Bell and Nixon.

 

I agree, although I think Marland did manage to write some very rich, complex ingenues at GH (Laura) and GL (Morgan #1). Not sure what happened after that. Perhaps that was more down to other writers at the shows, as you suggest. 

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@DramatistDreamerbrings up an interesting idea.  I wonder if that is why the Curlee/Demorest/Reilly and others era worked so well across so many characters. Because they each contributed to the overall, but I bet they also each focused on parts of the show they were the most into.  As opposed to the one singular voice.

 

Edited by titan1978
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28 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

I agree, although I think Marland did manage to write some very rich, complex ingenues at GH (Laura) and GL (Morgan #1). Not sure what happened after that. Perhaps that was more down to other writers at the shows, as you suggest. 

 

Part of it could be a function of age, changing times, tastes, etc. Being too deeply ensconced in the world of television, rather than out in the world observing and experiencing people from other cultures. Another part of it could come down to the writer's room and those writers not being as strong in their abilities to have a discernible impact. Writers who are confident in their craft tend to speak up. The culture surrounding P&G soaps vs. other soaps.

I made the reference to the Korean aviation industry because there was a known pathology that was causing the industry to have an obscene amount of crashes in the 80s until they did the unthinkable, broke longstanding tradition in order to fix it.

Marland wrote many wonderful stories at ATWT, even the ones that didn't go all the way through to reach their full conclusions. The story he began about the wounds in the Franklin family-- the rift between Roy and his father due to Roy's choice of profession being linked to the police, who his brother died at the hands of, is the type of story soaps today are not even brave enough to tell now. For his faults, I will always applaud his efforts, in pulling off even half of it.

 

10 minutes ago, titan1978 said:

@DramatistDreamerbrings up an interesting idea.  I wonder if that is why the Curlee/Demorest/Reilly and others era worked so well across so many characters. Because they each contributed to the overall, but I bet they also each focused on parts of the show they were the most into.  As opposed to the one singular voice.

 

 

And soap production moves so fast that perhaps Marland needed a team he could speak short-hand with, and they'd "get it" and take the ball and run with it, with not much oversight.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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Two things that I will never understand why Soapclassics didn't do:

 

Release a boxed set of wedding ceremonies of some of the other characters-- At least one of Lisa's weddings should have made the cut and Shannon and Brian's zany botched ceremony should've been in there.

 

Tom and Margo's most poignant moments. The faux affair between Tom and Barbara as well as those excruciating moments of near reconciliation , including the ONS when they were on the verge of divorce as well as an ultimate reconciliation.

 

Okay a third, is Kim's Labor Day delivery of baby Chris. Any self-respecting fan of ATWT would want to see those episode, either for the first or second time.

 

Why these episodes never became part of a collection, I'll never know.

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I think with Marland....he sometimes wrote character types to be too similar.  Laura on GH worked due to Genie Francis, same with Morgan #1 on GL (when she was replaced...Morgan became non descript).

 

As annoying as Lily was...you could never accuse Martha Byrne of being non descript.  

 

Sometimes you need an actor with personality and fire to breathe life into an ingenue, etc.

 

And I recall Courtney being more hyper and perky...at least in her last months on the canvas than sour.

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3 hours ago, Soapsuds said:

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Wooh boy, that's hot!  Some actors are so convincing that you have to wonder if there wasn't "something" there.

 

Billy Ocean turned 71 yesterday and when I read that I thought of "Caribbean Queen" first, immediately followed by "Suddenly". It's crazy how indelible an impression some of these characters, music and storylines can make on someone.

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On 1/21/2021 at 1:44 PM, Soapsuds said:

There's an episode from 1988 that features John Hensley wearing only tighty whities with his package very visible plus Robert Tyler completely shirtless. Lord Marland.....faints...

Post it, son.

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