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12 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Deep down, I knew it wasn't years but the same year??! That's absolutely depressing!

I know I was watching somewhat regularly when both happened, but I just don't remember as much of the details from that period of the show. Yikes!

 

My sister got married 7/8 that year, and between helping with the wedding and work, I had zero time to be online. When I found out BH had died, I was floored.

 

Agree with everyone that JF was good, but hardly irreplaceable. I guess McCouch was seen as a hot commodity at the time, but it's not like they couldn't have taken the time to find a good recast. I only remember Onsach and Ferrin as adult Jens...it's not like this isn't the show that had about 13 Toms through the years.

 

ATWT didn't do a good job developing younger generations for probably the last 20 years of the show. The last really good teens were Andy/Lien/Paul. And after Nikki/Dani, teens were treated like mini-adults, facing murder charges and getting baby rabies.

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

A quick list of legacy characters who had been either killed or diminished:

Bryant Montgomery

Jennifer Munson

Danielle Androupolos

Bonnie McKechnie

Adam Munson

Paul Ryan

Lucy Montgomery

even Will Munson, who'd been made into a child-sized killer, poisoning his brother's fiancee (who thought that was a good idea??)

Yep there were some really wasted opportunities in that list. Allison never gelled for me either.
 

I would quibble with Will though. I think they did use him smartly for a while. Yeah, making him a child killer was huge risk but they did "rehabilitate" him pretty well and he grew to be an interesting layered character until the Gwen pairing dragged him to, well, nothing. But in itself that Barbara's son and Paul's brother might have a dark side wasn't a bad idea at all and if they had kept it up, there was some long-term potential.
And Jesse Lee Soffer was good casting - again if we forget the awful latter years.

But they just didn't know how to write good characters for the younger set. And instead of retooling to give a chance to future HW, they sacrificed and killed off many of them.

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2 hours ago, P.J. said:

ATWT didn't do a good job developing younger generations for probably the last 20 years of the show. The last really good teens were Andy/Lien/Paul. And after Nikki/Dani, teens were treated like mini-adults, facing murder charges and getting baby rabies.

 

Someone, a grad student perhaps, might be able to give a great dissertation on the adultification of adolescent characters on television shows. It's kind of a disturbing trend that began sometime in the mid-late 90s and only continues. Soaps do this all the time now.

 

1 hour ago, FrenchBug82 said:

I would quibble with Will though. I think they did use him smartly for a while. Yeah, making him a child killer was huge risk but they did "rehabilitate" him pretty well and he grew to be an interesting layered character until the Gwen pairing dragged him to, well, nothing. But in itself that Barbara's son and Paul's brother might have a dark side wasn't a bad idea at all and if they had kept it up, there was some long-term potential.

And Jesse Lee Soffer was good casting - again if we forget the awful latter years.

 

Jesse Lee Soffer was a great find, as were quite a few actors (despite a few clunkers) but I must look at the total arc of the character- I can't compartmentalize the way I'd do with a character who had been on the show for decades and went through different eras. Will as a fully realized character had a shorter era on the canvas than Paul or even Andy, so I have to look at Will's total character arc in one complete arc, not many. Everything was accelerated but his evolution was still truncated. His past poisoning of his would-be SIL was never far behind in his personal narrative. Perhaps had the show remained on air, and we saw Will in a career, being a father, having his own storylines that didn't revolve completely around Gwen or his past, then I would have been able to say with confidence that Will was not undermined, undercut, deficient as a character, but I can't. This has nothing to do with Soffer, by the way.

I feel similarly about Napiera Groves and Bonnie. Groves had a presence and comportment, and chemistry with Tamara Tunie that made me care about the character, despite the fact that the writing mostly had Bonnie looking like a vapid, vacuous princess. Just when the character began to show real, sustained personal growth, Bonnie was entangled in some convoluted storyline, then she was gone.

At least, they didn't kill her off, I guess.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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This show boasts alumni who have who won Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and now the recipient of a certified Diamond status.  Ordinarily, I would say "Your fave could nevah!" but ATWT is my favorite soap, so... .

 

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I've been wondering about this for a while, and since the conversation has turned to Jennifer recently, it's a good time to ask: Did Jennifer ever find out she was not biologically Hal's child? Does she know about Darryl? I started watching the show in 2000, and I don't remember any mention of this. I feel like Jennifer died without ever knowing the truth.

 

I understand what you're saying about the death of a legacy character, and I guess I agree, but I will say that that whole storyline around Jennifer's death was executed really beautifully. I've said before how 2006 was a rare highlight to me in an era in which the show's quality was generally declining, and the storyline surrounding Jennifer's death was a big factor in that. It helped that Jen had been the focal point of a huge umbrella storyline the year previously, which means her death had a wide-reaching effect in Oakdale. 

Someone mentioned Hope, and I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but back in 2000 there was a pretty good episode after David Stenbeck died where five women (Emily, Molly, Julia, Lily, and Denise) were summoned to his funeral to watch a video message he had left behind. His message to Denise promised that he had arranged that Hope would be informed of the fact her mother had sold her on her [I can't remember if it was 18th or 21st] birthday. For years, I had been anticipating the moment when Hope and Faith would grow up and find out the truth about what happened to them, and then the show got cancelled just around the time that Parker and Faith (in a terrible recast) were shown to be close to that point. I always imagined Hope would run away from Denise and end up in Oakdale, to spend some time with Kim and Bob. This would have turned in to the return of the much-missed Andy, and with Denise in pursuit, it could have given a much-needed impulse for the African-American representation on the show. It's a shame the show got canceled before we got there. 

 

Although I agree about Hope, I'll raise the point that the lack of Daniel was much more unforgivable. Both of his parents were in Oakdale the entire time. Parker, who was born around the same time, was driving stories for years at the end. Although I actually kind of liked Ben Levin's Gabriel, why create a new character with a convoluted backstory as a rival for Parker, when they could have easily used either Daniel or J.J.? 

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4 minutes ago, Brolden said:

I've been wondering about this for a while, and since the conversation has turned to Jennifer recently, it's a good time to ask: Did Jennifer ever find out she was not biologically Hal's child? Does she know about Darryl? 

 

No.

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3 hours ago, Brolden said:

Although I actually kind of liked Ben Levin's Gabriel, why create a new character with a convoluted backstory as a rival for Parker, when they could have easily used either Daniel or J.J.? 


That's exactly why it is maddening to see them kill off legacy characters that could fuel story for decades WITH ties to existing families.
 

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On 2/15/2021 at 2:03 PM, DramatistDreamer said:

Someone, a grad student perhaps, might be able to give a great dissertation on the adultification of adolescent characters on television shows. It's kind of a disturbing trend that began sometime in the mid-late 90s and only continues. Soaps do this all the time now.

Interesting. It started earlier then that. On GL in the 80s..while not teens, the 4 Ms went from high school to Phillip working at Spaulding and seeming to be about 30, Rick a doctor or close to it, Beth not going to college at all, and Mindy getting married.  A clip on the GL of AM and Harley having trouble as they were married..when they were in the early 20s. Its like soaps skip college and people in their 20s dating, breaking up and dating others, which you think would be right up soap writers alleys but they have them settling down and wanting babies by their 30s they have been married 3 times.

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1 hour ago, Mitch said:

Interesting. It started earlier then that. On GL in the 80s..while not teens, the 4 Ms went from high school to Phillip working at Spaulding and seeming to be about 30, Rick a doctor or close to it, Beth not going to college at all, and Mindy getting married.  A clip on the GL of AM and Harley having trouble as they were married..when they were in the early 20s. Its like soaps skip college and people in their 20s dating, breaking up and dating others, which you think would be right up soap writers alleys but they have them settling down and wanting babies by their 30s they have been married 3 times.

 

Thinking about what you wrote here, I realize that my choice of words weren't clear. You're right, it did start much earlier. I should have said, it picked up in earnest around the mid 90s because there were still soaps were you saw characters through high school into college. On ATWT, as "fast" as Lily moved in life, she and Dusty attended Oakdale University. They even had majors and internships. Andy, Paul (athough he dropped out), Lien and Duke all went to college had part time jobs. Lien was a perfect example of a teenager (ironically Ming-Na was already in her early twenties) who acted like a teenager, grappling with the aspect of an emergence into adulthood).  I didn't particularly care for most of the storylines of JJ, Parker and Faith but they definitely had a childhood and a noticeable onscreen introduction into teenage life. Maybe, it was just ATWT that did this, .

On GH, you at least had Robin, who grew up in front of viewers and Emily Q, at least when she was played by Amber Tamblyn, struck a decent balance.

 

GL was somewhat problematic for me, in terms of the very adult issues that enveloped their teen characters. When you make teenage mothers (Harley) and incest victims (Beth) out of your teenage characters, it follows that you are more likely to "age" them and all in their cohort, both in tone and presentation. Harley, was presented as seemingly a "Jodie Foster" type, meaning more than just precocious, i.e., even when Foster portrayed a child, she didn't really come off as a child.

 

Flash to the very early 00s and it's hard to find teenagers, girls in particular who weren't involved in adult stories. Y&R's Glow By Jabot "kids", Britney (no longer a girl, not yet a woman, to quote Britney Spears) Hodges (whose on and off boyfriend J.T. was secretly sleeping with her married mother)  once had ambitions of becoming a stripper and became involved with and pregnant for Bobby Marsino, who seemed to be about twice her age. This made the age difference between Lily and Holden look like kids' stuff! Another Lily, on Y&R, lost her virginity to an Internet predator at 15 and by early 20s, was twice married with twins.

What I'm really saying (I admit to not putting it properly), is that by the late 90s, this accelerated, to the point where it became difficult to find examples of age appropriate characterizations of teen characters, especially girls.

Watch an episode of B&B these days and see if you can find any of the teenagers who actually attend school onscreen-- they're more likely to be only seen during the summer when they can be foisted in the middle of a summer romantic triangle. On the recent OLTL reboot a few years ago, did attend summer school, where he began promptly sleeping with his teacher!

It just seems all but totally inescapable now, like they can't write a story without it.

2 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:


That's exactly why it is maddening to see them kill off legacy characters that could fuel story for decades WITH ties to existing families.
 

 

My point, exactly!

Even if the writers write a fantastic death storyline for Jennifer, it still terminated any future options for th character which might have equally great or better.

Just imagine if writers had allowed James Stenbeck to kill Barbara in that bullring in Spain! No doubt, the scenes would have played out dramatically and in dazzling fashion, ad it was shot on location, internationally. But what we would have missed in the decade ahead witj Barbara, Paul, James, even Emily in the years that followed!

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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2 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Y&R's Glow By Jabot "kids", Britney (no longer a girl, not yet a woman, to quote Britney Spears) Hodges (whose on and off boyfriend J.T. was secretly sleeping with her married mother)  once had ambitions of becoming a stripper and became involved with and pregnant for Bobby Marsino, who seemed to be about twice her age. This made the age difference between Lily and Holden look like kids' stuff! Another Lily, on Y&R, lost her virginity to an Internet predator at 15 and by early 20s, was twice married with twins.

What I'm really saying (I admit to not putting it properly), is that by the late 90s, this accelerated, to the point where it became difficult to find examples of age appropriate characterizations of teen characters, especially girls.

Watch an episode of B&B these days and see if you can find any of the teenagers who actually attend school onscreen-- they're more likely to be only seen during the summer when they can be foisted in the middle of a summer romantic triangle. On the recent OLTL reboot a few years ago, did attend summer school, where he began promptly sleeping with his teacher!

 

I wouldn't put money down on it but I think one of the first characters they made that mistake with - at least in my memory - was Y&R's Victoria back in 1990.
When they SoRased her her FIRST story - while still a teenager - was her getting obsessed with *marrying* Ryan. That was the first of what you describe: not just erasing the normal steps of young adulthood by giving people jobs right away (see current YR Kyle being somehow in position to be CEO of Jabot that it took decades for his father to arrive at) but also making them marry and have babies right away. There was no need to introduce marriage into the Ryan/Victoria story to make it work. Young teenage girl gets infatuated with older man is a perfectly fine story to tell and the conflicts with VICTOR being her father write themselves. 
B&B did the same with the first of their "legacy children" to be SoRaSed with Rick in 1997 and BOOM he dates his babysitter, gets her pregnant and marries her while still in his teens by the show's math.
I can accept young characters getting more dramatic stories than real-life young people because, well, it is a soap but I agree with you that giving the same adult beat to their stories as other characters lessen the connection we have with them. American soaps rarely get to hang on to the same actors who grew up on the show (Starr and Robin being the exceptions I can think of) the way British soaps do - which is brilliant for them - but they could at least fuel the illusion we know those characters by making them go through the motions even after they recast. 

Edited by FrenchBug82
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40 minutes ago, FrenchBug82 said:

When they SoRased her her FIRST story - while still a teenager - was her getting obsessed with *marrying* Ryan.

I have always thought this about soaps..why does EVERYONE have to get married?Why is that ALWAYS the goal? My example is Alan Michael and Harley as basically early 20s and they are married after a few months and no one questions it, especially with the failed track records of both the Spauldings and the Bauers...and well everyone else they know. It just makes everyone looks stupid and naive. And after they marry they automatically want to have a baby..no one wants a career or hell, even not having a baby and having fun for a bit. No one in Oakdale or Springfield ever advised against marriage unless they were bad and obstructing Twu Wuv.  

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14 hours ago, Brolden said:

 

 

Although I agree about Hope, I'll raise the point that the lack of Daniel was much more unforgivable. Both of his parents were in Oakdale the entire time. Parker, who was born around the same time, was driving stories for years at the end. Although I actually kind of liked Ben Levin's Gabriel, why create a new character with a convoluted backstory as a rival for Parker, when they could have easily used either Daniel or J.J.? 

 

Well, the short explanation is neither JJ or Daniel could've been Craig's secret son. I agree---it's assinine that Daniel never even had a personality beyond years of sleeping on people's shoulders in scenes.  Parker, Faith, Hope and Daniel would've been an excellent teen quad, each one connected to core Oakdale families and miraculously unrelated to each other. (well, aside from marriages, and it took me a minute to think through whether or not Hope and Daniel were....lol) And miraculously born on screen within a year of each other. 

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7 hours ago, Mitch said:

I have always thought this about soaps..why does EVERYONE have to get married?Why is that ALWAYS the goal? 

It is one of those small things that show how deeply conservative (not in a political sense) American soaps are, as we had discussed earlier around gay relationships.
Part of it is because its audience is probably more conservative than the US at large or that their similar counterparts abroad where the demographic discrepancy isn't as pronounced.

But as always with these things, there is a bit of chicken and egg dilemna: American soaps get a somewhat conservative flavor on social issues (from marriage being the goal to discomfort with gay sexuality to women with abortion being "punished" in some way to the dreadful way race topics and people of color are tackled in soaps) because their audience is somewhat more conservative. But as the audience shrinks, its audience becomes more and more reliant on those conservative viewers because they are eskewing more modern stories that could attract different audience and new generations. And the more their remaining audience relies on them, the more they have to stick to those stories and the less attractive to any potential audience they become.
It is a self-fulfilling spiral of decline.
I have always said there is plenty of room for a show that would intentionally take the risk to break out of the pack and be bold and push the envelope on social issues and commentary.
 

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8 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

I have always said there is plenty of room for a show that would intentionally take the risk to break out of the pack and be bold and push the envelope on social issues and commentary.

 

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that that show will be on network television, certainly not during the daytime, that is.

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that that show will be on network television, certainly not during the daytime, that is.

Yeah American network executives have not believed in daytime soaps as a genre for twenty years.

I think their beliefs about why the genre has declined here are very offbase: in other countries like the UK or NZ or France (France didn't have ANY daytime soap fifteen years ago and now has four) soaps are doing very well and it is not like things like the Internet or attention span of viewers is different there from here.

The differences are in tones and in content (a lot more socially progressive in any of these shows) and what time of the day they air - all of them air in late afternoon, early evening over there.

But I think the contempt of Hollywood for soaps means it is unlikely they will take a chance at trying to revive the genre barring an executive who has a personal interest in it.

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