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On 10/14/2020 at 2:25 PM, beebs said:

I just logged back in and realized how long that post was. I should never post at 3am with insomnia. I am SO sorry, Y'all.


Keep going. I loved every minute of it. You're fleshing out an era I know very little about. I have the Zenka anniversary book, but all it really says about Atwood is that he was a scumbag sculptor and that Mike fell for Margo and she died.


Makes Mike's static age hilarious. Yeah, Carrie, I had a wife who died when you were an infant. Except Mike should have only been in elementary school himself.

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On 10/14/2020 at 2:25 PM, beebs said:

I just logged back in and realized how long that post was. I should never post at 3am with insomnia. I am SO sorry, Y'all.

Please keep going. The post was very well written. It drew me in. I know next to nothing about that era. I knew Julie got raped by Larry. I knew Margo slowly died from cancer for two years. Like @Titus Andronicus said you really fleshed out this era. 

Edited by victoria foxton
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So it looks like May 1978 was the last Daytime Serial Newsletter, and that's a shame, because I'm not entirely enamoured with (I'm guessing) SOD's writeups. They're more detailed, technically, but somehow a touch more shallow, and because they jump between storylines, it's harder to follow what happens. I'm finding myself with a number of questions as to character motivations that I didn't get with DSN. Anyway, a lot happened in June 1978, so I'll just go into that one.

So Donna so screws up her young life that she threatens to jump off a ledge. Marlena and Don talk her down, but while helping her in, Don falls off and ends up in the hospital. He's fine for awhile, but develops a staph infection and is at death's door by month's end. Marlena at first is bitter with Donna (she can't help but be hostile to Donna, but Sam tortures and nearly kills her but it's okay because...drugs???), but Donna ends up in the UH psych ward and breaks out to visit Don, and tells him she's sorry she's hurting the people she loves (meaning Don and Marlena, d'awww *gag*) and signs his cast, saying "you're the greatest". Apparently all is forgiven, but Marlena is still so stressed that Bill and Don sent her to her parents' in Colorado, and she's off camping with her dad, so Marlena doesn't realize Don's now a step from death. Oops!

Doug and Julie, fresh off Julie's exoneration for Larry Atwood's murder, go to Paris on holiday. There they try to track down Julie's brother Steve (Stephen Schnetzer). I guess he blew through his inheritance, because he's now scammed a loan out of both Doug AND Julie without the other one knowing.

Joanne Barnes has kidnapped Janice, promising she's a fairy godmother who'll take Janice to Disney World for a week and no one will notice she's gone because time will actually stay still in Salem. Of course, Mickey and Maggie notice, and get an anonymous note on their doorstep saying Janice is fine and she'll be brought back "when I'm done with her". When this doesn't inspire confidence, they report Janice missing. The last day Janice and Joanne are in Florida, Joanne has a heart attack and ends up in hospital. Her doctor in Florida traces a pill bottle he found in her things to Tom Horton. After a week of Joanne's name coming up repeatedly, the Hortons put two and two together and realize Joanne is actually Janice's bio mom and Mickey and Maggie fly down to reunite with Janice, who's happy to see them, but is now, of course, enamoured with Joanne. Maggie's sympathetic, but Mickey wants to go home and forget Joanne ever existed (probably where the smart money is, tbh). Maggie hears Joanne talk about how she's a welfare patient and her surgery is basically at the back of the line behind the paying patients. If she doesn't have her heart surgery for her angina soon, she'll die. Mickey gets sucked in and arranges for Bill to do Joanne's surgery in Salem. I would say this is compassionate and kind hearted of them, but I know where this story is going, so I think they're all putzes for going along with this right now.



Margo decides not to marry Mike because of her leukemia and dumps him, and now Mike's mopey again and transfers out of town with Anderson. Byeeeee.


Jeri hears from whiny Trish, who wants Jeri to come visit her at a secret location, and to not tell David, because...reasons. 

I should point out right now an error I made earlier in these posts. Sybil--er--Trish did NOT kill her father. Jack Clayton was her STEPfather. Her bio dad is remarried and Timmy/Scotty is living with him, for reasons that have never been made particularly clear to me. 


Jeri takes about ten minutes to call bullsh!t on Trish's demand and calls David and says to come to her place and they'd head out to meet Trish and "Timmy" together...then leaves early without David when she changes her mind, leaving a note saying she's sorry for the past [???] but is loyal to her [stupid] daughter, not David and the Hortons. So Jeri goes to meet Trish, tells her to let David see his son, and Trish says no, and apparently continues to not give a good reason for it. (My loathing for this character never ceases to grow exponentially with every passing month I read).

David, meanwhile, is miserable, until he goes to a party at Mary and Chris' and finds Valerie there! They start dating again. I feel like Ann Marcus really did see David and Valerie as a strong pairing, but with Tina Andrews gone, and I suspect the brass at either Columbia, NBC, or within Corday being reticent to revisit the interracial romance, she couldn't do more than dip her toes in periodically. It's a shame, because I've enjoyed David and Valerie together. She is a calm, steadying hand in David's life, while the other women in David's life are so transient and wildly unpredictable. It's a real shame Ann Marcus' attempts to feature the Grants more heavily were stifled, because you can clearly tell there was an interest there.


The strongest story on the show continues to be the Anderson family drama. Chris quits as an Anderson exec after repeated run-ins with Linda, who's continuing to manipulate the company and Bob to her advantage. Chris attempts to start his own construction firm, and convinces Mary to join him. Bob returns from a business trip to discover both Mary and Chris have quit, and Linda won't give any indication as to why. Bob doesn't press. 

Chris then lands a job with a rival firm to Anderson, so...so much for going it alone, I guess.

SOD really cocks up the timeline here, but from what I'm figuring out, Neil offered to homeswap with Linda and Bob, giving Bob and Linda the keys to Neil and Phyllis' house (since Phyllis is out of the country pretending she isn't married to a philandering twunt), and Neil moves into Linda's apartment. Chris and Mary find this out by having an intimate moment interrupted by Melissa, as Mary's house is on Neil and Phyllis' property. So Mary goes down to Neil's to ask him if he offered the houseswap or Phyllis (curiously THIS beat was earlier in the SOD article than the explanation of the houseswap, so I got a little confused for a minute). Neil confirms that he did, and then quickly changes the subject before Mary can tear him in half for it to their affair. Mary goes to leave, but it's too late, Linda's in the doorway and overheard the whole thing. Now she has ammunition she can lord over Mary's head at will. 



I feel like they were really setting up to make Linda the queen bee of Salem. Manipulator, business powerhouse.  A similar role to what Kate Roberts would take on in more recent history. It's a shame they took her too far later on. I really enjoy her, and Margaret Mason is made for that kind of role. I would just LOVE to see her in action.

These stories are, otherwise, so clunky, and melodramatic for no reason, it's hard to engage in them. I see Bill and Kate's affair storyline has been sidelined. Possibly to be picked up later, but it seems it never extended further than flirtation and angst.

Onto July! *braces himself*


ETA: I am really glad you guys are enjoying this. It's a lot of fun to read and share with you all. And until Sony stops being the dragon sitting on their mountain of gold and lets us actually view the archive, I guess this is as close as we'll get to being able to actually SEE the episodes.

Edited by beebs
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Fascinating stuff as always, @beebs, even if the stories themselves range from tune in tomorrow (the Andersons, plus Neil and Chris) to Dear God, make it stop already! (Trish).


We've said it before, but not properly utilizing Steve Olson/SS has to be one of DOOL's biggest missed opportunities.


"When I'm done with her."? "When I'm done with her."! Jeez Louise, Mickey and Maggie could hardly be blamed for worrying about little Janice.

Edited by Franko
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3 hours ago, Titus Andronicus said:

Yeah, the melodrama seems extremely thick at this point.

I didn't see a mention of Laura. I've been looking forward to how the Kate infatuation played out, but nothing. I would have liked Laura's name to pop up, maybe to have to her concerned about how he's been pulled into the Joanne situation. 

Yeah, Laura...I don't even think was MENTIONED in SOD for the month. It's really weird.I think they had relegated her back to being the catch-all psychiatrist and nothing more for the moment while they figured out what to do with her and Bill.I think the only mention she got at all might have been in giving Donna psychotherapy after she tried to kill herself.

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Okay, July 1978 is even more bonkers than June, somehow. 


I'm realizing that I'm going to have to take advantage of both the weekly Tune In Tomorrow updates and SOD because SOD is REALLY bad at fleshing out their stories. Entire beats of stories are missing from their recaps, and it's shockingly hard to follow the stories if you aren't able to watch. The nice part about DSN was that, if you weren't watching, you still got a real sense of exactly what was going on on the show, regardless. SOD, not so much.

Struggling a bit to figure out where to begin with this.


Suffice to say, the Anderson story remains the only story worth watching, but even THAT is starting to get chipped away at. I...am thoroughly unsurprised by the .9 ratings drop DAYS had during 1977-78. Though after reading TIT's recaps, even June made a lot more sense. So...

Follow me here.


Going back to June a bit, they fleshed out Samantha's story a bit more than what SOD talked about. Sam's guilt about what she did to Marlena really eats at her, so she left for Hollywood for a new film. I suppose Sam's guilt and resolve to clean herself up from her pill addiction really made it plain to Marlena that Sam really did love her, thus explaining her forgiveness, but I still feel like it was a bit easy for Marlena to forgive so quickly.

In July,

Marlena gets the memo about Don, and returns from Colorado in time for Bill to realize that if he doesn't inject Don with this EXPERIMENTAL DRUG, Don will DIE! (oh brother) Apparently this staph infection has caused internal bleeding, which necessitated surgery. 


Don gets the drug, he recovers...except HE'S DEAF (I literally hollered upon reading this, WTF!!) He's mopey and brooding in the typical Don fashion about this, and it pisses Marlena right off, until she makes it clear to him how he's hurting her, then he magically becomes tender and loving again...until he decides to move back into his own apartment instead of with Marlena. Apparently Donna is now trying to break Don and Marlena up?? Again, NO idea why she's suddenly become enamoured with Don at Marlena's expense, when she was super chummy with Marlena before, but Marlena is now very resentful of Donna's intrusion, even though she precipitated it. Donna moves into the Horton house, since, apparently she doesn't like Marlena anymore.


Also, Greg thinks Marlena is not just rundown from her annus horribilis but actually physically ill (were they hinting at Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?)



Apparently completely absent from the SOD recaps was that Linda was all set to move into a new house with Melissa and Bob, only to have it burn down just before she moved in, thus the houseswap with Neil. Neil is being so generous with Linda as a means to potentially get in her pants (the ol' horndog). Linda isn't interested, but will gladly take whatever he's offering (sucker).


Chris' job with a rival company of Anderson's was a low level job to keep money coming in while Chris set up his own business with Mary. This does, however, lead to a new opportunity. The new employer utilizes Chris' connections to Anderson to head up an environmental group objecting to Anderson's new project. Anderson's new project takes them into the last remaining wildlife refuge in Salem city boundary (this is starting to sound like my fanfic! Yikes!) and Chris works to try to convince Anderson to build in a different location. Bob agrees, Linda decides to, instead, fight to destroy Chris and his new employer, Jim Bradley, in order to make sure Anderson's new project goes ahead in its initial (cheaper) location.


While this goes on, Linda continues to manipulate, throwing Steve a huge welcome party to outdo the Hortons, and simultaneously starts fishing for info about Brooke's involvement with the Andersons, after listening in on Mary tips her off.


Jeri MOVED from Salem to meet Trish and live with/take care of Timmy/Scotty. I still don't know why Whiny Trish is so insistent David not see TimmyScotty. A PI tracks down Jeri and Trish in California, where Trish is getting into films. David decides to go to California to bring TimmyScotty home, but the family warns him not to in case of a court battle. Because, even though Trish did exactly the same thing, if David does it, it constitutes kidnapping and will play against him in court. At the same time David plans this trip, Trish gets a role in a film to be shot in Italy (spaghetti western, I'm presuming). She's bringing Jeri and the kid with her. This will end well.


Before David leaves, a plant manager at Anderson lets him know that Paul Grant died of a heart attack. He comforts Valerie, and they seem on the path to full reconciliation again.I honestly do not see how Ann Marcus' plan was not to have David and Valerie as endgame, given the way the story is moving here. Why go to the trouble of killing Paul off otherwise?


Bland Margo decides to start dating other men after rejecting Mike's marriage proposal. Mike's jealous. A week later they reconcile, and then marry. Whoopie!


Steve returns to Salem, and immediately becomes involved in a whole whack of stories. First, Doug hires a new singer to replace Whiny Trish (I confess I've always found Patty Weaver's singing akin to nails on a chalkboard). Her name? THERESA!


Theresa, played by Elisabeth Brooks (Toronto, represent!), is immediately Steve's romantic fixation, and yet makes Julie jealous as well. Money starts disappearing from Doug's Place. Robert suspects Theresa. It is obviously actually Steve. Steve meets Mary, and is instantly attracted. Doug suspects Steve is only after Mary's money. Doug is a moron, and hires Steve at the club.


Mickey tries to get Joanne out of town ASAP, but Bill and Tom insist that Joanne stay to recuperate, with Bill feeling responsible for his patient. Mickey reluctantly agrees. They'll regret this.



Beebs' thoughts:

There is too much going on now. Most of it is bad. I really wish someone would explain to me how Trish was a popular character for eight years, because I find her utterly insufferable. 


Bill and Kate is well and truly dropped, I think. I'm fairly certain that they tried to make Kate Roberts into Kate Winograd when the character was first introduced (Alice very definitely recalled Austin's eyes as being extremely familiar, and Julie warned Bill about selling the house to Jack and Jennifer because "you know what happened in that house", it was absolutely being set up). But JER played FAR too fast and loose with history here. And the fact that it was only 15 years in the past at that point, it seems ludicrous to be THAT liberal with history if you don't plan to be faithful to it. Though, it is telling that the story began under Sheri Anderson. I suspect if Sheri had remained, that the massive plot holes would have been filled in a lot better than they were, but even then, given the fact that their relationship never evolved past flirtation, I would have difficulty buying Lucas as their son.

Onto August!

Apologies if this is less than cogent. I'm a bottle of wine in as I type this, so, bear with me.

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My god, it sounds like an extended game of "Can you top this?" I'm waiting for Marlena to be kidnapped, then hit by a bus when fleeing. And the writers really needed to make up their minds about Donna, who's coming across as bipolar.


Nah, Trish is making a sword-and-sandal movie, I think.


Mike and Margo's wedding, of course, resulted in an unintentionally hilarious photo.

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If I was Rosemary Forsyth, I'd feel resentful that my formerly front-burner character is doing very little at the moment. At least Edward Malloy has hospital scenes.

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I was a kid so I only watched during school vacations. I didn't know any BTS stuff but it was clear that something was different about the show in this period -- and not for the better. I loved Trish and Mike -- and Trish's singing! -- but the stories were ridiculous.Margo was a simpering ninny. Mickey & Maggie were a bore. Rosemary Forsyth's Laura couldn't hold a candle to Susan Flannery's. I really liked Don & Marlena but hated Donna and everything that came in her wake. Doug & Julie were ill-used. I don't even remember Kate Winograd or Joanne (Barnes?). Josh Taylor was very appealing as Chris Kositcheck (you wouldn't believe it if you've only seen him as Roman) and his pairing with Barbara Stanger (Mary Anderson) worked well. I always liked Margaret Mason's Linda Patterson (and hated, hated, hated Linda's nonsensical '80s return as a high-class madam in the form of Elaine Princi.)

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8 hours ago, Franko said:

Mike and Margo's wedding, of course, resulted in an unintentionally hilarious photo.

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That might be the funniest wedding photo I've ever seen. WTF 


I feel it says something about Patty Weaver's charisma that she was able to be so popular in two roles despite the writing for her being so unforgiving (especially at DAYS, though I disliked what a perpetual victim she was at Y&R too).



August time!


So, the direction they're going with Maggie/Mickey/Janice/Joanne is starting to become clear. Basically, Mickey, Maggie, and Joanne all agree to not let Janice know that Joanne is her natural mother. Except Hope overheard someone talk about it, so Hope opens her big mouth to Janice, who is now treating Maggie like sh*t. She starts taking a few drinks because, between Janice rejecting her, and Mickey working so much, she feels isolated. Of course, the drinking makes it worse, so when Mickey asks her to do things, Maggie has a "migraine".


Janice and Melissa are becoming fast friends, and with Maggie drinking so much and Janice being so snipey toward her, Maggie doesn't mind. Except...


Linda has her big party for Steve, and Maggie decides not to go, because of her "migraines". Mickey gets there and sees Joanne working the party, and is even more pissed off when Linda tells him that Joanne is her permanent maid. Mickey's suddenly glad Maggie had that "migraine". He confronts Joanne about it, but insists that Mickey let her keep the job, as it's the only stability she has and it isn't even really in Salem (since it's out at Bob's lakehouse). Mickey isn't entirely convinced but goes along with it.


He does end up breaking the news to her. Melissa invites Janice to a party at her house. Maggie doesn't want Janice to go, Mickey says that that would be the worst thing for her relationship with Janice. 


So, now Janice is going to Melissa's regularly, and now is spending all kinds of time with Joanne, while Maggie stands back in silent horror at, and, instead of stepping in to do something about it, drinks about it. Janice eventually asks Joanne if she's her real mom, but Joanne tells her that if they wish to stay friends, Janice must never ask that question again. Mickey and Maggie, meanwhile, are somehow convinced Janice doesn't know she's adopted. That somehow Janice is just...rebelling? And do nothing except wring their hands.


Another story that required everyone to lose a few IQ points to make work, it seems.


Laura, who, incidentally, thinks Maggie is overreacting in her fears that Joanne wants to take Janice away, finally convinces Bill to come with her to check on Maggie. They find the house on fire, and Maggie taking a nap after getting sloshed because Janice is at a sleepover at Melissa's. The next morning, Maggie picks Janice up at the Andersons' and rips Joanne a new one, telling her to get out of town or she'll press kidnapping charges after her little fairy godmother stunt in Florida.






Ann Marcus certainly loves inventing family members for characters on this show. Within a week of each other, we get Neil's cousin Pete Curtis (played by Meegan King) and Chris' sister Amy Kositchek show up. Pete instantly falls for Donna, who is uninterested in him because she's got a creepy infatuation with Don! So THAT's why she's been such a pain in Marlena's backside all this time. Pete is apparently of age, so Neil wans him to back off since Donna is 15. He doesn't listen, and Don encourages Donna to go because she has no friends her own age (Salem apparently was going through a baby rut in the Mid 60s if this is Don's solution). Donna intentionally withholds an apology message from Don to Marlena after one of their endless arguments. An interesting note, Marlena's ex Dr. Paul Whitman comes back to town for a second time (this man was Marlena's great love before she came to Salem, which made JER's inventing Alex North all the more silly). He came before after Marlena got out of Bayview in '77. He comes for a short visit, and once again tries to insinuate himself in Marlena's life while she on the outs with Don. But Marlena insists she will marry Don. Donna uses this to make Don angry and jealous again. When Don confronts Marlena about it, she blames Donna, and Don storms out. Fool.


Amy, meanwhile, comes to town looking for a job for college tuition. She initially wants a loan, and Mary's willing to give one to her, but because Chris is a typical man of the 70s and doesn't want to be outshone by his ladyfriend, he refuses.


Chris and Mary want to officially move in together, but Chris will only do so if they adhere to HIS lifestyle. Which, because he quit the executive position at Anderson, is pretty sh*tty. He feels guilty, and moves out. 



David finally tracks Jeri down while Trish is in Italy, takes "Timmy", moves back to Salem, hires Amy as his nanny, and renames him Scott. Then finds out from Danny that Valerie moved back to Washington and, I guess because she realized his life is with Scotty and she's not gonna raise this twit's baby for her, cuts David off permanently (for now). I think they're trying to hint at something more than a employer/employee relationship with Amy, though I know that won't go far.


Doug and Julie continues to be a nonsense story. Theresa isn't interested in Doug romantically, but is flirting with him anyway because she wants to get him involved more seriously in the record business. This irritates Julie, who takes off with Steve to Europe to buy more antiques for her new project, an antiques store. When she returns, she gets snarly with Theresa, insisting she stay the hell away from Doug. Doug finds Julie's jealousy adorable. Theresa can't handle the suspicions and hostility, and threatens to quit and leave town after nearly falling off the wagon (God knows why this woman with a drinking problem is working at a bar, but I digress). Doug convinces her to stay.


Greg is offered a position at a hospital in Chicago. Amanda doesn't want him to take the position, as she's already feeling neglected by him in Salem. 


Margo turns to Alice for comfort about the fact she's dying. Alice proselytizes at her until she's in a good mood again. 



Is it just me or is Ann Marcus dropping a LOT of stories midway here? Like...an unusual number of stories and story threads get picked up, only to disappear from view and memory within weeks, sometimes before they even begin. Is Linda even trying to gather dirt on the Andersons anymore? She rebuffs Bob's insinuation that they start a family, but otherwise has been pretty quiet this month. She's done NOTHING with the information on Neil and Mary's affair, and there's been no mention of her trying to find information on Brooke at all. I can't tell if that's an Ann Marcus failing or bad summary writing on SOD's part.


I really don't like how quickly Maggie turns to drinking. It was a rather instantaneous addiction that came out of left field a bit. I could see depression, maybe, but the turn to the bottle was abrupt. Laura/Bill/Kate stays on the backburner, though it seems like Elaine Princi stays on the show into 1979, so maybe they're coming back to it. They definitely were ramping it up before, only to drop it before it even really happened. All to focus on Donna's daddy issues. Yikes!

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I should mention Mike and Margo had other, more normal looking wedding photos ...

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... but the one I posted first was the one I first saw for them. I initially thought she was blind.


Now, onto the recap:

-- In case you didn't know, @beebs, Suzanne Rogers won a Daytime Emmy for her work in 1978-79. Things musta improved dramatically (pun intended). DOOL's other acting nominees were John Clarke, Jed Allan, Susan Seaforth Hayes and Frances Reid. Not only that, but the show, its direction and its writing (!) were all nominated.

-- Donna's story will never stop sounding gross.

-- "I Know My First Name Is Timmy: The Scotty Banning Story."

-- Well, I guess Frances earned that Emmy nod with Alice counseling Margo.

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