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@beebs Just want to add my thanks for the write ups. I love discussing past soap storylines and the choices writers faced and decisions made.

The tone of the show changed very much by 83 with a whole bunch of plots that would never have been utilised earlier. It gave the writers freedom to do stuff that never would have been entertained in the years prior to create dram/conflict. eg murders, psychos, super villians, doppelgangers etc.

All to the detriment of the genre IMO.

 

Back to the era under discussion. Days was facing the fact that the original characters were aging and played out yet were still popular and warranted airtime. Hence the Marcus and Harrower stories. By Harrower's time the decision was made to drop Laura and back burn Bill, make Mickey and Maggie supporting and break up Doug and Julie to basically replay their love story again.

The next generation David/Mike were aged up to step into the spotlight but weren't given stories of the same magnitude as their parents. David/Val had that potential to be star crossed for years but the interracial aspect caused problems and it was short circuited.

Meanwhile Mike was basically married off in a dead end story to a terminally ill woman. Not much to work with there.

 

The show really failed to bring in young relevant characters. Chris was really the only popular new character of that time that had lasting power. The show wasted Steve and stubbornly refused to bring back Sandy.

 

Donna operated in a vacuum- there was no new peer group for her. 

 

Janice perhaps should have been an older character in the first place and then return in 79 as a teen and become friend/frenemies with Donna. Give Lee a teen daughter that she had to support who charms Doug etc.

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19 hours ago, beebs said:

Margo threatens to tell the Better Business Bureau on him (OH NOES!), and Earl tells her that if she does, Mike will have an "accident", like a mysterious house fire...and no one would know who's to blame! Believe it or not, only NOW does Margo realize Earl's a crook. This story has been going on HOW long now?? Time you got your nose out of your "How To Plan Your Own Funeral" book, Margo.

I am dying laughing here. Uh-oh, not the Better Business Bureau!

 

19 hours ago, beebs said:

Donna inadvertently compromises Don's campaign almost immediately, by contacting a local "modelling agent" named Terry Gilbert, hoping to do some modelling to help pay Don back for covering her shoplifting sprees. Yeah, too bad Terry's modelling agency is a front for porn! Dumb Donna strikes again!

 

Donna's been hired on, for a whopping $7.50/hr ($26.90 today, I might add), and we find out Terry and Earl the Very Legitimate and Above-Board Loan Shark are in cahoots. Earl tells Terry to hold onto any pictures taken of Donna until after the election, as they could be worth a fortune.

Interesting that DOOL would do a "modeling agency" storyline involving a young woman roughly a year after OLTL's storyline. Following the leader, or was there just not that many story opportunities for Donna?

 

19 hours ago, beebs said:

After going back and forth on it, Julie forgives Jordan, and AGAIN decides to go ahead with the facial skin grafts. Just call her Julie The Metronome.

Yay, now we can finally move on ... right? ... right?!

 

1 hour ago, beebs said:

I'm hoping to keep going through to the end of '83, since I think we all pretty much know what happened past then. But we'll see.

How exciting!

 

1 hour ago, beebs said:

Surely there were other successful writers of the period who could've maintained that level of quality at the time. I do wonder if the Dobsons could have been swayed from GL at that time, or if their wildly-varying quality would've once again proved a liability at DAYS. Labine/Mayer would've probably been a decent fit...though, of course, they were running their own show at the time.

Oh, I would love to have seen the Dobsons try their hand at DOOL. By many accounts, they did well modernizing GL and DOOL was a show that wasn't having luck catching up to the rest of the soap world. In a completely different vein, I'm curious how Harding Lemay, just free from AW, would have done.

 

1 hour ago, Khan said:

In a way, that's how I feel about the first JER era to the present.  I can connect to the Bill Bell/Pat Falken Smith era (that is, what little I've been able to see/read about it) and I can connect to the Pat Falken Smith II/Maggie DePriest/Sheri Anderson/Leah Laiman/Thom Racina era.  But, once JER entered the picture, I felt like DAYS had regressed into something I never wanted to see or see again.

I'm trying to think when I lost my way with DOOL. I got interested in the show probably later than you all, during the Langan/Storms & Cook as Shelle years. I guess it was around JER's second run.

 

6 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

Back to the era under discussion. Days was facing the fact that the original characters were aging and played out yet were still popular and warranted airtime. Hence the Marcus and Harrower stories. By Harrower's time the decision was made to drop Laura and back burn Bill, make Mickey and Maggie supporting and break up Doug and Julie to basically replay their love story again.

The next generation David/Mike were aged up to step into the spotlight but weren't given stories of the same magnitude as their parents. David/Val had that potential to be star crossed for years but the interracial aspect caused problems and it was short circuited.

Meanwhile Mike was basically married off in a dead end story to a terminally ill woman. Not much to work with there.

 

The show really failed to bring in young relevant characters. Chris was really the only popular new character of that time that had lasting power. The show wasted Steve and stubbornly refused to bring back Sandy.

 

Donna operated in a vacuum- there was no new peer group for her. 

 

Janice perhaps should have been an older character in the first place and then return in 79 as a teen and become friend/frenemies with Donna. Give Lee a teen daughter that she had to support who charms Doug etc.

Talk about shortsighted. Get rid of/backburner/reset the A team, bungle the B team and force yourself to have to create a C team (and beyond). Also, re: your idea for Lee's young daughter, it's certainly preferable to early Renee (who I don't think clicked until the Tony storyline).

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1 hour ago, Khan said:

 

In a way, that's how I feel about the first JER era to the present.  I can connect to the Bill Bell/Pat Falken Smith era (that is, what little I've been able to see/read about it) and I can connect to the Pat Falken Smith II/Maggie DePriest/Sheri Anderson/Leah Laiman/Thom Racina era.  But, once JER entered the picture, I felt like DAYS had regressed into something I never wanted to see or see again.

Yeah, that's fair. I think the only reason I connected to that era was because I was just at that right age for it, and it sucked me in, so it has that nostalgic quality to it that I remember fondly. But, ultimately, it did more damage to the show, and indeed, the entire soap genre, than anything before or since. I will argue to the death that it, not OJ, has caused the terminal decline in quality and viewership we see today. Compare that to the 80s? I can feel the warmth and emotion radiate from the screen in those episodes, as hokey as I find the stories. When I watch the 90s? I laugh at the absurdity, and roll my eyes at the dialogue. It's a world of difference.

 

 

36 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

@beebs Just want to add my thanks for the write ups. I love discussing past soap storylines and the choices writers faced and decisions made.

The tone of the show changed very much by 83 with a whole bunch of plots that would never have been utilised earlier. It gave the writers freedom to do stuff that never would have been entertained in the years prior to create dram/conflict. eg murders, psychos, super villians, doppelgangers etc.

All to the detriment of the genre IMO.

 

Thank YOU for everything you've contributed to this thread as well. It's been a lot of fun for me, and super-educational!

I feel like there was also this immense pressure to keep up with ABC at this time, and the only way they felt they could do it would be to parrot it. It's unfortunate, but ultimately, it was successful.

 

 

 

 

I lost a chunk of what I'd written for November '79, so I'm slightly annoyed, but bear with me.


 

So Stephanie tries to convince Bob to take Alex's $4 Million loan, mostly because it'd be a great opportunity for him, once the inevitable profits begin to roll in, to take a step back and help out with Linda's (alleged) baby. Bob accuses Stephanie of trying to take over the company for herself (I feel like it was presented onscreen in a far less hostile manner than what SOD tells me), but Stephanie reassures him that she just wants to ensure he has the time for his new (alleged) child.

 

Speaking of the so-called baby, Linda, having put the cart before the horse, tries to get Bob back into bed to NOW try to get pregnant.

 

Magnis hasn't paid Anderson for work they did on time, so Bob confronts Alex about it. Alex chalks it up to clerical error, but Bob isn't so convinced, worried that, especially after Phyllis' stock transfer, Alex is setting up Magnis to perform a hostile takeover of Anderson. Alex denies it, but like...Stevie Wonder could see it coming.

 

Phyllis again demands Neil divorce her, and this time she doesn't f*ck around. She threatens to sue for divorce, naming Linda and Mary as his adulteresses. Neil knows Alex isn't interested in marrying her, and intends to prove it to Phyllis. So he heads to visit Alex, who says exactly what Neil's been telling Phyllis: that he has no intention of marrying her, and that Phyllis simply is starry-eyed in the presence of a tycoon like himself.

 

Phyllis suddenly asks Bob to buy the lakehouse from her for $350k, and if he won't agree, she'll have to sell to someone else and kick him and Linda off the property. Bob is stunned, and tells Phyllis he'll have to consult with Mary before making a decision. This reeks of Alex.

 

Speaking of Alex stank, Mickey reads over the loan agreement, and, while there's virtually no interest, it places the whole of Anderson Manufacturing as collateral. So if the solar panel doesn't sell, Magnis owns Anderson. GEE, IT'S ALMOST LIKE ALEX IS GOING TO SABOTAGE THE SOLAR PANEL SOMEHOW. Mickey tells Bob not to sign it, and when Alex visits Mickey to try to get an answer, is told Bob won't sign, with Mickey making the dramatic flourish of trashing the loan agreement in front of Alex.

 

Alex decides to draw up a new version of the agreement, with Mickey's help. He shortly thereafter divests Magnis of all their hospital properties, which makes Bob worry about their financial status and their commitment to their deal with Anderson, seeing as Anderson produces many of Magnis' medical supplies, and Magnis is Anderson's largest client at the moment.

 

Alex offers Tom a large cheque to keep UH in the black, with, once again "no strings attached", and then another. Tom has offered Alex a place on the UH board, so it doesn't even look suspicious. Alex then signs Mickey's new loan agreement with Anderson, which favours Bob. Alex then tells himself "how else can I shake $4 Million out of Magnis?" Alex is out to screw his own company, hmmm....

 

Alex confides in another Magnis board member that he plans to push Bob into early retirement by next year, and take over as head of Anderson himself, as Magnis is near ruin by Alex's own design.

 

 

Linda remains cut out of Bob's will, but he does ask Mickey to set up a trust fund for her (alleged) baby, and asks that Mary be made to inherit Anderson after he dies. A few days later, he changes his mind and puts Linda back in the will. Linda, now desperate, tells Neil she can't keep faking being pregnant, and needs to conceive NOW if she intends to stay in the will, and in Bob's house. Unfortunately, Melissa hears Linda tell Neil this. OOPS!

 

Stephanie, still under Alex's spell, has been continuing to suffer from migraines (remember how she's had them going back to the 1977 accident). Alex suggests she take a strong, over the counter medication for it, but Stephanie has been washing them down with booze, and this time, goes to Alex's apartment, gets into a lacy teddy, and tries to get it on with him. He tries to talk her down, but she then shows him a picture of his brother, Harley, that she found in his drawer. Alex tells Stephanie that Harley died by suicide, and is angry with her for rummaging through his things. He tries to take her home, but Stephanie wants to screw. Alex gets rough with her, and (ICK ICK ICK) tells her "I know you like it".

 

Marie, shortly afterwards, recalls walking in on Alex and Harley arguing in Alex's apartment in New York, moments before Harley fell out the window and died. Marie knew Alex hated Harley, but isn't sure if it was suicide or murder.

 

 

 

 

 

JULIE IS OFF TO SAN FRANCISCO TO GET HER FACE FIXED! Post-surgery, she's told her face grafts have a 30/70 chance of taking, which I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not, but Julie seems fairly confident, so I'm guessing this is a positive result? Julie finally gets her head in check, and decides, regardless of the result, she will return to Salem and to Doug. GIRL, YOU WAITED TOO LONG!

 

Doug vows to stop fixating on Julie, and Lee vows the same re: Byron, and they agree to start sharing a bedroom. Doug decides, since he's not getting any younger, and he can't live the rest of his life without the WAP, he'll marry Lee! STUPID!

 

Julie's doctors reveal that they are the most talented plastic surgeons in the known universe, as Julie's bandages come off, revealing a face as unblemished as a baby's behind. MIRACULOUS! It's like she never opened the stove to begin with! Because that's how skin grafts work. She immediately tries to call Doug, but Lee answers. She lies and says Doug's not home. Julie tries again later, but Lee disconnects the line, and tells Doug there was no one there. She and Doug then take off out of town and elope!

 

On their honeymoon, all is well until Doug calls Alice, who tells that Hope broke her arm at school and has been crying out for her dad to come home. So much for that! Back to Salem they go. Lee whispers "let's go back to OUR little girl". Blech.

 

Which is basically what Hope says when they get home. Hope is mad when Doug tells her Julie isn't coming back, madder, and even madder when Doug tells her he's married Lee. Feeling betrayed, she orders Lee leave and never return, demanding Julie come back (heh heh heh, the kids are smarter than the adults around here, I see). Lee tries to get in Hope's good graces, talking about how much they love each other. Hope, in turn, resents that Doug and Lee got married on the sly without telling her, and demands she stay with Tom and Alice instead.

 

Julie wears a dress that apparently shows off her ta-tas very nicely, and heads to Doug's Place, hoping to reconcile with her ex-husband. Too bad he then gets on stage and announces his new wife! Neil sneaks Julie out the door, and Julie makes him promise to never tell Doug she was there.

 

Neil confronts Jordan the next morning at the hospital, still upset over Julie's breakdown. He accuses Jordan of letting his feelings for Julie cloud his professional judgment. To which Jordan counters that this is a test for Julie's strength and ability to cope on her own. Neil thinks Jordan's sicker than any of his patients.

 

Julie pays Doug a visit, hoping to see Hope to facilitate the transition for her, but Lee answers the door. Lee lies and tells Julie that everything's sunshine and roses with Hope (who's at school). Julie agrees not to interfere, provided Lee won't interfere with her relationship with her ex-stephalfsisterdaughterinlaw. As Julie leaves, Doug steps into the room, and marvels at Julie's magical face. Julie grits her teeth and wishes the happy couple all the best, and tells Lee to take good care of Doug "but then you probably already have". 

 

I love bitchy Julie.

 

Hope goes to Julie and tells her that Doug doesn't love her anymore, and that Lee sends her to Tom and Alice's all the time because she's in the way. The manipulative little scamp wants to live with Julie, who tells Hope to try to get along with the conniving bitch for daddy's sake, and sends Hope on her way. When home, Doug and Lee scold her for coming home late, and Hope grumbles that no one would care either way, and that she doesn't love anyone anymore, and that Lee's only nice to her to get Hope to like her, then storms out of the room. I like this Hope.

 

Julie tells Jordan she doesn't feel comfortable continuing therapy with him AGAIN. This time because she feels Jordan's caught feelings. Jordan feels rejected and proves Julie right, by accusing Julie of blaming him for Doug's marriage to Lee. Julie then talks to Marie, and tells her that she still loves Doug as much as she ever did. Marie tells Julie the obvious: Don't kill yourself stewing about it. Go talk to him already.

 

 

 

 

Steve is back. He takes Mary for drinks at Doug's Place, and suggests they get married, then sees Trask show up and runs over to try to buy back his cane. Trask, oblivious as to why he wants it so badly, agrees to sell it back. Steve's saved (for now), and goes after Lee for payback for their plan working. But Lee won't give Doug a divorce to get Steve a cut of her settlement. She's perfectly happy gettin' that money AND that D. Steve threatens to expose that Lee was screwing around on Byron if she doesn't follow his directions.

 

Lee's also got trouble in the form of Byron's attorney, Desmond. Upon finding out Lee married Doug, he warns her that if she makes a play for the inheritance, Desmond will expose her adulterous ways and contempt for her late husband in a heartbeat.

 

Steve formally proposes to Mary, but Mary won't do it after the Chris debacle, and besides, Steve hasn't even told her he loves her yet. "Oh you KNOW I do," he says, then asks Mary on a ski weekend. Steve better hurry with that ski weekend, because Mimi sends a letter saying that Durand/Durant/whatever his name is was sent to jail but is about to be released, and will likely come to Salem to track down his Box O' Sparkly Canes.

 

 

 

Cathy agrees to move in with Mickey and Maggie (I thought she already had but...ok). But she INSISTS on paying room and board. She turns out to be a runaway from foster care, and doesn't know her real parents from a hole in the ground. She claims her reason for tracking them down is mostly professional, since she's enrolling in the UH nursing program and needs a medical history from them. Mickey is concerned Cathy will be in for disappointment and rejection, and doesn't want to delve into it, but Cathy is insistent that she MUST know.

 

Bill is worried they'll see Cathy being admitted to the nursing program as a touch nepotistic (in a sense), grills Cathy on her motivation for joining. Cathy tells Bill she's joining the program, not to please Tom, or Marie, but herself, sounding like a motivational poster: "I wanna be somebody, and I'm gonna be!" 

 

 

She'll have to be somebody without Alex's help, as Alex plans to leave town soon. So much for room and board, Cathy. But Alex tells her the next day that he only told folks that to see how they'd react. WTF is this man up to?

 

Mickey writes Cathy's foster family, the Breton's, asking for info on Cathy's birth family, but gets a "return to sender" back. Cathy starts sobbing again that she's now a NOBODY! And will be for the REST OF HER LIFE!! So much for motivation. She then gives up the nurses' program, because she's DIRT. And came from DIRT. And she's not SMART ENOUGH to be a nurse because she's NOBODY, and...(do you get the gyst yet?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam is deteriorating fast, so Neil demands she start dialysis, but Sam sobs and whines and moans about it. Neil tells her she has to do it, but Sam doesn't wanna. Neil hooks her up to a dialysis machine the next day. Neil tells Don that Sam will survive, but will never recover. Marlena suggests donating a kidney, but, being pregnant, neither Don, Jordan, nor Neil will hear of it.

 

Marlena suggests to Don that they look for a larger apartment now that Sam's out of the hospital. Don worries about having Sam lurking about now that her kidney failure has caused Sam to put her acting career on hold. Will it lead to renewed resentment of Marlena, and how will Sam respond to it? Would Marlena keep all her limbs this time?

 

Don doesn't want Marlena stressing herself out while pregnant to deal with Sam, but Marlena insists, despite the fact Neil tells Marlena HER kidneys have been compromised by the strain of her pregnancy. Neil urges her to get rest instead of running herself ragged.

 

Sam feels like a burden, and goes to a local bar to drown her sorrows. A bar patron gets handsy with her, and as Sam pushes him off, knocks the clamp for her dialysis out of her arm. Sam bleeds out and faints.

 

 

 

 

Don defended his opponent in a smear campaign, yet still managed to win his council seat. Mickey thinks the mayor is behind the smear campaign, and that Don's integrity will come back to bite him in the arse in short order. And if Donna's topless photoshoot is any indication, that day may be coming very soon.

 

Lester, Marlena's kooky patient that was siphoning money from Trask, demands Don, as city councilman, put forth legislation to shut down all the porn shops opening up in Salem.

 

Ohhh here it comes. Don sets up the "Clean Up Salem" crusade! Mickey suggests to Don that it goes deeper than porn, and believes (rightly) that there's a syndicate involved that has infiltrated the city. Earl, to make sure the campaign doesn't succeed, has Terry perform the most laughable photo editing job in human history, superimposing Donna's head onto a nude woman's body, and sell the photo to a porno mag. Terry complies because he also owes Earl a lot of money.

 

Beebs' note: I remember seeing the end result before, and it's as bad as those celebrity phony nudes they used to do in the early internet days where the person's head is on an angle that isn't humanly possible. You could even see the added ring of photo paper around Donna's head. It was SO BAD.

 

Someone from Earl's gang of idiots calls Don and tells him if he doesn't drop the "Keep Salem's Filth Behind Closed Suburban Doors, Please and Thank You" campaign, he'll be soooooooorry!

 

 

 

 

Mike drops off a payment to Earl that turns up $300 short. Mike insists he didn't steal any of it, but Earl doesn't buy it and has someone fire a warning shot through Mike's window. Mike finds out and tells Earl he's going to the police. Earl reiterates that such a move would cause an "accident" to happen to someone in Mike's family, and Mike hasn't got any evidence to show the cops anyway. Mike refuses to play along with Earl's game any longer, but Earl won't give up so easily.

 

Neither will Mike. He visits Mickey, and asks what he can do to stop Earl. Mickey suggests looking in the payment envelopes he's given to pass onto Earl, as maybe there's something more than money inside that could incriminate Earl. Mike strategically apologizes for going off on Earl, hoping that his apology will keep Earl from putting too close an eye on him while Mike tries to get the drop on Earl. Doesn't work. Earl immediately calls one of his henchmen to do just that. That night, at Doug's Place, Mike finds a contact list inside one of the envelopes. Mike thinks he's hit the jackpot, but the henchman catches Mike snooping, and goes to Anderson the next day, to shout at Margo that Mike's "gat a big maouth, too big fahr 'is own good!" and shoves Margo down the stairs. BYE MARGO! Chris finds her at the bottom of the stairs and calls an ambulance.

 

At UH, Earl shows up at Margo's hospital room with a bouquet of flowers. Mike wants to know how Earl knew about Margo's "accident", and Earl just says he's concerned. Mike mutters repeatedly about wishing he'd killed the man when he had the chance.

 

 

 

 

 

Stories are finally moving this month. I feel the sidelining of the Andersons is really picking up now. It seems like they were aiming to supplant the Andersons with Alex Marshall and his much darker stories. It's a shame because I was really enjoying the interplay between Mary, Bob, Stephanie, and Linda, with Phyllis and Neil popping in and out of the action. Alex was fine as a part of those folks popping in and out, but he now seems to be eating their story, and I don't like it. Harrower seems to be biting off way more than she can chew, storywise.

 

Steven and Earl and the mob are finally giving Stephen Schnetzer something to play, but it comes across as slapdash, with a half-hearted attempt to romance Mary that seems to go nowhere.

 

Doug/Julie/Lee is building up, but I can see why Lee was so reviled by the audience. She isn't exactly a bitch you can root for. She's just...psychopathic and mean. It's not like Linda, where you can still root for her despite the awful things she does.

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My problem with Alex is that he was put into too many stories at once.

The Magnis/Anderson business, Phyllis lover, Marie's ex lover with a shady past, involved with the hospital, came on to Maggie, involved with Cathy etc

Maybe if those angles came into play over months it would have been more effective.

Also Alex/Quinn was another over 40 male.

Let's see- there was Tom. Bill, Mickey, Bob, Doug, Robert, Neil and Tommy lurking around.

Maybe Alex should have been younger- a boy toy for Phyllis. Of course that wouldn't have worked with Marie.

 

To get to a Doug/Julie/Lee triangle there was a lot of plot and character manipulation. Doug was made to look foolish which put the burden on Lee to be the total heavy. I think it would have been better to see more of Byron and Lee before he died and giving Lee a daughter may have given her extra motivation also.

 

 

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@beebs ''he can't live the rest of his life without the WAP'.' I just looked up what WAP means🤣 I have a feeling Cathy was meant to be Marie and Alex's child. But it was aborted. Cathy sounds like a dud anyway. The stuff with Mike and and a slowly dying Margo sounds awful. I find the Anderson's interesting. It's a shame they were jettisoned. During the failed revamp. 

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9 hours ago, beebs said:

Compare that to the 80s? I can feel the warmth and emotion radiate from the screen in those episodes, as hokey as I find the stories. When I watch the 90s? I laugh at the absurdity, and roll my eyes at the dialogue. It's a world of difference.

 

Exactly.  Don't get me wrong: '80's DAYS could be very hokey and comic book-y at times, but the show still carried a ton of heart and passion and excitement.  (ATWT and GL always appealed to my intellect, but DAYS always appealed to my heart.  AMC and OLTL?  Probably, somewhere between the two).  As a viewer, you had the sense that Al Rabin, Shelley Curtis and their writers and directors really CARED about the show and what it meant to its' most loyal viewers.  To me, JER, Tom Langan and Stephen Wyman never exhibited the same level of commitment.  JER, in particular, often seemed to be making fun of DAYS.  He didn't care about its' tapestry of characters, its' history, its' place within the overall soap landscape or in viewers' hearts.  He was just looking to play God.

 

14 hours ago, beebs said:

I do wonder if the Dobsons could have been swayed from GL at that time, or if their wildly-varying quality would've once again proved a liability at DAYS. Labine/Mayer would've probably been a decent fit...though, of course, they were running their own show at the time.

 

I feel like the best person to try and recapture the true spirit of DAYS -- whether we're talking about 2020, or 1979 -- was, and is, Kay Alden.  She just seems to be the only scribe who "gets" the Bill Bell style of storytelling, you know?

 

19 hours ago, jam6242 said:

Bill Hayes has said that Bill Bell originally intended for Doug to lead Sister Marie astray in 1970, but tossed that story plan aside when he saw the chemistry between Bill H and Susan Seaforth.

 

Thank God he did toss it aside, too, because I don't think it would've worked.  First of all, I can't see Bill Hayes and Maree Cheatham sharing any sort of romantic or sexual chemistry.  Secondly, Marie had had so much bad luck in the romance department (first, the broken engagement to Rick Butler; then, the broken engagement to Tony Merritt; then, the ill-fated marriage to his father, Craig; then, of course, Mark/Tommy), having her make yet another mistake by falling for Doug, who was, at that point, a ne'er-do-well ex-convict, would have made Marie look less like a tragic heroine and more like the biggest fool alive.

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10 hours ago, beebs said:

I feel like there was also this immense pressure to keep up with ABC at this time, and the only way they felt they could do it would be to parrot it. It's unfortunate, but ultimately, it was successful.

 

IMO, it was successful, because TPTB never completely lost sight of the fact that DAYS was, first and foremost, a show about romance, and emotion.  There was always emotional stakes for the couples to the action/adventure stories.  Compare that to Gloria Monty's GH, which -- again, IMO -- was strictly James Bond/Indiana Jones stuff.

 

9 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

My problem with Alex is that he was put into too many stories at once.

 

Agree.  Pat Falken Smith did a much better job integrating Stefano DiMera without making it seem like he was overwhelming everything and everyone else.  (If only subsequent HW's had followed her lead.)

 

Were Eileen and Robert Mason Pollock (THE DOCTORS, DYNASTY) ghost-writing DAYS at this point?  Because, here we have two villains, Alex Marshall and Lee Dumonde, who are just evil for evil's sake.  Neither Alex nor Lee has any human or redeeming qualities (thus far), nor is there any explanation for why they want money/power so badly other than it's there.  Or have I missed something?

 

Also, just a thought, but when they shipped Laura off to Bayview, they missed a golden opportunity to transition Bill into a new love triangle with Mike and Margo.  I mean, Mike and Margo were already experiencing marital issues.  Bill could have been there to provide support for Margo.  Gradually, Bill's feelings toward Margo could have grown into "something more."  That, in turn, could have yielded ENORMOUS guilt on Bill's part.  (Here he is, falling in love with another woman -- and his son's (terminally ill) wife, to boot -- while his wife languishes in the loony bin).  For the sake of his son's marriage, Bill decides he needs to stay away from Margo (even though, neither has acted on their feelings toward each other...yet), but Mike gradually senses there ARE feelings between his dad and his wife, which brings up all the old issues surrounding Laura/Bill/Mickey and Mike's paternity; and on and on.

 

To me, a Margo/Mike/Bill triangle would have been much more satisfying to watch than this bullshit with Mike and Salem's answer to Don Corleone.

 

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Am I the only SONer ancient enough to have watched DAYS from the very beginning? I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all the recaps and opinions about the 1970s' material. To me, the show instantly collapsed after Pat Falken Smith was replaced by Ann Marcus. I felt like I was suddenly watching The Road Runner, LOL. Marcus was at the height of her game on Mary Hartman and Search for Tomorrow, but she did not understand or fit DAYS at all. The show was absurd, disjointed, and foreign under her reign. Elizabeth Harrower was slightly more DAYS-ish. She technically had a better understanding of the show's tone and characters, but she lacked the finesse, sophistication and skill that Bill Bell and PFS had been gifted with. Her version of the show was tepid and lopsided, with most focus going to a handful of characters. While I was miserable watching both these writers' material, little did I realize that they were better for the show than the heinously-awful Nina Laemmle would be in 1980. Egads! Laemmle butchered this show much more severely than the Dobson crippled ATWT in the early 1980s and Gail Kobe and Pam Long decimated The Guiding Light a few years after that. All three of these once-excellent series went through a very dark period as we moved into the '80s. ATWT rebounded for years after Douglas Marland took over, and TGL had  a long resurgence in the Nancy Curlee era. Alas, DAYS only rebounded briefly in 1982 when Pat Falken Smith returned for a few months, but then collapsed again and has never been written well ever since. (Admittedly, some scribes have been slightly better than others, but many writers over the last 35+ years have been absolutely horrendous. The show has never regain the finesse, subtlety and quality that it was known for in the 1960s and '70s. It has long been a cartoon.

 

The Cathy Breton character was originally poised to be outed as Marie's long-lost daughter, as the rumors went at the time, but the actress was a dud and so she was written out suddenly.

 

Synopses may not capture the nuance of the Margo story well, but I liked the actress and felt the storyline was sweet. It just went on too long.

 

Julie's facial scar had the bad habit of "shifting" around on her face from episode to episode, LOL.

 

The show later retconned the story about Alex Marshall and his brother, as the actor became popular with the audience. Later, the show tried to bamboozle the audience into thinking that Alex only "felt guilty" that his brother had died, but WE SAW HIM MURDER HIS BROTHER ON CAMERA. For DAYS to later pretend it did not happen was really offensive. It was like when Luke Spencer clearly raped Laura at the Campus Disco on GH, but we were later supposed to accept that the violent and heinous rape had merely been a "seduction" once fangurls in the audience got the hots for Tony Geary. UGH.

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It sounds like the Earl, the loan shark/the syndicate storylines were DAYS' first venture into "Copy GH mode" Clearly it was not a good fit for the show. AW had similar problems with its mob storylines at that time.

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14 minutes ago, AbcNbc247 said:

It sounds like the Earl, the loan shark/the syndicate storylines were DAYS' first venture into "Copy GH mode" Clearly it was not a good fit for the show. AW had similar problems with its mob storylines at that time.

 

Ugh!  Those mob/crime stories on Another World ate about a third of the show from late 1979 until around 1982.  And AW had never been that type of soap opera.  Individual crime stories would have worked occasionally, but continuing it all for two or three years with so much of the cast involved was a huge mistake.  AW was on the air for 20 more years, but never recovered from the damage done in '79 to '82.  NBC and P&G wanted to get away from Harding Lemay's type of writing, and make AW more like a "normal" soap opera (ATWT, AMC, GL, I assume), but they never hired a head-writer capable of doing that.   Mob/crime plots were definitely the wrong direction.

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3 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

Synopses may not capture the nuance of the Margo story well, but I liked the actress and felt the storyline was sweet. It just went on too long.

 

Just from reading the synopses, it feels as if TPTB keep putting off the inevitable.  Like, they know that Margo HAS to die, or else the story is meaningless; but they're really hoping something will come along to change their plans.  Subsequently, it's like what you've said: the story goes for on too long; and you reach a point where you wish the writers would either just kill off Margo already or put her leukemia in remission and move on.  Either way, I, for one, find myself unable to invest all that much in her illness OR in her marriage to Mike.

 

1 hour ago, Neil Johnson said:

Individual crime stories would have worked occasionally, but continuing it all for two or three years with so much of the cast involved was a huge mistake.

 

Agree.  I'm not averse to stories about organized crime, per se, but when they become the whole show, or when the players involved are elevated to the status of heroes, that's where I have to draw the old line.

 

3 hours ago, vetsoapfan said:

The Cathy Breton character was originally poised to be outed as Marie's long-lost daughter, as the rumors went at the time, but the actress was a dud and so she was written out suddenly.

 

But, it seems to strange to tie her in with Mickey and Maggie as her adoptive parents and guardians, unless the writers were heading toward an Alex/Marie/Maggie/Mickey quadrangle.

Edited by Khan
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The Bill/Mike/Margo story would have needed incredible finesse in the writing to have worked but is an intriguing idea...

What about Bill/Mickey/Maggie? Maggie could feel sorry for a lonely Bill and become a second mother to Jennifer. Mickey could be immediately resentful at was is at first completely innocent which would only fuel the fire. 

 

Thinking long term, now would have been the time for Tommy to resurface and be involved with Linda, who needs support as her marriage crumbles. Trying to get pregnant,Linda sleeps with Tommy, But as happened onscreen Linda is exposed and leaves town. But is she pregnant with a future Horton?

Or perfect time for Kate to resurface. Bill turns to her and this time they consummate their affair. Bill is immediately contrite and Kate understands, But as she leaves Salem,she discovers she's pregnant.

 

There didn't seem to be much interest in the Robert/Dougie situation, which was loaded with potential conflict.

 

The show was in need of a revamp as Harrower's stories meandered, but what came next was way too drastic, as we shall see.

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1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

What about Bill/Mickey/Maggie? Maggie could feel sorry for a lonely Bill and become a second mother to Jennifer. Mickey could be immediately resentful at was is at first completely innocent which would only fuel the fire.

 

Maybe, but I don't see any real chemistry between Suzanne Rogers and Ed Mallory.

 

Now, I DO see chemistry between her and Jed Allan.  ;) 

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7 hours ago, Khan said:

To me, a Margo/Mike/Bill triangle would have been much more satisfying to watch than this bullshit with Mike and Salem's answer to Don Corleone.

You do realize that Ed Mallory met and married Suzanne Zenor at Days? Art imitating life if that story played out!

Of course, like many other real life couples the chemistry may not have been there onscreen

6 minutes ago, Khan said:

Now, I DO see chemistry between her and Jed Allan.  ;) 

Is that based on the upcoming Don/Maggie story?

 

Edited by Paul Raven
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