Jump to content
DRW50

Y&R: Old Articles

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, will81 said:

Fair call. I do like that not everyone knows everyone else, that worked in the 80's and 90's as well. I forget how small the main cast was in the 70's.

Haha what a riot. I have to find these immediately, thanks for letting me know. I love 70's tv movies

 

I have the first film transferred from a VHS release (which is pretty good quality) and the second one I bought from someone off the net that was taped off WGN decades ago.

 

Here is a grainy promo for it off youtube. The first film was one of the highest rated ABC movies of the week. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

That darkness was a hallmark of the Conboy years. It was carefully constructed so that the actors and/or certain props were specifically lit. Hours were spent on the lighting.

Wes Kenney changed that and said he got feedback along the lines of 'I didn't realize you had sets!'

No disrespect to Wes Kenney, who showcased some of Y&R's more luxurious sets, but that moody lighting is EVERYTHING. It is like something out of film noir, and so is the music. It creates such an atmosphere! It's like the subtext behind the characters' secret motivations, deepest desires, and most tortured fears.

 

Bill Bell was in advertising before he got into soaps, and advertising at the time was extremely taken by psychology and psychiatry as a marketing tool. Especially the helpfully-visual Freudian theories. You can really see the Freudian and the psychological underpinning Bell's writing, as well as production's lighting, directing and musical choices.

 

5 hours ago, Broderick said:

 

What I was noticing was how aesthetically pleasing this episode was, despite being staged (out of necessity)  in a fairly sterile, bland hospital environment.   Yes, during this particular episode we were "deprived" of the lush sets that we often saw on Y&R during the John Conboy era, but even with the fairly drab hospital set, you could see John Conboy's fingerprints all over it.   When Jennifer awoke, the hospital widow blinds were positioned in such a manner that sunlight was filtering into the room and making flickering daybreak-shadows fall across the table and lamp in front of the window.   And there in front of the window stood three breathtakingly beautiful young girls --- all impeccably dressed in their Southern California casual pantsuits, thoughtfully provided to Columbia Pictures by Giorgio's of Beverly Hills.   John Conboy made sure that the whoever directed the episode (Bill Dunlap, probably) zoomed in to get close-ups of the flawless complexions and carefully-styled hair of Lorie, Leslie, and Chris, without ever distracting from the very modern (even controversial, for the time) storyline Bill Bell was telling about a woman having a breast removed.  This was VERY unusual at the time --- telling a ground-breaking storyline about a masectomy, discussing breasts so frankly on daytime television, focusing the viewer's attention on three beautiful young women instead of on the patient herself, showcasing innovative Hollywood lighting techniques in a hospital room, of all places -- and presenting all of this in the context of very traditional, soap-based family drama.  This is the period when Y&R was really shaking-up the daytime world, and this particular episode goes a long way toward showing how Bill Bell and John Conboy were accomplishing this transformation.   It may seem bland to us now, but at the time I bet this seemed very riveting and modern, but at the same time soapy enough not to drive away the more traditional daytime audience.   

 

Like many other people on this thread, I was thinking about how I would love some soaps (certainly Y&R!) to return to this kind of... way of being.

 

Not just the almost claustrophobic focus on telling the story, playing all the beats, the focus on people and families (and not just cyphers), but the music, the lighting, doing so much with (relatively) little.

 

I can just imagine how a SL like Jennifer's mastectomy might be pitched to -- and rejected by -- the networks today. Because on paper it might seem boring or heavy. But back in the day, CBS gave Bell total control (network honchos were just there to make sure the scripts did not mention the word "breast"). They trusted in his writing to make the story not just about a mastectomy, but about Jennifer's fraught relationship with her family, her husband, her lover, her own body. I loved how the episode touched on her attractiveness, her need for affirmation and love. And we have the production crew underscoring all those themes with their skill in close-ups, lighting and music.

 

We would need the people who wield power over the soaps to rethink story-telling, such as it is today. That the so-called mundane can be lifted up and become as tense and as thrilling as any mob hit. It requires an investment in writers and crew who care to do a great job, who care about the characters and world they are going to write. It requires stepping back from overt interference.

 

I was definitely taken by how beautiful all the women were, their glossy hair, their soft, almost identically-striped lounge suits (how well those 70s fashions have aged, the men's less so). One close-up of Trish playing Chris was honestly so breath-taking. I love that Giorgio's of Beverly Hills mention bringing instant glamour to the soap genre, too. Aesthetically pleasing, but the story-lining is so strong, their lovely looks folded into that of their characters, that it is never a distraction.

Edited by Cat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cat said:

but the music, the lighting, doing so much with (relatively) little.

 

 One close-up of Trish playing Chris was honestly so breath-taking.

 

I completely agree about the music and the lighting.   And remember, back in 1975, most of the soaps (specifically the P&G soaps) were still utilizing strains of organ music to punctuate scenes --- yet here Y&R is with its lush "modern" instrumentation, not intruding into the storyline, but completely setting the tone and the mood.   And the LIGHTING --- not the flat, harsh overhead lighting that other shows of the 70s were still using then, but real film noir Hollywood lighting that can even make a hospital room look moody and appealing.  And yes, the hair, make-up and wardrobe people went above and beyond with Trish Stewart in this episode, and you can't help but notice how she's showcased in three entirely different types of lighting --- first in the shadowy gloom of Stuart Brooks' early morning living room, then in the flickering sunlight of the hospital room, and then in the hospital corridor where the lighting is more "normalized".   And she looks absolutely stunning in each of the close-ups.     

9 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

I think Bill Bell deliberately isolated characters eg Kay and Jennifer as he realized that the half hour could not support it. If Kay and Jen were friends then as well as Kay being a part of the Brooks story, Jennifer in turn would have involvement in all that was going on with  Kay and Jill and there would be an obligation to write to that which could dilute the overall story.

Also he liked to keep things up his sleeve so that later, characters could connect and open up new avenues to explore.

 

 

 

I agree.  Plus, it seems that Bill Bell deliberately placed Jennifer Brooks and Kay Chancellor in separate "orbits", because, after all, they were esentially the same prototype of character, being used in two completely different storylines. 

 

With Jennifer Brooks, we get the vain, shallow, needy, blonde, non-working, middle-aged society lady (with fading beauty) who is placed in a "matriarch" role of an upper-middle-class family, with her entire world revolving around her daughters and her husband, while she carelessly seeks outside attention to affirm that she's still attractive and desirable to men.

 

With Kay Chancellor, we get the vain, shallow, needy, blonde, non-working, middle-aged society lady (with fading beauty) who is placed in a more upper-crust/millionaire environment, with no children except an estranged son, and her entire world revolves around her addictions and out-of-control desires and her need to be reigned back into a more wholesome and productive life. 

 

It's almost as if Bill Bell looked at the Jennifer Brooks character after a few months of storytelling, and said, "Let's see what happens if we take this character, give her even MORE money, take away the children, give her a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of vodka, a husband who neglects her, a stableboy who bangs her, and let's see how LITTLE JILL would deal with this woman."

 

To put Jennifer and Kay in the same "universe" would make it pretty obvious that Bell was perhaps overusing this prototype, although his use of the character certainly differed in the context of Jennifer's storyline and Kay's storyline.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see GH released another classic episode collection on abc's website. Would it kill Y&R  to give the fans a little something? Something along the lines of a 45 episode online collection for their anniverary would have been cool like GH had on SOAPnet for their 50th. It is what it is at this point I suppose. 

 

I really enjoyed dark lighting and the ornate camera movements y&r used to have. It realy set the shadowy and dramatic tone for the show.  

Edited by ironlion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, SoapDope said:

 

I have the first film transferred from a VHS release (which is pretty good quality) and the second one I bought from someone off the net that was taped off WGN decades ago.

 

Here is a grainy promo for it off youtube. The first film was one of the highest rated ABC movies of the week. 

 

 

That's awesome thanks so much for sharing

18 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

That darkness was a hallmark of the Conboy years. It was carefully constructed so that the actors and/or certain props were specifically lit. Hours were spent on the lighting.

Wes Kenney changed that and said he got feedback along the lines of 'I didn't realize you had sets!'

That's hilarious. I remember vaguely SOD complaining that the 1998 primetime episode was too dark and they felt the show was trying to imitate film with darker contrast and it didn't work. I seriously can't remember if it was darkly lit or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading that The Henderson family was supposed to play an important long term role on the show. The wife Regina was supposed to be kind of a Katherine Chancellor type, but supposedly after Katherine was brought on, Regina Henderson fizzled rather quickly after she appeared the following year. Kay Alden said if you go back and look at Bell's original bible for Y&R, he specifically had the character of Kay Chancellor down to make her debut in November 1973 and Lorie Brooks in December. 

 

Bill Bell said one mistake he made in the 70's was failing to sign Tom Selleck to a long term contract. He said at that time Tom didn't have a leading man type of deep voice that was common on soaps in those days and wrote him out after about 2 years. He said when Magnum P.I. hit big in the early 80's, he was kicking himself and saying " Why did I not sign him" ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OTOH, if he had signed Tom Selleck, we might not have had him as Thomas Magnum.  ;)

Edited by Khan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching that episode I felt like I got more out of the non-Lorie/Leslie Brooks than others. This is the first episode I got a sense of who Chris and Peggy are and I actually liked both. I wish we could get like a solid week of Y&R from the 70s so we could get a feel of it. It seems like such a different animal than it became. In fact, each decade has a distinct feel to it. Also love whenever we get to see the Brooks home which looks just like the Forrester mansion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Chris B said:

Watching that episode I felt like I got more out of the non-Lorie/Leslie Brooks than others. This is the first episode I got a sense of who Chris and Peggy are and I actually liked both. I wish we could get like a solid week of Y&R from the 70s so we could get a feel of it. It seems like such a different animal than it became. In fact, each decade has a distinct feel to it. Also love whenever we get to see the Brooks home which looks just like the Forrester mansion. 

I agree. A week or two worth of episodes would be incredible. I think I read the Forrester home set was the Brooks set redone/recycled. The round window from the Brooks set showed up on The Newman ranch set when Nikki redid the house in the late 80's with Cassandra Rawlings as the interior decorator. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read that Tom Selleck was the one who didn't want to sign a contract. Selleck did have a higher pitched voice than expected from someone with his looks. I wonder if he was advised to have voice lessons and refused?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

I have read that Tom Selleck was the one who didn't want to sign a contract. Selleck did have a higher pitched voice than expected from someone with his looks. I wonder if he was advised to have voice lessons and refused?

 

That's interesting. I have read several different takes on it. I think Jamie Lyn Bauer even said Tom would complain that he was not under contract. She said he was a married man and had to often hide in her dressing room because all the women at CBS was putting the moves on him.....LOL. Tom started acting in the late 60's , but did not hit pay dirt till 1980 with Magnum P.I. Then he was the biggest thing since sliced bread. He was right in plain sight, but it took that one role to get him noticed. James Garner said he would tell Tom all the time when he was guesting on Rockford Files that he will make it big.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were two actors from that period who, when they finally "hit it big," they REALLY hit.  One was Ted Danson, the other was Tom Selleck.

Edited by Khan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SoapDope said:

I remember reading that The Henderson family was supposed to play an important long term role on the show. The wife Regina was supposed to be kind of a Katherine Chancellor type, but supposedly after Katherine was brought on, Regina Henderson fizzled rather quickly after she appeared the following year. Kay Alden said if you go back and look at Bell's original bible for Y&R, he specifically had the character of Kay Chancellor down to make her debut in November 1973 and Lorie Brooks in December. 

 

 

Yeah, some daytime magazine from the period (can't remember which one) did a spread on Y&R and announced that the Hendersons were supposed to be a vital core family.   Supposedly, John Conboy and Bill Bell were casting "Ma Henderson" -- the mother of Liz Foster and Bruce Henderson; Bruce Henderson; Bruce's wife Regina;  their son Mark; and another son whose name I can't remember (may have been "Russell").   Evidently, Bill Bell pretty much dropped this whole idea of featuring the Hendersons as a third core family for the time being.   We basically just got Bruce & Mark, with a few appearances from Regina and the grandmother.   I always felt that Bill Bell re-tooled the "mother-and-her-two-sons-concept" in 1977 with Vanessa Prentiss, Lance and Lucas; rather than utilizing it earlier with Regina, Mark, and Russell.  (And then of course he revisited the idea later with Stephanie, Ridge and Thorne on B&B.)    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Broderick said:

 

Yeah, some daytime magazine from the period (can't remember which one) did a spread on Y&R and announced that the Hendersons were supposed to be a vital core family.   Supposedly, John Conboy and Bill Bell were casting "Ma Henderson" -- the mother of Liz Foster and Bruce Henderson; Bruce Henderson; Bruce's wife Regina;  their son Mark; and another son whose name I can't remember (may have been "Russell").   Evidently, Bill Bell pretty much dropped this whole idea of featuring the Hendersons as a third core family for the time being.   We basically just got Bruce & Mark, with a few appearances from Regina and the grandmother.   I always felt that Bill Bell re-tooled the "mother-and-her-two-sons-concept" in 1977 with Vanessa Prentiss, Lance and Lucas; rather than utilizing it earlier with Regina, Mark, and Russell.  (And then of course he revisited the idea later with Stephanie, Ridge and Thorne on B&B.)    

In press prior to the shows debut, The Hendersons are mentioned along with the Brooks and Foster Families. It made it sound like they were supposed to be the third family in town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, will81 said:

In press prior to the shows debut, The Hendersons are mentioned along with the Brooks and Foster Families. It made it sound like they were supposed to be the third family in town.

 

Some folks who've read the show's original bible (I've never seen it) say that Mrs. Regina Henderson was slated to have a sexual relationship with a high school boy, go on a drunken bender, and drive-off a cliff with the boy in her car, leading to the boy's death.   (After the Henderson family was downgraded substantially in the actual televised show, the "cliff event" was actually utilitized, of course, with Kay Chancellor as the driver and Phillip as the victim.) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...