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3 hours ago, ironlion said:

I found Christine not knowing about Jack & Patty strange too. It's similar to Brad explaining Sheila's misdeeds to Michael in 2005 despite Michael having been on the show in the early 90s. It really speaks to the old show's charachters isolation, its habit of not mentioning past storylines and randomly disregarding characters and history. 

 

Did Micheal ever interacted with Sheila during the 90's? I don't think so.. so it's reasonable to assume he didn't know about her actions. no? 

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1 hour ago, asafi said:

 

Did Micheal ever interacted with Sheila during the 90's? I don't think so.. so it's reasonable to assume he didn't know about her actions. no? 

Michael DID interact with Sheila briefly in February 1992 when Cricket introduced them, when Sheila had stopped by inviting her and Danny over for dinner.

 

the Michael/Sheila bit doesn’t bother me that much because I honestly think he was way too preoccupied with Cricket to even remember Sheila was once her sister-in-law.

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I would like to believe that if the Brooks family had remained on the canvas, there would've been a newspaper and Michael would have read all about Sheila's exploits and misdeeds in the morning or evening edition.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, ironlion said:

 It really speaks to the old show's charachters isolation, its habit of not mentioning past storylines and randomly disregarding characters and history. 

It is a problem when writers don't remember well and end up picking a character that should have known but it is mostly a lazy way for the writers to re-introduce a past character to the part of the audience that wasn't watching then by having someone simply ask "Who dat" and being explained

 

 

 

Edited by FrenchBug82
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I don't know what Bell was thinking by obliterating the past. I guess he felt by the 90's the show had picked up way more viewers along the way than what was watching 1973-1983 and they would have no knowledge of Patty/Cricket and Nikki/Eve interaction and could retcon to suit his current storyline. He sometimes would throw stuff out there that would surprise me. One day when Nikki and Brad were planning to wed, Jack walks in talking to Ashley and Jack blurts out Nikki Reed Foster Bancroft Newman Abbott soon to be Carlton......it had been years since they even mentioned Nikki's early marriages pre-Victor. For years he wrote it as Victor was her first husband. Even a viewer wrote in to Soap Digest asking about Foster & Bancroft. 

 

Even in the mid 80's he was giving old Brooks sister storylines to Ashley.

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Maybe this is me getting worried we are making him out not to be as great of a writer as he really was, but can someone confirm if Agnes Nixon or even Irna Phillips had annoying quirks in their writing too that would make the fans crazy?.did Agnes ever retcon older stories for her newer audience?

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1 hour ago, YRfan23 said:

Maybe this is me getting worried we are making him out not to be as great of a writer as he really was, but can someone confirm if Agnes Nixon or even Irna Phillips had annoying quirks in their writing too that would make the fans crazy?.did Agnes ever retcon older stories for her newer audience?

 

I'm no authority on Agnes Nixon or Irna Phillips, but Bill Bell had a habit of dropping characters without much explanation and then, out of necessity later on, "back-pedaling" to explain where they'd been.   He ALWAYS did that.  Sometimes his "back-pedaling" was logical, and other times it wasn't, but normally you could visualize his thought process.   In the mid-1980's, he dropped Julianna McCarthy (Liz Brooks) to recurring, as Liz wasn't receiving much storyline material and was interacting solely with her daughter Jill.   Eventually she just vanished without a trace.  About a year later, he needed Liz to reappear for Jill's shooting, and you could see that he was mentally thinking, "Ok, where has Liz been?  I can say she's still in Genoa City, or I can say that she reconciled with Stuart Brooks, or I can say that she's living with Snapper and Chris in London.  That's it!  I'll pretend she's in London, so that she can pick-up Phillip III from boarding school and escort him back to Genoa City!"  That made pretty good sense.  The situation with Carl Williams disappearing made far less sense, and Carl's absence was pretty glaring, since Mary was still appearing on the show.   I'd been wondering how it would ultimately be explained.  What we eventually got (the Norfolk storyline) was disappointing and didn't make much sense to longtime viewers, but some folks seemed to enjoy it.  With Patty Williams, Bill Bell seemed VERY FOND of Lilibet Stern and very UNIMPRESSED with Andrea Evans.  Bell seemed to take the position later that Andrea Evans had never played the role.  (All of Cricket's interaction with Patty involved Andrea Evans, rather than Lilibet Stern, so that was just swept under the rug, as Andrea Evans had made such an unfortunate and forgettable Patty.)  

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1 hour ago, YRfan23 said:

Maybe this is me getting worried we are making him out not to be as great of a writer as he really was, but can someone confirm if Agnes Nixon or even Irna Phillips had annoying quirks in their writing too that would make the fans crazy?.did Agnes ever retcon older stories for her newer audience?


Can’t speak so much for Nixon aside the from fact she may have or may not have killed off an entire family via plane crash(or was it car crash?) on AW that she didn’t care for lol. Nixon is also seen by some as abandoning OLTL and Loving at some point, something Bell would’ve never done. 

 

Irna was notorious for some pretty unpopular ruthless writing and production making decisions on GL, ATWT, AW, Peyton Place etc. Her finally run at ATWT has always been widely panned and did cause the show to stumble. 
 

Bell’s entire 25 years at Y&R is well studied because it’s an anomaly in all of daytime. Other writers like Labine and the Dobsons got pushed out of their own shows. Y&R came out as more successful eliminating its early years compared to other soaps and bounced back well in the recasts department compared to Ryan’s Hope. 
 

I do agree Bell should’ve tried harder to keep around Liz Foster permanently but I think did realize when a character reached their useful end, although a lot of exits on Y&R have been much left desired as leaving us always asking “what if..?” and/or those disappearances without explanation whether it was Dina in 1986 or  Leanna in 1992. 

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Bell had flaws like any writer or any person, really.

Saying he was overall a great does not mean overlooking the things he didn't do that well.
And, dare I say, the things we mention here, while problematic from the point of view of purists and perfectionnists, are hardly cardinal sins. Writing a show for two decades and a half (with others beforehand) five days a week every week of the year while making the entire machin run - with business and budget concerns, human resource drama, scheduling issues, etc - is a huge endeavor and it is inevitable that it is going to require some shortcuts and inconsistencies in the final product.

And they don't even have to be the writer's fault. There is SO much we don't know about what goes on behind-the-scenes. We always assume characters get written out purely because the writer decided so or because the actor decided to leave. But like any business, there are a gazillion reasons people can be let go and that it would be uncouth to discuss publicly.
I have no knowledge of why, say, Carl suddenly disappeared but it could very well have been that the performer had some trouble with human resources for this or that reason and couldn't be kept around as an employee and that recasting would have drawn attention to a delicate situation, hence the abrupt disappearance. Who knows?
Identifying what Bell did wrong doesn't take away what he did right, of which there is plenty, OR that it may not always have been entirely of his only doing. 

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Posted (edited)

@FrenchBug82 We hold Y&R to a higher standard, but yes Bill Bell did have some missteps and he wasn't immune to following trends (Dallas/Dynasty and action/adventure), although one has to wonder how much of following trends was a CBS mandate. 

 

Also thinking about the time Y&R reached #1 (the height of Cricket eating the show) I think was more due to maintaining the audience it had during the writer's strike, whereas other shows lost viewers during the writer's strike. I don't think Y&R was drawing new viewers of the middle school and high school demographic back then. Nobody I knew of that age group at that time was checking for Cricket.

 

Edited by kalbir
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Paul/Cassandra... and the George Rawlins saga was what got the show to #1.  And I did like how when Paul faked his death...Victor comforted Nikki..and was conflicted because he knew Paul was alive and couldn't tell his ex Nikki.

 

And Carl/Mary were featured quite well during the story while we never knew how involved Cassandra was in her hubby's death.  After all, didn't he want to kill Paul and that served as a motive for pinning the murder on Paul?

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2 hours ago, kalbir said:

@FrenchBug82 We hold Y&R to a higher standard,

 

Also, there is no other show where the drop in quality once a headwriter first is not head writer anymore (1998) and then once he passed and wasn't around as a consultant (2005) has been so spectacular and obvious. The change was obvious and immediate in both cases and Lord knows Y&R since 2005 has been... well often not even good period, let alone in comparison.
So yeah his talent mattered.

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3 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:


So yeah his talent mattered.

 

His talent was definitely behind Y&R's success, and so was his vision.   As long as he was around, the show was a unique product -- from the stylized acting, to the moody lighting and music, to the sometimes repetitious and awkward dialogue.   That was all part of the appeal of the show.  Some of us loved his show; other viewers found it stilted and unnatural, preferring the more "real world"-based look and sound of the P&G shows or the ABC shows.  But Bill Bell didn't waver.  Y&R was exactly what Bell wanted it to be, and once he was gone, so was the unique identity of his show.  

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13 hours ago, Broderick said:

 

His talent was definitely behind Y&R's success, and so was his vision.   As long as he was around, the show was a unique product -- from the stylized acting, to the moody lighting and music, to the sometimes repetitious and awkward dialogue.   That was all part of the appeal of the show.  Some of us loved his show; other viewers found it stilted and unnatural, preferring the more "real world"-based look and sound of the P&G shows or the ABC shows.  But Bill Bell didn't waver.  Y&R was exactly what Bell wanted it to be, and once he was gone, so was the unique identity of his show.  

Aaron Spelling was a big fan of Bill Bell and said he wanted to write a daytime soap like him. When Spelling did the movie Mr. Mom he used Y&R as the soap Michael Keaton becomes addicted to. Lynn Loring (ex Patty SFT) was working for Spelling when they produced that film. 

 

Janice Lynde reminds me of Loring. Lynde may have been a good recast for Patty on SFT in the 80's. 

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