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Daily TV Serials - The Return of The Best & The Worst


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Thanks for sharing that with us. You can see his enthusiasm for OLTL at this time and obviously many agreed with him. Erika was so great as Viki/Niki - Niki was ruined later on but at that time she still worked.

I wonder how he felt when Rauch moved OLTL even further from the rich/poor and social issues.

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I did not know that Judith's apathy had become so clear on screen as Anne Martin. I mean, the Beth Martin SIDS storyline is classic AMC. It also pit Judith against Robin Strasser, as Robin's Chris Martin was responsible for breaking the news that Beth was going to be born with disabilities after Anne contracted something from eating meat on her honeymoon in St. Croix.

Paul Gleason may have been amazing onscreen, but Ruth Warrick was very clear that he was a terror behind the scenes. I agree that he and Mary had amazing chemistry, but there was no way AMC was going to break-up the Martins who because the tent-pole couple. I miss that about the show with Joe gone (and Ruth really being MIA since 1994-ish).

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Deformed is now an extremely politically incorrect way of saying the term birth defect like the children of women who used thalidomide, who were born without limbs. Back then the term was not seen as objectionable in the slightest.

Thanks for sharing this article, very interesting opinions though other than being able to watch RH on SoapNet, I don't know enough to agree or disagree.

Right, I do get that. I guess I just still found it surprising being used for a *mental* abnormality.

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This isn't as good as the one safe wrote up, as it doesn't go into best and worst as much, but anyway:

From June 1975, Daily TV Serials, Jon Michael Reed picks his "solid gold memories of the year"

One of the pleasures I've cherished since becoming editor of this magazine is the opportunity to share my own personal enthusiasms with people across the country.

I suppose in a sense it's an egotistical pleasure - I admit I rather like to have my opinions heard (or in this case, read). And I'm pleased that you, the readers of this magazine, are just as vocal as I am. If you don't like something that appears in these pages, or if you have ideas you want to express, I hear about it. That exchange of ideas and enthusiasms excites and satisfies me. I'm grateful such a situation exists - it makes my work immensely rewarding.

This year, while preparing this issue, certain memories flashed across my mind; memories that grew brighter and more urgent as the days passed; memories I wanted to share with you. As I began to make a list of the exciting events, the extraordinary performances, the remarkable scenes that occurred on the screen this past year, I was exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. A flood of strong images raced across my mind that would fill a magazine twice this size. Frankly, I had a hell of a time winnowing the list down to a reasonable size, and there's much I would have included in space permitted.

The notes that follow are my personal golden memories of the past year.

* * *

I absolutely love The Young and the Restless. It's such an excellent show in every respect. The talent represented on this serial is sometimes awesome and always remarkable. The writers have created well-defined characters who are beautifully brought to life by every member of the cast. Almost everyone was given at least a few "meaty" scenes - the kind that virtually explode with intense drama.

JEANNE COOPER, as Kaye Chancellor, has always delivered a fully-realized, complex portrait of a middle-aged woman, desperate in her need of love...and alcohol. But in January, she played one particular scene that reduced me to jelly.

Kaye had just discovered that her husband was having an affair with her companion, Jill. Sitting before her dressing table, determined to restrain her alcoholism, yet shivering with unbearable need, Jeanne delivered an extended monologue that encompassed emotions ranging from a sweetly nostalgic recall of uncorrupted and idealistic youth (now lost), to the venomous bitterness of a woman caught in an uncompromising vise of self-loathing and escape from life. When, at the end, she crawled to her bedside phone, gasping with hopefully resolve, my heart cringed and cried out. In a single scene, this was probably the most effective and affective acting of the year.

As Leslie Brooks, JANICE LYNDE's flight into depression, fantasy, and madness last summer was also a chilling portrayal, as I've noted several times in the past. But several other actress this year should be commended for fine acting of mental collapse and approaching madness.

CORINNE CONLEY, as Phyllis Anderson on Days of Our Lives and BEVERLEE MCKINSEY as Iris Carrington on Another World, were both perhaps a bit too theatrical in expressing the climaxes of their mental agitation. The small TV screen couldn't quite accommodate the expansiveness of their "crazy" scenes. But if the heights were not quite exceptional, the crescendos and the aftermaths were excellent.

On a smaller, yet more finely-tuned scale, JACQUIE COURTNEY, as Alice Frame on Another World, imbued her madness scenes with restraint, definition, and impeccable finesse. In fact, Jacquie's acting this entire year impressed me as being of the first order.

I'm a fairly recent convert to Another World, but one of the most striking images I have is the quality of Jacquie and GEORGE REINHOLT's (Steve Frame) acting. They seem to constantly add dimension and surprising qualities to their characters. They are a remarkably well-matched couple. She's frail, vulnerable, spoiled; he's assertive, aggressive, imperturbable - stereotypes of the female-male relationship. Yet, Jacqui and George ever so subtly shift their modus operandi, both between themselves and often in relations with others. And what these two actors draw on - especially the consuming fires they create in their desire for happiness and each other - is quite without equal among any serial couple.

Throw in a complimentary (to Steven) character like Rachel. VICTORIA WYNDHAM's sensibilities in portraying a villainess with a soul helped immeasurably to shift sympathies in this fascinating triangle. Can you ever forget Rachel's moving remembrance of her own wedding day at the very hour Steve and Alice were being remarried?

On General Hospital, there was also an intriguing triangle. But in that case, at least for me, sympathies were unbalanced between a fascinating bad girl and a comparatively blah heroine. JUDITH McCONNELL's simultaneously sensitive-ruthless portrayal of Augusta McLeod was varied and compelling.

Other bad girls who were particularly memorable must include JAIME LYN BAUER and MARIE CHEATHAM. Marie, as Stephanie Wilkins on Search for Tomorrow, was saddled with a one-dimensional character, but she often hurtled that barrier with verve and ingenuity. Jaime, as Laurie Brooks on The Young and the Restless, was handed (by intelligent, resourceful writers) a silver platter of dramatic contrasts, and she acquitted herself most brilliantly. Her growth as an actress was one of the most astonishing transformations of the year.

* * *

Several newcomers arrived on serials last year who impressed me as uncommonly gifted performers. Oddly, the majority are very young actors: GARY SWANSON (Greg Mercer on Somerset); BRIAN FARRELL (David Hart on Love of Life); WES EURE (Michael Horton on Days of Our Lives); and BRAD DAVIS (who, unfortunately, has departed How to Survive a Marriage as Alex Kronos). They all displayed exceptional, mature talents.

The new actresses didn't fare as well, in my opinion. Generally, they're unripe, untrained, and, in a few instances, mere amateurs. Notable exceptions must include the remarkable DIXIE CARTER (Brandy Henderson on Edge of Night) and VICTORIA SHAW (Kira Faulkner on General Hospital).

A few especially talented actresses who left their shows last year and who are remembered with respect for outstanding work include: MAEVE MAGUIRE (Nicole Drake on Edge of Night); PATRICIA BARRY (Addie Williams on Days of Our Lives) and CAROL TEITEL (Victoria Jackson on The Guiding Light). I miss them.

On the other hand, it was wonderful to see so many performers return to the serial screen, especially BIBI BESCH, who is so strongly impressive as Eve Lawrence on Somerset; MARIE MASTERS (Susan Stewart on As the World Turns); and MICHAEL ZASLOW (Roger Thorpe on The Guiding Light).

* * *

There was nothing equal to Nicole and Adam Drake's tragedy at sea sequences on The Edge of Night in terms of use of TV cameras outside studio walls, although Vicki and Joe's wedding sequence in the park on One Life to Live was gorgeously filmed.

For sheer emotional power, I shall never forget David Bachman's death on How to Survive a Marriage. FRAN BRILL and ALLAN MILLER as Fran and David, were brilliant and beyond compare in the kind of scene that's been done to death on soaps (sorry, couldn't help that).

Also powerfully memorable were the furious confrontations between John and Kim Dixon on As the World Turns. LARRY BRYGGMAN and KATHRYN HAYS often ignored their weakly-motivated dialogue and literally forced me to gasp in admiration at their intense and sustained emotional range.

-------

In quieter veins, I remember the gentle touches, the gentle breeze of love that WILLIAM GRAY ESPY and TRISH STEWART brought to the roles of snapper and Chris Foster on The Young and the Restless.

The contrasting playfulness and unrestrained passion after years of waiting that SUSAN FLANNERY and EDWARD MALLORY enacted as Laura and Bill Horton in their honeymoon scenes on Days of Our Lives...

The surprise, bewilderment, and utter joy of SUSAN LUCCI's face when she was offered a proposal of marriage on All My Children...

The subtle, underplayed, yet deeply felt conflicts of the Ken-Janet-Ed triangle on The Guiding Light. Actors ROGER NEWMAN, CAROLINE McWILLIAMS, and MART HULSWIT have defied logic in keeping a tiresomely worn story alive and interesting...

The finely-meshed combination of SUZANNE ROGERS and JOHN CLARKE as Maggie and Marty Hanson on Days of Our Lives, and their lushly lyrical love story...

The inherent charm of CAROLEE CAMPBELL and DAVID O'BRIEN as Carolee and Steve Aldrich on The Doctors, as well as ANN FLOOD and FORREST COMPTON (Nancy and Mike Karr on Edge of Night)...

The uniquely refreshing relationship between Vince and Wanda Wolek on One Life to Live. Actors ANTHONY PONZINI and MARILYN CHRIS are earthy, lovable misfits who touch each other and everyone else with congenial warmth and humor. The casual, good-natured levity is infectious and unique in daytime drama...

And so many others...

* * *

If I have failed to mention your favorite show, performer, or scene, remember that I warned you that this would be my own personal list of golden memories. Perhaps you share a few of them, and most certainly you have a few of your own.

Share them with me...and perhaps my own list will grow and blossom.

Happy Golden Memories to you.

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There are also a few pictures, several of which go into other content. He praises JULIANNA McCARTHY for her work as Liz on Y&R, saying she took serial acting to dramatic heights, and gave as an example the scene where she learned her son had arranged a date for her. She went from giggly girl to an apprehensive woman, still intrigued with the idea of dating again, a busybody fussing over the state of her home, a middle-aged woman questioning her options for the first time ever. He was stunned by her perfection and naturalness.

He also felt that JAMES SIKKING (Jim Hobart on GH) turned in the most consistently sustained, measured, strikingly un-melodramatic performance this year.

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There seems to be some good stuff on GH at that time which was overwhelmed by the constant new writers - I think both Sikking and McConnell were fired, which is ludicrous, when you consider Sikking's very strong work (in an unplayable role) on Hill Street Blues, and McConnell's great work on Santa Barbara.

I think he's a McConnell fanboy, as he also heavily praised her ATWT work. I'm glad he was able to live long enough to see her finally achieve daytime stardom.

I've heard praise before about the widow story on HTSAM (Schemering said Fran Brill received thousands of letters of condolence) but it was nice to hear more. They also had a photo of the actors who played Brill and Allan Miller.

I always look forward to your comments on this stuff so thanks for responding.

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Julianna is so subtle, and you never see her acting, you always see a character. It's a shame that this type of quiet yet powerful acting is rarely acknowledged. If it wasn't for the show bringing her back in 2003 or so for the Katherine/Jill mess I don't even know if MAB would have bothered "honoring" history by killing her off for nothing last year.

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Julianna is so subtle, and you never see her acting, you always see a character.

EXACTLY.

Never missed a beat & always very humble.

It's bad enough she never won an Emmy (let alone several) but it's inexcusable how her talent & loyalty was "rewarded" last year.

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