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1989 seems to be when audiences, who judging by ratings were loving the Rauch stuff before, seemed to lose patience or interest with everything.

These reviews have made the rounds but I'll repost them just to give a sense of how Critics reacted to Rauch...
1984 (just when Slesar was joining and before Rauch came on, who replaced him quickly with the Corringtons--who he knew from Texas--who didn't last long either)

 

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1986

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1988 (from one of my fave soap writers, Chris Schemering)

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And just cuz I have the files here, an article about Joe Stuart's take over of OLTL in the late 70s.
 

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Edited by EricMontreal22

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The reason the Paul Rauch stuff worked at first was because he had Peggy o'shea and another writer (can't recall his name) handle those duties through most of the 80s.  By 1990, those writers were gone..and the new writers didn't have the ability to make his odd stuff work.

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4 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

The reason the Paul Rauch stuff worked at first was because he had Peggy o'shea and another writer (can't recall his name) handle those duties through most of the 80s.  By 1990, those writers were gone..and the new writers didn't have the ability to make his odd stuff work.

Peggy O'Shea was brilliant.  She left I agree due to disagreements with Rauch I think...  But the writer right under her was S. Michael Schnessel (at least from the credits) and he was the one who replaced her as HW (he was there until 1990--I've heard very little about him but apparently in the final years was quite ill with AIDS related illnesses).  But he seemed more willing to go with Rauch's ideas.  He took over officially in Summer 87 which does seem to be when the show became so much more camp.

 
   

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I think Schnessel, or whoever was with him, was able to keep the show going to a watchable level partly because of the great and fairly complex female characters like Gabrielle and Megan...the biggest drop in quality I'd say happens in 1990. That's also when the cheapness starts to become so noticeable - some of the stuff like Badderly just looks embarrassing. 

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I had read those years ago but forgot about them. Thanks for sharing again. 

 

It was interesting that the complaints of 1984 (which seems boring based on everything I have read and seen) were fixed by 1986 but by 1987 the O'Neill family was gone and they would just bring c-story families in and out for years. Then by 1988 they were into the flights of fancy as mentioned. I actually love the mix of the fantastical (Eterna and Mendorra) and the reality based stories (Carla and Billy Douglas) but I wish Rauch had kept the cast diverse (so much potential lost IMO in losing Blair Underwood and Lisa Carrington-that one scene with Tina/Bobby/Lisa just oozed chemistry for me) and at least SOME community/reality based stories intertwined with the over the top drama. 

1 hour ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Peggy O'Shea was brilliant.  She left I agree due to disagreements with Rauch I think...  But the writer right under her was S. Michael Schnessel (at least from the credits) and he was the one who replaced her as HW (he was there until 1990--I've heard very little about him but apparently in the final years was quite ill with AIDS related illnesses).  But he seemed more willing to go with Rauch's ideas.  He took over officially in Summer 87 which does seem to be when the show became so much more camp.

 
   

Is that what happened to Schnessel? I have googled him multiple times over the years trying to find SOMETHING and was unable to. How sad. Does anyone know when he actually passed? Did he ever come to the studio, I have never seen anyone mention him in interviews or anything. He wrote some of my favorite scenes and stories outside of my time watching the show...thankful for YouTube!

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5 minutes ago, VanessaReardon said:

Schnessel accepted an Emmy for OLTL. Can’t remember the year but maybe it was ‘87? 

Yes--he was O'Shea's associate headwriter and took over from her halfway through 1987, though that Emmyw as for O'Shea's work I believe.

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Similar to Rauch at AW -  Rauch /Lemay was feted but the minute Lemay left Rauch floundered and ratings plunged.

 

A good exec producer is vital to delivering the writers vision in an attractive package but 'if it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage'

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I thought that the co-writer with Peggy O'Shea was Sam Hall.

 

Also, I had not known that Nancy Pinkerton left as Dr. Cramer, and I had wondered why.   I also have long wondered why Ernest Graves was replaced with Shepherd Strudwick as Victor.

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1 minute ago, danfling said:

I thought that the co-writer with Peggy O'Shea was Sam Hall.

 

Also, I had not known that Nancy Pinkerton left as Dr. Cramer, and I had wondered why.   I also have long wondered why Ernest Graves was replaced with Shepherd Strudwick as Victor.

Erika made it sound like Ernie quit the show. Yes I believe all Dorian's quit except for Elaine Princi who was fired so Strasser could return

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I've been watching a lot of Viki's 90s DID story and oh man is Krista Tesreau bad. I have no idea what she's doing in her scenes and seemingly neither does she.

 

I have questions, perhaps someone can help me out (paging @Vee). So Dorian knew for almost 20 years that Victor molested Viki? And she never threw this in her face, despite being on trial for murder, out of...kindness? I know she keeps saying she thought Viki knew but I don't buy it. 

 

How long was Dorian in the secret room? How did she get out? Did everyone find out Viki kept her captive?

 

Since I'm asking questions, I also watched an episode from 97 (the infamous one where Blair pushes Tea out of a window) and Mel is there talking to some older woman. The scenes were mindnumbingly boring so I didn't care but who was she? And then she had another scene with a man who I presume was her husband? Who are these people?

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That is Mel 's mom Dr Mary Maude Hayes. She was a sex therapist. Played by Helen Gallagher

Edited by John

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1 hour ago, Darn said:

So Dorian knew for almost 20 years that Victor molested Viki? And she never threw this in her face, despite being on trial for murder, out of...kindness?

 

Actually, I could buy that part of the story.  As much as Dorian and Viki detested each other, there was also an unspoken level of begrudging respect between them.  Exposing the real nature of Victor and Viki's relationship to the whole world would have been low, even for Dorian, because she was still human enough to recognize that Viki was far from being a willing participant in the abuse.

 

Plus, Dorian knew that telling everyone that Victor had molested his daughter would have just made others feel even more sympathetic toward Viki, and Dorian was NEVER gonna let THAT happen, lol.

Edited by Khan

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