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Most realistic grieving processes on soaps


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As the years have passed, soaps have become more and more violent, yet the grieving has become less and less believable - it's usually a lot of hysteria for Emmy stunt episodes and then is forgotten. Some stuff like Ryan bedding Liza a few days after Gillian's murder still makes me cringe (especially since it was done just to set up his romance with her sister).

Over the years, what were the grieving processes you thought were most believable and effectively done?

For me, they were:

Cass (both for Kathleen and Frankie), AW

Mac (especially from Iris and Rachel), AW

Brooke (for Laura), AMC

All of these went on for years, and even as you saw the characters trying to move on with their lives, they were always affected by what they'd lost. Brooke had several stories even 10 years after Laura's death, about her loss. There were some wonderful scenes with Cass, after he learned Nicole had murdered Jason Frame and let Felicia go to jail, where he was delirious and Kathleen appeared to him. I remember his despair when he realized she was just a vision.

I also thought that Terry Davison on Another Life had a very believable grieving process after she lost her husband. It was several years before she was able to accept love again, and there was a chilling scene where she had a panic attack at the hospital, a few months after she lost her husband - she thought her son had been killed, and kept flashing back to the night her husband had been brought in.

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I thought they hammered away at Lucky's "death" on GH with Luke, Laura and Liz for quite some time. It felt much longer than it was, due to IMO some masterful writing for the canvas and larger PC community.

While I hated Jen Rappaport on OLTL, cheered at her violent death, and thought the show was written terribly at the time and for years afterwards, I also thought they made a lot out of that for quite some time for Lindsay, Rex, and any number of others. Jen would come up out of the blue and they would wince.

These don't compare much to some of the classics, but I thought they were decent expressions of the mourning process.

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At the time I thought it was kind of a cheat that we knew Lucky was alive, but you're right, the acting and writing from those involved was very strong.

I always resent the later revisions of the story so I tend to forget it but I should also add BJ's death, which went on for years, and usually felt natural and true to the characters.

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For me, the hands-down "winner" was how Maureen Bauer's death affected her closest loved ones: Ed, Michelle, friends Lillian and Vanessa, and so forth. The decision itself (to kill her off) was unwise, yet it yielded some of GUIDING LIGHT's last finest moments.

And then, of course, there's Tony's grief over BJ's death on GH, as well as Brooke's over losing Laura on ALL MY CHILDREN. In both cases, you had a parent that learned to cope with their loss, but who never truly recovered from it.

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Charity Rahmer's Belle when Shawn was kidnapped by Jan Spears.

LoL

For me it was Kristian Alfonso when Hope lost Zach. Actually, it was one scene that really got to me. The scene where Hope has to leave Zach's bedside and Bo is trying to tear her from Zach. And Hope keeps repeating "I can't, I can't." That scene alone still gives me shivers. The rest of the performance was okay, I thought Kristian did good considering the bad writing.

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Ada, Another World. Actually, it was just one scene, but Constance Ford acted the hell out of it. It was some time after the death of one of her husbands, and the scene began with her sitting in her living room, then she walked up her stairs, and went to her bedroom and sat on the bed. There was no dialogue, just Connie's face registering not so much grief as incredible loneliness.

Obviously not a scene we'd see on today's soaps.

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Ada, Another World. Actually, it was just one scene, but Constance Ford acted the hell out of it. It was some time after the death of one of her husbands, and the scene began with her sitting in her living room, then she walked up her stairs, and went to her bedroom and sat on the bed. There was no dialogue, just Connie's face registering not so much grief as incredible loneliness.

Obviously not a scene we'd see on today's soaps.

I wish I could see that. It seems so heartless to me that they killed off three of her husbands...I've only really seen her with Charlie (and one episode with Gil) and she works so well in domestic patter scenes.

Constance Ford could say so much with a look. Just incredible.

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For me it was Kristian Alfonso when Hope lost Zach. Actually, it was one scene that really got to me. The scene where Hope has to leave Zach's bedside and Bo is trying to tear her from Zach. And Hope keeps repeating "I can't, I can't." That scene alone still gives me shivers. The rest of the performance was okay, I thought Kristian did good considering the bad writing.

I think Peter Reckell was good too, he gets overlooked alot when people talk about the Zack storyline. Bo had to be calm and collected and comfort Hope but then he finally lost it at Zack's grave.

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^ Yeah Reckell was amazing too. I know some thought KA was too hysterical but come on. Losing your child is the worst thing that can happen to someone. But I liked how Peter took the more calm route.

Renee Jones was great as well. Although, I wish JER would have went into more detail with the Carver's dealing with Zach's death.

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I thought the way Robert grieved for Holly on GH was done realistically. Robert brought up Holly for years after she had "died". He would have flashbacks of her at Christmas time. He would reread a letter from her. He would think about her when he was in a new relationship (Autumn, Cheryl, Katherine). I wasn't pounded on the viewers but it was such a nice treat to have a flashback of Robert and Holly one or two years after she had "died".

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I know this is a UO, but Kendall grieving Zach's "death" on AMC last year, great acting, and the writing actually wasn't overall completely bad. Plus Kendall was actually ALLOWED to grieve for more than 2 weeks like is the norm on soaps these days, she got to grieve for 9 months

Luke and Laura when Lucky "died" in the fire, was damn good, props to Rebecca Herbst too

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I agree with Brooke on AMC over Laura along with Tony on GH over BJ. Those deaths impacted stories, the canvas, and the respective characters for years. Those were both perfect examples of deaths actually having meaning.

While I think Luckys "death" drove some powerful scenes, it didnt really alter the canvas or have the same lasting impact. Interesting that Genie Francis said Luckys death was when she really noticed the turning point in the writing on GH because it was more centered around Luke than anyone,

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On Ryan's Hope, Jack's grief over Mary. They just did things slower and more realistically back then. First, we had to go through Jack's initial grief period, his anger, his lashing out, etc., then it was about trying to get at the truth about why she died. Then, when the truth was out and nothing was left to be done, he had to give in to his grief in a different, more accepting kind of way, then he basically rejected his sister-in-law's interest in him, then he eventually started to date another woman. Mary was not forgotten, though. And he didn't remarry for another decade, none of this hopping into bed with someone immediately because of being so overcome with grief...which was kind of an irony and somewhat surprising on one level, given that Jack in those first 5 years was depicted as a very virile, passionate guy who had been a ladies' man prior to his falling in love with Mary and he was one of the show's hunks....had this occurred years later, there's no way they would have left him mourning his dead wife and uncoupled as long as they did.

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