Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I thought this might have gotten lost in the finale thread.

http://www.indyweek....ne-life-to-live

I mostly wanted to quote this, as I think it truly gets the importance of soaps and social issue stories.

Dirty Dancing producer Linda Gottlieb, who’d been brought on the save the program, recruited Malone as headwriter based on his experience as “someone who wrote capacious novels” such as Time’s Witness and Handling Sin.

“In a way, our complete ignorance of (daytime’s) traditions gaveus complete freedom to do adventuresome things,” Malone says.

Those “adventuresome things” included tackling issues that even prime-time TV was shying away from in the 1990s. One of Malone’s first major storylines cast a 17-year-old Ryan Phillippe as a gay teenager struggling to come out; the story climaxed with the AIDS quilt being brought to Llanview, with the names of actual AIDS victims read on a location shoot.

For Malone, the story represented an opportunity to allow viewers to relate to the issue through characters they had come to know through years of viewing.

“To have Viki carry the AIDS quilt into the church and lay it on the altar was to say to the audience of One Life who had spent so many years with Viki and trusted her judgment that ‘It can’t be all bad to be accepting and understanding,’” Malone says. “For all its conservatism, daytime expands tolerance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It did, but I thought most of it worked in the AIDS quilt story - there was such a purity and harmony there, once you got past the horribly written Douglas father and the needless destruction of Clint. The quilt scenes were so moving, and I was very touched by the scene where Billy's father was going to hit him and Sloan, finally ashamed of how he'd abused his own son, grabbed the man's arm.

I think what he's getting at is something which Marland did to perfection on ATWT. I look back and watch those scenes of characters talking about AIDS, and I'm amazed they even got through on daytime's most conservative soap, even if AIDS was less shameful of an issue by that point. There is an incredible scene at David's memorial where they read a letter from Hank and he talks about how David was there when many people treated those suffering from AIDS like they were lepers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I don't always get the PSA criticism, although it's certainly true of his second tenure when they'd often kinda randomnly shove little bits of social issues into outlandish plots (or things like the Love Center, which had promise but never worked, etc). Still it's not like Bradley Bell's work at B&B or anything... I think a lot of it worked well, and some of it may have been a victim of the times. To have a gay teen on a soap in 1992 for instance on network tv was still seen as pretty outlandish and it may have dictated some of the PSA style writing. I thought he did an excellent job (along with Josh Griffith of course) with the gang rape, and the DID/abuse story.

Thanks for posting this--I'm trying to catch up on the finale thread but since I was horribly without internet access from Friday night till today (! talk about bad timing) I'll probably miss a lot...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Oh for sure--it seemed Gottlieb and Malone realized fairly early on that those short term arcs, often focusing on PSAs were a bad idea. It's interesting in the interview he kinda implies that when he returned in 2003, the networks at a time they should have been more daring were trying to be more conservative (I also hadn't seen that CBS news piece on the gay story before). I've always been curious to read one of his novels--the only one I picked up was Killing Club because I have a thing forbuying the cheesy tie in novels with soaps and I thought it was a surprisingly good and solid mystery (definitely better than Charm and the other soap tie ins I've read), though ironically by the time the murders on the show started to play out that were meant ot be based on the novel, Higley was writing and they started to have next to no connection to it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy