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Was Francessca James a good AMC EP??


allmc2008

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I was not a fan of FJ/LB. The last months of their time together (late summer to fall 1997) picked up and I did appreciate that she continued some of LB's continuity and good supporting characters like Kevin Sheffield, and I could even say overall I enjoyed the controversial Erica babynapping story, but the show was incredibly dark and made some very misguided story choices. Liza/Jake, Tanner, and Cristina reading Tempo in the prison camps were just terrible terrible terrible.

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I was not a fan of FJ/LB. The last months of their time together (late summer to fall 1997) picked up and I did appreciate that she continued some of LB's continuity and good supporting characters like Kevin Sheffield, and I could even say overall I enjoyed the controversial Erica babynapping story, but the show was incredibly dark and made some very misguided story choices. Liza/Jake, Tanner, and Cristina reading Tempo in the prison camps were just terrible terrible terrible.

this is a little OT but I know alot about 70s/80s and early 90s AMC. I know almost nothing of AMC from the 2000. I started watching AMC in 2008 when Taylor/Jake/Frankie where on. I did not even no that soaps always ran 5 days a week. I thought that was a new thing. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that there are a lot of gaps in my AMC history, which is why I am always asking questions. I know a little bit about Kevin. But who is Tanner and Christina. Was the show Chuck Pratt dark where it was doom and gloom??

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I wouldn't say Chuck Pratt, because there was not any sensationalism, but yes, the show was extremely dark. One example is one of LB's last stories. Jim Thomasen, who saved Brooke's life in a plane crash, was revealed to the audience to be the man who had exploited her adopted daughter Laura and forced Laura to do porn when she was about 15 or 16. Jim shamed her into keeping quiet by convincing her that she had caused her mother's death (when her mother saw the photos she'd set them on fire, or something, and the place burned down - later Laura learned Jim had killed her mother). Then the guy Laura had done these things with came to town, looking for drugs and money. Jim deliberately gave him enough to cause him to OD. This whole thing was extremely grim and disturbing and I never felt any of this was needed.

The Tanner story was that Tanner was Mateo's old friend. He had designs on Hayley. He caused their plane to crash and while they were waiting for help, he drugged her and made her think they had sex. She thought she'd been unfaithful to Mateo, and broke down at their wedding (Kelly Ripa gave probably her best dramatic performance in this - while about 7 months pregnant). Mateo dumped her. Only Skye knew the truth, and he was blackmailing her to stay quiet. Hayley eventually pieced things together, with help from her old boyfriend Charlie, who was a PI. This led to extremely disturbing flashbacks of Tanner over her half-conscious body and a very strong implication that he had raped her while she was drugged.

Cristina was a Latin American revolutionary fighter who became a cause for Brooke's magazine Tempo, and who turned out to have been the old love of Brooke's boyfriend, Pierce. Pierce had started out as a rugged Vietnam vet and somehow by this time had become Maxwell Caulfield. Pierce left to help Cristina but promised he would be back. After this he was never mentioned again.

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The acting was very good which is what kept the Jim story going until Roscoe Born quit, but I was a little shocked by the whole thing. The show was decent at this time, aside from some stories which I thought were just crap, like Liza having a miscarriage on a plane and learning her husband Adam had owned the airline and pushed for cheap parts. They also found out he was responsible for the plane crash which had "killed" Maria and nearly killed Edmund and Brooke. I thought this was way too much and I wasn't too sorry Megan McTavish undid it.

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I think FJ joining AMC coincided with Disney taking over AMC and Millee Taggart's stint as co-HW alongside Broderick. I remember Taggart, whose writing has always felt flat to me) being credited during the whole Myrtle/Santa storyline and much of the Erica/Skye/Janet/Kinder/Marian, Pierce/Brooke & Tanner Jordan stuff, none of which I cared for. I thought that Behr/Broderick together were mostly terrific (Julia/Noah/evilTaylor & Dimitri/Maria affair not withstanding LOL) and the show seemed more like itself. I like FJ a lot and thought she was a great director at AMC, but something just seemed off about her stint. Maybe it was Disney's influence, maybe Taggart's. I know she envisioned AMC as daytime's Peyton Place, which I think was a valid comparison, but nothing ever seemed to gel...stories never had any momentum like they did under Behr.

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I liked the small little comic stories they had like Santa Claus and the Kinder stuff. The stories just, as you said, had no momentum.

I was not a fan of the younger cast brought in during summer 1995, and the soap press basically blamed them for the show's ratings woes. However, I thought the show handled their phasing out poorly - Bobby and Anita had no story for most of their last six months on the show, Kelsey was stranded until the short reparative therapy story with Kevin, Scott was needlessly recast with the very boring Daniel Cosgrove, and Laura became a huge unlikeable arrogant brat.

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I think the biggest mistake Francesca James made during her run as EP was the whole not being able to come to an agreement with Mary Fickett and recasting Ruth Martin with Lee Meriwether. Granted, it all went down during FJ's first few weeks as EP & Fickett would later return briefly, but in the long run, it was better off that they brought Meriwether on.

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I always felt that Kelsey, Scott, Bobby, Laura, etc. were handled badly. I mean you have Tara's troubled daughter, Stuart's sweet natured adopted son, Nina's misguided son and Brooke's hot mess adopted daughter. Such a shame no real effort went into any of them, imo. And not to mention the dropping of Charlie (who was badly cast), Tara's son. Instead we get stuck with years of Greenlee, Ryan and Zach who polarized the canvas. Same for Kendall but at least she had ties and I bought Minshew in the role. Plus they actually attempted to tie her to the canvas even more by putting her in Palmer's orbit. I hate how AMC handled what should have been the "next generation". JMO.

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I agree with others that it's hard to parse out what was FJ and what was Disney coming into the picture.

I do think that FJ improved the look of the show quite a bit, especially the wardrobe which had been so out-dated. Not surprising as James is a stylin' lady. I loved how the female characters were dressed during that period.

Comparing clips from the end of Behr's tenure in early 1996 and then clips from a few months into James' run, I see a real difference. The show wasn't so dowdy anymore.

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I think the biggest mistake Francesca James made during her run as EP was the whole not being able to come to an agreement with Mary Fickett and recasting Ruth Martin with Lee Meriwether. Granted, it all went down during FJ's first few weeks as EP & Fickett would later return briefly, but in the long run, it was better off that they brought Meriwether on.

Frankly, I still think AMC was better off killing off Ruth. I realize Meriwether has her fans and defenders -- and believe me, I'm not saying she was horrible in the role -- but recasting Ruth Martin just seemed so wrong to this longtime fan.

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Frankly, I still think AMC was better off killing off Ruth. I realize Meriwether has her fans and defenders -- and believe me, I'm not saying she was horrible in the role -- but recasting Ruth Martin just seemed so wrong to this longtime fan.

It was wrong, but killing Ruth off at the time wasn't great since she had just had the huge depression storyline regarding the tornado destroying the house & overcoming all of that. If Fickett had stayed in the role, the use of Ruth Martin in later years would have been even more restricted & limited than it was with Meriwether.

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I think FJ joining AMC coincided with Disney taking over AMC and Millee Taggart's stint as co-HW alongside Broderick. I remember Taggart, whose writing has always felt flat to me) being credited during the whole Myrtle/Santa storyline and much of the Erica/Skye/Janet/Kinder/Marian, Pierce/Brooke & Tanner Jordan stuff, none of which I cared for. I thought that Behr/Broderick together were mostly terrific (Julia/Noah/evilTaylor & Dimitri/Maria affair not withstanding LOL) and the show seemed more like itself. I like FJ a lot and thought she was a great director at AMC, but something just seemed off about her stint. Maybe it was Disney's influence, maybe Taggart's. I know she envisioned AMC as daytime's Peyton Place, which I think was a valid comparison, but nothing ever seemed to gel...stories never had any momentum like they did under Behr.

I thought Taggart did a great job reviving GL in the early 2000s, but I also didn't care for the Myrtle/Santa, Tanner Jordan, Pierce/Brooke stuff. Janet/Erica/Skye/Kinder was at least fun. I'm not sure how much to blame on Disney wanting AMC to emulate Days, which was getting high ratings with Marlena's possession around this time.

I was not a fan of the younger cast brought in during summer 1995, and the soap press basically blamed them for the show's ratings woes. However, I thought the show handled their phasing out poorly - Bobby and Anita had no story for most of their last six months on the show, Kelsey was stranded until the short reparative therapy story with Kevin, Scott was needlessly recast with the very boring Daniel Cosgrove, and Laura became a huge unlikeable arrogant brat.

I always felt that Kelsey, Scott, Bobby, Laura, etc. were handled badly. I mean you have Tara's troubled daughter, Stuart's sweet natured adopted son, Nina's misguided son and Brooke's hot mess adopted daughter. Such a shame no real effort went into any of them, imo. And not to mention the dropping of Charlie (who was badly cast), Tara's son. Instead we get stuck with years of Greenlee, Ryan and Zach who polarized the canvas. Same for Kendall but at least she had ties and I bought Minshew in the role. Plus they actually attempted to tie her to the canvas even more by putting her in Palmer's orbit. I hate how AMC handled what should have been the "next generation". JMO.

I loved the concept of Nina & Cliff's son knocking up Tara's daughter, but ITA that the casting wasn't great, except for Kelsey, imo, and the characters weren't used enough. ICAM that these characters should've been brought back later on instead of keeping Ryan, Greenlee, Kendall around so long.

Frankly, I still think AMC was better off killing off Ruth. I realize Meriwether has her fans and defenders -- and believe me, I'm not saying she was horrible in the role -- but recasting Ruth Martin just seemed so wrong to this longtime fan.

It was wrong, but killing Ruth off at the time wasn't great since she had just had the huge depression storyline regarding the tornado destroying the house & overcoming all of that. If Fickett had stayed in the role, the use of Ruth Martin in later years would have been even more restricted & limited than it was with Meriwether.

I think Fickett should've been slowly phased out and then they could've killed Ruth off screen. Bringing in Meriwether never made sense to me because she didn't feel like the "real" Ruth.

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