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If You Could Choose the Writing Staff for your Favorite Remaining Soaps


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Thinking about how unsatisfactory I'm finding most of Y&R's current storylines, my mind began to wander (instead of watching actual episodes) and I started thinking about what a head writer or a couple of writers from other shows that I've watched that I think could step in and write good storylines for Y&R, if provided with:

  • The show's story Bible
  • Summary of characters and their history
  • 13-15 or so pivotal episodes from the show's archives.

And I had an off the wall idea of writers from a show I thought could pull it off. It's kind of off the wall but you guys remember that show, Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High from the '80s and 90s?

Before you judge me harshly, hear me out.

If there were one or two writers who are still actively writing (writing is a skill that must be maintained--if they've been retired for years, I wouldn't bother), I'd try them out.

  1. Many people claimed Degrassi was a soap anyways and even though some of the dialogue wasn't the most dazzling, the story projections and the continuity of character was outstanding--Y&R could learn from that.
  2. Yes, Degrassi was plenty melodramatic but they also excelled at taking seemingly innocuous incidents and building on them and letting it play out, sometimes over months. Daytime drama used to do this well in the past but now seems to leap over those moments and forgot how to build to a climax. Crises seem to come out of almost nowhere with no natural build.
  3. And this show certainly did Pathos quite well.

Honestly, I probably would take the strongest writer from those years and put them in an probationary HW position and have them focus on story projections and supervise breakdown.

Okay, that's my Crazy idea, what's yours for your favorite remaining Daytime Soap?

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For Y&R I would have David Jacobs and Kay Alden as Co-HW's and go from there.

For DOOL I would have Agnes and Lorraine co-HW because Agnes could help give the show some character (as in a special spark/look feel) and she could make characters that seem a bit 2-deminsaonal more layers. I know characters like Victor/Vivian/Stefano/Kristen are entertaining but I don't know how complex they are. Do they even have a human side??

Lorraine knows the history and could do a great job filling Agnes in and molding Agnes' ideas into DOOL. Also, Agnes could be very psychological/psycosexual, which is what gave DOOL it's initial push.

Agnes may even be good in some capacity at B&B. She wrote a lot interesting business storylines that revolved around fashion/cosmetics. If anything, she would be good at writing the breakdowns and balancing out the characters and giving the show a variety of good storytelling.

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Y&R I would like to have Alden back but she does need a co- HW to bounce off of. I'm thinking Mike Kelley, who created ABC's Revenge and Swingtown. I think he would get the chilly cerebral core of Y&R, and understand the need for a sexy show, which Bill Bell was not able to pass on to his protege Alden.

On DAYS, I would have Broderick and I would lure Nancy Curlee and Stephen Demorest out of retirement. I love their work, and of all the shows still on the air it is the most like small town Springfield. I think they would do wonders for the whole canvas.

GH I would bring Sherri Anderson back, and pair her with Marc Guggenheim. He has written a bunch of shows, including Arrow. He knows how to have action and heart and Anderson knows how to craft excellent romance.

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Y&R I would like to have Alden back but she does need a co- HW to bounce off of. I'm thinking Mike Kelley, who created ABC's Revenge and Swingtown. I think he would get the chilly cerebral core of Y&R, and understand the need for a sexy show, which Bill Bell was not able to pass on to his protege Alden.

What do you mean by "Chilly Cerebral Core"?? Any video clips you can use as an example?

Also, what do people mean by Y&R needing to be a "Sexy Show". When I here that I tend to think of intense sex scene and highly sexually attractive men/women, which I have been seeing. Also, I never really noticed a whole lot of the "Model Turned Actor" type on 70s/80s Y&R. I mean, they were attractive and fresh/young looking but not exactly the centerfold type.

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What was considered hot in the 70s and parts of the 80s is different than what became attractive later. The whole actor with 6-pack, only became a popular look as the 80s went on, if one looks at movies from the 60-70s there were a lot less cut men in them.

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Back in the day many of the characters and major storylines often had a cerebral intensity. Bill Bell wrote psychologically complex characters, and his work was not known for warmth. He's not an Agnes Nixon or a Claire Labine. His work is not homey. Think of Jill and Katherine. Not just their cat fights, but the layers of pain and depth that story had. Think about the original run of Sheila Carter. His characters are often chilly, but also very sexual. The show foundation is based on this. The show should be sexy and cerebral.

Sex scenes are not always what sexy means . I don't know of any other way to describe it.

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What was considered hot in the 70s and parts of the 80s is different than what became attractive later. The whole actor with 6-pack, only became a popular look as the 80s went on, if one looks at movies from the 60-70s there were a lot less cut men in them.

Not trying to get off topic but I wonder what changed. I can't imagine a guy anywhere being considered hot without being cut.

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Not trying to get off topic but I wonder what changed. I can't imagine a guy anywhere being considered hot without being cut.

The home fitness craze of the 1980's played a huge part, as did advertising starting to sexualize the male image.

EricMontreal posted some interesting information a few years back about how the "gay male fitness aesthetic" after the dawn of AIDS and its devastating wasting syndrome had a major influence on the image of "heterosexual male beauty" in the '80s that has carried unto present day. Many gay men wanted to look "healthy" which translated as "muscular" in a time when perfectly healthy gay men were still very lean. Being built was in direct physical opposition to sick men who were skin and bones with horribly compromised immune systems. Heterosexual "muscle men" had been around for decades, centuries, but it wasn't until the late '80s/early '90s that you saw many body builders let alone the average weight-lifting male embracing the concept of isolating the abs. The whole 6-pack phenomenon is relatively new.

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Y&R

Executive Producer: Sally McDonald

Headwriters: Nancy Curlee, Steve Demorest, Natalie Slater

Breakdowns: Michael Conforti, Jeff Beldner, Kay Alden (and story consultant)

Scripts: Anne Schoettle, Janice Esser, Patrick Mulcahey, Nancy Watts, Susan Dansby

Script Editor: Beth Milstein

GH:

Cartini!!

Days

Executive Producers: Corday and Gary Tomlin and Lisa Hesser

Headwriters: Lorraine Broderick and Marin Gazzaniga

Breakdowns: Chris Whitesell, Chris Dunn, Paula Cwikly, Lisa Conner

Scripts: Richard Culliton, Carolyn Culliton, Melissa Salmons, Michelle Patrick, Chip Hayes

Editor: Fran Myers

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The only way to save Y&R, at least quality-wise is to bring back the old fold. B&B is sold enough where Ed Scott can return. Then you need to allow him to re-tool the entire show: Cast purge, BTS purge including getting rid of the set designer, music people and horrible new casting director. I'm confident he'll know who to bring in and of course we know he knows the way Y&R SHOULD look and will bring it back to it's glory days. Then for the writing Kay Alden and Jack Smith have to be involved and from there I'd trust them to bring in the people that need to be brought in.

If we're going for actual new blood I would suggest the extremely controversial K.O.L.A. B.O.O.F. who was famously fired from DAYS when it was revealed that she was Osama's forced mistress at one point. She then moved onto Y&R (where she was tasked to write the black storyline when LML was around) and then she did work at GL and ATWT, but wasn't credited for that. She also mentioned writing a great bible for AMC and being in the mix (this is when David Kriezman was chosen), but she wasn't picked due to the controversy surrounding herself. My main reason for suggesting her is because I did enjoy the authenticity she brought to Y&R and her story ideas are very soapy and would provide something different from what we're used to. She said she learned english watching Harding Lemay's Another World and she really seems to understand that classic style of soap storytelling, but with modern soap ideas.

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