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j swift

When real life gets in the way

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I don't remember if this was mentioned, but Genie Francis taking over a year off for her maternity leave seemed to cause all sorts of issues, with rumors at the time that she was all but strongarmed into returning. I think her lengthy absence also helped fuel Tony Geary's flames for destroying and burying the Luke/Laura pairing. And the show's distaste for Laura and/or Genie was more than a little obvious onscreen. 

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2 hours ago, j swift said:

I considered a topic just on best/worst maternity leave plots. 

 

My worse would be when Hayley Vaughn (AMC) had been kidnapped and buried up to her neck in order to hide Kelly Ripa's real life pregnancy. 

 

Wasn't there an NBC soap that had a non-pregnant character (played by a pregnant actress) go to a weight loss clinic as their maternity leave story?  I know ATWT did the spa story and I know that the AW actresses playing both Blaine and Paulina had weight issues post-pregnancy but, in the vague recesses of my mind I recall a soap using a weight loss clinic as a method for explaining a character's leave of absence and that it was thought of by the soap press as funny.

 

I think it was GH when Jackie Zieman (Bobbie) went on maternity leave in the early 90s.. they had Bobbie go away to a clinic to lose some weight.

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5 hours ago, Faulkner said:

I dunno. Certainly, Justus killing Damian was a meaty storyline (that was Guza, right?), but allowing Laura to take the heat while he served as her lawyer ultimately marginalized him. And Keesha went poof when Jason Quartermaine became Jason Morgan. Maybe if RC had lived, the Wards would have continued to be a unit, albeit one with less airtime. (Or maybe she’d be written as a Sonny apologist.) For me, he seemed far less committed to a diverse Port Charles even in that early run. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed Guza’s early runs, but they certainly offered disturbing glimpses of what the show would become in the JFP era.

 

Mary Mae probably would have become a Sonny apologist.  She was with L&B records and seemed to get along with Sonny back then.  Keesha hung around for a bit with AJ.  Jason Morgan was so awful to her.  Did he ever apologize for his bad behavior?  Did they ever share a scene again lol.  I think Mary Mae's death sorta ended L&B records as a thing.  I know Lois, Brenda, Ned, etc. talked about it still, but after Mary Mae died and Ricky Martin left their only artists were Ned/Eddie Maine and Dara Jensen?  A character they brought out of the closet once a month to spar or romance Justus.   Out of all of them, Justus lasted the longest and probably had the most potential.  It was odd when they brought Maya (was that her name?) Ward back and there were always spoilers her sister was coming and then nothing...just left town with a whimper and a failed marriage to Ethan.

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1 hour ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

Wait, did you mean not to assume that they did or didn't know? 

 

That they did. I remember at the time, posters pointing it out and speculating everything under the sun. IIRC, this wasn't so far after CZ's oral cancer, and we were expecting some kind of medical issue to be confirmed. 

 

I don't recall what the lag was between taping and airdate, but it had to be a month to 6 weeks. And while I liked Ferrin, I certainly don't think she was irreplaceable.  Even with ATWT's hit and miss casting.

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I don't recall Tony Geary actively turning on Luke and Laura until around 2008 or so. Up to that point he seemed to be a passionate keeper of the flame, and I believe even called himself that more than once. I may be wrong. He used to constantly wax rhapsodic about how Laura was Luke's saving grace. He also enjoyed being paired with Jane Elliott, but there's nothing wrong with that - the Luke/Tracy pairing worked initially, IMO. It was when first the writing and then Geary began using Luke/Tracy to try to tear L&L down that there was a problem. The couples were apples and oranges.

 

If some of the old stories about the mid-'90s BTS are true around the time Genie took off, Tony would've had ample reason to turn on L&L. But he didn't then, as far as I can recall. He was always very respectful of Laura and Genie in print, and still is of Genie at least. Neither party is a saint or totally in the right or wrong, but Tony has certainly become much more obnoxious in recent years. Even when he's absolutely dead on right about stuff like Ron Carlivati, he's wrong in other ways.

 

The aggravating thing about Tony is that he turned in both awful and sublime performances right to the end. That day near the end where he and Jonathan Jackson rewrote their scenes - and it lasted maybe 3-5 minutes - was as close to pre-Ron and Frank, even pre-2008 GH we've had in years. It was brilliantly written and performed, and it stood out in that hour like a sore thumb. You knew no one in Ron's team could've written that.

Edited by Vee

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45 minutes ago, carolineg said:

 

Mary Mae probably would have become a Sonny apologist.  She was with L&B records and seemed to get along with Sonny back then.  Keesha hung around for a bit with AJ.  Jason Morgan was so awful to her.  Did he ever apologize for his bad behavior?  Did they ever share a scene again lol.  I think Mary Mae's death sorta ended L&B records as a thing.  I know Lois, Brenda, Ned, etc. talked about it still, but after Mary Mae died and Ricky Martin left their only artists were Ned/Eddie Maine and Dara Jensen?  A character they brought out of the closet once a month to spar or romance Justus.   Out of all of them, Justus lasted the longest and probably had the most potential.  It was odd when they brought Maya (was that her name?) Ward back and there were always spoilers her sister was coming and then nothing...just left town with a whimper and a failed marriage to Ethan.

 

I don't remember much Sonny apologism in that first year of Guza as headwriter, before he went to Sunset Beach. I don't remember a ton when he came back either, as when Maurice returned, Sonny was second fiddle to Jason for that first year or so. But I think that Mary Mae would have been sidelined and likely taken off contract, the way Senait Ashefanti was and Felicia Bell was.

5 minutes ago, Vee said:

I don't recall Tony Geary actively turning on Luke and Laura until around 2008 or so. Up to that point he seemed to be a passionate keeper of the flame, and I believe even called himself that more than once. I may be wrong. He used to constantly wax rhapsodic about how Laura was Luke's saving grace. He also enjoyed being paired with Jane Elliott, but there's nothing wrong with that - the Luke/Tracy pairing worked initially, IMO. It was when first the writing and then Geary began using Luke/Tracy to try to tear L&L down that there was a problem. The couples were apples and oranges.

 

I thought he had a lot of involvement in the rape revisitation story, which to me came across as actively trying to destroy the entire L&L relationship, painting it as the delusion of a traumatized rape victim. Maybe that was all Guza, I don't know.

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50 minutes ago, P.J. said:

 

That they did. I remember at the time, posters pointing it out and speculating everything under the sun. IIRC, this wasn't so far after CZ's oral cancer, and we were expecting some kind of medical issue to be confirmed. 

 

I don't recall what the lag was between taping and airdate, but it had to be a month to 6 weeks. And while I liked Ferrin, I certainly don't think she was irreplaceable.  Even with ATWT's hit and miss casting.

 

Yeah, they could've definitely tried to find a good Jennifer recast and I thought Ferrin was adorable.  It certainly would've beaten the hell out of recasting Craig for the umpteenth time.

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They were all involved in that story though, which I didn't feel was designed to destroy L&L. I thought that story was very good, but very difficult. I also felt Lucky came down a bit too hard on Laura during it, but I know they were all proud of that work. They squared the circle with Laura's POV at the end enough for me.

 

I also don't think it's why L&L didn't reunite at the time - I believe there were other BTS reasons for that and not all of them (if any, at that time) were attributable to Tony, or Guza. Riche and Guza tried to sell Laura with Stefan which I felt was mishandled despite two great actors and a lot of chemistry, and then Guza wanted to pair A Martinez's Roy with Laura (and they also had chemistry) but Riche vetoed that. Regardless, Tony remained very, very complimentary of L&L and Laura for at least a decade afterwards, including during the rape revisit.

 

As a fan at the time I was very annoyed they weren't reuniting L&L - I remained that way for years. It seemed like a BTS muddle and I don't think it was all the writers' choice, nor do I think it was necessarily Tony's. When they finally did reunite, under JFP and McTavish, it was too rushed and very poorly handled considering all their post-'95 trauma.

 

59 minutes ago, P.J. said:

And while I liked Ferrin, I certainly don't think she was irreplaceable.  Even with ATWT's hit and miss casting.

 

I thought it was a stupid mistake killing Jennifer. As you say, Ferrin was good but far from irreplaceable. I didn't understand why they did it or had her in some weird romance with Craig, but I didn't understand most anything about ATWT from about 2004 on.

Edited by Vee

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33 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

 

I don't remember much Sonny apologism in that first year of Guza as headwriter, before he went to Sunset Beach. I don't remember a ton when he came back either, as when Maurice returned, Sonny was second fiddle to Jason for that first year or so. But I think that Mary Mae would have been sidelined and likely taken off contract, the way Senait Ashefanti was and Felicia Bell was.

 

 

Guza did some good stuff.  I loved his 90's things but I attribute that all to Wendy Riche reeling him in as a good EP.  Jill let him run wild.  Claire Labine's vision of Sonny is so off of what he has become....I don't know if RC would have been sidelined-she seemed to be very well liked.  Her, Luke, Justus, and Lucky doing midnight train to Georgia is my fave nb performance ever.

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1 hour ago, Vee said:

 

I thought it was a stupid mistake killing Jennifer. As you say, Ferrin was good but far from irreplaceable. I didn't understand why they did it or had her in some weird romance with Craig, but I didn't understand most anything about ATWT from about 2004 on.

 

Pissy seemed to have a penchant for killing off legacy children, and I think regarded Jen's death as a tragic full circle homage to history. When Em miscarried her daughter, she named her Jennifer too, as I recall. 

 

I didn't get the Jen/Craig thing either, particularly as they fired HB just as the baby switch got rolling. 

 

And speaking of things that derail story----add actors who sign one year deals to the list. Rosanna went into a coma twice while McClain decided what she wanted to do. 

Edited by P.J.

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I wonder if Agnes (and later, Anne Howard Bailey) was hopeful Rosemary Prinz would change her mind about only wanting six month gigs, or if they shrugged and accepted that the long-term storytelling wouldn't depend on her.

Edited by Franko

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Yeah, Tony didn’t really become anti Laura until after her coma return, and while people have at times interpreted that as anti Genie, he has always been complementary of her and her work.

 

It seemed to me that he was very into the Ethan story, and the more fans were against the idea of him cheating on Laura at that point i their relationship the more he doubled down on his version of Luke.  Around that time I remember thinking he had kind of lost perspective on the character, and I see a straight line from those days to how much he didn’t want to play a romantic dynamic between Laura and Luke anymore a few years later.

 

I wonder how things would have turned out if tptb ever gave her the clout they always just hand over to him.  Would she have stayed like he did if her opinions were as respected as his?

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1 hour ago, Vee said:

Why did they fire Block? I assumed he'd quit over a contract dispute.

 

*shrugs* I don't know if he was technically fired, or they couldn't come to terms. It was 2005, he should've been a year into his second contract. I don't think any deets were leaked.. then again, I was too busy dancing in the street....

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The real life backstage shenanigans of George Reinholt on AW resulted in Steve Frame being killed off.

 

Had a more accomodating actor played Steve, then Steve and Alice would probably have stayed happily married for a while and the adoption of Sally and Willis interfering would have played out against that.

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