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Could Sally Sussman have worked with a co-HW?

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I liked that she was kind of rebuilding and what she did with a few characters, but I think she needs a partner that is good at the more fast paced/ action stuff. It's no fun having great characters with no story for them. 

 

All thoughts please.

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No. The style of show they want is what you have now. As it is so many people are involved in the writing that I’m not sure a Co-HW would’ve made much different. She already mentioned good stories that the network rejected, not to mention the pace had been picked up before she left. 

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Yes Mal wanted to implement his one episode a day format.

 

I wasn't a great fan of much of what Sally delivered.

 

CBS/Sony think a fast paced, plot driven, 'shocking twist' format will keep the viewers.

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Wasn't the rumor that Mal ran Sussman and Kay Alden off the show so he could have full creative control? Sussman's goodbye interview was so sad. She sounded completely burned out and demoralized.

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6 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

Well, to be fair, Sally was never much of writer and never had much a good track record in the first place....

 

Exactly.

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21 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

Well, to be fair, Sally was never much of writer and never had much a good track record in the first place....

 

Exactly.  If I had my druthers, I'd fire Mal Young and Josh Griffith immediately, rehire Edward Scott as EP, and Kay Alden as head writer, with perhaps an assist from Carolyn Culliton, Nancy Curlee or Lorraine Broderick, writers whose track records are more positive than negative.

 

No team is a sure-fire winner, perhaps, but some EPs and HWs at least have better chances than others to do a good job. I believe Alden would have fared better at Y&R last year if SSM had not been involved. (Well, and if Young had also not been involved.)

Edited by vetsoapfan

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I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but I think there was a naive hope that since Sussman was around in the “glory days” that she’d at least restore a smidgen of Y&R’s early history, and that first Michael Logan interview and the first promos (Traci! Paul/Lauren scenes!) were promising (if dubious in hindsight). And even if she had been a generally undistinguished writer, she couldn’t have been worse than Pratt or MAB or LML, right? Maybe she was better than *them* at writing Y&R, but it was just a different kind of suck. Flat and aimless instead of sensationalist and reckless.

 

The EP/HWs take a lot of the heat for these shows, and they should (to an extent, especially with the more granular choices), but the overall vision of these shows come from on high. The fat cats in the corporate towers dodge a lot of accountability.

Edited by Faulkner

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She wasn't perfect, but I liked a lot of what she started out with. I also thought she was clearly hamstrung from the jump - the stuff with Phyllis, Billy and Jack proved that, as did certain elements of editing and production As others said, I also think the kind of show she wanted to make was not the one CBS wanted. Mal Young could deliver that and did, often while her work was still onscreen and getting constantly changed or upended. She seemed to have scene after scene of Victor being a wonderful husband and father, over and over, to try to restore the character, but while that's a noble effort it was just so far away from who he had become and felt very forced to me. And of course he's back to being pure evil now and Victor and Nikki are doing the same tired merry go round Sussman said she was done with, just as she said Phyllis and Billy were done.

 

She also did the only interesting story I've ever seen with Lily and Cane. Ever.

 

Was it more old-fashioned? Maybe. But there's something to be said for going back to basics while letting them be updated, which is what Sussman said she wanted to do and what I feel AMC 2.0 did with Agnes Nixon and her crew - and apparently minimal creative interference. I don't feel I can make an accurate assessment of whether her work was flat and aimless purely from her pen vs. how many other hands it went through from her writing to being shot and cut - from Young to Sony and CBS.

 

I also don't think Kay Alden would have fared any better solo with Young and Sony at her back.

Edited by Vee

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@vetsoapfan I agree with your Ed Scott suggestion. I know his time there was controversial, but he did wonders while at DAYS. The show looked better than it probably ever has (even with their budget) and the directors he brought over did a great job of digging some good performances out of the cast. DAYS I consider a Bell soap so it was an interesting experiment that payed off. Then he went to B&B and since then that show has been so beautiful. It was in a total rut when he arrived and he did such a nice refresh on the visual of the show while still keeping it B&B. He proved you can be a lush Bell soap in the modern era. I’d LOVE to see what he’d do at Y&R today. Lord knows how the writing will be but I know the Production would be top notch and the cast would be in better shape. 

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SSM did a few things well:

1. Sharon

2. Dina's return

3. The LA-reboot

4. Cane/Lily drama

 

SSM did several that were painful (all of which could've been fixed with a better team):

1. The pacing

2. The introduction of no less than 12 new characters + Scott/Reed recasts

3. Faith! + Declawing Victor

4. Lauren selling Fenmores was more about The Worm (This could've been a great business story and should've involved Jill more)

5. Jack/The Worm + Ash/Ravi. (Who can forget that 1980s Ravi fashion show with Phyllis?)

6. Dina selling her company to the Winters, instead of merging with or better taking over Jabot. I  would've loved to have seen Marla Adams ruling the roost at Jabot! 

 

 

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Aren't the best 'proven' headwriters for daytime soaps all 'Six Feet Under' by now? 

 

CBS, NBC and ABC daytime really needed to connect with graduate writing programs at good colleges, universities and independent writing programs and get a core group and train them, the way master painters and masterbuilders used to have apprentices. 

Have one group of apprentice dramatic writers learn how to emulate the technique of Bill Bell Sr. 

Another group should learn the writing technique of Agnes Nixon.

Have another group learn the technique of scriptwriting in the style of Douglas Marland.

Have masterclasses in writing a story twist like Henry Slesar.

Have each prospective soap writer compose a spec script for a daytime drama and submit blindly.  Put the scripts up online for the public to read and vote on.  From those results have a committee composed of actors, directors, award winning writers and other industry professionals cull the top scripts until you get a core group of 20 or so of the best young soap writing talent.

 

This is how it should've been done but the daytime drama industry wanted to maintain their clubby, near-incestuous atmosphere rife with nepotism and good ole boy networks and fawning patronage.

Good for them, but what is the legacy of that? Almost as many subpar years as good/great years of daytime dramas.

 

Issa rant, yes, I know.

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Possibly but her vision, while well intentioned didn't always translate to screen to well. Plus the show had its chance to revive it's some magic with Sussman/Alden in the mix and show downright rejected it, erasing any success the show had under Sussman. Even though the show was overall mediocre from 2012-2014, at least it had its success and aside from Sharon plots was never offensively bad like Latham, MAB, Pratt, and now Young were/are. Actually, I can't name one success so far under Mal's solo tenure so far. 

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39 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Aren't the best 'proven' headwriters for daytime soaps all 'Six Feet Under' by now? 

 

Sadly, yes, but some writers, like Kay Alden, Nancy Curlee, and Lorraine Broderick are still out there, and they have proven, at various times in their careers, capable of turning out good work. I would not include them among The Masters, but were all better than the hacks we have in charge nowadays.

 

21 minutes ago, ChitHappens said:

Not sure why y'all throwing up suggestions to save shows networks don't really give 2 chits about.  What am I missing?  

 

It's simply a daydream. Wishful--and wistful--thinking. We know the soaps are doomed.

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