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2019: The Directors and Writers Thread

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Just now, Khan said:

 

I don't think anything happened to Josh.  I think he's always been this mediocre.  Even when he was co-HW'ing OLTL w/ Michael Malone.  He might be a good scriptwriter, but he's never been my idea even of a DECENT HW.

I think he gets stressed too. (Which idk why he would want to write a soap) he can't work with others either so i dont see a CO HW being added. Dude locked himself in his office when JFP started telling him stuff.

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7 hours ago, Khan said:

Patrick Mulcahey has been a HW before -- at GL, after Nancy Curlee had retired.  Unfortunately, he quit after a short period of time due to interference from (I suspect) P&G and/or GL's then-EP, JFP.

 

 

First of all, let me go on record as saying that, next to Frank Salisbury, with whom he worked at GL and SB, Patrick Mulcahey is the best script writer ever to work in this business; and that ANY soap would be too damn lucky to have him at this point, regardless of capacity.

 

Above all else, Mulcahey's scripts display an inordinate amount of intelligence, wit and insight into character or characters.  Just like with his mentor, Douglas Marland, I never find myself saying, "He/she wouldn't do or say that," when I watch Mulcahey's work.  In fact, there have been instances (like, off the top of my head, the stuff he wrote for GL's Ross Marler) when his work helped me to understand, or understand better, even a character I THOUGHT I knew and had watched for years.

 

Moreover, Mulcahey seems to understand (from comments made in interviews) that "family dynamics" (tm @vetsoapfan) and not super-couples or gimmicks are the bedrock of this genre.  Ergo, if he WERE to take over as Y&R's HW -- which, again, I doubt, given the current climate -- I would be fascinated to see how he would write for the Newmans and Abbotts.

Thank you very much for all of this. It clears things up nicely.

 

I dabble in short scripts and stories, so it’s good to know what works and doesn’t work. Here and the U.S.

 

Plus, I love me some good soap (especially Y&R pre-2004)😊

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4 hours ago, LondonScribe said:

Thank you very much for all of this. It clears things up nicely.

 

I'm glad to hear that.  I was afraid I was coming across as inarticulate, lol.

 

I have heard that one of the reasons why Patrick Mulcahey stepped down at GL was because TPTB nixed his proposed interracial romance for (I think) David Grant and Bridget Reardon.  (Or, was it Gilly Grant and Alan-Michael Spaulding?).  IIRC, too, Bradley Bell and Karla Mosley singled him out in interviews during the initial transgenderism story w/ B&B's Maya.  Now, I know the story ultimately petered out, as most stories on B&B are wont to do, but I do think its' beginning -- and in particular, the scenes where Rick finally learned the truth about his wife -- were praised very highly online and in the soap mags.

 

And then there were the many, extraordinary episodes he wrote for SB.  (Last time I checked, Mason and Julia's wedding was still on YT.  You should check it out if you have the chance).  Honestly, if not for SB's scriptwriters -- Mulcahey, Frank Salisbury, Jane Atkins, Lynda Myles, Courtney Simon -- I think that show would've been cancelled a lot sooner than it was.

Edited by Khan

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8 hours ago, Khan said:

 

I'm glad to hear that.  I was afraid I was coming across as inarticulate, lol.

 

I have heard that one of the reasons why Patrick Mulcahey stepped down at GL was because TPTB nixed his proposed interracial romance for (I think) David Grant and Bridget Reardon.  (Or, was it Gilly Grant and Alan-Michael Spaulding?).  IIRC, too, Bradley Bell and Karla Mosley singled him out in interviews during the initial transgenderism story w/ B&B's Maya.  Now, I know the story ultimately petered out, as most stories on B&B are wont to do, but I do think its' beginning -- and in particular, the scenes where Rick finally learned the truth about his wife -- were praised very highly online and in the soap mags.

 

And then there were the many, extraordinary episodes he wrote for SB.  (Last time I checked, Mason and Julia's wedding was still on YT.  You should check it out if you have the chance).  Honestly, if not for SB's scriptwriters -- Mulcahey, Frank Salisbury, Jane Atkins, Lynda Myles, Courtney Simon -- I think that show would've been cancelled a lot sooner than it was.

I always knew when it was one of his scripts on GH.  Everyone had a brain and a heart.  I think his work is so well suited to characters like GL’s Ross, and people that do snappy well like Nancy Lee Grahn, Rick Hearst, etc.

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I was happy when Patrick started Tweeting a few months back about his time on GL and working with Curlee/Demorest. He's no nonsense and honest, so when he's proud of some of the work, it seems to come from a sincere place. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, BetterForgotten said:

I was happy when Patrick started Tweeting a few months back about his time on GL and working with Curlee/Demorest. He's no nonsense and honest, so when he's proud of some of the work, it seems to come from a sincere place. 

 

 

I wasn’t much of a Guiding Light watcher in the 90’s even though Sky showed it.

 

But darn, that was a powerful episode, with sophisticated writing. I simply cannot imagine this brand of writing being permitted by any network/studio executive these days.

 

Y&R is ‘my’ soap (even given the shell it has become) but I’m not sure they’d know what to do with someone like Patrick Mulcahey or any mature, nuanced writing 🙁

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Mulcahey was also the late/great Michael Zaslow’s favorite scriptwriter. So much so he locked himself in his dressing room at one point and refused to go to set when network censors tried to edit dialogue Mulcahey had written for Roger Thorpe.

15 hours ago, LondonScribe said:

I wasn’t much of a Guiding Light watcher in the 90’s even though Sky showed it.

 

But darn, that was a powerful episode, with sophisticated writing. I simply cannot imagine this brand of writing being permitted by any network/studio executive these days.

 

Y&R is ‘my’ soap (even given the shell it has become) but I’m not sure they’d know what to do with someone like Patrick Mulcahey or any mature, nuanced writing 🙁

Sadly, this was the beginning of the end for sophisticated writing on US daytime soaps. So looking back on it is bittersweet knowing what was to come for the most part across the genre.

Edited by BetterForgotten

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1 hour ago, BetterForgotten said:

Mulcahey was also the late/great Michael Zaslow’s favorite scriptwriter. So much so he locked himself in his dressing room at one point and refused to go to set when network censors tried to edit dialogue Mulcahey had written for Roger Thorpe.

 

Wow, I didn't know that!  Thanks, @BetterForgotten!

 

Mulcahey is Justin Deas' and Nancy Lee Grahn's favorite scriptwriter as well.

 

2 hours ago, LondonScribe said:

Y&R is ‘my’ soap (even given the shell it has become) but I’m not sure they’d know what to do with someone like Patrick Mulcahey or any mature, nuanced writing 🙁

 

The key, I think, is to have sympathetic, encouraging people at the top.  In order for Mulcahey (or any good writer) to be successful at Y&R, he would need an EP who supported and even complemented his vision, as well as people at CBS and Sony who trusted him to know what he was doing.

 

All the giants in this industry -- Irna Phillips, Agnes Nixon, Bill Bell, Doug Marland, and on and on -- were at their best when "the suits" basically left them alone.  I doubt Mulcahey would have that level of support from TPTB today.  Which is why I'm pulling more for him to land a gig at a primetime, cable or streaming series.  I just can't support anymore working for an industry that is at least twenty years behind the times in terms of everything.

Edited by Khan

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All very true and all very sad. When I was younger, I wanted to be a soap opera Head Writer or equivalent in the U.K.

 

Now, given where daytime TV is and the interference of those above, I’m very happy not to. I quite enjoy my own pace and space.

 

I naively thought there was hope that things could be rescued. Heck, I even defended Josh Griffith’s tenure at Days of Our Lives, but something is severely lacking at Y&R. And not just with the writing.

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The original, great head writers also had a producer's eye and some were producers.  That doesn't mean great producers are great writers i.e Paul Rauch. But when a head writer can think like a producer they are a strong creative but realistic presence. Nixon, Maryland, Pat Faulken Smith. They told stories that visually and structurally made sense for their show and audience.  Mulcahey is a great script writer. He's not a head writer. He may be a great story contributor too.  

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On 11/20/2019 at 6:20 AM, Khan said:

 

Wow, I didn't know that!  Thanks, @BetterForgotten!

 

Mulcahey is Justin Deas' and Nancy Lee Grahn's favorite scriptwriter as well.

 

Mulcahey's one of the few scriptwriters I can recall talking on record about what characters/actors he loved writing for. Most just give a generic answer how they loved writing for all the characters and actors and how it's not their job to pick which they liked the best. While that's nice on paper, I do think it's almost impossible for any writer to not be creatively inspired by a great actor or a fascinating character. He's talked about Sarah Brown at GH, and posted this Tweet about the actors he adored at GL in the early 90's:

 

 

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