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Marlenaphan

Maria Arena Bell fans

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I have to say, I enjoyed her tenure at Y&R. I started watching again with her first big story, Marge & Kay 2.0.

 

I love that she brought back Nina and write for her. I liked that Chance was back. I loved that Ronan was her long lost son. And I especially loved that Phillip was alive and gay. 

 

I also liked that she reunited Danny and Cricket and had Cricket find out that Phyllis was the hit and run driver.

 

Maria did many questionable things like getting rid of Vail Bloom, but overall I was entertained daily by her Y&R. I stopped watching when Griffith and Phelps got rid of Nina but did tune in for Kay and Neil’s memorial episodes.

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MAB’s best stories were the Kay/Marge redux, the end of Victor/Sabrina, and everything Phyllis. Her tenure gets a bad rap because of the double dopplegangers, fireplace fetus, and the Diane fiasco.

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The beginning of her tenure seemed so focused on correcting historical Y&R plotholes that I've always wondered how much of the criticism should be attributed to her co-writer Hogan Sheffield who tended to more grandiose storylines.   I also think she was oddly the subject of a lot of negative fan projections because of her last name.  

 

I always recall the detail that Brad Bell's first storyline proposal at Y&R was Lauren's stalker culminating in her being buried alive.  Although Y&R had previous women-in-peril stories, that one seemed tonally different at the time.  So, perhaps it was not that unexpected that newer generations would want to stretch the genre based on other fictional interests with the expected reactive pushback from fans who had grown used to another type/pace of story.

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Totally agree. It was also strange to rarely hear from Sheffer during his years at Y&R under MAB. Either Bell or the other co-HW Scott Hamner or co-EP Paul Rauch generally spoke for the show.  The criticism of Bell was oddly personalized in retrospect. Much different than Brad Bell. I suspect some sexism at play here.

 

Maria also attempted to position herself as Bill Bell’s heir apparent. Again, in retrospect, I wonder if this was a PR move on part of the Bell family to solidify power.

 

Except for the very end of her run (even then basically only the Victor and Sharon stuff), I always found things to enjoy about MAB’s Y&R. I watched much more regularly under MAB than any of JFP (except for Fall 2013 and then Fall 2014 through Winter 2015).

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I loved all the doppelgänger stuff. I didn’t like the retcon that Sheila had a sister or that she had kids with Tom since they only met in 2005. But I’ve fanwanked it that Sarah was the real mother of Daisy and Ryder, and she wasn’t Sheila’s sister but instead a crazy friend from nursing school.

 

I wish they’d kept Cane dead. I could’ve accepted DG as Caleb. Never liked Cane. Naive me, I thought Cane would be written out when Phillip returned. Instead it was the other way around!

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If I remember correctly, MAB and Co. created Sarah Smythe when they couldn’t get Kimberlin Brown back to reprise Sheila. I think that KB had been involved in an accident. KB’s availability was also a factor in LML’s creation of Pheila. Sheila’s involvement in stories in 2005 and after never made sense to me. Y&R basically ignored developments from B&B without explanation. What happened to Mary Warwick aka Erica Lovejoy? Where was Diana Marone? I can’t totally lay blame for any of this on MAB... she was dealing with convoluted stuff inherited from Jack Smith, Kay Alden, and Lynn Latham.

 

The Cane stuff was bizarre. I don’t think that MAB wanted Cane (or Caleb) around. Behind the scenes network and Sony politics forced the show to rehire DG.  MAB only became invested in Cane when she could hire Genie Francis as his mother.

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18 hours ago, Eboneece said:

The criticism of Bell was oddly personalized in retrospect. Much different than Brad Bell. I suspect some sexism at play here.

I considered whether or not to call out the sexism in my original post, but then I remembered that Ken Corday gets a lot of the same criticism at DAYS.

 

I would add that one of the flaws in her storytelling were the exposition dumps required by characters to explain the plot to the audience.  I recall when Phillip came back to Genoa City, he spent days explaining to Nina et all where he had been and why.  I enjoy an emotional monologue, but those scenes seemed written to answer the viewer's concerns rather than the other characters. 

 

Didn't she also undo Jill as Kaye's daughter and made her a Fenmore?  I always felt the dive into Jill's parentage seemed unnecessary.  It only seemed to annoy the audience that had been introduced to Jill with her family intact.  Which begs to the tangential question - Why wasn't Jill more interested in nail-care at Jabot after her training as a manicurist?

Edited by j swift

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I liked that she undid Jill and Kay being mother and daughter. As to Jill being a Fenmore, I think MAB just looked at which characters on the canvas didn’t have siblings and landed on Lauren. I really would’ve preferred that Jill turn out to be Liz’s daughter after all, although I didn’t mind the fun dynamic between Jill and Lauren.

I also loved that Nina finally reunited with her long lost son, but Ronan’s first exit implied that he wasn’t a son and had just scammed them to get a kidney from Chance (I think that’s what happened). He left a note that said “suckers” and then took off. I guess when they brought him back they decided to keep him as Nina’s firstborn.

 

MAB also loved to cast former primetime and B-movie stars in guest roles. It didn’t annoy me as it did others except for the unbearable Sean Young as Meggie.

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you guys are right. Jill’s backstory did get convoluted. Jill as a Fenmore never made sense to me, but JW and TEB have an entertaining on-screen dynamic. I’m just speculating here, but I wonder if MAB’s team felt like they need to secure Jess Walton’s and Jill’s place on the canvas. The year before the Jill Fenmore story, JW went through a contentious and highly-publicized contract dispute with Sony. At the time, other than her longstanding relationship with Kay, Jill had sort of become an odd woman out on the canvas. Sure, her son Billy is an Abbott. Phillip’s resurrection also failed in that same year. Again, this is just speculation. The 2009-10 period was an odd one for the Jill character.

 

I, too, was a fan of the Nina/Ronan story. I wish that TPTB had made more of an effort to keep Jeff Branson. Today’s canvas would benefit from the Ronan character’s presence.

 

I did not hate the Meggie character. I thought it was interesting how MAB tied her to Murphy.

 

I know that I’m in the minority here,  but I also loved Genie Francis’s Genevieve when she was first introduced. I thought she was deliciously campy. I loved the set they created for her too. It was only during Francis’s last year that I thought the character had run her course. She became too needy. 

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MAB forced Jess Walton off the show and quietly let her contract expire. It was JFP who convinced Jess to come back (if only on a recurring capacity). MAB stupidly thought she could use Genie Francis to phase out BOTH Jess Walton and Melody Thomas Scott and it backfired.

 

Jess talks about her love for JFP here, and yeah, she was not a MAB supporter, lol.

 

 

Edited by BetterForgotten

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45 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

MAB forced Jess Walton off the show and quietly let her contract expire. It was JFP who convinced Jess to come back (if only on a recurring capacity). MAB stupidly thought she could use Genie Francis to phase out BOTH Jess Walton and Melody Thomas Scott and it backfired.

 

Jess talks about her love for JFP here, and yeah, she was not a MAB supporter, lol.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying. I didn’t know that interview existed! I stand corrected about Jess.

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The focus on Miller, Muhney, and Stafford was my least-favorite part of MAB’s run, which is what made it so easy to stop watching when they fired Tricia Cast.

 

Also, I liked Sean Patrick Flannery’s character. For me, that was the best of her casting former primetime and film actors. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 7:33 PM, Marlenaphan said:

The focus on Miller, Muhney, and Stafford was my least-favorite part of MAB’s run, which is what made it so easy to stop watching when they fired Tricia Cast.

 

Also, I liked Sean Patrick Flannery’s character. For me, that was the best of her casting former primetime and film actors. 

It was unfortunate that Flannery’s character wasn’t more gracefully woven into the GC fabric. 

 

Other MAB highlights for me: the introduction of Avery and Deacon and Nikki’s relationship. I also loved Emme Rylan’s Abby. Melissa Ordway is one of the worst recasts from the past decade.

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