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When did Josh Griffith became a bad writer? Or when Good Writers take a turn for the worse


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The March discussion thread for Y&R reminded me that 15-20 years ago I always remembered Josh Griffith always getting praised as a writer yet here in 2021 he is the absolute worst, this already following a very disastrous run at Days back in 2015-16 and a previous just okay run at Y&R back in 2012-13.

 

The other examples I was thinking of off the top of my head include Richard Culliton, who’s good and bad work cancel each other out. His 1995 ATWT run was great; 1998 at AW was a disaster. 

 

Same with Stephen Demorest, his work at GL was fantastic but ATWT was a mess. I have to include Trent Jones on this as well for uneven writing depending on the show.

 

I feel like both Pam Long and Thom Racina deserve mentions as well. 

 

 

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Good question. Even Megan McTavish was considered good at her first AMC stint, right? 
 

I wonder if Lethal Leah has always been considered lethal. 

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Posted (edited)

Sometimes we learn that failures are the results of interference from the highers-up, but Claire Labine’s uneven OLTL and nearly disastrous GL come to mind. Both felt like self-parodies. That’s after her triumphant GH run and the well-earned respect for co-creating and writing Ryan’s Hope.

Edited by Faulkner
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Posted (edited)

Here are his credits if anyone's interested

 

As the World Turns (hired by Hogan Sheffer)

  • Script Writer: April 12, 2005 – June 29, 2006; December 14, 2009 – September 17, 2010

Days of Our Lives

  • Co-Head Writer: August 19, 2015 – September 2, 2016

General Hospital (hired by Brian Frons; fired by Robert Guza, Jr.)

  • Story Consultant: July 2009 – August 21, 2009
  • Breakdown Writer: August 7 & 17, 2009
  • Script Writer: August 21, 2009

One Life to Live

  • Associate Head Writer: 1991–1994, March 23, 2004 – September 28, 2004
  • Co-Head Writer: 1992 – September 1995, March 10, 2003 – March 21, 2004
  • Head Writer: February 3, 2003 – March 7, 2003

Santa Barbara

  • Breakdown Writer: 1988–1991
  • Script Writer: 1988–1991

Sunset Beach

The Young and the Restless (hired by Barbara Bloom)

  • Breakdown Writer: July 13, 2006 – October 2006
  • Creative Consultant: July 7, 2006 – September 2006
  • Co-Executive Producer: October 25, 2006 – December 24, 2007; February 6, 2019 – present
  • Head writer: December 26, 2007 – April 21, 2008; October 12, 2012 – November 1, 2013; March 20, 2019 – present
  • Executive Producer: October 25, 2006 – October 2, 2008
  • Supervising Producer: September 14, 2018 – February 5, 2019
Edited by AbcNbc247
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2 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Sometimes we learn that failures are the results of interference from the highers-up, but Claire Labine’s uneven OLTL and nearly disastrous GL come to mind. Both felt like self-parodies. That’s after her triumphant GH run and the well-earned respect for co-creating and writing Ryan’s Hope.


I forgot about Labine I remember being pumped up at her coming to GL and how that ended in absolute catastrophe. I don’t know how much of that was Rauch & MADD’s fault but it really looked bad compared to newbie Hogan Sheffer’s ATWT at the time and the soap press were more than happy to point that out. 

8 minutes ago, juppiter said:

 

I wonder if Lethal Leah has always been considered lethal. 


I think her late 80’s run at Days was considered well received at least early

on but by 1989 the show was falling apart.

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3 minutes ago, soapfan770 said:

I think her late 80’s run at Days was considered well received at least early

on but by 1989 the show was falling apart.

From what I've seen of it, it looked really good. She did seem to have an obsession with supercouples though; there was a new one every year lol almost like Ron Carlivati with his redemption arcs.

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5 minutes ago, soapfan770 said:

I forgot about Labine I remember being pumped up at her coming to GL and how that ended in absolute catastrophe. I don’t know how much of that was Rauch & MADD’s fault but it really looked bad compared to newbie Hogan Sheffer’s ATWT at the time and the soap press were more than happy to point that out. 

Yeah, even after her weak OLTL, I too was stoked to see what she could do at GL. But it felt like a caricature of a lot of her previous work, with the quirky “humor” (May Merisi), extending the mob stuff with the Santos family, sad deaths of children (Cassie/Richard), shoehorning in social issues stuff (Reva and the human trafficking story that led to Catalina’s arrival), etc.

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46 minutes ago, AbcNbc247 said:

From what I've seen of it, it looked really good. She did seem to have an obsession with supercouples though; there was a new one every year lol almost like Ron Carlivati with his redemption arcs.

 

Oh yes her tenure was the height started off with the height of Roman(John) & Marlena, Bo & Hope, and Shane & Kimberly. She also wrote a lot for Patch & Kayla and later Roman/John and Diana but there was a lot of dreck involved with the periphery characters i.e. Alex Marshall's downfall, Doug's return,  Bill/Janice/Mike triangle and didn't Pete and Melissa end their marriage on a very out of character note? 

 

Thanks @AbcNbc247 for Griffith's credits btw. I think a lot of those soap fans back in the day were still stuck on his Emmy winning work with OLTL from the early 90s. I never watched it aside from a couple eps with Ryan Phillipe's character coming out but I do recall a lot of soap fans hold that era in very high regard.

 

34 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

May Merisi), extending the mob stuff with the Santos family, sad deaths 

 

 

I would have the sad deaths to include Jim Lemay's death on Christmas as well, that felt totally unnecessary . The way 

Patti D'Arbanville's character left the show was pretty disgusting as well. 

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44 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Yeah, even after her weak OLTL, I too was stoked to see what she could do at GL. But it felt like a caricature of a lot of her previous work, with the quirky “humor” (May Merisi), extending the mob stuff with the Santos family, sad deaths of children (Cassie/Richard), shoehorning in social issues stuff (Reva and the human trafficking story that led to Catalina’s arrival), etc.

Yes, I think Labine's GL was the absolute nadir of that show. Even when it got bad at times in the 2000s (like under Conboy/Weston), it was never THAT bad. Labine took the existing problems with the show (the emphasis on the mob and San Cristobel) and actually made them worse, to the point that I found the show almost unrecognizable. And the characters I normally like were written in such a way where they became insufferable (e.g. Reva, the savior of refugees). 

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Do you all think that it could simply be because Griffith and the rest try and fit the same template to each show that they bounce too? I just feel that this has been the detriment to a lot of soaps. Writers flip flopping to these shows and failing to not grasp the tone of each show, which makes it special and different from the others. 

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1 hour ago, soapfan770 said:

 

Oh yes her tenure was the height started off with the height of Roman(John) & Marlena, Bo & Hope, and Shane & Kimberly. She also wrote a lot for Patch & Kayla and later Roman/John and Diana but there was a lot of dreck involved with the periphery characters i.e. Alex Marshall's downfall, Doug's return,  Bill/Janice/Mike triangle and didn't Pete and Melissa end their marriage on a very out of character note? 

 

Thanks @AbcNbc247 for Griffith's credits btw. I think a lot of those soap fans back in the day were still stuck on his Emmy winning work with OLTL from the early 90s. I never watched it aside from a couple eps with Ryan Phillipe's character coming out but I do recall a lot of soap fans hold that era in very high regard.

You're welcome.

 

And yeah, Melissa had an affair with her dance instructor and after it came out, Pete just left town. Then Melissa got involved with Jack.

 

As for Griffith, I've only seen his work on Days and it just seemed like he preferred going for shock value as opposed to the deep, psychological stuff that he could have done. Will's murder, Hope killing Stefano, Chase raping Ciara on TOM AND ALICE'S COUCH??? WTF was that? lol 

 

I don't mind darker storylines because sometimes it does add realism to a soap, but all of that was just too much too fast

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12 minutes ago, AbcNbc247 said:

You're welcome.

 

And yeah, Melissa had an affair with her dance instructor and after it came out, Pete just left town. Then Melissa got involved with Jack.

 

As for Griffith, I've only seen his work on Days and it just seemed like he preferred going for shock value as opposed to the deep, psychological stuff that he could have done. Will's murder, Hope killing Stefano, Chase raping Ciara on TOM AND ALICE'S COUCH??? WTF was that? lol 

 

I don't mind darker storylines because sometimes it does add realism to a soap, but all of that was just too much too fast

Nothing like having the great-granddaughter of the show's founding family to be raped in her ancestral home. Happy 50th Anniversary DAYS. That is still some mess I will never understand. 

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I kind of lump him in with a certain type of soap writer- he keeps the trains moving on time.  It’s not exciting, or interesting.  But it’s words on paper with generic stories that just keep it moving.  The type of writer that helps a show tread water between HW stints.  I find him to be a lot like Passanante- boring, plodding soap opera without any real character.

 

At DAYS though it felt like he and Higley were trying to out hack each other.  It’s like he thought he was Guza all of a sudden.  And I have plenty of complaints about Guza, but his dark and depressing material was at least well written.  I may not have liked the stories or the characters he chose to focus on, but the scripts and most of the overall storytelling was strong.  Griffin wanted the dark and shocking without the pathos and the drama.

 

People like Richard Culliton and Passanante might be excellent in certain roles on a soap, but that doesn’t mean they should be the HW.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Forever8 said:

Nothing like having the great-granddaughter of the show's founding family to be raped in her ancestral home. Happy 50th Anniversary DAYS. That is still some mess I will never understand. 

 

That truly shocked me. And it was worth firing him for, unlike what allegedly actually did (Hope blowing Stefano away in cold blood, something anyone in town should've done years ago IMO).

 

You occasionally see glimpses of the old Griffith in some of his latter-day bad work - the weird, byzantine story in which Jigsaw turned out to be John's dad, etc. all sorts of other gothic stuff - but when he goes there the entire show gets both so dark and also not very well-written or made. It was different at OLTL when he and the florid, OTT romantic Michael Malone generally balanced each other out in their best years. I wouldn't put him in a position of real power anywhere today beyond maybe an occasional consultant were OLTL still around. His runs at Y&R and DAYS have been pathetic. He burnt out long ago.

Edited by Vee
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Josh Griffith is way past his prime,i don't know how he got hired back for the third time following the mess he made Days

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