Classic Soaps (I'm Still) Watching Another World

Discussion in 'US Soaps Forum' started by Canon, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Since David Canary was already well-known from prime-time, he had an added advantage when they cast him for the role. I think they recognized that if they were going to do a triangle involving Mac and Rachel, the 'third' had to be meaningful to Rachel, not just some new man. Mac/Rachel had become a pairing the fans refused to give up on, even as they broke up and made up sporadically. The show already had done so many new characters that didn't work out. I think the viewers simply didn't grab onto 'NuSteve' because too much had changed in Bay City, though it would have been even more of a dud if they had not given the part to an actor as good as Canary. I wasn't watching during that period, but from what I've read on the subject, Canary's take on the character was not very much like Reinholt's, which added to the "too much time has passed/too much has happened" feeling. Original Steve Frame was seen as a unique character when he showed up on TV, but this Steve was sort of derivative of other anti-hero characters seen on other soaps. Blame that on the writing, I think--since Harding Lemay had such a firm vision of Steve when he created the character, but writers who 'inherit' characters others have created rarely do them justice.

    Every successive writing regime during this period had that pressure being placed on them to recapture the era of AW's greatest success (which most people still remembered--it was only three or four years previously), but the network did not understand that they needed to build on their successes, not re-live them over and over. They were all in a panic, though, because General Hospital's very different take on daytime soaps during this period was sucking all the oxygen out of the room.

    BTW, today (May 4) is AW's birthday/anniversary. AW premiered 55 years ago today!
    (May the Fourth Be With Bay City!)
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  2. Chris2

    Chris2 Soap Chat Active Member

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    David Canary made no sense as Steve. And it made no sense that he’d have any romantic interest in Rachel. He was DONE with her in the mid 70s, before he was “killed” in the plane crash. We knew this was just a desperate attempt to recapture the Alice/Steve/Rachel story magic, even though all the actors had changed.
     
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  3. ChrisSumner

    ChrisSumner Soap Chat Active Member

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    It's a shame the AOL episodes end literally on the episode everybody learns Steve is back because I want to see the aftermath of all of this. I'm going to start what 1982 episodes there are and see what I can still pick up. From the beginning though, I LOVE that Steve has come back practically obsessed with Alice and when he met her she didn't recognize him nor want anything to do with him. On the flip side, Rachel instantly recognized him on his voice alone and seems more interested in forgiving him. I thought that was a nice touch. I also feel like he has good chemistry with Victoria Wyndham. Granted I've only seen a handful of episodes with the original Steve, but I didn't find him to be a good actor so I don't really mind David Canary. I don't think the writing does him any favors though. He admits he had his memory back and he just decided to create a new life with a new family and abandon his son? That doesn't work for me.
     
  4. ChrisSumner

    ChrisSumner Soap Chat Active Member

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    I finally finished the last of the AOL run from 1981 and have jumped to the 1982 playlist which unfortunately I think has like 20 episodes or less. I know many have said this year is one of the worst, but I would've much rather watched this than 1981 based on what I've seen so far. It did make me sad that the first two episodes available are Pat and then Marianne's exit, but I see they added some interesting black characters. I had no idea AW had so many black characters in the early 80s. If only to see their story I'd love to see this full year. Such a shame AOL didn't keep going with the episodes.
     
  5. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They even had Morgan Freeman playing two roles. The last of that group of characters, Quinn Harding, ended up murdered by the town's serial killer in 1987, though the majority of the characters were simply written out due to lack of story. I always thought Petronia Paley (who played Quinn) got the shaft in that story, since they simply could not grasp the concept of a smart, competent businesswoman (she ultimately ended up owning Frame/Harding Construction) who wasn't all weepy/screechy and/or obsessed with men.
     
  6. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A sad day in history:
    The final episode of Another World aired on June 25, 1999 (twenty years ago today). :(

    By that time the show was a shadow of its former self, the victim of too many cast culls and a general lack of direction. The network had made it pretty clear they didn't want the show around any more since it didn't fit with their image of what people wanted in soaps (flash and trash rather than character-centered drama and romance). They managed to keep most of the show's dignity intact to that last episode despite a certain hairy "special guest star" and of course certain characters got the chance to live a bit longer via As the World Turns. Still, they never did make another show like AW--and I don't think they ever will.
     
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  7. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    David Hedison (who played Grant and Ryan's father, Spencer Harrison) has passed away.

    https://www.welovesoaps.net/2019/07/david-hedison-dead-at-92.html#more

    This article goes into a lot of other notable roles he played, including starring in the original The Fly, and playing a CIA agent in two James Bond films. Followers of this site would also be surprised to know his wife was a producer on Dynasty and The Colbys. One of his daughters is married to actress Jodie Foster. On AW, they tried to pair Spencer with Rachel, then Rachel's stepdaughter Iris...but his most noteworthy 'love interest' was his insane ex-wife, Justine, who returned to town and caused Spencer to have a stroke.
     
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  8. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    It's little wonder Spencer was into Rachel, since his ex-wife had the exact same face, :lol:
     
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  9. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Looooong before they came up with the JustInsane plot (heck, before JFP even darkened our doorstep), there was a small foreshadowing of this. After being mugged on the docks, a half-conscious Spencer saw Rachel and called her by another name (not Justine, something else I can't recall). Rachel had just happened to discover him, and when she called Ryan to come help, she asked Ryan who (name) was, that Spencer had called her by that name. Ryan said that was his mother's name. Later in the hospital, Spencer was asked about mistaking Rachel for Ryan and Grant's mother, but he dismissed it as just being out of it from getting hit over the head. At the time I thought it was an attempt to set up a look-alike plotline, but it wasn't followed up on until...well, you remember the rest. Calling it a train wreck might be too clever by half, but also an insult to respectable train wrecks.
     
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  10. Ray&Donna

    Ray&Donna Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Yes, my friend and I were trying to figure out the other day if Rachel and Justine were separate characters, or Justine was just an alter. (a la OLTL). Of course, two people with the same face was done to great success on DOOL, before they decided Eileen Davidson could play four characters with the same face, one a man. :re:
     
  11. rlr718

    rlr718 Soap Chat Member

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    Rachel and Justine were 2 separate characters. Justine was grant and Ryan’s mother. She was a kook and a half.
     
  12. rlr718

    rlr718 Soap Chat Member

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    Holy crud I didn’t know he passed! He was in a lot of tv shows, guest stints. Rip
     

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