Classic Soaps (I'm Still) Watching Another World

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

  1. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    This is a nice batch of episodes I hadn't seen before.

    Alice returns to Bay City, Faith Ford's Julia, Morgan Freeman, Carl's son Perry (adorable), Cass in full blown cad-mode, Carl and Donna dating and the beginning of the David Thatcher murder mystery. Cecile is as entertaining as always, especially with Donna, and for some reason it kind of blows my mind to see her interact with Alice Frame. I also find it interesting to see Donna and Blaine interact as they are two characters I don't really think of from the same era and also it's kind of fascinating to have Donna discussing Alice as they definitely seem like characters from very different eras. I don't think I've ever seen this particular Jamie and I don't think I like him. Richard Beakins still stands as my favorite Jamie.

    Also, I think one of the episodes included in this span might be Ellen Wheeler's first episode on the show.

    I'm curious what happened to Sally's son Kevin after Sally was killed off. I was watching the show when Taylor Miller was playing Sally and when Sally died, but I can't remember anything about Kevin. I'm assuming he ended up with Alice.

     
  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The period where Cecile was trying to marry into the Love family (over Donna's dead, if well-dressed body) was so much fun, culminating in that 1920's-inspired wedding. You see the primetime soap influence over AW so easily when you look back, with them doing the sort of stories daytime would not even attempt today. Though AW's ratings had cooled off by the mid-1980s, they were still spending huge amounts of money (by modern standards) to mount splashy weddings, location work, large sets, designer wardrobes and other unnecessary extras. I recall Linda Dano commenting in the mid-1990s that when she joined the show, their fresh flower budget for the sets was larger than many of the salaries of the crew members. Of course she was around to see such extras cut out and forgotten by the mid-1990s.

    The character of Julia Shearer has quite a pedigree: not only was Faith Ford cast in the part, so was Kyra Sedgwick prior to that. I know Julia was somehow a Matthews, but can't recall much about her. She apparently tried to plagiarize one of Felicia's books at one point, and of course she ended up getting murdered. They seemed totally okay with killing off legacy characters related to the Matthews or Frame family in this period (witness poor Sally!).

    Dark, curly hair? That might be the one I recall...something Yates. He played Ben McFarren on Guiding Light and when they had to write him out, I think they hustled him over to AW just to fill an immediate opening, not because he was suited to that role. He didn't last long, either. One of my "most unpopular opinions" on AW discussion boards back in the day was that I thought Russell Todd (the last Jamie) was the best of the three I saw (Yates, Lau, and Todd).

    I may be wrong, but I think Larry and Clarice ended up with Kevin. The characters were written out (left town) about the time of Sally's death.
     
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  3. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I love the 1920's wedding stuff. That all used to be on Youtube. I'm assuming it still is.

    She was Liz's granddaughter via her daughter Susan. That's about the only thing I know about her.

    Poor Sally indeed. They sort of ruined the character by wedging Taylor Miller in the role. She did not fit the role.

    Yes, that's who's in the clip.

    I would actually agree with you that Todd was the best of those three. I would just put Beakins ahead of Todd though. He was a good actor and he was hot. And he looked like he could be George Reinholt's son. (So did Todd, though.)

    I found Lau's Jamie sort of dull.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  4. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I've watched a handful of episodes from the early 70's this evening including one where Alice has a nervous break down after a wonderful scene where Rachel vindictively informs her that she is taking the house Steve built for Alice from her, so that Jamie can live there.

    I have to say the biggest revelation from these episodes was one scene between Robert and Lenore. Susan Sullivan and Nicholas Coaster had amazing chemistry with each other in the scene I watched. I'd love to see more with the two of them.
     
  5. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Love your avatar. :ex: Might have to look into something similar for my own...just for a change of pace. Maybe Donna clutching those three pillows! :eck:

    It always seems as if Alice Frame (when Jacquie Courtney played her) would have a nervous breakdown if she got a run in her stocking, or if she didn't have enough change for the parking meter. It was just her style of acting, from what I've read, and it must have driven everyone else around her absolutely nuts.

    Harding Lemay said he loved writing for them, two actors he described as witty and sophisticated onscreen and off. Lemay wanted to write more urbane, modern dialogue in general, and these two seemed to get a lot of airtime because of it.
     
  6. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I recall this appearing on Soap Opera Digest back in the day...still makes me laugh--binoculars around her neck, a drinking glass at the door, and telephone in hand.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    Thanks! Only something I love as much as AW could tear me away from my "hot guy de jour" avatars.
    Do it!

    Oh that would be brilliant. I was originally going to go with a Donna shot from the opening, but couldn't resist the multi-generational shot.

    It's funny how she comes across as so delicate because there's something hearty and gruff about the actress. This was an actual, genuine, full blown break down in the episode that I watched partially witnessed by a horrified Aunt Liz. Russ actually had her carted off to an assylum.

    There's something very classy about both actors and although the scene was fairly brief it left me wanting to see more.

    I remember that! I love it! In one of the episodes I watched from the 70's Mac said something along the lines of "Now that Liz knows it won't be long before everyone knows." Talk about the understatement of the year.

    Tonight's episodes were later 70's episodes.

    Highlights:

    -I finally got to see Laurie Heineman's version of Sharlene. I liked her. She came across as warm and natural.
    -I watched some scenes with Mac, Janice and Rachel. Other than a couple of moments in St. Croix and the scenes when her ghost returned for the 25th anniversary I hadn't ever watched any scenes with Janice before. The actress was very compelling. She came across as smug and devious. I enjoyed her scenes.
    -I knew that Ray Liotta played Joey Perrini, but I didn't know that the Perrini women were played by Emma Snyder from ATWT and Vannessa Reardon from GL.
    -Ada is never not entertaining.
    -I really do love Richard Beakins' Jamie. There's just something really sexy about him. In this episode he announced his engagement to (Susan Keith's) Cecile - and Rachel was thrilled. If she had any idea . . .
    -Rachel decided to seek out "Mitchell Blake" and find out if he could be the key to getting Janice away from Mac, in spite of Ada warning her to stay away from him. If she had any idea . . . The episode ends with Rachel meeting Mitch for the first time.
     
  8. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    Another of the episodes I watched tonight was AW's first 90 minute episode where Olive tries to kill Alice and ends up killing John Randolph. One of my very favorite things on a soap is when something important happens and the writers show how the news ripples through town and how everyone reacts. This episode did a great job with that as the news of John's death traveled from Michael, to Iris and Brian, to Pat and Marianne and to Aunt Liz. When an episode is 90 (!) minutes long you have time to play all the beats like that. Irene Dailey and Beverley Penberthy were terrific in this episode. The guy playing Michael was awful.

    Vivian was in the episode. I think it's pretty cool that when Iris returns played by Carmen Duncan in the late 80's they got the actress who played Vivian to come back.
     
  9. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You probably know this already, but her winning the Outstanding Actress Emmy in 1978 is still considered one of the biggest upset wins of all time, considering she was up against Wyndham AND McKinsey. It was such a great twist of fate that Harding Lemay returned to AW in 1987, because re-activating Sharlene was one of the best gifts he gave the series during that short stint. Well, giving Sharlene back to the show and throwing in a Matthews daughter (Josie) for good measure.

    I guess you got to see him while his face still moved. :ms: In 1980 or 1981 Maeve Kinkead (by then playing Vanessa on GL) went on maternity leave and Anna Stuart (who was 'between soaps' at that time) played Vanessa for a few months. This was my first exposure to AS, since I was a GL viewer back then.

    Richard Bekins very nearly got worked to death during his tenure at the show. I can't recall the exact number, but soap journalists used to cite some unnaturally-long marathon of episodes in which he appeared every.single.day. You would have been in heaven. :D

    Harding Lemay planned to break up John and Pat at one point, and needed a really good plot twist. He approached P&G with a story where Michael would return from college to tell his parents he was gay and had fallen in love with his roommate. Pat would be supportive but John would disown Michael, leading to the marriage breaking up. P&G approved the story, then chickened out. They also chickened out when writers wanted Sandy Cory to be gay, as well. If this is the same actor (and the actor stunk), maybe they were better leaving it alone.

    Though I'm sure it sounded great on paper, the 90-minute experiment was a mistake. The expansion happened at the absolute worst time (just as GH was becoming "the" show to watch), and such a length made it impossible to have any of the big stars to appear more than twice a week. Even the 60-minute shows have their fair share of filler, so a 90-minute episode (at least one after the "newness" of the format had worn off) must have been tedious at times. Bill Bell had to be dragged kicking and screaming to expand Y&R to an hour, and always said he preferred the half-hour format.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  10. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    Didn't something similar happen with Irene Dailey's win? Though arguably Dailey is a fantastic actress--just maybe not quite at the caliber of Wyndham and McKinsey.

    Wasn't Lemay also responsible for bringing Iris back around the same time? Two big returns that really served the show well.

    I'm always surprised that this story was even considered back in the 70's. I can't imagine it playing out back then. Look how much longer it took us from that point to get to Billy Douglas on OLTL and Bianca on AMC. Days planned a gay story back in the 70's too, I think. I think with Mike Horton, but I could be getting the details wrong.


    I'm back to work tomorrow which means my AW viewing is probably going to slow considerably. I hope I'll still be able to fit in some Bay City time here and there. I'm planning on starting the early 80's AOL episodes next. I've seen some of them back when they were actually on AOL. If I end up being bored to tears with those episodes, then I'll jump to the 85/86 I can find.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  11. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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  12. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The small size does not do PMV/AH justice.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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  14. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, the good old days when men could wear shorts that were actually short. And notice little Amanda having trouble negotiating the steps--quicker than you can say "SORAS" she sprouted into fully-grown Sandi Ferguson.
     
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  15. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    So was Yates' Jamie the one who dates Nicole Love and Stacy Winthrop?

    I watched an August 1980 episode last night. It's still the 90 minute episodes and it's the episodes where they are introducing Texas so . . . snooze. Iris was trying to return a vase to Alex and some drunk lady was trying to pretend she wasn't drunk by claiming the liquor some other lady smelled was just cough medicine. Then there was some stuff I fast forwarded. Meanwhile in Bay City, Blaine is married to somebody I've never heard of named Jerry. Russ is marrying Tracey--a character I've at least heard of but can't remember anything about her. I think one of Russ' wives meets a tragic end, but I can't remember if it was Tracy. Rachel is pregnant with Matthew and asking Mitch to keep the truth from Mac.

    I just found a batch of episodes from much earlier in 1980 where Mac and Janice are still together so I'm going to go back and watch those tonight.
     
  16. Jason73

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    I watched parts of episodes from January and March of 1980 which saw Mitch and Janice enact their plan to poison Mac. Rachel deduces that Janice is keeping people from seeing Mac and enlists Liz to help her try and get to Mac. I always enjoy seeing Rachel and Liz interact and the way Rachel manipulated Liz into checking on Mac all while getting Liz to think it was her own idea was fun. There were a handful of St. Croix scenes that I hadn't seen and there was also the climactic Friday freeze frame with Rachel, Janice and the knife.

    There was also lots of the immediate follow up to Rachel stabbing Janice, which I had never seen before and it was really good. I especially liked seeing Willis and Iris react to finding out what happened with Janice and Mac. The Willis stuff was excellent and it was cool to see some scenes between Willis and Gwen. I get now why people felt Gwen's behavior in the 20th anniversary episodes was so out of character. Lyman was excellent and I can't say enough how much I enjoyed all of the scenes of Willis and Gwen's reactions. Unfortunately, Beverly McKinsey was out ill for these episodes and Iris was being played by Carole Shelly. Iris was overwrought at the news and I'd like to have seen how McKinsey would have played those scenes.

    I still have a couple more episodes from March. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the ripples from Janice's plot and death.
     
  17. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I've never ever really thought of Mac as sexy before but . . . he's lying in the hospital recovering from the poisoning, his hair is kind of longer and disheveled, he has a beard and mustache and he looks really chiseled and . . . hot . . . it's weird. I don't know how I feel about this.
     
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  18. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I'm 99% sure it was Richard Bekins's Jamie who dated Stacey, since their relationship occurred while he was writing that expose on her ex-husband, Mark. She and Mark divorced and left town separately, but when Stacey returned looking like Hilary Edson, they claimed that her husband Mark and their child had been killed in a car crash (which was why she moved back to BC). As for Nicole, I genuinely don't remember which Jamie it was--this is a gap in my actual viewing, though I read about the relationship and it was sometimes referenced in dialogue when Lauri Landry (AKA Singer Nicole) played her, but was basically forgotten by the time Anne Howard (AKA Fashion Designer Nicole)played her. I know Kim Morgan Greene (AKA Crackhead Model Nicole) was only there in 1983 and 1984.

    The Texas transition was nothing worth watching, as you obviously found out. AW was trying to back out of that 90-minute experiment gracefully, and they certainly had enough airtime to give the newbies. The problem was that the new show was set a thousand miles away and they came up with "wobbly" excuses for all these people to end up in little ol' Bay City. At least when they created the Somerset spin-off, that city was only a few miles away from BC and allowed easier crossovers.

    The only things I recall about Tracy DeWitt: she was married to Russ for a brief period, and was killed off-camera. Oh, and the original actress to play her was Caroline McWilliams, who went on to play Marcy Hill on the sitcom Benson.

    Fun fact: Dorothy Lyman is married to the brother of the late film director, Louis Malle. Louis Malle was married to Candice Bergen for decades until his death, which means Lyman and Bergen are sisters-in-law (kinda-sorta).
     
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  19. Jason73

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    The Felicia avatar is brilliant Daniel!
     
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  20. Jason73

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    On another forum where I was reading some old posts about AW, someone suggested that Violet and Mojo in the SCTV Days of the Week sketch were based on Iris and Vivian. I have to admit that there is a pretty strong resemblance. Catherine O'Hara seems to be doing a pretty mean Beverly McKinsey impression.



    O'Hara and Andrea Martin are just so brilliant. They never fail to make me laugh. I have to say the funniest parts of these clips for me are all the different facial expressions at the ends of scenes. That is such a soap thing--those drawn out, exaggerated reaction shots that close the scenes.
     

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