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kingrat

The Soap Opera Thread

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Some history about George Reinholt, part one: One of the most famous soap opera storylines began when Robin Strasser (Rachel) learned that she was pregnant. The headwriter, Agnes Nixon, decided to write this into the show. Rachel, the show's bad girl, was disappointed that her husband Russ Matthews (Sam Groom) wasn't rich enough for her. However, his younger sister Alice (Jacquie Courtney) was engaged to the wealthy Steven Frame (George Reinholt). When Alice and Steve were having problems, he had a one-night stand with Rachel, who of course became pregnant. Alice's mother (Virginia Dwyer) thought that asking Rachel to help plan Alice's wedding was a good way to make Rachel feel part of the family. The night before the wedding Rachel spitefully told Alice everything, so Alice called off the wedding. The popularity of all three actors in the triangle kept soaring as fans rooted for Alice and Steve to get back together. Courtney and Reinholt had great chemistry, and Strasser was the favorite "love to hate" character on any soap at the time.

Real life intervened again. Jacquie Courtney married and moved to Mississippi with her husband. There was a big farewell scene as Alice left for Paris (beats Mississippi, IMO) and viewers could hope that Alice would return. The writers did not pair Reinholt with another actress, involving him with other plotlines. When Courtney did return, viewers were thrilled and the popularity of the couple continued to grow. If Reinholt's ego grew, that was understandable.

The next turn of events was that Robin Strasser wanted to leave the show. She was first replaced by a lookalike who was, however, a nice simple girl and thus totally wrong to play Rachel. Strasser came back for a bit, but did eventually leave. At this time Rachel was married to a reformed ex-con named Ted Clark (Stephen Bolster). That was the situation when Robert Cenedella, who had succeeded Agnes Nixon as headwriter, was replaced by Harding Lemay. The situation was going to change--first for better, then for worse.

 

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13 hours ago, kingrat said:

Some history about George Reinholt, part one: One of the most famous soap opera storylines began when Robin Strasser (Rachel) learned that she was pregnant. The headwriter, Agnes Nixon, decided to write this into the show. Rachel, the show's bad girl, was disappointed that her husband Russ Matthews (Sam Groom) wasn't rich enough for her. However, his younger sister Alice (Jacquie Courtney) was engaged to the wealthy Steven Frame (George Reinholt). When Alice and Steve were having problems, he had a one-night stand with Rachel, who of course became pregnant. Alice's mother (Virginia Dwyer) thought that asking Rachel to help plan Alice's wedding was a good way to make Rachel feel part of the family. The night before the wedding Rachel spitefully told Alice everything, so Alice called off the wedding. The popularity of all three actors in the triangle kept soaring as fans rooted for Alice and Steve to get back together. Courtney and Reinholt had great chemistry, and Strasser was the favorite "love to hate" character on any soap at the time.

Real life intervened again. Jacquie Courtney married and moved to Mississippi with her husband. There was a big farewell scene as Alice left for Paris (beats Mississippi, IMO) and viewers could hope that Alice would return. The writers did not pair Reinholt with another actress, involving him with other plotlines. When Courtney did return, viewers were thrilled and the popularity of the couple continued to grow. If Reinholt's ego grew, that was understandable.

The next turn of events was that Robin Strasser wanted to leave the show. She was first replaced by a lookalike who was, however, a nice simple girl and thus totally wrong to play Rachel. Strasser came back for a bit, but did eventually leave. At this time Rachel was married to a reformed ex-con named Ted Clark (Stephen Bolster). That was the situation when Robert Cenedella, who had succeeded Agnes Nixon as headwriter, was replaced by Harding Lemay. The situation was going to change--first for better, then for worse.

 

SEE, THIS IS WHERE there are benefits to the format of a show that's on five days a week for 20+ years- it's a unique format, comparable in some ways to BOYHOOD and TREE OF LIFE- where you REALLY GET A SENSE that the families being portrayed ARE PEOPLE YOU KNOW, I read part of an interview with HARDING LeMAY and he claimed to be a big fan of BRIT LIT- and there is a definite WUTHERING HEIGHTS "WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND" sense that long-time fans or devotees of a show can REALLY get into.

I started watching ANOTHER WORLD at age 11 in 1989 (LEMAY, as you know, had rejoined the show only to sidelined by a writer's strike), and by that time, A HEAVILY PERMED RACHEL CORY (played by VICTORIA WYNDHAM) was very aloof, elegant, and always vaguely displeased as the FIRST LADY OF CORY PUBLISHING...so imagine my shock when i read a book on the history of AW a year later (this was before the internets) and discovered that- back in the day- RACHEL WAS A LOWDOWN AND DIRTY BACKDOE H O E!!!!! Which made the fcat that she found her daughter AMANDA making some impulsive decisions and her son JAMIE being entrapped by VICKY HUDSON (as played by ANNE HECHE- the rightful heir to RACHEL'S streetcorner spot...) all the more DELISH.

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AROUND 1993 OR SO, they straightened out that rat's nest hair and finally let RACHEL start to show some EMOTION-

(Love how CARMEN DUNCAN loses an earring and keeps on in the scene)

ps- do not watch on high volume

 

 

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More on the Reinholt saga: Harding (Pete) Lemay starts writing the show. Victoria Wyndham is cast as Rachel. Steve and Alice marry, and Alice gets pregnant. However, Alice falls (from a stepladder?), loses the baby, and is told she can never have more children. Later on she overhears a conversation about how Steve was with Rachel when she fell. She assumes they were having sex (they weren't) and is so upset that she runs off to New York without talking to Steve (hey, this is what soap opera characters do). Alice gets a job looking after the son of journalist Eliot Carrington (James Douglas), whose neurotic ex-wife is very much on the scene: enter Beverlee McKinsey as Iris Carrington. Steve becomes so frustrated at Alice's absence that he asks for a divorce. They divorce, still without having seen each other, and Steve marries Rachel. Rachel has what she always wanted, but it doesn't make either her or Steve happy.

With Steve and Alice having been kept apart for months, the scene where they finally meet sent the ratings soaring. The popularity of the show, and of George Reinholt and Jacquie Courtney, was never greater. They even made an appearance together on the Mike Douglas Show (I think), at a time when it was almost unheard of for soap actors to be on talk shows.

Lemay really disliked and/or disliked writing for four of the stars of the show when he took over: Val Dufour (Walter Curtin), Virginia Dwyer (Mary Matthews), George Reinholt, and Jacquie Courtney. By the way, I was a fan of all four. Val Dufour's character was already written into a corner when Lemay took over (more on this later), and it was reasonable to write him out. Virginia Dwyer had been the show's matriarch from day one. Lemay did not understand middle-class families--he was from a large, poor family. Apparently Dwyer became difficult to do scenes with, changing lines, etc., and Lemay eventually had Mary Matthews die of a heart attack offscreen (Virginia Dwyer refused to do an onscreen death scene). This sent shock waves through the audience. Virginia Dwyer had been like a second mother to Jacquie Courtney, so this worsened Lemay's relationship with Courtney.

George Reinholt's ego had apparently grown with his popularity, and whatever personal demons he had probably also grew, and he became disruptive on set, which became even more of a problem as the show expanded to 60 minutes. Once they had to film a day's scenes cold with no dress rehearsal because he had complained so much. Lemay, executive producer Paul Rauch, and Proctor & Gamble bit the bullet and fired Reinholt, sending him a registered letter at home after he had completed his last scene. More shock waves through the audience. It was inevitable that Jacquie Courtney would be next, with her two closest friends on the show now gone. In the story Steve Frame was killed in a plane crash in Australia, and Courtney refused to do Lemay's proposed storyline about Alice adopting a little girl. Reinholt and Courtney soon surfaced on One Life to Live.

At the time, this behind the scenes soap opera was followed as avidly as any of the shows themselves. It's clear from Lemay's memoir that he made the existing problems worse by making his disdain for the actors obvious.

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IT'S BEEN INTERESTING to go back and revisit old episodes of ANOTHER WORLD and SANTA BARBARA with the knowledge I not only have of real life but also how the storylines for the characters ultimately turned out.

on one hand, it's depressing to look back and see just how precious few storylines EVER had happy endings in spite of the writers and actors gearing up audience expectations...

but on the other hand...

it's kinda fun watching now to negate the frequent dramatic intensity of the moment with my GODLIKE OMNIPOTENCE from knowing how the stories ultimately panned out-

KATHLEEN: "Face it Frankie, CASS loves ME..."

ME WATCHING: "No he doesn't."

KATHLEEN: "And he is going to PICK ME..."

ME WATCHING: "No, he's not."

KATHLEEN: "And we WILL be happy again..."

ME WATCHING: "No you won't..."

KATHLEEN: "So I am NOT going ANYWHERE..."

ME WATCHING: "Yes you are, because the fans hated this storyline and it was stupid. And the Producers were always writing scenarios where you got to sing, even though your voice is middling at best. You go to work for BRAVA'S New York Offices in a month and we never see you again. Thank the Lord."

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For those of us who love Soapdish: remember how the executive producer, Robert Downey, Jr., wants to kill off Celeste, the main character played by Sally Field, because "Then it will be my show"? That has happened in real life. TopBilled will be interested because it involves Search for Tomorrow. Mary-Ellis Bunim, the EP, wanted to kill off Jo, the character Mary Stuart had played since the beginning of the show and who had always been the central character, but Procter & Gamble would not allow her to do it. They did allow her to kill off Jo's sister Eunice (then played by Ann Williams).

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I saw that John Clarke has died. He played Mickey Horton on Days of Our Lives for 39 years, from 1965 to 2004. He had bit roles in a few films as well. He was 88.

330px-John_Clarke_Mickey_Horton_Days_of_  

mickey-horton-03.jpg?resize=590,436&ssl=

John-Clarke.jpg?fit=734,365&ssl=1

His daughter Melinda Clarke is also an actress. I first noticed her in Return of the Living Dead 3, and kept a poster from that up in my store for a few years. She was also recurring on CSI as Lady Heather, the dominatrix that occasionally romanced lead William L. Petersen's Gil Grissom.

Return-of-the-living-dead-3-film-poster.  

lady-heather-6c9d8bff-1313-451c-b6a1-d70

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Wow, Lawrence, a beefcake shot of John Clarke! Who'd have thunk it? That must be Susan Flannery in the photo with him. Poor Mickey Horton used to be such a chump--nice enough guy but, frankly, boring. He didn't know he was sterile and that his son was really sired by his brother Bill (Edward Mallory, a much more interesting actor who became a TV director, I believe). Then Mickey thought he had fathered a child by his secretary Linda (the wonderfully smirky Margaret Mason), but of course he hadn't. Then Mickey found true love with the crippled farmgirl Maggie (much better played by Suzanne Rogers than the sentimentally written part deserved).Eventually Mickey became a kind of family patriarch more or less by default.

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i read the other day that DAYS OF OUR LIVES is going on a filming "hiatus" for something like six months. ostensibly so they can shorten the time between when episodes are filmed and when they are aired to give "the writers more time to adjust stories..."

Uh huh, right, because THE WRITING on DAYS has always been first and foremost in consideration.

(and I say this as a DAYS fan, because- at heart- all DAYS fans know that it's kind of a dumb show that embraces that fact and RUNS WITH IT all the way to the 40 yard line.)

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How can it go on a hiatus for 6 months? Do they film that far in advance??? I thought soaps were only about a month ahead of airings......

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

How can it go on a hiatus for 6 months? Do they film that far in advance??? I thought soaps were only about a month ahead of airings......

edit- it's four months!

ps- this guy is a real ELECTRIC SPEAKER (not), but he explains it well enough i guess.

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I don't watch daytime soaps, but did Days go insane filming so that they'd have enough material to fill the hiatus? Would they just end on a cliff hanger?

Since these stories are serialized, and Days has been on for 60 years or something, are the characters from the beginning of the series still on the show? Or are we seeing the trials and tribulations of their grandchildren? 

Do they ever air repeats of soap operas? I know there used to be a soap opera channel, but I don't think that's around anymore.

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I'm not too familiar with Days, but I doubt anyone from the early days is still on (and I doubt any from the early days on other soaps as well since Jeanne Cooper died from Y&R. Yes, Victor Newman is still there, but he wasnt there from the very early days). Days started in 65, so they'd have to be pushing 90!

Yeah, that Soapnet channel went off the air (or they dont air soaps anymore, not sure). I don't get that channel anymore.

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I'm not too familiar with Days, but I doubt anyone from the early days is still on (and I doubt any from the early days on other soaps as well since Jeanne Cooper died from Y&R. Yes Victor Newman is still there, but he wasnt there from the very early days).

Yeah, as far as I know, none of the original characters are left, only their children, grandchildren, etc. and family groups that came in after the start of the show. 

I don't know if the video above mentioned it, but I was told that they were going to do a time jump in the show, skipping ahead a year or some such so that it will be like a soft reboot of the show.

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Weird. They sound desperate. Wonder if they are in danger of being cancelled? It's the only soap left on NBC...

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I may have been wrong. I think the character of Julie is an original. However, the person playing her isn't the original actress, although the current woman (Susan Seaforth Hayes) has been playing her since 1968. Her onscreen husband, Doug Williams, is played by her real-life husband Bill Hayes, and he's still on the show as well. He's 94 and she's 76.

From Wiki: Doug Williams and Julie Olson were the first super couple in the history of the daytime industry. The January 12, 1976 cover of Time magazine featured Days of our Lives' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the first and only daytime actors to ever appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.

DougJulie70s.jpg

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I thought they left the show a long time ago. Are you sure??? Maybe they trot them out for the holidays....

 

After doing some research, it appears you are right. Weird. I watched the show for awhile a couple years ago and never saw them. Maybe they were so old, I didn't recognize them!

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For some time Days has been filmed six months in advance, something to do with economy and studio availability, I think. They could give everyone the same vacation time and rent the facilities for fewer weeks. However, this meant that they couldn't adjust a storyline to audience reaction. If an audience hates a particular story, or if an actor isn't clicking with the audience, and that happens from time to time with every show, they couldn't adjust quickly.

I must say that Days has given us what I consider true same-sex equality. I don't usually get to see Days, but tuned in a year or so ago to see: not just gay characters . . . not just two guys kissing . . . not just a gay love triangle . . . but a gay love triangle that involved AMNESIA! Now that is genuine equality.

 

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ROFL! I know they had a gay male couple a few years back when I was watching it, but then they killed off the one guy. I wonder if it's the same character with a new boyfriend? I know he had a daughter.

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8 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I may have been wrong. I think the character of Julie is an original. However, the person playing her isn't the original actress, although the current woman (Susan Seaforth Hayes) has been playing her since 1968. Her onscreen husband, Doug Williams, is played by her real-life husband Bill Hayes, and he's still on the show as well. He's 94 and she's 76.

From Wiki: Doug Williams and Julie Olson were the first super couple in the history of the daytime industry. The January 12, 1976 cover of Time magazine featured Days of our Lives' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the first and only daytime actors to ever appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose onscreen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.

DougJulie70s.jpg

Doug and Julie are brought out from time to time. Julie has just had a heart transplant on the show. As the picture reveals, Susan Seaforth was quite a beauty.

Doug and Julie were not the first supercouple, despite Wiki. That would be either Steve and Alice (George Reinholt and Jacquie Courtney) on Another World or, several years earlier, Jeff and Penny (Mark Rydell and Rosemary Prinz) on As the World Turns. I don't know enough about the AWT couple, but the claim has been made. What made Doug and Julie special was that the actors became a real couple offscreen.

Long-time fans of Days could follow Julie as she changed from sexy and neurotic young troublemaker to matriarch of the Horton clan.

 

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6 minutes ago, Hibi said:

ROFL! I know they had a gay male couple a few years back when I was watching it, but then they killed off the one guy. I wonder if it's the same character with a new boyfriend? I know he had a daughter.

Hibi, they did kill off one of the guys, but the audience HATED that, so, since this is Days, they decided he wasn't dead after all and was actually alive, captured and brainwashed by one of those crazy characters played by Eileen Davidson. As Lorna so truly said, Days is never afraid to go way out there. I did hear this bit of dialogue in a recent show: "So who's come back from the dead in Salem this week?"

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

Do they ever air repeats of soap operas? I know there used to be a soap opera channel, but I don't think that's around anymore.

YES, it was called SOAPNET and they aired quite a few reruns of oldprime and daytime shows- I know ANOTHER WORLD ran on it (a lot of the youtube videos of AW I watch were taped off soapnet), SUNSET BEACH also. i think they also ran encores of the week's broadcast of YandR and DAYS  for a while, and reruns of 90210 and MELROSE PLACE.

they also had talk shows hosted by soapstars with old and new actors stopping by.

They shut it down really quickly around 2010, they had a whole messageboard system set up like we have here and it's still active, but new accounts are not allowed to join. it's been haunting, but informative, to read the SANTA BARBARA and AW threads.

like visiting an abandoned mall...

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2 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

YES, it was called SOAPNET and they aired quite a few reruns of oldprime and daytime shows- I know ANOTHER WORLD ran on it (a lot of the youtube videos of AW I watch were taped off soapnet), SUNSET BEACH also. i think they also ran encores of the week's broadcast of YandR and DAYS  for a while, and reruns of 90210 and MELROSE PLACE.

they also had talk shows hosted by soapstars with old and new actors stopping by.

They shut it down really quickly around 2010, they had a whole messageboard system set up like we have here and it's still active, but new accounts are not allowed to join. it's been haunting, but informative, to read the SANTA BARBARA and AW threads.

I think I remember having soapnet, but I never watched it.  In hindsight, I should have because they aired syndicated reruns of 90210 with the original music intact.  The music on the Hulu and DVD versions have been replaced with generic music.  Many of the online versions of 90210 that have the music intact were taken from this channel.  I didn't realize it left the air so long ago.

I don't remember hearing about Sunset Beach.  I remember when Santa Barbara was on.  I also remember Passions.  I seem to recall it airing around noon? I used to watch Live With Regis and Kathie Lee (I know), because I wanted to see "Mrs. Greenthumbs" and Passions always came on after it ended.

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PASSIONS p!ssed me off.

It started out with promise- but it ended up leaning HARD the ONE SOAP OPERA TROPE that NEEDED to die in order for a new show to work in the 21st century- and that is 1. NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON IT.

Any given episode of PASSIONS was about five unresolved storylines that would only get resolved in dreams or as fantasies- I mean, they were AGGRESSIVE about making sure **** went on FOREVER and NOTHING ever got figured out.

DAYS also had this problem for a while, but they also would at least OCCASIONALLY resolve a storyline, PASSIONS was just five years of "will they/won't they/seriously who the Hell cares?"

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