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Viewing Single Post From: SOD Best & Worst -- 2000



Douglas Marland's name has haunted ATWT for years. It was during that late, great head writer's reign that the show celebrated its last golden age, evoking memories of another ATWT legend, Irna Phillips. Then again, the show has always had a lot of history to live up to; so much that even respected regimes have choked on it. While some chose to ignore the last 44 years and still make a good show, they could never sustain it without foundation.

And then along came Hogan Sheffer, a one-man argument for infusing new blood into daytime. The groundwork laid by his predecessors - Carly dumping Jack at the altar under duress, Molly going into a coma after her fling with Chris was exposed, Lily getting bored with her home life - was intriguing, but unfocused. Sheffer gave them - and by extension, the show - life. Carly's renewed sense of entitlement to Jack actually makes sense for the first time in a while. Molly found love with Jake, but the specter of his late wife hangs over them (literally). Lily is torn between passion for Simon and the stability of home. Rather than try to turn ATWT into his own creation, Sheffer embraced what he inherited and built on it. The characters began behaving, well, in character. The veteran cast was given work worthy of their talents; the writing is sharper, wittier and riddled with references to the past. The little details matter, too: Katie writing "I love Simon" on the steamy car window after sex brilliantly makes sense considering her childish mindset; Jack reminding Carly of the compass is especially meaningful because it's a component of their romance; visits from out-of-towners like Iva, unheard of before, are commonplace now.

ATWT finally got what perennially great shows like Y&R (this year being no exception) have always known - the past is a gift. Marland would be proud.
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SOD Best & Worst -- 2000 · Soap Opera History & Discussion