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JER In Memoriam Thread; Share Your Memories!
Topic Started: Oct 14 2008, 05:01 PM (2,703 Views)

Oct 14 2008, 09:54 PM
It just doesn't get any better than JER during the 90's. No era on any other soap has EVER come close. JER wrote both my favorite soap stories ever as well as my least favorite soap stories ever. There was no in between for him, and I'm sure he wouldn't have had it any other way.
I completely agree with this. His DAYS in the 90s was riveting television, and he had the best payoffs ever. That's one thing I miss today....stories build, only to sputter out with no impact. JER's stories always had a wonderful grand finale, with emotion and drama and intensity. And however you felt about his work, at least you felt something. He inspired great passion in viewers, and as a soap writer I don't think there could be any greater tribute.

JER created (or co-created) some great characters that are either still around or I wish were still around. Kristen's my favorite, and I also really loved Billie when she was first introduced. Julie Pinson was my favorite actress in the role, but original Billie was the best character. Tough, brash and yet vulnerable at the same time. JER always painted his characters in shades of good and bad so no one was totally a saint or totally a villain.
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There is stuff about JER I could go on and on about! So many classic stories, but first I will bring up one of the things I loved about the man even through the 00's: His payoff! Whether it was on Days or Passions, when JER brought actual payoff, boy was it good!

The most memorable scene for me is when Kristen was exposed after the Secret Room! Marlena kept claiming to John that Kristen orchestrated everything(Susan, the switch, the Secret Room) when Kristen was trying to make Susan out to be the villian, and at first John wouldn't believe her, but in the end he listened to his heart! And then Kristen's complete meltdown where she grabbed a gun and held Marlena at gunpoint as Stefano watched in horror on a TV elsewhere! And not to mention the wedding beforehand where Susan's false teeth went flying out of her mouth and landed in Vivian's glass! And John rescuing both Kristen and Marlena from the secret room. All of these payoffs were just breathtaking!

Then on Passions, I'll never forget my favorite scene EVER: Sheridan, after the huge psych-ward/brainwashing story from 2003-2004 where Alistair had Sheridan brainwashed into loving Antonio and forgetting her love for Luis, at the courtroom where Luis was taken away after being put on trial for kidnapping Sheridan to try to make her remember, he told her to remember and there was this big montage, at first with a clock ticking(I think thats what it was), then the heartbeat as she recalled her times with him, and then once she snapped out of it she ran up to Luis and started kissing him!

And as campy as JER's writing was, he had emotional scenes. He wrote Tom's funeral VERY well back in 1994 on Days, and then even before I knew JRE passed, Timmy's death on Passions was just heartbreaking! And any Timmy montage, well this was partially due to how sad the story of JRE is, was very emotional too. As crazy as Passions was you can never deny that it had its emotional moments!

And even though I know in his last years of writing this sort of failed, but, no one can deny that JER knew how to tell a story, whether you liked it or not! I didn't like every single detail of his first run on Days but he still knew how to tell a story and as someone else said, cover all his bases! Just look at Aremid, or heck, even Julian's fake death on Passions! Tony/Andre didn't come back until after JER's first tenure was over(I think he was intended by JER to be really dead), but there was a big "Who Shot Julian" storyline, that although it was eventually forgotten and the shooter wasn't revealed for YEARS, boy it was good too! Julian ended up dead, and almost everyone in Harmony was a suspect. "Whodunnit's" were some of JER's best type of stories. Then of all things, months later, Julian turned up alive and tied into the Timmy/Tabitha/Zombie Charity/Miguel/Kay/Charity story! A story I would never have DREAMED of him playing such a big role in!

And then, Alistair setting up Theresa's execution just to bring Julian out of hiding was just brilliant! And on the other side of things, Ivy and Rebecca had constructed a tape of Ethan killing Julian just so Theresa would go to death row and take the fall for it, and they did that because Theresa was Mrs.Julian Crane(if I remember right?) and they weren't! I still remember after Theresa got "executed", at the Crane Mansion, Ivy and Rebecca were alone at her coffin, and suddenly Theresa stands up and then jumps out of it and they run off screaming!

And on Days, I will never forget Vivian rolling all over Carly's grave, as Carly banged to get out, and Vivian was just acting like a complete psycho! That was the story that I really think introduced the new era to Daytime, the era of JER-style camp. And then the whole John/Marlena/Roman affair storyline(probably one of JER's best), and not to mention the returning of Belle at Christmas!

And there was Underground Paris, yet another classic! My most memorable moment from then was Marlena in the Cage!

The Possession was probably JER's darkest story, I'd say. Probably the most eerie. Marlena was FREAKY as heck during it, I mean the bed levitating on Christmas Eve, her burning down St.Luke's, and not to mention all the creepy things she did to people during it!

Maison Blanche is on such a level of greatness that I don't know if I even need to go into it!

Then there was his second run on Days, which wasn't his best at all, but there were some very good stories during it! Before Melaswan, the SSK was AMAZING! I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next! The deaths were so real and it involved everyone at some point, and I'll never forget Marlena coming and standing over Tony in the hospital as she is revealed as the killer! Celeste had an active role in the story which I also loved.

Also, I loved some things that are often bashed by fans, but I'll bring them up anyway! I enjoyed Nicole during JER's second term, I know she hired people just to kill about everybody, but I enjoyed her up until 2005. I felt that the Jan and Nicole alliance was pure brilliance, and JER turned Jan into one of my favorite characters on Days, which was surprising for me!

I know many say Jan was one-note, and a complete cartoon, but especially when Heather Lindell stepped into the role, I fell in absolute love with her! Heck I loved her pre-Lindell. And I actually LOVED the Cage story in 2004. Its just JER writes vixens so well, which is why I enjoyed Nicole and Jan so much. One thing I also enjoyed was the pairing of John and Kate.

And also, in late 205-early 2006, I hated the Alex North storyline, BUT, even though her memory ended up being wiped everytime until May, I loved the scenes where John would truthfully try to bring Marlena's memory back, and then she'd start to remember. I remember John saying that he knows deep down she remembers, and then it shows her remembering her and John kissing from many years ago.

And probably JER's last blow-out, fantastic story on Days was Zack's death. At the time I was half-spoiler free, or just so down on Days that I didn't bother, and I swear I nearly choked when Chelsea hit Zack that night! My eyes were peeled to the TV screen for the next couple of months, and although I felt it took a bad turn afterwards with the whole email chaos, the story overall was excellent!

And I felt that before he left Days, JER was getting better, honestly. I enjoyed Summer 2006, before JER's work stopped airing. I actually enjoyed the switching of the sperms and JER's version of the Gloved Hand story, and his twist of it being Jan was the first time in eons that he had actually surprised me, even if it didn't actually end up on screen!

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I actually liked Melaswen more then the SSK :)
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Another fave JER writen moment I still LOVE.

HMM,That letter no words for how much I love that letter.
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Oct 15 2008, 09:36 AM
His DAYS in the 90s was riveting television, and he had the best payoffs ever. That's one thing I miss today....stories build, only to sputter out with no impact. JER's stories always had a wonderful grand finale, with emotion and drama and intensity....... JER always painted his characters in shades of good and bad so no one was totally a saint or totally a villain.
I just read of James E. Reilly's passing, and I am saddened by the loss to the industry and to his circle of friends, relatives and business associates. The above post sums up what I found to be two of Mr. Reilly's greatest professional strengths. His story wraps were among daytime drama's all-time best. Even his weak B stories usually had a grade A send-off that was worth watching even if the story itself was not a personal favorite. He also developed some of the most layered villains and villainesses in all of soapdom. Characters whose deeds should have taken them beyond the pale were always kept just this side of possible redemption. He will be missed by many fans of the genre.
Edited by River, Oct 19 2008, 03:04 PM.
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