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SOD Best & Worst -- 1985
Topic Started: Nov 8 2009, 11:57 AM (855 Views)
Matt
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BEST CASTING


FINOLA HUGHES, GENERAL HOSPITAL
You hated her. Instantly. Quite obviously, Finola Hughes was doing something very right. As Anna Devane, she was calm, cool, calculating and cruel. She roared back into ex-husband Robert Scorpio's life with a vengence and nearly destroyed Robert and Holly's "perfect" marriage in teh process. Then, just when you wanted to wring her pretty little neck, Anna turned into the patron saint of Port Charles and saved everyone in sight.

Not an easy transition for an actress, but Finola was up to the challenge. And, oh yes, she successfully survived the wrath of GH viewers who unfairly persecuted her for simply doing her job -- which happened to be causing trouble in paradise for GH's premiere couple. Brava, Finola!


KAREN KELLY, CAPITOL
The party for the final RITUALS episode proved to be a good luck charm for Karen Kelly, who played Noel before the syndicated soap was cancelled. It was at the good-bye gathering that she caught the attention of an eagle-eyed CAPITOL executive. Soon Kelly tested for and won the role of Brenda, where her energy, exuberance and maturity make her perfect as the Cleggs' spirited youngest daughter.


FRANCES FISHER, GUIDING LIGHT
How do you make an agressive, abrasive and basically obnoxious woman a sympathetic character? GUIDING LIGHT solved that not insignificant dilemma with the inspired casting of Frances Fisher as teh ambitious rock promoter Suzette Saxon. Suzette was a barracuda in business, but Fisher's portrayal of her hurt and disillusionment when she discovered the betrayal of both Lujack and David won over GL viewers. Suzette was still no angel, but having seen her soft side, it was hard to hate her.
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Matt
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MOST IMPROVED SHOWS


ONE LIFE TO LIVE
It used to be said that hte only reason ONE LIFE TO LIVE maintained respectable ratings was because it was sandwiched between ALL MY CHILDREN and GENERAL HOSPITAL. And for several years ONE LIFE did very little to dispute that statement. Plots went nowhere, characters were brought on only to wander aimlessly before, mercifully, being written off. Then came 1985 and ONE LIFE TO LIVE earned every rating point on its own. Tapping into the talents of its strongest performers, ONE LIFE revived the Niki/Viki storyline and used it to create dramatic, touching, and humerous stories which kept us looking forward to each day's episode. The David/Jenny love story also provided us with many fine moments. ONE LIFE TO LIVE's greatest asset is its superb cast which showed what it could do if given the right material. Kudos to all at ONE LIFE TO LIVE for a job very well done.


FALCON CREST
Last year, FALCON CREST finally came into its own, becoming much more than the soap that simply followed DALLAS. We are also happy to report that as of this writing, they are keeping up with last season's high standards -- even surpassing them. FALCON CREST has become a first class show. All around acting last year was superb with honorable mention going to Lorenzo Lamas (Lance), who grew with performances that combined vulnerability and humor. Jane Wyman (Angela) was never more acerbically witty; in fact, most of the cast seemed to get the notion that humor was necessary, and were allowed to poke fun at themselves every once in a while.

We were particularly engrossed in the love story between Lance and Lorraine (Kate Vernon); Emma's (Margaret Ladd) great desire to fall in love; and the heat and longing that existed between Richard (David Selby) and Maggie (Susan Sullivan). Stay away from Nazis and treasure hunts, FALCON CREST -- keep the writing and acting at its present caliber and MIAMI VICE will never rest easy.
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Matt
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MOST TASTELESS EPISODE


THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS'S FINGER-EATING PIRANHA
We knew YOUNG & RESTLESS's Mr. Anthony (Logan Ramsey) was a louse, but he sank below and beyond the call of duty with his torture of a hapless man late on a loan payment. His wife was in the hospital, the poor man protested; he could't make his payment on time. Too bad, said Mr. Anthony, and ordered his goons to dunk the tardy borrower's hand in a nearby fish tank, where Anthony's hungry pet piranha chewed off a finger. This revolting scene prompts us to name Y&R this year's recipient of the most tasteless episode award. At least, that's what we think -- no one asked the piranha.
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Halloween Family
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DAYS OF OUR LIVES, often criticized for their indulgence in young love, brought us a fascinating story: a wealthy, very handsome and sophisticated crime boss (Victor Kiriakis) became passionately obsessed, not with some blonde tootsie, but with a housewife and mother of four adult children. Hurray to the writers, producers, and actors who helped us feel Carolyn and Victor's sexual tension and reminded us that lust doesn't happen just to kids.

Perhaps with the success of prime time's GOLDEN GIRLS, as well as the nighttime soaps which show people over 40 leading exciting, passionate and interesting lives, the daytime shows will once again remember who the meat and potatoes of their audience are (hint: they're not twelve-year-olds), and give the more mature and more experienced actors something to work with.


I'm still waiting for Victor and Caroline to find their love. As a kid I loved Golden Girls so a love story between characters who are older than I am would be welcomed. Right now I am loving Stefano and Kate.

Thanks for posting, it was a very interesting read.

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Matt
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GIMME A BREAK!


SCORPIO'S FIRST WIFE, GENERAL HOSPITAL
The revelation went against everything the Scorpios' marriage stood for: love, trust, honesty. How could Robert have had a first wife and not told Holly?!? Loyal GH fans didn't understand, and neither did we. Yes, it was well done, but that is irrelevant. GENERAL HOSPITAL asked its viewers to accept the absolutely unacceptable, and they reacted with justifiable outrage.

The writers trashed an exciting, vibrant marriage to advance a hot triangle. Robert's character and credibility were destroyed as he tap-danced his way through a minefield of a storyline. Meanwhile, innocent Holly went from feisty fighter to melancholic, betrayed victim -- a senseless casualty.

As for Anna, the first wife, her behavior can best be described as schizophrenic, as she went from sinner to savior in three easy lessons. It was a long, discouraging summer indeed.


DAYS COPYING GENERAL HOSPITAL
It didn't end with the prism storyline. Having been "influenced" by GENERAL HOSPITAL's ice princess caper, DAYS OF OUR LIVES went on to lift entire storylines from GH and did so shamelessly. Melissa and Pete went on the run searching for clues which would lead to something they hoped would bring about the fall of Salem's powerful crime boss, Victor Kiriakis. We remembered GH's Luke and Laura doing the same thing as they tried to foil Port Charles's resident bad guy Mr. Smith. We sighed. Somewhere along the line, Melissa donned a black wig and we recalled that Laura had used the very same disguise. We groaned. The bad guys sent an emissary, Tod Chandler, with instructions to get in good with Pete and Melissa and then set them up for murder. But Tod had a change of heart and he joined Pete and Melissa's side. Needless to say, we thought of GENERAL HOSPITAL's Hutch, who had done just what Tod did. We moaned. One day, someone in our office even swore that Melissa was wearing the same ugly plaid shirt that Laura had worn, but we just knew it couldn't be. Or could it? However, the absolute last straw came when, as part of another storyline, Tony DiMera disappeared on a fog-shrouded pier much the same way Laura had some years ago. For all those who enjoyed the antics of Luke and Laura and company, viewing these old reruns on DAYS would be just great if only they were done nearly as well. Watching these particular stories on DAYS OF OUR LIVES has become as exciting as eating a warmed over piece of toast.
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Matt
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BEST SHOWS


GUIDING LIGHT
We believe GUIDING LIGHT is daytime's best show because of its unparalleled acting and superb day-to-day writing. GL is not a theme show, based on a series of outlandish adventures or science fiction tall tales. It includes frontburner stories for actors in every age group. Tune in any day and even if you don't know the plot, you will be moved by what you see. That's a pretty terrific accomplishment.


DALLAS
The breakup of Sue Ellen and J.R. The breakup of Donna and Ray. The trial of Jenna Wade, and the slow, tentative road back to love for Bobby and Pam. Those were but a few of the stories that happened last season on DALLAS. Of course, we are not mentioning the best cliffhanger since Who Shot J.R.? -- that non-cliffhanger concerning Bobby's death, because it was in a class by itself. Every character had a storyline this season. Almost every line was well-written, and even those lines that were silly were acted with class, and directed with sensitivity.

Honorable mention must go to Linda Gray whose portrayal of Sue Ellen Ewing has been remarkable. Gray stripped off her makeup, fancy clothes and let her fair fall every which way as her character fell deeper and deeper into the depths of alcoholism. She showed us a desperate, despondent woman no longer interested in going on. It was powerful stuff.

DALLAS didn't have to resort to luring movie stars, or rely on costumes and jewels to make us watch -- the story alone was worth our hour on Friday nights.
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Thank you so much for this Matt. Such great reads.
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Matt
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ACTORS TO LOOK OUT FOR

JEAN LE CLERC (Jeremy Hunter, ALL MY CHILDREN)
HOLLY GAGNIER (Ivy Jannings, DAYS OF OUR LIVES)
MARK LEWIS (Kurt Corday, GUIDING LIGHT)
FINOLA HUGHES (Anna Devane, GENERAL HOSPITAL)
TOM EPLIN (Jack McKinnon, ANOTHER WORLD)
KEN OLIN (Father Christopher, FALCON CREST)
YASMINE BLEETH (Ryan Fenelli, RYAN'S HOPE)
MICHAEL WILDING (Jackson Freemont, GUIDING LIGHT)
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Mason
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Amello
Nov 9 2009, 03:02 PM
Thank you so much for this Matt. Such great reads.
Ditto. If you've got other years, I hope you post them as well!
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Matt
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Mason
Nov 9 2009, 03:23 PM
Amello
Nov 9 2009, 03:02 PM
Thank you so much for this Matt. Such great reads.
Ditto. If you've got other years, I hope you post them as well!
I'm currently eyeing 86, 87, 88, 89, & 90 which are all sitting right next to me. lol
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I'd like '89, just for the reason that I was born then and would like to see what soaps birthed that year as well.
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