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SOD Best & Worst -- 1986
Topic Started: Nov 9 2009, 04:27 PM (1,231 Views)
Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

MOST TRUE-TO-LIFE STORY


JORDY'S ACCIDENT, CAPITOL
Actor Todd Curtis crashed through a car windshield, and art imitated life on CAPITOL when the writers created a similar story line for his character, Jordy Clegg. It was a rare chance for an audience to see exactly what happens to someone who suffers a traumatic accident. CAPITOL didn't stint on realism either, for Curtis's scarred face was shown painfully close up. Also, the psychological repercussions of the accident and Jordy's struggle for identity as he lived through the healing process were carefully explored. It was a bold move for CAPITOL and a brave one for Curtis, who both merit praise and congratulations for their work.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

BEST LOCATION SCENE


VIENNA, ONE LIFE TO LIVE
During sweeps months (the periods in which the shows' ratings are closely monitored so that networks may determine advertising rates) soap operas tend to subject viewers to the horrors of going on location. They traipse off to some foreign locale, usually a beach somewhere (ANOTHER WORLD please take note) and enact a story line that has little or nothing to do with what they've been airing for months. ONE LIFE TO LIVE, however, used their production budget wisely when they went to Vienna to tie up the David and Jenny Renaldi story. When last we left the hapless lovers, they were heading for an uncertain future together as a couple on the run from forces that would have them held prisoners behind the Iron Curtain. David and Jenny journeyed to Austria where they lived under an assumed name. Eventually, their true identities were discovered and they were captured. Jenny escaped and telephoned longtime friend Viki Buchanan for help. The story line that ensued was entirely reasonable within ONE LIFE TO LIVE's framework. Furthermore, ONE LIFE effectively used the beauty of Vienna as a wonderful backdrop for what turned out to be quite a suspenseful adventure plot. Well done.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

BEST DREAM


DALLAS
Wow! What kind of sleeping pill did Pamela Ewing take that night anyway? She went to bed after reconciling with Bobby and had an elaborate (to say the least) nightmare that not only involved her life, but all the other Ewings' as well. Far-fetched? Yes. But not any more unbelievable than some other soap twists we've accepted in the past on other shows. It was also the best way to bring back Patrick Duffy as Bobby and get DALLAS back on the right track.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

LOUDEST SHOW


DAYS OF OUR LIVES
The Brady brothers, Bo and Roman, and their friend Patch seem unable to communicate in anything lower than a roar, whether it's to say "OH MY GOD! THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!" or "HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR BURGER?" While they do have their tender moments, when their loved ones are threatened they respond by breaking the sound barrier. Perhaps Hope and Marlena and Kayla are wearing ear plugs and don't notice anymore, but we know Caroline never told her sons, "Shhh..." Well, we are telling them -- and Patch -- to pipe down. Don't confuse volume with sincerity. It could be misconstrued as overacting.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

BIGGEST WASTE OF TALENT


TAYLOR MILLER (SALLY EWING, ANOTHER WORLD)
She was brought on with much fanfare. Big things were promised to Taylor Miller, who, after a stint doing night-time TV in California, returned to daytime to take over the role of ANOTHER WORLD's Sally Frame. Once a popular, well-defined character with a strong story line, Sally Ewing floated around Bay City without direction. Most days, there wasn't any reason for her to be there. And Taylor Miller, who had wowed audiences as ALL MY CHILDREN's Nina Cortlandt, was forced to act in scenes and say lines that lacked substance and meaning. Finally, after a year of making do in the meager role, Taylor chose not to renew her contract. As for Sally, she was killed off following a suspicious car accident. ANOTHER WORLD squandered not only a fine actress's talent, but it also lost a once viable character. What a waste.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

GIMME A BREAK!


PHOEBE & WADE, ALL MY CHILDREN
In the beginning, Phoebe was a strong, feisty woman with pizazz. She loved playing the matriarch and meddling in her children's affairs. But in recent years, Phoebe has been a dope. First, Langley duped her into believing he was a professor when he was really a con man named Lenny Vlasuk. Then this year, another con man half her age, Wade, duped her into marrying him. This relationship was so unfathomable it was repulsive. Have the producers decided that Phoebe is the ideal character to take advantage of because she's a senior citizen? She's far from senile so we'd like to see her regain some of her early dignity and smarts.


20 REASONS WHY GUIDING LIGHT'S BABY BEN STORY WAS PREPOSTEROUS
For starters, Maeve became pregnant after only one night with Kyle, a night she spent with him knowing he was in love with Reva. She (2) didn't tell Kyle she was carrying his baby when she (3) took a bullet meant for him at Mindy's wedding reception. Miraculously, the unborn child was unharmed. Kyle discovered Maeve's condition while she was recuperating in the hospital, and when he proposed marriage, (4) she accepted even though he was still madly in love with Reva. Maeve (5) was overcome with jealousy every time she caught her husband glancing in Reva's direction, and when (6) Kyle saved Reva's life, the once-bright Maeve decided to leave town even though she was a high-risk pregnancy and near term. Of course, (7) she had the baby while she was out of Springfield, delivered by (8) Louie Darnell, who then helped Maeve concoct a transparent cover-up. When she returned to Springfield, Maeve claimed that (9) she had lost her baby and didn't want to discuss it witha grief-stricken Kyle. Instead, she chose to care for Louie's "orphaned cousin" who appeared out of nowhere and (10) did not have a birth cirtificate. But Dr. Darnell insisted that Maeve register her son -- name (11) Benjamin Louie. Maeve lost the legal papers so many time, (12) India decided to intervene and was eventually responsible for (13) the documents landing on Kyle's desk. Meanwhle, an increasingly hysterical Maeve neglected her duties at The Journal as she (14) shuffled Ben from nursemaid to daycare center to housekeeper to Fletcher, whose pity for her plight (15) turned to love. They planned to marry as soon as Maeve got her divorce from Kyle, but she became (16) so confused when they met to discuss the details of their separation that she (17) took off for Mexico without vital divorce papers, leaving her darling Ben under the care of a woman from a babysitting service, who (18) accidentally turned the infant over to a social worker sent by Kyle. When Maeve returned from Mexico she realized what had happened and (19) charged into the church where Kyle and Reva were about to be married. In an emotional outburst Maeve demanded to know what Kyle had done with "their son," thereby revealing the "secret" which eventually caused her to (20) lose custody of Ben.


THOSE PREGNANCY RECORDS
AS THE WORLD TURNS's Meg Snyder conveniently finds blood smaples sitting on her doctor's desk and switches the names on the vials. ALL MY CHILDREN's Natalie Hunter pays off an amoral lab technician to fudge her baby's paternity. ANOTHER WORLD's Brittany Love adjusts her baby's neonatal record. DAYS OF OUR LIVES's Emma Marshall fiddles with Kimberly Brady's amniocentesis report to indicate that Kim's unborn baby carries a genetic disease; later Emma alters the newborn's paternity test so the wrong man is identified as the father.

Enough already! Such patently contrived plot twists corely test the audience's patience. The worst offender is DAYS, which has allowed Emma's dirty tricks to go undetected for far too long. Beyond that, these miscues give the medical profession an awful reputation. What doctor leaves blood work lounging unattended? Are lab technicians so underpaid they would reject ethics in favor of a quick buck? Do hospital volunteers usually deliver unsealed confidential reports? And how is it that non-medical people can change results and the professionals never detect the forgeries? And why are the culprits always women? It's time for these shows to get a grip on reality and give us a break!
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Matt
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BEST DAYTIME SHOW


THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS
Characters and plots come and go on soaps, often with frustrating speed. A character is introduced and immediately paired off. A week later, viewers are expected to wildly root for htis instant couple. Not so on 1986's best show, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, which takes its time -- sometimes maddeningly so -- to develop and enrich characters and stories. The Kay/Jill feud is so intense because it has been going on for years, with twists, turns and new alliances added all the time. Likewise, since Victor and Nikki have been involved for so long, the audience genuinely cared when the breakup of their marriage appeared imminent. Secrets are kept for years (the mysterious backgrounds of Matt and Brad, the pictures of Jill and Jack), allowing genuine tension to develop.

Y&R's well-drawn characters do not have the irritating tendency (found on other shows) to alter their personalities. The way they act, and the decisions they make, make sense, considering their histories. The top-notch writing is matched by a terrific cast including Terry Lester (Jack), Jeanne Cooper (Kay), Brenda Dickson (Jill), Eric Braeden (Victor), Eileen Davidson (Ashely) and Beth Maitland (Traci). One of the wonderful things about watching Y&R is the absence of "revolving door" cast changes: Once you find characters and stories you like, you can sit down, relax and enjoy. They'll be around for a while.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

BEST PRIME TIME SHOW


KNOTS LANDING
KNOTS LANDING didn't reach the cartoon proportions of DYNASTY, or suffer through the story line blunders DALLAS made last season. Its success can be attributed to resistance to straying too far from teh relationship-grounded stories that are its hallmark. What the audience cares about are how events shape and affect characters, not the events themselves. Would Gary's bequest of Empire Valley to the twins ruin Val's marriage to Ben? Would it break up Gary and Jill? How would Karen's kidnapping affect her family, or Greg's marriage to Laura? Those are the kinds of situations that kept viewers involved.

The characters are many-faceted. Villains Abby and Greg are not caricatures -- Greg played hero, albeit reluctantly, when Karen was almost killed; and Abby's love for Olivia is evident no matter how beastly she is to other people. Heroine Karen can get too nosy, and Laura's basic honesty is tested by her marriage to deceitful Greg. Good people act badly, and the bad can act heroically. KNOTS LANDING is certainly not a reflection of everyday life (would we watch if it were?) but the people are believeable and their situations intriguing without being far-fetched.
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esp13
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Thanks for posting all of this stuff. Please, please, please, please keep going with the other years you have. I know it must be a lot of work to type it all up, but it's so much fun to read and remember those days.
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juniorz1
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The Royal Stoner

I concur- PLEASE continue doing these. The late 80s & early 90s were my favorite period as a 28 year soap viewer.
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oldschoolfan


Matt
Nov 12 2009, 10:40 AM
BEST SCORED SHOW


DAYS OF OUR LIVES
It's no secret (except to those who vote for the Emmy Awards) that DAYS OF OUR LIVES is the best scored show on daytime. Musical director Marty Davich possesses an uncanny knack fo rmatching music to story, and the result is magical. Despondant Patch gazing forlornly out at the Salem River as Bob Seger's "Somewhere Tonight" softly plays, or the good guys chasing the bad guys to the pounding beat of a Phil Collins tune, are two examples of how the right score heightened emotion and set the tone of a scene. DAYS also effectively uses one piece of music to link three or four separate scenes at the show's close, creating a moody aura that lingers after the final credits are shown.

And then, there are the love themes. Who can think of Bo and Hope without humming "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love"? Which brings us to a song that hit number two on the record charts, "Friends and Lovers," otherwise known to DAYS viewers as Shane and Kimberly's theme. It was the perfect match of song and romance. Originally put together just for the show, public acclaim resulted in Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson recording the tune and the rest is mega-success.
Wow those were the days. I loved those ending montages where they played a song and then showed more than one couple. Too bad the music really sucks now.

Thanks for posting all of these. It's great to look back and remember what was happening when I was glued to my TV for Days.
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