Posted tagged ‘Memories’

Osh Kosh OMFGosh

February 1, 2017

For everyone shocked by Eric’s new, hardened look since getting out of prison, please take in this screenshot [note: it is impossible to get good, clear screenshots of pre-HD episodes] of him attending a barbecue sometime in 1998 casually wearing overalls.

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And no one even commented on it or made fun of him! Oh, innocence.

Throwback Thursday: SOD Flash-Forward

April 21, 2016

In September 1996, Soap Opera Digest published a semi-tongue-in-cheek spread predicting where Salemites would be in 20 years. As it turns out, we’re coming up on that very date… so I thought it’d be fun to check in and take stock of how accurate their guesses were.

(All credit for this post goes to Jason47, whose website and its Facebook page are incredible resources for all things Days-related. He posted these scans a few years ago and just reposted them to mark the 20-year anniversary of these predictions. I’m only including his scans here so that people have context for the analysis that follows, but they’re totally his.)

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Part 2 behind the cut…

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The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 4

February 23, 2016

Annnnnnd we’re back. This time around, in our quest to rewrite the 50-year history of Days of Our Lives with age-appropriate characters substituted for any who have been victims of SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome), we’re tackling 1995-99. Previous installments of this headache-inducing endeavor can be found at the following links: Part 1 (1965-79); Part 2 (1980-89); Part 3 (1990-94).

I always knew that the decision to reposition Christie Clark (Carrie) and Alison Sweeney (Sami) as cousins Hope Williams and Jennifer Horton would cause trouble — primarily because the real storylines had a lot to do with the Brady girls’ involvement with two Horton men, Lucas and Mike — but I pressed ahead because it made the most sense to me to hand off such heavy story to a pair of Hortons who were the right age for young-adult storylines at that time. But as viable as I think that would’ve been in a perfect world, it’s also been causing me major stress, because we’re at the point now when one thread pulls another, and that pulls another. Since my goal with this was to stick as closely as possible to having the actors who actually appeared on the show acting out storylines similar to the ones that aired, I’m having to do some serious gymnastics to make some elements work. But I dug my own grave, and I have to lie in it while Vivian Alamain taunts me via walkie-talkie, so here goes.

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The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 3

February 5, 2016

Here comes the latest edition of my caffeine- and lunacy-fueled Days history project, in which I go year-by-year through the show’s stories and, while doing my best to preserve the tentpoles (castings, couplings, story turns), rewrite things to eliminate Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (SORASing). This means that certain characters wind up being far too young to have the stories they had onscreen, and they therefore have to be replaced by characters from the show’s history who would be the appropriate age for those stories.

Part 1 covers 1965-1979, and Part 2 spans 1980-89. In Part 3, I’m taking on the first half of the 90s, because things are complicated now. As with the last edition, I’ll start with a summary of what actually happened in a given year, followed by my thoughts on what SORASing issues exist and how I think we can solve them, and finally, I’ll include a revised version of that year’s summary with SORAS-related changes made in italics.

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The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 2

January 29, 2016

And we’re back with the next installment of The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, or as it’s sometimes known, “Michael Could Really Use a Full-Time Job.” The goal, for those who missed the beginning of the series, is to go back through Days history year-by-year and, while trying to preserve the tentpole story developments, couples, etc., revise the story so that no characters are rapidly aged — which requires subbing in age-appropriate characters for some major ones.

You can find Part 1 (1965-79) here. This time around, we’re tackling the 1980s.

I’m modifying the format a little bit to keep things as clear as possible. I’ll post a brief-as-I-could-possibly-manage summary of what happened onscreen during the year, followed by my notes on what changes un-SORASing will require. Then I’ll reprint the year’s summary, but with those changes made (and noted in italics).

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The Great Salem Un-SORASing Project, Part 1

January 27, 2016

I don’t know if you guys are aware of this, but I have way too much time on my hands and a fairly reliable case of insomnia. I got this bug in my head a few weeks back and couldn’t shake it out, so during one of my too-awake nights, I opted not to wander through the Town Square or drop by a rival’s house to antagonize her, but instead to try and work out this little equation in my head.

A few years back, I came across a thread at Daytime Royalty, started by longtime poster Matt, entitled “Days of our Un-SORASed Lives.” Matt’s goal was to review the history of Days, year by year, and figure out when key events would have had to happen if no characters had been rapidly aged. For example, Hope (born in 1974) couldn’t have actually married Bo until the early 90s, not 1985 like happened on the show. Eventually, Matt realized that the various shifting continuities of the show made this nearly impossible — if Hope didn’t marry Bo until 1995, and Shawn D. wasn’t born until 1997, Shawn and Belle couldn’t have had Claire until the mid-2010s (but even that’s pushing it, because Belle was born in 1993 — see?!). What Matt wound up with, however, was a running history of Days, broken out into weekly summaries from the beginning through 1995. In the process, he also did a remarkable amount of legwork in sorting out birthdates and family trees.

What I’ve done here is revisit that project, but from a different angle. A lot of what has made Days what it is has been the timing of certain castings, couplings, and events, and if, for example, you shift the beginning of Bo and Hope’s romance to the early 1990s, you don’t have the magic of Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso playing a young love story that was distinctly of its original era. What I’ve tried to work out is how you could preserve a Days of Our Lives that tracks very similarly to the one we know — familiar actors, same big tentpole events and general stories — but by utilizing characters whose natural ages fit the given timelines. To stay with the Bo/Hope example, then, Kristian Alfonso couldn’t have been playing a teenaged Hope Williams in 1983, but she could have been brought on as a different character with connections to the same people, who eventually had a great love story with Bo. What follows is, in essence, a rewriting of the entire history of Days, with these changes made so that no SORASing is ever necessary.

A few notes:

I’m going to break this project up into several posts. Part 1 will take us through the first 15 years of the show, which are far simpler than what comes afterward. For the rest of the history, I’ll probably tackle it in decade-long chunks, though we’ll see how it all goes. At any rate, let’s get started…

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A Novel Idea: The Early Years of DOOL

January 13, 2016

A few months back, I had the really not-weird-at-all impulse to buy a whole bunch of Days novelizations with the intention of blogging about them. These books were published under the “Soaps and Serials” banner in the mid-80s, at the height of soap opera hysteria in popular culture. I found an interesting article on the genesis of the business model; it seems like they were trying to crank out one per month, which probably necessitated some ghost-writing and might explain some of the, er, inconsistencies I’ll get into below. Also, they either didn’t do that well or they were too much work, because they stop somewhat abruptly at a pretty weird point in the story.

I did eventually track down the first book in the series for a few bucks, but for some reason, #13 has been entirely elusive. The few listings for it online are outrageously priced — like, 70-something dollars, which is a sharp contrast to the $0.01 to $1.20 I paid for the rest. I haven’t been able to figure out why in the hell that one is priced so much higher. As far as I can tell, though, I have the complete series otherwise; I can’t find any record of any being published beyond #14.

They made for great, easy bedtime reading — it’s been a while since I had physical books to read in bed instead of my iPad, and I had kind of forgotten how much more relaxing paper is than that damn light from the screen — and I kept notes as I went along. These are definitely novelizations based on what aired on TV, rather than expansions of the storyline or non-canonical ‘extras,’ but the publishers clearly took some liberties. Some make sense, as far as compressing scenes to get certain plot points across without the benefit of five episodes per week to tell the stories, while others left me scratching my head.

Oh, and there was a lot of talk (including from me) about what a strange choice it was to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary with a serial killer storyline, but as I read these books, I realized that it might as well be a nod to the show’s origins, considering the way that people seemed to drop like flies around the Hortons in the early years…

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#1: LOVE’S SHATTERED DREAMS

The Story: Marie Horton, the youngest of Tom and Alice’s five children, is blissfully in love with her fiancé, medical student Tony Merritt, as their wedding approaches. Tony, however, is suffering from regular nosebleeds. In Boston, he sees a doctor who suspects that Tony has a rare blood disorder — which Tony, thanks to his medical knowledge, deduces is actually leukemia. He does not call Marie for several days, as he fears burdening her with this news, and when he finally does call her, he lies that he does not love her and cannot marry her. A despondent Marie attempts suicide by swallowing a variety of medications. Her niece, Julie, finds her in the bathroom and calls for her grandfather, Tom — who has just received an emergency call from Arlene Sawyer, the wife of a patient who has been reluctant to heed Tom’s advice about his eating and drinking habits. When he sees Marie, Tom springs into action and manages to save her life. Only once she is settled does he realize that he forgot about Carl Sawyer. He races to the Sawyers’ house, but more than two hours have passed, and Carl is dead.

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