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« Hooray for the Haircut! Now, About That Uber-Creepy "Romance" . . . | Main | Days of Our Lives Month in Review »

May 21, 2008

This Could Go Either Way...

I've been burned a number of times in the past by announcements regarding new soap head writers. Remember my childlike excitement when Megan McTavish got the axe? "Oh, how wonderful!" I said joyously. "Now the show will get good again! Hurray and hurrah!" And then it turned out that McTavish was replaced by dream pyromaniacs who ruined everything they touched? That was quite a letdown.

So I've learned to be a little wary when I see headlines like today's "Head Writing Changes at AMC". The optimistic part of me immediately got all verklempt and was like, "Thank you for bringing my show back! Ex oh ex oh!" and then the rest of me was like, "It's totally James E. Reilly, isn't it?"

It's not, but Charles Pratt is...not so many steps above him. Remember when he wrote with Guza on GH? And was the weak link in that hellish partnership? And we were all sort of confused about how that is even possible? 

...yeah. So there's that. I mean, it's ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that I am worrying for nothing and that maybe he's learned a bit about nuance and character balance and realism and will be good. But, come on, Brian Frons was part of the hiring process here, so how likely is it that it won't suck? And seriously, shouldn't we be seeing the news one of these days that Julie Hannan Carruthers is out as AMC executive producer and Brian Frons is out at ABC Daytime and run out of Hollywood tarred and feathered? And also, how has Bob Guza managed to avoid getting a pink slip amidst all of these writing regime changes? So many questions!

Also, Hogan Sheffer is joining Maria Arena Bell as co-headwriter on Y&R. This could be really good or a total trainwreck.


At this point I'm thinking Guza and Frons have pictures of Mickey, Minnie and a goat from Warner Brothers or something....cause seriously how in the hell are they escaping this?

God I hope for AMC's sake Pratt has learned something.....ANYTHING really.....

Pratt could just do us all a favor and recycle all his Melrose Place storylines. Corporate power struggle between Kendall and Greens a la Amanda and Allison. Another baby-theft, but this time batshittier. Annie goes nuts and blows up some building, blinding Babe for two weeks. Half the cast bumps their heads on the edge of a swimming pool, never to be seen again.

The possibilities are endless.

Didn't Pratt have something to do with Desperate Housewives and/or Ugly Betty? Maybe he learned something from the writers there.... And maybe Monkey's will fly from Erica's butt???

I don't watch Y&R, but about Hogan joining the writing team, I'm gonna go with "train wreck." I don't know...maybe having a co-HW will balance out all his negatives. He was a hack at Days and from many accounts he had the same exact bad habits at ATWT.

Oh, I feel so bad for AMC fans. AMC was finally getting good again. I loved seeing Greg back and those Greg/Jenny and Jesse/Jenny flashbacks were priceless. It's probably going to go back downhill again.

Too bad GH can't treat their vets with the same amount of respect that AMC does. How Guza is still employed is the million dollar question.

Although I otherwise have absolutely no desire to write a soap opera, I really want to get a job as a head writer at one, because apparently you have job protection for life, no matter how badly you screwed up the last time around. Seriously, when was the last time a soap hired a head writer who hadn't been one on another soap before?

That being said, I didn't hate Sheffer's work at Days, and I thought what he needed was a strong co-head writer, so maybe that could work out. Pratt could also be a good fit. I know he was part of an awful time (though not as awful as now, with 12-year-olds getting shot in the head!) at GH, but apparently Dena Higley was horrible at OLTL and I am effing loving Days lately, so stranger things have happened.

I'm optimistic about Pratt coming onto the show. He did good work before on Santa Barbara, Sunset Beach, Melrose, and Titans (cancelled too soon). And he developed Desperate Housewives. That's why it was so good the first season. Seriously nothing could be worse than what's on right now. Aside from Jessie and Angie it's all crap. I'm going to give hime a chance.

*preparing to have tomatoes hurled at me*

I, uhm, don't totally hate the idea of Pratt coming to AMC. *ducking* While not a genius of the written word by any means, I actually felt like he was the stronger of the Pruza duo on GH. *jumping quickly* At least with Pratt, there was romance. Guza's idea of romance these days is Claudia telling Nik in a feverish haze that she's hot and all the boys love her. It might be a HUGE clusterf*&k in the end, but I'm willing to give it a try.

*running away quickly*

Did Pratt write for Sunset Beach? I'm trying to remember.

I barely watch Y&R right now, and this news is enough to make me tune out for good. Sheffer told enough offensive rape storylines, squandered enough vets, destroyed enough promising characters, to make me never want to see his work again. His characters also have no moral bounds whatsoever. They act in ways which truly ruin them with viewers, and Sheffer has no idea because he doesn't seem to get what viewers will or will not accept.

I wonder when we might get to see baby Summer tossed off a boat or something.

I will NEVER understand why these same ten writers keep getting fired and re-hired over and over again by different shows. What other industry DOES this????

In any other career, if you got fired in the field you're in for doing a shitty job, then got hired by another company doing the EXACT SAME JOB, only to be doing a shitty job THERE too, and end up getting fired from THAT job . . . . . . well, eventually you're going to have to find another career path, cause no one is going to HIRE you for that job that obviously you're incapable of doing WELL.

Except for Daytime television. You can be as crappy as crap at your job, but if you get fired, hey, don't worry -- some other show that just fired THEIR crappy as crap writer will pick you up in a couple of months. Hey, you might even be able to swap places of employment with THAT crappy writer, you never know!

This, IMO, is THE biggest problem with Daytime. You have the same people writing the same garbage year after year after freaking year. Same shit, different show.

This genre needs new blood and fresh ideas if it wants to survive into the next decade.

I'm annoyed with the recycling of headwriters too. With the exception of Robert Carlivati it seems soaps rarely promote fom within as often as they should. Why not promote one of the better writers on staff and pair them with a writer like Daran Little who has a good reputation.

That being said it sounds like Pratt has a decent record pre-GH. Maybe without the awful Guza he might turn out some decent stories. If not then hopefully Frons will be as quick to can him he did B&E.

Valerie, this kind of "failing upward" is common in Hollywood. There are lots of directors out there, for example, who make crap movie bomb after crap movie bomb, and keep getting handed new projects. The entire culture is mind-boggling.

So if Pratt is taking over, does that mean Robert Gardner will become the new romantic hero of the show, and we'll never see the inside of the hospital again?

Side note: I know we're all cynics about the soaps we mock out of love. And hate. But mostly love. However, you must have heart as cold as Voldemort's to not be moved by Angie and Jesse's wedding yesterday. The last time I was that weepy at a soap wedding was Erica and Dimitri's first wedding. (Bring back Dimitri!!!) The Hubbards are the silver lining on the acid rain cloud that is AMC. Maybe the new writing regime will bring back moments like this. (Side-side note: Cutting away from Ang and Jess' nuptuals to show a sour-pussed Greenlee ALMOST ruined what was the best part of my day. ALMOST.)

Pratt has been writing for Desperate Housewives, which I dont watch, and Ugly Betty which I do .. so maybe he's learned to be .. not entirely vested in mob violence and rape? I hope so.

Cece, seriously! Jesse and Angie's wedding was the pinnacle of soap perfection, and it is totally getting its own entry. I'm still kind of on cloud nine, to be honest...

Dear Jerks at AMC,

Instead of killing Julia, why don't you try, oh I don't know, not sucking?

Fed Up

Charles Pratt will only continue this AMC's downward spiral. He completely ruined MELROSE PLACE when he took over as head writer. TITANS was a train wreck from the get-go. Ditto MODELS, INC. His work on GH speaks volumes. And the less said about his work on SANTA BARBARA the better. Like Guza, how he continues to keep getting work is beyond my comprehension.

As for Sheffer joining Y&R, it can't hurt. The show is floundering with absolutely no long term or umbrella stories in place. And enough of the art crap already! Yeah, yeah, yeah -- it's a Jeff Koons puppy vase. I get it already...

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