Saturday, June 21, 2008

My question to Sara Bibel: Was LML undermined?

I know Sara Bibel (a former writer for Y&R--she predated Lynn Latham and then was among the legions fired by her; she also had a brief stint as a writer for AMC, and was once a ratings analyst for Sony) can never answer this, but I really want to know :-).

I posted this on her blog:

May I be permitted to ask you an off topic question, knowing that you probably can't answer? You gave a recent TERRIFIC interview to Toups over at Soap Opera Network. In that you said:

"Story plans change for all sorts of reasons, both from external suggestions and stories simply evolving from their original design. With that caveat...", and you go on to list "Originally, Victor's epilepsy was going to be a much more complicated story. It was going to propel Victor back towards Ashley and Nikki towards Jack. I think that would have been interesting....When she first came back, Victoria was going to work for Jabot, in opposition to the rest of the Newmans. That could have been fun...Lily and Daniel were supposed to experience realistic financial and emotional struggles as married teens. "

The Victoria-against-family bit doesn't interest me much (I'm tired of contrivances pitting family members against each other), but the other two seem better than what we saw.

What I want to know is what changed, and why? Fickle headwriter who could not commit to her stories? A decision to not renew Eileen Davidson, which led to the Victor story not playing out? Interference from Sony or CBS?

Again, I realize you probably can't answer. But when Lynn Latham first came to Y&R, I honestly thought it was the second coming :-). Victor's epilepsy, John's memory lapses, Brad seeming to have a secret past (this was prior to the story turning silly)...I just remember loving every single day. I attributed it to a fresh creative force re-energizing a legacy team rooted in history.

I remember the Victor story when it started. He head-butted a mugger. That is what he ALWAYS was rooted in history and character. Then, our attention turned to Nikki (would her back gunshot paralyze her?) and to John (memory lapses--needs a neurologist). What TERRIFIC red herrings. Our attention was not on Victor, so it was SHOCKING when he starting cutting paper dolls and smelling lavender! My hope for the show was as high as it has been since Bill Bell died.

And then it all....petered out.

What I am still trying to figure out is whether Lynn Latham was UNDERMINED. Did she start out fresh, but then have her plans ruined by corporate interference? Or did she cut too many people too fast (obviously, you'd be in that number)...and the consolidation of power turned out to be her undoing...because ultimately she did not know her show or her audience. Or was her legendary ADHD (one former assistant asserts that she lost her calendar EVERY SINGLE DAY) the root of a cognitive inability to "keep track" and to "manage"...resulting in chaos.

I know you can't answer...and it breaks my heart. Because legions of Y&R lovers really want to know what happened.

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