AW-Related Books

Inside the Soaps
By Paul Denis (Citadel Press, Secaucus, NJ, 1985). Reprinted without permission.

The Wonderful World of TV Soap Operas
By Robert LaGuardia (Ballatine Books, New York, 1974). Reprinted without permission.

The Genesis of "Another World"

The Soap Opera Book
By Manuela Soares (1976). Reprinted without permission.

"... It's a busy, relatively sophisticated show with some of the best dialogue on daytime, and probably the most realistic storylines.
"Another World has more characters than most soaps. Although the Frame and Matthews families continue to be important, there are many unattached characters, young people who are not related to anyone. And there are characters from different economic classes. In Bay City, we find rich and beautiful people, with mansions, pools, stables, (and some of the most luxurious sets on daytime); and we find house-servants, poor artists, and hardworking rural types. "I wanted the jet set," says Harding Lemay, "and I also went down one notch below middle class to pick up the Frames off the farm." A sense of class and social mobility is essential to this show. So many of the characters are motivated by a need to get into that other world- the next highest social class (where the people are every bit as troubled).
"Another World is, most importantly, a show that pays attention to character and psychology. It does not hint darkly at psychiatric concepts (as does Days of Our Lives); instead it deals with ordinary motivations in interpersonal relationships. Oedipal conflicts and all the rest come out in dialogue- not in bizarre and soapy situations.
"In the storyline, traditional soap devices are minimized. There is no hospital drama (except incidentally, when someone gets sick and is admitted). There are no amnesia victims, no melodramatic murders or trials. There are also- strange to say- no mysterious illegitimate babies. Lemay's idea of a good twist is to deliver a baby of middle-aged parents (Ada and Gil). Like many situations on Another World, this one allows for gentle comedy and poignant relationships between the generations.
"The storyline does not rely heavily on Fate. Little happens that cannot be explained by reference to characters' strengths, weaknesses, or backgrounds. Villains (such as Iris or Willis) are understood, and usually forgiven. Good characters too suffer from ordinary flaws (the chief one seems to be jealousy). Far-out things happen here, as on other soaps, but they are more believable. For example, when Beatrice kidnaps granddaughter Sally, her motives are clear every step of the way, and her explanation at the end is not only convincing- it is beautifully moving. Stories do not seem to have been created merely as a means of exciting the viewer; they grow out of characters.
"Because the tole of Fate is minimized, and people are made to take responsibility for their lives, there is a strong sense of right and wrong in this soap. Characters often discuss the principles on which they act, or the ways in which they have failed one another. People who act on the wrong motives are shown to be unhappy. Over the long-run, characters undergo changes in the moral personality. The most famous example is Rachel, for the many years the evil lady of Bay City; she has been transformed into a lovely woman, with a strong regard for what is right and wrong. Willis seems to be undergoing a similar transformation.
"As for the setting, it is generally more cosmopolitan and sophisticated than that of other shows. Characters deal in corporate mergers, architectural contracts, art showings, and other glamourous business beyond the experience of most viewers. There are long business lunches and stylish cocktails parties, as well as the more usual coffee confrontations.
"The pace of the show is busy- busy in the manner of a big Bach fugue. Instead of one strong melody or storyline, there are themes in imitation. A scene between older characters will be followed by a complimentary scene between young people. Characters seem to be rushing about delivering advice and gossip ("Would you like to talk about it?" seems to be the most common line.) The show does lack the focus that would be provided by one dominant, heart-rending storyline. But it offers continual stimulation, whether or not one watches every day. One doesn't watch in order to see what will happen, but rather because one enjoys seeing what does happen.
"Visually, Another World is very chic. Most of the wealthy characters are also "beautiful people" with a youngish look. The large cast, and the spread in age and social situation, adds to a visual impression of variety. Clothes and furnishings are chosen with fine attention to detail; there is hardly a scene in which there are not interesting textures and objects in background and foreground.
"Another World reaches about seven million households daily. It is the only soap which seems to appeal equally well across all age groups."

Dennis Carrington: "A good boy who has difficulty coping with his meddlesome mother."
Iris Cory Carrington: "Wealthy and insecure troublemaker with an insatiable need for her father's affections."
Mac Cory: "Kind, generous, and very good; his only weaknesses are jealousy, and an inability to be alone."
Rachel Cory: "Strong, stubborn, intense, and loving."
Jamie Frame: "A good boy."
Sally Frame: "A very sweet and honest child."
Sharlene Frame Matthews: "Naive and insecure, and because of her past, vulnerable."
Willis Frame: "A once-slick, villainous young man who is learning the error of his ways."
Dave Gilchrist: "Witty and sensitive."
Louise Goddard: "A king, gentle woman who understands Iris's insecurities, and in her own sweet way copes very well."
Beatrice Gordon: "A good woman who cares too much, worries too much, and is sometimes stifling in her affections."
Olive Gordon: "A schemer who is both money-hungry and class-conscious."
Raymond Gordon: "He will have to acquire a personality - or leave Bay City."
Clarice Hobson: "A dumb blond with a heart of gold; the kind of person everyone wants to protect."
Alice Matthews Frame: "Strong and determined, but sometimes finds it difficult to cope."
Jim Matthews: "A caring sort with strong moral values."
Liz Matthews: "A meddlesome type who always means well and always causes trouble."
Russ Matthews: "An attractive, but temperamental man"
Ada McGowan: "A hard-working middle-aged housewife with a strong sense of right and wrong."
Gil McGowan: "Gruff but good-natured, straightforward hardworking man who turns to his wife for much of his strength."
Keith Morrison: "Honest, good, and kind."
Rocky Olsen: "A thoroughly nice person."
Emma Ordway: "A farm-town woman with good old-fashioned values."
Molly Ordway Randolph: "A spoiled young girl who's interested in the good life and won't let anyone get in her way."
Ken Palmer: "A serious artist."
Gwen Parrish: "Independent-minded and aggressive, but certainly not malicious."
Angie Perrini: "Traditional Girl Next Door."
John Randolph: "A complex and intelligent man, at times stubborn and emotional."
Marianne Randolph: "A beautiful young girl who has paid for past mistakes, but will make others."
Michael Randolph: "A headstrong young man; spontaneous, likeable, but maybe a little too intense."
Pat Randolph: "A beautiful, believable woman who is rethinking her life in midstream, with some sense of humor."
Daryll Stevens: "A nice college boy."
Jeff Stone: "An ambitious lawyer without many scruples."
Evan Webster: "A bright and ambitious architect."

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A romance novel co-written by Linda Dano as Felicia Gallant.