|THE THREAT TO
THE STARS OF RYAN'S HOPE
How you can help them prevent the terrible thing they dread from ever happening...
|There is nothing the
fear but fear itself!
Four decades ago President Franklin Roosevelt spoke these words to a nation torn by the tragedy of the Great Depression. He gave new hope to the country and he helped build a new desire in people to get up and get out of the trough in to which they'd sunk when the economy of the country collapsed in an explosion that was to be heard and felt around the world.
There is nothing the fear but fear itself!
Those words could also well apply to the situation faced up by the talented people who produce, write, act and contribute in every way to the new ABC-TV daytime series, Ryan's Hope.
One of the writers of the series expressed it this way... "We feel we have a beautiful story to tell about real people. the fact that the story lines will always revolve around the Ryan family does not mean that it is a Irish story or even an Irish-American story. Rather," the writer went on, "we like to think of it as a family's story, and one that extends to each and every other person whose life and lives that family will touch as it lives through situations unique to it.
"The one apprehension I have--and the one I am aware that many people connected with the show have had is--well--we hope the viewers will give us a chance to show them that we have a rich and varied story to tell...
"Where we do bring in the Irish flavor of the Ryan family's background, you can be sure it won't be Irish as most American have come to believe the Irish are. No green hats or green beer and green cheese served up on good old Saint Patrick's Birthday. No stereotyped Irish--no cliché-ridden rot passing for Irish 'culture.'
"However, we shall do everything we can," the lady went on, "to research and bring to the attention of the viewer the truth about Irish history and/or Irish mythology. There are so many beautiful myths that should be told for the pure enjoyment of the telling and the listening. And, as for Irish history--well, how many people know that so much of that the Irish did both in more recent times and in earlier days has bearing on our lives today? The explorers. The scholars. The heroes ...I could go on and on..."
Then, we heard it from a member of the distinguished cast--
"What we all fear--the threat to us all is-- that there may be people who, whether their reasons stem from ignorance or bigotry or what, will resent the fact that we will be giving a true identity to our characters. We won't have bland, unidentifiable types! Every character in our series,--whether he or she is of a French Canadian family, and Irish family, Jewish, Italian--or what--will be played true to its self!"
"The threat to us from that," said her companion, "is that people unaccustomed to such creative honest in a day time show may find them selves having to look at our characterizations in a different way and may not want to do so. They may prefer--although we hope not--that we part down all of our sharp portrayals so that everyone comes out looking the same and sounding the same."
One of the production aides cautioned--"One other thing--we won't rely on rape, incest, abortion, murder or any such highly dramatic devices to substitute for a genuinely dramatic situations. Our storylines will be logically built upon logical premises. We're doing a show about real people in a real city . . . not some mythical Central City, Anywhere, U.S.A. And we'll show those people reflect against the drama and the demands of life in New York; par5ticualrly life in a certain area of Manhattan's West Side--the Riverside area--where a large hospital complex and Ryan's Bar provide the major backdrops for the characters."
The stress on the show is...reality.
The threat to the stars of the show is, as the point out, that pressures they may be put under to change their portrayals from the currently satisfying and truly dramatic efforts they all, as veterans of the theater, films and televisions, enjoy projecting so much.
What can you, as a viewer do to prevent the threat to the sincerity and the truth of Ryan's Hope from coming true?
Well, of course, you can watch the show.
But, you can do more.
You can write to us and tell us how you feel about the new and somewhat daring approach to mature daytime programming. We'll pass all of your comments on to the people involved in the creating each episode of Ryan's Hope and in a future issue of Weekday TV, we'll tell you how the mail count went on an average basis.
© 1975 Ideal Publishing Corp. [Weekday TV, December]
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