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Gary and Valene Ewing, relatives of the Ewing clan of Dallas, arrive in Knots Landing to make a new home for themselves. However, scheming Abby Fairgate-Cunningham later breaks up their marriage when she seduces Gary.
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If you have never watched ATWT, do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful program. I have been a faithful viewer of this show since 1986 when the legendary Douglas Marland penned those well-crafted stories that incorporated the show's history and kept the viewer glued to the television set. Actually, if you count the time that my mother watched when I was a little kid, then I have been watching a lot longer than that! Incredibly, there are still many talented actors (and their characters) whom I remember from that time who are still on the show today: Helen Wagner (Nancy), Don Hastings (Bob), Eileen Fulton (Lisa), Kathryn Hays (Kim), Larry Bryggman (John) and Marie Masters (Susan). There have also been many great actors who have appeared later who are equally as brilliant and have been on the show for more that 10 years: Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda), Colleen Zenk Pinter (Barbara), Benjamin Hendrickson (Hal), Tamara Tunie (Jessica), Scott Holmes (Tom), Ellen Dolan (Margo), Kelley Menighan Hensley (Emily), Jon Hensley (Holden), and Martha Byrne (Lily/Rose). Other notable actors who just grab your attention in the current storylines include: Maura West (Carly), Lesli Kay (Molly), Michael Park (Jack), Mark Collier (Mike), Lamman Rucker (Marshall), Scott Holroyd (Paul) and Hunt Block (Craig).
The entire cast is great and the stories are more rooted in reality than most other shows (no aliens, demonic possessions or stereotypical mobster types here!) and this is exactly why I watch this show! Yes, there have been people coming back from the dead (remember James Stenbeck?), the premature aging syndrome of children (Bonnie is supposed to be 11 years old in "real time"!) and some things that seem odd to the very astute viewer (I must have missed the episode where Ellen Stewart left town and entrusted her home to Susan Stewart, her ex-daughter-in-law with whom she never really got along!), but, for the most part, things make sense and characters behave in ways that are logical and therefore help to maintain their integrity. Hogan Sheffer is doing a fine job of writing and developing stories. Actors Marie Masters and Courtney Sherman (Dr. Susan Stewart and Dr. Lynn Michaels, respectively) are also on the writing team.
Another thing I appreciate as a longtime viewer is characters who come back for brief visits and are played by the original actors. Caleb Snyder and his wife Julie recently came to town to visit their son Aaron and the rest of the Snyder clan. And Iva Snyder returned when the Lily/Rose story was initially unraveling. It would be great to see other old favorites come back to visit or permanently move back to town. It was a real disservice when Patricia Bruder, who played Ellen Stewart, was let go in 1995. She joined the show in 1960 and was the last remnant of the Lowell/Stewart family. She should move back (and reclaim her house!) and then get involved in the life of her granddaughter, Emily. She might even help Alison (she needs it!) who would be both her step-granddaughter and great-granddaughter. (Too long to explain here!) It would be great if the other Snyder family members would return. Or, perhaps, the other lost members of the Hughes family--they've been in fictional Montega long enough! Personally, I would like to see these actors and their characters again: Allyson Rice (Connor Walsh, Lucinda's despised relative & a great business foil for Lucinda); Greg Watkins (Evan Walsh, Connor's brother & Rosanna's old beau); Scott DeFrietas (Andy Dixon, son of Kim and John & Paul's cousin); Lindsay Frost (Betsy Stewart Andropoulos, Ellen's other granddaughter and Emily's half-sister); Anne Sward (Lyla Montgomery Peretti, mother of Margo, Craig, Cricket and Katie); and Robin Morse (Pamela Wagner, John's niece who was a no-nonsense, independent student nurse trainee). Allyson Rice (Connor) and Daniel Markel (David Allen/Stenbeck) should never have been let go! It would be great if Trent Dawson (Henry Coleman) and Anne Sayre (Mitzi Matters) were given contracts and more air time--their characters are really outrageously funny!
So, watch this soap opera that will soon be turning 47 years old this year. What other program--daytime or nighttime--can boast that it has a character (Nancy Hughes McClosky) that's been played by the same actress (Helen Wagner) since the premiere episode for the last 47 years??? Not one!
There's also a book called "As the World Turns: The Complete Family Scrapbook" by Julie Poll that was written to coincide with the show's 40th anniversary in 1996. This will help new viewers get the entire storyline (up to 1996) of the members of the Hughes, Lowell, Stewart, Montgomery, Walsh and Snyder families and all of their friends and enemies.
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