Set in Riverside on the upper West Side of Manhattan, Ryan's Hope centered mostly on the working class Ryans, an Irish-American family headed by Maeve and Johnny Ryan. They owned Ryan's Bar... See full summary »
The classic Arthurian tale of tragic love. In medieval times, Lord of Cornwall decides to marry an Irish princess Isolde. However, his most loyal knight Tristan becomes bewitched by her beauty and they fall hopelessly in love.
The 11-year old daughter and girlfriend of a man whose wife had been raped and killed in front of his daughter three years earlier are kidnapped by the same killer. Held captive in a bunker... See full summary »
Inspired by true events, follows the hardships and professional challenges of female doctors who decided to open a new medical center, Women's Medical Arts, in response to health care system not addressing many problems of female patients.
Daytime Drama, spun off from "Another World," which followed Iris Carrington from Bay City as she rediscovered Alex Wheeler, a former love, and moved to the Houston area. The stories ... See full summary »
"Loving" takes place in the fictional town of Corinth, PA, centering around the lives of the wealthy Alden family. Love and betrayal, along with the struggle for power, become the focus of ... See full summary »
Epic miniseries about a proud Irish farmer who migrates to America, tired of English repression and the Great Famine. He works hard and even meets the Englishwoman he once loved. The couple reunites. Then the American Civil War breaks out.
"The City" picks up where "Loving" left off. After a rash of serial killings, several of Corinth, Pennsylvania's residents move to an apartment building in SoHo. These people have come to ... See full summary »
Developed from Anne Grant's book, Our North American Foremothers, this film recreates historical moments and women who fought for equality and freedom over the span of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
Set in Riverside on the upper West Side of Manhattan, Ryan's Hope centered mostly on the working class Ryans, an Irish-American family headed by Maeve and Johnny Ryan. They owned Ryan's Bar, a pivotal location for character interaction. The Ryans' dreams and ambitions made up most of the stories. Written by
Ryan's Hope, the story of the Ryan family, was a wonderful show filmed in New York City, thereby giving it the advantage of some veteran stage actors as well as newcomers. The cast was led by the amazing Helen Gallagher, a great musical theater star, as the matriarch of the Ryan family, Maeve. Maeve and her husband Johnny (the late Bernard Barrow) ran a bar/restaurant and were the linchpins of the soap. Their children were Frank, Mary, Siobhan, Patrick, and the seldom seen Kathleen. The Coleridges - attorney Jillian and two doctors, Faith and Roger - were the other family, a bit higher in class but nevertheless closely tied to the Ryans.
Along the way, many young actors cut their teeth on "Ryan's Hope" - Kate Mulgrew, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Corbin Bernsen, Marg Helgenberger, Ilene Kirstin, Gordon Thomson, Roscoe Born, Earl Hindman and Ron Hale, to name just a few. Today Hale and Kirstin are still soap actors, as was Roscoe Born until recently, while Hindman, Mulgrew, Bersen, Daniel Hugh Kelly and Helgenberger went on to TV series fame (Hindman was the neighbor in "Home Improvement").
In the beginning, the great interest (for me anyway) was the love story between sexy reporter Jack Fenelli (Michael Levin) and Mary Ryan (Kate Mulgrew). The character of Frank started out with an older actor - Christian Slater's father, if memory serves - and there were several Franks, the best remembered probably being Daniel Hugh Kelly. The beautiful, classy Nancy Addison, unfortunately now deceased, was Jill Coleridge throughout the series, and Hale was her brother Roger. Their sister, Faith, was played by more the one actress, the most memorable being Karen Morris Gowdy (now a Connecticut socialite). Delia, Frank's wife and ultimately ex-wife, and Roger's wife and ultimately ex-wife, and a royal pain, was played by both Randall Edwards and Ilene Kirstin, more successfully by Kirstin, in my opinion.
The series had some interesting plots. Two I especially liked were the Gordon Thomson story arc where he played Alexander Benedict White, an Egyptologist who becomes involved with Faith in an intriguing story; and the other involved a relative of the Ryan's, E.J., an ambitious reporter trying to find out if a soap actress, Barbara Wilding, is faking leg paralysis. Unfortunately for me, Soapnet stopped the series in 1981 - in the middle of both of these plots. The word is that they are going to continue the series this time around. Let's hope.
"Ryan's Hope" started to lose steam around 1983 and limped to cancellation in 1989. But seeing it on Soapnet, one is reminded of how good it was at least from 1975-1983, before it became influenced by the breakout success of "General Hospital" and veered from its original structure. At its best, "Ryan's Hope" was more like the English soaps such as Crossroads - about the middle class in a big city, their lives and loves.
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