|Index||10 reviews in total|
26 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Daytime's attempt for real life and real people., 7 October 2003
Author: mark.waltz from New York City
It started off with the show's hero being found unconcious at the bottom
a flight of stairs and ended on a happy note with the wedding of that
character's brother-in-law. It all took place in New York City at an
Pub owned by Irish immigrants who raised five children and dolled out
and love with humor, drama, and sometimes reluctance.
Maeve and Johnny Ryan were the matriarch and patriarch of the show. Maeve, played by the beloved musical stage veteran Helen Gallagher (winner of two Emmys for this show), was outspoken yet loving. She always saw the motives behind people's actions, even when they hurt the ones she loved. Johnny was a hot-tempered yet tender former boxer who had fallen in love with Maeve in Ireland and brought her to the United States years before. (At the time Maeve and Johnny would have come to the states, Ms. Gallagher was busy on Broadway in such musical shows as "Seven Lively Arts" and "High Button Shoes"). They had five children: politician Frank; doctor Patrick; reporter Mary; rebellious Siobhan (later a cop) and happilly married Kathleen. At the start of the show, Kathleen was off living in Pittsburgh (and only made a few appearances during the show's 13 1/2 year run), and Siobhan was living in the mid-west. Frank was unconcious in a coma after being pushed down a flight of stairs; Pat was an intern at the nearby Riverside Hospital; and Mary was working on Frank's campaign for city council. Of the five kids, only Kathleen and Frank were married; We only saw Kathleen's husband, Art Thompson, very briefly, but Frank's baby-doll like wife Delia would remain the show's antagonist for most of the run.
Then, there were their friends, the Coleridges, who also remained important; Frank and attorney Jill Coleridge were lovers who suffered for years to get together; Jill's brother, Roger, was an amoral doctor, as was his sister Faith (an intern at the outset) and father Ed, written off early in the run. Other major characters at the beginning were Delia's brother, Bob Reid (Frank's best friend) and an embittered reporter named Jack Fenelli, perhaps the most complex character on the show. Jack and Mary were romantically involved much to Johnny Ryan's chagrin. As the story developed, we watched how Maeve welcomed him into her heart, and how he slowly embraced her as a mother figure he hadn't had since being raised in an orphanage with the help of Sister Mary Joel.
Four members of the original cast remained with the show throughout its run, and were followed by a few who left, came back, left, and came back again. Helen Gallagher and Bernard Barrow were the only actors as Ryans to remain the entire time; Ron Hale (Roger, now Mike on "GH") and Michael Levin (Jack) also remained without departing. While the role of Frank had five actors over the years, and Mary was "killed off" after 4 1/2 years and five actresses (most notably the amazing Kate Mulgrew), we saw Ilene Kristen (now "One Life to Live's" Roxie) and Malcolm Groome leave and return twice as Delia and Pat. Kristen's performance as the devious yet lovable Delia was filled with subtle touches that made her less of a villianess and more of a realistic young woman; When Randall Edwards took over for a time, she did get a few chances, particularly when Delia ran down a lover she had discovered was cheating on her. That performance got Edwards an Emmy Nomination, but sadly, Kristen was never nominated.
The role of Faith Coleridge was played by five actors as well, while her siblings Roger and Jill were played only by one each. Ron Hale made his somewhat nefarious character understandable, while Jill, who was the show's central heroine after Kate Mulgrew's departure, was a complex good woman who could sometimes be aggrivating with her high moral standards. The late Nancy Addison always played the role with dignity and consistency so it was difficult to hate her for her judgements. She tended to stand up for the underdog and as much as Jillian hated Delia for her schemes, we know that she did understand her. When Jill defended Dr. Seneca Beaulac (John Gabriel) for the mercy killing of his wife, we knew that she believed in the cause she was fighting for her; It was very ironic that a few years later, she was accused of the same crime. The Jill/Seneca/Frank storyline was front-burner for three years and won Emmy Nominations for all of the performers in this storyline.
Over the years, some of today's hottest soap stars made appearances on the show: Justin Deas, Julia Barr, and Robin Mattson (as one of the Delia's), but were rather wasted. One veteran soap actress who came on the show two years in the run and put her stamp on an original role was Louise Shaffer, now a novel writer and occassional script writer for soaps. Shaffer played the wealthy Rae Woodard who for over half a decade and became involved in practically every storyline. She deservedly won an Emmy, yet ended up losing her job in 1983 after the writers had put her on front burner with what many of the show's cast members refered to that eras as "Kirkland's Hope". Not only did Rae have an affair with Roger, she also became engaged to Frank briefly and then found that she was involved in an affair with the same young man as her bratty daughter, Kim (Kelli Maroney). During this time, Earl Hindman's real-life wife Molly McGreevy played the delightfully eccentric Polly Longworth, Rae's best friend. At this time, "RH" began to delve into mob storylines thanks to Siobhan Ryan's marriage to Joe Novak (Richard Muenz, Roscoe Born). Siobhan was played by six actresses, most notably Sarah Felder (as the lovably irritating first Siobhan) and Marg Helkenberger (as the more mature cop, closer to Mary than how Siobhan had been introduced).
SoapNet ran the original 1975-81 episodes before switching back to the early years. There were changes in structure in late 1983 when a series of veteran characters began being written off (Faith, Seneca, Bob, Rae, briefly Delia), and new writers gave us unbelievable plot twists (Johnny's illegitimate son, Dakota, being the biggest crime). We did get the original Pat and Delia back, and the actress who played the wife Seneca had pulled the plug on came back in another role. In the show's last month, some of the core characters from the early years did come back as Jack finally got over his wife Mary's death and found a woman he could marry. Fans forgave the writers for such bad storylines as Delia's kidnapping by a gorilla and Faith's engagement to Frank, but the premiere of "Loving", which caused "Ryan's Hope" to move timeslots, was the beginning of the end. Younger characters such as Maggie Shelby (Jill's half sister), Rick Hyde (Grant Show), as well as the teenaged Ryan Fenelli (Yasmine Bleeth) and John Ryan Jr. took time away from the veterans. By the time Jack was engaged at the end of the show, he had gone through so many love interests that the fans lost count.
Still, there were many memorable moments to go around for those who wanted to see the show in re-runs when it came back in the early 2000's. Delia and Roger's early schemes were believable and not all evil; Jill's moral judgements; John's hatred of Jack; Faith's mental illnesses; Rae's determination to control the men she was involved with; Siobhan's desire to fit in with her family; and Mary's resentment of Siobhan's immaturity all made for great family drama. Subtle moments of Irish folklore (Maeve's sister Annie's need for money to keep up the family farm; Tom Desmond's attempts to escape his past; and ultimately the MacCurtain family's revenge on Maeve and Johnny) gave the veteran characters a lot of meaty material to work with. It couldn't have been done without the writing of Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer who knew how to flesh out their characters with faults and needs. "Ryan's Hope" managed to take formula soap opera structure and take it where no other soap had gone before. Too bad the network decided to ruin it with typical mobsters and crime drama made successful on "General Hospital" in the early 1980's. Awards are given to shows that don't go for trends yet try and create new ones of their own. Perhaps now that "Port Charles" is off the air and ABC needs a new soap, we could see "Ryan's Hope-the Next Generation". Sadly, there won't be Johnny or Jill (you could never recast those parts), but many of the show's veteran cast members are still around.
14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Sensitive and beautifully written, one of the best soaps ever., 23 May 2000
Author: carlosjt from Long Island, NY
Ryan's Hope broke new ground in the daytime drama genre when it debuted in July, 1975. Centered around an Irish-Catholic family living in the Riverside section of New York City, this half-hour soap opera integrated character-driven storylines with intelligent dialogue, a grounded, reality-based philosophy, and one of the most talented casts ever to appear on daytime TV. While it never garnered blockbuster ratings during its all too brief 13 year run, it was showered with well deserved praise from critics and fans alike. It received numerous Emmy awards including two awards for best daytime drama, in 1977 and 1979. Thankfully, the show is now being re-run in its entirety on a soap-opera cable network.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Good soap, filled with now-familiar faces, 25 July 2007
Author: blanche-2 from United States
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.
Ryan's Hope is a true classic. There are many fine men on the show like
Jack, Pat, Frank and Bucky but I love the women on this show.
Helen Gallagher plays loving matriarch, Maeve Ryan. She is sometimes blind to the faults of her grown children but is always there to support them and offers her profound wisdom.
Mary Ryan Fennelli, first played by Kate Mulgrew, is a self-righteous know-it-all but she is also a fiercely loyal wife, daughter and sister.
Jill Coleridge (Nancy Addison) is a brilliant lawyer who was a true liberated woman of the 1970's. Jill is sometimes a little too independent for her own good.
Dr. Faith Coleridge started out as a clingy daddy's girls when played by Faith Catlin but when Catherine Hicks took over the role Faith blossomed into a stronger, smarter yet still sensitive woman.
Delia Reid Ryan Ryan is the shows villain. Delia is highly manipulative and selfish. She simply refuses to deal with reality and has never shown the slightest remorse for what she does. Ilene Kristen plays the Delia you love to hate.
Rae Woodard (Louise Shaffer) is a woman who will use her power and money to get what she wants.
All the characters on Ryan's Hope are very well drawn and much more interesting than what you will find on today's soaps.
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
I love this soap!, 1 May 2003
Author: susis from Pennsylvania
I love this soap. It is so well written, and the characters are so
wonderfully portrayed. It's so easy to love them all, and so hard to
hate the bad guys (mobsters Tizo Navotny and Joe Novak).
The family devotion the Ryan's have for each other is so often overlooked in today's soaps. They all stick together, no matter what the circumstances or consequences.
The acting is excellent, and the writing is awesome. This soap should still be on the air instead of in reruns on the soap channel.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Missing RH, 2 May 2007
Author: iminntoo from United States
I was at this site some weeks ago and either missed this page for RH or it is new. I am delighted to have found so much info. both on the cast and the story line. RH was being aired on Soapnet (89) on cable, and then out of the blue they redid the schedule which was to exclude that great show. It now airs one day (sun.) from 6;30am to 7;00 it comes to 1 hr. of watching. I have read so much lately all over the net, wherever soaps are discussed, as to how much shows like this are missed. AW was pulled completely. I think that the nostalgia for saner time in our history is a big part of why this show is now getting so much attention. It would be great if it were put out on DVD and that way the really avid viewer can just purchase it. Well that was my thought and thanks for letting me express it. imm
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Michael Levin FAN, Always, 28 December 2006
Author: svLandSave-1 from United States
I really have a question about Michael Levin, He was a substantially
great actor ... and I can't find anything much he did after Ryan's
I would so be interested in what type profession he found a liking for after Ryan's Hope ???? Would anyone know anyway to be in touch with his agent or self or fan base person ????
Thanks. There is just nothing like the older shows... the character structure is never as Good in the shows of today, as it WAS with RYAN's HOPE. I miss stories of the Regular people, the Above Common characters on this show. I was so sorry to see the original drama go off air.
They were the First Show Ever (to my study) to do a GHOST story with Mary Fenelli (Kate Mulgrew) returning to give profound truths and messages to Jack ! I loved those scenes and Am Now WAITING for them to return to that time on the soap-net reruns.
I Have A Complilation Tape of Most All of the Jack Fenelli scenes ...
Thanks to anyone who can offer information about Michael Levin.
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
It was one of the best of the soaps!', 9 May 2006
Author: (firstname.lastname@example.org) from United States
This show never caught on and I'll never know why. The writing was crisp and witty. THe cast was excellent and it was only 30 minutes long. Their half hour has been replaced by news which to me shows the lack of interest in keeping daytime television especially dramas like Ryan's Hope on the air. Claire Labine who lives in Brooklyn, New york was one of the major writers of this show. I don't recall it ever being outrageous but it reminded me of the British soaps where it was only 30 minutes long and there was a bar. Helen Gallagher played the matriarch and she is still a fabulous actress who has done television, stage, and films as well. Other cast members were Nancy Addison who passed away so young and Ilene Kristen now on One Life to Live. The show is gone but not forgotten in my opinion. It was one of those shows that should have gone on forever as well but I guess ABC thought it was expendable. Too bad, people out there would have enjoyed a nice written show like this. Since they were set in NEw York (big cities as settings don't fair well on soaps except Bold and the Beautiful), they also went out on the streets of the city to shoot. It was great to see.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Favorite Soap of all Time, 21 March 2004
Author: CelticLady50 from Upstate NY
Like Rosie,I never forgave "Loving","The City",and "Port Charles" for taking over that time slot.Being Irish,I'd cry my eyes out each time Ms.Gallagher sang "Danny Boy".The final episode was hard to get thru.I think I cried the entire show. I sometimes wonder if "OLTL"s' "Roxie",is actually Deliah,still looking for love.At least,to it's credit,"RH",never stooped to time travel,vampires,clones,etc.They kept it pretty real. When my daghters were born,I wanted to name them either Deliah,Maeve,or Siobahn,but my Italian ex husband wouldn't let me.Now,all 5 of my grandkids have the red hair,and the map of Ireland all over their faces! There will NEVER be a soap quite like "Ryans' Hope". (God bless you in Heaven,to MY Da!)
6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
episode numbers of ryan's hope, 8 April 2004
Author: reyhansoke from izmir, turkey
high!i am a fan about the soap opera Ryan's hope.this soap opera has 3515 episodes.because in this site in imdb.com this episode numbers don't show. i try to watch it.i am very sad because ryan's hope was ended in 1989.i wish that it goes on one day.maybe it will be go on.Why did ABC cancellede it i don't understand.Then did ABC cancelled Loving and Port caherles.i was pleasured when the people on ryan's bar were happy,and when they were sad i was sad too.ryan's hope is the 15.th longest soap opera on the world do you know this?it is really.i account all the episodes one and one.thanks.
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