So the latest issue of SOD has Corday finally discussing Dena Higley as the new headwriter. He does his usual song and dance of how supportive he is with this person at the helm, and says something about her being a woman and a hard worker (almost sounds like Belle describing Shawn doesn’t he?)
Anyway, I thought I would take this opportunity and mention Hogan Sheffer who I know disappointed a lot of people. I admit he made major missteps in storylines though I still believe they all were dictated by someone else. I also admit that some stories got told too ridiculously fast (Chick falling in love) or were wrapped up just when they actually got interesting (Pocket, Nick’s kids). However, I’d like to take a minute and say what I thought he did well on the show.
Dialogue: Never have I noticed how much I liked Hogan’s day to day writing until now. At that time, I would notice some great lines coming along, a zinger or two and pop culture references that made me actually go…OMG, they used a Heathers reference. But I basically took the rest of it for granted. I mean, we got days and days of speaking about a hairbrush for Pete’s sake. Now though, with conversations that create mind numbing loops like “Are you Colleen?” “I am, sir!” “No, no, you can’t be.” “I tell you I am!” It makes me want to freaking BEG Hogan to come back (or at least who was responsible for the day to day conversations.)
Bo and Hope: MaryPickford already did a wonderful job commenting on how Hogan did the best character improvement on the show in regards to Chelsea so I can’t add anything more but I do want to discuss how he managed to redeem a couple on the show. When I returned to the show in 2006, I kid and tease how shocking it was to see how bad John and Marlena were, but really nothing horrified me more than to see what Bo and Hope were reduced to. The death of their child had sent them over the edge to misunderstandings without confrontation. Hope became the symbol of judgment and everything was Bo’s fault. Her husband was almost worse as the great rebel who charged into the show with the song “Holding out for a Hero” now used his mom to ask her out for him. Yes, it was awful and maddening and frankly scared the hell out of me now that Steve and Kayla had returned. Would they wind up going that route? Thankfully, Hogan quickly took care of them by having conversations together (before the inevitable Bo rescues Hope scenario would appear) and I remember that night they spent on the Fancy Face talking. It felt so….real. Since then Bo and Hope have been a joy to watch, KA and PR’s chemistry returned with zeal, whether they were trying to disarm a bomb or sitting around reading letters, I could watch them all day.
Nick Fallon: Yea, you knew this one was coming. Nick was Hogan’s creation and I’m not still feeling all that confident Higley isn’t looking to ditch the geek the first chance she gets, but I really have to appreciate Hogan doing a story I’ve wanted to see for a long time. I’ve wanted a bad girl/good guy romance to watch for years, the fact Nick was written geeky was just a bonus. Now I do fully admit that Hogan made his mistakes with Nick and rushed the romance but at least he introduced this character (thereby we got to meet Blake Berris) as well as kept him on our screen.
John and Marlena: Ok, Hogan’s writing for John and Marlena was…not there. He didn’t write for them. I must confess, LOVE HIM FOR THAT.
Kayla and the drill: I must confess, though he sometimes left Kayla out of the story (Kayla/Steve/Billie triangle for example) I will never forget Kayla with that drill outside of EJ’s apartment door. It is one of my favorite all time scenes with MBE.
So that’s it. I’m not trying to act like he was some great superwriter out there who was perfect. I do think though the show had improved even during the worst of his writing and in the last 2 months the stories were actually quite compelling. Regardless, I don’t think Sheffer or his staff deserved the treatment they received from the writer’s strike and I still say something is rotten in the state of Denmark on how Dena is writing for the show officially while her “husband” did the scabbing. I just hope Hogan and his team manage to land on their feet, very much like Julie Pinson recently did with getting a job on ATWT.