Cheers to JD Lobue for indulging my seemingly endless questions yesterday afternoon, and for answering them with warmth and humor. It was Lobue who took over the reins from director Jay Sandrich on Season 2, Episode 18, though he had served as associate director alongside Sandrich since 1.2 or 1.3.
Lobue came to directing after a successful early career in the band The Gordian Knot alongside singer guitarist John Weatherly. (Check out the clip above from the movie The Young Runaways featuring The Gordian Knot. I might be mistaken, but I believe the fellow on the left playing keyboard is Lobue. It’s so hard to tell without the facial hair.)
It has to be said that Lobue was faced with both the best and the worst circumstances possible when he inherited Soap. He’ll be the first to tell you that he learned a great deal under legendary television director Jay Sandrich, and it also helped that the cast and crew knew him from the years he put in as associate director. Still, he also was faced with a show that was lurching toward its end, with a production schedule that only became more brutal as the series went on.
That said, in this fan’s opinion, he also oversaw the episodes that were the absolute pinnacle of the series (early to mid-Season 3). Of course, as Lobue told me yesterday, anybody who claims they made a successful TV program with little help is an idiot. This was all a perfect storm of talent in front of and behind the camera, and a network that was willing to give them all just enough rope.