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Successful Characters with No Family or Ties to Canvas


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#41 VirginiaHamilton

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:38 AM

I think it was their father, then Julia came soon there after. Brenda showed up like two years after that.

 

Thanks, Addie.  I came in on the tail end of Julia's time so I never did meet their father.  


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#42 MissLlanviewPA

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:15 AM

OLTL

Max Holden

Yes, his brother Steve and half-sister Andy were there at one point, too, but they came and went while Max survived for many years before being done in by ABC.

he's a perfect example
 
OLTL
Tea


I guess we'll pretend her cousin Roseanne didn't exist? wink.pnglaugh.png

Edited by MissLlanviewPA, 06 February 2013 - 10:15 AM.

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#43 marceline

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:33 AM

I guess we'll pretend her cousin Roseanne didn't exist? wink.pnglaugh.png

 

Or her brother Del.


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#44 Cheap21

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:40 AM


I guess we'll pretend her cousin Roseanne didn't exist? wink.pnglaugh.png

no but I don't think she matters. Tea came on the show with no family and even though they added a few, no one made an impact or had staying power besides her. Tea stands strong without any of her family connections to hold her up. Roseanne is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things but Tea made her stamp on OLTL and I think even haters would have to admit she was fairly popular with a following. 14 years after debut she still has a place and hasn't faded off into obscurity. I think that's the sign of a successful character

Edited by Cheap21, 06 February 2013 - 10:41 AM.

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#45 VirginiaHamilton

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

If hanging over a show for over a decade like a fartcloud is a sign of a successful character, then one can consider Rex a successful character as well.


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#46 marceline

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

no but I don't think she matters. Tea came on the show with no family and even though they added a few, no one made an impact or had staying power besides her. Tea stands strong without any of her family connections to hold her up. Roseanne is fairly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things but Tea made her stamp on OLTL and I think even haters would have to admit she was fairly popular with a following. 14 years after debut she still has a place and hasn't faded off into obscurity. I think that's the sign of a successful character

 

I took this thread topic to be characters who came aboard without family ties and managed to stick around. When those characters become successful shows generally try to build family around them, whether they are successful at that is varying mileage since a lot of times that lack of "success" has to do with new regimes coming in and trashing everything that came before. I'd consider Tea to be one of those characters.


Edited by marceline, 06 February 2013 - 11:03 AM.

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#47 dragonflies

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:05 AM

Zach Slater, sure Ethan was around for awhile, but he came on after Michael was gone and basically all he had for family was Miranda.


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#48 Titus Andronicus

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

Days:

Eugene and Calliope.

 

Two outsiders who married each other and weren't related to any core families at all.


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#49 Bright Eyes

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:31 PM

Days:

Eugene and Calliope.

 

Two outsiders who married each other and weren't related to any core families at all.

 

Technically, Eugene is a DiMera.


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#50 frequentsoapfan

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:33 PM

I would say Sharon but MAB destroyed that character.


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#51 SoapSurvivor

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

I took this thread topic to be characters who came aboard without family ties and managed to stick around. When those characters become successful shows generally try to build family around them, whether they are successful at that is varying mileage since a lot of times that lack of "success" has to do with new regimes coming in and trashing everything that came before. I'd consider Tea to be one of those characters.

 

Thanks, you explained a little better than I did. 


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#52 EricMontreal22

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

I don't remember Tea having a brother Del...  Just Thomas.

 

Has Aiden on AMC been mentioned?  I have trouble calling him a successful character story wise (I think he worked best as a sorta nice guy B story level guy), but he sure stuck around a long time considering.


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#53 EricMontreal22

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:46 PM

There's nothing wrong with bringing on new family. That's a great way to build connections and hopefully show new layers for existing characters. I do think that current writers have used that tactic way too much in the recent past. They use family ties as a crutch to try to force us to care about characters instead of putting in the time to develop a backstory and motivation that matters.

 

Yes, soaps are about family but it's long past time for soaps to catch up with the rest of television and accept that the concept of family doesn't have to be limited to blood ties. For me the best ensembles shows are made up of families of choice but it take time and effort to create relationships that resonate and current writers don't feel like doing that so they just pull another sister/brother/cousin out of the box and throw them on the canvas. Or worse yet, they retcon somebody's parentage so we can shoehorn them into a position of importance they didn't earn and create quickie drama and conflict. *waves at Greenlee/Damon (AMC) and Natalie/Rex (OLTL)*.

 

Also sticking with cliche blood ties is a convenient way to limit real diversity of the canvas. I don't just mean racial/ethnic diversity either. It stifles the chance to branch out to characters of different economic and religious backgrounds or even just diversity of viewpoint. If everyone grew up together, then there's a degree of shared experience and the backstory writes itself until Lazy Writer decides to retcon it.

Exactly.  While I'd argue that they planned to make Damon Tad's son pretty early on--yes I know hisintro story was a mess and tied into (I assume) dropped stories like a Chandler son, or Max Santos, the writing on the wall seemed pretty clear by the time Flip Limestone was seen on screen.

 

Ellabell--Sean Cudahy was on AMC into the 80s, but I think your choice of Tom still counts.  I'd argue Adam, just because Stuart being crazy (and dangerous) in the attic was a very early story, and apparently planned before they even cast Canary.

 

Carlivati has to be the most guilty of this, that I've seen--but it has infected most soaps from the past decade.  A new character comes on screen, and instantly we as viewers start guessing who they are tied to.  But it's even worse when they tie them to characters who haven't even been on the show for a decade--is that meant to make us instantly care more about the character?


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#54 Cheap21

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

I don't remember Tea having a brother Del...  Just Thomas.
 
Has Aiden on AMC been mentioned?  I have trouble calling him a successful character story wise (I think he worked best as a sorta nice guy B story level guy), but he sure stuck around a long time considering.

i wouldn't call Aidan a success. They kep trying to make him work but never quite. He came on with his connection to Anna and after she left, he only had a few good months of story with Kendall. Following her it was one failed pairing after the other in between being on the backburner.
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#55 Pine Charles

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

Gloria Marsh on All My Children had no family ties, yet she lasted several years and was involved with many of Pine Valley's prominent male citizens including Adam Chandler, Tad Martin, and Dimitri Marick.

Always liked her.

Good actress.


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#56 EricMontreal22

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:41 PM

i wouldn't call Aidan a success. They kep trying to make him work but never quite. He came on with his connection to Anna and after she left, he only had a few good months of story with Kendall. Following her it was one failed pairing after the other in between being on the backburner.

Well no, to be more clear, I agree.  But the fact he remained on the show for a decade (on contract), I guess means success on some level .  Don't forget Pratt pulling a Ron Carlivati and having him go psycho at the end.


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#57 DRW50

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

I don't think it's wrong to call Aidan a success. He was a popular supporting character. His pairings didn't get a lot of attention but that wasn't a big anomaly for AMC of that era. 

 

Del was on for a few months in 1998, investigating Georgie's murder.

 

And of course there was Tomas or Alcazar or whoever.


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#58 greens_dupres

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:11 PM

There's nothing wrong with bringing on new family. That's a great way to build connections and hopefully show new layers for existing characters. I do think that current writers have used that tactic way too much in the recent past. They use family ties as a crutch to try to force us to care about characters instead of putting in the time to develop a backstory and motivation that matters.

 

Yes, soaps are about family but it's long past time for soaps to catch up with the rest of television and accept that the concept of family doesn't have to be limited to blood ties. For me the best ensembles shows are made up of families of choice but it take time and effort to create relationships that resonate and current writers don't feel like doing that so they just pull another sister/brother/cousin out of the box and throw them on the canvas. Or worse yet, they retcon somebody's parentage so we can shoehorn them into a position of importance they didn't earn and create quickie drama and conflict. *waves at Greenlee/Damon (AMC) and Natalie/Rex (OLTL)*.

 

Also sticking with cliche blood ties is a convenient way to limit real diversity of the canvas. I don't just mean racial/ethnic diversity either. It stifles the chance to branch out to characters of different economic and religious backgrounds or even just diversity of viewpoint. If everyone grew up together, then there's a degree of shared experience and the backstory writes itself until Lazy Writer decides to retcon it.out t

I actually thought the introduction of Greenlee was successful without ties. She was great when she came on as an spoiled uber bitch Scott knew in school who was messing with super boring Becca and slowly found love with Leo. I remembering good buzz & magazine coverage for the two of them. It was only a few years later when they made her a Montgomery and then put her into Ryan's orbit that the character went to hell. 


Edited by greens_dupres, 06 February 2013 - 07:57 PM.

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#59 marceline

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

I actually thought the introduction of Greenlee was successful without ties. She was great when she came on as an spoiled uber bitch Scott knew in school who was messing with super boring Becca and slowly found love with Leo.

 

I agree. I liked the fact that we saw Greenlee had family. Even though they weren't a "core" family, it was completely believable that the Smythes were a part of PV society. The couple who played Greenlee's grandparents exuded that old money vibe and I could easily envision them hanging at charity functions with Phoebe, Langley and Mona back in the day. There was no reason to mess with her parentage except short-sighted laziness.


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#60 EricMontreal22

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:04 PM

Greenlee came on during that brief period Agnes Nixon came back as HW and for a while we had a sense of the old money Pine Valley too (Enid Nelson was back a lot, there was the fun story with Marian sorta being embarassed by Opal as the other snobby women don't accept her, etc)  I thought for the first few years she really worked.

 

I did like the appearances of Mary later on, her mom and thought they should have used her more. 


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