I've been watching episodes from the early 2000s and wow Molly and Jake are SUCH A DULL COUPLE. I know they were really popular for some reason. It doesn't help that they always seemed to get the short end of the storyline stick. That baby twin storyline with the visions makes me want to throw something at the TV. I don't care about Vicky or her family. The Nick storyline was so lame and contrived, the Mary storyline that resulted in Jake's killing? Boring but at least it ended this dreaded couple for good.
Other than that I must say I really enjoy the cast. They should've never got rid of Denise, Marshall Travers and Isaac, and I wish Annie Parisse never left. She was so much fun. On the other hand, I wouldn't have minded if Carly drove off a cliff with Jack by her side. I wish Julia would've made it happen. The guy who played Chris in 2000 is obviously really handsome but in the most generic and faceless kind of way. I think Bailey Chase made a better Chris.
I think 2002-2003 really was a turning point. They reintroduced a lot of characters with new actors and I'm not sure they did justice to the characters. New Rosanna (good casting though), new Mike (I had a huge crush on him as a child but what a boring miscast in hindsight), new Paul (worst casting decision of the last 10 years in ATWT. Did they really sack Scott Holroyd for this mess?), new Dusty (not the best casting), new Chris and new Jennifer. They also introduced Lucy, Aaron, Alison as adults (all of them great casting though). I think the cast changed too much here in a relatively short period of time.