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Ben

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  1. Do you think that had something to do with NBC owning Passions outright? Or did they just learn from their mistakes?
  2. Me too. I think it’s quite sad how the show had a lot stacked against it, tried to be something to everyone, and was cut down before it had a chance to really get going. It was an international hit (especially in Europe), and I think it tells you something of its popularity that it recently had a complete rerun on CBS Drama in Poland! It’s sad that the US audience wasn’t there. It’s also sad that NBC kind of short changed it in the end by moving its time slot and not having every state air the show. I loved how Sunset Beach had real location shooting every week. It really made the location feel like another character, and something that really set it apart from every other US soap.
  3. That’s how it was being foreshadowed on screen. Leo and Sean became friends, and Leo started getting feelings for Emily in secret. Amy figured out that he liked Emily and wanted his help to break them up, but Leo had morals and did the opposite by becoming a thorn in her side. At this point, Brad was a spare part. Sean was the problem, or more specifically, Randy Spelling. He was horrendous in the role. If they had pushed a quad, Emily/Leo would have been the more popular couple for sure. But they wanted Sean/Emily to be end game, so they dumped Leo, and moved Brad into his role by having him catch feelings for Emily. And so the boring, tedious quad laboured on and on and on. Amy was whiny, dull and drippy and a pain, while Brad was a simpering sidekick. Sean worked best within his family. The only decent thing about their storyline was Mrs Moreau and Annie getting involved. Amy and Brad had no development throughout their stints. Leo had potential, but was dumped en masse at the same time as Francesca, Virginia, and Jimmy, while Tyus was dropped to recurring when they had a head writer change.
  4. Virginia was insane and so was the decision. I get that the character needed a comeuppance and for everyone to find out about her schemes, but they could have kept her on. I know Dominique Jennings turned down the offer of being recurring.
  5. I think you are conflating dates. Susan Ward took a break during the later half of 1999, when Sydney Penny was brought in as temp Meg. It was during the point in the story where Derek returned and he and Tess were half plotting. I think it worked fine, as Susan came back for the denouement, so we got to see original Meg work out that Derek was back. I liked Sydney in the role; I thought she brought some much needed energy to the character that was lacking. Eddie Cibrian left around about the same time, which was after Trey’s real paternity had been revealed. So we did get a resolution of that story. However, Cole was written out in a very jarring way. Gregory was masquerading as Tobias and he had engineered for Cole to flee underground to avoid being caught by Interpol. It was clunky on screen. I thought Caitlin being down and anxious afterwards and being drawn to Jude platonically felt believable. I definitely felt Jude was a Cole replacement. But then the show got cancelled and Caitlin, Sean, and Trey were packed off to London only to return for the final episode along with Cole. I got the impression the plan was for Derek to kill Maria and Ben and claim all of his money, leaving Tess to raise their son together. Derek didn’t seem the settling down type. I felt the same way about Francesca. She was a fun, energetic character who had chemistry with everyone. She was so good at mixing it up. It was a mistake killing her off and writing Gregory into a corner. Two great characters reduced to nothing. It was worse because they started pushing Amy/Brad, who I didn’t care for and who were weak characters in a repetitive story. The diversity was great. I can see why they let go of those characters, although I think Rae had some mileage and untapped potential. Elaine was wasted. It always felt like she didn’t really do much, and then she left town after discovering her son was alive, which never made sense. Russell Curry was thrown material his way, but it never amounted to anything substantial. There was his guilt about Jackson Harrison’s death that went nowhere. There was his unrequited love for Vanessa that rendered him inactive. They probably could have pushed more of a connection between Tyus and Vanessa due to the baby and have him step up more in opposition to Michael. The story had a lot of depth that wasn’t really mined, and you could see that in how they handled the aftermath of Virginia being sectioned with Michael and Vanessa being put on the backburner and the focus being on her lying. There was a lot of blame that could have been proportioned out to Michael as well that was avoided. One thing I have wondered is if introducing Mrs Moreau and making voodoo quite a prominent plot device throughout 98-99 might have turned away viewers given how Christian and conservative America can be? I don’t think adding traditional family units took anything away from the show, but I don’t think they did it in the right way. They always had the complicated Richards family which tied in nicely with the Deschanels. I’m not too sure Gordon Thompson was the right choice to play AJ, but he was a natural fit in expanding the family (I think Leo was a good choice, too, who had potential). The Torres family was a great addition and they really felt like a family unit. Antonio, Carmen, and Maria was excellent in giving Ricardo some much needed depth, and they felt like natural additions. We still had the Surf Central family which was there throughout the show’s run. I think where they went wrong was introducing Meg’s family. I liked Sara, but I don’t think Hank and Joan were needed as regulars, who felt very out of place most of the time. They were also bland and didn’t interact with anyone. They should have only ever have popped up for events. Instead, I think they missed a trick not introducing Emily’s father when they decided Bette needed some family. He could have bought the Waffle Shop instead of Hank & Joan. All in all, I don’t think the show was conceived with having multiple traditional family units in mind, and that showed with how many characters they had where you couldn’t imagine bringing in parents as regulars because what would you do with them? It was a young show trying to appeal to the traditional US soap audience.
  6. Actually, Gabi’s father was seen, briefly in her hallucination on Terror Island. He was clutching her doll and being creepy. So, you have an actor to find! 😉 The characters played by Kelly Hu, Leigh Taylor Young, Laura Harring, and Adrienne Frantz didn’t test well with focus groups, which is why their characters were let go. Tiffany was recast with Jennifer Blanco simply to play out the storyline - she appeared in a recurring capacity with a limited number of episodes. Adrienne Frantz was happy to leave as she said at the time she was forced to cut her hair short which she found traumatic. Mark was a popular character, but I think they knew they were bringing in Antonio (a move to be more traditional by having families) and he kind of took Mark’s place in the Surf Central family and as Gabi’s love interest. It also gave Derek’s killing spree some gravitas by killing off a major character instead of a load of nobodies. Cole was recast because Ashley Hamilton wasn’t working in the role and not clicking with the audience. Best decision they made signing up Eddie Cibrian. Caitlin remains a mystery. Some say Vanessa Dorman was demanding more money; some say she was difficult to work with; some say she wasn’t “hot” enough. Kam Heskin came in and Caitlin’s IQ dropped significantly...
  7. Wasn’t the show going against the tide in the latter part of ‘99? Changing time slot, not airing in some states, airing at 3am in some states, etc?
  8. Some promos I really liked. From Australian soap Neighbours Home and Away Sunset Beach They also did the ‘Does Your Mamma Know You’re Watching?’ campaign in 1998. Anyone remember those promos?
  9. I haven't been here for so long! Don't know if I'll be back on a regular basis... Just really wanted to give Carl a different perspective, as I don't really agree with Ed on many points. I loved the Fake Dee story. Sure, I was super disappointed that she wasn't the real Dee, but I really loved the drama and the writing for everyone involved; it also helped give the awful surrogacy story some purpose and depth. There were actual cliffhangers and real shocks, something that I thought Neighbours had forgotten how to do. Madeleine West really infused depth and nuance to her performances, which made watching her all the more easy. It was a melodramatic story, but I feel like it worked. Not everyone was going to like it. Clearly it's been a success seeing as the ratings are up in both the UK and Australia. I didn't like want they did to Sindi and Stu, who broke up off screen. They could have explained this more, but instead Sindi was treated as a plot device. The episode that Sonya watched Toadie sleep with Fake Dee via Skype was shocking and surprising. The show hasn't delivered that kind of episode for a long time. The acting has really improved, too. Scott McGregor (Mark) has really come into his own playing Mark's grief. I loved the scene where he told little Nell about his baby's death; it was so emotional and sad. So glad they didn't shy away from writing this; it showed maturity in the writing that Neighbours hasn't had for many years. I don't feel the show relies too heavily on the past. I guess it just feels like that now with Dee's return and the Tanaka twins paternity being linked to a 1980s story. They reference and use the past brilliantly, I think, which shows good continuity. I think the actor playing Leo can be ropey. He's OK with general material, but ask him to emote and he's not so good. David is better, but his coming out story is so under played. Kim's actor is the worst I ever seen. I don't care about who's their daddy, or the mess they've made of connecting them to the past in such a way that messes with continuity. Paul doesn't need any more children. They could recast the ones he has. Love Aaron. He has so much potential, but it's wasted. It's like they can't see past him being gay, so he doesn't get much to do. I don't mind him being a social media manager, as it's a modern profession. He's also Toadie's legal assistant, and I feel that works, too, minus any reality of Aaron not having any qualifications to be a legal assistant. I can suspend by disbelief with that one. Love Tyler, too. I also love his pairing with Piper. I'm a sucker for a good romance story, and theirs worked for me. They are a believable couple. He does need more to do outside of Piper, though. Andrew Morley (Jack) is mediocre. He has chosen to play Jack in such a dull way, with no charisma at all. His acting choices are off the mark. Paige is one of my favourite characters, but she's stuck in this Jack story, wanting a man who treats her badly. Jack is a terrible character with no redeeming qualities. He relies on other people making the decisions for him.
  10. So NZ is a week behind Aus/UK. Not just what Nick did to him, but he also battled depression last year after Kate's murder, so you would think he'd have more empathy for those with mental health issues. I think it shows underneath all the excuses and reasons for his behaviour, he's actually not a very nice person at all. I can't wait until everyone finds out what he did to Steph. I was disappointed she didn't want Lucas/Vanessa to know that she wasn't having a psychotic break after all, something I would have thought she would have been more concerned about. I loved the Shay twist, too. I didn't see it coming at all. I'm interested to see where they go with this story.
  11. I don't know why they always burn through these types of characters so quickly (except for the Braxtons, who they continue to milk to death). Do you think killing her off was premature? It always seems to be their go-to plot of choice.
  12. That's exactly how it'll all go down. This Jordan story has failure/predictability written all over it. I really don't get why Denise is such a difficult character to write for? DTC puts more effort into Kim than he does Denise. Thanks Carl. I stopped coming here b/c I got busy, dropped B&B (I couldn't take any more of the awful Steffy/Liam/Ivy/Wyatt mess, or the equally bad Ridge/Caroline/Thomas garbage), and the soaps became mediocre/started to really suck, so I had nothing to contribute. I did miss you guys though. I'm loving Neighbours ATM, and will try to post more, even if it's just to criticise EE and ED (although, ED is in a more healthier place than EE). LOL I really hope Jay's major story is not going to involve a love interest. I have a feeling it isn't going to be as major as the hype suggests. They were silly episodes. The whole stunt was laughable. Mick was scared of water and can barely swim, but he manages to dive down and rescue both Shirley and Dean like he's been swimming all his life, and no-one bats an eye; Buster randomly and pointlessly jumps in, instead of just helping Mick out of the water; Linda's dress got so dirty it looked like she had been crawling through the mud, despite her staying glued to the same spot throughout. I hate how badly plotted the Mick/Shirley reunion has been, and how he's already calling her 'Mum'. The wedding was kinda sweet, but it was ridiculous how Mick changed into the pink bath robe - what was that even doing there? And all the guests stayed glued to their seats despite the drama unfolding directly outside. All of it was so hollow.
  13. I haven't watched for a while, but did see one NYD episode, and was surprised to see Glenda back. Love Glynis Barber. Love Glenda. The show (and Ronnie) needs someone like Glenda. But of course EE disappoints. Glenda makes an unnecessary one-ep guest appearance, yet we were subjected to 3 months of the awful Elaine. And Jack's back for no real reason, only to disappear again, only he'll be back, b/c Scott Maslan is permanent. Why can't they pace story properly on this show? I have nothing to add to the mess that was Mick/Dean/Shirley or the disappointing wedding. NBA has already said it. Why is Sharon so pathetically weak? What's with the awful writing for her and Gavin? She texts him she misses him, too, complete with kisses, then acts petrified when he randomly shows up?! She shouldn't want anything to do with him; she certainly shouldn't be sending sweet texts to the man she's literally just met, whom she knows is a nasty piece of work. What an awfully silly character Sharon has turned in to. Also, how much more of the awful, tedious, repetitive Bobby/Ian/Jane story are we going to be subjected to? The only positive thing on the show is Denise (and possibly Shabnam bonding with Jade, but that could easily get over shadowed by the mess around it), and she's stuck in a possibly dead-end story. Don Gilet (Lucas) is contracted to Holby City, and while both shows are with the BBC, thus allowing him to do double duty for guest appearances, I can't see this going anywhere important due to that fact. Plus, I think they've pulled Lucas out of the woodwork just b/c they don't know what to do with Denise.
  14. Is anyone still watching Neighbours? I think it improved a lot late last year. Steph's story was awesome, and played brilliantly by Carla Bonner. Paul gaslighting her the way he did has to be the worst thing he's ever done. It was such an unnecessary act of cruelty and horror. So glad he lost everything in the finale. Having Shay revealed as a plant all along was such a good twist, and a good use of recent history.
  15. That's a blow to the show. From what little I recently saw, the show had improved a little. Marilyn's amnesia story was quite engaging, even if there was missed opportunities in not bringing back past characters for the story, and Charlotte's story seemed interesting, and reminded me of Josie Russell's intro back when Dan Bennett was in charge.
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