Wasn't MB who made it clear Ted King couldn't be frontburner again? I don't think either Alcazar brothers were that well developed. I kind of like the crazier Luis tbh. It does seem like the obvious route to put LW/TK back together on a new soap, but I don't remember them having much chemistry on The City.
I have always really enjoyed CarJax and I know I have said I think TB/IR had chemistry when they worked at that Club together. I don't think SJB and IR had enough scenes to even evaluate chemistry, but her Carly does feel much more raw and too gritty for Jax. Jax tends to prefer damsels in distress and that is not how I would ever describe SJB's Carly.
I liked Jax's role with Carly and her kids and it made so much sense for both characters. I would be 100% fine if CarJax were endgame because I think that's LW's best pairing and the show is just treading water with her and Sonny.
If Ryan's Hope had been more of a mystery-based soap then there may have been more story opportunities for two crime reporters like Jack and Mary, but that wasn't Labine/Mayer's forte.
But, she couldn't move away given that Jack's bonding with baby Ryan was such a huge story point for the character that he never would have let them move to another city without him. Some might say that Baby Ryan was the titular force of Ryan's Hope, so she and her mother couldn't leave.
Mary was related to most of the other leading men and nobody needed more sisterly romantic triangles after Jill and Faith.
They certainly chem-tested Jack and Siobhan, but I found their fraternal relationship to be refreshing, and I enjoyed many of Jack's other romances like Leigh. Also, Joe and Siobhan had sizzling chemistry.
Also, I would argue that killing Mary let the audience know that the stakes were high when dealing with the New York city mob because they were willing to take out a major character. If the mob only killed day players, their threat to the livelihoods of those in Riverside would not have seemed so real.
I honestly think someone made it clear Ted King/Lorenzo could not and would not be given frontburner story again, and that's why LW ended up with Jax. I think they were that threatened by what went down with him and TB's Carly in 2003-2004. Putting Wright and King back together seemed so obvious with her a major, popular daytime star and yet they didn't dare, even though the characters were still married when she joined the show. They're lucky Laura and Ingo had real chemistry and fans went for it. It was the first and only time Ingo had a real role on the canvas again, as the man who put her and her children first, and as I've said before I don't think it would've ever worked with any other Carly; the others were too raw for him IMO. I'll always feel Carly made a huge mistake losing Jax, who gave her a real home, and that's ironic for me because the idea of pairing Sarah or Tamara with Jax back in the day always grossed me out. But we've had this conversation.
I think the Jax character took a major hit post-Brenda's return. I remember him frequenting hookers off screen and that seemed so unlike Jax. Anyhow, he basically brutally dumped Skye for nothing. I can't believe Jax would ever, ever, leave Brenda at the altar like that. It was so awful and then he offered her money. Ugly stuff that Jax wouldn't ever do.
I know it's dramatic and all but Jax would have broken up with Brenda and her hair extensions, ugly tattoo, and hideous dress in private.
Courtney and Jax literally felt like the most random pairing EVER. I don't really have an opinion on them one way or another, but I felt it came out of nowhere. But it led him to Carly lol. So there is some investment in IR/Jax because they wouldn't have paired him with LW. Or maybe they just couldn't find anyone tall enough for her and Jax was it lol.
The lack of investment in TC/Nik in later years might be due to his personal problems and his lack of interest in even trying to act than Guza losing interest.
It was so clearly Brenda's story it's not even funny. They didn't even change it really. There just wasn't much investment between Sonny or Jax being the dad in the way it would have been with Brenda. I still wish VM stayed for that. I think it would have been a good story and I think the kid probably would have lived and maybe saved us from the 10 other children Sonny had in the future and I thought Jason/Brenda were kind of hot the first time around. I was willing to watch it.