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9 hours ago, Brolden said:

I'm also surprised to see the pairing of Jane and Kyle get a lot of love in this thread. Although it made sense on paper (Kyle needed someone a little less used to the high life than Amanda, Jane needed a good guy for once), they went from a small flirtation while he was married to Amanda to wanting to spend the rest of their lives togehter in 0.2 seconds. I also felt that they had no chemistry together.

 

I literally just found out that Bissett and Estes were married for quite some time and have kids together. Apologies to the both of them. I'm sure they had chemistry, it just didn't translate well onto the screen in my humble opinion. 😅

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1. Sandy Harling (Amy Locane)

 

What to say about Sandy? The funny thing is, because I've watched this show spread out over 8 years, the early stuff is actually quite blurry in my mind already. One major thing I realized yesterday is that I have lived with a misconception for the duration of my MP journey. Back in 2012 when I started, I read about Locane's manslaughter charges, but I guess I didn't read it quite thoroughly (fear of spoilers I'm sure), because I always understood that those charges actually dated back to 1992 and that was the reason she was written off the show. I was always surprised that she got a bit of a send-off, considering those circumstances. Only now do I realize that the whole incident happened years after the show had ended and had nothing to do with her prompt departure. She was written off because TPTB decided she wasn't working, I assume?

She definitely felt like the odd one out in early S1. Ironically, I feel (as others have said) that she could have worked better in the later version of the show, as I felt Locane's acting was always a bit over the top. I wonder if they ever considered re-introducing her in a later version of the show. Honestly, the only things I remember about Sandy are her on-again-off-again thing with Jake (and subsequent "rivalry", if you can call it that, with Kelly), some sort of story about a stalker guy, and that one time she was hired to be the scream queen on some horror flick. I wouldn't say I minded her much, but I also wasn't necessarily a fan.   

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7 hours ago, Brolden said:

1. Sandy Harling (Amy Locane)

Honestly, the only things I remember about Sandy are her on-again-off-again thing with Jake (and subsequent "rivalry", if you can call it that, with Kelly), some sort of story about a stalker guy, and that one time she was hired to be the scream queen on some horror flick. I wouldn't say I minded her much, but I also wasn't necessarily a fan.   

 

That was her in a nutshell. With those early Season 1 episodes, some characters like Sandy only had storylines on select episodes, unlike Billy and Alison which were the main leads the entire season. Did you also notice her accent disappeared? 

 

I actually agree that she could've worked had they brought her back in later years. Hell, you know Michael Mancini would've tried to hit that. 

 

I'm watching the early episodes of season 4 currently and I agree that it's still the final waning days of their "glory era."  What I liked about Seasons 1-4 that ended in the 5th season is that the show would introduce new characters into the fold without giving them a contract right off the bat, so if it didn't work out with the audience or if the character served best in a single storyline arc, they would be written off. 

 

EDIT: Speaking of "cartoon characters," I don't think Melrose started turning their characters into caricatures until the 4th season. Case in point: Sydney suddenly wearing 60's go-go outfits and being all over-the-top prissy cutesy. That is NOTHING like how she was as madam-in-the-making 2nd season.  The show started adding in a lot of humor to scenes with Michael, Sydney, Peter etc. which made them less believable. By Seasons 6 and 7, Michael is a total boob. 

Edited by Gray Bunny
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I was just reading the MP Companion book that came out after S3 and in it one of the actors ( I forget which at the moment) stated that the producers didn't know what to do with Sandy. One minute they told her to use a thicker southern accent and then the next episode they'd tell her not to use one at all. Something like that. I know her character was always made fun of for that, but I guess it wasn't Amy Locane's fault. She was just taking direction for each ep. 

 

Marcia Cross was originally supposed to be one ep. Laura Leighton was a last minute addition as Sydney for a couple of episodes in S1 (after Jane had previously stated she was an only child). Heather Locklear was only supposed to be on for a short stint. All three ended up being written in as "regulars". 

 

Clearly, in the early days, they didn't really seem to know what they were doing and were just flying by the seat of their pants. 

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2. Rhonda Blair (Haggard?) (Vanessa Williams)

 

Personally, I never minded Rhonda all that much. I thought she fit well into the first incarnation of Melrose Place, at least for the first half of the season. It always seemed to me that around the time Sandy was written out, Rhonda was essentially written out as well. It's almost as if TPTB just felt it would be too much to have them both take off at once, so they kept Rhonda around until the end of the season. But they certainly stopped writing for her. Unlike Sandy, I don't think Rhonda would have worked well in the show MP would become, so utimately it was probably for the best that they let her go. I think Rhonda suffered greatly from the fact that they tied her down to Terrence so soon. It would have been interesting to see her in another relationship. It feels like an interracial relationship would have really fit with the whole social struggles theme they had going on back then. 

 

The one thing that bugs me to no end, however, is that she was not mentioned at all after her departure (actually, I think I recall a mention in one of the later seasons by someone like Amanda, which made little sense). Matt and Rhonda were supposed to be best friends. How easy would it have been to start a Matt scene by having him on the phone saying "I gotta go Rhonda, talk to you soon". I always found it interesting that on Beverly Hills, 90210 (I'm only on S8, so please don't spoil) they seemingly had an entire storyline going on in mentions only, as we found out through the remaining regulars that a certain former regular had made their way down to where a certain other former regular lived to resume a certain relationship). I'm not saying that's what MP should have done as well, but how difficult would it have been to mention some of these former regulars from time to time. In Rhonda's case, those mentions obviously would have waned over time, but in the beginning it was quite jarring.  

 

Though the show was definitely guilty of tokenism with both Rhonda and Matt, I do think it's a shame that the show never brought in another African-American (or any non-Caucasian, really) character following Rhonda's departure.

 

--

 

21 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

Did you also notice her accent disappeared?

 

I actually either didn't or at least don't remember. I'll pay attention to it once I rewatch. I definitely remember her having a strong southern accent, but I don't recall her dropping that accent. 

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56 minutes ago, Brolden said:

2. Rhonda Blair (Haggard?) (Vanessa Williams)

The one thing that bugs me to no end, however, is that she was not mentioned at all after her departure (actually, I think I recall a mention in one of the later seasons by someone like Amanda, which made little sense). Matt and Rhonda were supposed to be best friends. How easy would it have been to start a Matt scene by having him on the phone saying "I gotta go Rhonda, talk to you soon". I always found it interesting that on Beverly Hills, 90210 (I'm only on S8, so please don't spoil) they seemingly had an entire storyline going on in mentions only, as we found out through the remaining regulars that a certain former regular had made their way down to where a certain other former regular lived to resume a certain relationship). I'm not saying that's what MP should have done as well, but how difficult would it have been to mention some of these former regulars from time to time. In Rhonda's case, those mentions obviously would have waned over time, but in the beginning it was quite jarring.  

 

Though the show was definitely guilty of tokenism with both Rhonda and Matt, I do think it's a shame that the show never brought in another African-American (or any non-Caucasian, really) character following Rhonda's departure.

 

I agree with you there; she probably wouldn't have fit into the melodrama that Melrose became. I loved when Jasmine Guy was briefly on the show in Season 3, and had they written it in such a way, they could've kept her character longterm or brought her back, just as they were able to bring Peter Burns back. I loved the tension between her and Amanda. I also liked Alycia Barnett (Anne-Marie Johnson) too. 

 

I also agree they should've kept former characters "alive" by mentioning them more often. Even when Jo left after season 4, there was nary a mention of her again, not even by Jake. 

 

When Rhonda left, I remember Matt mentions her in like the second or third episode of the new season. Otherwise, he mentions her one more time as he's recalling his time at Melrose when he leaves the series. 

 

One thing Melrose was good at for the most part, though, was bringing back key parents of the main characters... Jane & Sydney's mom and dad, Billy's mom, Matt's mom and dad, Kimberly's mom, etc. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

I agree with you there; she probably wouldn't have fit into the melodrama that Melrose became. I loved when Jasmine Guy was briefly on the show in Season 3, and had they written it in such a way, they could've kept her character longterm or brought her back, just as they were able to bring Peter Burns back. I loved the tension between her and Amanda. I also liked Alycia Barnett (Anne-Marie Johnson) too.

 

I kind of always assumed that they were originally going to bring Jasmine Guy back along with Jack Wagner, but maybe that didn't work out for whatever reason and brought in Alycia Barnett / Ann-Marie Johnson instead. It would've made sense too since Caitlin promised to get revenge on Amanda. In general, with season three there were really stuff there they could mine for future storylines with both Caitlin and Traci Lords & the cult.

 

Either way, killing off Alycia was clearly a short-sighted move considering the cast exodus that was about to come. Even if they had kept her as recurring she would've added some cast consistency to the show, plus it was sort of shocking that they didn't have a resident lawyer anyway.

Edited by te.
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Alicia fit.as a grey character during a season 4...and I think she would have done well in season 5 when the show went back to basics.

 

Only time Allison fit in during season 5 was when she worked at D & D for one or two episode..and she quickly knew Craig was shifty. 

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Ugh. The biggest WTF ever was having Alison give up the advertising world altogether to serve drinks at Shooters. Alison was motivated to succeed from day one. Talk about writing for sets and convenience. Alison and Jake, two of Melrose's most successful characters, together became a vortex of suckage as a couple. 

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I always found Alycia truly weird. I thought the Bobby plot was great, but woo when they threw Enos out they wasted no time. It was a bit of a quick change, but their double demise was a blast.

 

Jake and Alison was hell. IIRC it happened because they were dating IRL.

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5 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

Ugh. The biggest WTF ever was having Alison give up the advertising world altogether to serve drinks at Shooters. Alison was motivated to succeed from day one. Talk about writing for sets and convenience. Alison and Jake, two of Melrose's most successful characters, together became a vortex of suckage as a couple. 

 

Alison and Jake is one of those couple that looks like a great idea on paper and they even teased it in season one, but yeah, for whatever reason they screwed it up really badly. It didn't help that they ended up islanding them once Jane left and Billy lost interest in Alison, but I guess at that point they knew Courtney and Grant were itching to leave so maybe they just didn't feel like trying to integrate them into the cast.

1 hour ago, Vee said:

I always found Alycia truly weird. I thought the Bobby plot was great, but woo when they threw Enos out they wasted no time. It was a bit of a quick change, but their double demise was a blast.

 

It was exciting, but really short-sighted - it felt like before Darren left, he set up several potential "next generation characters" that could move in (Peter / Alycia / Bobby / Richard / Brooke) and potentially fill some gaps, but once Frank South properly took over he screwed almost all of them up. Brooke especially, who just turned into a screeching harpy - I  feel like she was sort of originally supposed to be modelled on Melissa from Falcon Crest rather than... whatever they ended up doing with her.

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I don't think Alycia was ever more than a plot mover, myself. I do think Bobby and Brooke could've been/done more and were intended for it. I think Richard failed bc Muldoon was a poor actor, so they made him a solid heavy instead. He fulfilled his main purpose, which was evolving Jane that year.

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40 minutes ago, Vee said:

I don't think Alycia was ever more than a plot mover, myself. I do think Bobby and Brooke could've been/done more and were intended for it. I think Richard failed bc Muldoon was a poor actor, so they made him a solid heavy instead. He fulfilled his main purpose, which was evolving Jane that year.

 

I agree that Richard was likely dumped because Muldoon was very wooden, then again - Andrew Shue, anyone? With that said, I assume that if he had worked out better he would've been moved up to contract in season 5, just like how Laura and Marcia started out as regular recurring guest stars. He was, after all, in almost every episode in season 4.

 

Honestly, if Darren hadn't left I feel he would've put the show in a better position to handle the upcoming departures, add in that Zuniga probably would've stayed since she got the part because they used to be roommates to begin with. He did always say that he expected Melrose to have a Knots Landing-style of run rather than "only" running for seven seasons since people could always move in and out of the complex.

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IIRC Muldoon was in the cast press shots for Season 4. If it was going to happen it would've then.

 

Kimberly was my favorite character, but by the end of S3 I felt sure she'd never be added to the main credits, if she survived. (Allegedly Marcia kept saying no.) I was floored when S4 rolled around and she not only was alive but finally in the opening.

 

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4 hours ago, Vee said:

IIRC Muldoon was in the cast press shots for Season 4. If it was going to happen it would've then.

 

Kimberly was my favorite character, but by the end of S3 I felt sure she'd never be added to the main credits, if she survived. (Allegedly Marcia kept saying no.) I was floored when S4 rolled around and she not only was alive but finally in the opening.

 

Agreed! I too was surprised when she finally made the opening credits because in all honesty, as much as I loved Kimberly and Marcia Cross, I think anything post-explosion was a stretch of anything reality-based, including her being a free woman a mere two months after the blast. Quite honestly, at the time when I originally watched, it would've been a satisfying crazy ending if she hadn't survived her own bombing. 

 

Richard Hart (Muldoon) was the biggest Debbie Downer and dragged the mood down in every single scene. From the moment the 4th season began, any scene with him and Jane was just a cesspool of misery and petty barking at her. And Jo/Richard? That was an oddball pairing. 

 

Some of the male characters brought on in later years (Richard, Craig, Coop) were such Negative-Nancy Debbie Downers. Thank goodness we had devilish & dopey Michael, or even dumb & clueless Billy to balance it out. 

 

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