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On 2/2/2020 at 5:43 AM, Brolden said:

As I'm typing this, I am racking my brain trying to remember what Jake was up to in S4. For some reason, I'm coming up completely empty. By the end of that season, I believe he was dating Jane, and then moved on to Alison when Jane shut both of them out after the rape. But if I recall correcly, Jane was with Richard for at least half of that season. I do vaguely remember Jess' wife showing up for a boring storyline that lasted way too long, but I can't imagine that's all he's been up to in that season.

Actually that was pretty much it. After the Shelly storyline (which as you say lasted way too long), there was a brief arc involving a loan shark (about 4 or 5 episodes) that followed on from the Shelly arc (as Jake was broke and needed money to keep Shooters afloat) and then Jake got involved with Jane.

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42 minutes ago, Dion said:

Actually that was pretty much it. After the Shelly storyline (which as you say lasted way too long), there was a brief arc involving a loan shark (about 4 or 5 episodes) that followed on from the Shelly arc (as Jake was broke and needed money to keep Shooters afloat) and then Jake got involved with Jane.

 

I've said it before, but Darren was there and helped plan the first half of the season. When you re-watch season four with this in mind it becomes very obvious especially with characters like Jake - the transition from the Shelly storyline to the loan shark is pretty natural (if too dragged out), then all of a sudden he and several other characters just start treading water and doing nothing. Then of course the show starts spinning right out of control with Kimberly re-marrying Michael and getting multiple personalities.

4 hours ago, Khan said:

 

Charles Pratt, Jr. has always been a very short-sighted writer.  In every series he's worked on, he'll set up intriguing storylines that could run for years, then drop 'em first chance he gets.  I think the guy must have ADHD.

 

I think it's fairly telling that Models Inc managed to have three revamps/distinct time periods (!) during its only season. Chuck tends to be able to pull out some exciting moments, but long-term planning is not his forte. I remember watching his 2006 ABC pilot "Secrets of a Small Town" that was probably meant as a companion to Desperate Housewives. While it was actually quite good I could see him trying to explain his long-term goals with the show to ABC execs and that being the reason it was turned down.

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7. Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue)

 

I think I'm about to say something quite controversial, but I honestly never minded Shue's acting much, especially in the early seasons. Like I said previously, Billy was the new guy, through whose eyes we were meant to see the other inhabitants of the apartment building. But additionally, I always saw Billy as bringing some youthful energy to the show. I'm not sure if this was ever stated on the show, but I always imagined Billy as fresh out of college, living on his own for the first time, while most of the others had already been out of college for a few years at least. His outfits in S1 certainly reflected that, and even in his storylines he always seemed a bit naïve. I always loved his aspiration to write the next Great American Novel, which was clearly forgotten about in later seasons. He also felt like the Brandon Walsh in S1, who needed to learn a new moral every episode (I swear, both Brandon and Billy went out with a girl who turned out to have a young child in the first seasons of their shows, confronting them with their own feelings about becoming a parent one day). I frickin' loved Billy/Alison, as friends, as roommates, and of course as a couple. Having said that, I didn't hate Billy/Amanda, and I absolutely love the lasting friendship that came out of that pairing. 

I think Billy started changing somewhere in S2, losing some of his youthful energy, especially when he was brought into D&D. He started to wear suits all the time, and he never mentioned writing ever again. When Brooke was brought on in late S3 and started seeing Billy, I felt like she temporarily brought some of that youthfulness (sorry for overusing that word) back to him. I remember a scene between Billy/Brooke at the pier (I think it might be when they decided to get married), where we saw Billy in casual clothes again, which just made him seem less up-tight overall. However, once S4 started, I didn't like the Billy/Brooke pairing at all, to the point where it became downright pathetic the lengths she would go to to hold on to him. I skipped over Billy's relationshop with Susan in S3, which was OK, but mostly just NOT Billy/Alison. I think I may have liked Billy/Sam for a second in very early S5, but like Brooke and Susan, she was simply not Alison. That marriage grew tedious as hell, first with the storyline surrounding her father (which took way too long) and then the quadrangle with Billy/Sam/Jeff/Jennifer, which has to be the number 1 most boring storyline the show has had. All of the characters became unrecognizable, most of all Billy. Gone was the energetic Billy from earlier seasons. I'm not sure about the behind-the-scenes antics at this point, but it felt as if Shue had pretty much just checked out. I will be forever sad that Billy didn't dump Sam and Jennifer both and leave for Atlanta to win Alison back.

When I was watching one of the earlier seasons, I accidentally saw a photo of S6, that showed Billy with a brunette. I didn't see her well, because I looked away once I realized it was a S6 pic. It must have been Sam, though I didn't know her at the time. Although I tried to stay out of spoilers, I had a pretty good idea that much of the cast was leaving at some point, but I was also pretty certain that Shue would stick around longer than most. Therefore, much as I wanted Billy/Alison together, I knew there was a possiblity that Billy would need to move on from Alison at some point. For some reason, I thought the brunette could have been Jo (little did I know she'd be gone before Alison), and now I will forever be wondering what a Billy/Jo pairing would have been like. I loved Jake/Jo as much as I did Billy/Alison, but if Jake and Alison had both left and Jo had stayed I could have gotten on board with that pairing. It certainly seems like a more lively one than his marriages to Brooke and Sam. 

Speaking of missed opportunities, I wish more would have been made out of the character of Celeste. I know between Sydney, Jennifer, Jess, Meredith and Ryan we have had our share of Melrose siblings, but I can't help but wonder what their dynamic would have been like. I remember they brought back Billy's mother for his wedding to Sam, but she had turned into a bitter shrew, unwilling to accept Sam (although maybe she had a point on that one... wasn't she kind of still sold on Alison as Billy's partner?). I also would have liked to see more of the friendship between Billy and Matt.  

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On 2/2/2020 at 7:49 AM, Brolden said:

6. Matt Fielding (Doug Savant)
 I loved that there was no "big reveal" surrounding Matt's sexuality. It's possible that I missed something, but if I recall correctly, Matt made a comment in the pilot or second episode that could be taken several ways, but other than that, his sexuality was not yet made explicit. When it was (a few episodes into the series, I believe) it was just a casual thing. Which makes total sense, because these other characters had been living with him for some time and would have obviously known, even if the audience didn't.

 

Yup, it's casually "revealed" in the pilot episode when Billy moves in and Matt and Rhonda introduce themselves. After Billy exits, Matt says, "he's cute." And Rhonda says, "Nuh uh, I saw him first!"

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41 minutes ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

Yup, it's casually "revealed" in the pilot episode when Billy moves in and Matt and Rhonda introduce themselves. After Billy exits, Matt says, "he's cute." And Rhonda says, "Nuh uh, I saw him first!"

 

Plus, there was a pretty extensive promotional campaign leading up to the show where they made sure to mention that Matt's gay as a sign about how hip'n'happenin' the show was :lol:

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7 hours ago, Brolden said:

7. Billy Campbell (Andrew Shue)

 

 

I agree with a lot of what you said. I didn't mind Andrew Shue's limited acting in the first 3 seasons. Yeah, there were a couple clunkers, but it kind of went with Billy's then-naive nature. I see what you mean how his being new to the Melrose building allowed us to be introduced to the whole gang. 

 

[Side Note: I TOTALLY noticed the repeat storylines re: Dylan vs. Jake and Brandon vs. Billy] 

 

I haven't gone back through the beginnings of this Melrose thread (and Lordy knows I contributed A LOT to this thread!) but I found it funny how the first season established many characters as being just out of college. You are correct about Billy. Moving in with Alison was his first step into adulthood, moving out of his parents' house. Meanwhile, the pilot episode has Alison saying she's a 23-year-old young professional. Hard to imagine that 2.5 years later, with multiple missteps in her career plus a recent rehab stint along the way, she's suddenly President of D&D. But by the time they hit the third season, they leapfrogged everyone into middle & upper management. With that change, people like Billy were no longer naive and optimistic. Instead, he became one with the bitter and sardonic. 

 

For as much as Billy enjoyed a very brief return to being carefree when he proposed to Brooke on the pier, almost immediately after they got married he seemed like the most miserable person in the world. It's like the character had instant buyer's remorse after he said, "I Do." 

 

The one bad acting moment I recently saw that definitely took me out of the scene was when Billy accused Brooke of cheating on him with Antonio Sabato Jr.'s character. His "you're cheating on me?" remark seemed more like a smarmy joke than an actual accusation. 

 

Yes, Billy's mom carried a torch for Alison when he got married to Sam.  I wasn't a huge fan of the actress who played Billy's sister. Every time she said the phrase, "little brother," I cringed. 

 

As I'm halfway through S4 again now, my mind isn't fresh on the S5 & S6 messiness, but Billy & Sam was the worst pairing on this show ever. Ever.  In the 1st season, there was one single interaction between Jo and Billy in the episode when his father died. Maybe they were chemistry testing the characters, or it was just character development, or maybe they just needed to fill time. But yeah, that was their only scene alone together. 

 

I also enjoyed how Billy and Amanda maintained a friendship and always looked out for one another, even if for selfish reasons (usually on Amanda's part). 

 

Edited by Gray Bunny
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2 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

In the 1st season, there was one single interaction between Jo and Billy in the episode when his father died. Maybe they were chemistry testing the characters, or it was just character development, or maybe they just needed to fill time. But yeah, that was their only scene alone together. 

Are you sure about that? I remember at least one scene at the end of season 3 where Jo confronted Billy about his upcoming wedding to Brooke. I think she told him that she wouldn't attend the ceremony because of her loyalty to Alison.

 

Speaking of random characters interacting, how about the episode when Billy and Kimberly almost became roommates at the end of season 1? In the later seasons, Kimberly and Billy never interacted at all. Billy and Alison also never shared a story with Sydney. 

 

Regarding the characters being fresh out of college, I think Billy had a storyline in season 1 where he to pay back his student loan. 

 

Was it ever established that Jane, Matt or Rhonda went to college? Of course Matt later studied medicine. Jane was supposed to be the youngest resident of the apartment complex (even though Amy Locane was the youngest cast member).

 

How old was Sydney when she first appeared? She still went to school in season 1, meaning she should have been 18? 

 

I think I've posted this before but the characters were aged drastically between seasons 3 and 4. They suddenly acted as if they were in their late 30s and not mid 20s. Nobody was enjoying the L. A. nightlife. By season 7, everyone looked really old. 

 

ETA: I agree that Jake became useless after season 3 - which is sad because he could have been needed as a moral center in the later seasons, just like Alison. Those two characters could have worked on their own. 

 

With Billy, he was useless without Alison. I also think that Jane and Sydney needed each other as sisters and rivals. They didn't really work in their own separate story lines. Sydney's storylines in seasons 4 and 5 were a snooze fest.

Edited by Huntress
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Jo and Billy had a number of scenes together.

 

I would've had Kimberly have a fling with Jake during her S4 free spirit era living in the building. Grant Show had an underused smoldering intensity in his rare good stories post-S2.

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18 hours ago, Huntress said:

Are you sure about that? I remember at least one scene at the end of season 3 where Jo confronted Billy about his upcoming wedding to Brooke. I think she told him that she wouldn't attend the ceremony because of her loyalty to Alison.

 

 

I was just referring to Jo & Billy interaction in the FIRST season. 

 

@Huntress I *think* they establish Sydney is 21 years old when she first appears, visiting Jane in the first season. 

 

I was always under the impression, based on the first season, that Jane and Michael were slightly older than the rest, and by slightly older, I mean like 25-26. 

 

It's funny how in the first season, they showcased every day problems and focused on all the little nuances (well, in Alison and Billy's lives anyhow), yet so many fine details of every day life are completely glossed over once the plot goes into turbo-drive. 

 

For instance, we never saw Alison do any kind of adjusting to moving to Hong Kong. We never even saw where she lived, much less figure out how to get around in a country completely foreign to her. Instead, all we saw was her in her office and some occasional street shots in LA with her male co-worker. 

 

Also, in season 4, remember when Alison and Billy were flying in a private plane that crashed and went down? Oh that's right. It all happened offscreen. Instead, Brooke and Hayley get word the plane is missing, and the next scene is Billy and Alison enjoying a cozy fire in the wilderness as they casually await being rescued. Season 1 Alison would've been losing her mind with worry and wonder. 

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5 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

I was always under the impression, based on the first season, that Jane and Michael were slightly older than the rest, and by slightly older, I mean like 25-26. 

 

I always felt like nearly everyone was 2-3 years out of college (age, at least. Whether they actually attended is another matter), with the exception of Billy, who was completely fresh out of college. I could easily be wrong though.

 

5 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

Also, in season 4, remember when Alison and Billy were flying in a private plane that crashed and went down? Oh that's right. It all happened offscreen. Instead, Brooke and Hayley get word the plane is missing, and the next scene is Billy and Alison enjoying a cozy fire in the wilderness as they casually await being rescued. Season 1 Alison would've been losing her mind with worry and wonder.

 

Whoa, I have zero memory of this. 

More regular-by-regular takes are coming up, when I have a moment.  

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Enjoyed reading your thoughts @Brolden  you are making me want to give the show another rewatch

 

Jo and Billy had an interesting dynamic season 1, I remember she used to call him Bill all the time. Definitely would've been an interesting pairing

 

Darren Star said on the DVD's that they got rid of Sandy because it was annoying having to write a character in show business. I liked her once they killed the accent, the episode where she gets a stalker and the one where she got a part in a movie and forced to take her top off are two of my favorites from season 1. I'm in the group who always liked the young adult moral of the week 90210 format of that season. Like @te. pointed out once Darren leaves they lose that element of morality and realism and its when the show ventures too far into nonsense camp. Still watchable but not as interesting, especially with the cast departures happening soon after.

 

In theory this should have been a much easier show to keep going with cast shifting but the newer character were never developed well they just got launched into stupid stories to fill the void of the ones they were replacing. Sam, who is probably my least favorite character of all time was the last one to really get properly folded into the show dynamics but she sucked lol, just awful and such a blatant replacement for Jo.

 

Allison and Billy are also my favorite couple in the show and I still feel robbed we didn't see them end together. The episode where they first have sex is another all time favorite and the triangle dynamic with Amanda I think is one of the shows best.

 

Doug Savant and the show don't get enough credit for Matt being one of the first gay characters you saw prominently on a show. 

 

Aw man I LOVE Michael Mancini lol both the nice guy and sleaze ball he turned into. Jane is another favorite but they went too far into not wanting her to be written as a victim.

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8 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

@Huntress I *think* they establish Sydney is 21 years old when she first appears, visiting Jane in the first season.

 

IIRC, Sydney is supposed to be 19 when she first appears. She had just dropped out of college and they do establish that when Jane and Michael were dating, Sydney was "a kid", which probably means 13/14. Of course, in real life Laura was older than Josie.

 

I believe Jane is supposed to be a few years younger than Michael, though that might have changed with Jane appearing at their college reunion in season 7. The show was never good at keeping consistent backstories anyway - Jane watched her birth tape and talked about being an only child before Sydney appeared and Michael talked to Sydney about having a brother, until they realised they were losing Sydney and needed an insta-replacement and created Jennifer.

8 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

Also, in season 4, remember when Alison and Billy were flying in a private plane that crashed and went down? Oh that's right. It all happened offscreen. Instead, Brooke and Hayley get word the plane is missing, and the next scene is Billy and Alison enjoying a cozy fire in the wilderness as they casually await being rescued. Season 1 Alison would've been losing her mind with worry and wonder. 

 

Hey now - they spent all that money on the explosion so they probably couldn't afford showing an actual plane crash at that point :lol: But I'll defend the show on that one - I think they meant to show that Alison had evolved and wasn't the same mess as previous seasons.

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23 hours ago, Gray Bunny said:

I was just referring to Jo & Billy interaction in the FIRST season. 

 Oh, okay ;) IIRC, Billy tried to make the moves on Jo in her first or second episode when he helped her moving in. She was acting all mysterious and Billy thought she was hiding something.

 

Speaking of mysteries, I always wonder why at the beginning of the show only 5 of the 8 apartments were occupied. I mean, we saw some random couple checking their mailbox in the pilot episode (?) and there were also bicycles standing in front of apartment 7/8, but none of the other characters ever mentioned other residents living at Melrose Place. Plus, these "ghost" neighbors were clearly not invited to any pool party (or to any party that seemed to happen for every little occasion during early season 1). When Jo moved in, Rhonda was happy to move to apartment 4 in an instant, meaning that that apartment was definitely empty.

 

Even in the later seasons, some of the apartments were vacant. Especially apartment 8 which was unused for most of the show's run.

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2 hours ago, Huntress said:

Speaking of mysteries, I always wonder why at the beginning of the show only 5 of the 8 apartments were occupied. I mean, we saw some random couple checking their mailbox in the pilot episode (?) and there were also bicycles standing in front of apartment 7/8, but none of the other characters ever mentioned other residents living at Melrose Place. Plus, these "ghost" neighbors were clearly not invited to any pool party (or to any party that seemed to happen for every little occasion during early season 1). When Jo moved in, Rhonda was happy to move to apartment 4 in an instant, meaning that that apartment was definitely empty.

 

Even in the later seasons, some of the apartments were vacant. Especially apartment 8 which was unused for most of the show's run.

 

Haha yes, the random people in the first 1 or 2 episodes. In some of the early episodes when they show establishing shots of Melrose, you see some random stranger slowly about to make their way down the steps of Rhonda's studio (Amanda's eventual apartment). I say slowly because the shot is clearly in super slow-motion. 

 

The apartment complex building itself is a mystery. If you look at the layout, Matt's apartment simply could not exist unless it was a tiny studio. Alison's apartment/bedroom completely overlap his apartment.  Meanwhile, in the first season, the luxurious steps up to one apartment (Amanda's eventually) went to Rhonda's studio. Funny that the single studio apartment would get the fancy entrance way. 

 

If you were to do a layout of Melrose, I'm sure some placements of windows wouldn't work either (i.e. Jake's bedroom next to Jane/Michael's bedroom, etc.).  I am putting way too much thought into this [!@#$%^&*]  lol 

 

Edited by Gray Bunny
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27 minutes ago, Gray Bunny said:

If you were to do a layout of Melrose, I'm sure some placements of windows wouldn't work either (i.e. Jake's bedroom next to Jane/Michael's bedroom, etc.).  I am putting way too much thought into this [!@#$%^&*]  lol 

 

 

The issue of course was that they really only had three apartment sets - one for the one bedroom ones (Apartments #1, #2, #5, #7, #8), one for the two bedroom apartments (#6, #3) and of course one for the studio that magically expanded and became Amanda's apartment (#4). Like Southfork, it's pretty pointless in trying to figure out how the actual layout was possible because of the simple fact that it wasn't.

 

I guess originally they figured that there were other people living there that just didn't hang out with "the gang", but I guess it just became too bisarre that this close-knit group wouldn't interact with the other neighbours at all so they were just mysteriously vacant (how that's even possible in central Los Angeles - though I guess after Kimberly bombing the place people might be a bit more weary of moving in!).

Edited by te.
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