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I think S6 is largely unwatchable. The holdover Summer of Love episodes are the only thing that save it. I think S7, despite some flaws, is vastly superior and much stronger than 90210 at the time. MP should not have ended then.

 

The summer eps and S7 also made me an unlikely fan of the Jane/Michael reunion. I know some don't like it but I thought the refreshed Jane was a much stronger character who kept Michael in his place while still able to have fun with him - nobody was more surprised than me. The writing was there. I was pretty upset when they ended for good, though I liked Kyle/Jane and loved Michael/Lexi.

Edited by Vee

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20 minutes ago, Vee said:

I think S6 is largely unwatchable. The holdover Summer of Love episodes are the only thing that save it. I think S7, despite some flaws, is vastly superior and much stronger than 90210 at the time. MP should not have ended then.

 

The summer eps and S7 also made me an unlikely fan of the Jane/Michael reunion. I know some don't like it but I thought the refreshed Jane was a much stronger character who kept Michael in his place while still able to have fun with him - nobody was more surprised than me. The writing was there. I was pretty upset when they ended for good, though I liked Kyle/Jane and loved Michael/Lexi.

Fair enough. Maybe my memories have failed me, I admit it is a bit of a blur and I was only in and out of the show after season 4. 

 

Thanks for the response though. I will definitely put Season 7 back on the list and see how it goes.

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Season 7 was a more successful attempt at fixing the show than season 5 was..imho.  Season 7 had a smaller cast, plus more interaction between all the characters like in the earlier seasons.   Season 4-6 had too many story bubbles and not enough interaction between the cast.  Was it perfect?  No, but it was loads better than the previous season.. closer to season 3 quality than season 2 quality (season 2 was the peak with a perfect balance between soap and character study).

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2 hours ago, Soaplovers said:

Season 7 was a more successful attempt at fixing the show than season 5 was..imho.  Season 7 had a smaller cast, plus more interaction between all the characters like in the earlier seasons.   Season 4-6 had too many story bubbles and not enough interaction between the cast.  Was it perfect?  No, but it was loads better than the previous season.. closer to season 3 quality than season 2 quality (season 2 was the peak with a perfect balance between soap and character study).

 

Exactly and the key word is INTERACTION. In seasons 4-6 everyone became weirdly islanded and wouldn't interact outside their storylines. In season 7 everyone felt intertwined. No, it wasn't perfect but at the same time it was a major improvement (similar to Dynasty's season 9) and the show felt engaging again. It shouldn't have ended over 90210 which was trash at the time.

 

Damn you Tori!!!!!

Edited by te.

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9. Jo _____ Reynolds (Daphne Zuniga)

I have a confession to make: There are two reasons why I originally started watching MP. The first is that I'd been watching Beverly Hills, 90210 up to the point where it spun off, and I figured I'd check out what Kelly, Steve, David, Donna, and Jake would be up to in the spin-off. The second (although really the first) reason was that I love One Tree Hill, and I'd really enjoyed Daphne Zuniga on that show to the point where I wanted to check out her other major televsion role.

 

You know, the popular story is that Heather Locklear saved this show. I wouldn't even say that's totally incorrect (more on that in the next post). But like some of you have argued, it was really multiple things coming together that saved this show. Certainly, Marcia Cross and Laura Leighton did their parts. But I would argue that it all started with the arrival of Daphne's Jo halfway through Season 1. She was just such a breath of fresh air. I absolutely loved her layered perfomance of Jo as the tough chick with a heart of gold and a ton of insecureties. And, like many others and as I have mentioned previously, I absolutely loved Jake & Jo. I always felt that they both really brought something unique to that relationship and they really complemented each other well. 

 

Unfortunately, the same can not be said for her other love interests. As a matter of fact, Jo is the third female regular (following Jane and Alison) that, in my opinion, really suffered from being put with terrible male love interests. First, there was her husband Charles "Brett Cooper" Reynolds. Obviously, he represented her past and was specifically meant to be a terrible love interest. One thing that bothers me to no end, however, is that Jo went by "Reynolds" for the rest of the series. We never even learned her maiden name. With Jane, I can still sort of imagine that she'd keep Michael's name, as she had used it to make a name for herself in the fashion world. But why on earth would Jo keep going by the name Reynolds? I believe Jo dated Parker for a bit in S2, but I don't think that pairing was any less terrible than the Parker/Alison one. Reid turned into a psycho real fast. Jess was probably even worse. Or maybe Richard was the worst? I didn't fully hate Dominick, but I absolutely didn't like him, or their pairing, either. 

One thing that I did appreciate is the time in between Reid and Jess, when Jo was on her own and dealing with the pregnancy and the baby. The rivalry with Kimberly was amazing, and when Jo finally decided to give up the baby, it was quite heartbreaking. I also really love the way Jake was there for her as a friend during that time. Another thing I found fascinating was the gun. Storylines like those are always a bit jarring for me as a non-American, but it's really interesting how they seemed to be addressing the polarizing gun issue (with some of our favorite apartment inhabitants being really against Jo's owning a gun, but Jo really relying on it), which seems ahead-of-its-time. I believe DZ has been outspoken in favor of gun control on social media in recent years, so I wonder how she looks back on those stories. 

Someone remind me: did we ever meet Jo's father. I remember he was involved in some capacity when Charles followed her to L.A., but I think it was just in the shape of phone calls, without us actually seeing him? I would have loved to have seen him brought in later on. The scenes where Jo spoke about her mother's death were always quite touching to me. As I said in the previous post, I was completely unprepared for Jo to be gone after season 4. Since she was one of the later additions, I had expected her to stick around a bit longer. Even when she left for Bosnia with Dominick at the end of S4, I fully expected her to back in S5. It was while the opening credits to S5 were rolling that I realized I'd seen the last of her. It's a shame she was on the show for such a short time. I also think it's a shame that she wasn't mentioned much after she left (at least as far as I remember).   

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It.... wasn't a short time, it was most of the show's run. She was there for the majority of four out of seven seasons.

Edited by Vee

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OK, so maybe not a "short" time in absolute terms, but in relative terms. She came in later than the others and left before anyone else did.

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17 hours ago, te. said:

 

Exactly and the key word is INTERACTION. In seasons 4-6 everyone became weirdly islanded and wouldn't interact outside their storylines. In season 7 everyone felt intertwined. No, it wasn't perfect but at the same time it was a major improvement (similar to Dynasty's season 9) and the show felt engaging again. It shouldn't have ended over 90210 which was trash at the time.

 

Damn you Tori!!!!!

 

That had nothing to do with Tori ... 90210 still had better ratings in its 9th season than Melrose had in its 7th season, so it's no surprise that FOX canceled Melrose over 90210. 90210 was ranked #75 in the 1998-1999 television season while Melrose was at #95 – almost as low as the highest-rated WB show (which was 7th Heaven). Together with Millenium, which was also canceled in May 1999, Melrose was the lowest-rated drama on FOX at that time.

 

Besides, another reason for Melrose's cancellation were the high salaries of several cast members, especially Heather Locklear's. Wasn't she one of the highest-paid television actors at that time? I doubt that any of the 90210 cast members made as much money as Heather did. Jack Wagner probably didn't come cheap, either, and he and Heather were the show's flagships.

 

I'm pretty sure they didn't trim the cast at the end of season 6 for creative reasons only... budget cuts were also an issue. However, they definitely sacked the right people.

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10. Amanda Woodward Parezi Burns McBride Blake McBride Burns (Heather Locklear)

 

Long before I started watching Melrose Place, I had heard of Amanda Woodward. She is one of those characters that truly became a bigger pop culture phenomenon than the show she hailed from. And while I have already argued that to say that Amanda/Heather single-handedly saved the show is a bit of an oversimplification, there is definitely no denying that she played a huge part in it. In many ways, this show turned into Amanda's show, with the other characters just living in it. I have to say that made me resent the character a little bit before she was ever even introduced. I had gotten into a show about 8 twenty-somethings, none of whom was named Amanda, while the rest of the world seemed to think of Melrose Place as synonymous with Amanda Woodward. I was fully intent on not liking her... But then she was introduced. And I was sold. I can't remember precisely, but I think I was sold pretty immediately. 

I loved Amanda as a foil in the Billy/Alison romance I liked so much. Certainly a much better adversary than Keith. Much as I loved Billy/Alison, I liked how Billy seemed like a fish out of water opposite Amanda. I loved her career-mindedness. I vividly remember when she was pregnant and didn't want people to know because she's be treated differently at work (side note, but I would have loved for SOMEONE to remember Amanda's S1 pregnancy when she got pregnant and AGAIN lost the baby in S7). Amanda and Jake were OK together, and worked as part of the Amanda/Jake/Jo triangle in S2. And then Peter was introduced. I remember feeling like Amanda had met her match. Both Billy and Jake had seemed out of their league with Amanda, but here was a guy that could keep up with her. I will go into the mid-S3 twist involving Jasmine Guy in the upcoming Peter post, and I know that many of you loved it, but suffice it to say here, that it feels to me (both at the time and in hindsight) like a storyline written during a writer's strike, that just seemed completely out of place with the rest of that season. I actually pretend it never happened (that's the only way I can buy Peter's return and Peter/Amanda's reunion). I was never a big fan of the brief Michael/Amanda romance.

Upon Peter's return, Peter/Amanda quickly joined Billy/Alison and Jake/Jo as my favorite couples on the show. The Jack Parezi reveal was interesting (and although I'm not a fan of his politcal views, Antonio Sabato, Jr. was perfect in the role), but Bobby became real boring real fast. I was never a fan of Taylor, but the mystery regarding her "history" with Peter was entertaining. It's a shame she caused the couple to break off. But then there was Kyle. And something unexpected happened. So often, I, like many of you, am dead-set on a certain couple, and won't accept anyone else. I think it's an attribute to a show when they can sell a character from a popular pairing in a different pairing. Much as I loved Peter/Amanda, I grew to love Kyle/Amanda almost equally. Part of it was that it was built slowly, while the two characters were sidelined by the much more prominent developments between Peter and Taylor. By S7, when they had Kyle/Amanda together, but were heavily teasing Peter/Amanda, I was wondering what it had been like for fans at the time. Were they divided into "team Peter" and "team Kyle". I'm actually surprised to find little love for Kyle/Amanda so far. In the end, I think I was always still hoping for Peter/Amanda to end up together. I think Amanda always needed someone who could keep up with her a bit more, and Kyle needed someone who he could settle down with. But the disintegration of that marriage was surprisingly touching. 

One thing I regret is that the show didn't explore Amanda's family further. I didn't care for Palmer much, but there's no way I believed him to be actually dead without a body. I loved Linda Gray as Hillary, and was hoping to see her again after Models, Inc. had crashed and burned. It's interesting that David was mentioned, but never seen on MP. They could have either brought Brian Gaskill on MP, or even recast, since the character was still a bit of a blank slate. I get why they didn't focus on her family more, because Amanda was always so independent, but I still would have liked it. The other thing I regret is that her company, which was the result of her careermindedness, completely sank at the end of S7. I can't imagine Amanda not running her company. And to have that happen at the hands of Lexi, who was never actually seen doing any advertising, was an insult.  

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On 2/14/2020 at 8:25 PM, will81 said:

Out of curiosity, and I know it doesn't matter all that much, but how does everyone view the held over episodes from season 6 that were officially made part of season 7. Do you see those now as season 6 episodes or still view them as season 7? Because I have to say when you remove them from season 7 it makes that

 

I definitely consider those last 6 episodes a part of the 6th season. 

 

The first real episode of season 7 is an immediate reset of the show. I remember that's what their plan was. They knew they had veered off course and wanted to get back to the basics like how it started - with 9 main characters interacting with one another. 

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1 hour ago, Gray Bunny said:

 

I definitely consider those last 6 episodes a part of the 6th season. 

 

The first real episode of season 7 is an immediate reset of the show. I remember that's what their plan was. They knew they had veered off course and wanted to get back to the basics like how it started - with 9 main characters interacting with one another. 

Thanks, yeah I will definitely keep going to the end. I think the fact that there were barely any characters left from season one besides Michael and Amanda made me too harsh on season seven. I also had well and truly given up on the show by then.

 

ETA I forgot Jane also returns

Edited by will81

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On 2/16/2020 at 8:21 AM, Huntress said:

 

Besides, another reason for Melrose's cancellation were the high salaries of several cast members, especially Heather Locklear's. Wasn't she one of the highest-paid television actors at that time? I doubt that any of the 90210 cast members made as much money as Heather did. Jack Wagner probably didn't come cheap, either, and he and Heather were the show's flagships.

 

 

I think I remember reading a quote in Digest around the time of Melrose's cancellation from a Fox exec saying they could pay for producing 7 pilots with Locklear's salary alone. 

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On 2/19/2020 at 9:47 PM, Gray Bunny said:

 

I think I remember reading a quote in Digest around the time of Melrose's cancellation from a Fox exec saying they could pay for producing 7 pilots with Locklear's salary alone. 

 

Which was never true, at least episodic salaries. She got in the £100k range per episode (which was huge back then and still is today of course), but at the same time nowhere near producing a pilot. With that said, since Melrose pulling out 32-34 episodes per season that was still 3-4 million per season to Heather alone.

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