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All: Pre-determined pairings that worked


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In 2003 ABC mounted a massive campaign telling GH viewers that Kelly Monaco's new character, Sam, and Ingo Rademacher's Jax were going to be a supercouple...before Kelly Monaco had even started airing. This campaign was met with significant resistance from viewers who did not appreciate TPTB dictating to them that Jax and Sam were the next big thing. In the end the Jax/Sam pairing did not last very long.

It seems as if most really popular soap couples are not the product of Actor X being brought on as a love interest for Actress Y. In fact hearing that so-and-so1 has been cast as a love interest for so-and-so2 seems to create immediate resistance to the pairing, claims that there is "no chemistry" between the actors, and an accelerated end to the pairing. Rather, it seems that most really successful soap pairings (although maybe this is just a perception) come to be more by accident when sparks fly unexpectedly between actors not intended to be paired together (e.g. AMC's Edmund/Maria [Eva was brought on to be paired with James Kiberd's Trevor])

So what are some instances where an actor/actress was explicitly brought on as a love interest for someone and that pairing really took off?

Do such pre-determined pairings fail more often than not, or is that just perception?

And, if it is real, is it that viewers like to make pairings themselves and resist being told by TPTB what the pairing will be, or are the casting directors so out-of-touch that they constantly see chemistry between actors in the audition phase that is not seen by the viewers on their screens?

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Like all pairings I think it depends on the chemistry and writing. I like Patrick and Robin on GH and I'm pretty sure the main reason Patrick was brought on was to be her love interest. I also liked Bianca and Lena and I'm sure that pairing was predetermined. Although in the case of both couples I don't recall any obnoxious campaign declaring them supercouples before hand.

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One obvious example has to be Luke & Noah on As the World Turns. Jake Silbermann was cast for the purpose of being a love interest for Luke, and even though the couple isn't exactly a favorite here on this board, no-one can deny that Nuke is one of the most popular couples on ATWT in recent years, maybe even on all soaps.

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Viewers like to think they "discover" couples on their own. However, if a HW really knows what he/she is doing, they can spot chemistry between two characters, and then write up to the qualities they believe the couple bring out in each other to make it seem like pairing them has been inevitable to the point of being obvious. Does that make sense, lol?

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Viewers like to think they "discover" couples on their own. However, if a HW really knows what he/she is doing, they can spot chemistry between two characters, and then write up to the qualities they believe the couple bring out in each other to make it seem like pairing them has been inevitable to the point of being obvious. Does that make sense, lol?

Yes, it makes sense, but I do think that you can tell when a story is pre-sold and when it isn't. At least in more recent soap years. I have to admit there are a few where I was very surprised to hear it wasn't planned from the start, like Viki/Clint OLTL and Holden/Lily ATWT.

Prefab soap couples I thought worked:

Cord and Tina OLTL

Cassie and Richard GL

Caroline and Ridge B&B

Max and Gabrielle OLTL

Up to the dreadful Lainie, I also thought that all of Bo's pairings on OLTL worked, although Cassie was a stretch.

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OLTL

Jared & Natalie worked. Sigh. :( Pretty sure it was pre-determined that he would pose as a Buchanan while he fell in love with one.

And Clint was introduced by Joe Riley with Joe's intent of Clint replacing him in Viki's life personally and professionally. I would say Clint & Viki worked. ;)

DAYS

Steve & Kayla...even though Kayla was a character that had been on the show before, it was when MBE started that they had Steve watching Kayla.

AMC

Greg & Jenny

Jesse & Angie

GH

This is a bit different but Anna was brought on as Robert's ex-wife and their previous romance was shown with newly created flashbacks. Though they didn't get together again until years later, I think they worked when they did.

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Y&R

Neil/Drucilla

Ryan/Victoria

Nathan/Olivia

John/Jill

Rex/Katherine

Brad/Traci

Jack/Diane

Billy/Mackenzie

Nick/Sharon

B&B

Thorne/Macy

AMC

Reggie/Danielle

Jesse/Angie

Phoebe/Langley

Greg/Jenny

PC

Jamal/Alison

Jack/Livvie

ATWT

Isaac/Bonnie

Holden/Lily

Jack/Carly

Paul/Rose

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DAYS

Roman & Marlena – Deidre Hall said in a 1983 Tv Guide interview that she was uncertain about whether Marlena would really fall in love with Roman due to the way he treated her sometimes. She even voiced her concerns to the writers. Deidre also remembered that she thought her and Wayne Northrop did not have any chemistry during their screen test, but then exec. producer, Al Rabin saw the spark and said the characters should be paired together. She felt the chemistry within the first week of working with Wayne. He made her laugh a lot and was responsible for an ongoing back and forth practical joke war on the set and in others parts of the studio. The ratings went up to a 6.8 during the week of Roman and Marlena's wedding, which was the highest that DAYS had back then in recent years.

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