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On 8/27/2021 at 4:23 PM, DemetriKane said:

Guys you don't have to play the storyline the same way McTavish wrote it. That's the beauty in using Legacy characters, it SHOULD force you to write from character and with more care to not ruin them. I believe if taking more time to build towards the story and setting the stage, Amanda questioning/struggling with if she's just like her mother, pitting Bianca/Amanda as rivals this could have worked and gave them years a story.

I would have made Amanda jealous/resentful of Binks life and relationship with her mother from the jump. I would have killed little A, after witnessing her baby takes his last breathe, Amanda hides the truth out of desperation or she actually does lose it a bit and becomes Drawn to Miranda. Janet comes in later, finds out the truth and is conflicted about exposing her own daughter. You can show Janet's growth by her being the whistle blower and that causes more friction for she and Amanda. It's many ways this could have been done. 

I guess for all intensive purposes, I more or less liked the way the Babyswitch storyline worked, at least from the beginning. It's not a badly written story from the onset. The problem to me mostly stems from the fact that the storyline went on way too long, and the writers lost focus because they wanted to tell 12 different stories inside of the Babyswitch one.

They basically held the baby switch storyline hostage to keep viewers, and flooded the show with their other pet projects because the rest of the show wasn't great. I also think a lot of it was networking interference and a desperate attempt to keep ratings high. They saw a way to hook audiences in for a year and just kept going, even if it damaged the characters and the show. You could tell that the storyline went on too long, because the story had natural exit points to end, but the executives kept extending it. David becoming Babe's father, Tad (a Private Investigator) finding out about the secret but not telling, Babe finally choosing to tell the truth in September, but getting lost and going on a drive to Llanview, and Brooke keeping the secret for Jaime are all examples of the story being stretched out longer than it needed to be, and forcibly being derailed for little value other than to fatten the ratings.

The story was naturally set to wrap by the end of summer, but the ratings were good so they extended the story to the end of the year. I also get the sense that somewhere along the line they realized Alexa's strength as an actress, and you could basically hear the production team barreling down the hallways telling the writers to change course, because Alexa was continuously turning the dreck they gave her into utter gold. However, by that point it was too late. You could see Megan initially scoped the Carey's as expendable, and then somewhere around the summer of 2004 they had to be salvaged. They wanted to have their cake and eat it to, which further frustrated audiences.   

The way the quoted story progresses, Amanda is pretty much unlikable from the onset, which I don't think would be viable for trying to launch a heroine, and she is further isolated from other cast members as the main antagonist of the story. When you reflect upon the babyswitch story the foundation was pretty quick -- the preparation for the baby switch only lasted 4 months. I doubt the writers would want to fail launching a legacy character by putting her against a fan favorite one as mega popular as Bianca, especially without context. It would be better for Janet to be the bad guy, and then have Amanda struggle with it all similar to what they did with Krystal and Babe.  

I would say all of this is a practice in understanding the character motivations of your material, but I also think the show was a bit confused about how they wanted these characters to be perceived. I definitely think Babe was supposed to be written out in the summer or fall of 2004, initially. There were multiple ways that could have happened. Somewhere along the way they wanted her to be less of a schemer and more of a heroine, they just botched it horribly.   

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 I agree with a lot of what you said. If Alexia was cast as Amanda she still could have accomplished all that though. and Jamie is still a lame duck in my eyes.

In hindsight we can say Jaime was a dud, but I don't think that was the case in 2003. Jaime and JR were huge deals for the future of the Martin's and Chandlers, and as such they needed to be transitioned from teenage kids, to fully realized adults. If nothing else the Babe/Babyswitch storylines did that. It's a shame that the writers couldn't figure out what to do with him, after those storylines but I think they ultimately succeeded with Babe, where they failed with both Joni and Laurie for JR and Jaime earlier.

Edited by Skin
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@Skin In the show's defense, I believe they wanted to make the baby switch an umbrella for the rest of the canvas. Which was a great idea, those make the best storylines imo. Megan was the wrong person for the job! I love long stories on soaps, why else do the switch if i can't feel the repercussions 3 years later. I wouldn't say it was great, but a captivating story for sure. I was hooked! Me and a good friend would discuss it every morning on our way to school. 

I can certainty sympathise with the writers dilemma about what to do regarding Babe. I adored Alexa so much, i get it! Babe also learned the truth too soon for me. I could get behind Babe leaving in 2004, especially if it meant Amanda took her spot in the next storylines.

As for Jamie, he worked for that story only. He wasn't meant to be just another boring Martin, Brooke and Tad's son deserved more of a edge. I wanted Jamie to be of a troublemaker and force Tad to grow up himself.

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1 hour ago, j swift said:

Someone wants $920.99 for this and they still won't pay for shipping?

Please register in order to view this content


Ridiculous. It’s been at my local library for years and even Susan Lucci’s inscribed copy sold at auction with two other acting books for a hundred bucks.

Reminds me of how glad I am that I never bought one of those crazy expensive copies of Eight Years in Another World. It eventually made it to Kindle complete with a 2011 epilogue from Lemay.

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12 hours ago, DemetriKane said:

I can certainty sympathise with the writers dilemma about what to do regarding Babe. I adored Alexa so much, i get it! Babe also learned the truth too soon for me.

I agree. The story fell apart as soon as Babe found out, what, a month into it? It didn't track, we barely knew her, had no reason to like her and she had almost no time to bond with the baby. It just made her look like a monster.

I don't think the story lasted too long, I think it didn't last long enough. The problem was that it was on every single day. Nothing else was happening except people hiding this secret or finding out this secret. So as soon as Bianca found out the bottom fell out because they hadn't given us any other reason to tune in. 

Was the story really meant to be over by the end of summer 2004? Miranda and AJ were born in March, what's the point of a 3-4 month baby switch?

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3 hours ago, Darn said:

I agree. The story fell apart as soon as Babe found out, what, a month into it? It didn't track, we barely knew her, had no reason to like her and she had almost no time to bond with the baby. It just made her look like a monster.

She found out at the end of May. Krystal found out the month prior in mid April and stopped Tad from finding out the truth, he would later find out at the end of the summer/early fall and do nothing.

The problem to your point was aggravated by the fact that Babe was hospitalized most of March and had amnesia and wasn't able to bond with 'Bess' initially because she thought she had a son. I agree that Babe found out too early, but I also think that was in part due to the fact that I don't think the switch was supposed to be as long as it was. Pretty much during the same time period Babe, David, Brooke and Tad all had moments in the story where they were about to reveal the truth and then they didn't and the story just died until sweeps period. 

That's my personal speculation though, nothing concrete but when I put it all together that's what I get. There were a ton of avenues to stop the switch introduced in the summer and early fall that eventually were false exits, but much of the baby switch story after September doesn't make much sense and is mostly just padding the show until we get to November, which was when things started happening again with the engine of the story being kick started for the end. For pretty much two months though, nothing of note happened which makes me think the writing room didn't know what to do with the story and executive meddling made them keep a holding pattern until the holidays for better ratings during sweeps and the Christmas holiday. 

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I don't think the story lasted too long, I think it didn't last long enough...Was the story really meant to be over by the end of summer 2004? Miranda and AJ were born in March, what's the point of a 3-4 month baby switch?

This is the first time I've heard a fan say that the baby switch didn't last long enough. It went on from March to December of 2004. It lasted almost a year. Most baby switches with Days, ATWT and even AMC's own baby switch back in 1997 lasted 3-6 months at best. Not 9 months. Although I disagree with you on the timing, I do agree that in 2004 nothing else of interest was worth watching outside of the baby switch. 

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@DemetriKane...I could get behind Babe leaving in 2004, especially if it meant Amanda took her spot in the next storylines.

My thoughts here are once Alexa proved that she could handle the material and worked as front burner to keep the trains on time they wanted to use her as a back up lead if Minshew, Budig or Reigel ever left. This would later prove effective planning when both Reigel and Budig left in 2005, and Babe essentially became apart of the Fusion squad. 

The show seemed to recognize that it needed 3 actresses front burner to steer the ship, and they seemed to balance the show on 6 front burner leads for actors and actresses. Ryan, Zach and JR were the lead actors during that same period which complimented the three lead actresses on the show more or less.

Chrishell's Amanda was never lead material. She was at best a romantic supporting actress who could support a second-tier leading man, which is eventually what she became with Jake/Ricky Paul Golden. They tried to pair her with Jonathan and Jaime and both pairings failed to catch the audiences eye.   

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As for Jamie, he worked for that story only. He wasn't meant to be just another boring Martin, Brooke and Tad's son deserved more of a edge. I wanted Jamie to be of a troublemaker and force Tad to grow up himself.

They just never got Jaime's character right, after Babe they tried to transition him to Amanda, but I think they realized Chrishell/Amanda wasn't hacking it and making an impact the way they wanted to. Then they paired him with Julia, which was another misfire. I don't blame Justin for wanting to leave the show. In his last months, they basically just had him shirtless in whatever location they could put him in. 

Edited by Skin
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22 hours ago, DemetriKane said:

@Skin In the show's defense, I believe they wanted to make the baby switch an umbrella for the rest of the canvas. Which was a great idea, those make the best storylines imo. Megan was the wrong person for the job! I love long stories on soaps, why else do the switch if i can't feel the repercussions 3 years later. I wouldn't say it was great, but a captivating story for sure. I was hooked! Me and a good friend would discuss it every morning on our way to school. 

I can certainty sympathise with the writers dilemma about what to do regarding Babe. I adored Alexa so much, i get it! Babe also learned the truth too soon for me. I could get behind Babe leaving in 2004, especially if it meant Amanda took her spot in the next storylines.

As for Jamie, he worked for that story only. He wasn't meant to be just another boring Martin, Brooke and Tad's son deserved more of a edge. I wanted Jamie to be of a troublemaker and force Tad to grow up himself.

 

I was hoping the baby switch story would last a few years. Have Miranda be raised by the Chandlers and AJ by the Buchanans. From the audience POV, we see them grow up knowing that they are with the wrong families -- put the story completely on the backburner. Then, revist 5 years later when it's simmered long enough. Unfortunately, this type of long term story planning would require consistency and stability in the writer's room.

Edited by Jonathan
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51 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

 

I was hoping the baby switch story would last a few years. Have Miranda be raised by the Chandlers and AJ by the Buchanans. From the audience POV, we see them grow up knowing that they are with the wrong families -- put the story completely on the backburner. Then, revist 5 years later when it's simmered long enough. Unfortunately, this type of long term story planning would require consistency and stability in the writer's room.

Honestly I'd like a long-term soap to do a story like this but this wasn't the right one for that.
The audience loved Bianca way too much to accept that cruel situation long-term.

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On 8/31/2021 at 8:58 PM, j swift said:

Someone wants $920.99 for this and they still won't pay for shipping?

Please register in order to view this content

Not surprising. An on-line sale for Portrait of a Soap Star: The Emily McLaughlin Story had the book priced at over $700.00 (plus shipping) when I came across it.

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Maybe it's out of line but is there a common sense on who was the BEST Bianca? I was thinking about watching a few episodes for her and one of her storylines but I am want to know where I should land first!

By The way there was 2 Kendalls, Many Biancas but was there more than one Erica? I mean didn't Lucci Get Sick For over 40 years?

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5 hours ago, Joseph said:

Maybe it's out of line but is there a common sense on who was the BEST Bianca? I was thinking about watching a few episodes for her and one of her storylines but I am want to know where I should land first!

By The way there was 2 Kendalls, Many Biancas but was there more than one Erica? I mean didn't Lucci Get Sick For over 40 years?

I’d say the consensus on the “BEST” Bianca would be Eden Riegel.

To answer your question regarding Erica, I never remember hearing about any replacement actresses to Lucci.

If she got very sick, she must’ve soldiered through..... or perhaps the script was rewritten to accommodate her illness??

Of course, it’s entirely possible; I just have never read anything regarding that (nothing is mentioned in the 2 AMC books I own).

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