In that first year or so they did play up some of what you are talking about with Marj, like when she would play basketball with Buzzj. This then faded entirely.
I thought there was enough history between Alex and Mindy - played up even more in the months before the affair reveal - to make Alex's anger understandable. The problem came when this moved from Roger to Nick. Both women became defined by Nick, and lost any personality or purpose outside of him. Beverlee played the Nick obsession in a visceral, ugly way, raw pain and rage and sickness - likely due to her dislike of the material. Marj just camped it up and felt very hollow. I can't judge her as much I would have at the time because I had forgotten just how awful the writing was even before Beverlee left and I also did not know at the time that Marj's son had just died...but she still feels miscast to me, and I think that was always going to be the case. I resent that Alex was brought back solely to keep the Mindy/Nick "love" going, which by that point no one gave a tinker's damn about. The character should have stayed away until a more capable regime came in.
I feel like it's the Devil's manipulation but he does love Marlena so Idk? Maybe he's just horny. I have a hard time believing even PriestJohn would stop wanting to have sex. But it started with Devil as Kristen seducing him then moved to DevilMarlena seducing so I think there is something behind that.
The idea of bringing back Wayne was much better than the execution of it all.
I would say the bottom dropped out when they brought JT's Roman back. It was okay when the Sami/Austin/Carrie stuff was revealed a bit later but that was the beginning of the end.
I still think the early Kristen/Susan stuff was good.
Wendy is starting to actually revert back to the Wendy I didn't like last year. She and Candaice tend to go into the gutter when it isn't even necessary.
And I cannot wait for Mia to pelt Candaice with lettuce next week. She deserves it with that mouth. She just further confirms why Monique snatched her a** up last year.