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Soap Couples and Their Sacrificial Lambs


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I need a little help here. I was in a discussion elsewhere about a current soap couple and a non-fan spouted the argument that the couple cannot stand on their own -- that they have to be propped by other characters or couples to sustain a story. I always find this argument kind of silly because of course no pairing, no matter how popular or fabulous, can have a story that is only about the two of them. Stories generally cannot be told about two characters in isolation. And also triangles by virtue of the construction necessitates that in the end, a couple will emerge and one leg of the triangle will lose. So I never really get the difference between "propping" and just telling a story. I mean if a serial killer comes to town and targets one of the heroines who of course then must be rescued by the hero, is she being propped or are they just telling a story?

Anyway, I have been thinking about this and came to the conclusion that probably every popular/successful character or pairing has left a few bodies buried in their wake. I haven't watched a lot of soaps faithfully, but I still hear about fan wars surrounding particular pairings and wanted to see if some of the posters here could tell me of any characters that were "sacrificed" for those couples.

I'll start (even though I'm one of those people that when I story ends, I pretty much forget about it so I'm not very good at my own question).

GL

Josh/Reva: Sonny. I think she went mad eventually so that Josh and Reva could reunite.

Phillip/Harley: Beth kind of was thrown under the bus and went a little crazy in her quest to win Phillip back and it got worse when Phillip chose Harley over her. She brought an abuser into her daughter's life and exposed her to very unsafe conditions and ultimately her child murdered the abuser. That's just one of many horrible things Beth did. At the time I didn't think it was propping Pharley, and it was just "drama" to give Beth a story. But ultimately it did damage her character IMO and Beth fans were outraged.

AMC

Zendall: Aiden is the one that comes to mind. I haven't watched AMC in years, but I recall friends of mine who do watch lamenting the destruction of Aiden's character to prop Zendall. Didn't he and Kendall sleep together while Zack and Greenlee were missing? Wasn't that the beginning of the end for the character?

Here are some other popular couples that you may love or hate. Can you think of any sacrificial lambs that were destroyed to "prop" them?

GH: Jason and Sam, Lucky and Liz, LuLu and Dante (all I can think of since I don't watch the show).

AMC: Tad and Dixie, Ryan and Greenlee, (Please add more if you think of them)

OLTL: Todd and Blair, Todd and Tea, Bo and Nora, Clint and Viki, Tina and Cord

Days: Sami and ???, John and Marlena, Bo and Hope.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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To me all couple's should be able to stand on their own. I think propping comes into it when a couple like Rylee that is utterly toxic has everyone in town singing their praises despite Ryan shoving prego Greenlee into a dresser and all the verbal and emotional abuse he heaped on Greenlee.

After that Jackson should have NEVER sung Ryan's praises to Greenlee, yet while what Aidan did was bad, Jack acted like Ryan was a saint in comparison *rme*

All couple's have character's that basically are fed to the wolves so to speak, even Luke and Laura, Scott was a casualty of that pairing, Lucas was a casualty of Sami & EJ and so on........

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GL

I don't think Sonni was ever supposed to be a good person who went crazy. She was damaged from very early on in her tenure on the show - she and Will Jeffries were plotting to kill Josh within a few months - and that was part of the story. The only time I think GL ever ruined anyone for Josh/Reva was Annie, but then, Cynthia Watros became much more popular as the psycho than she was as the heroine.

Beth was sacrificed for Phillip/Harley, yes.

ATWT - Damian was trashed, to varying degrees, about three or four times for Lily/Holden.

OLTL - Sky was completely and totally destroyed because the show realized how many had grown to despise Rex and Rex/Gigi.

OLTL - A bewildering hatchet job on Clint for the sake of Sloan/Viki, which, for various reasons, the show backed off of.

Alex Olanov went nuts for the sake of Cassie/Bo, although again, Alex became more popular this way.

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"Propping" to me means someone gets trashed to facillitate another story. Like most terms, it's become overused to the point of ridiculousness (and I admit, at times I've used it to extremes, everyone does). Now people simply use it when a character everyone knows is an also ran gets thrown into a triangle (like anyone with ATWT's Carly and Jack, although half the time it worked the opposite, Craig, Janet and Katie suddenly took on saint-like patience as Carjack yanked them all around with their angst. But then again, they deserved it. biggrin.png)

The most egregious case of true propping I've ever seen was the Annie/Josh/Reva triangle. Annie was introduced as a decent, if flawed, nurse. The minute Reva came back into town, Annie started goin' NUTS so "Bud" would dump her and go back to Reva.

I guess anytime there's a quick, nonsensical shift in someone's character, the P-word starts flying.

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GH: Jason and Sam, Lucky and Liz, LuLu and Dante (all I can think of since I don't watch the show).

The only ones on this list I can see being propped is Lucky and Liz, in that Lucky and Liz will always find ways to be back together and therefore by necessity anyone who shares story with them is just there to give them stuff to be apart about or talk about or whatever. I don't use the term propping myself, but if anyone on GH was ever propped it would have to be Emily and Nik, who managed to kill an army of interlopers in short order.

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"Propping" to me means someone gets trashed to facillitate another story. Like most terms, it's become overused to the point of ridiculousness (and I admit, at times I've used it to extremes, everyone does). Now people simply use it when a character everyone knows is an also ran gets thrown into a triangle (like anyone with ATWT's Carly and Jack, although half the time it worked the opposite, Craig, Janet and Katie suddenly took on saint-like patience as Carjack yanked them all around with their angst. But then again, they deserved it. biggrin.png)

The most egregious case of true propping I've ever seen was the Annie/Josh/Reva triangle. Annie was introduced as a decent, if flawed, nurse. The minute Reva came back into town, Annie started goin' NUTS so "Bud" would dump her and go back to Reva.

I guess anytime there's a quick, nonsensical shift in someone's character, the P-word starts flying.

I don't think that Annie went nuts as soon as Reva got into town. Remember McTrash wrote the return as Josh being angry with her and blaming her for being missing from he and the kids lives. This led of course to the godawful Reva marrying Bud to let Josh and Annie be together and to not break up Marah's family (who could ever forget Reva begging that little troll Buzz for sex.) That went until near the end of McTrash's tenure (though we did get a few glimpses that all was not well with Annie in that she had a secret marriage to Rick which broke up cause she was an alchey...) that Jeva started to get together driving Annie nuts. The original premise is that "Always" drove Annie nuts, and she was just one more victim of Josh and Reva's selfish little power plays) Even at Annie at her nuttiest with the trial we could see that Annie was basically a good person who went nuts. It wasnt until a year or so later, when GL went full fledged into cartoon-ville that it was revealed during the Alan wedding that Annie was always bad, she changed Blakes test results ( a bad rewrite as Annie wasnt nuts then) and was a drug dealer who let her boyfriend take the fall and go to prison) and it was really to prop Reva so she was the all perfect and good heroine.

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On DAYS in 1999, Nurse Ali McIntire propped Carrie & Mike as they got closer. Ali was originally very sweet and innocent, and wouldn't dare scheme with the likes of Craig or Nancy to get what she wanted. But that all changed when they recasted, Ali and Mike went on one date, and suddenly she was obsessed with the man, and obsessed with Carrie for "stealing" him. Not that she was a long-term character to begin with, but she originally started as a good girl.

On GL, they really did trash Beth Raines in order for her to fit as the 3rd party of any triangle. After giving up on Phillip, she suddenly started having the hots for Matt and was harping on Vanessa for being old.

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I think the big shift with Annie was after the detox at Cross Creek, when they were testing her with Phillip. That was around the time McTavish was done. Then they had Annie poking the condom and that was when she really went nuts.

Ben was turned into a serial killer to prop Shayne/Marina.

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Zach and Kendall have had their share of body bags. Ethan, Josh(not that I minded this), Aiden.

On Days, Lucas was ultimately written off because they were pushing Sami and EJ and now that went no where

Lucky and Liz while I didn't like Nikolas, he's gone because of them as is Siobhan who really didn't have much relevance.

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Zach and Kendall have had their share of body bags. Ethan, Josh(not that I minded this), Aiden.

I don't think Josh was about Zach and Kendall, I think that was done just to prove what a stud Zach was. Kendall was MIA for most of this and even when she woke up again it was more about Zach/Reese.

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Well, whether she went 'round the bend the minute Reva skipped back into town or not, Annie was completely trashed to make Reva the heroine.

Brooke was always trashed to keep Ridge and Taylor together.

Oh...and remember when they trashed Nina to prop Ryan and Vicki on Y&R?

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I don't think Josh was about Zach and Kendall, I think that was done just to prove what a stud Zach was. Kendall was MIA for most of this and even when she woke up again it was more about Zach/Reese.

Ok didn't Kendall get Josh's heart? I remember how odd it was she never thought anything of Zach killing him.

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She did, but she was unconscious for months (or it seemed like months) before the story and there was never any real reaction from her to it when she woke up. They had already moved on to Zach/Reese and Kendall hating her and so on. That time was such a constant frenzy of Zach-the-stud/Zach-is-Zonny, with Reese, Liza, et al.

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Oh...and remember when they trashed Nina to prop Ryan and Vicki on Y&R?

The worst was when she went nuts so they could do Tricia/Ryan. The most annoying was that they rewrote history to claim Cole and Nina had slept together, which they hadn't, in order to make it less bad that Ryan fell for Tricia.

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I don't think Josh was about Zach and Kendall, I think that was done just to prove what a stud Zach was. Kendall was MIA for most of this and even when she woke up again it was more about Zach/Reese.

NO it was about undoing the unabortion, period, end of sentence, which you just reitarated in your next post. He was basically forgotten after that.

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