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mikelyons

Retconning: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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All soaps have retconned a story, character, etc. at some point, so what did you consider a good, bad, or just plain ugly case of retconning?

 

The Good: Erica's rape as a teenager/Kendall Hart (All My Children)

 

The Bad: The endless & unnecessary retconning of Jill Foster Abbott (The Young and the Restless)

 

The Ugly: Erica's un-abortion (All My Children)

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Most retcons are borne from lazy, incompetent writers and PTB who neither know about nor even care about history.

 

As a loooooong-time viewer, retcons invariably infuriate me.

 

In the 1950s on SFT, Marge and Stu Bergman had a son named Jimmy (if I recall correctly) who simply disappeared one day, and then after going unmentioned for months, reappeared as their NEPHEW. What the hell? What was even the point of such a change?

 

TGL drove me crazy with the Amanada-is-now-Alan's-sister idiocy. Viewers who KNEW the show's history understood that such a thing was impossible. And the stupid change served no rational purpose. The Brandon-Spaulding-in-alive-on-a-tropical-island dreck was equally annoying, considering we had seen him die on-screen. UGH. During the Annabelle's ghost crapfest, scenes of all the town patriarchs (Bauer, Reardon, Spaulding, Lewis) fishing together was simply painful and oh-so wrong.

 

My blood pressure is rising, I should stop! LOL!

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One that burns me up is the retcon of Anna and Faison supposedly having a child. For the love of all that's good and holy hell no. Then Chris Van Etten goes on twitter and BRAGS about the story and shoots down people who tell him this would NEVER EVER EVER have happened.

 

I agree Retons are the work of lazy writers who don't have a creative bone in their bodies.

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14 minutes ago, dragonflies said:

One that burns me up is the retcon of Anna and Faison supposedly having a child. For the love of all that's good and holy hell no. Then Chris Van Etten goes on twitter and BRAGS about the story and shoots down people who tell him this would NEVER EVER EVER have happened.

 

I agree Retons are the work of lazy writers who don't have a creative bone in their bodies.

At this point Id buy Alex Devane & Faison having a kid but not Anna and Faison

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The good: trying to come up with one but it's tough

The bad: OLTL - Viki's ever-changing history, between long-lost children, the start of her DID...she must hold some sort of record for most ret-conned character, probably followed by Asa, at least in long-lost children scenarios.

The ugly: GH - Laura bore a Cassadine during her captivity. I loathed the reintroduction of that family, particularly Helena.
 

Edited by applcin

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Did General Hospital ever address the fact that Laura apparently accidentally killed not one, but two people in 1978?

3 minutes ago, applcin said:

The bad: OLTL - Viki's ever-changing history, between long-lost children, the start of her DID...she must hold some sort of record for most ret-conned character, probably followed by Asa, at least in long-lost children scenarios.

It's either her or John Black.

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The only thing I hate more than retconning is SORASing. They're both devices used by lazy writers, but a lot of soap writers (including the greats) used them.  I just thought it would be fun to list the good, the bad, and the ugly of retconning. 

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4 minutes ago, Franko said:

Did General Hospital ever address the fact that Laura apparently accidentally killed not one, but two people in 1978?

 

 

As far as I know, the show simply glossed over that atrocious story point and never really dealt with it. Maybe other, daily viewers know more details.

 

But your comment brings up another infuriating retcon: the destruction of Rick Webber`s character and his history with Lesley and Laura.

1 minute ago, mikelyons said:

The only thing I hate more than retconning is SORASing. They're both devices used by lazy writers, but a lot of soap writers (including the greats) used them.  I just thought it would be fun to list the good, the bad, and the ugly of retconning. 

 

I am honestly trying--but failing--to remember any examples of GOOD retcons.

 

Alice Horton at Tom Horton`s funeral, `Here is Tom`s oldest son, Mickey, to say a few words....``

 

ARGH!!!

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44 minutes ago, vetsoapfan said:

Most retcons are borne from lazy, incompetent writers and PTB who neither know about nor even care about history.

 

As a loooooong-time viewer, retcons invariably infuriate me.

TGL drove me crazy with the Amanada-is-now-Alan's-sister idiocy. Viewers who KNEW the show's...

 

Ugh, what was that GL story about Marina, Marah and... something something... that rewrote Alan, Buzz, Josh and Billy's history? I know it just induced rage at the time. I know it was universally panned...and I'm too lazy to look up the deets.

 

BAD

 

B&B

retconning Bridget's paternity seven years and a dozen DNA tests later.  

Ridge buried a wax dummy and Taylor's alive...

 

Y&R

Lauren and Jill as sisters

Phillip is alive and gay

 

ATWT

...retconning Carly's childhood (which hadn't really ever even been discussed) to include a summer in Oakdale where shed been accused by her father's girlfriend of drowning her half brother---which in the end led us to Gwen. 

 

GOOD

About the only true good retcon I can recall is Kim and Bob discovering Sabrina had lived...but that was mostly about the attached story, because Sabrina herself was a did.

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They did deal with what Laura did. But it still shouldn't have happened. I think they may have re-retconned Scott as being Rick's killer trying to defend Laura, not that that helps what was done overall to the characters.

 

That story had a seed of potential - a mystery from the Webber family's past - but it wasn't played out long enough with Rick. Supposedly the initial iteration had the young Bobbie as Rick's lover in the attic, but that was shut down.

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I agree the Kendall Hart retcon worked well and created a great character in AMC.

 

GH-  I personally loved the introduction of Nikolas storyline and the return of the Cassadines.

 

Bobbie gave up Carly when she was a prostitute was fantastic until Carly became the entire show.

 

Heather Webber not being Diana’s killer (which I have read they changed after the fact) was stupid.

 

I have to agree with all the Viki retcons on OLTL.  The worst for me was the whole Jessica was raped and a twin mess.  Just awful.

 

Victor Lord being alive again for five minutes was also horrible.

 

On DAYS- As much as I love Wayne Northrop, John should have stayed as Roman.  Although- that affair led to a huge part of Sami’s character, the possession and Belle.  Which were some of my favorite stories!

 

Hope’s time as Princess Gina.  Including working with John.  I pretty much hated Princess Gina.  The Hope return storyline was really one of the best stories Reilly did and then that story was just stupid.

 

 

 

8 minutes ago, Franko said:

Seriously, why destroy Rick like that? The shock value's never going to get as much mileage as you'd think.

If they were going to destroy Rick, they should have had him molest Laura.  If everyone is already out of character for the sake of a shocking story, then go all the way.  It shouldn’t have been told at all.

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1 hour ago, mikelyons said:

The Good: Erica's rape as a teenager/Kendall Hart (All My Children)

 

With all due respect, mike, I must disagree: retconning Erica's history in order to make Kendall's existence possible was, IMO, a supreme example of Megan McTavish's ineptitude as a writer.

 

For one thing, I refuse to believe that Dr. Charles Tyler, whom Mona was very close to before they married, never knew about or suspected the secret that Mona and Erica must have been keeping at that point in time, or that Mona didn't confide in him and seek his advice about what to do with the baby.  Also, Pine Valley was a very, very small town back then.  If Erica could somehow learn the truth about Phil Brent's paternity, then anyone -- say, Phoebe Tyler, who was sure to blab to whomever was listening -- could have found out about Erica's pregnancy eventually.

 

Nothing about Erica's life or character ever suggested she was keeping silent about a rape or a child conceived from that ordeal, no matter how fans try to go back over the events of her life and point to where it did.  For MMT, though, it simply wasn't enough that Erica Kane's insecurities stemmed from the fact that Eric had abandoned her and Mona when she was a child.  No, she had to create out of thin air some implausible and contradictory piece of backstory that was completely unnecessary and ended up being used as a crutch -- not just by McTavish, but other writers as well -- to explain away her more heinous acts from that point forward.

 

Also...?  If Kendall was born before Charlie and probably Tad, then how in the hell did she end up being considerably younger than they?

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