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Same Name + Same Soap = Bad Writing


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On 9/29/2020 at 5:05 PM, BoldRestless said:

 

On Y&R, Victor held Julia's lover Michael in a dungeon. Then about 5 years later attorney Michael Crawford showed up to represent Jill in her divorce from John and supported her through her shooting, both strong stories. Then along came Michael Baldwin, also an attorney, with his sexual harassment of Christine, another strong storyline and era.

This is an excellent example, but they were all created by the same writing team

 

Whereas in 2005 when Sheila Carter returned under LML's writing staff in a very unpopular story that included poisoning Lauren Fenmore through her necklace, she used the alias Jennifer Mitchell, not to be confused with legacy character Jennifer Brooks, and further proof of the recycled name curse

On 9/29/2020 at 8:59 PM, soapfan770 said:

John Hudson, Kirk Anderson, and Brad Carlton as I don’t consider them to be unsuccessful characters at all. Certainly all three were subjected to bad writing

Just to clarify, my theory is only about the plots involving the recycled names, not the characters themselves

 

Brad was lots of fun, but that reliquary plot was not great.  Kirk Anderson as played by Tom Wiggins was full of charisma, but his exit was very poorly plotted. So, it's not the actor or character, it is that if a fan hears of a new character with a recycled name, they should be concerned because it does not portend good times ahead.

Edited by j swift
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12 hours ago, j swift said:

 

 

Brad was lots of fun, but that reliquary plot was not great.  Kirk Anderson as played by Tom Wiggins was full of charisma, but his exit was very poorly plotted. So, it's not the actor or character, it is that if a fan hears of a new character with a recycled name, they should be concerned because it does not portend good times ahead.

I don’t want to be rude but this makes no sense. You’re essentially saying that fans should have been concerned when Kirk Anderson showed up because Kirk McCall was on the canvas earlier. There was no need for concern because Anderson was a successful character for years but was saddled with a poorly written exit. 
 

World Turns alone had numerous recycled character names that featured fantastic storytelling: Douglas Cassen and Douglas Cummings; Dan Stewart and Dan McCloskey; John Hughes, John Dixon, and John Eldridge are but a few. Edge had Beth Anderson in the 60s and Beth Bryson, a memorable villainess, in 1981. Personally I think the issue is that the writing has deteriorated over the years, largely because of network interference and recycled writers.

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12 hours ago, robbwolff said:

I don’t want to be rude but this makes no sense.

I don't think that you are being rude at all, (unlike the writer who compared me to a fictional pimp), and I appreciate your response.  Like I said in my initial posting it just a theory that I have been playing around with for a couple of years and your Beth Bryson example from a classic Edge story is a point well taken.

 

While I didn't expect that there would be so little support for my hypothesis from other fans,  I continue to wonder about the connection between soap writers who recycled names, because they were unfamiliar with soap history, and how it often coincided with overall unpopular writing choices.  However, I also want to emphasize that I think of name recycling as a symptom not a cause of a, (sometimes humorous), coincidence. 

 

 

Edited by j swift
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I think the problem is that everyone has different definitions of what constitutes a significant or popular character is. By the time GL brought on Michael Burke (whose name I never would have recalled...) Mike Bauer had been absent for probably close to 15 years. And GL was already semi-recycling the name with Alan-Michael.

 

I would agree that better writers will deliberately stay away from truly iconic show names. ATWT was never going to have another major character named Lisa (unless it was a granddaughter). But those that are truly iconic are few and far between. 

 

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