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Which death of a character was totally unnecessary and damaging?


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4 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:


I will be the one to say it because it is not meant in an aggressive way and I actually like her (although I dislike Brenda). But I think the plastic surgery kind of hurt her performance - the way it does another recent favorite of mine (Cynthia W.).
You lose a lot when your face is frozen and VM was always good at playing with her face to say more than her lines. 
And I did like Gina and Dylan but her role was Diet Valerie who was in turn Diet Brenda. It is not easy to be filling "a space" in the cast.

 

I never thought her facial work hurt her performance, but maybe?  It was jarring especially for someone so gorgeous naturally.  I thought it was more a lack of energy.  She played Brenda like she was clinically depressed for most of her stint.  She used a lot of weird mannerisms she didn't use in the 90's.  I think it was just a combo of a lot of things and it was almost like VM forgot how to play Brenda.  I still liked some of it, but I can see how non fans would hate her entire return.

By the time VM appeared on 90210 the show was awful, but she looked very pretty on it.   I honestly can't remember what she did on 90210.  I just remember her hooking up with Dylan and David.  VM is definitely someone who could have made smarter post-GH career decisions lol.

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2 hours ago, carolineg said:

 

I never thought her facial work hurt her performance, but maybe?  It was jarring especially for someone so gorgeous naturally.  I thought it was more a lack of energy.  She played Brenda like she was clinically depressed for most of her stint.  She used a lot of weird mannerisms she didn't use in the 90's.  

To be fair, if you think about my criticism of her cosmetic surgery changes, you can recognize how it led to some of the things you noticed.

If she can't smile properly because of face work, she will automatically look less full of life. And she might compensate for her inability to face-act with other mannerisms.
I am speculating but I know it bugged me very much in her case - as many others.

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14 minutes ago, FrenchBug82 said:

To be fair, if you think about my criticism of her cosmetic surgery changes, you can recognize how it led to some of the things you noticed.

If she can't smile properly because of face work, she will automatically look less full of life. And she might compensate for her inability to face-act with other mannerisms.
I am speculating but I know it bugged me very much in her case - as many others.

Perhaps.  I never really thought about it. You could be right.  She looks noticeably different from her stint on Las Vegas to when she appears on GH and I don't think it was more than a year or two apart in time.

 

 I think there is a point when Brenda is in Rome having the same conversation with her movie star boyfriend for the 100th time that VM mentally checks out and is counting down the days until her contract was up.  She had some moments with MB/Sonny, but it's almost like the story was never about Sonny/Brenda it was about Brenda and everyone else.   Anyhow, I thought she looked better in 2013 and came off more Brenda like in that return.  Even though I am still scared Brenda may show up with Michael's baby some day lol.  

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There have been scores of character deaths on soaps which I deemed totally pointless, but fewer which I considered egregiously damaging to the core, fabric, history and/or structure of their soaps.

 

Some of the ones which baffled and infuriated me the most:

 

--Duncan Eric, Search for Tomorrow

--Bill Prentiss, Love of Life

--Mary Matthews, Another World

--Steven Frame, Another World

--Adam Drake, The Edge of Night

--Liz Foster, The Young and the Restless

--Rick Webber, General Hospital

--Alan Quartermaine, General Hospital

--Bill Bauer (again), The Guiding Light

--Ross Marler, The Guiding Light

--Maureen Bauer, The Guiding Light

 

I have to stop, LOL. I am starting to realize that I could compose a list long enough to fill up a phone book!

 

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On 2/27/2021 at 8:35 AM, StepBack said:

Y&R: Ricky, Diane (despite Maura West awful portrayal), John Abbott (only because the story that followed was trash)

 

 Marla was fantastic as Dina, but I think her exit story, was mostly good because it was grounded in reality. 

Agree. 

 

All of them could be driving story right about now or be serving a purpose.

 

Given what's going on with Kyle, Summer, and that age range, Ricky being around mildly reformed...cuz that age range needs some schemer with history...would work.

 

Diane (either SW or my choice AD) right now would be side-eyeing this woman with baby and probably would not be wanting Kyle with Summer either. Not to mention the beautiful hate chemistry between Diane and Nikki...Diane and Phyllis...Diane and...you get it.

 

John Abbot's guidance could definitely be used now.

 

And Dina could and should have been the next matriarch of Genoa City. As close to what Katherine was that the current canvas could get. 

 

Woulda coulda shoulda the holes their purpose could fill.

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On 2/27/2021 at 11:24 AM, FrenchBug82 said:


I am not a fan of Greenlee but let's be blunt: the only reason the character had staying power was because of RB. 

I understand less taking that chance with characters with simply "lots of ties" (the Liza or Babe recasts) but sometimes writers roll the dice for better or for worse. 

 

I agree with this -- but I also think it represents a problem that AMC was having in the 2000's. The characters really only worked because of the actors that played them. It says a lot that Greenlee, Babe, Leo and Gillian only worked because of Budig, Havins, Duhamel and TerBlanche. Either you have a tremendous casting director, or the writing is bad. Probably a bit of both. 

 

On 2/27/2021 at 11:55 AM, carolineg said:

I almost think you don't realize how good a Marcil or Duhamel is until they leave and you watch Greenlee and Sonny/Jax struggle to find chemistry with anyone lol.  It's almost sad how good I thought MB and RB were and then I realized it might of been the people around them that were good, not them. 

 

I'm convinced that this is the reason why soaps got on as much as they did when the writing was reaching new lows. However I think casting directors and TPTB did recognize when they had gold at least as we got deeper into the 00's. It was clear with ABC that they were prioritizing certain strings (string 1, string 2, string 3), who the show could revolve around and were looking to the talent pool of actors and actresses to make the writing work, and make the show happen. 

 

On 2/27/2021 at 6:50 PM, cassistan said:

They were all set to be future leads of this show, I bet my next paycheck if Gillian hadn’t left she and Greenlee would have become Erica/Brooke 2.0.

 

I definitely agree with the statement that Greenlee only worked because of Josh, Sabine wasn’t given enough time to prove herself and came on during one of the worst years for the show. I honestly like her portrayal she was soulful, sympathetic and had chemistry with people Rebecca didn’t. 

 

I agree that these characters had potential to be future leads of the show but that was because of the actors in the role, not the characters themselves. The talent was good at being able to hide the writing. W]hich I think is what FrenchBug is trying to say. Leo and Gillian would not have functioned well without Josh and Esta, and we've seen that a number of times when a recast fails to recapture what the original actor created, and the character is just kind of useless and a dead-end storywise, when the soap could have cut their losses and not have ruined the story because of it.

 

I personally disagree that Ryan Lavery as a character was useless, in my opinion he was able to survive outside of Gillian, even though his romances were no where near as poignant. Ryan was able to create at least two more successful pairings with Kendell and Annie. Where as after Leo Greenlee could barely capture anything. Ryan could have gone on for years with Kendell, if there wasn't network interference of making Rylee work as a pairing. 

 

Sabine would have been fine as a new character, she just was never Greenlee though and it's really hard imagining her as Greenlee. I remember her scene where she said "I just wanted to come home, that was my big crime" in the Confusion bar scene, and Greenlee would never have been that nakedly vulnerable, towards people she was angry with. She just wouldn't. Sabine would have worked as a dramatic love interest for Aiden, or Josh, or any one of choice, but she didn't have the chops to play the dramatic soap bitch that was Greenlee. Budig, is hard as nails and it's her biggest strength and biggest downfall, but she sells mean Greenlee like no other. 

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I agree to a point@Skin, but I think the writing and casting has gone hand in hand with successful soap characters from nearly the beginning.  Due to the nature and constraints of the amount of material daytime has always covered, the actors either bring it to life or they don’t, and their characters either come to life or don’t because of it.

 

Even iconic characters that were recast several times need the right performer to make the writing work- the Mindy’s on GL and all the Ashley’s on Y&R as examples.  Yes, Bell and Pam Long/Nancy Curlee’s teams had strong writing, but even good characters need the actor to make the audience care about the writing.

 

Do I think Leo, Greenlee, Babe, or Gillian could have worked being played by different people from the beginning?  Maybe.  It depends on who they found.  Those actors were right, but soaps used to be able to cast to type what they needed really well for the most part.  Would Lisa on ATWT have lasted as long as she did if Fulton didn’t bring so many layers to her performance?  Same with Victoria Wyndham on AW.  Would anyone else have had the kind of chemistry Genie Francis had with Denise Alexander, Kin Shriner, Jacklyn Zeman or Tony Geary to make her stories work enough to make Laura a centerpiece?

 

I know when AMC had stronger writing in the earlier 1990’s, plenty of duds were onscreen.

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Do I think Leo, Greenlee, Babe, or Gillian could have worked being played by different people from the beginning?  Maybe. 

 

I kind of disagree. We have a proxy for that and it doesn't bode well at least with both Greenlee and Babe.  We know that they didn't work, or at least didn't match what the originals brought, which is why the recasts were so short lived. As soon as Budig said she wanted to come back they threw Sabine out the window, while the ink on her contract was still wet. I also have a hard time believing Pratt would have killed Babe off if Alexa was still in the role and spinning dreck into gold on a daily basis. Babe as a character could have been written out many times in 2004 or 2005. The reason she wasn't was likely due to Alexa's ability to work her stories so well, and AMC's need for a replacement Eden Rigel and eventually a replacement Rebecca Budig, to contrast Minshew.  

 

Ultimately I think there was a reason why Leo was never recasted, and why no writers ever saw fit to undo the death of Gillian, with a recast in the role. They were just that good, and the writers realized that they weren't worth the squeeze.  

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