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Characters you think writers struggled to write for


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4 hours ago, mikelyons said:

We can't forget that head writers get paid a royalty every time they create a new character.

This has been debated and denied so many times over the years...

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On 4/3/2021 at 6:04 PM, Skin said:

It's like they are frozen in time, cast into different roles but never living up to what they were initially designed for. Someone with vision is needed to mature these characters, but without the investment they are just old husks of what they once were.  

That's a great articulation on how I felt, as others have suggested, about Erica Kane in the mid-90s! It was like would she just stop marrying everyone for a moment and enjoy her sobriety and enjoy herself without having to revert to antics she had literally outgrown in the 70s and 80s...?!

 

Regarding Sean and Tiffany of "General Hospital" fame, I believe Claire Labine did know how to write for them, she just called them "Kevin" and "Lucy"...

 

Michael Malone did write Tina-esque antics, like it would be totally plausible for Tina to fall in love with her illegitimate brother, find out he an imposter and then still love him anyways, lol...But her most recent almost "incestuous" subplot was all during this odd "VC Andrews" period of the show where incest was already being told center stage between Viki and her father Victor; with intermezzos of Viki's own alter Niki Smith making odd plays towards her own son Joey and illegitimate brother Todd.

 

The one character I feel Michael Malone did malign during his tenure, was Clint Ritchie's "Clint Buchanan", by making him a homophobe in what was a break through coming out story. That one hurt because Clint Buchanan was the "Every Dad" with how he loved his children, and now you had him taking a stance that if the character translated into real life, would have broke my heart that he did not have my back. I thought that was careless.

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:30 AM, ajsp35801 said:

Funny how you're the only person that mentioned any Black characters except for the one person who mentioned Jessie on AMC when daytime seems to be in a perpetual struggle with it's Black characters. Instead all I'm seeing are white characters these shows had out front and center in story after story who just so happened to get a bad one.  LoL

 

  After all was said and done with Ellen Holly's original storyline...what prevented Agnes Nixon, or Gordon Russell/Sam Hall from approaching her and asking her (or even Lillian Hayman) about themselves that they could draw story from? On another note, isn't that why Victoria Rowell esteemed Bill Bell for just talking to her which in turn helped add credibility to the stories he was trying to tell about Dru?

 

  I  seem to remember in the 90s a lot of soap publications heralding the arrival of a promising new black presence on any number of shows...only for that character (characters) to show up, and then be phased out within a year...l mean, on "One Life" Troy Nichols showed up in Llanview with his son Kerry, along the same time Shelia Price showed up with her sister Rika...and within no time three out of the four were written out with Sheila becoming involved with Hank Gannon, and those two languishing on some serious backburner.

 

  Can I ask, what people thought about the writing for Diahann Carroll's "Dominique" on DYNASTY? What about the people of color on the reboot of DYNASTY?

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6 hours ago, Paul Raven said:

This has been debated and denied so many times over the years...

It could be a soap by soap thing or simply depends on how good your agent is.

 

Apparently, former OLTL co-head writer Allison "Sam" Hall, he "created and developed the storyline and numerous characters in the series. Paragraph 3 of the Agreement memorialized obligations of ABC for payment of certain compensation to Wildercliff, Ltd. and a weekly royalty to Hall, personally, 'as long as ONE LIFE TO LIVE is broadcast'..." Hall received a weekly royalty of $1,000 a week until January 13, 2012. 

 

Complaint: https://deadline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/one-life-to-live-writer-abc-hulu-lawsuit-1__140109200021.pdf

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6 hours ago, Lust4Life76 said:

That's a great articulation on how I felt, as others have suggested, about Erica Kane in the mid-90s! It was like would she just stop marrying everyone for a moment and enjoy her sobriety and enjoy herself without having to revert to antics she had literally outgrown in the 70s and 80s...?!

 

I make no bones about the fact that Erica (to me) was a very tiring character, especially towards the end of the shows run from about 2000 onward. I know that's blasphemy on this board but I don't care. Her last real storyline was probably the Betty Ford clinic one after that she just felt so unrelatable in so many aspects, and it felt like the entire universe just sort of fell to its feet to help her whenever the occasion arose. Men desired her, the world couldn't get enough of her, and everything she ever wanted was just within arms reach. It was her own self-sabotage that stopped her from gaining true happiness with Jackson (her tenth marriage, lol). It was exhausting, because it felt like everyone existed just to make her succeed, make her happy and give her everything she wanted. I really think moving her into a more matrilineal role was where she needed to be. Giving her a long lost son I think would have helped as well (we saw shades of this with Ryan and Leo both). Josh came too late - honestly, and was to disconnected to her that it didn't do what it needed to do. 

 

I vastly preferred when Anna, Vanessa, Maria, Angie and Janet led story over Erica, as they just felt more realized, and felt like real personalities that shaped and moved the show forward in realistic ways. It just felt like the show was transported into an alternate universe when ever Erica was on-screen, and that Erica to a lot of writers was after a certain point just wish fulfillment. She would get whatever she needed to support her vehicle at whatever time she wanted. Movie star career - check, Perfume line - check, Television show host - check, Vegas dancer - check, so on and on.  

 

Additionally, it definitely felt like Erica was playing younger than her actual age, and her "rivalries" with Greenlee and Kendell were poorly executed, structured, a bit laughable and diminished the "grandeur" of who Erica was supposed to be. At the same time the writing team didn't seem to care enough about Brooke to make her a true competitor. It always felt to me, like the writers gave Erica the edge in the rivalry between her and Brooke. 

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13 hours ago, j swift said:

However, at this point, there seems to be very little redeeming qualities to the character beyond her place in the Y&R cannon.

 

I love Jill and Jess Walton but at this point it is a moot point since she doesn't want to be on the show full-time anymore. She will just pop up to prop up some stories needed but they won't use Jill to drive stories anymore.

I don't fully agree with the harshness of your diagnosis on the character; I still think up until the last few years where the entire show went to hell anyway she was a great character, if different from her beginnings.

Where they lost me though is when they kept writing this incredible bond with Cane - who she is not related to and who CONNED her into believing he was her dead son for a long time - and would not play her as actually involved at all with her own biological sons, to the point of siding with Cane at times against them. That was unforgivable writing. 

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4 hours ago, Skin said:

Her last real storyline was probably the Betty Ford clinic one after that she just felt so unrelatable in so many aspects, and it felt like the entire universe just sort of fell to its feet to help her whenever the occasion arose. Men desired her, the world couldn't get enough of her, and everything she ever wanted was just within arms reach.

Yes, THANK YOU!! There was no "full circle" with Erica. She went through a period of emotional, hard Life experiences that led up to immense recovery and her sobriety as a metamorphosis. Only months later, for her to go into stealing a baby to punish her husband and sister-in-law for having an affair, and tricking a mentally disabled woman into aiding her? And then FINALLY giving Jackson, who had waited patiently for her despite all her previous snubs and inability to commit to him. It was sad. Because Susan Lucci deserved more adult 'treatment'...

 

I will say this, the work Susan Lucci did, when she said good-bye to Kendall the first time (when Kendall was Sarah Michele Gellar), was Erica at her most adult. It was raw, it was sad...I don't care what was going on behind the scenes with the actresses - it was like Erica was becoming stronger. 

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3 hours ago, Lust4Life76 said:

I will say this, the work Susan Lucci did, when she said good-bye to Kendall the first time (when Kendall was Sarah Michele Gellar), was Erica at her most adult. It was raw, it was sad...I don't care what was going on behind the scenes with the actresses - it was like Erica was becoming stronger. 

 

I know people are conflicted about Bianca's rape and all but I do think the subsequent events around her pregnancy, the feelings it evoked in Erica from her own past and the impact on Kendall was all interesting and well-done, if polluted by all the padded-on extra plot-driven storylines (the marriage, the murder etc). In itself though, it was compelling.

Edited by FrenchBug82
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1 hour ago, FrenchBug82 said:

"...if polluted by all the padded-on extra plot-driven storylines (the marriage, the murder etc)..."

Oh God yes, the fact itself that Michael Cambias had this obsession with sexing Bianca, which only led to her rejecting him because of who she was, and his grudge for not having her and then the act of rape itself, is a testimony of toxic masculinity. That could have been a character study (no for anti-heroism) rather than a catapult for the usual soap opera conventions. 

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@skin and @Lust4Life76 You guys spoke nothing both the gospel truth regarding Erica. Finally people see it the way i always have. I don't even think i can add much to the conversation because it was summed up nicely. I would agree about Erica getting the edge in her rivalry with Brooke, and with anyone else for that matter, she was written to win. The 90s writers didn't understand that Brooke and Erica feed off each other in a very unique way. By letting Brooke win SOMETIME would only mean Erica comes roaring back even harder!

 

Susan said something very interesting, during the show's Hallmark reunion special. She said that she felt Agnes never finish telling her Addiction story with the Kane family, I agree because i kinda felt a some point, Erica needed to resort back into drinking or have some rock bottom moment to finally bring her Full circle.

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I think the Bianca coming out story was the last time Erica was written as a fully realized character.  I loved the irony that Bianca was exactly like Mona..and continuing the tradition of mother/daughter conflict.  

 

If we're talking of a character AMC had trouble writing...it was Jack.  He was Erica's + 1...in the same way as Dixie was Tad's +1.

 

Anytime the show tried to write Jack outside of the Erica orbit..it never worked.  Either cause of lack of chemistry and/or effort from the writers.

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14 hours ago, Lust4Life76 said:

Oh God yes, the fact itself that Michael Cambias had this obsession with sexing Bianca, which only led to her rejecting him because of who she was, and his grudge for not having her and then the act of rape itself, is a testimony of toxic masculinity. That could have been a character study (no for anti-heroism) rather than a catapult for the usual soap opera conventions. 

 

This. It was such a huge missed opportunity. I miss soaps being character studies.

16 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

 

I know people are conflicted about Bianca's rape and all but I do think the subsequent events around her pregnancy, the feelings it evoked in Erica from her own past and the impact on Kendall was all interesting and well-done, if polluted by all the padded-on extra plot-driven storylines (the marriage, the murder etc). In itself though, it was compelling.

 

There was *some* attempt which helped.

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How about the premiere cast of characters for LOVING?

 

A newscaster with a liberal media bias...a progressive priest...and a nurse who works with AIDS patients...and not one storyline that involved any one of them or their respective topics? Let alone the compelling incest story that masterfully executed but then dropped all for the network's sake of marketing a movie of the week that dealt with the same topic...

 

Was 20 characters too much for a 30 minute program? 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

I know people are conflicted about Bianca's rape and all but I do think the subsequent events around her pregnancy, the feelings it evoked in Erica from her own past and the impact on Kendall was all interesting and well-done, if polluted by all the padded-on extra plot-driven storylines (the marriage, the murder etc). In itself though, it was compelling.

 

I consider the Cambias storyline the last great Kane storyline, in that it beautifully dovetailed the tensions, character moments, growth, trauma and pain from one generation to the next. That thunder storm episode where Erica flashes back to Richard Fields raping her, Kendell caring for her through her flashbacks, and those moments coinciding with Bianca's eventual rape by Micheal is transcendent film making regardless of the format. It was McTavish at the height of her powers really.

 

No storyline from that moment forward involving Kendell or Erica ever resonated in the same way again. Bianca would have further heights with the Babyswitch. But I always felt that the Cambias story was Erica's last peak, and Kendell never sparked as strongly nor as powerfully after the murder trial storyline wrapped. 

 

I don't really consider that storyline "Erica's" as she was essentially supporting Bianca's main storyline, and overall the Michael Cambias storyline was much more an umbrella story rather than one Erica led. But it's probably the last great thing she was apart of as an essential portion of the story-telling. 

Edited by Skin
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At the risk of being controversial, may I also suggest part of the reason for the fact Erica didn't really get any moments to shine in later years is because Bianca, particularly Eden Riegel, stole a lot of her thunder by being intensely likeable, a constant center of stories and a superior actress to Susan Lucci, who can be so uneven. I mean, I rewatched some of the pregnancy scenes on YT last night and as I said, I love the story and what it explores about these women but Riegel just owns any scene, even by just being so appealing.
I don't mean that as a slight to SL who is still a star but I really feel that Bianca, once she came on sorased, really became the core of the show which made Erica's behavior seem less acceptable. That Absolutely Fabulous dynamic added to Riegel's acting and the choice to focus several umbrella stories in a row around Bianca kinda defanged Erica for her own star turn.
And of course in the very last few years everything was s**t so there was no good moments for her or anyone else.

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