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October 4, 2015

The Five: Great shows, bad characters

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 20th 2006 1:01PM

Moira KellyEven great shows can sometimes have a character or two that just doesn't work out...

1. Mandy Hampton (The West Wing): Boy, was I happy to see this character simply vanish after the first season. She just never seemed to fit in, and I mean that as a character (as a political consultant she was always at odds with the rest of the staff and they never quite got along) and as a cast member (Moira Kelly). As if to highlight how out of place she was, Aaron Sorkin and other writers seemed to push her further and further away as the first season progressed, always at odds with the other cast members, until she became a character who just seemed to "be there." Then the second season opened and she was gone with no explanation. Nobody cared.


2. Max Lewis (Newsradio): Yikes. Phil Hartman dies and is replaced by Jon Lovitz. Lovitz can be kinda funny in certain situations (SNL, The Critic), but it's truly unreal how unfunny he is in this show's last season. He was terrible, and made you miss Hartman even more.

3. Dr. Malucci (ER): Why exactly was Eric Palladino brought on the show? Nothing against the actor, but he seemed to just be there to create tension with Weaver until the inevitable day she fired him (and she did it after he said something really nasty to her, thereby destroying any shred of sympathy we might have had for his character).

4. The Great Gazoo (The Flintstones): What a weird choice, to bring a space alien into a comedy about prehistoric times.

5. Lauren Reed (Alias): Fans might not agree, but I think she dragged the show down. It was irritating to see her fool everyone and get away with everything for so long.

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Oliver and Johnny on the OC! Some characters they do great (Alex, Anna, Taylor, Trey) but those two... ouch.

January 20 2006 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would disagree with Malucci... I always kind of liked his character (knowing that I wasn't supposed to). Here, I blame the writters, b/c I think Palladino has the chops (reference: Over There).

I would also have to disagree with Rich on Scott Grimes' Dr. Morris. I go around and around with a friend about him. You're not supposed to like him. He's supposed to come off as an idiot. He's not John Carter, nor is he Mark Greene (Who started out as Chief Resident, right?). His superiors know that they were boxed into making the sub-par choice. That happens a lot, IMHO (I've got a guy working for me now that reminds me a lot of Morris). But again, Grimes has the chops. On my most recent rewatch of Band of Brothers, his Mularky was just another incredible piece of an incredible ensemble...

January 20 2006 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doc hit the nail on the head with Kim Delaney. That had to be the most gimmicky addition to a show that hadn't aired yet, that I ever seen. The producers were probably Hi fiving themselves over signing her that they never stopped to think how the hell she was going to fit in a show that had an ensemble cast and a lead already in place.

I will go the obvious route and mention Chuck from Happy Days. Talk about a bad character that was phased out without an explanation.

January 20 2006 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Robin Tunney (Veronica the annoying Lawyer) on Prison Break. Her smarmy, side-of-the-mouth talking almost makes the entire show unwatchable.

January 20 2006 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, I'm an Alias fan, and yes, I'm disagreeing about Lauren Reed. I hated her, of course, but it was all about the intrigue. She was that season's device to keep Sydney & Vaughn from being "happily ever after," and to that extent, a crucial plot device. And don't we all love characters we love to hate?

January 20 2006 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In the category of worst character who keeps coming back, 24's Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert).

January 20 2006 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with you choices save Gazoo - he was a personal fave of mine (so much so I have contemplated a tatoo of him) -

But how could you miss Cousin Oliver (unless you're Anti-Brady)

January 20 2006 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

On the subject of 'ER' Scott Grimes (Dr. Morris) and John Leguizamo (Dr. Clemente). Even Dr. Dave was more adept than Morris is. Dr. Clemente is a bit too harsh for this show.

January 20 2006 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes same here the West Wing has gone down hill especially this season.Look how it has dropped out of the ratings.Use to be fun to watch I watch if I remember too.

January 20 2006 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Megan Donner (Kim Delaney) on CSI:Miami. Every time Megan was onscreen it was just terrible. I was actually on the verge of just not watching the show anymore because she was so annoying. Not annoying in that I don't like the character way, but in the she is ruining the show way. Luckily, the powers that be at CSI headquarters caught on as well and sent Megan packing.

More recently, Monica (Lara Flynn Boyle) on Las Vegas. I suppose that Las Vegas might be stretching it a bit when it comes to great shows, at least as far as the average viewer is concerned. Those that are fans though will know what I mean when I say that Monica didn't fly off the top of the Montecito fast enough. Aside from the fact that Lara Flynn Boyle just looks creepy now (moreso when she spends an hour next to Vanessa Marcil, Molly Simms, and Nikki Cox), there was no need for her character or her character's storyline.

January 20 2006 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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