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Best and worst TV character changes?

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    Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 1:22pm
Best character change- Harper from Wizards of Waverly Place started off as being dumb, asking how much coffee do you put in coffee cake, and actually trying to give customers food that had already fallen down when she was a waitress, but soon became smart and normal.  One of the best changes ever......  Most characters go the opposite way, starting off as smart and normal, and then going dumb....
 
Best character change-Harvey from Sabrina The Teenage Witch started off as kind of slow, and later on became one of the most responsible characters, getting Sabrina out of a lot of trouble.
 
Worst character changes-Chelsea from That's So Raven was smart and normal when she started off, even being slightly snarky, but then got mind-dumbingly stupid.  Her only real saving graces were that she was only about 16, and was a strict vegetarian and cared deeply about her nutrition(she was the only one who initially saw and was concerned that the students were becoming dangerously unhealthy with all the fatty, sugary, salty foods the new lunch program were giving the students, and that she cared adamantly about animals and the environment.... 
 
Worst character changes-Junior from My Wife And Kids started off as being a normal rebel, to being an idiot.  the show was much better when he and his father would have Man Of The House debates.  There was no real reason for him to become a stupid idiot.  The only real saving grace was when he sold his car to help take care of his baby, saying, "My baby is the most important person in my life, and I need to be able to support him financially."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 4:07pm
 
Somewhere about halfway through her series, Roseanne turned into a nasty, castrating bitch.  She'd always been sarcastic, but it wasn't in such an ugly way.  She dragged the character Darlene right along with her.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 4:18pm
 
Penny (Kaley Cuoco) from Big Bang Theory started playing her character very perky and upbeat---little more than the hot bimbo across tha hall.   By the middle of the first season, she'd gotten more "real".  Even her voice lowered an octave.  I'm guessing that the producers decided to make her character more lead than supporting, and decided to develop her a bit more (though I guess it's possible that Cuoco herself decided to play her character a bit differently).  She's now as important a character as Sheldon and Leonard.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bwestfall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 8:00pm
The Closer-Major Crimes Captain Raydor played by Mary McDonnell

In The Closer she was a total hardass bitch and no one liked her. She was a know-it-all, was a snitch, and was often wrong.

In Major Crimes, now that she is the lead star, they have completely changed her character to a sympathetic, always right, and well-liked (by the other characters)person. Totally unbelievable change.

I don't like her either way. She cannot "fill" Kyra Sedgewick's shoes, and I would have much rather seen the show continue without Raydor. They have pumped up her on screen time, added a couple of other new characters, so all of the people I watch the show for have been pushed to the background. And the writing on this show is just pathetic!

I bet there won't ever be another Provenza/Flynn episode and they were some of my favorites.
A new study finds that people who are chipper & happy live longer. Which is surprising because people who aren't chipper & happy want to kill people who are always chipper & happy. David Letterman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papa Lazarou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 8:23pm
Best Character change: Amelia Pond from series 5-7A of Doctor Who
 
The writing was amazingly subtle and realistic, so there's none of those "LOOK AT THIS! THIS IS A CHARACTER-DEFINING MOMENT!" bits we had previously. And yet over her tenure we see he evolve from a walled-up damaged girl who keeps everything inside, to a woman who's fully capable of showing her love and choosing what she cares about most.
 
 
Worst:....uh...this is hard....
 
I'll get back to you on that one...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote insanity213 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 9:27pm
Originally posted by Thor Thor wrote:

 
Somewhere about halfway through her series, Roseanne turned into a nasty, castrating bitch.  She'd always been sarcastic, but it wasn't in such an ugly way.  She dragged the character Darlene right along with her.
 


I wonder if that change was concurrent with her separation & divorce from Tom Arnold.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 10:06pm
 
^  Don't know.  Maybe it was Arnold or maybe it was all that feminism, but at one point or another, she seemed to hate every male in the show---her father, Dan, Becky's boyfriend, Jackie's boyfriends, etc.  They were all rapists, cheaters, beaters or idiots.  David got a pass probably because he was such a castrated wimp to begin with.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2013 at 10:26pm
The character of Doc Martin, played by Martin Clunes in the movie Saving Grace and then Doc Martin, was originally written as a cool, laid back, kind of befuddled doctor who enjoyed an occasional beer & a joint.

When they created the TV series, Clunes decided that it would be more fun to turn him into a stiff, straight-laced grump with zero sense of humor & no social skills whatsoever. I think he hinted once that he has Aspberger's syndrome.

Another change they made was, in the movie, he left his London practice because his wife had been screwing all his friends. In the show, he left his job as the chief vascular surgeon in a prestigious London hospital because one day, in the middle of a routine surgery, he suddenly developed hemophobia.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tiz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 12:28am
M*A*S*H: Margaret Houlihan
When they wrote "FranK" off the show Houlihan turned more likable. And to me, her and Frank were half the laughs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papa Lazarou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 1:31am
Jimbo, The funny thing is that Doc Martin's metamorphosis is almost identical to Frasier, stateside.
 
On Cheers, while an intellectual, he's definitely a laid-back type who doesn't really look down on the people he's around.
 
Cue Frasier and we see him as a finicky uppity sort who's so ashamed of his father he often denies knowing him, when on Cheers, a man like his father would be someone he'd be proud to call his friend. He's a finicky wimpy talentless sissy, whereas in Cheers we see him playing pool, engaging in sports banter, etc.
 
Of course, the funny bit is that someone can look at this as his own psychological issue. He's weak-willed and instead of really having his own personality, he moulds himself to his surroundings, hence the more down-to-earth man in Cheers vs. the elitest snobbish prat in Frasier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 2:16am
Originally posted by Papa Lazarou Papa Lazarou wrote:

Jimbo, The funny thing is that Doc Martin's metamorphosis is almost identical to Frasier, stateside.

On Cheers, while an intellectual, he's definitely a laid-back type who doesn't really look down on the people he's around.

Cue Frasier and we see him as a finicky uppity sort who's so ashamed of his father he often denies knowing him, when on Cheers, a man like his father would be someone he'd be proud to call his friend. He's a finicky wimpy talentless sissy, whereas in Cheers we see him playing pool, engaging in sports banter, etc.

Of course, the funny bit is that someone can look at this as his own psychological issue. He's weak-willed and instead of really having his own personality, he moulds himself to his surroundings, hence the more down-to-earth man in Cheers vs. the elitest snobbish prat in Frasier.


I dunno if I fully agree with that, not to be argumentative or disagreeable.

While they certainly expanded on the character of Frazier once he got his own show, I don't think the metamorphosis was as pronounced as you describe it. He was always somewhat of a snob on Cheers, as was Lilith, but the bar was kind of an aberration for him. The only place he was able to feel like a semi-normal guy, even though he wasn't & the others didn't really see him as "one of them" either.

I just saw spin-off Frazier's differences from Cheers Frazier, to be the result of the need to further develop the character by delving deeper into his personality because the show was now all about him rather than about a group of people he was just one of.

But that's all just my opinion, so... for what it's worth.

RE: Doc Martin, I don't know how much you've watched the show or if you've seen the two movies his character was in prior to it, but I think HIS metamorphosis was light years more extreme than Frazier's.

Doc Martin went from an actual cool, laid-back, beer drinking, dope-smoking, shaggy-haired regular guy who happened to be a doctor, to a mean spirited, shaved headed, animal-hating, anal retentive, vice-free, tee-totaller who abhors anything & everything the least bit unhealthy or non-sterile. Only drinks bottled water, doesn't like physical contact with other people, washes incessantly, can't carry on a normal conversation. Won't/can't talk about anything that isn't related to medicine, etc. etc. A total stick in the mud.

Doc Martin from Saving Grace, sniffing a giant bud...



Doc Martin from TV show giving his usual sneer...



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papa Lazarou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 2:40am
I've seen a good bit of the older show, and the movies. I noticed it, but...I guess it didn't register with me. I think I just saw it as the character aging. Or a transition...I dunno.
 
 
But it made me think of another one. One that spans two actors and three-ish eras.
 
Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
 
In his initial appearance in The Pink Panther, he's a pathetic character who, while fairly good at his job, is cursed with bad luck, poor timing, and people working behind his back to ensure his failure.  He's a bit clumsy, stumbles over his words, but ultimately he's a straight man.
 
Cue Shot in the Dark to Curse of the Pink Panther and he has no become an utter fool of the highest calibre. With no smarts, no sense, he literally stumbles across clues by being at the right place at the right time, and solves the case merely by annoying a confession out of the criminal, whether he suspected them or not.
 
Then, with the revival with Steve Martin (Which, for its faults, I liked for the following reasons) We see what I feel is a happy medium. Clouseau is still the bumbling idiot, a total klutz, and foolish. HOWEVER, at the same time we see he is earnest in his profession and he proves that he is actually capable of solving the crime, using his brain power and professional skills, not just by dumb luck.
 
Had the sequel not been so horrendous, I think The Steve Martin version could have done well. I think the problem was trying to bring back too many Characters. Clouseau is meant to be a sort of "Bond" parody, so he should have a different girl each time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 3:47am
Originally posted by PapaLazarou PapaLazarou wrote:

I've seen a good bit of the older show, and the movies. I noticed it, but...I guess it didn't register with me. I think I just saw it as the character aging. Or a transition...I dunno.
But it made me think of another one. One that spans two actors and three-ish eras.

Inspector Jacques Clouseau.

In his initial appearance in The Pink Panther, he's a pathetic character who, while fairly good at his job, is cursed with bad luck, poor timing, and people working behind his back to ensure his failure. He's a bit clumsy, stumbles over his words, but ultimately he's a straight man.

Cue Shot in the Dark to Curse of the Pink Panther and he has no become an utter fool of the highest calibre. With no smarts, no sense, he literally stumbles across clues by being at the right place at the right time, and solves the case merely by annoying a confession out of the criminal, whether he suspected them or not.

Then, with the revival with Steve Martin (Which, for its faults, I liked for the following reasons) We see what I feel is a happy medium. Clouseau is still the bumbling idiot, a total klutz, and foolish. HOWEVER, at the same time we see he is earnest in his profession and he proves that he is actually capable of solving the crime, using his brain power and professional skills, not just by dumb luck.

Had the sequel not been so horrendous, I think The Steve Martin version could have done well. I think the problem was trying to bring back too many Characters. Clouseau is meant to be a sort of "Bond" parody, so he should have a different girl each time.


I never saw the Steve Martin version. I don't care for modern remakes.

Re: Sellers' Clouseau, I think they saw or felt that slapstick was what people wanted to see, so they emphasized that. I've wondered if the popularity of Woody Allen's movies from around that time like Sleeper (great movie) might have influenced The Pink Panther's creators.

BTW... did you notice Craig Ferguson in that top pic?

He was one of the creators & producers of the two movies & the show.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MrTim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 4:31am
Sleeper came out in 1973, Pink Panther was in 1964.  (When the first PP movie came out, the critics said the opening title cartoon was better than the rest of the movie.... LOL )
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 4:49am
Originally posted by MrTim MrTim wrote:

Sleeper came out in 1973, Pink Panther was in 1964.  (When the first PP movie came out, the critics said the opening title cartoon was better than the rest of the movie.... LOL )


The original Pink Panther came out in '64.

The Return of the Pink Panther came out in 1975, two years after Sleeper.

It was, as PL pointed out, much more slapstick than the original.

That's why I was wondering if maybe it was influenced by the popularity of Sleeper, which was a very slapstick flick.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papa Lazarou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 4:51am
I'm tempted to agree. THe first film, in spite of being a comedy, took itself too seriously. It couldn't decide if it wanted to be funny, a mystery, a thriller...it had weird pacing...honestly, the best bit was the song and dance.
 
 
I like the movie but yeah, it's definitely massively flawed. A Shot in the Dark is where the magic really begins.
 
Jimbo, I normally agree...but I think you should honestly give at least the first movie of the Steve Martin version a view, at least if it happens to be on the Telly. I feel like it took advantage of the concept of this kind of man in the modern day world, and Steve did a grand job at taking the spirit of Clouseau, but making his own character, rather than a cheap sketch-show caricature.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 4:58am
If I ever get the chance, I'll certainly give it a look.

Hard to go wrong with Steve Martin.

No banjo scenes though, I'm guessing.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DKS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 7:19am
Originally posted by Jimbo Jimbo wrote:


I dunno if I fully agree with that, not to be argumentative or disagreeable.

While they certainly expanded on the character of Frazier once he got his own show, I don't think the metamorphosis was as pronounced as you describe it. He was always somewhat of a snob on Cheers, as was Lilith, but the bar was kind of an aberration for him. The only place he was able to feel like a semi-normal guy, even though he wasn't & the others didn't really see him as "one of them" either.

I just saw spin-off Frazier's differences from Cheers Frazier, to be the result of the need to further develop the character by delving deeper into his personality because the show was now all about him rather than about a group of people he was just one of.

But that's all just my opinion, so... for what it's worth.


I would agree with this, pretty much. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 3:29pm
 
In both shows, Frazier was trapped between the blue collar world of his background, and the pretentious world he thought he wanted to be a part of.  It was always a conflict for him.  He could never escape his background, and thus, could never fully embrace his new life.  He always ended up gravitating back to the sort of people he'd have actually known when he was growing up.  That's why his character on Cheers was popular, and also why his own show was popular.
 
 
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Originally posted by Thor Thor wrote:

 
Somewhere about halfway through her series, Roseanne turned into a nasty, castrating bitch.  She'd always been sarcastic, but it wasn't in such an ugly way.  She dragged the character Darlene right along with her.
 
 
 
 

I have to read the show's description before I turn Rosanne on to determine if they're the "good" ones or the "bitchy" ones. Man, did she become a shrieking, whining pain in the ass. Even John Goodman couldn't carry the show. There were maybe 5 seasons I could watch but from "The Lunchbox"  on it was pure ear torture.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 4:16pm
 
^  Despite all her money and success, she's a bitter, bitter woman.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 6:15pm
^ Not anymore, I don't think.

Last time I saw her was on Letterman.

She said she lives in Hawaii & owns a macadamia nut farm.

How could anyone be bitter surrounded by more macadamia nuts than you could ever eat????

Not to mention access to all the Maui Zowie you could ever want???

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 6:31pm
Originally posted by Thor Thor wrote:

In both shows, Frazier was trapped between the blue collar world of his background, and the pretentious world he thought he wanted to be a part of.  It was always a conflict for him.  He could never escape his background, and thus, could never fully embrace his new life.  He always ended up gravitating back to the sort of people he'd have actually known when he was growing up.  That's why his character on Cheers was popular, and also why his own show was popular.


I think that's true of the spinoff Frazier, but not of the Cheers Frazier.

The Cheers Frazier's family, Lilith & child aside, was never even mentioned. We never knew there was a Martin Crane until Frazier got his own show.

AAMOF, John Mahoney, the actor who played Martin, had a small guest spot on one Cheers episode where he was hired by Rebecca Howe to write an advertising jingle.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Papa Lazarou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 7:50pm
^In fact, There's a few moments in Cheers where Frasier speaks of his father conducting experiments, etc. things that imply he's in the same field as Frasier. Easily retconned as him lying because he's ashamed of his father, but still...it brings about a major transformation in the character and his origins/how he views life.
 
Did we even ever hear about Frasier's mother until his own show?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jimbo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Nov 2013 at 8:19pm
^ Come to think of it, I think I kind of remember Cheers Frazier talking about his father once or twice.

I just attribute that to them not forseeing a future spinoff series for Frazier at that point in time. Then, when it came to pass, they just pretended it never happened because it was more important to establish the Martin Crane character in whichever way would work best for the show at hand, regardless of how he may have been described in the past by Frazier on Cheers.

Just pretend like it never happened & move on.

From what I understand, that kind of thing happens a lot in TV.

Sort of like hiring a new actor to play a role established by some other actor who left or died.

Darren in Bewitched being a good example.

Or Rose in Keeping Up Appearances.



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