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15 New Character Additions That Hurt Friends (And 10 That Saved It)

Though Friends had a core group of six, many one-off and recurring characters came and went during the course of their lives. Some of those characters were positive additions to the series when they showed up; they added to the storylines, characters’ relationships, and comedy. They also offered insight to some of the main six and sometimes opened up a path that some characters could have explored. Maybe they added a family element that was sorely missing before their introduction, or maybe, they were a positive influence on one of the six, either romantically or platonically.

However, that wasn’t the case with all of the new characters added to the series throughout the years as some had a negative effect on the series as a whole. Some made certain characters of the main six look questionable, whether it was what that character added or how one of the main bunch behaved as a result of their presence. In some cases, these characters weren’t bad at all. In fact, if not for their effect on one or more of the main characters, maybe they would’ve been good to keep around. In at least one case, someone positively influenced one of the main characters, but led to negative reactions from another because of it. With that being said, here are 15 New Character Additions That Hurt Friends (And 10 That Saved It).

25 Hurt: Danny

Rachel briefly dated Danny when she was trying to move on from Ross in season 5. Moving on was the right move, as Ross and Emily had just gotten married, even though he said Rachel’s name. Danny’s first appearance was fine. He called Rachel out for judging his shaggy appearance, but after that, the character and plots connected to him went downhill.

After Danny didn’t call her back, Rachel decided he was playing games and turned the tables on him. Then, after they did go out, she met his sister, with whom he had a relationship that seemed inappropriate. It was weird, and there didn’t seem to be any point to it.

24 Saved: Estelle

A scene with Estelle usually meant plenty of laughs. She might not have been the best agent that Joey could have gotten, but Joey wasn’t the best actor. Since this was a comedy, her mistake in thinking Joey fired her and sabotaging his career as a result was played as a joke.

Friends needed a character like her who provided comedic moments. Her scenes were entertaining, she was favorable, and she never dated any of Joey’s friends. The show even benefited from Estelle after she passed away. Because so much was changing, Phoebe decided to impersonate her and keep that bit of information from Joey. Though he eventually found out, fans still got a few laughs from that scenario.

23 Hurt: Janine

One of the problems with Janine is how she made Joey look. He chose her as a roommate solely based on her looks and knew nothing about her. While that wasn’t surprising from Joey, it was just plain odd. If he had just dated her based on that information, fine, but he lived with her.

Furthermore, she didn’t treat Monica and Chandler very well, and had no problem telling Joey she didn’t like them. Who doesn’t like Monica and Chandler? Sure, they have their quirks, but her dislike of those quirks seemed a bit much.

22 Hurt: Leonard Green

Rachel’s father had his moments. He was entertaining when Rachel and the others tried to keep him and her mother apart on her birthday, and watching his scenes with Ross was fun as well since they only got along when it came to making fun of Rachel.

However, his reaction to Rachel’s pregnancy was a low point. Rachel lied and said Ross wouldn’t marry her, so naturally, Leonard confronted him. But while doing so, he insulted Mona, an innocent bystander. For the most part, Leonard was very impolite, mostly to those who didn’t deserve it, especially that waiter.

21 Saved: Richard

Richard might have tried to get in between Monica and Chandler, but he was generally a good character. Despite the fact that he was Monica’s father’s friend, he and Monica had a mature and significant relationship. Amidst the Ross and Rachel drama, and some other temporary love interests, he wasn’t the worst by any means.

Instead, he managed to spend time with the others, despite the awkwardness of his friendship with Joey and Chandler. Later on in the series, he and Monica ended their relationship when it became clear they wanted different things (i.e. children). He was a good guy, and he stepped back when he knew he should.

20 Hurt: Mark

On the one hand, Mark helped Rachel get two great new jobs. He arguably did more for her career-wise than any other person who wasn’t named Rachel.

However, he was also responsible for Ross’ jealousy, and everyone knows how that turned out. It wasn’t attractive in season 3 when Rachel and Ross were dating, and it was just as bad in season 10 when they weren’t. Although none of this was Mark’s fault, he was entangled in the Ross and Rachel drama so thoroughly that the perception of his character suffered for it.

19 Saved: Frank Buffay, Jr.

Perhaps the best thing about Frank Buffay, Jr. was that he was a family member who wasn’t just forgotten. Despite not appearing after the 100th episode in season 5, he returned in season 10 to offer an update on his and his family’s lives. Outside of Frank, there were some family members (i.e. Ben) who just disappeared in the later seasons, with no explanation.

Beyond that, it was nice to see Phoebe have someone from her family in her life. Even though her twin sister appeared during significant times during that span, Phoebe and Ursula were never close.

18 Hurt: Joanna

It’s hard to decide what was worse about Joanna: her professional life or her personal one. On the one hand, Chandler is mostly to blame for the latter, but she was quite persistent.

She also weakened Rachel’s attempt at a promotion at work, and though she agreed to fix it, she lost her life before she could. That also didn’t negate what she had done and how she made Rachel look in front of the hiring committee. Joanna was only in three episodes, but she was memorable (not in a good way) for each of them.

17 Hurt: Bonnie

Although there was nothing wrong with Bonnie herself, she was part of a weak storyline. So, it would’ve been better if she had never existed on the show.

For starters, Rachel only agreed to let Ross date her because she thought she was (still) bald. Then, Rachel, who broke up with Ross for being with someone else, was with him while he was still with Bonnie. She didn’t even want him to break up with Bonnie that night. Under these circumstances, adding Bonnie ended up making Rachel look even worse than she already did, which wasn’t even her fault. Any character that would’ve been put in that position would’ve resulted in the same outcome.

16 Saved: Erica

On the one hand, “The One With the Birth Mother” featured an adoption agency that mixed up files (a big mistake). On the other hand, it introduced Erica, an entertaining and funny character who chose Monica and Chandler to be the parents of her baby.

It was Erica’s presence and the mix-up at the agency that led to Chandler’s great speech about Monica already being a mother. And, of course, her continuous misinterpretations, like whose heartbeats the doctor was referring to, led to some laughs as well.

15 Hurt: Emily

Oh, Emily. She really got the short end of the stick. In season 4, she was fine, then came season 5. While Ross was in the wrong for saying Rachel’s name at their wedding, it was Emily who came across as the bad guy. She gave Ross unreasonable demands if they were to continue their marriage and she wanted to know where he was at all times.

If Emily had remained like she was before their wedding, maybe she wouldn’t have made this list. However, because the series was all about Ross and Rachel, her character and viewers took a hit.

14 Saved: Theodore and Bitsy Hannigan

Mike’s parents might have been impolite and dismissive of Phoebe as their son’s girlfriend, but they were funny. They were a great way to get an outside perspective on Phoebe, especially since by that time, fans were used to the wild parts of her past.

They were also only around as much as they needed to be: to meet Phoebe, be at the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding. Every character didn’t automatically have to love the main group of characters, and it was refreshing when some didn’t, which was the case with Theodore and Bitsy Hannigan.

13 Hurt: Tag

Remember when Rachel hired an assistant based on his looks? They briefly dated and then broke up because they were at different places in their lives.

He briefly reappeared, long enough to be considered a possible candidate for the father of Rachel’s baby. But after finding out she was pregnant, it was enough to change his mind about wanting to get back together. Tag was fine for the role he filled, which was a temporary love interest. However, he was also quite bland and never really added to the show. Instead, Rachel, who made several significant strides in her career over the series, looked silly when she hired him.

12 Hurt: Amy

Amy was not a nice person at all. She couldn’t even remember who the father of her sister’s baby was. Whereas some characters do learn and grow into better people on TV shows, Amy never did.

She was the same person both times she appeared rather than developing just a bit. Like Jill, she showed how much Rachel changed from the pilot, but one episode was more than enough for her.  Friends might have been better off just telling viewers about Amy because she didn’t seem to add to the story, and the comedy could’ve come from elsewhere in those episodes.

11 Saved: Sandra Green

Rachel’s mother had her moments. But perhaps the best part about her was showing how much Rachel had grown, but still had a lot to learn. This was evident when it came time for Rachel to know how to raise her child. She even volunteered to move in with Rachel to help out and teach her daughter the proper care.

Alternatively, the series wisely kept her and Rachel’s father separate, considering they probably would have been difficult together. Sandra also offered a look at the life Rachel might have had if she didn’t run out on her wedding day and actually married Barry.

10 Hurt: Eddie

Eddie was quite the character. He might have had his issues, but what Chandler and Joey did to him wasn’t right. He refused to move out, so they moved his stuff out, put Joey’s in, and told Eddie he never lived there. Somehow, he believed them.

Was it necessary for Chandler to have a roommate after Joey moved out? Maybe. Was it necessary for that person to be Eddie, a character fans would be happy to see go? No. Fans were never going to like whoever lived with Chandler because they weren’t Joey. However, that roommate didn’t have to be someone who was creepy and unpredictable like Eddie.

9 Saved: Phoebe Abbott

The introduction of Phoebe Abbott brought with it the truth about Phoebe Buffay’s biological parents. Really, after everything that was said about her family and past, Phoebe deserved to have family in her life.

Phoebe Abbott came in at the right time for Phoebe as well. Her brother and his wife wanted her to be their surrogate and no one else could have offered a perspective on carrying a baby and not raising it. And no one except someone just like Phoebe would’ve used a puppy to demonstrate that. The only problem with her character is that she wasn’t around more.

8 Hurt: Chloe

You might not remember Chloe by name, but you’re sure to remember “we were on a break.” She was the girl from the Xerox store Ross was with just hours after he and Rachel took “a break.”

While Ross was clearly in the wrong, Chloe was no angel either. She didn’t care about loyalty and often took things from the men she was with. No matter how you feel about Ross and Rachel, she’s always going to be the girl who broke them up. Is that fair? No. However, that’s her only real association with the show.

7 Hurt: Pete

The problem with Pete wasn’t his feelings for Monica, that he decided to become an ultimate fighting champion, or that he didn’t care about how he spent his money. It wasn’t even his relationship with Monica. It was how Monica looked because of him.

She did a complete 180 when it came to her feelings. Not only did she decide that she did like him, but they said “I love you” pretty much immediately. Then, after she broke up with him, that was it. She didn’t seem to mourn the end of the relationship at all.

6 Saved: Emma

Emma was a significant part of Rachel and Ross’ relationship, even if they weren’t together. She was one of the few good things to come out of Ross and Rachel’s emotional rollercoaster.

Since Ben seemingly disappeared from existence, Emma offered the opportunity to see the characters as parents. They couldn’t just send her off-screen to another parent all the time because both of her parents were main characters. Fans also saw different sides of others like Joey and Chandler, in relation to caring for and about a baby. She played a significant part of these characters growing up.

5 Hurt: Elizabeth

Elizabeth wasn’t a bad character, but she was obviously too young, at least maturity-wise, for Ross. At first, she was fine, but when she threw water balloons at him after he broke up with her, that became clear.

Did Ross really need to date one of his students? Was there any point to it other than the jokes his friends made because of it? No, he didn’t, and there wasn’t. Ross looked bad for thinking it was just “frowned upon” for him to date a student and it was silly that either of them thought it would last.

4 Saved: Mike

Phoebe and Mike had quite the odd meeting. Joey needed someone for a double date and just called out the name Mike in Central Perk. It worked, and the rest was history.

Though they did briefly break up, it was relatively drama-free. They wanted different things, and they let that be. Although Phoebe and Mike ended up together, that’s not the only reason he was a smart addition to the cast. His scenes with David were always amusing, even though they both wanted to be with Phoebe, and it was more entertaining to watch those two fight than it was to see their relationships with Phoebe at times.

3 Hurt: Kathy

The main mark against Kathy was that she came between Joey and Chandler, briefly. Chandler kept his feelings for her hidden, and Joey was upset when he learned that they had a moment.

Though Joey and Chandler worked it out, she and Chandler didn’t in the end. Chandler suspected that she was with someone else when they were together and after they fought it, she was. Was that necessary? No. Did it make Kathy look worse? Yes. But, that tends to happen with temporary love interests on the show. They always look worse and you wonder if they should’ve been there in the first place.

2 Hurt: Joshua

Maybe Joshua would have fared better if he hadn’t been around when Ross and Emily got engaged. He could’ve just been a relationship of Rachel’s that didn’t work out because she and Ross were endgame. Instead, Rachel tried to rush their future to compete with her ex-boyfriend.

His and Rachel’s relationship stopped being about them the moment Emily came into the picture. Rachel looked silly trying to advance a relationship that never would’ve lasted. Meanwhile, Joshua had to remind her more than once that he had just gotten divorced. A relationship was unnecessary, especially since Rachel never seemed that invested after they got together.

1 Saved: Gavin

Gavin was pretty much the voice of reason in Rachel’s life when she needed one. She needed to see that work went on without her when she was on maternity leave and she needed someone to call her out on her odd behavior about Ross, even though they weren’t together. It was refreshing to see that from someone, especially since he could’ve simply been just another love interest.

Did Gavin have his moments where he was annoying? Yes. He never should have called Rachel his assistant, but he wasn’t a bad guy and his presence definitely benefitted the show.

Which character addition do you think helped or hurt Friends? Sound off in the comments!



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Monster Hunter: Milla Jovovich Posts First Image From Movie Set

Milla Jovovich shares the first look at the Monster Hunter movie as production begins. Capcom launched the first installment of the Monster Hunter video game franchise in 2004, and it’s grown immensely ever since. Earlier this year, latest installment Monster Hunter World became the studio’s best-selling game ever. This excitement for the franchise in video game form comes at the perfect time, as a live-action movie adaptation is in the works.

Jovovich first broke out via 1997’s The Fifth Element, and just five years later would find herself leading an action franchise of her own. She’s no stranger to adapting video games to cinemas, after playing the lead role of Alice in six Resident Evil movies, with the franchise concluding in 2016. Now, she’s set to star in another video game adaptation with Monster Hunter, and she’s sharing her excitement as the project takes a major step forward.

Related: Hellboy NYCC Poster Reveals Milla Jovovich’s Blood Queen

The Monster Hunter star posted on Instagram the first look at the movie, kind of. Jovovich shared an image of her in the makeup trailer on the set. She confirmed that production is now underway, and offered up the first tease of her character Artemis, reportedly the leader of a U.N. military team.

Fans of the video game series may have wished a first look image would possibly show off some of the monsters Jovovich and company will be hunting, but this tease of her character will have to do. She clearly hasn’t been taking it easy either. Based on the dirt and blood that covers most of Jovovich, her character may have recently been on the hunt for a monster or two. Of course, those monsters will surely be created through CGI, and since production is just now beginning, any such looks likely are not ready.

To bring Monster Hunter to the big screen, Jovovich is reuniting with her Resident Evil director (and husband) Paul W.S. Anderson. The quality of their collaborations can be debated, but they’ve at least shown the ability to make mid-tier action movies based on a video game property that can make a lot of money at the box office. Jovovich won’t be the only one hunting these monsters though, as Ron Perlman and T.I. Harris previously joined the cast. Other additions include Diego Boneta and Tony Jaa, with more casting announcements still possibly coming. After all, filming just began on Monster Hunter in Cape Town, South Africa, so more updates could be on the way, whether officially or through posts by its star.

MORE: Monster Hunter Generations Review – The Wrong Direction

Source: Milla Jovovich





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2018-10-07 06:10:28 – Cooper Hood

7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It)

It’s been over twenty years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s groundbreaking pilot hit TV screens and it remains one the most beloved and influential shows of all time. The series subverted expectations, in the process shattering illusions of what people thought television was capable of. It forever altered the pop culture landscape, introducing audiences to a feminist icon they could truly identify with. The show popularized serialized storytelling at a time when TV programs were largely episodic and even changed the way that viewers talked by introducing them to “Buffy speak.”

By taking the idea that high school is Hell quite literally, Joss Whedon was able to use werewolves, witches, and vampires to explore themes of desire, female empowerment, and addiction. The writers personified feelings such as isolation, alienation and humiliation, using them to ground fantastical situations in those very real emotions.

Buffy was praised for a great many things, from snappy dialogue to clever plotting. However, one of the most vital elements of Whedon’s magnum opus was undoubtedly the amazing characters with which he chose to populate this world. These players were as lovable as they were relatable and the series continues to resonate with viewers of all ages. However, not all characters introduced to the series could be as awesome as Buffy, Willow, or Xander. While certain new additions had an undeniably positive effect on the series as a whole, there were also a few that BtVS would’ve been better off without.

Here are 7 New Character Additions That Hurt Buffy The Vampire Slayer (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved – Spike and Dru

Sunnydale got its very own Sid and Nancy when Spike and Drusilla showed up in season 2 episode “School Hard”, quickly establishing themselves as the new Big Bads in town. They were never meant to last as long as they did, but stellar performances from James Marsters and Juliet Landau gave both characters a stay of execution. These two didn’t just shake up Sunnydale, but the show’s entire mythology. They were living proof that vampires were capable of genuine emotion. Their intense bond and amazing chemistry made fans fall hard for the couple. 

Spike, of course, went on to play a much larger role in the series as a whole. Writers kept finding new ways to justify his continued existence and fans never complained, because no one wanted the vampire gone.

19 Hurt – Riley

Buffy needed to move on from Angel, but did she really have to take up with “Captain Cardboard”? Riley Finn (Mark Blucas) first appeared in the season 4 premiere, “The Freshman”, and went on to hurt the show in ways almost too numerous to list.

With him came the Initiative, which remains the storyline that most BtVS fans would rather forget.

Even after the organization was no longer part of the narrative, Riley continued to overstay his welcome. Viewers were forced to deal with his constant whining and eventually, his infidelity. These were all plot points that the show could’ve done without. It was sad when Riley helicoptered out of Buffy’s life, but only because we care about her feelings. Ultimately, no one really missed him.

18 Saved – Tara

Now this is how you create a new love interest. Oz and Willow had become one of the show’s most beloved couples and fans were as heartbroken as she was over his sudden departure. Replacing the werewolf was going to be just as difficult as finding a way for Buffy to get over Angel. However, the show chose to go in a new direction entirely with Tara Maclay, who debuted in season 4 episode “Hush”. Not only was she a woman, but she also complemented Willow in very different ways than Oz had.

Not all viewers embraced this storyline initially, but Amber Benson’s performance quickly won most of them over. Before long, fans became incredibly invested in Willow and Tara’s relationship. In many ways, they became the show’s central couple, as well as its emotional anchor.

17 Saved – Anya

Much like James Marsters, Emma Caulfield earned more time on the show through her impressive performance. Her arc wasn’t meant to last much past her first appearance in season 3 episode “The Wish”.  Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins went from human to vengeance demon and back again. She was over 1100 old, but had completely lost touch with her humanity before meeting the Scoobies.

It was more than Anya’s evolution that made her special, though. She was the character who posed the questions that most people want to ask but think that they shouldn’t. Whether ruminating on love, loss, or the simple cold truth of mortality, Anya always said exactly what she meant. Even her lack of tact was charming. The former demon brought a different perspective to the group, as well as some undeniable humor.

16 Hurt – Dawn

This is kind of a tough one, because the storyline surrounding Dawn’s existence was one of the show’s best. Her introduction in the season 5 premiere, “Buffy vs. Dracula”, was particularly genius. Dawn was dropped into the series as if she had always been there, leaving viewers wondering if they had missed earlier clues of Buffy having a sister.

Dawn herself was always little more than an annoyance to most fans.

It didn’t help that Michelle Trachtenberg played the character as younger than she was. This wasn’t all her fault, as Dawn was initially meant to be portrayed by a younger actress. The main problem wasn’t season 5 Dawn anyway. In later years, writers clearly weren’t sure what to do with her, giving Buffy’s sister one ludicrous plot line after another: “Dawn’s in trouble. Must be Tuesday.

15 Saved – Glory/Ben

Glory is one of the greatest Big Bads ever to appear on BtVS. Debuting in season 5 installment “There’s No Place Like Home”, she brought the season-long threat to a whole new level. Glory wasn’t just another demon. She was a literal god, just trying to get back to her home sweet Hell. However, it was more than just sheer power that made Glory such a great villain. Clare Kramer’s manic performance is what really set her apart.

Introduced an episode before Glory, Ben (Charlie Weber) was serviceable enough.

What really brought depth to the kind doctor was the revelation that he and Glorificus were sharing a body.

This was one of the show’s most successful twists. Seriously, no one saw it coming.

14 Saved – Wesley

While it can be argued that the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was utilized far better on Angel, there’s no denying that the stuffy new Watcher was another great addition to the cast of BtVS. Debuting in season 3 installment “Bad Girls”, Alexis Denisof imbued Wesley with undeniable heart and humor, despite the character’s uptight personality.

Aside from Wesley himself, it was the dynamic between him and Giles that helped to elevate the series during season 3. We got to explore a whole new side Buffy’s Watcher. It was one thing to know about his “Ripper” past, but it was the juxtaposition of Rupert and Wesley that truly proved how awesome Giles actually was – not that we didn’t love him already.

13 Hurt – Warren

The Trio is kind of everyone’s least favorite Big Bad. However, while Jonathan and Andrew were both worthy additions to the series, Warren never had any redeeming qualities. He first appeared in season 5 episode “I Was Made to Love You” and proved himself a total creep immediately.

Although Warren started out as a punchline, he turned out to be a misogynistic monster.

Adam Busch did an excellent job of making the character incredibly unlikable, but it was Warren’s cruelty that brought season 6 to the lowest of places. “Dead Things” was one of the most brutal episodes of BtVS, and not in a good way. Plus, no Buffy fan will ever forgive him for firing the gun that took Tara’s life. Warren did a lot of damage and his character was never compelling or likable enough to outweigh that fact.

12 Saved – Oz

Fans fell in love with Daniel “Oz” Osbourne (Seth Green) around the same time that Willow did. From the moment he appeared in season 2 episode “Inca Mummy Girl”, he was pretty much smitten with her – even in her Hallowe’en costume. Unlike Xander, Oz actually realized how awesome Willow was and fans were overjoyed to see her finally properly appreciated.

Oz was so beloved, in fact, that even though he left under truly awful circumstances, many viewers were still torn when he came back for Willow. A lesser character could never have remained in fans’ hearts after such indiscretions. In the end, the writers found someone even better for Willow, but it speaks volumes that so many viewers were willing to forgive Oz after he locked himself in a cage with Veruca.

11 Hurt – Veruca

Veruca (Paige Moss) made her first appearance in season 4 episode “Living Conditions”. Oz may have thought that she was pretty cool, but viewers noticed that something was off about her.

Most Buffy fans are pretty protective of Willow and no one liked seeing her relationship with Oz threatened.

It’s not that it makes no sense that something would break up Willow and Oz. They dated in high school and many such relationships do not survive the transition to college. The main issue was the werewolf herself. Veruca was kind of over the top, from her musical performances to her evil machinations. Perhaps she was meant to be a two-dimensional mustache-twirling villain. Regardless, no one mourned Veruca after Oz ended her life.

10 Saved – Mayor Wilkins

Fans were introduced to Mayor Richard Wilkins in season 3 episode “Homecoming”. Sure, he was a major Big Bad whose ascension plans would’ve left the world in ruins, but he was also incredibly polite. BtVS has often excelled at creating villains that fans still kind of rooted for. The Mayor was one of the best, and not just because he was such a formidable opponent.

Richard’s relationship with Faith gave his character real depth. Much like the love that Spike and Dru shared with one another, the Mayor’s affections for his protégée made him much more human, which in turn made viewers care more about him. Plus, Harry Groener’s pitch-perfect performance made it impossible not to enjoy Mayor Wilkins.

9 Hurt – Kennedy

Kennedy was as much of an epic fail as Riley. The writers proved that they could craft more than one great love interest for Willow, so what happened with her? Introduced in season 7 episode “Bring on the Night”, Kennedy (Iyari Limon) was spoiled, argumentative and honestly, kind of bland. The key to a great TV relationship is making both characters compelling in their own right.

While fans came to love both Oz and Tara rather quickly, you’d be hard pressed to find many Kennedy fans out there.

There was nothing about Willow’s new girlfriend to even distinguish her from the other Potential Slayers, save her bad attitude. Willow deserved better and so did fans.

8 Saved – Faith

Shaking up things from the moment she arrived in season 3 installment “Faith, Hope and Trick”, Faith Lehane was Buffy’s dark reflection. The Slayers were incredibly different from one another and yet, undeniably two sides of the same coin. Eliza Dushku’s magnetic performance brought so much passion and energy to the role, and she had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the cast.

Faith provided new depth not only for the slayer line, but also to the idea of what it actually means to be Slayer. Before Faith’s arrival, fans had never seen a Slayer go rogue. However, it didn’t matter how far Faith went. Viewers were always hoping that she could somehow redeem herself. Thanks to her time on Angel, she was given that chance.

7 Saved – Robin

Robin Wood’s (D.B. Woodside) debut in season 7 premiere “Lessons” initially painted the new school principal as another villain lurking in the shadows. However, much like the rest of the characters on BtVS, appearances are often deceiving. Not only was Robin one of the good guys, but he was also the son of New York-based slayer, Nikki. The series teased this out slowly until fans realized the truth shortly before it was revealed.

It was a pretty genius move.

Although it’s easy to hate on Robin for his sneak attack on Spike, the vampire did off his mother, so his frustration can be understood. In the end, Robin turned out to be a great addition to the Scoobies, bringing both new perspective and an actual bag of tricks to the mix.

6 Hurt – Adam

Buffy almost always managed to deliver the goods when it came to the season-long Big Bad: compelling characters, with humor and even a bit of heart. The series excelled in that moral grey area, making viewers sympathize with villainous even as they committed unforgivable acts. Sadly, Adam (George Hertzberg) was a giant exception to this success.

The ersatz Frankenstein’s monster – or Walsh’s monster, as the case may have been – first appeared in season 4 episode “A New Man”. The only cool thing he ever really did was skewer his creator, Maggie, who was also not a great addition to the series. All in all, Adam was very powerful, but a boring villain. Defeating him required a major deus ex machina, which would’ve been fine if he had been a better character in the first place.

5 Saved – Andrew

Andrew Wells, aka Tucker’s brother, initially seemed as irredeemable as Warren Mears. When we met him in season 6 episode “Flooded”, he was a whiny coward with nothing even resembling a moral compass. After Andrew returned the following year, the first thing he did was take his best friend’s life.

Most fans weren’t happy to see him again, but somewhere over the course of season 7, this changed.

Like BtVS has done with the best of its characters – most of whom, let’s be real, have done some terrible things – the show found a way to endear him to viewers. Andrew may not have exactly been instrumental in Buffy’s battle with the First, but the former villain definitely brought some levity to a fairly dark season. He also provided an excellent example of the power of compassion.

4 Saved – Kendra

Interestingly, Bianca Lawson was originally cast in the role of Cordelia Chase. However, due to scheduling conflicts, the actress was forced to take a smaller part in BtVSIf we can all just put aside her painfully awful accent, everyone can probably admit that Kendra herself was a pretty cool addition to the series.

Fans were introduced to the other slayer in season 2 installment “What’s My Line Part 1”. She appeared initially to be another enemy, but instead proved vital in saving Angel’s life. Kendra’s existence answered important questions about the slayers and it was this new line, beginning with her, that later allowed for the introduction of Faith. The juxtaposition of Kendra and Buffy was also quite interesting, as they each approached their calling so differently. She also helped Buffy see that slaying was more than just a job.

3 Hurt – Forrest

Another irritating and useless season 4 addition, Forrest Gates (Leonard Roberts) was introduced in “The Initiative”.

He was little more than a foil for Riley and Buffy’s relationship.

Forrest’s feelings for his fellow soldier bordered on obsession and there was nothing interesting about him in his own right.Riley’s other pal Graham may have been boring, but at least he wasn’t so annoying. Forrest was self-righteous and obviously had very little going on in the way of an actual life. No one mourned him after he his passing. The worst part about Forrest’s demise was that it wasn’t even the last we saw of him, because Adam chose to reanimate his husk. Even then, he was still a total drag.

2 Saved – Jonathan

Jonathan Levinson (Danny Strong) had a continuing presence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years after his first appearance in season 2 installment “Inca Mummy Girl”. He was always on the periphery, being picked on, rescued or taken advantage of. Prior to joining the Trio, Jonathan was at the center of season 3 episode “Earshot” and season 4 installment “Superstar”. The former was incredibly poignant and the latter, a hilarious change of pace.

Many fans were surprised to see Jonathan pulled by the dark side, but he never fully committed like his cohorts did. Less obviously evil than Warren and not as easily manipulated as Andrew, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Sadly, by the time Jonathan made an effort to redeem himself, it was too late. That opportunity was stolen from him by his best friend.

1 Saved – Angelus

None of Buffy’s greatest Big Bads were quite as personal or painful to witness as Angelus. Aside from the unfortunate implications of essentially punishing Buffy for being intimate with her boyfriend, there is no denying that the second half of season 2 was the show at its best. This was due in large part to David Boreanaz’s villainous turn.

Two people who were so in love destroying each other was utterly brutal and completely gut-wrenching. It also led to some of BtVS’s most empowering moments. Buffy was just a teenage girl shouldering the weight of the entire world. Feeling as though she had lost everything led to the epiphany that she still possessed what mattered most. Much of the series is about surviving life on life’s terms. More than just enduring this pain, Buffy managed to recover from it.

What new characters do you feel hurt or saved Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-06 04:10:54 – Jamie Gerber

10 New Character Additions That Hurt Star Wars (And 10 That Saved It)

Star Wars introduced moviegoers to a wide array of appealing characters who quickly became iconic — Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Princess Leia, and Han Solo are just a few of them. The first of the prequels, The Phantom Menace, brought us even more, like Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, and Darth Maul. With the first entry in the new trilogy, The Force Awakens, we got Rey and BB-8, to name just two. Delivering characters we want to spend time with is fundamentally what George Lucas’s epic saga does.

If we consider A New Hope, The Phantom Menace, and The Force Awakens all the “originals” of their respective trilogies, then there have been five sequels so far — The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and The Last Jedi. Each of them added new characters designed to further develop the overall story and take it in new, unexpected directions.

Some of those character additions have been successful. Fans have fallen in love with many of the new players, more than a couple of whom have proven absolutely vital to the series. Others have had the opposite effect. They may have seemed like a good idea on paper, but they didn’t translate to the screen very well, consequently becoming weak points in the franchise. A few are even downright horrible. We’ve picked out the ones that added the most and those that detracted from the enjoyment of this epic space tale.

Here are 10 New Character Additions That Hurt Star Wars Movies (And 10 That Saved It).

20 Hurt: Count Dooku

Count Dooku makes his debut in Episode II – Attack of the Clones, but also factors into Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. He has a fascinating backstory. Once a Jedi Master — trained by Yoda, no less — he was swayed by the dark side of the Force and committed himself to advancing the nefarious agenda of the Sith.

By all accounts, he should be a fearsome character.

The casting of Christopher Lee, a screen veteran long associated with horror movies, was nothing less than inspired. Who better to bring such a devious, evil character to life? That’s why it’s so disappointing that relatively little is done with Dooku. He never achieves the overwhelming presence a Star Wars villain needs, which blunts his power. Darth Vader he is not.

19 Saved: Rose Tico

An unfair amount of negativity greeted Rose Tico — and Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who plays her — after she was introduced in The Last Jedi. Such criticism was misguided. Rose is a maintenance technician who moves to the front lines of the Resistance after a random encounter with Finn. Over the course of the movie, she goes from an average, almost anonymous citizen to a full-fledged hero.

What her critics fail to recognize is that Rose is a Star Wars character in the classic mode of Luke Skywalker. Like her, he overcame his humble beginnings– Luke went from farm boy to Jedi Knight. The main theme of Star Wars has always been that average people with good intentions can make the galaxy a better place. Rose fits perfectly into that notion.

18 Hurt: Bail Organa

Bail Organa receives a mention in the original Star Wars film, but doesn’t become a full-fledged part of things until Attack of the Clones. He is a respected member of the Republic Senate, a colleague and confidante of Padme Amidala, and eventually the adoptive father of Leia. Bail and his wife Breha take the infant girl to hide her away when Anakin Skywalker makes his transition into Darth Vader. While this fact takes up just a brief moment of screen time, it’s a pivotal piece of Star Wars history.

With a strong actor like Jimmy Smits in the role and his status as Leia’s paternal protector, Bail should be a much stronger presence.

To include him and not maximize his potential seems like a waste.

17 Saved: Jabba the Hutt

Jabba the Hutt has a great entrance into the Star Wars saga. He is mentioned in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, in both instances referred to as a loathsome, highly dangerous gangster. Because we don’t see him in either of those movies, he gains an air of mystery.

Then, in Return of the Jedi, we finally get to lay our eyes on Jabba. He’s even grosser than we could have imagined. The character is brilliantly designed so that his physical size is equal to the size of his menace, and his unattractiveness is comparable to the depths of his immorality. Jabba is a world-class bad guy.

16 Hurt: Ewoks

The Ewoks are controversial figures within the Star Wars fan community. Some people love them, others hate them. Those who hate them do so with a passion. Truth be told, they have a point.

The teddy bear-like creatures seem a little bit too childish for the conclusion of the original trilogy.

Return of the Jedi is supposed to be the dramatic culmination of the Rebels’ efforts to destroy the Death Star and put Darth Vader out of commission. That’s some heavy stuff. Presumably, the Ewoks were included to give the intense proceedings a kid-friendly vibe. They admittedly have some innovative ways of helping our heroes fight evil, but the effort to cater to children is a bit too obvious.

15 Saved: Admiral Ackbar

Admiral Ackbar has one of the most well-known and beloved lines of dialogue in the entire Star Wars saga — “It’s a trap!” He exclaims this upon realizing that the rebels have been lured into an ambush on Endor. It’s hard to say why fans have seized upon this particular moment. Maybe it’s because there’s such heightened drama, or maybe because Ackbar is just a cool-looking character. Maybe a little of both.

What we know for sure is that his cry makes an impact. Ackbar is a shrewd, perceptive leader and an expert military tactician. While his screen time in the saga is relatively small, the good Admiral has thrived in the popular Star Wars books. Fans can’t get enough of him.

14 Hurt: Salacious Crumb

When we meet Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, we also meet his pet, Salacious B. Crumb. We’re not entirely sure what this thing is. Salacious has parts that look like a monkey, parts that look like a lizard, and parts that are somewhat hard to pinpoint. He’s also got an annoying cackle that gets on your nerves quickly.

The problem with Salacious is that he’s clearly a puppet.

Yoda is, too, in the original trilogy, yet he has such personality and is so skillfully brought to life that it isn’t hard to forget about that. The same can’t be said for Salacious. Instead of an alien pet, it seems as though Jabba has a creepy Muppet hanging around him all the time.

13 Saved: Boba Fett

Some people like to mock Boba Fett. He doesn’t get a whole lot to do, and he meets his demise rather unceremoniously in Return of the Jedi. Despite those things, the ragged-looking bounty hunter has become a serious fan favorite, thanks to his mysterious nature and some masterful costume design. George Lucas gave him a second chance, revealing his origin in the prequels, which only boosted his popularity.

Boba Fett has helped the saga by proving his versatility. He’s been the subject of comic books, novels, and videogames. Even if his on-screen time isn’t the most glorious, something about him has captured the imagination of fans, putting him in the upper echelon of Star Wars characters.

12 Hurt: Vice Admiral Holdo

Just to be clear, we like the idea of Vice Admiral Holdo. Having another strong woman step up to lead the Resistance fleet following Leia’s injury was an inspired idea. It creates a moment of tension in The Last Jedi, as she gets into a scrape with Poe Dameron. And we can’t forget the heroic lightspeed sacrifice she makes.

There just simply isn’t enough of her.

Laura Dern is a great actress worth watching in literally anything, but Holdo doesn’t get a lot of screen time before making that sacrifice. For that reason, her act of selflessness fails to generate the same emotional impact it would have had we gotten to know her better first — or had a more established character made it.

11 Saved: DJ

Having an Oscar winner join the cast of a Star Wars movie was an exciting proposition. Benicio del Toro, who won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for Traffic, appears in The Last Jedi as DJ, an amoral scoundrel. DJ’s big act of malice is to give the First Order all the details of the Resistance’s plans, betraying Finn and Rose in the process.

The Star Wars films tend to be black-or-white when it comes to the characters. Most of them fall squarely into the category of either “good” or “evil.” DJ is different. He initially helps Finn and Rose, but later turns on them when it’s to his advantage. Such ambiguity provides a refreshing change from the norm, especially since he is not redeemed at the end.

10 Hurt: Elan Sleazebaggano

Elan Sleazebaggano appears in Attack of the Clones for less than ten seconds. Those ten seconds are horribly painful to watch. The character is an intergalactic pusher who tries to peddle “death sticks” to Obi-Wan Kenobi in a Coruscant nightclub. The Jedi Knight responds by using the Mind Trick on him, convincing Elan that he wants to “go home and rethink [his] life.

The sequence is handled with all the subtlety of an old “Just Say No” ad.

Inserting an anti-smoking moment into a movie that heavily appeals to young viewers is fine and dandy. That said, the bit is also played for laughs, which undercuts the message. All in all, this bit could have either been cut out or handled much more deftly than it is.

9 Saved: Emperor Palpatine

Emperor Palpatine has a very interesting character arc in the Star Wars saga. As expertly portrayed by actor Ian McDiarmid, we first meet him in The Empire Strikes Back. He appears as a wrinkled, yet undeniably ominous old man. We meet him again in the prequels, when he was younger and his evil was more discreet.

Palpatine is a Senator from Naboo who engages in underhanded political machinations to become the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic — one who goes on to rule with an iron fist. Palpatine is a great addition because he allows the epic story to examine how individuals with bad intentions can exploit the system, rise to power, and then abuse the power they’ve accumulated.

8 Hurt: Dexter Jettster

Attack of the Clones introduces us to Dexter Jettster, the owner of Dex’s Diner and an old friend to Obi-Wan Kenobi. His role is small, but critical. He examines a poisoned dart for his pal, identifying it as having come from Kamino. That puts Obi-Wan on a path to the planet, which he discovers was the genesis of the Clone Army.

Dexter might have been an interesting character, but the movie makes him the worst stereotype imaginable of a short-order cook.

He’s overweight, wears a too-short white t-shirt riddled with stains and holes, and has pants that sag in the back. This image has been used in countless movies and TV shows over the decades. It was a boring cliche by the time it was used here.

7 Saved: Porgs

From the moment a Porg was first viewed in the trailer for The Last Jedi, the internet lit up. People were instantly obsessed with these big-eyed, furry birdlike creatures and eager to learn more about them. Any time a character starts to become iconic before the actual movie comes out, you know it’s a good addition.

The Porgs provide some comic relief in the film, while also proving to be loyal allies to our heroes. One of them even becomes lunch for Chewbacca. There would seem to be greater possibilities for these characters, which creates a sense of anticipation for what function they might serve in the upcoming Episode IX. We’re left wanting to see more of them.

6 Hurt: Zam Wesell

Bounty hunter Zam Wesell is hired by Jango Fett to exterminate Padme Amidala in Attack of the Clones. The first time, she accidentally gets Padme’s body double instead of the real deal. Later, she unleashes the dangerous centipede-like kouhuns into Padme’s bedroom. This attempt narrowly fails. She’s determined, if not always successful.

She’s not a terrible character, just more of a missed opportunity.

Zam is a rarity in that she’s a female bounty hunter. Clearly, she has the drive to succeed in her missions. For that reason, Clones could have done a lot more to show her personality or illustrate the uniqueness of being a female in a male-driven profession. What sets her apart? We never truly find out.

5 Saved: Lando Calrissian

Lando Calrissian steps into the franchise in Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. He serves as the Baron Administrator to Cloud City and later becomes a general in the Rebel Alliance. Then there’s the little matter of him giving his old pal Han Solo over to Darth Vader.

The introduction of Lando is intriguing because he’s cut from the same cloth as Han. Both have a tendency to be morally ambiguous, putting themselves before others. The difference is that, by Empire, Han is much more committed to the side of good. That makes Lando an appealing foil. He’s what Han used to be, but is gradually moving away from. An added bonus is that Billy Dee Williams is suave as all get-out in the role.

4 Hurt: J’ywz’gnk Kchhllbrxcstk Et’nrmdndlcvtbrx (a.k.a. Joh Yowza)

Look, we think J’ywz’gnk Kchhllbrxcstk Et’nrmdndlcvtbrx should be in the Hurt category based on that name alone. How do you even say that? Call him by his other name, Joh Yowza, and he’s still terrible. George Lucas has long had a weird tendency to go back and “improve” the Star Wars movies. This is a perfect example of that tendency run amok.

Joh wasn’t originally in Return of the Jedi.

A singer in the Max Rebo Band, the CGI character was added to the Special Edition re-release in 1997. He performs an annoying new song called “Jedi Rocks”. ROTJ was perfectly fine without Joh Yowza, so his presence in the tinkered-with version is utterly unnecessary.

3 Saved: General Grievous

It’s always fun when the Star Wars movies introduce a new villain who looks as alluring as they do dangerous. Remember laying eyes on Darth Maul for the first time? That’s the feeling we’re talking about. General Grievous, who was brought in for Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, also fits the bill.

Although he doesn’t have a huge arc — and is thoroughly dispatched of by Obi-Wan Kenobi — it’s an impressive moment when the multi-limbed warrior whips out four lightsabers and begins spinning them around like a helicopter blade. That put a new spin on the lightsaber battles and provided some genuine thrills for the audience. He looked tough to beat, so there was drama in wondering whether he could take down the Jedi.

2 Hurt: Wodibin

Actor Warwick Davis has a long and varied history with the Star Wars series. He played Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi, Wald in The Phantom Menace, and Wollivan in The Force Awakens. Casting him in various roles has become something of a tradition within the franchise. He later turned up in Solo: A Star Wars Story, too. In The Last Jedi, Davis plays Wodibin, an alien on the casino city of Canto Bight.

Here’s the issue — you can’t tell it’s Warwick Davis.

Admittedly, you never really see his face in any of his roles, but the whole point of casting him here is to have a fun little cameo. If we don’t know it’s Davis, then the cameo is rendered worthless.

1 Saved: Yoda

Has any added character had more of an impact on the saga than Yoda? From the time the diminutive Jedi waltzed onto the screen in The Empire Strikes Back, he changed the Star Wars landscape forever.

With Ben Kenobi gone, Yoda becomes the wise mentor, instructing Luke — and, in essence, the audience — in the ways of the Force. He provides information that will become valuable as the series goes on, dropping important nuggets of wisdom like “Do or do not, there is no try” along the way.

Yoda is also a comforting presence. He’s the one who knows what to do in threatening situations. Revenge of the Sith twists that magnificently. When Yoda says, “Into exile, I must go. Failed, I have,” a chill goes down your spine. If he’s failed, things are catastrophic.

Who’s your favorite new addition to the Star Wars franchise? Tell us what you think in the comments.



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2018-09-24 03:09:41 – Mike McGranaghan

10 New Character Additions That Hurt Shameless (And 10 That Saved It)

Showtime’s Shameless, which just began its ninth season and is now the longest-running scripted show in the channel’s history, has lasted as long as it has in large part because of how utterly fascinating its characters are to watch.

The characters at the center of Shameless have always been the Gallagher family, especially the core that includes patriarch Frank and children Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam. The cast spirals out from there to include neighbors, friends, enemies, colleagues, lovers, teachers, tenants, extended members of the Gallagher family, and many, many more. The fact that we were able to compile a list of 20 “new additions,” which only includes characters that jumped on board in season two and beyond, just shows that there have been a lot of different people to come and go during Shameless‘s nine years– and counting, as a tenth season is already confirmed.

While some of the characters that have joined Shameless post-season one have done a lot to make the show better, just as many have brought the shown down a peg or two. It’s never easy balancing so many characters, and you’re bound to break a few eggs when trying to come up with the perfect omelet of characters to fill out such a show. There are some cases when a character itself wasn’t– they just got stuck with bad storylines– and vice versa, as some awful characters led to some really interesting plot threads.

Here are 10 New Character Additions That Hurt Shameless (And 10 That Saved It).

20 Hurt: Jody Silverman

Jody was funny at first. With his dopey nature and his hilariously bizarre bedroom song choice, he was a nice bit of comic relief and offered an interesting third wheel dynamic in the complicated relationship between Lip and Karen Jackson.

Jody’s shtick wore thin pretty quickly.

When Karen kicked him to the curb, that should’ve been the end of his character’s time on the show. The writers thinly stretched out his story arc to include him camping out outside of the Jackson’s home and, even more bizarrely, getting into a physical relationship with Karen’s mother, Sheila. Karen and Lip’s relationship went in its own compelling directions after that, and Sheila never needed help being more interesting, so it’s not really clear what Jody’s purpose was after his initial few episodes.

19 Saved: Lloyd “Ned” Lishman

Ian and Mickey Milkovich have been one of the most rooted-for couples on Shameless, but it was never the most functional of relationships. When Mickey is arrested, Ian is left heartbroken and alone and eventually finds his way into the arms of a man who calls himself Lloyd.

An interesting wrinkle to the introduction of “Lloyd” is that he is actually Ned Lishman, the apparently closeted father of Jimmy/Steve. While it is unfortunate that Ian ends up with another older, secretly gay man like he did at the beginning of the series with the owner of the store he worked at, it doesn’t make the whole Lloyd/Ned storyline any less interesting to watch, especially in how it ends up affecting Jimmy and, later, Mickey.

18 Hurt: Sammi Slott

In season four of Shameless, we find out about Frank’s ex Queenie Slott, with whom he apparently had a daughter named Sammi. It  isn’t at all surprising that a guy like Frank would’ve had babies with various women and had no idea about it until years later– if ever– when they come looking for him as adults.

The introduction of yet another of Frank’s children felt a bit unnecessary to the overall dynamic of the show.

It didn’t help that Sammi is an extremely annoying character who brought along the even more annoying Chucky, her son. The whole Slott family subplot could’ve been skipped altogether, and Sammi and Chucky both frequently ended up on “worst Shameless characters” lists for very good reason.

17 Saved: Dottie Corones

Frank seems like a character almost completely devoid of empathy, which is exactly why we love to hate him. Every time he exhibits the tiniest bit of heart or humanity, he very quickly subverts it somehow and turns it into a selfish scheme of some kind.

Initially, Frank’s plans with Dottie “Butterface” Corones seem like his most vulgar yet. The idea is to pretend to get into a relationship with her so he could benefit financially from her passing, which shouldn’t be too difficult given her serious heart condition– which, conveniently for him, could be exploited if he is intimate with her. In their brief time together, Frank and Dottie actually seem to develop genuine feelings for each other, and what Frank does for/to her at the end actually comes across more sweetly than we ever would’ve expected.

16 Hurt: Robbie Pratt

Every show needs conflict. What makes Shameless interesting is how much of that conflict involves the Gallaghers themselves, both in dealing with the struggles of poverty-level life in a big city and with their addict, often absent father. That isn’t to say that there is never conflict with outside characters or that doesn’t involve the Gallgahers just trying to get by, but that’s the foundation on which the show was built and is generally the most fascinating aspect of it.

When Robbie was introduced and eventually became something of the “main villain” of the show for almost an entire season, it kind of got away from what makes the show so great in its best moments. Having such a single, malevolent force– besides Frank– causing so much chaos for so long got a little boring.

15 Saved: Professor Hearst

It is established very early on that Lip is extremely intelligent and is capable of great things if presented with the right opportunities. Unfortunately, those opportunities don’t easily present themselves to low-income people in low-income neighborhoods, and Lip is often forced to use all of his smarts and resourcefulness for less–than-noble pursuits.

Eventually, Lip crosses paths with Professor Hearst, who sees Lip’s potential and offers him a place to put his skills to better, more academic use. Lip, of course, is hesitant of this offer, but Hearst isn’t willing to take no for an answer, and often knows just what to say and how to say it to get Lip (temporarily) on the right path. In fact, Professor Hearst is arguably one of the only characters on Shameless who is able to effectively spar with Lip on that level.

14 Hurt: Svetlana Yevgenivna

Svetlana’s initial entrance on Shameless immediately put viewers off of the character, being hired by Mickey’s dad to force herself on him in order to turn him straight.

Svetlana is just involved with one infuriating plot line after another.

Her sham marriage to Mickey was never enjoyable to watch– especially in what it does to Ian– and the subplot that stems from her career choice just gets increasingly absurd the more that’s piled onto it. That she then blackmails Mickey and threatens to tell his father about his rekindled relationship with Ian and also cruelly mocks him. She’s also awkwardly involved in Kev and Vee’s relationship.

13 Saved: Trevor

Trevor is the first major character on the show to be tran, and not surprisingly, Shameless handles it with class and realism. He also ends up being one of the more positive relationships for Ian, for as long as that lasts, with that being one of the main threads of the seventh season.

Unfortunately, Trevor’s second major season was season eight, which wasn’t one of the better-received seasons of the show. As such, he kind of got lost in the shuffle of the backlash against the show that year. Putting that aside, his pining for/missing Ian that season and the love triangle of Ian, Trevor, and Mickey is one of the more interesting parts of a somewhat dud season.

12 Hurt: Amanda

If there is one thing that Shameless isn’t lacking in, it’s characters. At any given time, there are more than enough characters on the show between the main cast and whatever recurring characters are around to make for interesting and varied stories. On the rare occasion that the show just has a completely superfluous character, they stick out like a sore thumb. Amanda is one such character.

She has never once felt like a truly necessary character. 

She’s never been involved in any plots that couldn’t either have been omitted entirely, or could’ve involved another, better character. Amanda never does anything particularly egregious on the show, but she just never seems to justify her presence, either.

11 Saved: Sean Pierce

With the exception of William H. Macy, the cast of Shameless primarily consists of actors who were either completely new when the show started, or were still on their ascent to stardom. Still, every so often, the series knows just when to bring in another veteran for a little of the wisdom that only someone who has been acting for decades can provide.

That was the case when Dermot Mulroney joined the show as Sean, the owner of Patsy’s Pies, which is how he meets Fiona. The pair struck up a romance that even resulted in them getting engaged, though they never went through with the wedding. While his season eight return felt a little forced and unsatisfying, his time on the show before that and his relationship with Fiona was a highlight of seasons five and six.

10 Hurt: Estefania

When “Steve” first leaves the show, we had no idea if we should expect his return or not. Whhile it was smart to bring him back as his and Fiona’s relationship drove the show for years, we could’ve done without him bringing a new wife along with him.

Estefania definitely seemed designed to be an annoying presence on the show, but that doesn’t make it okay.

That whole silly nonsense about her true love being lost and forgotten on a cargo ship didn’t do much for her character’s existence on the show either. She wasn’t so much a character as an obstacle for Jimmy and Fiona.

9 Saved: Caleb

Ian has definitely had a few romantic relationships over the course of Shameless, but most were purely physical or the physical component was the key aspect. Arguably, it wasn’t until he met Caleb that he first started to truly realize that he could have a relationship with another man and not have bedroom activities be the main driving force behind it.

Ian and Caleb’s relationship was very sweet for a time, and it was nice to see a gay relationship on the show that wasn’t all about illicitness and sneaking around. Sure, it didn’t end well, and Caleb’s views on infidelity weren’t the best, but he was still a great presence on the show and changed Ian for the better– if only for a while.

8 Hurt: Kassidi Callagher

Despite your personal feelings on how Carl grew during the course of Shameless, it’s hard to deny that his progression as a character was to be expected. Even among characters who might not be on a path we would choose for them, it is still possible to have certain aspects of them just feel off from a storytelling standpoint.

Kassidi is wrong for Carl in just about every way, which wouldn’t be a problem for the show if it weren’t for the questionable choices that the writers made for her.

Namely, the decision to have her concoct a fake abduction in order to get her rich dad to pay them a bunch of money, which is way too tired of a cliche for a show that is generally all about avoiding cliche.

7 Saved: Nessa Chabon

During the much-derided eighth season, Fiona and Veronica weren’t able to spend much time together due to some plot machinations, which left Fiona without a constant companion. The lack of the typical ongoing interaction between Fiona and Vee meant that Fiona was suddenly left with a lot less to do as a character, the result of which was the writers coming up with some interesting tenants in Fiona’s building.

Nessa was definitely the more interesting of the these tenants, and served as a fun buddy for Fiona in Vee’s absence. It was also refreshing that the show introduced a lesbian character for Fiona to spend time with without resorting to the usual go-to of having it be all about her trying to get with Fiona. That’s something Shameless has resorted to a few times too many.

6 Hurt: Derek Delgado

There’s no disputing the fact that Debbie is the least-liked of the show’s main cast– even Frank has more fans. She started off as a bright and caring girl but the writers sent her down a dark path. Some defend this as being realistic for a child of a broken home marred by substance abuse, but so are all of the Gallagher kids– and somehow, none of them end up completely changing personalities.

Her boyfriend Derek was at the center of Debbie’s uninteresting– and character-damaging– pregnancy storyline.

Though he flees from the the responsibility– another boring choice for the character and the subplot– we’re still stuck with it.

5 Saved: Bianca Samson

Another person who showed that Frank isn’t as completely cold-hearted and empty inside as he often seems, Bianca remains a standout of all of the characters introduced in Shameless. This is especially impressive given the double-whammy of her single-season appearance, and the fact that the catalyst for her introduction was yet another goofy Sammi subplot.

Bianca was initially just a doctor who treated Frank, but was soon revealed to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and looking to spice up the limited time she had left. Sure, Frank doesn’t show her the purest way to do so, and takes her to some very dark places– but he also takes a bold, surprising step to help her at one point. Her final days aren’t all positive, but they involve some of the show’s most poignant scenes.

4 Hurt: Helené Runyon

A lot of Shameless is unflinchingly realistic. At the same time, a lot of it also involves heavy suspension of disbelief at some completely absurd situations that these characters find themselves in. Some of the latter is for the sake of a funny scene or interesting episode, but there are times when things are just too ridiculous too enjoy.

The fact that a guy like Lip would just so happen to find himself in a class with an older female teacher who is down with having an affair with him seems a bit too coincidental, especially a teacher who basically initiates it. That’s a complete breach of her professional responsibility.

Most of the plot threads that involve Helené are hard not to sigh our way through.

It’s all based on a situation that feels a little too contrived and obvious.

3 Saved: Gus Pfender

Gus Pfender does one of the biggest 180s in Shameless history. At first, it seemed like he might be one of the good ones for unlucky-in-love Fiona and we found ourselves actually rooting for their whirlwind marriage.

But when they separate because of Fiona’s feelings for Sean, Gus– who definitely had a right to be angry– completely turns into a monster, writing vicious songs against her and making their legal entanglements as sticky as possible. But what matters is whether a character makes for good television, and Gus has definitely done that. It’s also the sign of a well-developed character that we can’t help but wonder what might have been between Fiona and Gus, had Sean not come into the picture.

2 Hurt: Holly Herkimer

In Holly’s initial appearances on the show, she served the storyline for which she was introduced well, as one of the badder girls in Debbie’s class who agreed to come to Debbie’s birthday party only so she could have a shot with Lip. Then she was gone, which is fine– some characters come and go for a specific episode or two an that’s all they are needed for.

Unfortunately, the Shameless writing staff thought that Holly should return in season four and becoming a recurring character.

Holly’s return introduced Debbie to the world of ladies of the night.

It always felt like a half-baked attempt to up the show’s shock value, both with that plot thread and Holly herself.

1 Saved: Eddie

One of the newer additions on this list, Eddie— no, not Karen’s ill-fated father— worked with Lip at the bike shop. She was initially just a friend with benefits to Lip and little else, but she eventually developed into an interesting component of the love square of her, Lip, Sierra, and Charlie.

However, Eddie’s most important contribution to the world of Shameless is arguably her niece, who she had taken in and was raising as her own but then abandoned when she ran off to Mexico with another guy. How could this make her a positive presence on the show? Because someone has to take care of Eddie’s niece, and this gives Lip another shot at being a father figure, something we discover early on he is interested in.

Who’s your favorite new character on Shameless? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-09-21 02:09:11 – Chris Hodges

10 New Character Additions That Hurt Orange Is The New Black (And 10 That Saved It)



Netflix wasn’t always such a force to be reckoned with when it came to original programming. The streaming giant owes much of its early success to Orange is the New Black. The show premiered in 2013 and has gone on to make history as Netflix’s most-watched original series. It has been praised by both critics and viewers alike, winning many awards in the process. The show’s 6th season just aired and it has already been renewed for a 7th outing.

Created by Jenji Kohen of Weeds fame, the series was originally based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about her brief stint in prison. However, the compulsively watchable show has since grown, focusing more on its ever-expanding cast of incredible female characters. The series has not only served as brutal commentary on the prison system, but has also humanized prisoners for a large audience. OITNB is about women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds, and has been rightfully lauded for its depiction of these different inmates.

While some prisoners, such as Taystee, Nichols, and Burset are universally beloved by viewers, other inmates like Watson, Vause, and even the show’s original star, Chapman herself, don’t have quite as many fans. With a show that has been continually incorporating new characters with every season, there are bound to be some who add more than others. For every inmate who elicited positive reactions upon their debut, there is another who fans were hoping would meet a violent end.

Here are 10 New Character Additions That Hurt Orange Is The New Black (And 10 That Saved It).

20 Hurt – Madison “Badison” Murphy

Season 6 addition Madison “Badison” Murphy might just be the least impressive villain ever to appear in Orange is the New Black. Even if we put aside Amanda Fuller’s truly overcooked Boston accent, there is nothing that makes her an even remotely compelling character.

She was irritating, nonthreatening, and boring, which is a sin few OITNB baddies have been guilty of.

The best flashbacks on the show give depth to its characters, particularly those that we had little insight into before. However, Badison’s backstory adds no layers to her at all, making her even more cartoonish than she already was to begin with.

Quite simply, there are no stakes here. We don’t understand Badison’s motivations other than the vague notion that she was bullied as a teen, a revelation that fails to make her even remotely sympathetic.

19 Saved – Brook Soso

Brook Soso wasn’t exactly beloved upon her introduction, but eventually became a fan favorite thanks to the evolution of her character. When Kimiko Glenn joined the cast in the show’s second season, viewers quickly turned against her. Soso’s naiveté and impossibly cheery disposition earned her little more than derision from fans.

Cut to season 3, when OITNB subverted expectations for the character, managing to transform her from annoying to endearing. Brook may not have had the saddest story in a prison full of them, but she was incredibly relatable. Aside from that, her annoying nonstop chatter had been harnessed and put to excellent use defending both herself and her fellow inmates.

Also, let’s not forget her heartfelt romantic relationship with another fan-favorite inmate, Poussay Washington. Although it came to a gut-wrenching end, viewers loved watching their story unfold.

18 Hurt – Stella Carlin

Many fans were excited by the news that Ruby Rose would be joining the cast of Orange is the New Black. Although Stella Carlin did offer a reprieve from the constant drama between Alex and Piper, ultimately she was little more than a distraction.

There was nothing that really made the character stand out in any particularly memorable way.

Making matters worse, there was little chemistry between Rose and Taylor Schilling, which called the relationship between their characters into question. When it comes down to it, nothing about Rose’s performance or Stella herself made the arc feel like anything other than pointless filler. Generally speaking, OITNB gives a lot of depth to their ever-expanding cast of characters, but sadly, this felt like a missed opportunity.

17 Saved – Lolly Whitehall

Lori Petty is probably best known for portraying the titular hero in Tank Girl back in the ‘90s. She is also responsible for bringing to life one of the most fascinating characters who hasn’t been with Orange is the New Black since season 1.

Lolly Whitehall is a tragic example of the the prison system’s failure to accommodate those who deal with mental illness. Her story is incredibly poignant and most fans were glad to see her return in season 6 after being absent the year before.

Lolly first appeared back in the show’s sophomore outing. Petty’s performance made her immediately endearing, delivering an incredibly realistic portrayal of mental illness in the process. Watching Lolly struggle to discern reality from fiction was heartbreaking, but she remains one of Litchfield’s most compelling inmates.

16 Hurt – Charlie “Donuts” Coates

Charlie “Donuts” Coates (James McMenamin) debuted in season 3 and while he and Tiffany “Pensatucky” Doggett initially struck up something of a friendship, things quickly took a dark turn.

Although OITNB portrayed Doggett’s assault at the hands of Coates and its aftermath in an incredibly realistic way, the season 6 storyline between these two could be viewed as incredibly harmful. One of the show’s strong points is revealing every shade of grey in what looks to be a black and white situation. Doggett’s earlier abuse made her predisposed not only to suffer similar experiences, but also to return to her abuser.

It’s one thing to paint Coates as ignorant, but it’s quite another to have he and Doggett ride off into the sunset together.

Yes, she left him by season’s end, but the portrayal of their relationship was incredibly problematic.

15 Saved – Yvonne “Vee” Parker

Of all the Big Bads featured in Orange is the New Black, none have managed to capture the attention of viewers in quite the same way as Yvonne “Vee” Parker. There aren’t many women who could hold their own against Kate Mulgrew’s Galina “Red” Reznikov, but Lorraine Toussaint is certainly one of the few.

OITNB built up the feud between these two over the course of the show’s 2nd season, until it finally boiled over.

Like all of the best villains, Vee was no mustache-twirling caricature. She was a fully formed character. Viewers knew that she was the Big Bad here, but unlike baddies who’ve come and gone, most weren’t anxiously awaiting her end. It was satisfying to see her get what was coming to her, but bittersweet because it meant that Toussaint was off the show.

14 Hurt – Maureen Kukudio

Played by Emily Althaus, Maureen Kukudio debuted in season 3. Sure, it was nice to see someone romantically interested in Suzanne, but honestly, she deserved better than losing her life in the sad way she did.

There isn’t much to say about this character.

She was strange in a way that was neither intriguing nor endearing, and was cruel and manipulative towards Suzanne. She wasn’t even important enough to warrant a backstory–  even Linda from Purchasing got one of those. The only good thing that Kukudio ever did was cause Humps to have a stroke by blowing bubbles into his IV.

13 Saved – Yadriel

If initial impressions were to be believed, most fans likely thought that CO Bennett would’ve made a better father than Yadriel (Ian Payola). Bennett seemed very invested in both Daya and their child, while the incredibly taciturn Yadriel was harder to read. However, Bennett eventually abandoned his responsibilities so that Matt McGorry could learn HTGAWM.

Yadriel, on the other hand, grew increasingly close to Pepa, the daughter he shared with inmate Maria Ruiz.

Even though Yadriel clearly loved Maria, he felt it best not to bring Pepa back to the prison to see her mother for a while. Even as he tried to do what he thought was best for their daughter, Yadriel continued to defend Maria to his mother.

The visiting day conversations between them ranged from funny to heartbreaking. Most fans are still waiting for Yadriel’s return.

12 Hurt – Desmond “Desi” Piscatella

It can’t be argued that OITNB didn’t attempt to give Desmond “Desi” Piscatella some true depth. The issue is that the man was so monstrous that most viewers found it impossible to feel sympathy for him, regardless of his traumatic past. Brad William Henke arrived during the show’s 4th season and most fans were grateful that Piscatella didn’t survive to be part of the 6th.

Brutality is a daily reality for these inmates, but Piscatella took it beyond anything we’d seen.

OITNB has always done an excellent job of walking the line between comedy and drama, but this arc went to a place that was difficult for viewers to stomach.

Let’s also not forget that the cover-up regarding Piscatella’s fate led to Taystee going down for taking his life. Even in the afterlife, he still managed to torment these women.

11 Saved – Frieda Berlin

Frieda Berlin has become so integral to OITNB that it’s difficult to remember that she hasn’t been with the series from the very beginning.

Debuting in season 2, she may be a “bad grandma,” but Dale Soules has made her one of the most fascinating women at Litchfield. Frieda is brilliant, from her survivalist credentials to her vast knowledge of poisons. There are plenty of situations in which her fellow inmates would’ve been lost without her. Sure, she eventually sold out her friends to save her own skin, but Frieda is nothing if not a survivor.

Frieda’s story was greatly expanded on in season 6, giving Soules much more to do than she’s had in previous seasons. She wasn’t always likable, but most fans were still rooting for this “Golden Girl” to make it out alive.

10 Hurt – Virginia “Ginger” Copeland

There have been very few COs who were portrayed as anything other than awful. However, what sets season 6’s Virginia “Ginger” Copeland apart wasn’t violent sadism, but rather extreme apathy. Sure, this is another layer of the issues facing prison guards in general, but Ginger was just an unpleasant addition to the cast.

Ginger cared more about Fantasy Inmate than about the inmates themselves.

While some villainous figures have been given depth through flashbacks, she remained rather two-dimensional all season long.

Shawna Hamic did an excellent job of making her unlikable, but perhaps she did that job too well because most fans really hate her. 

It’s unknown if Ginger will return for season 7, but she was still breathing when 6 came to a close, so we likely haven’t seen the last of her.

9 Saved – Judy King

When Judy King showed up at the end of season 3, she was unlike any other inmate we had met thus far. Blair Brown’s character was clearly meant as a Martha Stewart analog, with shades of Paula Dean thrown in as well.

Judy was a celebrity, but she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She also found ways to make her sentence more bearable.

Judy’s financial situation came in handy in prison and she was granted more amenities than the average inmate. She also wasn’t portrayed like most older women on television are. Judy had a husband, a boyfriend, and even had an affair with Joel Luschek – and Yoga Jones. She was a fascinating addition to the cast and most fans were sad to see her go.

8 Hurt – Thomas “Humps” Humphrey

Another example of a veteran being portrayed as little more than a sociopath, Thomas “Humps” Humphrey was a monster. Yes, there have been plenty of awful guards at Litchfield, but Humps set himself apart but being so awful that his character kind of ceased being believable.

Was there really a reason for us to see him forcing Maritza to choose between eating a live mouse or deceased flies?

Let’s not forget that he made the inmates fight for his own entertainment.

To be fair, Michael Torpey did an excellent job of making his character truly reprehensible. Still, his story seemed fairly pointless. Thankfully, this CO was only present during seasons 4 and 5.

7 Saved – Carol and Barb Denning

Until OITNB’s 6th season, no Big Bad had even come close to living up to Vee’s particular brand of villainy. However, sisters Carol (Henny Russell) and Barb (Mackenzie Phillips) Denning were truly vicious. Even their flashbacks served only explain the ridiculousness of the impetus of their long-standing feud, rather than to elicit sympathy for them.

One of the most interesting aspects of these siblings is that there is really no one to root for here. They were both irredeemably evil, but their ongoing torment of one another was a car crash that no one could look away from.

Much of this can be attributed to the incredible performances given by Russell and Phillips, as well as Ashley Jordyn and Lauren Kelston, who portrayed the younger versions of these twisted sisters. Their ultimate fate was perfect, but they’ll be missed.

6 Hurt – Linda Ferguson

Linda Ferguson, aka Linda from Purchasing, is a character that has simply been granted too much screen time. She was even given a backstory no one asked for, as well as being placed firmly in the forefront of the narrative during the prison riot. She’s not the first non-inmate to be given such treatment, but she is the most two-dimensional.

Why steadily increase her visibility since her debut in season 3?

Beth Dover isn’t a bad actress. She does a great job making viewers hate her character. Despite her time behind bars, Linda learned zero compassion for the inmates, instead using the experience to maneuver herself into a powerful position. We likely haven’t seen the last of her.

5 Saved – Tamika Ward

We now come to the rare case of a CO who wasn’t a monster. Thanks to Susan Heyward’s nuanced performance, as well as the arc created for her, Tamika Ward became one of Litchfield’s most thought-provoking characters. She was neither scary, nor violent and she obviously took her job very seriously.

As someone who shared history with Natasha “Taystee” Jefferson, Ward struggled with the undeniable empathy she felt for her former friend. Watching Taystee’s season long battle to clear her name definitely affected the way that Ward viewed her job.

Throughout the course of the season, Ward tried to ignore the fact that if events had been slightly altered, their positions could’ve been reversed. However, try as she might to ignore her feelings, in the end, she couldn’t help but be there for Tasha.

4 Hurt – Lee Dixon

Although Lee Dixon (Mike Houston) was shown in a more comedic light during the show’s 6th season, prior to that, he was pretty much irredeemably awful. No matter how endearing Orange is the New Black attempted to make the CO this year, he has already done too much damage to be remotely likable – not that all great characters on this show need to be.

The most controversial aspect of Dixon is that he is one of several veterans on the series who has been portrayed as villainous.

First appearing in season 4, Dixon has admitted to committing terrible crimes during wartime, assaulted inmates, and even compared Poussey’s fate to accidentally breaking a chair. Perhaps the efforts to redeem him a bit this season were a result of the fan backlash over his past behavior.

3 Saved – Dominga “Daddy” Duarte

There weren’t too many new inmates in season 6 who felt like they could hold their own against the OG prisoners – at least in our hearts. However, Vicci Martinez’s Dominga “Daddy” Duarte definitely earned a spot there.

Viewers were right to be wary of her initial intentions towards Daya, but as is often the case on OITNB, the story that unfolded over the course of the season gave some insight into her behavior.

By season’s end, most fans were fed up with Daya – who was trapped in a fairly pointless addiction storyline – and had been won over by the charismatic new inmate who preferred to be called “Daddy.” It may have been her illegal substances that Daya got strung out on, but Daddy proved on more than one occasion that she truly cared for her.

2 Hurt – Baxter Bayley

The initial crop of guards on OITNB was sort of a mixed bag of those who did their best, those who did their worst and those who simply didn’t care. However, as the seasons wore on, budgetary decisions led to hiring an increasing amount of sociopaths. Baxter Bayley (Alan Aisenberg) debuted in season 3 and was clearly one of the only new COs who cared about the inmates.

Despite his best intentions, Bayley was undone by his own inexperience, which led to the loss of one of the show’s most beloved characters, Poussey Washington. He was obviously destroyed by this tragic mistake and it was that moment that led directly into the prison riot.

Bayley also did go to Poussey’s father looking for forgiveness, which was an incredibly selfish move.

1 Adeola

Although season 6 gave us some characters best left forgotten, it also introduced us to Sipiwe Moyo’s Adeola. She is most definitely one of Litchfield’s funniest additions, whether she is discussing evolutionary anthropology or “walking tall with a machete.” This inmate was a bright spot in a very dark season – this year did take place in Maximum Security, after all.

Adeola was introduced as Lorna’s roommate, who has a particular affinity for rats. She may not be a major player in OITNB just yet, but she certainly stole every single scene that she was in. Hopefully, the writers realize what they have here and Adeola is granted more screen time when the series returns for season 7.

Who’s your favorite newer Orange is the New Black character? Let us know in the comments!



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