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The Myers-Briggs® Types Of Saved By The Bell Characters

Every ’90s child has a happy memory of Saved By the Bell. There was something about the theme song, the colorful clothing that the characters wear, and the corny situations. Sure, this might not be a show that we watch regularly (and we might not even be able to find re-runs very often) but we still can think of it while smiling.

RELATED: Saved by the Bell Cast Reunites Ahead Of 30th Anniversary This Year

The characters on Saved By the Bell are kind-hearted and it’s cool to think about their Myers-Briggs® Personality Types. What would Kelly, Zack, Slater, and Jessie be, along with the rest of the gang?

Here are the MBTIs of the Saved By the Bell characters.

10 Violet Anne Bickerstaff: ISTJ

Tori Spelling had many high-profile roles back in the ’80s and ’90s: she was Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210 and she was also Violet Anne Bickerstaff on Saved By the Bell. We might remember her as the girl who dates Screech.

RELATED: ‘Saved By The Bell’ Cast Reunite on Jimmy Fallon

Fans of Saved By the Bell will recall her patterned, grandma-style dresses, along with the two high braids that she always wore. Violet is presented as a dork, just like Screech, and there isn’t a lot more to her. When it comes to her MBTI, it would have to be ISTJ or “Responsible Realist.”

ISTJs are “sensible” people who “focus on tasks.” If Violet had a school assignment to do, we bet that she would do it totally perfectly. She can always be relied on.

9 Stacey Carosi: INTP

Stacey Carosi (Leah Remini) is a Malibu Sands Beach Club employee and fans will recall that the Bayside High gang was all employed there over the summer. Those were some good times.

She’s a fairly minor character, but fans will probably remember that she and Zack have crushes on each other. There’s some drama since her dad isn’t big on her dating him, and she’s not even super sure about him at first. She actually makes fun of him for a little while.

RELATED: ‘Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story’ Clip: So Bad, It’s Good?

Since Stacey is a girl who is self-assured and knows what she wants, her MBTI would be INTP or “Objective Analyst.” INTPs “think strategically” and “typically adopt a detached and concise way of analyzing the world.” This is exactly what Stacey does: she thinks that Zack is too much of a chill California guy at first.

8 Tori Scott: INTJ

Tori Scott (Leanna Creel) is another minor character on Saved By the Bell who was only on the series for a short amount of time. When she was on it, she and Zack dated, and she was always in a leather jacket. This was definitely a stark contrast to the styles of the rest of the Bayside High kids as we can recall their very colorful outfits.

Fans will definitely remember one thing about Tori: she was in ten episodes of the show… and Jessie and Kelly weren’t on it during that time. People call this “The Tori Paradox.”

What would Tori’s MBTI be? We don’t know a lot about her, but we do know that a.) she marches to her own drummer since she wears leather jackets in a sea of colorful patterns and b.) she’s a pretty strong character. That would make her MBTI INTJ or “Conceptual Planner.” INTJs are “decisive” and “original.” They get worried by “mindless rule followers” which is totally Tori.

7 Mr. Richard Belding: ISTP

There are certain fictional teachers or principals who remain in the hearts of fans years after they watch the show. Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World is one of them, and so is Mr. Richard Belding on Saved By the Bell.

Richard Belding (Dennis Haskins) is your typical tough principal. He cares about the rules and is convinced that Zack and the gang are always up to no good. He always says, “Hey, hey, hey, hey! What is going on here?”

RELATED: The 10 Best 90s Sitcoms No One Watched (And 9 Bad Ones Everyone Did)

Mr. Belding’s MBTI is ISTP or “Logical Pragmatist.” ISTPs like to fix something that has gone wrong, and more than that, they stay perfectly chill the whole time. They’re also “factual” and “careful observers.” That sounds like Mr. Belding who rules the school and has to make sure everything is running smoothly.

6 Samuel “Screech” Powers: ISFP

Screech (Dustin Diamond) is one of the most memorable characters on Saved By the Bell. His MBTI is ISFP or “Versatile Supporter.” He’s a dork, sure, but he’s also totally there for everyone (Lisa Turtle most of all since he has a big crush on her). This personality type is described as “loyal” which is definitely Screech.

RELATED: Seinfeld: The 11 Funniest George Costanza Quotes

The most interesting thing about Screech is that while he’s incredibly dorky, he’s not trying to be popular or trying to change his personality. He accepts who he is. That sounds like an ISFP, too, as they have “strong values.”

5 Lisa Turtle: ENTJ

Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies) is an ENTJ or “Decisive Strategist.” She adores several things, from dressing well to being a beloved member of the Bayside High School student population, and she’s not one to change her mind or back down.

ENTJs “think strategically about the future” which is what Lisa is like since she has ambitions to be a designer. We know that she will do that and if there was ever a reboot about the characters a few decades after the show ended, she would be working in fashion.

4 Jessie Spano: INFP

Elizabeth Berkeley’s Saved By the Bell character, Jessie Spano, is definitely an INTP or “Thoughtful Idealist.” She cares about a lot of causes and people, including her pals and her boyfriend A.C. Slater.

INTPs are “complex” and “devoted.” We always got the feeling that Jessie was super intelligent and that she was a fully developed character, and she was the star of many crucial episodes, like when she took caffeine pills.

INTPs don’t like “open disrespect” which sounds like Jessie, too, since she is always on Slater to be more respectful.

3 A.C. Slater: ESTP

A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) has a nickname for his best friend, Zack Morris — “Preppy” — and he seems like a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of guy. Anyone who watched Saved By the Bell back in the day will remember the core group: Slater, Zack, Kelly, and Jessie. Slater’s MBTI would be ESTP or “Enterprising Explorer.”

RELATED: 10 One Season Shows That Deserved Better

Slater’s into sports and his girlfriend, Jessie, and seems like a really friendly, extraverted person.  “Outgoing” and “enthusiastic” are two of the ESTP descriptors and that would be Slater, too.

2 Kelly Kapowski: ENTP

Kelly (Tiffani Theissen) and Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) are Mrs. and Mr. Popular at Bayside High School, which makes them a perfect pair. She’s a cheerleader and seems like a sweet person, even though many popular TV and film characters are often total jerks.

Kelly’s MBTI is ENFP or “Imaginative Motivator.” These types have a “zest for life” which sounds a lot like Kelly since we always see her in an amazing mood and ready to take on whatever is going on. It’s cool that Kelly is so much nicer than the typical popular girl in many teen dramas, and she’s easy to like.

1 Zack Morris: ENTP

Zack Morris is an ENTP or “Enterprising Explorer.” He’s often making mistakes and coming up with ideas, like when he wants Lisa to be a kind of Agony Aunt figure and help others out with their problems. Unfortunately Zack is always trying to get more money than anything else, so it doesn’t work out well.

There’s always one kid who is trying his best to have tons of fun at school and he convinces everyone else to join in. That’s definitely Zack. He has many of the traits that an ENTP has: he’s “clever” and “curious.”

NEXT: 15 Secrets From Saved By The Bell You Had No Idea About


2019-04-25 03:04:52

Aya Tsintziras

Star Trek: 10 Storylines That Hurt TNG (And 10 That Saved It)

Star Trek: The Next Generation is regarded by many to be the best of the Star Trek TV shows. The fact that The Original Series had helped to propel the franchise to an iconic status helped The Next Generation immensely, as the show was able to run for seven seasons without being canceled, which gave the cast and the writers the time they needed to mold the show into the epic that it became.

It wasn’t easy for The Next Generation to find its feet, as the first season of the show was notoriously terrible compared to everything that came after it, with the triple threat of “The [Bare] Now,” “Code of Honor,” and “The Last Outpost” almost sinking the show before it could find its audience.

The Next Generation improved a great deal with each following season, but there were still clunkers hidden among the classics. There were a lot of long-running storylines in The Next Generation that took place over the course of seasons and these had the potential to be either incredible or terrible.

We are here today to determine which storylines helped The Next Generation to become one of the greatest TV shows of all time and which ones almost sank the show before it could find its footing – from the original Ferengi and their rodent combat style, to the arrival of one of the most feared enemies of the Federation.

Here are Ten Storylines That Hurt Star Trek: The Next Generation (And Ten That Saved It)

20 The Original Ferengi (Hurt)

Star Trek: The Next Generation was originally planned to exclude all of the notable races from Star Trek: The Original Series, which meant that we wouldn’t see any Klingons, Romulans, or Vulcans on the show. These plans were swiftly dropped, but the writers decided to introduce new races to act as villains on the show, with the Ferengi originally intended to replace the Klingons as enemies of the Federation.

The original Ferengi were impossible to take seriously, as their debut episode involved them bouncing around like animals. The idea of the militaristic Ferengi also failed to work and they were gradually downplayed as villains of the show before they were reimagined in Deep Space Nine as a commerce-obsessed race, which was a far better fit for them.

19 Worf Losing & Regaining His Honor (Saved)

Star Trek: The Next Generation brought the viewers closer to the Klingon Empire than ever before, which was mostly due to the prominence of Worf, who became even more important to the show when Denise Crosby left.

Worf was a Klingon with an outsider’s perspective of his native culture, as he spent most of his life living in the Federation. It’s through Worf’s eyes that the viewer learns the truth about the “honor” of Klingons and how truly deceptive and underhanded they could be in the pursuit of power.

The story of Worf losing his honor due to the plots of the Duras family and later regaining his honor when siding with Gowron offered some of the most insightful looks into Klingon society in the history of the franchise. It was these storylines that helped to make the Klingons so popular with the fans, to the point where there are many who root for the Empire over Starfleet.

18 Sela Going Nowhere (Hurt)

Denise Crosby asked to be written out of Star Trek: The Next Generation, due to how unhappy she was working on the show. Crosby’s departure led to Tasha Yar meeting her fate during the first season of the show.

Tasha Yar would return in the form of alternate realities and time travel plots, one of which involved an alternate version of Tasha appearing in the past of the Star Trek universe and giving birth to a half-Romulan daughter named Sela, who would also be played by Denise Crosby.

The debut of Sela was used a cliffhanger ending of the fourth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, yet her role in the story was minimal and could have been performed by any other Romulan character on the show. Sela only made four appearances in the show and was never treated as a major character within the story.

17 Moriarty Redeems The Holodeck Episode (Saved)

The holodeck episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation were a mixed bag, as they mainly existed to offer temporary genre shifts for the show (such as allowing the crew to experience gangster or western storylines) and their quality varied. The recurring element of the “holodeck malfunction” that caused the games to become deadly also quickly grated on the fans.

The exception to the bad holodeck episodes was “Elementary, Dear Data” and “Ship in a Bottle”, which introduced the hologrammatic version of Professor James Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes novels.

The Enterprise computer created a version of Moriarty that was meant to be smart enough to challenge Data, yet Moriarty grew sentient and he learned the truth about his artificial status. The story of Moriarty’s redemption (yet still being wicked enough to oppose the Enterprise crew) was one of The Next Generation’s best.

16 Pulaski Messing With Data (Hurt)

Gates McFadden left Star Trek: The Next Generation after the first season, which led to her being replaced by Diana Muldaur, who played Dr. Katherine Pulaski.

Dr. Pulaski became the new chief medical officer aboard the Enterprise, but the fans didn’t readily accept her replacing Dr. Crusher, which led to an outpouring of support for Gates McFadden and her eventual return to the show.

The main reason why Dr. Pulaski didn’t work as a character was due to a running storyline of her belittling Data due to him being an android. The idea of Dr. Pulaski slowly warming up to Data worked on paper, but Data was already becoming one of the most popular characters on the show and Dr. Pulaski’s attitude towards him only vilified her in the eyes of the fans.

15 Barclay Isn’t Perfect (Saved)

The Federation is meant to be an idealized version of human society, which can make it difficult for TV show writers to come up with dramatic tension between different characters.

The crew of the Enterprise is made up of the best and brightest that Starfleet has to offer, which can make it hard for the audience to feel akin to the characters on the show, as everyone is a genius in their field.

Reginald Barclay proved that everyone serving on the Enterprise wasn’t perfect and that there were still interpersonal issues happening in the future. Barclay was one of the best engineers aboard the Enterprise, yet his nervous disposition and lack of confidence held him back for many years. It took the help of the other members of the Enterprise crew to bring Barclay out of his shell, which resulted in one of the most engaging and human storylines in The Next Generation. 

14 Worf & Troi’s Romance (Hurt)

There are TV shows that use a long-running “will they won’t they” romance between two characters to build tension and increase audience interest, like Rachel and Ross in Friends, or Daphne and Niles in Frasier. One way to keep these storylines interesting is by bringing in other romantic interests to act as roadblocks to the coupling that the audience wants to see.

It was obvious from “Encounter at Farpoint” that a romance between Riker and Troi was on the cards, yet the writers felt that she should be in a relationship with Worf, despite the two being so incompatible that no one bought it.

Marina Sirtis has been openly critical of the choice to put Troi and Worf together, as she felt that the writers ignored the personalities of both characters in order to make the relationship fit.

13 The Betrayal Of Ensign Ro (Saved)

The story of the planet Bajor and its occupation by the Cardassians was a major plotline in Star Trek that dominated Deep Space Nine, but the seeds of those episodes were planted with Ensign Ro’s presence on The Next Generation.

Ro Laren was a Bajoran who joined Starfleet and rose up through the ranks, until earning a spot on the Enterprise. It seemed as if Ro was loyal to the crew, but her experiences on Bajor during the occupation led to her betraying Starfleet and joining the Maquis Resistance movement.

Star Trek often portrayed the members of Starfleet as always holding on to their ideals, yet Ro Laren was an example of someone who saw those ideals challenged and chose a different path. It’s just a shame that Ro never appeared again (and was effectively replaced by Kira on Deep Space Nine), as a reunion between her and Picard following her defection would have made for an incredible episode.

12 Wesley’s Starfleet Career (Hurt)

Wesley Crusher rose through the ranks of Starfleet in an unconventional way, as he was able to gain firsthand experience from the crew of the Enterprise due to the fact that his mother was serving on the ship, which presented him with several annoying opportunities to save the day.

The fans were briefly saved from Wesley’s antics when he entered Starfleet Academy, but he just kept coming back to check-in with the audience about how his career was doing.

The rise of Wesley Crusher’s career, coupled with the fact that it went nowhere, was one of the most disliked storylines in the history of Star Trek. 

11 Q Loves To Mess With The Enterprise (Saved)

Star Trek: The Next Generation opened with a visit from Q, who was a wicked creature with godlike powers, yet he seemed more interested in messing around with the Enterprise crew than he was with destroying them. Q was the trickster god who loved to put mortals through the wringer for his own amusement, in the same manner as the likes of Loki.

The bookended story of The Next Generation and the final revelation about the meaning of the trial in the first episode is part of what made the show so special and it made the audience examine Q and his actions in a different light. Was Q really out to harm the Enterprise or was it all an act to prepare the Federation for the horrors that awaited them in space?

10 Hugh & The Borg Nuke (Hurt)

Hugh was a Borg drone who slowly began to form a new identity of his own after being separated from the Collective.

The issue with the Hugh storyline is due to the concept of the Federation developing an invasive program that could wipe out the Borg once and for all, but Picard refuses to use it on moral grounds.

Captain Picard might be too kind to commit that level of harm on the Borg, but there are plenty of other people in Starfleet who lack such scruples, most notably the members of Section 31, who would have no problem wiping out the Borg when given the chance. The idea of there being an easy way to annihilate the Borg that never gets used is something that had to be ignored with Star Trek going forward.

9 Data’s Family (Saved)

Data was originally believed to be the only Soong-type android left in existence until it was revealed that he had a brother named Lore, who was found in pieces in Soong’s lab.

The idea of there being an evil version of Data who used his brilliant mind to further his own goals was a great one and it turned him into one of the best recurring villains in the show.

Data’s family also briefly expanded in “The Offspring,” when he created a daughter named Lal. The story of the brief life of Lal was one of The Next Generation’s best of all time and is still one of the saddest episodes in the history of the franchise.

It’s just a shame that the planned episode involving Lore reviving Lal never came to pass, as it would have briefly brought Data’s family together.

8 Vash’s Whirlwind Romance (Hurt)

“Captain’s Holiday” was created because Patrick Stewart wanted to include a bit more intensity in The Next Generation. It seems that the short shorts he wore in the episode were effective, as the woman who played his love interest would go on to become his fiance for a time.

Captain Picard met a feisty archeologist named Vash during the events of “Captain’s Holiday” and the two began a love affair that lasted until the end of the episode, which was later briefly rekindled in “Qpid.”

The character of a duplicitous archeologist who is also a gorgeous woman would have felt more appropriate in an Indiana Jones or spy show, yet Vash felt out of place in The Next Generation and her presence seemed more like a hamfisted attempt to inject some romance into the show than anything else.

7 Tomalak’s Rivalry With Picard (Saved)

The Romulans were a recurring enemy throughout The Next Generation, before entering an uneasy alliance with Starfleet and the Klingon Empire in Deep Space Nine in order to face the Dominion. Captain Picard often had to deal with Romulan schemes, especially those involving the Neutral Zone.

One of the recurring foes of the Enterprise in The Next Generation was Commander Tomalak, who represented every conniving and duplicitous aspect of the Romulans. Tomalak was a great foil to Captain Picard and Riker, as he tried to lure them into various traps in order to further his schemes and elevate his own position among the Romulan military.

It’s a shame that we didn’t see more of Tomalak, as it felt as if his position on the show was usurped by Sela, who was another wasted opportunity of a character.

6 Worf’s Son Keeps Coming Back (Hurt)

Kid characters on TV shows usually only work when they are the focus of the series. You couldn’t remove the kids from Malcolm in the Middle, but adding kids to shows like Married… with Children and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air only made them worse.

It was revealed in “Reunion” that Worf had a son with K’Ehleyr, named Alexander, who he had never met before. When K’Ehleyr is slain by Duras, Worf became Alexander’s guardian and he lived on the Enterprise along with the families of other crew members.

Alexander was a recurring character in The Next Generation and his episodes were usually terrible, partly because he suffered from the Anakin Skywalker syndrome of being a little too young (in terms of the actor’s age) to be engaged in the events taking place on the show.

5 Sarek’s Decline (Saved)

Sarek was one of the few characters from Star Trek: The Original Series to appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was possible due to the fact that Vulcans have an incredibly long lifespan.

The storyline of Sarek in The Next Generation deals with the ravages of time and of how a powerful Vulcan could have all of his control stripped away by the effects of age.

Mark Lenard reprised the role of Sarek in Star Trek: The Next Generation and it was his incredible performance that helped to cement the legacy of the character, as Lenard gave us a tragic glimpse into the life of a great man who was brought low by a neurological condition over which he had no control and was forced to lose his grip over the emotions that he had fought so hard to hide.

4 Lwaxana Troi (Hurt)

There were times when Star Trek would fall back on the tropes and stereotypes of regular TV shows in the search for episode ideas, which is partly why Harry Mudd was created, as the writers wanted the Enterprise crew to face an interstellar con man.

Lwaxana Troi seemingly only existed to be every overbearing mother stereotype rolled into one. Why would you want to watch a science fiction show when you could see Lwaxana complaining about how her daughter isn’t married yet? These episodes were often accompanied by her insatiable grandmother routine, where she tried to get together with the likes of Captain Picard in nauseating ways.

The real reason why Lwaxana Troi existed was so that Gene Roddenberry could put his wife in the show, which is a sweet gesture that the audience had to pay for.

3 Data’s Quest For Emotions (Saved)

It didn’t take long for Data to become one of the most popular characters on The Next Generation. The idea of an android being the most capable and intelligent member of the crew, yet lacking in any emotions was an intriguing variation of Spock’s story in The Original Series. Spock had to constantly keep his raging emotions in check, while Data was incapable of feeling them at all.

The story of Data’s emotional development, his love life, and the questions over whether he was even classed as a sentient being made for some of the best episodes of The Next Generation.

It’s just a shame that Data become so obnoxious when he finally had his emotion chip put in. It might have been for the best if his quest to become a real boy had never ended.

2 The Traveler Loves Wesley (Hurt)

Wesley Crusher was one of the most disliked characters in Star Trek: The Next Generation, with many people referring to him as Gene Roddenberry’s very own Mary Sue, with intelligence far beyond his years and everyone around him seemingly greasing him up for the incredible destiny that he surely had ahead of him.

The most overt of Wesley’s admirers was the interdimensional being known as the Traveler, who treated Wesley as if he was some kind of space messiah in training and appeared in several episodes in order to guide Wesley to his reality-hopping destiny.

The Traveler did end up taking Wesley out of The Next Generation until the movies, so he did do at least one good thing during his time on the show.

1 The Borg Threat (Saved)

Star Trek: The Next Generation had a notably rocky first season, with many people on the cast convinced that the show would be canceled at the earliest opportunity.

The second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation was when the show started to improve and the moment that really helped separate the show from its predecessor happened in “Q Who,” with the introduction of the Borg.

The Borg were like no other villain in the history of Star Trek. They could not be reasoned with and they possessed no emotions at all, save for the desire to assimilate all life.

The Borg represented a new kind of threat for the Federation and it was one that the Enterprise was ill-equipped to deal with, which helped to define the story of The Next Generation going forward, as all of the rules of engagement had to be thrown out of the window in the face of assimilation.


2019-04-22 04:04:46

Scott Baird

Dragon Ball: 10 Storylines That Hurt The Series (And 10 That Saved It)

Dragon Ball, as we know, is one of the longest-running and most popular franchises around. Whether as a manga, an anime, a movie series, a collection of video games, or anything else than has carried the Dragon Ball name over the years, it’s just unstoppable.

Consistently popular, yes, but that doesn’t mean it gets a free pass. Sometimes, all that renown and international cachet can work against you. All eyes are on you, and if you slip up (even ever-so-slightly), your legions of fans are going to unleash the full fury of their snark on internet message boards and comment sections everywhere.

The Simpsons knows these pressures all too well.  As the show enters its third decade and approaches its 660th episode, things are getting more than a little strained. There are only so many absurd situations Homer can find himself in before they really start trying irredeemably hard, if that hasn’t happened already. The golden years of The Simpsons, even the most dedicated fans will probably tell you, are far behind it now.

The Dragon Ball series is even older (having been originally created by Akira Toriyama in 1984), and has experienced its own peaks and troughs. That’s just inevitable with any established franchise. Among them have been some major missteps like the Great Saiyaman saga and Society Survival saga, more than balanced out by fantastic storylines like the Trunks saga and original Frieza saga.

Let’s take a look at some of the lowest lows and highest highs the franchise has ever taken us to. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

20 HURT THE SERIES: The Garlic Jr. Saga

Now, it’s never a good sign when a particular Saga is completely absent from the source material (that is, the manga). Sadly, this is exactly the case with the whole Garlic Jr. storyline, which takes place in the anime between the Sagas of Frieza and Trunks.

This isn’t unusual in anime, as fans will know, but that doesn’t make this sort of thing any easier to swallow. All of this Garlic Jr. business draws on the plot of the movie Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, and centers around the titular villain seeking revenge on Goku for sending him to said Zone.

There’s just something off about this whole thing. The fact that the two-bit villain of the piece (in the grand scheme of Dragon Ball) was defeated by the four-year-old Gohan, for starters.

19 SAVED THE SERIES: The Black Star Dragon Ball Saga

Now, stick with us here, because this one’s going to be a controversial pick for sure. The Black Star Dragon Ball Saga was the first slice of Dragon Ball GT most of us got; it proved incredibly divisive as a result.

The issue here is that GT wanted to reboot everything about the series. Dragon Ball Z was an intense, dramatic, super serious affair, while GT was all about returning to the sillier, more comedic leanings the show had prior to that.

Naturally, this move proved controversial, to the extent that Funimation cut 16 of the 17 episodes and threw in a flashback in their stead. It wasn’t until later that these lost episodes were released (literally titled The Lost Episodes).

Come on, Dragon Ball. You can’t hide them under the couch because you were ashamed of them and then later claim they were lost. Who do you think you are, Square Enix with Final Fantasy VIII?

18 HURT THE SERIES: The Society Survival Saga

We’ve all been suckered in by a good April Fools joke. Don’t be ashamed to admit it, it happens to the best of us. Back in the day, it was all about saran wrap on the toilet seat and that sort of thing, but the advent of the internet has made it simple for ever-more sophisticated jokes to reach all the way around the world in an instant. No website is safe on April 1, friends.

Embarrassing as being fooled can be, it’s always great to see otherwise po-faced companies getting in on the action and having a little fun themselves. For April Fools 2017, Toei Animation released the snarky Society Survival Saga, which saw Goku and Vegeta getting jobs at DB Commercial Affairs.

Office shenanigans, of course, couldn’t be further removed from Dragon Ball’s usual fare, although they did still manage to shoehorn a battle with Frieza in there.

17 SAVED THE SERIES: Whis’ Cheesy Deus Ex Machina

Now, this one’s a bit of a grey area. Did it save the show in a positive sense? Well, no, but it certainly did in a literal one.

Frieza is probably the most popular and prolific villain in all of Dragon Ball. Yes, he’s been defeated the most times too, but that’s more out of plot necessity most of the time. The big plus we do have to point out is that he actually did succeed in destroying the Earth, which could’ve been curtains for the franchise (what with Goku living there and all).

As we’ve reported before, though, this calamity was quickly and super-conveniently reversed by Whis, who simply reversed time a little and repaired the whole mess. While he did state that this wasn’t a simple deus ex machina, the fact remains that it… well, totally was.

16 HURT THE SERIES: The Namek Saga

Ah, yes. The Namek Saga. As with another other story arcs, this one has sparked a whole lot of debate among fans. Here’s the issue: the whole thing kicks off after the Vegeta Saga, which ended with a series of climactic battles that left just about everybody exhausted and barely capable of moving (if even that).

Unlike many such shows, Dragon Ball isn’t afraid to really (as in, really really) mess with its most significant characters. As such, Goku was incapable of fighting (or doing much of anything at all) when the Namek Saga kicked off.

This is no surprise, after that Great Ape business, but it still raises the question: what is Dragon Ball without Goku? Or, indeed, without the Dragon Balls?

As we’ve already argued over on The Gamer, perhaps not very much at all.

15 SAVED THE SERIES: The Saiyan Saga

Well, dang. Try saying Saved the Series: the Saiyan Saga with a mouthful of Dragon Balls.

Tongue twisters aside, the Saiyan Saga really was the business, wasn’t it? It consists of both the Raditz and Vegeta Sagas (such is the twisted and confusing nature of Dragon Ball story arc naming) and brought us the Saiyans doing what they do best.

Intense, protracted (and more than a little hammy, which makes them all the better) fight sequences, every more powerful forms being taken, emotionally resonant moments by the bucketload… when they said that Dragon Ball Z was going to put the silliness and humor aside and ramp up the battles and superpowers, they were not kidding.

What an introduction to this new style of Dragon Ball action.

14 HURT THE SERIES: Goku’s Handy Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card

As was the case with Whis’ convenient timey-wimey tricks (Doctor Who fans will understand), this next entry isn’t about a specific Saga in Dragon Ball history. It’s just another surprising little storyline moment that just reeks of cheapness.

As fans will know, Zeno is one of the most powerful beings in Dragon Ball history. He’s been known as Grand Zeno, Grand King Zeno and Grand Zeno the Omni-King, but all of these names boil down to the same thing: he can do whatever the heck he wants, so don’t mess with him.

When Goku meets this odd little blue/purple dude, he makes the wise decision to befriend him. As a result, Zeno gives him a curious artifact: a little button to push. On pressing it, he’s told, Zeno will appear and fix whichever mess Goku has gotten himself into.

As we’ve reported before, the prideful Saiyan isn’t the kind of guy who’d want to use such a thing often. Still, what a ridiculous backup plan to have in your back pocket!

13 SAVED THE SERIES: The Tournament Saga

The Tournament Saga is one of the earliest in the series (only the second in the anime, in fact). While it’s hardly a festival of character development and convoluted, plot-twist-ridden, Da Vinci Code-esque storylines, it proved pivotal to the anime and everything it would become.

As the name suggests, the Tournament Saga is all about Goku’s training with Master Roshi and participation in the twenty-first World Martial Arts Tournament. There’s a lot of the early Dragon Ball humor on display here (particularly in Roshi’s training methods), but this was the arc that first presented fighting as a focus for the story.

More than this, it introduced Bacterian, the most hilariously awful ‘villain’ the series has ever produced. A huge, powerful martial artist who never bathes or brushes his teeth to give himself an edge in battle (his opponents have to fight with one hand because they’re using the other to hold their nose). Sure, why not? Let’s not forget Krillin’s introduction either.

12 HURT THE SERIES: The Great Saiyaman Saga

You might know this one better as The High School Saga, which… probably tells a lot of you all you need to know.

This whole sorry affair is set seven years after the Cell Games, presenting Gohan as a teenager. Deciding to study rather than continue his training, he’s attending Orange Star High School. Vegeta is now married to Bulma, Goten has been born… it’s a wild time to be alive.

The trouble with all of this faux superhero business is that it’s all a little odd. Granted, oddness isn’t anything that anime series will ever really shy away from, but it’s all a bit too Persona and not enough Dragon Ball for a lot of fans. Still, some people are into that, and that’s totally fine too.

11 SAVED THE SERIES: The King Piccolo Saga

We’re only at the halfway point in this little rundown of Dragon Ball’s best and worst storylines, but we’ve seen a real mixed bag already. Powerful storylines, emotionally charged moments, and Sagas that eschew all of that for some pure martial arts action.

Then, of course, there were the shonkier storylines that didn’t manage to capture any of this.

The King Piccolo Saga certainly did, though, bringing us some of the most intense action Dragon Ball had seen up to this point.

The first grim demise of a major character, some incredibly gripping action, and a super strong villain made this Dragon Ball gold.

RELATED: Dragon Ball Super: Everything To Know About Goku’s New Form – Ultra Instinct

Heck, this was an excellent era for the anime in general, and King Piccolo’s Saga certainly played a big part in that.

10 HURT THE SERIES: When In Doubt, Throw In An Android Or Twenty

Now, we can totally appreciate the role that the Androids played in Dragon Ball history. They were formidable opponents, they tested our heroes and proved that all kinds of forces were being brought to face, they were just downright vicious. They also paved the way for Cell, and that’s a whole different level of threat right there.

Having said that, though, this sort of thing tends to give diminishing returns. As villains, the various Androids of Dr. Gero’s design really did vary in strength, threat level and impact on the series as a whole. They were a little generic at times, and that’s not really something that you can say of a lot of Dragon Ball’s villains.  The Android production line just went on a little too long.

9 SAVED THE SERIES: The Frieza Saga

As we know, then, Dragon Ball Z was the series that took everything into a more action-oriented direction. Yes, that silliness that defined the early installments of Dragon Ball Z was all well and good, but in this era of the franchise, it’s all about dramatic action.

Frieza can always be counted on to bring dramatic action to the table. Probably the best-known and most popular villain in Dragon Ball history, this malevolent mutant just could not and would not be stopped. Well, he certainly could, but not permanently.

The action of the Frieza Saga mostly takes place on the planet Namek, and the highlight is the absurdly long battle between Frieza and Goku. That’s what we all came for, after all, and there’s no doubt that they milked every ounce of hype out of it. What a showdown.

8 HURT THE SERIES: The Babidi Saga

Unsurprisingly, the Tournament Saga was a popular concept, and the team went on to revisit it. The more combat-oriented Dragon Ball Z was the ideal place to do so, and so the World Tournament Saga was created. Sadly, the arc itself only showed half of the tournament action, with everything being wrapped up in the far less engaging arc that followed.

As a way of buying time until the whole Majin Buu thing kicked in, the Babidi Saga was a bit transparent. Babidi himself was powerful enough, but totally forgettable as a villain in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if he wasn’t arriving immediately before a Big Bad that absolutely eclipses him.

Still, those are the breaks sometimes.

7 SAVED THE SERIES: The Trunks Saga

Dragon Ball has never been afraid to think outside the box, mix things up, keep fans guessing. This extends to the very layout of the show itself. These Sagas aren’t all neatly divided into even chunks, like seasons of a series. Interestingly, one of the shorter Sagas packs in much more action and drama than its measly eight-episode span might suggest.

The Trunks Saga definitely doesn’t outstay its welcome. Just eight episodes, perhaps, but what episodes they are. This was the arc that brought us one of the most iconic moments in Dragon Ball history: Frieza’s demise (or, one of them) by the blade of Future Trunks.

This storyline slots in between the Garlic Jr. and Android Sagas, definitely helping to build that momentum that the Android Saga would need.

6 HURT THE SERIES: Red Ribbon Army Saga

As we’ve established, long-running shows are always going to have highs and lows. Sometimes, creators just don’t get the memo that it’s time to stop, and things drag on and on rather than ending gracefully. We’re looking at you again, The Simpsons.

Nevertheless, there’s something else we’ve got to bear in mind too. Often, these sorts of things are just a matter of opinion. Every Dragon Ball fan has their favorite and least favorite arcs, and there will always be heated debates in the community about that.

There are certainly some that are less popular, though, even if they aren’t necessarily bad. Take the Red Ribbon Army Saga. There’s very little threat or excitement until Tao Pai Pai’s appearance, and it doesn’t contribute an awful lot to the series as a whole.

Is it especially bad? Not really. Would we particularly miss it if it wasn’t there? Not really.

5 SAVED THE SHOW: Captain Ginyu Saga

As we saw earlier in this rundown, the Namek Saga doesn’t tend to be a fan favorite. With its lack of focus on Goku and the Dragon Balls themselves, essential elements of the anime are missing. There’s a whiff of filler about it (which is nothing new in anime, of course), as we wait for Goku to inevitably return to his battling best.

The Captain Ginyu Saga kicks in immediately afterward (just before/as part of the Frieza Saga, depending on the ordering conventions you’re going by), and showcases a Goku who’s back at the peak of his powers.

In his defeat of Burter and Jeice, Goku sets the stage for Captain Ginyu’s attack, and, ultimately, Frieza’s.

It was all going off here, friends, that’s for darn sure.

4 HURT THE SHOW: Why Is Bio-Broly A Thing, Again?

The Dragon Ball fandom just can’t seem to agree on their feelings about Broly. Granted, no fandom can ever really agree on anything, but this is especially true where Broly’s concerned. The supposed ‘only’ Legendary Super Saiyan, canon just goes haywire around this guy. What’s real? What isn’t? How could we possibly know?

One thing we do know for sure is that he has a very shonky alternate form: Bio-Broly. It’s actually a mutated clone, and the star of its own movie: Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly.

The odd thing, though, is that we just can’t tell where this Thing From The Swamp wannabe ranks, strength-wise. Is it more powerful than the original Broly? Can it do things he can’t? Is there even any real reason for it to exist at all? The world may never know.

3 SAVED THE SHOW: The Cell Saga

The Dragon Ball franchise has seen a whole array of brilliant, creative and ridiculous villains. Some have failed horribly, some have come super close to achieving their aims, some have even done so. Quite a few of those have had their successes retconned out of existence, but heck, that’s not their fault, is it?

If you weren’t impressed by the Androids, behold Dr. Gero’s ultimate creation. Cell possesses the DNA of legendary warriors such as Goku and Frieza, and he was one heck of a villain. As we stated over on CBR, when he attained his perfect form and staged the Cell Games, it marked a standout moment in Dragon Ball history.

2 HURT THE SERIES: The Kid Buu Saga

As the Dragon Ball community will tell you, the whole overarching Buu saga is super polarising. It’s the marmite of Dragon Ball, if you will.

What’s at the core of this? It’s tough to say for sure. There’s no shortage of dramatic action here, that’s for certain, but we’ve become accustomed to high stakes coming with our theatrical Dragon Ball combat. Kid Buu destroyed the earth as first act on achieving this form, yes, causing the grim demise of Goku and Vegeta’s sons, but did all of that have any lasting repercussions?

In the end, Goku simply (and literally) wished away everything Kid Buu had done, which made the whole storyline seem more than a little pointless. Not that it wasn’t a heck of a spectacle to behold.

1 SAVED THE SERIES: The Majin Buu Saga

So, yes, the Kid Buu Saga wasn’t all it could have been. Some of this is due to the ending, as these convenient little fixes to devastating events aren’t really what Goku and the Z-Fighters are all about. Still, you can’t question the Dragon Balls. Or the Namekian Dragon Balls, in this case.

Without the pressure of ending the overarching Buu business itself, the Majin Buu Saga was excellent. It’s also proven divisive but does boast some iconic moments.

Dragon Ball Z’s first showcase of the Super Saiyan 3 transformation? One of the franchise’s most creative and original villains? These are things that true fans must surely appreciate.

Majin Buu’s preferred way of dispatching his enemies is to transform them into cookies and then eat them. If that’s not a party trick that just demands respect and admiration, we don’t know what is.

NEXT: Dragon Ball: That Time Vegeta Was Defeated By A Super Saiyan Cat


2019-04-20 05:04:47

Chris Littlechild

Game of Thrones: 10 Storylines That Hurt The Series (And 10 That Saved It)

Winter is coming, and so is the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. It has been a long and tumultuous journey for fans, and there is a part of us that simultaneously can’t wait for the story to come to a close and won’t know what to do with ourselves once it is finished. But the complex fantasy tale is coming to an end, and we all just have to deal with it.

Throughout the course of the show, there have been plenty of up and down moments. Given how successful the show is, the highs definitely outweigh the lows. There are moments in Game of Thrones that have you at the edge of your seat, holding your breath. However, there are also moments that make you want to close your eyes and walk away.No television show is perfect, but Game of Thrones comes quite close. Even the “inexcusable” storylines in the show are only marginally bad.

Plus, when you look at the show as a whole, one of the most fantastic things about Game of Thrones is that every storyline so far has contributed to where the story is now. Every moment has led to this upcoming season, and it makes the show one of the most cohesive stories ever told on television. That said, we better review all these good and bad storylines before the new season pops out on April 14. We have to prepare our souls for the triumph and heartbreak to come. Read on if you want to review the storylines that hurt the series and the storylines that saved it.

20 HURT: Daenerys At Qarth

Daenerys Targaryen’s introduction in the first season was riveting. We saw her rise from being sold to a Dothraki Khal to emerging from a fiery pyre with three newly hatched dragons. After that season finale, fans could not wait to see what lay in store for her next.

Imagine our disappointment when the second season of Game of Thrones took Daenerys to Qarth, the most boring city that was or ever will be. Dany’s time there felt uninspired, and we couldn’t wait for her to get the heck out of there. Beyond seeing her dragons learn the word, “Dracarys,” we could find no enjoyment in this storyline.

19 SAVED: Tyrion’s Tenure As Hand Of The King

Tyrion ingratiated himself to fans with his sharp wit and dry humor. In no other season did these attributes of his shine so much as during the second season. Tyrion came to King’s Landing to rule as Joffrey’s temporary Hand of The King.

No one can deny that he was in his element there. He put those corrupt politicians in their place. We got to see Tyrion play the game, and he was definitely good at it. Thanks to this storyline, we got to know Tyrion as a person better, and we got to see him prepare for his future role as Hand of the Queen for Daenerys.

18 HURT: Ros’ Entire Story

Ros was a character we met back at Winterfell, before Ned Stark made his fateful journey to King’s Landing. She moved to the capital as well and became one of Littlefinger’s ladies. Her tale tragically ended when Joffrey had his way with her using his favorite crossbow.

Ros, though spunky and delightful in her own way, was just a fountain of exposition. Her character was only ever truly used to convey information to viewers in a “visually pleasing” manner. All of these things combined made for a rather “meh” storyline.

17 SAVED: The Red Wedding

Before we’re lambasted for saying the Red Wedding is one of Game of Thrones saving graces, just hear us out. The Red Wedding was a major storyline that had lasting effects throughout the rest of the show.

Arya’s time with the Hound and quest for vengeance would not have happened if the Freys had not slain her family at the Twins. That’s just one of the storylines affected by the Red Wedding. There are countless more. Without the Red Wedding as a kind of fulcrum for the story to swing on, the rest of the seasons would not have turned out the way they did.

16 HURT: Melisandre And The Power Of King’s Blood

Stannis, Davos, and Melisandre’s introduction in the second season was riveting. They were major players in the fight for the Iron Throne. But in the third season, their storylines just floundered.

Stannis hid on Dragonstone licking his wounds, and Melisandre did nothing helpful. Sure, she invited Gendry over to the castle so that she could take some of his blood with leeches and use that blood to get rid of some kings, but beyond that, Melisandre and Stannis did nothing of note in the third season. Maybe they should have pulled a Bran and disappeared for an entire season.

15 SAVED: Daenerys Takes Control Of The Unsullied

Daenerys’ story needed a boost after her languid time at Qarth, and she got that boost in Astapor. Viewers were initially worried that Daenerys was going to sell Drogon, her biggest dragon, to one of the masters of Astapor in exchange for an Unsullied army, but Daenerys took the upper hand in this situation.

Her betrayal of the masters and her leadership of the Unsullied left fans of the show cheering, feeling exulted by the Mother of Dragons and her actions. While Qarth may have soured our feelings toward Daenerys, her acquisition of the Unsullied and maintained ownership of her dragons heightened them.

14 HURT: Training In The House Of Black And White

Arya stood out from the other Stark children in her desire to ignore tradition and become a skilled fighter instead of simply a lady. Fans of the show could get behind that, but confusion erupted when Arya elected to train at the House of Black and White.

This place is home to the Faceless Men, servants of the Many-Faced God. To a Faceless Man, identity is a thing of the past. In order to train as a Faceless Man, Arya Stark had to become no one, and that never sat right with fans of the show. We were all ecstatic when she left the gloomy confines of that mausoleum of faces.

13 SAVED: Joffrey’s Doom

Joffrey made for a great antagonist. While we all despised the petulant and sadistic prince, you have to admit, disliking Joffrey was one of the joys Game of Thrones afforded us. The scheming and pitfalls that occurred before and after Joffrey’s poisoning were some of the highlights of the show.

The mystery surrounding this storyline was finally disclosed in the show’s seventh season, when Olenna Tyrell admitted that she was the one who had orchestrated the entire thing. There was a satisfaction to be found in Joffrey’s demise, but there was even more satisfaction to be found in the reasons behind it.

12 HURT: The Mutineers Of The Night’s Watch

Normally, any storyline having to do with Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch was an engaging one to follow. Not so with the mutineers holed up in Craster’s Keep.

After stabbing their Lord Commander in the back, several brothers of the Night’s Watch stayed behind north of the Wall, living lawless lives with no order. Jon Snow has to take a band from Castle Black to rout the mutineers from the place. It felt like a time-waster of a storyline. Plus, it included a moment where Bran could have reunited with Jon and didn’t.

11 SAVED: Oberyn Martell At King’s Landing

While Oberyn Martell’s time at the capital ended…explosively, his actions, while he was still amongst the living, were a delight to watch. He brought a slight amount of chaos to the equation with his presence. He was an unknown player to the game; we didn’t know what he would do next. All you knew for sure was that he wanted justice for his sister and her children.

He was only around for a single season, but Oberyn will never be forgotten by the group mind as being one of the most riveting storylines in Game of Thrones to date.

10 HURT: When Shae Turned On Tyrion

Shae and Tyrion’s relationship in the book is different from their relationship in the show. The show took their romance to a whole other level, clearly showcasing that they both had a deep and abiding affection for each other.

This was great in the first couple of seasons, but when Shae inevitably betrayed Tyrion and partnered up with his father, it backfired. How could a couple so in love with each other have ended up the way Shae and Tyrion did? Not only did their break from each other hurt more than we could have thought, but it was also tinged with a vibe of insincerity.

9 SAVED: Bran’s Lessons From The Three-Eyed Raven

You know, we did not have high hopes for Bran’s storyline after he left Winterfell. When he was joining up with Jojen and Meera and trekking north of the Wall, we were checking our watches waiting for another storyline to take over.

That all changed once Bran started taking all-seeing lessons from the Three-Eyed Raven. Suddenly, Bran’s storyline became the one we wanted to spend more time with. Nothing seemed to beat Bran’s travels to the past as he uncovered more of his father’s secrets. Who would have thought Bran would have pulled ahead this late in the game, right?

8 HURT: The Sand Snakes

While Oberyn was the Many-Faced God’s gift to the world of Game of Thrones, his daughters fell short of that mark. Being the offspring of Oberyn should have meant these characters had a leg-up on other new characters viewers might have fallen in love with.

Instead, their storylines felt added-on, and there seemed to be absolutely no character development between the three of them. Plus, since their big plan revolved around poisoning the innocent Myrcella Lannister, it was hard to feel any sort of sympathy for them. The Sand Snakes were forgettable, as was their entire storyline.

7 SAVED: Hardhome

Hardhome. ‘Nuff said. Seriously though, this storyline blew viewers out of the water. This single episode accomplished so much in so little time. It showed us how far Jon Snow was willing to go to rescue the Wildlings. It showed us how many people were still trapped north of the Wall.

And most important of all, it shoved in our faces how dire the White Walker situation really is. We all lost our minds when the wights started attacking. And that moment when Jon uses Longclaw to parry a blow from a White Walker’s weapon? Our jaws are still on the floor, and it’s been a few years.

6 HURT: Daenerys Back With The Dothraki

Daenerys’ struggles with ruling Meereen, while heart-wrenching, were interesting to watch because they were new. We had never seen Daenerys try to rule before, only conquer. However, after her first flight on Drogon, instead of ending up somewhere new, Daenerys seemed to end up in a place she had been before: with a Dothraki horde.

Her emerging from the fire at Vaes Dothrak felt like a repeat moment of her “Unburnt” glory. Instead of giving us something fresh and exciting to contend with, Daenerys’ sixth season storyline felt rehashed.

5 SAVED: Hodor Holds The Door

The storyline that reveals the reason behind Hodor’s name has got to be the biggest payoff in the history of payoffs. For countless episodes, we all heard Hodor mumble a friendly, “Hodor” whenever he opened his mouth.

We just shrugged it off as the only word this kind man knew. It became silly fodder for memes. And then Game of Thrones did what it does best and ripped our hearts out with the revelation of what “Hodor” really means. This storyline is one of the most legitimately tragic in the series, and it saved the character of Hodor from being relegated to the role of comic relief.

4 HURT: Sansa’s Marriage To Ramsay

Of all the characters in Game of Thrones (aside from perhaps Theon Greyjoy), Sansa Stark has undergone the most character development. She went from whiny teenager to a calculating adult.

However, her fifth season storyline left much to be desired. Instead of moving forward in the direction we all wanted, i.e., becoming a major player in the game of thrones, Sansa regressed. She married the psychotic Ramsay Snow and became a plaything in his twisted ways. This storyline hurt Sansa’s character development, and the only good to come of it was the eventual Battle of Ramsay and Jon. Oh, and Theon’s return to the light side.

3 SAVED: Sansa’s Triumph Over Littlefinger

As if to make up for Sansa’s treatment at the hands of both Ramsay and Littlefinger, the creators of Game of Thrones gave her an excellent storyline in the seventh season. For nearly the entire season, they played with our emotions, making us think that Sansa and Arya were going to turn on each other thanks to the machinations of Lord Baelish.

To our delight and surprise, Sansa learned from Littlefinger’s teachings and ensnared him in a trap of his own making. We got to see the three younger Starks team up to bring down the conniving Petyr Baelish. It was glorious.

2 HURT: Daenerys’ Flight North And The Rescue

Look, none of us wanted to see Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont, Tormund, or the others become part of the White Walkers’ army. We are all glad that they got rescued. But the manner in which they got rescued severely hurt the seventh season, which was an otherwise strong season.

In order for Daenerys to rescue the group trapped north of the Wall, Gendry would have had to run to the Wall in a matter of hours. Then a raven would have had to have flown from Eastwatch to Dragonstone in a similar span of time. Then Daenerys and her dragons would have had to have flown back in the same fashion. This storyline muddled the timeline of the show, and it could have been fixed with some slight alterations.

1 SAVED: Jon And Daenerys Meet

Problematic romance aside, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen meeting is, without a doubt, the most compelling storyline of the series. Why? Because the entire show has led up to that moment. Both Jon and Daenerys have had their characters built up separately, gearing up toward this conversation.

When they meet, the tension in the throne room is palpable as these two powerful characters finally speak to each other. Whether we knew it from the beginning or not, the show has been about the eventual union of these two people. This storyline has been years in the making. And only the eighth and final season will show us if it has been truly worth it.


2019-04-19 06:04:36

Amanda Hurych

15 Couples That Hurt Iconic 90s Sitcoms (And 15 That Saved Them)

One of the reasons we love to watch TV, is to watch the chemistry between the characters. The interaction between fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, and friends drive just about every show we watch. But it’s the interplay between couples in both dramas and sitcoms that usually has the winning formula for any great show. The foundation that male and female leads build can propel a series to the stratosphere for a few good years.

No matter the status of the couple (dating, married, newlyweds, complicated, friends, rich, poor, etc.), if their chemistry isn’t liked by fans, you can more or less forget about the show. Mulder + Scully = ratings; Dogget + Scully = not so much, and The X-Files didn’t last too long after that. Sometimes couples make fans long for a lasting, loving relationship even with all of the good and bad (Roseanne), some fans enjoy all kinds of fun witty banter or schmaltzy romance stuff.

Sometimes the “will they or won’t they” chemistry can completely and utterly backfire once the couple gets together (Moonlighting). Sometimes, it’s just the spark the show has been waiting for. The sitcoms of the nineties started to break the mold and completely devote from the tried and true wholesome family sitcoms of the eighties to have all kinds of situations besides familial ones.

Whether they were already established, or fans yearned for them to get together, here are 15 Couples That Hurt Iconic 90s Sitcoms (And 15 That Saved Them)

30 Hurt: George And Susan (Seinfeld)

Seinfeld has been dubbed by many fans and critics alike as the “greatest sitcom ever.” It broke down the barriers of what a sitcom could do – “the show about nothing.” For a series that had little to no dangling plot elements, they did try to inject some during the show’s seventh season.

Hapless loser George decided it would be a good idea to try and get married. He proposed to Susan, an old girlfriend. The engagement was doomed from the start and did provide some funny moments to the show. In reality, Susan ruined the dynamic of the core four; there was no way this story was going to (or meant to) last.

29 Saved: Hyde And Jackie (That ’70s Show)

Debuting in 1998, That 70’s Show was Fox’s last great sitcom of the decade. The story of six friends growing up in Wisconsin circa the seventies. Jackie was certainly the vainest of all of the kids, and Hyde was the most laid back. Clearly, these two belonged together.

It was teased several times over the years, but Jackie and Hyde finally got together in the season five opener. They had their ups and downs, but what teenage relationship didn’t. As far as TV couples go, actors Danny Masterson and Mila Kunis had a chemistry that seemed real, which made their coupling one of the more popular in the series.

28 Hurt: Jefferson And Marcy (Married…With Children)

To be honest, Ted McGinely is widely known as the signal that a TV show has jumped the shark. But MarriedWith Children played off this concept beautifully. As Jefferson D’Arcy, every so often a stranger would wander by and accuse him of being on Happy Days or The Love Boat.

The show was still classic for the seven more years of the show’s run. But the yuppie sarcasm of David Garrison’s Steve and Marcy was sorely missed, traded in for the outright silliness of Jefferson and all of his ridiculous antics.

27 Saved: Ross And Rachel (Friends)

Besides Seinfeld, Friends was THE sitcom of the nineties. The pair of shows cemented the “Must-See TV” of NBC. All of our favorite friends had some marquee moments over the years and some fun significant other (sometimes each other), but none were more symbolic of the show than Ross and Rachel.

The couple had known each other since they were kids and had an on-again-off-again relationship all throughout the series. It made for great comedy and drama. The pair ending up together was the only way to end the series.

26 Hurt: Joey And Rachel (Friends)

Every good TV relationship needs a few good roadblocks to ramp potential drama. Friends was no different. But sometimes the roadblocks seem genuine and therefore fit the story. Other times, it’s very contrived. One such obstacle in front of Ross and Rachel was Joey and Rachel.

Perhaps the one hookup nobody asked for more than this one would be Ross and Monica! But when Joey and Rachel were living together, some writers got it their head that these two should try some pair-bonding. Maybe that writer was just a tad overzealous?

25 Saved: Zack And Kelly (Saved By The Bell)

If you grew up in the nineties, more likely than not, Saved By The Bell was the jam. The antics of Zack Morris endeared himself to a generation of kids. For the kid who just about everyone either wanted to be or hang out with, he needed to have the perfect girlfriend.

Kelly was the epitome of the girl next door. Beautiful and kind with a smile that could melt the icecaps. The series began with Zack in Indiana, hanging out with Screech, Lisa, Mikey, and Nikki. But the show most fans remember and love fondly really took off once they moved to California and introduced Kelly.

24 Hurt – Stefan And Laura (Family Matters)

The world was a very different place when Family Matters was popular. The annoying neighbor Steve Urkel was a series’ sensation. The Winslows knew he had a heart of gold and didn’t even seem to mind him constantly ogling and fawning over their daughter Laura.

Steve made himself into a suave and smooth clone, Stefan. Laura was instantly smitten. It was all played for laughs. But it made Laura seem completely superficial, basically falling for the kid who was head over heels for her, just the fake version of him.

23 Saved: Cory And Topanga (Boy Meets World)

Some of the entries on this list are what young love is all about. That “puppy dog” kind of love that everyone wants to exist and tries to make it so. In reality, it’s all a Disney movie fantasy.

But Cory and Topanga showed even the most cynical Boy Meets World fan that puppy love was just pitch perfect. Even when Cory made fun of his little friend, it was apparent that it was only because “girls are icky.” They were made for each other from the start. The instant Cory realized that, the show was off to the races.

22 Hurt: Drew And Kellie (The Drew Carey Show)

Drew Carey might be the most likable guy in recent sitcom history. He was safe and knew how to poke fun at himself. That’s why The Drew Carey Show lasted nine years. But it was also his sweet crush on his friend, Kate. Then she left for Guam.

For the last few years of the show, Cynthia Watros joined the show as Kellie Newmark. While there was nothing inherently wrong with Kellie or their relationship; the writers had to shoehorn it into the show when Christa Miller left the series.

21 Saved: Jesse And Becky (Full House)

We all wanted to be part of the Tanner family, admit it. All that saccharine gooeyness was just what the doctor ordered. Everyone wanted to have someone as cool and as caring as Uncle Jesse in their lives. Since the name of the show was Full House, the writers needed to make the house fuller.

Uncle Jesse married Becky and the couple stayed in the Tanner house and had a set of twins to continue the theme of the show. But their marriage was also the only stable relationship on the show.

20 Hurt: Maxwell And Fran (The Nanny)

The well-off Maxwell Sheffield hired a hairdresser from Flushing, Queens; Fran Fine, to take care of his children. He was instantly smitten and so was she, but they both consistently readily denied their affections for one another.

Like a lot of shows though, once you get past the wish fulfillment of seeing this couple together after so many years of flirting, it’s hard to keep the romance (and comedy) alive. Even series creator, Fran Drescher knew that it changed the dynamic of the series.

19 Saved: Paul And Jamie (Mad About You)

He might have played a real jerk in Aliens, but Paul Reiser was extremely likable as Paul Buchman. Mad About You focused on the marriage of newlyweds Paul and Jamie; who was played by Helen Hunt. Despite a few episodes where a separation was teased, the couple was perfect together.

Their chemistry is what the show was based around. For it not work would have meant that the series would have never lasted. Hopefully, Reiser and Hunt will still have that chemistry when the series returns later this year.

18 Hurt: Zack And Tori (Saved By The Bell)

While new people show up at school and at work all throughout our lives, on a sitcom new people showing up could feel forced. When Tiffani Theisen and Elizabeth Berkeley decided to leave Saved By The Bell, the producers split the final season to have those two in some of the shows and Leanna Creel in the other half.

Creel as Tori might have some fans, but there aren’t much since she’s seldom brought up during any of the show’s reunions. She was introduced as the tough girl with a heart of gold and even dated Zack, but it was strange watching essentially two different versions of the same show at the same time.

17 Saved: Big And Carrie ([Love] And The City)

[Love] And The City was one of the shows that debuted and took the world by storm. Women from all over seemed to enjoy watching the exploits of New York debutantes, with Carrie Bradshaw as their fearless leader.

From the moment Mr. Big bumped into Carrie and helped her with her stuff, it was apparent these two would be a big arc for the show. I took a while and they burned a few relationships and marriages off to be with each other, but Big and Carrie became the iconic couple for the series.

16 Hurt: Jackie And Prince Carlos (Roseanne)

To be fair, the entire final season of Roseanne hurt the series. No amount of finale narration from Roseanne about how winning the lottery was a fantasy could account for the 22 episodes prior that the series went completely off the rails in its final season.

But Jackie getting courted by a Prince was leftist of left fields the show could go. Actually, having the guy be played by “Ernest” Jim Varney might be the biggest left turn the series could take.

15 Saved: Chandler And Monica (Friends)

It happens all of the time. You hang out with the same group of friends enough, that eventually you realize you like one of the other members of your squad. They like you too. Throughout the first few seasons of Friends, Chandler and Monica were very close and confided several secrets in one another that they hadn’t told the rest of their group.

But watching the two get together was fun to watch them keep it from the rest of the group and a great relief from watching Ross and Rachel pine for each other. By the time they have twins in the series’ finale, they became the quintessential couple for the show. Proof that even two goofy people can make it work.

14 Hurt: Tony And Angela (Who’s The Boss?)

Tony Danza and Judith Light didn’t necessarily invent the “will they or won’t they” dynamic, but they certainly rewrote the mold on how to play such chemistry. Who’s The Boss? became a phenomenon because of classic sitcom tropes like inadvertently seeing each other in the buff.

Over the course of seven seasons, it was apparent that Tony and Angela deeply cared for each other. During the final year, they did the tried and never true thing of getting together; proving yet again that a show originally based around tension probably shouldn’t have the leads crossing a certain line.

13 Saved: Larry And Ally (Ally McBeal)

Ally McBeal was groundbreaking. It was a quirky and funny workplace comedy that masqueraded around like a TV drama. One of the first dramedies on TV as we know it, Calista Flockhart was fetching as the series lead.

But the guy who came in and really gave Flockhart a run for her money was Mr. Iron Man himself – Robert Downey Jr. He played Larry Paul, Ally’s boyfriend. The performance was so good, that it earned the future face of Marvel a Golden Globe, and a standing ovation.

12 Hurt: Kelso And Jackie (That ’70s Show)

Besides the parents, the only relationship that was going on when That ’70s Show started was between vapid Jackie and Kelso. While they did stay together for the first few years of the show, the off and on of it all and just how poorly they treated each other really started to wain.

The show hit its stride when these two actually broke up for real. She found solace in Hyde and matured. Even Kelso grew up, although still a bit spacey. Not only would staying together hurt the show, breaking up made it even better.

11 Saved: Doug And Carrie (The King Of Queens)

The chemistry between Kevin James and Leah Remini was so palpable that a lot of people might have confused them for a real-life couple who is also playing one on TV. The Heffernans were as relatable as plenty of people you’d meet in Queens.

That chemistry allowed The King Of Queens to be the last show from the nineties to go off the air in 2007. The very same that again worked when Remini was invited to join the cast of Kevin Can’t Wait.

10 Hurt: Randy And Donna (That ’70s Show)

There could be an entire column solely devoted to shows that continue well past their glory days. The final season of That ’70s Show would be included if not right at the top of the list. With series star, Topher Grace out and new character Randy introduced, it was bad taste personified. Yes you want to continue so people keep working and trying to entertain.

But at the expense of the series is just ridiculous. To top it off, trying to pair Randy and Donna off ] leaves a bad taste in fans’ mouths and the show exits.

9 Saved: Will And Lisa (The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air)

Plenty of men would be lucky to have their lives turned upside down if it meant getting to hang out with Lisa. The couple had a fun courtship and, on several attempts, almost got married. The couple ultimately decided against it.

But Lisa gave Will the spark he needed. Instead of just being a silly guy, Lisa made him a man of commitment. Will Smith the character had matured into a man during his time with her.

8 Hurt: Mike And Kate (Growing Pains)

Growing Pains was one of the iconic sitcoms of the eighties and early nineties. Series star and teen heartthrob, Kirk Cameron played oldest kid and biggest troublemaker, Mike Seaver. He had fallen for a girl named Julie, and fans did too. But she left him the ol’ “Dear John” letter and broke Mike’s heart.

Behind the scenes, by many accounts had become very difficult to deal with. He wanted more and more wholesome stories that focused on him being a good guy instead of a delinquent. His relationship with Kate wasn’t nearly as memorable.

7 Saved: Jerry And Elaine (Seinfeld)

There is an episode of Seinfeld where after going on a tirade about not trying to be funny and asks, “is this funny,” Elaine looks at Jerry and says “a little.” The way that Elaine looks at Jerry at that moment says about 1000 things about love all in a millisecond. You can’t buy that kind of chemistry.

Writers Larry David and Seinfeld himself did the smart thing, despite what executives wanted. They kept the couple apart instead of doing what plenty of shows on this list did (put them together).

6 Hurt: Niles And Daphne (Frasier)

From the earliest of episodes of Frasier, Niles Crane had pined for his father’s physical therapist, Daphne Moon. His brother Frasier would on several occasions try to prevent Niles from revealing his true feelings for Daphne.

They finally got together during the show’s final seasons. Giving the fans and the characters what they wanted ultimately. But once they got together, the super smart writers of the series seemed to forget that much of the comedy of their chemistry came from Niles pining for her, not winning her.

5 Saved: Kevin And Winnie (The Wonder Years)

Nostalgia for days gone by is not uncommon in a TV show or a movie. The Wonder Years perfected this art form by not just telling their story during the tumultuous sixties, but also the tumultuous time in all of our lives – growing up.

For fans of the show, we got to grow up with Kevin and have a crush on his best friend Winnie. Their friendship was the backbone of the series, but they actually never ended up together. But all of the firsts that they shared together made for classic moments on the series.

4 Hurt: Fez And Jackie (That ’70s Show)

For seven and a half years on That 70’s Show, pretty much all Fez did was bother and pine for Jackie. He was the first character to note how poorly Kelso treated her. But despite coming to her rescue on several occasions, Jackie couldn’t stand the little guy.

Like many random things that happened in the final season, Jackie finally realized that she did, in fact, love Fez. After practically running from the guy for so long and clearly wanted nothing to do with him – one more reason that last season is a bad season.

3 Saved: Homer And Marge (The Simpsons)

If the marriage between Homer and Marge doesn’t work, then there is nothing right in the world at all. The Simpsons hasn’t been on for eight-hundred years because people DON’T want to see them.

Despite being cartoons, Marge might be the perfect TV mom. Homer’s an oaf, but he works hard and minus a few choke-outs and disappointments, really loves his kids and family. Homer and Marge might just be the most realistic depiction of a married couple in love on TV.

2 Hurt: Ross And Emily (Friends)

Ross getting married to Emily was a huge curveball Friends pitched its fans. They collectively screamed, “he’s supposed to be with Rachel!” They met and married quickly. But Ross only had eyes for Rachel – and accidentally called his new wife Rachel on their wedding night.

Thankfully, Emily was smarter than most sitcom girls and demanded Ross to stop seeing Rachel if he wanted her to move to New York. When Ross declined since he couldn’t do that, the marriage ended and he was able to resume his longing for Rachel.

1 Saved – Urkel And Myra (Family Matters)

Since Urkel was never going to leave Laura and her boyfriend Ted alone, they set him up with Ted’s cousin, Myra. He thought for sure that the date would be pointless until he realized that Myra was smart and beautiful.

She was a female version of Steve in a lot of crazy ways, but it gave Urkel someone to play off and realize some of his own faults through Myra’s. She was sweet in nature just like Steve, which helped this couple be a winning combination.


2019-04-14 05:04:17

Eric Rhodes

Grey’s Anatomy: 15 Canceled Storylines That Would Have Saved The Show (And 10 That Would Have Hurt It)

After Grey’s Anatomy’s fifteenth season, it became the longest-running medical drama in television history. The show that had started out following Meredith Grey as an intern at Seattle Grace Hospital is currently unchallenged in this regard. Meredith is no longer an intern struggling with the romances and pitfalls of a surgeon-in-training’s life. She is head of general surgery now. Though, yes, we suppose she is still dealing with the romances and pitfalls of a surgeon’s life.

After fifteen seasons jam-packed with drama, Grey’s Anatomy has become an ocean of tragic storylines you have to navigate through. Initially, these moments drew you in, but after a series of serious events, the show’s realism has taken a nosedive. How many bad things can happen to one hospital? As you continue to watch the show, a part of you wonders where the show can go from here and if, perhaps, it should have done something different along the way.

Many canceled storylines and plot points exist for Grey’s Anatomy. These are ideas that the showrunner Shonda Rhimes had that were not used or were altered slightly to better fit in with things like the production schedule. After reading through these unused story bits, you might feel as if Grey’s Anatomy could have definitely used those storylines to improve the show. Conversely, you might also feel immensely relieved that some of those storylines never saw the light of day. Read on if you want to learn about forgotten storylines that would have either helped or hurt Grey’s Anatomy. 

25 Would Have Saved: Meredith And Derek Remaining Childless

By this latest season, Meredith is the proud mother of three children. However, this was not originally her intended future. When Meredith and Derek were first building the solid foundations of their relationship (not during that time period of will-they/won’t-they), the possibility of them having children was remote.

Instead, Rhimes believed Meredith should spend time focusing on her career.

Clearly, Meredith juggles having a successful career while being a caring mother in these current seasons. However, we believe having Meredith and Derek remain childless would have helped the show focus more on surgery and atypical marriages rather than taking the easy way forward.

24 Would Have Saved: Lexie Becoming The Main Character

Before you chew us out for even considering the notion of replacing Meredith, just hear us out. Lexie Grey was introduced to viewers of the show in the fourth season. She was Meredith’s half-sister. If, for some reason, Ellen Pompeo was unable to return to the show, Lexie would have been able to pick up the reins while still having the title of the show remain relevant.

Say what you will, but that would have been one daring move for the show to make. It would have taken the show in an entirely new direction, maybe even giving it a much-needed breath of fresh air.

23 Would Have Hurt: If The Doctors Were Smokers

It goes without saying that having a serious medical drama with doctors who frequently smoke would have hurt the show. Smoking and health care do not go hand in hand. But apparently, there were plans in the works for the doctors of Seattle Grace Hospital to be big smokers.

Most notably among them, Meredith Grey would have been puffing quite often. The cancellation of this bit of the story is a godsend. The show would have made itself a hypocritical mess, and viewers would have been left wondering how these doctors could call themselves “doctors.”

22 Would Have Saved: Preston Burke Having A Wife

Preston Burke was initially going to have a wife that Cristina Yang would have had to contend with. This definitely would have upped the ante when it came to the “forbidden” nature of their relationship. It would have been a more dire case than a superior having relations with a subordinate.

Plus, it would have tied into Burke being a less-than-estimable person later on. However, this storyline was ultimately never used. As a consolation, this plot shifted over to Meredith and Derek instead, so at least we got to see it in some way.

21 Would Have Saved: Arizona Seeing Callie Before Leaving

Actors come and go from shows. It’s not the show’s fault when that happens. However, it is absolutely hilarious when shows come up with reasons for why their characters have to suddenly stop showing up. Callie Torres was one of the lucky ones. She just decided to move to New York after breaking up with her wife, Arizona Robbins.

Arizona, on the other hand, left the show without rationality.

She decides to pack up everything and move back with Callie without having seen her at least once in person since they separated. A canceled storyline would have had the two reunite once before they both departed, but alas, that was not to be, and Arizona left Seattle without any physical reassurance from her former wife.

20 Would Have Hurt: The Show Being Set In Chicago

Granted, this is not exactly a canceled storyline, but this change would have altered the story drastically. Before settling on Seattle, Washington as the location for her show, Shonda Rhimes considered placing her story in Chicago.

Like Seattle, Chicago is a bustling city and would have seen the interns of the hospital living marginally the same lifestyles. However, not only would it have mimicked the setting from the show ER, Grey’s Anatomy would have been unable to include several important storylines down the road. The ferry incident, for example, would never have happened.

19 Would Have Saved: Izzie Returning To The Hospital

Conflicts with the actress who played her aside, Izzie Stevens was an important part of the Grey’s Anatomy series. She was one of the original interns that Meredith entered the hospital with, and her struggles with patient care and a bout of cancer made up a huge part of the story.

There were talks of her returning to the show, but these talks fell through and it never happened. At this point, after several seasons without her, Izzie’s return would feel odd. However, if it could have happened naturally, it would have been an in-character move.

18 Would Have Saved: Derek And Addison Having A Teenage Daughter

Think of the drama that would have occurred if Derek and Addison had had a teenage daughter. That would have placed Meredith in even more of a dilemma than she was in when she found out Derek was married. She would have to contend with dating someone who lied to her about an entire family.

And the poor daughter would have had to deal with her mother cheating on her father and her father cheating on her mother. Holy moly, there was so much missed potential from that canceled plot complication. Derek would have seemed like a jerk-wad at the end of it. Huh. Maybe that’s why the showrunners didn’t go for that storyline.

17 Would Have Hurt: Addison Leaving So Soon

Addison’s arrival on the show spelled doom for Meredith and Derek’s relationship. It seemed par for the course that fans of their relationship would loathe Addison. However, Addison became a beloved character in her own right. She earned her way into the hearts of viewers with her no-nonsense attitude and relatable sense of judgment.

We are truly thankful that her departure from the show was delayed. The original storyline would have seen her leave after a few episodes. But because she stayed, we got to know one of the best characters Grey’s Anatomy has to offer.

16 Would Have Saved: Cristina’s Father Becoming A Donor For The Hospital

One storyline Shonda Rhimes had planned for Grey’s Anatomy was a conflict regarding Cristina’s father. Cristina Yang’s dad was set up to be a major donor for Seattle Grace Hospital. That would have meant he would have had a lot of influence on what goes on in the hospital.

This sets up Cristina to potentially be loathed by her fellow interns. Unfortunately, this storyline never happened. It would have been interesting to see Cristina, a talented surgeon regardless of any favoritism, deal with the looming specter of her father hovering around her actions.

15 Would Have Saved: April Leaving After Being Fired

April Kepner was fired from the hospital after a pretty riveting episode regarding patient care gone wrong. This decision should have heralded the end of her time on the show. However, this choice was later reversed when Derek Shepherd, as the new Chief of Surgery, hired her back.

The original storyline would have worked better for Grey’s Anatomy. It would have shown real consequences for failing to address a patient properly. April’s mistake was fatal, but thanks to the storyline that eventually followed her firing, she never truly learned from it.

14 Would Have Hurt: Bailey Being Small And Blonde

We all know and love Miranda Bailey for the character she is. She is the strong mentor to Meredith and her fellow interns during the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, and she is now the Chief of Surgery at the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. We can’t imagine her being any other way.

However, during her initial conception, Bailey was described as being small and blonde, which is the exact opposite of what she is. Thankfully, this image of Bailey was scrapped, and we have the Bailey that we have today.

13 Would Have Saved: Witnessing George’s Last Day

George O’Malley’s sacrifice that led to his passing sounded like a heart-wrenching moment. Unfortunately, we never got to see it. There was a potential storyline that would have followed George during his final moments, allowing viewers to see his last day in its entirety, but it was ultimately canceled.

If this storyline had been included, the impact of George’s demise would have hit fans that much harder. Instead, it’s as if the bus that wiped out George’s life also erased his presence on the show forever after.

12 Would Have Saved: Cristina Not Having Her Baby

Cristina learned she had an unwanted pregnancy very early on in the show. If Shonda Rhimes had had her way, she would have had our favorite and most ambitious intern deal with one of the most intense decisions of her life. This idea discomfited network executives, and instead, Cristina lost the baby due to an ectopic pregnancy.

Grey’s Anatomy would have benefited from Cristina taking matters into her own hands. The issue would have been divisive, yes, but it would have challenged viewers to consider their own perspectives. It would have furthered the discussion, and made for a fascinating piece of television history.

11 Would Have Hurt: George’s Romance With Bailey

If you have never seen Grey’s Anatomy, then seeing the words “George has a romance with Bailey” should have no effect on you whatsoever. If you have seen the show, then you are wincing at the mere utterance of those words. In no way, shape, or form, can any fan of the show picture a romance between George and Bailey. It runs counter to these two characters’ personalities.

However, this storyline was almost a reality. Thank the sun and the stars that this storyline did not see the light of day. It would have been a disaster of soap opera-ish proportions.

10 Would Have Hurt: Cristina Not Having Her Breakdown

Cristina Yang is not a typically emotional person. Her career defines who she is, and she won’t let pesky things like emotions get in the way. So when it came time for an emotional upheaval to occur in Cristina’s life, you can bet her nervous breakdown was spectacular.

This moment in the story almost did not happen. It occurred based on the inspiration of actress Sandra Oh. She suggested the scene take place. Without that scene, Cristina’s development as a character would not have been nearly so interesting afterward as it was.

9 Would Have Saved: Meredith Remaining Single After Derek

It took a while for Meredith to move on after Derek passed (well, “a while” by Grey’s Anatomy standards), but afterward, she moved on to pursue other men. Now, we’re not saying Meredith should have remained grieving over Derek for the rest of her life, but the concept that she stay single makes for a more interesting story.

For one thing, the show hyped up her and Derek’s relationship so much, it feels off for her to move on to another person. For another, Meredith’s storyline could have focused on other concerns aside from romance.

8 Would Have Saved: Alex Karev Missing From Pilot

Before getting lambasted for suggesting this, bear in mind that we are suggesting this storyline only for the pilot episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Initially, there were no plans to include Alex Karev as a character in the pilot episode. He was added in as an afterthought.

Since Karev is now one of the few remaining characters from the original cast, it feels as if he deserved more than simply being tacked onto the first episode. Imagine if, instead of being added to the pilot at the last minute, he was given a heartier introduction in a later episode.

7 Would Have Hurt: Meredith Dating Burke

Cristina and Meredith’s respective romances with Preston Burke and Derek Shepherd are integral parts of the show’s history. It is difficult to picture a world where those romances did not take place. It is even more difficult to picture a world where Meredith ended up with Burke instead of Shepherd.

Somewhere, in some alternate reality, there exists a world where that is the case. One of Shonda Rhimes’ initial storylines for Grey’s Anatomy would have seen Meredith dating Burke. We’re glad that adjustments were made.

6 Would Have Saved: Erica Hahn Staying With Callie

Callie’s first big relationship with another woman was when she started dating cardiologist Erica Hahn. Their relationship, despite outcries against it, was one of the highlights of the show.

However, it felt as if it had barely begun before Brooke Smith, the actress who plays Hahn, was let go. Any plans for storylines regarding her and Callie were nixed after that. If Hahn had stayed on, even if her relationship with Callie declined, the show would have benefited from having such a relationship on the screen.

5 Would Have Hurt: Cristine Falling In Love With Denny

Izzie’s romance with patient Denny Duquette was a turning point for her character. Despite all the drama that was going on with Meredith and her love life, Izzie and Denny managed to steal the show. This storyline would have been ruined if, instead of Izzie falling for Denny, it was Cristina Yang falling in love with Denny.

Just saying that sentence out loud sounds strange; we can’t even imagine what it would be like to actually see that storyline acted out. Knowing what we know about Cristina’s personality, a romance between her and Denny would be impossible.

4 Would Have Saved: Meredith Getting Pregnant In The Sixth Season

Once the decision was made to have Meredith be a mother, there was nothing for it but to plow straight through with this storyline. However, real-life actress Ellen Pompeo was pregnant during the time of filming for Grey’s Anatomy’s sixth season, before her character had her kids.

Instead of having her get pregnant then and there, the showrunners decided to conceal her pregnancy at that point in time instead of conveniently using it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking this route. It just would have been perfect timing if Meredith Grey had been ready for kids at the same time as the actress playing her.

3 Would Have Hurt: Mark Surviving The Plane Crash

McSteamy fans around the planet will hate us for saying so, but it was a good thing that Mark Sloan perished from his injuries shortly after escaping the plane crash. One of the loves of his life, Lexie Grey, had met her end during the crash. What was Mark supposed to do if he had survived?

One canceled storyline saw him leaving Seattle to go live with Addison. This move would have been so out of character, it is a good thing the showrunners abandoned it. It’s tragic, but it is an overall better outcome for the story that Mark Sloan passed away, too.

2 Would Have Saved: Meredith Leaving The Show

Meredith is the star of Grey’s Anatomy. The show would be a different beast without her. However, if Ellen Pompeo were to leave the show, as heartbreaking as that would be for all of us, it might revitalize the show’s story.

After spending more than fifteen seasons in this hospital, practically all narrative possibilities have been exhausted with Meredith. Some of the worst things in the world have happened to her, and some of the best have happened to her as well. If she were to leave, the show would alter drastically. However, change isn’t always a bad thing.

1 Would Have Hurt: Derek Walking Out On Meredith

Just as with Mark Sloan, the storyline the showrunners went with for Derek Shepherd’s passing was ultimately the best decision for the character. Now, some might moan and complain that the show should not have canceled Derek’s chances for survival.

However, if actor Patrick Dempsey was set on leaving the show, Derek needed a plausible reason for no longer being around. Quite frankly, any outcome that has Derek surviving yet remaining apart from his wife and children makes absolutely no sense. The showrunners did right on this with the hand they were dealt.


2019-04-07 06:04:55

Amanda Hurych

7 Casting Decisions That Hurt Outlander (And 13 That Saved It)

Outlander is one of the biggest shows on television. The romantic story, the beautiful Scottish Highlands as the backdrop, with the 18th-century being the primary setting makes it one of the most breathtaking and intriguing shows on right now. There are all of the added action sequences and the passionate between the two protagonists that draws in both male and female viewers from all over the world.

But the truth of the matter is, the incredible popularity of the show would have never happened if they hadn’t made the right casting choices with the majority of their characters. Luckily for the team behind Outlander, they did a great job…for most of the characters. Sometimes, though, there were either mistakes made in casting or it was simply just too hard for the fans to picture certain actors in the roles of certain characters.

Either way, it has become abundantly clear that proper casting in any television show – especially one that was bound to become a cultural phenomenon – can make or break it. With that in mind, we have broken down the members of the Outlander cast who hurt the show more than helped it, as well as the ones who made it into the sensation it has become.

Here are the 7 Casting Decisions That Hurt Outlander (And 13 That Saved It).

20 Saved It: Duncan Lacroix As Murtagh

A true surprise was seeing the television adaptation of Murtagh’s character, mostly because in the books, he was not nearly as adored as his TV counterpart. Not to mention, that he met his fate at the Battle of Culloden, while our Murtagh onscreen lived through the infamous battle.

Lacroix’s performance gave much more depth and complexities to his character, making him a near immediate fan favorite. The evolution of his character thanks to the actor’s dedication to the role and true talent in bringing a whole new side to Murtagh is probably a big reason why he survived the battle on the show, which made fans everywhere rejoice.

19 Hurt It: Sophie Skelton As Bree

In the books, Brianna Randall, who is Jamie and Claire’s daughter, was described a bit differently than the actress who now plays Bree onscreen.

She is described as looking much like her father, with her red hair and sharp features, which to be fair, Skelton does have both of those descriptors. But she is not roughly six-feet tall, like was described in the book and is missing other features that were mentioned that fans immediately noticed.

Luckily, though fans of the series were reluctant to initially accept Sophie Skelton as Bree, she has won audiences over with her performance. It just took some time.

18 Saved It: Sam Heughan As Jamie Fraser

When Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander books, first heard they were considering Scottish actor, Sam Heughan, for the role of Jamie Fraser, she was unsure if he was the right fit. Mostly because he was nearly too pretty.

But once she saw his audition, she knew he was it and agreed with the producers. And boy, were they all right. He has become so much more than the Scottish hunk who loves Claire with everything he has. He gives each and every performance his all and makes you feel every emotion Jamie is pouring out through his very pores.

17 Hurt It: Alison Pargeter As Margaret

This likely has more to do with the character itself, rather than the actress, but watching Alison Pargeter’s performance as Margaret Campbell was in a word, upsetting.

Sure, that was partially the point. But seeing a woman with clearly dealing issues from her mental illness be treated so negatively by her own brother, as well as other “important” people, and used as a psychic of sorts was disheartening. It was a tough character to portray, and she obviously did a fine job with the material, but it was not one of the best portrayals of mental illness on a series.

16 Saved It: Lotte Verbeek As Geillis Duncan

Geillis Duncan was Claire’s friend – eventually turned foe – throughout the first three seasons of Outlander. She, too, was a time-traveler, Claire came to find out. And though Geillis had some issues, she was a friend to Claire for a time.

Lotte Verbeek was the actress to bring Geillis to life on the Starz series, and she did so effortlessly. Each of her creative choices for the character meshed well with who the character was to her core. Once Geillis went full-villain mode in season 3, Verbeek went full throttle and brought out every trick in the book. It was a stunning performance.

15 Saved It: Andrew Gower As Bonnie Prince Charlie

Prince Charles led the Jacobite Rebellion in 18th-century Scotland and inevitably failed in his mission to take the crown. Outlander needed to find the perfect actor to play the Bonnie Prince, and they found him in none other than Andrew Gower.

Gower showed off his acting chops as the Prince and emulated his privilege, wealth, and flamboyancy in every movement and every word. It was, quite honestly, a damn shame when his role was over by the beginning of season 3 because he was just so fun to watch. But much like the real Prince Charlie, the character’s time in Scotland was over, and it was time for everyone else to move on, too.

14 Hurt It: César Domboy As (Older) Fergus

Fergus was a beloved character from season 2 of Outlander. He, at the time, was the little boy Jamie and Claire took under their wing while living in France, and eventually brought back with them to Scotland.

Everyone loved young Fergus, so it stands to reason that it would be hard for a lot of fans to accept an older version of the character played by anyone else other than the original actor. That is what César Domboy was faced with when accepting the role, and it definitely took a while for fans to be on board with the older version of the character.

Now, though, fans seem to have warmed to him, since he still gives a great performance. But it definitely wasn’t overnight.

13 Saved It: Tobias Menzies As Frank Randall/Blackjack Randall

Tobias Menzies took on a tall order when he was cast as both Frank Randall and his ancestor, Blackjack Randall, in the hit Starz series.

Playing two vastly different roles on the same show had to have been a mind-warp for Menzies. But he was able to play both the innocent bystander of Frank Randall, Claire’s first husband, and the notoriously evil Blackjack Randall, Claire and Jamie’s sworn enemy with poise and unrivaled intensity.

The sheer talent it must take to take on either character is astonishing, and Menzies surely gave it his all with blood, sweat, and tears in every episode. Literally.

12 Hurt It: Ed Speleers As Stephen Bonnet

Ed Speleers had a lot going up against him when he took on the role of Stephen Bonnet. Bonnet is, of course, the pirate who terrorized both Jamie and Claire when he robbed them – after they had saved him for a terrible fate. But he also terrorized their daughter, Bree, when he assaulted her.

Everyone was bound to hate him just because his character was so vile, but the other problem was he was following a grand villainous performance by Tobias Menzies as Blackjack Randall. No matter how much everyone hated Randall, we couldn’t help but be enthralled whenever he was on our screens.

11 Saved It: Stephen Walters As Angus

Angus in the books is a far cry from the Angus we see on the show. For one, he is not nearly as large or covered in hair as described in the books. And he’s also not a gruff man who carries out brutal punishments in the Great Hall.

On the show, he is one of Dougal’s men who makes hilarious quips and likes to drink. When his role expanded on the series, many fans adored Walters’ interpretation of the character and he became a fan-favorite. Which is why when he met his end in season 2, it was truly heartbreaking.

10 Saved It: David Berry As Lord John Grey

Lord John Grey has been described as one of the “most complex and interesting characters” that Diana Gabaldon has created in her Outlander universe. So it must have been a daunting task trying to cast such an incredible character.

But when they cast David Berry as the closeted gay British soldier in the 18th-century – who also happens to be in love with Jamie – they found the perfect man to play this intriguing character.

Berry has made the character even more adored by the fanbase than he already was in the books, which is probably why there are many hoping he gets his own spinoff one day.

9 Hurt It: Lionel Lingelser As King Louis

When we first saw King Louis on Outlander, he was on a toilet, being watched by his people, as he struggled to use the facilities. It was a comical scene, to be sure, but left us with a strange view of the King of France.

The actor who portrayed him came across as a cartoonish version of the real-life monarch. That may have been the goal of the writers, but it was hard to ever take him seriously as a King. This point was driven home when he let Jamie free from prison once Claire was intimate with him. It was done so in, yet again, a comical way and only made us see King Louis as a caricature of a powerful King.

8 Saved It: Grant O’Rourke As Rupert

Rupert MacKenzie was another of Dougal’s loyal men who fought alongside him in everything. He also was best friends with Angus, played by Stephen Walters. O’Rourke took on the role of Rupert and played off of Walters’ Angus seamlessly.

The two made you feel their friendship was absolutely genuine. O’Rourke made Rupert such a lovable and funny character that when there were serious moments, you didn’t know what to expect. But he delivered those scenes just as perfectly. That’s why the moment he realizes Angus has passed goes down in Outlander history as one of the most tragic scenes to witness.

7 Saved It: Stanley Weber As The Comte St. Germain

While in France, Jamie and Claire had many dramatic situations they found themselves in. And also had quite a few enemies for only being there a short time. The first enemy they made, though, was the Comte St. Germain. Claire publicly states the Comte’s ship is infested with smallpox almost immediately upon getting to Paris after a chance encounter.

This makes him despise Claire and Jamie and he makes it his mission to make their lives hell. Played by French actor, Stanley Weber, he gives a sinister and haunting performance of the Comte St. Germain. That was why we didn’t know how to feel when Claire had him meet his end when he was accused of sorcery. We weren’t quite ready to let go of this enigmatic yet evil character.

6 Saved It: John Bell As Young Ian

John Bell is one of the more recent actors added to Outlander’s roster of talent. He plays Young Ian Murray, son of Jenny and Ian, and nephew of Jamie and Claire. Jamie takes him under his wing quite a bit and wants him to feel he has independence, much to Jenny’s dismay.

He eventually ends up following his Aunt and Uncle to North Carolina in season 4, where we see his character develop even further. John Bell plays Ian’s innocent nature mixed with his want for independence in such a wonderful and unique way. And when he recounted his attack from Geillis in season 3, it was so heartbreaking and emotional, that you saw the true talent exude from Bell at that moment.

5 Hurt It: Nell Hudson As Laoghaire

To be fair, no matter who the producers of Outlander cast as Laoghaire, the fans were bound to not like her. So it makes perfect sense that Nell Hudson was not well-received by the fanbase when she signed on to play Laoghaire, Jamie’s former flame and Claire’s nemesis.

Laoghaire is a thorn in the couples’ side throughout the series and does some pretty insane things in the name of what she thinks is love. Even though her character is so hated, it doesn’t mean that Hudson should receive the amount of hate – and even threats – that she does. But we can’t say we didn’t see that coming.

4 Hurt It: Will Strongheart as Tawodi

In season 4 of Outlander, there were many storylines revolving around the Native Americans whose land the Frasers were building their home on and how that affected not only them but how America became a country in the first place.

It was great to see them cast actual Native American actors in the roles, but one of their casting choices was ill-advised. Will Strongheart played an English-speaking Native American named Tawodi, but it turns out he had domestic charges against him in the past that he was convicted for. Fans were not too pleased to learn of this after the airing of his first episode.

3 Saved It: Graham McTavish as Dougal MacKenzie

The moment Graham McTavish stepped into the role of Dougal MacKenzie, we knew we had the larger than life Scottish war chief before our very eyes. Sure, Dougal had plenty of flaws and ended up being more villainous than an ally to the Frasers, but he played the part perfectly.

His theatre background shined through in some of the more dramatic moments for Dougal, which made him so captivating to watch. That is precisely why watching the life drain from Dougal’s eyes in the season 2 finale was so bittersweet. Of course, we wouldn’t have wanted him to succeed in harming Claire and Jamie, but it was sad to see his character go for good.

2 Saved It: Richard Rankin As Roger Wakefield

Roger Wakefield is the adopted son of Reverend Wakefield, who Claire met during her time in Inverness on her honeymoon before she went back through the stones. Once grown up, he meets Claire, again, and her daughter, Brianna Fraser, who he ends up falling for.

Richard Rankin is the actor who brought this pivotal character to life in the Outlander series. His portrayal of Roger, with his boyish charm and love for Bree, endears him to all and instantly made him a fan-favorite. His fanbase is just as dedicated, if not more so, as Heughan’s, and it’s easy to see why.

1 Saved It: Caitriona Balfe As Claire

Understandably, Claire Randall/Fraser was the most important and difficult character to cast on Outlander. She is, after all, our lead and our heroine of the entire story. It was imperative that she be the absolute perfect embodiment of the time-traveling WWII nurse who falls for a Highlander in the 18th-century.

That is exactly what Caitriona Balfe turned out to be when she was cast a mere three weeks before filming began. Her ethereal beauty is only part of what makes her so perfect as Claire. Her charm, and depth, and emotional capabilities make her the undeniable match to Sam Heughan’s Jamie. Their chemistry is off the charts. But Balfe’s pure talent and dedication to the role is what makes her, in our eyes, the best Claire Fraser there ever could be.


2019-04-07 04:04:56

Alyssa Avina

Supernatural: 15 Character Departures That Hurt The Show (and 15 That Saved It)

Supernatural is a story built around two brothers and is constantly on the move so it can be hard to build up other characters who mean something to the show. However, this is something that Supernatural excels at. Characters who only make a handful of appearances are still cared about enough that their departure is still something fans mourn a decade later. It speaks volumes about the writing and the show that even though characters like Rufus, Ellen, and Jo, who were only in a handful of episodes, evoke such emotion with their passings and any returns they make.

A show that features demise in a very literal way means each departure, whether the character is alive, brought back, or gone for good, always means something. One example is Castiel who has come and gone, but each time it brings his relationship with the boys closer and furthers his own story.

In a show this big, with this much tragedy, the list could go into the hundreds, but it’s been reduced down to the top thirty. A few honorable mentions include Lady Toni Bevelle, Eve, Alistair, Pamela Barns, Bela Talbot, Chuck and Amara, Amelia, Hannah, Uriel, Mick Davis, and Gadreel.

Some of these characters deserved more screen time, some didn’t have an on-screen demise and others needed to go to get the story moving, whether they were beloved or disliked. Of course, in Supernatural, “demise isn’t always goodbye.”

Let’s take a look at 15 Character Departure That Hurt The Show (and 15 That Saved It).

30 HURT: ‘ASH’

Ash was a character we only saw for one season, reappearing once since, but he was a fantastic addition and deserved an on-screen demise. A stereotype-subverting mullet-having roadie expelled from M.I.T. for fighting. He’s “business up front, party in the back.” This genius used string theory to move around in Heaven, something no human has done without help. He is powerful in a very human way, enough to defy the laws of the afterlife. Although his real name is Miles, his nickname gives him an ironic ending as he went to his grave in demon-lit flames.

29 SAVED: AZAZEL

Azazel or “Yellow Eyes” was the first Prince of the Underworld and the King of the Underworld, keeping the throne warm for Lucifer. He was religiously fanatical in his love for his ‘father’ and dedicated his time to bringing him back. He burned Mary and drove John into hunting, dragging his children with him. The Winchesters knew none of his backstory and went in almost blind to the gravity of the enemy. But after twenty-four years it was time for him to go, moving up the story and removing the object of vengeance that fueled hunting for both John and Sam.

28 HURT: ELLEN AND JO HARVELLE

Ellen and Jo Harvelle were the first recurring female characters. Their downfall moved the story along but hurt like heck. They were only in a handful of episodes before their demise yet the audience still cared deeply when they passed.

Their demise moved up the plot and was necessary at the end of the original five-season arc. The end of the world scenario without any significant eliminations would not have made sense and so the mother-daughter combo met their end with a literal bang. They have come back on occasion since their saddening end and will always be welcome back.

27 SAVED: JOHN WINCHESTER

In the first season both Sam and Dean fit into certain stereotypes, created as a reflection of their father. One brother naturally like him, trying to be someone else, the other, trying to copy him, but inside was more like his mother. His death accelerated the plot and meant the boys had to step out of their father’s shadow. Sam began to accept the parts of himself that were like John, and Dean stepped out from his persona, becoming a more well-rounded version of himself. It would still be fantastic to have him back for a while and fans got a little closure in the 300th episode.

26 HURT: Horseman Of Demise

One of the most powerful characters ever to grace Supernatural is the Horseman of Demise. As a neutral party, he often assisted the brothers and had a sort of friendship with Dean, even showing up to personally reap Sam at the beginning of season nine. He was essential to stopping the Apocalypse and putting the souls back in Purgatory, let alone saving Sam’s soul from the cage. His demise was necessary to pave the way for the Darkness verses God showdown in season eleven, and has been replaced with the beautiful Billie, but this fast-food loving cosmic entity will be sorely missed.

25 SAVED: LUCIFER

Lucifer is one of the longest-standing villains in Supernatural and has gone through various incarnations. After being trapped in the cage, he returned as hallucinations, then possessing Cas, then a rock star, the President, and finally back to his first vessel, Nick. After five seasons it was time for the demon to go or make a change. After seasons eleven and thirteen teased a redemption arc, it never came to pass. In the end, Dean, powered by the alternate version of Michael, managed to destroy Lucifer: an act that cost him dearly. Although, with Nick still around, Lucifer may make a return, his end was still fitting with Dean ending his brother’s enemy, just as Sam ended Alistair.

24 HURT: EILEEN LEAGHY

One of the hunters who actually got the drop on the Winchesters and a Men of Letters legacy, Eileen is an Irish-American who was taken in and trained by a hunter after her parents were eliminated and her hearing stolen by a banshee. She was taken out by the British Men of Letters after accidentally ending one of their members. Eileen was a romantic interest for Sam and just goes to show that you don’t need to hear to be an amazing hunter and have an attitude to match.

23 SAVED: CROWLEY

One of the most beloved characters of Supernatural and one of the few characters of the main cast, his demise was a tragedy. Whilst it is a sad truth that the audience will never hear Crowley’s wit ever again, his end was a necessary one. With Crowley as King of the Underworld and his strange friendship with Team Free Will, he had no choice but to side, for a last time, with the Winchesters. He gave his life to trap Lucifer in the Apocalypse World, perishing a hero. Whilst it was time to move on and give the show a fresh start, his and his mother’s origin story, is one of the most interesting stories that remain untold.

22 HURT: CAIN

Although Cain featured in only two episodes he made a huge impression on the characters and fandom. He gave Dean the Mark of Cain, which began his downward spiral in demondom. A man, much like Dean, who sacrificed himself for his brother’s soul. The showdown with Dean was the last time we see the First Blade and was one of the tipping points in season ten. He was possibly the most powerful demon in history and his powers were never displayed in full, especially now it is known that the power comes from the Darkness, who is “mightier than God.”

21 SAVED: DEAN WINCHESTER

No one, in all of Supernatural, has perished has much as Dean. His first demise had John sell his soul, and his second (selling his soul to the Underworld), in particular, moved up the level of the story and caused the introduction of Castiel and angels. Every time Dean has effectively ‘passed’, such as Purgatory and his transformation into a demon, it has lead to a huge storyline and tends to be a game-changer in the series. Dean has also developed a personal relationship with both incarnations of Demise as a result.

20 HURT: GABRIEL

First, he’s a college janitor, revealed to be the trickster God Loki. It isn’t until season five that we discover Loki was actually Gabriel, one of the four archangels. A fan-favorite, he passed at his brother’s hands in season five, leaving the boys the solution to stopping the Apocalypse. Through the fandom’s sheer force of will, he was brought back in season thirteen, revealed to have been a prisoner of the last Prince of the Underworld, Asmodeus. Weakened and finally ready to step-up as an arch-angel again he travels to the alternate universe and sacrifices himself, deceased, once again, at the hands of a version of his brother… or is he?

19 SAVED: SAM WINCHESTER

You’re not a Winchester until you’ve perished at least once. Sam wasn’t the first Winchester to pass, or the last, but his demise was pivotal. He perished in his brother’s arms by another one of Azazel’s psychic kids and was then brought back when Dean sold his soul, forcing himself to the Underworld. This led to Sam’s darker nature coming out and was the first domino in the events that led to the angels and the first Apocalypse. He’s ‘perished’ a few times since then and this usually means Dean is going to do something self-sacrificing to bring him back.

18 HURT: BALTHAZAR

Few angels are loved on Supernatural. Castiel and Gabriel will always be adored, Lucifer even has a strange following for his misunderstood storyline and hope for redemption. And there’s Balthazar. He was only part of Supernatural for a season, but boy, did he make an impression: an old member of Cas’ garrison, thief of Heaven’s weaponry, lover of drink and hater of the Titanic. He was tragically dispatched by Castiel when he was caught spying for the Winchesters. Not many an angel had the swagger of this feathered friend. Unfortunately, this heart will not go on.

17 SAVED: ADAM MILLIGAN

The third child of John Winchester, he grew up without knowing his brothers and only met his father a handful of times. He was eaten by ghouls, resurrected, ended up being possessed by Michael as a substitute for Dean, and was pulled into the Cage with Michael, Lucifer and Sam. Whilst Sam was saved and even Lucifer sprung free, Adam still remains locked in the cage, forgotten. The core of the show is the two brothers, and though this has extended to include several other characters, Adam likely would not have had a place in the plot. Still, it would be fantastic to have him re-visit for an episode when the boys finally save him.

16 HURT: ABBADON

Abbadon was one of Supernatural’s most delicious villains to date. This immortal demonic redhead was Hell’s first Queen and it doesn’t make sense that her demise happened so quickly, given how experienced and powerful she was. This Knight was more indestructible than a Prince of the Underworld, fearlessly went up against her maker, Cain, and single-handedly wiped out the American Men of Letters. Keeping her around would have given time for Dean to grow into his powers, as Cain was a lot more powerful than Dean. She was far more formidable than she was portayed to be in her final battle. Long live the Queen.

15 SAVED: RAPHAEL

What happens when you stop the prizefight and remove the kings who were meant to end the world? Well, Dean went to live a normal life and Cas was forced to fend off Apocalypse Take Two. Raphael, an arch-angel and traditionalist, wanted to re-start the Grand Plan, forcing Castiel to begin a Civil War in Dean’s name. His demise opened up the Faction War and other heavenly conflicts that followed and meant that the Apocalypse could only be started again if the other archangels broke loose.

14 HURT: KELLY KLINE

Kelly was just an innocent woman in a relationship with the President of the United States until he was possessed by the Lord of Darkness himself. Lucifer ended up with her and together they made a son, Jack. Kelly may not have the combat skills of a hunter but she bravely went up against The Dark Lord, dodged angels, demons, and hunters, and gave birth to the child she loved knowing it would mean her demise. Whilst it may have been necessary to develop the relationship with his three dads, it probably could still have happened with Kelly, who could have been a great addition to the team.

13 SAVED: SAMUEL CAMPBELL

First seen in a Dean’s first-time travel, Samuel Campbell was the maternal Grandfather of the Winchesters. He was brought back by Crowley and worked for him with the promise of Mary being resurrected. The final straw was when he turned on his grandsons, leaving them to perish. After this, it was time for Samuel to get his just deserts. He was possessed by a sub-species of Kahn worm, a type of parasitic monster cooked up by Eve (the mother of all monsters) and he was shot by Sam who was named after him.

12 HURT: RUFUS TURNER

Rufus Turner first appeared in season three, revealed to be the retired ex-hunting partner to Bobby. He didn’t feature in many episodes but was beloved for his unapologetic attitude and charm. He and Bobby are a reflection of an older Sam and Dean, only his grudge against Bobby continued to his grave. It is hinted at that Bobby made the wrong call on a hunt that cost the life of a woman that Rufus loved, ending their partnership. He was not seen enough and had a truly tragic demise, slain by a monster-possessed Bobby.

11 SAVED: RUBY

The demon on Sam’s shoulder after Azazel and Meg, Ruby had the biggest influence on Sam’s dark side. It would have been interesting to see if her loyalties could be tested in season five, but it was time for her to go once her true nature was revealed. There are so many questions still left unanswered: Why she sold her soul to a demon for power? How she fell in with Lilith and when? And how did she get her hands on a demon-slaying blade from the crusades? All these still remain a mystery so, whilst it was time for her go at the end of season four, in Supernatural, there’s always the chance to bring her back.

10 HURT: MEG MASTERS

Next to Crowley, Meg Masters was the longest standing demon in Supernatural. A ‘daughter’ to Azazel, she was on Lucifer’s side in the Apocalypse. When it was averted and Crowley took the throne, her allegiances changed. Much like Crowley, despite slaying many people that were family friends of the Winchesters, you end up loving her and her wit. She developed romantic feelings for Castiel and has always helped Sam, even when an enemy, and has respected Dean since their first encounter. She redeemed her actions by sacrificing herself for the boys and Cas. Unfortunately, the actor had to leave for medical reasons, but this demoness will always be missed.

9 SAVED: LISA AND BEN BRAEDAN

Lisa and Ben were an idealized life for Dean: a little family unit and an apple-pie life. It was nice to see the other side of Dean and to give him a strong female presence in his life, but in the end, it wasn’t something that was going to work. Dean wasn’t completely himself in that life and they would never be safe as long as he was with them and not hunters themselves. It says a lot about the relationship that Lisa was willing to let him be a hunter and be with him, but in the end, she did what she thought was best for her son, saving him from having Dean’s fate by turning away from the man she loved.

8 HURT: BENNY LAFITTE

Benny was a vampire (and ex-“vampirate”) Dean met in Purgatory who saved his life and helped Dean fight his way out of the underworld-adjacent battleground. Dean was raised by John to be black and white in his monster dealings, but Benny provided another perspective for him, proving not all monsters are evil at heart. He never betrayed Dean and could have been a serious asset. Ironically, it was Sam would put the wedge between the two friends and Benny gave his life to save the blood brother of his brother-in-arms.

7 SAVED: GORDON WALKER

Gordon was introduced in season two, a decent hunter with intense tendencies. This was the first time in the series that the monster of the week was the good guy and the hunter was the villain. He ended his own sister when she turned into a vampire and spent most of his time on the show hunting Sam, believing he was the Antichrist. Oddly enough he wasn’t exactly wrong about Sam who was revealed to be Lucifer’s vessel. He met a fitting end, being turned into a vampire and then having his head removed from his shoulders.

6 HURT: KEVIN TRAN

“We need to talk about Kevin.” He was a member of the honorary Winchester family, like a younger brother to the boys. Kevin sacrificed everything, including his mother, as a prophet to help the boys close the Gates of The Underworld. Instead, he perished in Sam’s place, slain by Gadreel, who was possessing Sam to save his life. This was the demise of an innocent that Dean loved and was damaging enough to begin the events that lead to Dean gaining the Mark of Cain.

We meet version two of Kevin in an alternate universe who, without the Winchesters, has gone mad under Michael’s tyranny. He also perishes, ending his own life in a planned strike.

5 SAVED: DICK ROMAN

Aside from the first two seasons Supernatural rarely has a single clear ‘big bad,’ it tends to be more complicated than that. One of the few cases this occurred was in season seven with the introduction of the Leviathan and their leader Richard ‘Dick’ Roman. The season was famous for its innuendo and the hard-to-hate villain who wanted to turn humanity into his personal food farm. His demise led to the portal that dragged Dean and Cas into Purgatory. This completely brought Dean back into hunting with renewed vigor, introduced his vampire friend Benny and solidified the friendship of Dean and Cas.

4 HURT: BOBBY SINGER

Bobby Singer was one of the homes that the boys frequented in their youth when John was hunting, especially Sam who remained in the dark about hunting until he was eight, after Dean had already been in the field. When John passed, he stepped up to be a second father for the boys and was essential to stopping the Apocalypse. He was a beloved cornerstone for dozens of hunters. Just like John’s demise, Bobby’s end forced the boys to grow up once again and stand on their own. Although we see him again and have met another version of him, his gruff nature and sage advice will never be replaced.

3 SAVED: METATRON

There is no villain Supernatural fans love to dislike more than Metatron. He started as a pencil pusher and then was invited to be the Scribe of God, taking down the story of creation. After “God left the building” Metatron was forced into hiding to protect his father’s knowledge. It wasn’t until Dean and Sam came crashing in that he realized all threats to his life were gone. Channeling the power of the angel tablet he performed a spell that cast all angels but him from Heaven. He also ended Dean, causing his demonification. A great villain, but after four seasons it was time for him to make an exit and make way for new characters.

2 HURT: CHARLIE BRADBURY

Charlie Bradbury, originally Celeste Middleton, is a hacker turned hunter and a little sister to the Winchesters. She was also one of the few recurring gay characters on Supernatural and even fought the final battle in the land of Oz with Dorothy. She was a huge nerd, idolized Hermione, and was Dean’s favorite wingman. She was someone the boys wanted to protect and she understood Dean’s geeky references. It only makes sense that the cycle of the Mark of Cain began with Kevin and ended with Charlie. We meet the second version of Charlie who is a new friend with her own story, but will never replace the first.

1 SAVED: ZACHARIAH

Zachariah was a powerful angel that worked for Michael and was Castiel’s superior in the earlier seasons, before Cas rebelled and became a seraph. To move the plot he had to go and it was extremely satisfying to have Dean end his life with an angel blade. This was Dean’s true defiance to the script laid out before him and was a game changer for the Supernatural world. Dean became the first human on the show (likely in all history) to defeat an angel.


2019-04-06 04:04:02

Annabelle Eirth

14 Alternate Versions Of Classic Movies That Saved Them (And 7 That Are Way Worse)

“Director’s Cut.” “Extended Edition.” They sound so cool, but we all know they don’t always work. Yes, alternate cuts of our favorite films have been around long before our favorite directors chose to do them. Sometimes, they work for simple cash-grabs, enticing audiences to return to theaters or rebuy their favorite film just to see what else the products have to offer. Other times, the cuts are due to directors not getting to express their true visions the first time around, so they get their chance thanks to the magic of home media.

However, many tend to forget just how talented audiences are as well, as there are a plethora of fan edits floating around that surprisingly make the films better (some have even caught the attention of the films’ cast and crew!).

Regardless, these special editions of our favorite classics will continue to be around as long as we show our love and dedication to movies, which is both a good and bad thing to look forward to. So, today, we’ll be looking at some prime examples of both instances. Whether we finally get to see a director’s true version of their magnum opus after a years-long wait, a dedicated fan’s version of a film they felt deserved better, or a shameless retread of a movie with just enough changed to bring us back (but also enough to make us angry with how different the film has become).

So, grab some popcorn and a pillow to yell in as we look at 14 Alternate Versions Of Classic Movies That Saved Them (And 7 That Are Way Worse).

21 Saved: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition

While DC’s cinematic universe may be showing promise now, back in 2016, fans were split on how well Zack Snyder’s mega-hyped Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did in establishing the shared universe. However, we shouldn’t give Snyder all the blame, as the two-and-a-half hour film we saw in theaters wasn’t close enough to his full vision.

To remedy this, an R-rated “Ultimate Edition” was released on home video, containing 30 extra minutes of content. And, while it’s still far from another Dark Knight, the cut fills in some of the film’s plot holes, provides more time for Superman’s journalistic pursuit of Batman, and further teases the universe’s future with a special appearance by Justice League villain Steppenwolf.

20 Saved: The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit

Despite Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series remaining one of the greatest trilogies of all time, his follow-up prequel trilogy, The Hobbit, has divided fans and critics alike due to its overuse of CGI and troubled production. Due to J.R.R. Tolkien’s massive fanbase, it was only a matter of time before fans created their own versions that stuck closer to Tolkien’s novel.

While there are several to choose from, perhaps the earliest example is 2015’s The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit, a single four-hour movie (not including credits) created by username “tolkieneditor,” which omits several criticized elements of the films. And, while some may take issue with the removal of fan-favorite characters Saruman and Galadriel, everyone can agree that getting rid of Radagast the Brown, Tauriel, and Legolas (save for a small cameo) was for the better.

19 Worse: Once Upon a Deadpool

We hoped it wouldn’t happen, but it did. Ahead of Disney’s purchase of Fox properties (coincidence?), PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 was released last year as a way of seeing how well the titular anti-hero would fare with younger audiences…and to make more money off the franchise’s popularity.

Despite the film gaining about 20 minutes of new footage, its graphic violence and language were toned down, which went over with fans about as well as one would expect. Perhaps Rotten Tomatoes said it best: “Once Upon a Deadpool retains enough of the franchise’s anarchic spirit to entertain, but doesn’t add enough to Deadpool 2 to justify its own existence.”

However, adding a subplot of Deadpool telling the story to a taken Fred Savage in reference to his Princess Bride role was pure genius.

18 Saved: Star Wars Episode I.I: The Phantom Edit

To say George Lucas’ 1999 return to a galaxy far, far away was not warmly received by fans would be an understatement. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a decent film hidden amongst all the heavy CGI and Jar Jar antics.

Created in 2001 by Mike J. Nichols, Star Wars Episode I.I: The Phantom Edit was originally thought to be the work of director Kevin Smith (who later admitted to seeing it, calling it “smart editing”). Among the most obvious edits are an alternate opening crawl explaining why the edit was created, the removal of many (but not all) Jar Jar Binks scenes, and limiting its exposition.

For those who wish to see the film, it can be found on VHS and DVD. Nichols also created his own edit of Episode II, titled Episode II.I: Attack of the Phantom.

17 Saved: The Wolverine: Unleashed Extended Edition

Everyone can agree that 2013’s The Wolverine was way better than its 2009 predecessor, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (though, that isn’t very hard to accomplish), but many still didn’t see it as a worthy solo outing for Marvel’s favorite mutant. However, even if it didn’t get rid of the lackluster Silver Samurai or see Logan receiving his trademark yellow outfit, the unrated cut, dubbed the “Unleashed Extended Edition,” was certainly an improvement for the film, with more action, blood, and f-bombs for Logan to drop.

While the cut was only released in the four-disc Blu-ray 3D package as a Blu-ray disc, fans eager to see Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine act more comics-accurate can also watch 2017’s Logan (the best of the Wolverine trilogy).

16 Worse: Star Wars Trilogy: Special Editions

Comprising the trilogy that spawned arguably the largest fanbase on Earth, George Lucas’ original Star Wars films continue to be adored by fans old and new…just not in their original formats.

In 1997, Lucas re-released the trilogy in “Special Editions” to modernize the films in terms of visual effects and to celebrate the forthcoming prequel trilogy. However, the changes were widely seen as “fixing what ain’t broke” and overall distracting for audiences. Too many CGI characters were added, Hayden Christensen appeared as a force ghost, and, worst of all, Greedo was depicted as firing at Han first in the cantina, which inspired an infamous campaign.

Numerous edits have been made through the years, with the only way of seeing the original cuts being to own them on VHS or see them in poor quality on the 2006 bonus discs.

15 Saved: Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut

Another example of Zack Snyder not getting to express his full cinematic vision, 2009’s Watchmen was adapted from DC’s legendary 80s comic series that many deemed “un-filmable.” However, while Snyder tried to prove them wrong, the final result polarized audiences upon release…until the release of his “Director’s Cut” a few months later.

While Snyder believes this to be his preferred version, an “Ultimate Cut” was also released at the end of the year, which added the 26-minute animated adaptation of Tales of the Black Freighter, a fictional comic within the Watchmen series that features Gerald Butler as the voice of the Captain. Altogether, this cut may sit at just over three-and-a-half hours, but for those who wish to see the closest possible adaptation to the series, this is the version for them.

14 Saved: Daredevil: Director’s Cut

Many would like to forget that Ben Affleck ever donned the red suit of Daredevil, but the “Director’s Cut” of this 2003 flop may make them reconsider judging the film so harshly.

Released in 2004, this R-rated cut puts more focus on plot points that were limited by the original version, including Matt Murdock’s struggle with his Catholic roots and his job as a lawyer. Plus, an additional storyline involving Coolio playing a character hooked on substances on trial is just a treat to see. While the running time is increased by 30 minutes (amounting to a 133-minute runtime), it’s seen by many (including the director himself) as the superior version and an underappreciated darker take on the superhero genre.

13 Worse: Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut

A higher Rotten Tomatoes score doesn’t make a better movie, which is exactly the case with the 2001 cult classic Donnie Darko and its 2004 “Director’s Cut.” Centered on a troubled teen (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) dealing with apocalyptic visions, the film was praised by fans and critics for its originality and mysterious aspects. So, fans were flabbergasted when director Richard Kelly decided to include additional scenes to clarify some of the film’s mystery.

On top of that, the film’s soundtrack was altered to feature “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS in place of “The Killing Moon” by Echo & the Bunnymen in the opening, leading E&TB lead singer Ian McCulloch to call Kelley a “knobhead.”

12 Saved: Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers – The Producer’s Cut

Before Jamie Lee Curtis was brought back to save the Halloween franchise (the first time, at least), producers had expanded the series’ mythology to include human sacrifices and a cult being the reason behind Michael Myers’ immortality, and longtime fans weren’t having it. However, while Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is regarded as one of the series’ low-points (which is a shame, since it was Donald Pleasance’s final appearance as Doctor Loomis), its altered edition stands far superior to what was released in theaters.

After years of another version, dubbed “The Producer’s Cut,” being bootlegged by fans, it was released on Blu-ray in 2014. Besides expanding Loomis and Jamie Lloyd’s storylines, it also reveals more about the cult’s plans and replaces the film’s intense ending with a more tragic finale.

11 Saved: Final Destination 3: Choose Their Fate

Final Destination fans generally agree the series experienced a dip in quality with the 2006 third installment. Despite a fine lead performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and some inventive character demises, the film was noted for beginning the silly tone that would ruin the series’ next film. Because of this, the film needed to do something unique to ensure decent home media sales, which is exactly what happened.

By purchasing the film’s two-disc “Thrill Ride Edition,” viewers are given the chance to control the film with the “Choose Their Fate” option. While those who have already viewed the film may not get much more out of this version, first-time audiences will enjoy the influence they have on character demises. If they decide to, they can even prevent the characters from boarding the roller coaster, which will hilariously end the film immediately.

10 Worse: Spider-Man 2.1

Ranked among the greatest superhero films ever made, 2004’s Spider-Man 2, unfortunately, proved another example of filmmakers trying to improve a film that didn’t really need improvement in the first place.

To celebrate the release of Spider-Man 3, an extended cut of the film, Spider-Man 2.1, was released in 2007. With only eight extra minutes of footage integrated into the film, one wouldn’t think it would make that big a difference. However, while several scenes are unnecessarily extended, the film makes two major mistakes in adding new content: changing the elevator scene’s humor to cringe-inducing and adding a scene where we witness J. Jonah Jameson wearing Spider-Man’s suit and pretending to shoot webs, which seems completely out-of-character for a man who supposedly hates the hero.

Overall, it’s not a bad edit, but was it really necessary for a film that was already so great?

9 Saved: Kingdom Of Heaven: Director’s Cut

While Ridley Scott won a Best Picture Oscar for his 2000 epic historical drama Gladiator, lightning didn’t strike twice for his 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven. Starring Orlando Bloom as Balian of Ibelin, a historic warrior who helped defend the Kingdom of Jerusalem during the Crusades, the film received lukewarm reviews for its lack of depth and Bloom’s underwhelming performance.

Thankfully, the film was given a second chance with its “Director’s Cut,” and the results were like night and day. The new cut has garnered larger praise from critics, with IGN calling it “a huge improvement.” However, viewers be warned: while the original cut was already nearly two-and-a-half hours long, the new version clocks in at over three hours, making for an epic adventure only dedicated fans can sit through.

8 Saved: Waterworld: The Ulysses Cut

It’s truly a shame that what was then the most expensive film ever made turned in such a disappointing box-office gross, as nobody can deny the creative vision that made it to the big screen in 1995’s Waterworld. While it will never be seen as a “great” film due to star Kevin Costner’s uninterested acting, two additional versions of the project have made it even more fun to watch.

In 1997, ABC broadcast an extended cut that ran about 40 minutes longer (amounting to a nearly-three-hour movie), albeit with edited mature material. Because of this, a European cut including the mature content began surfacing online (dubbed “The Ulysses Cut” in reference to a new scene at the end).

In 2018, all three versions were made available in a three-disc limited edition Blu-ray to allow fans and curious moviegoers to enjoy this gone-but-not-forgotten epic.

7 Worse: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: Special Edition

Even though it is frequently ranked as one of his greatest films, Steven Spielberg desired to make his own director’s cut of his 1977 masterpiece, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Naturally, Columbia Pictures agreed, but on the condition that he reveal what was inside the mothership to give audiences a big reason to see it again. While Spielberg didn’t want to show such a thing, he nonetheless agreed and released the “Special Edition” of the film in 1980.

Turns out, Spielberg was right, as revealing the interior of the mothership takes away much of the mystery present in the original cut. Along with this, other scenes are added, deleted, and moved around. Thankfully, Spielberg released a definitive cut in 1998 that runs longer than the original and, more importantly, got rid of the mothership reveal.

6 Saved: The Exorcist III: Legion

Audiences weren’t expecting a third entry in the Exorcist franchise following the failure of Exorcist II: The Heretic. However, it happened, and, while it was undoubtedly a step-up (thanks to the direction of William Peter Blatty, author of the original Exorcist novel), its overall effectiveness still divided critics.

Over the years, Blatty had expressed interest in acquiring some missing footage to make his ultimate cut. In 2016, it seemed like he would finally get his wish, as the film was released in a two-disc “Collector’s Edition,” with the second disc containing a director’s cut titled Legion (after the novel the film is based on).

While closer to Blatty’s vision, producer Cliff MacMillan revealed it was “a composite of varying footage quality from the best available sources.” So, while we’ll likely never see Blatty’s original film, this is the next best thing.

5 Saved: Alexander: The Ultimate Cut

Oliver Stone’s 2004 epic Alexander may have been forgotten by audiences upon release, but it now shines as a prime example of a filmmaker never giving up until perfecting their vision. Despite having three alternate versions to choose from, we had to go with the most recent (and hopefully final) version, “The Ultimate Cut.”

Increasing the film’s runtime from 175 minutes to a staggering 206 (which is actually shorter than its previous version), the new cut shifted its scenes around to break the film’s boring chronology and, of course, add more sword-fighting action, which altogether breathes new life into Stone’s magnum opus. Unfortunately, no matter which version fans watch, Colin Farrell’s hair will always look out of place…

4 Worse: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – Super-Sized R-Rated Version

Though fans didn’t find the 2013 Anchorman sequel as fresh as the original (which is still frequently-quoted today), it nonetheless proved an entertaining and funny time at the theaters. And, while most fans would jump at the chance to see more of Ron Burgundy and his crew, an R-rated cut of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues probably isn’t what they had in mind.

Promising a total of 763 new jokes, the “Super-Sized R-rated Version” played in theaters for a week, hoping to draw in more box-office profits for the film. However, while some fans took the bait, it ultimately didn’t pay off, as most of the bonus jokes felt unnecessary and, even worse, unfunny. Burgundy’s podcast will have to be pretty good for fans to forgive him for this misstep.

3 Saved: Once Upon a Time in America: Extended Director’s Cut

For any fan of crime dramas, this film stands among the best as a must-see. Just be prepared to sit back for around four hours to enjoy this ride in its true form.

Released in 1984 by famed Spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods as two Jewish New York gangsters, the film had a lot to live up to upon release. Unfortunately, due to massive cuts (resulting in a vastly-shortened runtime of 139 minutes) and a reordering of scenes, the film was not well-received by American critics.

To remedy this, the 229-minute European cut was later released on DVD and Blu-ray, receiving greater acclaim. And, for those who wish to see the longest version currently available, the massive 251-minute “Extended Director’s Cut” has been made available on a two-disc Blu-ray set.

2 Saved: The New World: The Extended Cut

Amazingly, we have another forgotten historical gem starring Colin Farrell that was improved upon by a director’s cut. 2005’s The New World told the story of the founding of the Jamestown settlement, with Farrell as Captain John Smith. Helmed by Terrence Malick, the film received decent reviews but proved a box-office bomb.

While the original cut totaled to two-and-a-half hours, the runtime was cut down by about 15 minutes for its wide release in 2006. However, a final cut, titled “The Extended Cut,” was released a few years later, bringing the film up to 172 minutes. For those who wish to compare the three versions, the film was released as part of The Criterion Collection on Blu-ray and DVD in 2016.

1 Worse: The Warriors: Ultimate Director’s Cut

Some cult films are defined by having an initial failure, whether critically, commercially, or both, but subsequently gaining a large following and reevaluation by critics/audiences. One of the greatest examples on this list would definitely be 1979’s The Warriors.

Despite its controversial history (with intense outbreaks linked to the film’s screenings), the film now sits at 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. And, while 2005 gave us an awesome video game (courtesy of Rockstar Games), it also gave us the inferior “Ultima Director’s Cut,” with a larger use of comic book styles that feel more distracting than cool.

Perhaps the upcoming TV series should think long and hard before “coming out to play-i-ay” in this troubled franchise’s world.


2019-04-05 08:04:33

Tyler Hargett

Big Bang Theory: 18 Characters Who Make No Sense (And 2 Who Saved The Show)

Good sitcom writers have a way of making the most mundane and humorless setups into real comedy gold. Take a classic show like Frasier, which revolved around a super-pompous psychiatrist (Dr. Frasier Crane, of Cheers fame), his even-more-super-pompous brother, their old dad and, dad’s physical therapist Daphne Moon. Does it sound hilarious?

Of course it doesn’t, but the dialogue is just fantastic and the jokes come abundant and fast. Not only that, but the show manages to pull off something that The Simpsons was once so good at (while the fans still liked the show): blending silly slapstick moments and cheap toilet humor with comedy of a more ‘sophisticated’ level: wit, wordplay, clever references, that sort of thing.

Anyway, though, we’re here to talk about The Big Bang Theory, a show that also tries to blend silly moments and cheap jokes about Leonard’s gassiness (caused by his lactose intolerance) with intelligent humor from the world of advanced physics. You won’t hear the words ‘advanced physics’ and ‘humor’ in the same sentence very often, friends.

Over its long run, The Big Bang Theory has enjoyed a lot of mainstream success, much more than a show based on this niche premise could ever have really expected. Nevertheless, it’s also attracted a lot of criticism for its characters, their attitudes, and their portrayals of certain stereotypes.

Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders here, as well as two of the characters that redeem the show. Don’t worry, there won’t be a theoretical physics test at the end. There will be character-specific spoilers throughout, though, so watch out if you aren’t up to date.

20 MAKES NO SENSE: Dr. Beverly Hofstadter

As fans will know, the gang’s various parents pop up at regular intervals throughout the show’s run, and… well, things tend to go all kinds of awry when they do.

It’s dysfunctionpalooza around here, and that’s never plainer than when Leonard’s mother Dr. Beverly Hofstadter pops by for a visit.

For one thing, the cold, calculated characters in sitcoms really need to dial things down to avoid being downright unlikable, and Beverly hovers around that line just a little too much at times. Her relationship with Leonard is just rough to witness at times, especially considering that she manages to bond (in her own ‘unique’ way) with other members of the cast along the way.

Heck, she probably would’ve smuggled Sheldon home in her handbag and kept him for her own, if he wasn’t so darn tall.

19 MAKES NO SENSE: Barry Kripke

Part of The Big Bang Theory’s whole shtick is trying to present ‘nerds’ in all their multi-faceted glory. Yes, the show tells us, they collect comic books and viciously debate on fan forums at 4 am, but they’re also super smart, productive, and lovably socially inept. There’s an endearing vulnerability about them, through the show’s lens.

Barry Kripke doesn’t quite fit in with this image. When the boys’ Caltech colleague makes an appearance, it’s usually to be vindictive to Sheldon or for the audience to have a cheap laugh at his speech impediment (comedian John Ross Bowie, as we reported on CBR, has one in real life, but plays it up for laughs on the show). It’s often tough to see what he really contributes.

18 MAKES NO SENSE: Jimmy Speckerman

The show is often criticized for resorting to tired old stereotypes, and Jimmy Speckerman brought a lot of that into sharp relief. Did you know that the academically-inclined and physically feeble among us are sometimes bullied at school? Thanks for that doozy of a revelation, Big Bang.

As we’ve reported previously, the character was super uncomfortable to watch, completely unrepentant for his past misdeeds. Not only that, but he was portrayed by Lance Barber; the very same Lance Barber who plays a certain father in Young Sheldon.

Yes, this is one of those little TV facts that we’re not supposed to question too deeply, but Dr. Cooper revels in that sort of thing, and he’d definitely make note of the fact that this guy looks exactly like his late father.

17 MAKES NO SENSE: Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Speaking of Sheldon Cooper, it was inevitable that the persnickety physicist was going to have his own spot in this rundown. After all, he’s the probably the best-known and most popular of the gang (in real life, that is). He may be completely insufferable, but Jim Parson’s star turn as the character has earned him all manner of awards and accolades.

Do we love Sheldon, or do we love to hate him? Everyone’s going to have a different opinion there. He’s a real anomaly, and that’s just the thing: he isn’t consistent. Sometimes he’s horror-struck by others sitting in ‘his spot,’ and sometimes he doesn’t even comment on it. Sometimes he needs a carefully-chosen seat in someone else’s home, and sometimes he silently plonks himself anywhere that’s free.

He makes mistakes, too, such as the time he claimed that striking a wine glass produces a B flat note (it’s actually a B).

16 MAKES NO SENSE: Anu

As the show winds down for good (that’s right, friends, we’re in final season territory here), fans who have been watching for over a decade want closure. We want to know, as with Friends and countless other beloved sitcoms, where the characters are going to end up.

For Raj, life has been one heck of a ride. Romantic life in particular.

The awkward astrophysicist has been in relationships with all kinds of colorful characters, and his arranged marriage with Anu seems a little let’s check him off the list, we’ve only got so many episodes left.

By sitcom standards, she’s a very prim, proper and straight-laced sort of person, and it’s tough to imagine her integrating with the gang in the same way that Amy, Penny, and Bernadette have over the show’s run.

15 MAKES NO SENSE: Stuart Bloom

Since his introduction as the owner of the boys’ favorite comic book store, Stuart Bloom has been quite the divisive character. He’s one of those who’s too important to be considered a mere side character but doesn’t quite make the cut with the main cast either. A position that suits Stuart as we know him pretty darn well.

That whole ‘relationship’ with Howard’s mother, his position in the Wolowitz home, the crushed and defeated demeanor… in sitcoms, you’ve got to be careful with the laughing with somebody/laughing at somebody ratio, and poor old Stuart hasn’t been treated well in that sense over the years.

As with Hans Moleman of The Simpsons fame, things can get a little uncomfortable when you play the let’s laugh at this person’s misfortune card too many times.

14 MAKES NO SENSE: Larry Fowler

As we’ve seen, the parents of the main cast make quite frequent appearances throughout the show’s run, and they definitely make their presence felt whenever they do. When Amy Farrah Fowler became Sheldon’s one and only, it became clear that her parents had to be thrown into the mix as well.

What a disastrous duo they are, too. Larry Fowler, Amy’s long-suffering, quiet, and downtrodden father, was brilliantly played by Teller (of iconic magical partnership Penn and Teller). The casting was incredibly apt on all levels, as Larry is rendered silent, completely controlled by his domineering wife.

Perhaps it was simply a case of having to do something new with the Fowlers that we hadn’t already seen in other Big Bang Theory parents, but everything that happens between them in “The Conjugal Configuration” is more unsettling than funny.

13 MAKES NO SENSE: Leonard Hofstadter

When we first meet Leonard way back in the very first episode, he seems set to be a ‘toned down’ version of his roommate. Dr. Hofstadter may be a brilliant physicist, serial user of complex jargon, and comic book enthusiast, but he struggles with Sheldon as well. Leonard’s meant more as a middle-ground character, it’s probably fair to say.

As the series progressed, though, his insecurities and flaws came more and more to the fore. His pining after Penny was one thing, but once the two did get together, he was incredibly controlling and even downright rude to her at times.

Perhaps these traits aren’t his fault (look at his childhood, his mother, and everything else), but many fans struggled to connect with Leonard as much as they did with the rest of the core gang as a result.

12 MAKES NO SENSE: Howard’s Mother

Ah, dear old Mrs. Wolowitz. Much like the Golden Snitch in a Quidditch match in the Harry Potter series, she was a super useful plot device. The Golden Snitch could bring a match to a convenient end whenever it’s been dragging on a little too long on the page, while Mrs. Wolowitz could raise a cheap laugh with a single shout from off-screen whenever needed. What a tension-breaker!

The issue with Howard’s mother was, she never really evolved beyond that. Like Leonard, she had terrible controlling traits that made her a little unlikable at times, and her always-unseen gimmick was effective but had been seen before.

Her sad demise later in the series brought some emotional weight to proceedings, but the character had very little positive impact on the show outside of that.

11 SAVED THE SHOW: Penny Hofstadter

Penny’s role in the overarching Big Bang Theory universe is a crucial one. It was established very early on that she’d be the lens through which we view and understand her extraordinary, scientific genius neighbors and their gang.

It’s the same role that the companion occupies in Doctor Who. She’s not ‘inferior’ to these geniuses by any means, bringing something equal and valuable to the table as well.

Her presence makes the whole main cast more diverse, and more well-rounded people as a result. That’s the idea, anyway.

The would-be actress may not grasp a lot of the science jargon that’s used over the takeout table, but where would her friends be without a dose or two of her pop culture knowledge? She’s a vital cog in the Big Bang Theory machine, and the show would have been lost without her.

10 MAKES NO SENSE: Ramona Nowitzki

As we saw with Leonard’s dear mother, sitcom characters who are supposed to be pretty darn unpleasant aren’t anything new. In these sorts of shows, after all, all kinds of embarrassing situations crop up, and it’s nice to see that happening to people who deserve it (rather than poor, misguided Stuart… again).

Ramona Nowitzki just doesn’t quite fit that criteria. She was certainly obnoxious, pushing Sheldon harder and harder to work and leave his friends behind, but she did have his best interests at heart (in a controlling and slightly worrying sort of way).

The real issue is that Nowitzki completely overstayed her welcome, returning to the show much later and… well, not doing anything to improve our perception of her. Surely you’d get the message after that Sheldon’s not interested in you in about a nanosecond?

Let’s not forget that she actually had the gall to suggest that Sheldon share credit with her for a discovery she helped him to make.

9 MAKES NO SENSE: Priya Koothrappali

Priya and Leonard’s relationship was a bit of an odd one, for a whole variety of reasons. For one thing, it actually lasted a decently long time, which is unusual for any of the Big Bang Theory boys. For another, it just never sat quite right with the audience.

Friends fans will remember the whole Rachel and Ross thing, and how every misguided relationship they both embarked on was just gut-wrenching. Priya wasn’t particularly rude to the group or unpleasant as a character, but she was a roadblock on the way to Penny, and fans don’t take kindly to that sort of thing.

Besides, she was Raj’s sister, her parents didn’t approve of the whole thing and she was vastly different to the rest of the gang. It was quite relieving when she moved back to India.

8 MAKES NO SENSE: Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Over the course of its long run, The Big Bang Theory has seen quite a lot of high-profile guest stars. Everyone from Charlie Sheen to Stephen Hawking has appeared on the show (there’s a good trivia question; what do those two have in common), and they’ve made some big coups along the way.

One guest star you may not have expected to see is Neil deGrasse Tyson, who appeared as himself in the episode “The Apology Insufficiency.” Tyson is the director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, and Sheldon immediately took issue with him when he came to Caltech. In his view, Tyson had been personally responsible for Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet status, and Sheldon liked Pluto. Ergo, he did not like Tyson.

For his own part, the astrophysicist does his best to explain that he did not personally demote Pluto (the International Astronomical Union voted on that decision), and even personally apologies to Sheldon, but the stubborn scientist isn’t having any of it.

Later, in the season 12 premiere, Tyson reappears after getting into a Twitter argument with Raj. It all makes you wonder why he’d want to be the subject of science snark… again.

7 MAKES NO SENSE: Rajesh Koothrappali

If you’ve even dabbled in the show, you’ll know that the main cast all have their own unique set of hang-ups, insecurities and other issues (heck, who doesn’t). Of them all, though, there’s a case to be made for the fact that Raj is the most troubled of all.

For the first several seasons, his selective mutism rendered him completely unable to speak to women outside of his family, unless he’d drunk alcohol. Despite this, he went on to have more romantic dalliances than any of the other boys, even if they were short-lived and generally disastrous.

As the series went on, Raj’s behavior became ever-more unusual in some respects. He becomes attached to Howard and Bernadette to an unhealthy degree and that whole business with Siri? The less said about that, the better.

6 MAKES NO SENSE: Amy Farrah Fowler

Ah, the twists and turns of fate. Who would have thought that Howard and Raj creating an online dating profile for Sheldon (as a joke, with joke entries throughout, without his knowledge) would have ultimately resulted in the relationship-averse doctor eventually getting married?

Amy Farrah Fowler, like her husband, is one complex character. Her friendship with Penny (read: her adoration of her) is downright uncomfortable at times, and the demands she makes of Sheldon (which she should really know better than to make at times) is super confusing too.

Amy has a way of filling a gap in the group that the group didn’t really know it had.

That neatly defines her relationship with Sheldon, too, and makes her the hilarious, inexplicable, and tragic character that she is.

5 MAKES NO SENSE: Leslie Winkle

This is the issue long-running and super popular shows often have. People have very strong feelings about the core cast, they’ve gotten to know them over several years and they’ve bonded with them.

For one-off characters –or some that maybe recur a few times—to really be a hit, they’ve got to be consequential. They’ve got to add something to the show. Leonard’s short-lived relationship with Leslie Winkle just didn’t succeed there. If anything, it was just another vehicle for Sheldon to show off his social ineptitude (why’s that tie hanging on the doorknob), and a way to work one of Johnny Galecki’s old Roseanne colleagues into things (the character was portrayed by Sara Gilbert).

Later, in complete odds to her attitude in that relationship (to wit: not wanting one), she’s very forward and controlling with Howard, proving to be a manipulative and inconsistent character.

4 MAKES NO SENSE: Zack Johnson

Of all of Penny’s former flames, Zack Johnson is perhaps the most difficult to pin down. On the surface, yes, he’s one of those taller, stronger, not-so-hot-in-the-old-brain-department guys that Penny often went for, but he’s much more than that.

Affable to a fault, Zack is no jock. The group tended to make fun of him at first for his lack of intelligence, but he’s always interested and even enthusiastic about science. He’s a world away from Kurt, another ex-partner of Penny’s who was mean and aggressive.

While he has precious little in common with the gang (beyond that enthusiasm), Zack managed to worm his way into the inner sanctum on more than one occasion, which was quite an achievement for such an academically-challenged guy. Somehow, he even got Sheldon to apologize to him, and that’s not something you see every day.

3 MAKES NO SENSE: Charlie Sheen

As we saw with Neil deGrasse Tyson, there have been some distinguished guest stars over the show’s history. Here’s the other issue with that sort of thing, though: they’ve got to serve a purpose.

Friends had huge names like Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Danny DeVito, and Jeff Goldblum make brief appearances (all but Willis only were only seen in one episode), to a large extent simply because they could.

In The Big Bang Theory, Charlie Sheen does something similar. “In The Griffin Equivalency,” Raj tells what appears to be just another extra that he’s going to be in People magazine. The man turns to him, revealing that he’s Charlie Sheen, and says, “Yeah? Call me when you’re on the cover.”

It’s a neat little nod, certainly, but was it really necessary?

2 MAKES NO SENSE: Lucy

Lucy, again, is a tough character to define. During the course of season six, she embarks on a relationship with Raj, which seems to be starting to take shape before Lucy ends it during the season finale.

Was it a positive or negative experience for Raj? That’s the difficult thing. Lucy was beginning to open up to him, and, suffering from intense social anxiety herself, would have been a good fit for him. The break-up was devastating for Raj, but it seems to have been a watershed moment in terms of his selective mutism.

There was something both endearing and heart-breaking about this short-lived couple, texting back and forth at the same table. Ultimately, Lucy probably had a good influence on Raj’s life, even if she never really knew it.

1 SAVED THE SHOW: Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz

It’s often said that the right person can have an incredible impact on our lives, and Howard and Bernadette are an excellent example of that. The two met in season three (Bernadette’s first appearance in the show is in the episode “The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary”), and after a bumpy start and several huge bumps in between, eventually marry.

Prior to meeting The One™, Howard was a compulsive womanizer (in his own mind) whose attitudes to dating were all kinds of questionable. As he settled down to married life and becoming a father, he became much less one-dimensional, and a whole lot more likable.

Quite apart from doing the character of Howard huge favors, Bernadette has an important role in the group at large. Heck, if you can send Sheldon off to bed, you can do anything.


2019-03-28 06:03:20

Chris Littlechild