What Once Beloved TV Character Now Strikes You As Being Annoying?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Professor Echo, May 6, 2013.

  1. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I don't imagine this thread will get a lot of responses, but I can't keep these annoyances to myself anymore!

    When I was a kid I thought Uncle Joe Carson on PETTICOAT JUNCTION was hilarious, but now he just annoys the heck out of me. I never find his antics funny and the constant sameness to his character, lazy, opportunistic, juvenile, etc. just makes me want to see Kate bash his head in with a skillet.

    And then there's Lew Marie, Ann's father on THAT GIRL. As a kid I loved him and thought his attitude toward Don was very funny, but now I think he is just obnoxious. Although there are some nice, tender moments with him, most of the time he is an out and out bully with everyone and potentially very harmful to those he professes to love. So often I want to see Don, Ann and Ann's mother stand up to him and reject him outright, just to take the blowhard wind out of him.

    Any others?
     
  2. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    For me, it's Darren Stephens. He's so boorish toward every member of Sam's family (sometimes even toward poor old Aunt Clara) that it's no wonder Endora despises him. When Samantha goes on to her mother about what an extraordinary human being Darren is, you have to just take her word for it, because he's actually a short-tempered hothead.
     
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  3. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    With me it's the opposite as I hate Endora completely. She is a shrewish buttinsky constantly trying to break up her daughter's marriage and the whole "Durwood" bit remains the single most unfunny running gag in a long-running sticom. Plus, watch the early episodes and you will find that it was Endora who was prejudiced and bigoted toward Darrin from the get-go after he'd tried to be nice.
     
  4. Frank Soyke

    Frank Soyke Screenwriter

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    Alice Nelson. Hands down. Her stupid quips irritate me to death. Honerable mention, Charlotte Rae morso during her Different Strokes stint
     
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  5. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    For me, bar none, it's Lucy 'Ricky! Waaaaaaah!' Ricardo. Though I used to watch her lowbrow antics as a kid in the '70s, that unfunny, meddling, incompetent, crybaby attention-vampire has been a boil on my neck long enough! :laugh:
     
  6. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    With regards to Darren and Endora on BEWITCHED, both can be trying, especially Darren's 50's attitudes about women, but Dick York still has a likeability about him that I favor. Endora on the other hand is quite simply unbearable, the quintessential mother-in-law from hell, on par with Alice's mother in THE HONEYMOONERS.
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    There are several TV characters that fall into this category for me. As a kid I use to laugh at these people, probably in part because the adults I was watching with thought they were funny or simply because the audience was laughing along with them. But the tide has turned as I've gotten older. Here are some of the characters that no longer are anything but annoying to me:

    Archie Bunker
    Meathead
    Maude
    Fred Sanford
    The mother and elder daughter from One Day at a Time

    I now find all the above insufferable and can't watch one minute of them without wanting to vomit.


    Gary "I have to admit I now find Endora's hatred of Darrin tough to watch"
     
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  8. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Screenwriter

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    Fonzie - used to be so cool, watching reruns, just find him as annoying as Ralph Malph and Potsie.

    Doug
     
  9. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    There's also the sanctimonious know-it-all-I-am-always-right attitude of Hawkeye Pierce that makes MASH unwatchable to me after so many years of seeing the cycles of reruns growing up.
     
  10. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Great question that is sure to spark a lot of good discussion.

    I'll up the ante on some of the above and say the entire main casts of Bewitched and All in the Family have not held up well to me. This is not a reflection of the actors at all; just the way the characters were written. No offense to fans of either show, just a personal preference.

    Ditto to:

    George Jefferson
    Any Lucille Ball character. I still love the supporting casts (Frawley, Vance, Gordon) though.
    Mrs. Bellows (I Dream of Jeannie)
     
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  11. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    All points that I agree with, Steve. And as you said, it's nothing against the actors. It's just that for whatever reason certain characters just don't age well with some of us. And although it shouldn't have to be said in a thread like this, I'll say it anyhow - this is all just personal opinion.


    Gary "I also agree that the Hawkeye character got worse and worse as M*A*S*H wore on" O.
     
  12. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    boy, i think darrin, sam, and endora are wonderful. i really enjoy the episodes when centered around them. and larry.

    i just dont like the character of aunt clara, but then i never did.

    gladys and especially abner can be funny - but dont have them in too often in any one episode.

    the rest of the cast is mainly sam's "in-laws", all with sorta dumb stuff.

    does anyone recall why endora does not like darrin ?
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I like Hawkeye when there's a comedy episode of M*A*S*H but when Alan Alda wants to go for an Emmy, it can be rough.
     
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  14. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I used to like Alda as Hawkeye, too, when I was a kid, watching MASH in first-run, especially in the early, comedy-oriented seasons... but when I got a little older, I realized he was just doing a basic Groucho Marx impression, plus both he and the show steadily got more and more pretentious and preachy. When I finally caught the original theatrical film, that sealed the deal... Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Robert Duvall and Sally Kellerman were a thousand times better and funnier as their characters; I could never watch the TV series version again (which had already burned itself out for me, from the never-ending reruns).
     
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  15. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I've sadly discovered within the past year, watching the old shows again on Antenna TV and Me TV, that several characters I used to love now strike me as obnoxious.

    Just tonight I was watching a very early episode of "Bewitched" (Darrin hadn't even met Endora yet), and I was thinking once again how ridiculous it is that Samantha would give up her amazing powers for THAT?! It makes zero sense. (Of course, nothing in the show makes sense. If the witches are a thousand years old, how come Endora still looks old enough to be Samantha's mother? Shouldn't Samantha have caught up to her by now? Or did Samantha stop aging at 30, but Endora stopped aging at 55? But that's another story ...)

    "I Love Lucy" is still my favorite TV show of all time, but now I do see that Lucy Ricardo is an obnoxious character with few redeeming qualities. She'd make a horrible friend, whereas Ethel Mertz would probably make a great friend. Lucy's other characters, Carmichael and Carter, never had any redeeming qualities for me in the first place.

    I used to like Hazel a lot, but now she seems an obnoxious buttinsky who in real life would be fired the first week (of course, the show thought of that and set it up that she was Mrs. Baxter's nanny and Mr. Baxter wouldn't dare fire her.)

    But the character I found endearing as a kid that I absolutely can't stand now is Gracie Allen on "Burns and Allen." I think now that stupidity isn't funny -- it's just stupid. And she's so positive and cheerful in her 100% wrongness -- and says every line the same way with the same expression on her face -- and she's always so dressed up and serving coffee -- and butting into everything she has absolutely no business butting into -- that I've reached the point I can't watch that show any more.

    I also don't care for Edith Bunker any more, but for almost the opposite reason. She started off as an absolute dumbbell, but as the 1970s wore on, that became very politically incorrect. So she was still portrayed as somewhat on the dumb side, but full of worldly wisdom and insight, and it just didn't ring true.

    I know I only named female characters, but I guess they were the only ones I found endearing when I was younger.
     
  16. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Jack Klugman's Quincy has also not aged well with me because of the same problem of being such an in-your-face know-it-all. Just once, you'd like to see Quincy be wrong for a change and be forced to show some genuine humility, but every episode as the series went on became (1) Quincy takes a stand (2) Astin won't back him because he's concerned about the image of the department (3) Quincy is hurt and angry he's not being supported and defies orders to lay off (4) Quincy keeps being right. When this becomes a predictable pattern it can wear thin and when episodes more and more became Jack Klugman doing a social issue commentary instead of solving a crime the show became even worse. This is why I'm not going to rush to get the later seasons (though I was glad we got Season 4 since it had one of my favorite episodes).

    I disagree on Gracie Allen because there's always such a level of innocence to her that keeps her endearing in contrast to the more scheming quality of Lucy.
     
  17. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Oh and one thing about Dr. Bellows that makes him annoying. Have you ever noticed how he *often* will walk into Major Nelson's home without bothering to knock??? (this to account for why he will always wander in to see something bizarre).
     
  18. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    Great calls on the Norman Lear series characters and definitely Alda's Hawkeye character once Wayne Rogers left the show.

    Lucy Carmichael after Viv leaves and Mr. Mooney are also on my list. I loved them when I was a kid, but now their constant mugging and yelling are the television equivalent of medieval torture.
     
  19. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    But I don't see it as innocence. I see it as pure, unadulterated stupidity. There's something wrong with that woman and if you knew someone like that in real life, it wouldn't be cute or funny. It would be a cause for concern. Lucy was wacky, but she was clever. Unlike Gracie, Lucy had a brain that actually functioned. I know it's just a silly comedy, but in real life anyone who behaved like Gracie Allen would have to be put away in an institution.
     
  20. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I think in fairness you also have to take into consideration the longevity of Gracie's career playing this kind of "Dumb Dora" character which went back to the 1920s in vaudeville when that kind of character was a staple and which also showed up in many variants on radio in the 1930s as well (Jane Ace of "Easy Aces" being another example). Audiences by the 1950s admittedly may not have accepted other variants of that kind of character, but Gracie was an established legend because of her career prior to TV and she was also recognized as the best who ever did that kind of character. So I see her TV work more as that of a legend taking her final lap.

    The character of George Burns though is different on TV from radio. On radio he was more of a flustered Ricky Ricardo type rather than the accepting husband who loves her as she is.
     

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