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. JMFabianoRPL

    JMFabianoRPL Stunt Coordinator

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    Three words : SCREECH F'N POWERS. And he got worse to the point of being unbearable in the Tori episodes, though no one tried during that season.

    With the Gracie hate going on, I can't believe no one chose Georgette from MTM.

    Now for a reverse case: I used to be annoyed by Victoria on Mike and Molly, but LIKE her now!
     
  2. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    This is a great topic for someone like me who's in a lousy mood, and I'd like to make a few comments.I've noticed whenever people refer to old-fashioned values of which they don't approve they usually call them "1950s values," as if that was the only decade in history that had them. I guess it's because it was the last complete decade that had them. Of course, they actually existed prior to the 1950s going back to prehistoric times, I guess.There was so much good about the 1950s, I always wish the expression would be changed to "pre-mid-1960s values." It was around 1965 when things really started to change, a lot for the better and a lot for the worse, too.In relation to my Gracie-bashing, someone mentioned Georgette. I CAN'T STAND HER! I always thought they were thinking we were all sitting home saying, "Isn't she adorable?" No, we weren't.As for the Endora/Darrin relationship, I think it was pretty clear that Endora didn't like mortals and was appalled that her daughter would marry one. As for the enmity between them, I think she started it and eventually Darrin gave up trying to please her. Endora should have been angry at Samantha, rightfully asking, "You gave up our amazing powers for THAT?! I just don't get it." Of course, Darrin was an idiot. If a woman told me she had those powers, far from telling her not to use them, I'd have her use them constantly for all kinds of wonderful things. (By the way, could these witches do good things for the world, like end war, sickness and poverty? Why didn't they?)The worst episode of "I Love Lucy" is the one where Lucy is offered a Hollywood contract and Ricky tells her they won't stay out there so she can become a movie star because he has to go back to his stupid nightclub in New York and he's taking Little Ricky with him. What an ass.Sally on "Dick Van Dyke" was a good addition to the list. Even her speaking voice is grating, and her alleged singing is unlistenable -- and she had terrible taste in songs, too. And Buddy's constant bullying of Mel is difficult to watch now.As good as the actors were playing the parts, it was always difficult to understand how incompetent people like Barney Fife and Ted Baxter even got, never mind kept, their jobs. An early episode of "Andy Griffith" said that Barney was Andy's cousin. Did "Mary Tyler Moore" ever explain how Ted Baxter got hired?Ah, "The Golden Girls." Estelle Getty wasn't much of an actress (certainly not compared to the other three) and often delivered her lines in a flat, uninflected way. But it's Rose Hyland that I can't take. Betty White played the part well, but it's Gracie Allen all over again -- so stupid you wonder how she could even survive.We haven't talked much about the kids that weren't any good: Mushmouth Little Ricky - obnoxious Rusty and smirking Linda Williams - Beaver's disgusting friends Whitey, Gilbert and that fat one named Harry they tried to replace Larry with and who lasted one season - the way cute Beaver and Opie morphed into dorky teenagers who had nothing going for them - nauseating Buffy and Jody - the even-more nauseating Dodie and the totally unappealing Livingston brothers on the later "My Three Sons" -- I could go on and on and on but this is painful.Someone mentioned Joe Besser. It should go without saying that "The Three Stooges" don't belong in this thread, because they weren't made for television. If we count them, then we have to count "The Little Rascals"/"Our Gang" -- and there were no more nauseating child actors in history than Mickey "Robert Blake" Gubitosi and Janet Burstyn.
     
  3. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    Well, I'm glad you got that off your chest, Joe. I hope you feel better now! :D

    I agree about the "1950s values." Most of that attitude started at war's emd and was just a reaction to the fact that the war was over and that all those working women had to go back into the home so that the returning veterans could get jobs. But by 1954, the world started changing, with the defeat of McCarthyism, the advent of rock 'n roll, the development of the pill in 1960, the Kennedy assassination in 1963, and, of course, the anti-Vietnam movement after that. But of course television was about ten to fifteen years behind the times, so everyone today thinks the late 50s were a repressive period, when it was the late 40s that was really repressive.

    i think you're just being ornery with the Georgette bashing. She WAS and still IS adorable!

    The worst episodes of "I Love Lucy" were by far those early season one outings like "Drafted," "The Young Fans" and the one where she babysits the twins.

    Your comments about Endora were why I singled out Darren in this thread rather than her. Darren was supposed to be this extraordinary mortal who was so wonderful that a witch like Samantha would toss her powers away just so she could spend the rest of his mortal life with him. As such, i was in Endora's camp. What did she see in that bigoted, self-centered, uptight goof anyway?

    You're all wrong about Sally Rogers. She was a tough dame who could hold her own and then some in a room full of men, but I loved her and still do. She had great comedy timing: "Where's that tall, dark and handsome PRIEST?? you wanted me to meet?!!"

    Barney Fife and Ted Baxter were standard comedy 101 windbags perfect for skewering. As such, I love Don Knotts' and Ted Knight's expert handling of those two roles. Don Knotts in particular was in a class by himself.

    Dissing cute TV kids is like shooting fish in a barrel, but I must say that Dodie on My Three Sons was a particularly odious little child. However, I loved Angela Cartwright's Linda because she so often couldn't stifle her laughter at the antics going on.

    And as for Mickey Gubitosi -- I was at a film-related gathering in Hollywood a few years back where Robert Blake and his party were getting ready to leave. I heard Mr. Blake turn to his friends and say something like, "Let's go grab a bite to eat." I couldn't help thinking of that infamous Our Gang short of his and thought to myself, "Whatever you do, don't order the hash!"
     
  4. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Ted Baxter, I should note, was originally conceived as more conceited than stupid but within a year or two the balance had shifted so that he was equally both. Jack Cassidy on "He And She" was the inspiration for how the character of Ted was conceived (and they in fact originally offered the part to Cassidy who over time would not have played the doofus that Ted was).

    Agree with RobRoy about Sally, but honestly when I hear someone defend Endora and say Darrin was bigoted, I just wonder if we've been watching the same show. Frankly, it would have been better for contrast if Maurice had been on Darrin's side since he clearly disliked Endora.
     
  5. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    when i hear 1950 values, i think good. it is today's values that are a pile of ****.

    the character of endora was written to be someone that the viewer did not like.

    but as tory stated, the reason why endora did not like darrin was because she felt he was causing her to lose her identity.

    so at least now i see her side.

    but i thought darrin was a heckuva good person. he wanted to earn things just like anyone else. and that was part of the agreement between him and sam.

    the interplay between the 3 is what makes the show. i think all 3 did a very good job at playing their characters, that were well-written.

    the rest of the show is what is a bit tiring for me, now as an adult.
     
  6. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    I didn't mean to defend Endora, as she wasn't written to be endearing at all, and she's anything but. However, Darren refuses to accept Samantha for what she is, and keeps insisting that she change into something she's not. That's why I called him bigoted. He's bigoted against witches. Possibly with good reason.
     
  7. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    Gilbert on BEAVER was an awful brat with no redeeming features whatsoever. The only reason I didn't include him in any of my posts is that I NEVER EVER liked him. As far as I'm concerned his joining the series was the low point and it continued going downhill from there, at least in terms of the Beaver stories.
     
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  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I tolerate behavior in fictional characters I would never tolerate in real people precisely because they are fictional. That said, the only characters I went from liking to disliking, which had more to do with the way they were being written, were on The Simpsons. Homer's transformation from well-meaning, temperamental doofus to a complete jerk, it became less and less funny with each passing week. When I saw him chasing Bart with a mace, I thought this show's days were numbered. And a little of Lisa's earnestness, in addition to some of the despicable things she's done over the years, goes a long way. Now it's an institution that's beyond criticism.Likewise, the more Family Guy's Brian Griffin becomes like his creator, the less tolerable he is to me as a character.

    As for the endless parade of "stupid" sitcom characters that seems to have gotten larger since Ted Baxter on MTM, nobody has topped Three's Company's Chrissy Snow for just plain idiocy. Even Rose on Golden Girls was smart enough to find work as a grief counselor and a TV producer, though the concepts of sarcasm and irony were completely lost on her. But Chrissy had no intelligence whatsoever, like a dumb blonde joke come to life.

    As for Bewitched, I remember an episode where Samantha aged herself instantly, knowing Darrin would age naturally without control, but then she reverted back to her regular appearance.
    The 1950s was nowhere near as repressed as the 1850s were. Back then, ankles were considered private parts.
     
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  9. nortius

    nortius Auditioning

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    I agree with the Alda/Hawkeye-haters. Definitely full of himself after Wayne Rogers left. I actually root for Winchester whenever he goes up against Hawkeye. And Larry Linville's Frank was in the opposite situation for me: annoying at the beginning, but I appreciated him being the punchline more and more as time wore on. Unfortunately, the character never "grew" and Linville moved on as a result, IIRC.

    I used to watch "Cheers" faithfully during its original run, but find it sad and painful to watch today.
    Almost every character has not aged well. And Frasier was better on Cheers before he got his own series, as well.

    IMO the 80's was a low point for TV, and it took series like Seinfeld, and some other series on cable, to shake things up creatively. TV has been predominately light entertainment from the beginning, but the lowest-common-denominator became the target audience for most 80's shows, with few exceptions that were witty, unique, or highbrow. Sure there are exceptions (St Elsewhere, Hill St Blues, Dear John), but less than in other decades, IMO.
     
  10. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Before Matt Groening thought he had a Marketing Empire to relive his fourth-grade years into his sixties, the original Tracey Ullman shorts were just about the kids' eye view of the world.
    Homer's name was Dad, he worked at no identifiable location, and was no less (or more) intelligent than any former 10-yo. remembers his dad as being. And from a similar 10-yo. perspective, Lisa was an annoying sister, PERIOD.

    While not Emmy-worthy material, it at least had focus.
    Nowadays, with most 'edgy" prime-time toons, we have comics with a markedly atheistic bent, who--as are the two recognizable side effects--A) believe that they alone are prophets in the wilderness about our repressively PC culture, and that B) anyone outside their door is a drooling, gullible idiot, who "causes" all those frustrating headlines and annoying trends that bother us.
    Haven't looked up the Ullman shorts on YouTube in a while, so I can't say for sure whether Simpsons was funnier before or after it developed a rampaging narcissism.

    I have the opposite view: Cheers, and the one-set live-audience MTM or Garry Marshall comedies of the 70's, were like mini stage-plays--You could see Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" on stage, or you could tune in on Friday nights and see Jack Klugman and Tony Randall put on new half-hour productions that weren't in the original.
    With the "stage" factor, we were getting performers, not gags, and even the "dumbest" character couldn't be completely hateable if we could applaud the Bill Daily, Ted Knight or Woody Harrelson for playing him.

    Seinfeld was too mean and hip to care about getting laughs, and The Office existed in its own private universe. The 00's created the idea that "TV should be like the Movies!" (as ABC's Once Upon a Time ads keep telling us :rolleyes: ), and we have actors playing cold, unrealistic characters in rarified movie-camera environments acting Innovative Scripts without any direct feedback about whether anyone out there finds it actually, y'know, funny. (Like Siskel & Ebert's famous quote about "At which point did the producer and director think this was funny enough to film?--The script read? The set? The editing?")
    That led to an 00's and 10's of inexperienced comics saying "Hey, do I get my sitcom now?", making shows about single mean-girls and immature men-children living the fantasy of never having to abandon high-school behavior into their middle-age years, and get canned laughter the easy way. But a show like How I Met Your Mother has the same problem as The Office or Arrested Development: How bad would your jokes be if you never had to worry about a mean ol' audience?
     
  11. Richard V

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    Funny how you mentioned Jack Cassidy, as he played Ted Baxter's brother on MTM.
     
  12. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    For me, I'm thinking Renko from Hill St. Blues. I loved the guy during it's initial run, but in reruns, years later, he just gets on my nerves with his country boy routine.
     
  13. David_B_K

    David_B_K Advanced Member

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    I think people are over-analyzing Bewitched on this thread. I really doubt that the writers were making any sort of parallel with "outmoded values". Darren and Endora are merely plot devices. The show was simply about a houswife who happened to be a witch. If they had not used the plot devices, there would have been no conflict on the show. It would merely have been about a guy who had it made when he married a beautiful woman with supernatural powers.

    By setting it in suburbia, constant plots involved keeping Sam's powers secret. So, they made her a wife of a guy who wanted to "make it on his own" without his wife's supernatural help. And it has long been a plot device to depict unpleasant mothers-in-law, and Endora was simply the M.I.L. on steroids. They had witchly relatives of Sam's on hand so that a plot could revolve around that character's quircks. Once they set the stage with these plot devices in place, the writers could come up with any sort of variation they wanted.

    I think that's all there was to it.
     
  14. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Ah, male menopause is upon us. This topic obviously struck a nerve, but it speaks more about who we are today than what we valued or enjoyed yesterday. And, speaking for myself, Andy Rooney curmudgeon disease has struck full force and I'm annoyed at just about everyone and everything (you gotta laugh). I'm re-watching "Deadwood" and finding myself completely identifying with Al Swearengen this time around. And he's the poster king for being annoyed by everyone and everything. Still, I think it's a perfectly healthy exercise to harmlessly channel that annoyance to characters on television shows we once liked or tolerated and now revile, instead of posting nasty comments on blogs or news sites trashing everyone in real life.

    Will Robinson. What a putz. What a brat. When I watched the show I was the same age as him and gave him a pass, even for hanging around with that old perv Dr. Smith (who just seemed eccentric then, but smells like a class A pedophile now). Today. I couldn't watch two minutes of that show with Will in it. As a parent, all I can think of is how this brat gets everyone into trouble all the time. The only good thing I can say about him is that at least he's not terrifying everyone who thinks badly of him by wishing them into a cornfield or turning them into a jack-in-the box. Now I identify more with the cranky robot.

    Gomer. Gilligan. Darren. Hazel. Lucy. Etc. Etc. Loved 'em back then. Can't watch them now. But I still have a warm spot in my cold heart for Barney Fife and Ralph Kramden. I still love everyone on the Dick Van Dyke show. I still enjoy Hawkeye, especially because I know he's doing Groucho Marx. I never could stand Frank, Hot Lips, Winchester or any of the other foils. The movie got the subtle realities of the antagonists (Robert Duval and Sally Kellerman) so much better. I haven't revisited the Norman Lear sitcoms, but they were so much tied to the social issues of the time.

    Once we get past male menopause and being annoyed by everything, and our faculties start to slide, we'll probably slip back into enjoying all these annoying characters once again. I will never forget reading a TV demographic ratings report that came out when Gomer Pyle was one of the top-rated shows, revealing that the largest audiences for the show were children under 10 years of age and seniors over 65 years of age. I suppose they had about the same attention span and lack of desire (or focus) for any complexity. And this was true for so many of the inane shows we flocked to as kids according to ratings. So, get ready to possibly re-embrace the currently un-embraceable. But I still don't believe senility will make me like Will Robinson any better.
     
  15. Joe Lugoff

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    Not really. He wanted to earn his own living, yes -- but in an advertising agency, where his job is to manipulate people into buying products they don't need? If he were a truly good person, he'd have said to Samantha, "Wiggle your nose and conjure up a million dollars every week and we'll spend our time going into poor neighborhoods helping people who don't have anything." I wouldn't expect that from the totally self-centered Endora, Maurice, Uncle Arthur, Serena, etc. - or the brain dead Aunt Clara - but if Darrin was so good, he should have thought of it. Samantha never thought of it because she's exactly like her mother -- she only wants what she wants and no one can tell her otherwise. She only wanted Darrin because she knew it would aggravate her mother. There's no other way to explain it, because he has absolutely nothing going for him.
     
  16. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    It was the 60's days of Mad Men, he wanted a career, a house, and office with his name on the door. (Heck, I can remember when we saw the show as kids, and thinking that commuting to your big-city job at McMahon & Tate was the ultimate aspiration of all true grownups.) Samantha is in it to be married to him, and while she doesn't lose her powers like Kim Novak in "Bell, Book & Candle", she prefers living as an equal married couple with each one's own talents. And Endora, of course, is the ready trope-gag of "What if your mother-in-law really DID arrive on a broom?" ;)

    Compare Samantha's attempt to go mainstream and supportive in her married relationship, with Jeannie's attempt to follow EVERY impulse that springs to mind about dragging Major Nelson to the altar, regardless of even the slightest dangerous consequence, and even if it sabotages his Air Force career. Frankly, think that's why I always liked Jeannie better.
    (Those with a long background in Japanese anime fandom have a special reason for liking Jeannie, and if there are any anime fans on the board who know exactly what I'm talking about, the parallels are too uncanny not to have been a direct influence.)
     
  17. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Because she was a wide-eyed sex doll? :)
     
  18. JohnMor

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    To each his own concerning characters they find annoying, BUT i have to say that anyone who feels they know a show well enough to comment on the characters should at least know how to spell the name: DARRIN Stephens. Not DARREN. Not only was it written on the end credits of each episode for the first few seasons, it was also seen on his office door in just about every episode. Thank you for allowing me to vent. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
     
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  19. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    No, because if Jeannie could have used lightning bolts on her "darling" Master every time he ignored her to go on Maj. Healey's blind dates, she would've As it is, she used just about every other darn form of punishment. :)
     
  20. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Now this I have to be honest is one of the few redeeming elements of Bewitched in that Darrin Stephens may be the only character depicted on television in the 1950s and 1960s who worked for an ad agency and didn't at some point give us some tiresome angst ridden discourse on the meaninglessness of his profession. The fact is that people who worked for such firms were people making a decent, honest living by the sweat of their own brow which after all is what all people should have a chance to do in life.


    ****** If he were a truly good person, he'd have said to Samantha, "Wiggle your nose and conjure up a million dollars every week and we'll spend our time going into poor neighborhoods helping people who don't have anything." *****

    Except if he had a million dollars "conjured up every week" and then put that into circulation every week, you would also in the process destroy the economy of the country with runaway inflation that would in the process put a lot of people out of work in the process and cause prices to skyrocket. So in that respect, he's got more going for him by NOT yielding to such quick and easy temptations that he can solve everything through exploitation.
     
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