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Old 04-08-2017, 10:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 26, 2015
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Default Bad Casting? Better ideas for TV Characters?

I am not sure if there is already a thread or discussion exactly like this one.

I have wondered if certain TV shows should NOT have had certain characters, or maybe the character would have been better played by a different actor, or the character should have been very different than what s/he was like.

I was not a particularly big fan of "Diff'rent Strokes" but it seems that the "Kimberly" character was not exactly right for the entire premise of the show.
She was almost like the "Tracy" character in "The Partridge Family," not quite but very much so. The adventures mainly focused on Arnold and Willis. Some episodes were about Kimberly and whatever she dealt with whether at school, or with other people etc, but it seemed that the characters were thought up with Kimberly being the one who has least to do with the funny things that happen or most anything that happens. (Of course that set-up did have its own effect on the actual actress who played Kimberly and reportedly she had problems finding roles after the cancellation of Diff'rent Strokes and she reportedly had a career reputation of being some kind-of third fiddle to the real stars of the show. It was disastrous because Dana Plato's first important role was that of Kimberly Drummond. She could not escape being thought-of as that character, but nor was it a role that gave her any credibility as an actor). But it seems to me that maybe Mr Drummond should not have had any children of his own. Charolette Ray was good as Mr Drummond's housekeeper. Too bad she eventually left the show or was discontinued as a character.

Of course "Tracy" of "The Partridge Family" is the poster child for being a very obscure regular character. I might have mentioned it in a different post, but since The Partridge Family had lasted some four years with the same characters from the first to the very last episodes, it is hard to think about how it might have been done differently as far as characters even though there were two regular characters , Chris and Tracy, who were hardly used in the plots. But, it might have been more practical if there were no "Tracy." The Partridge Family was thought up to present a sit-com version of the real life family band "The Cowsills" but the Cowsills consisted of about four brothers who were approximately from 15 to 18 years of age (or that is how they looked in certain photos) and only one female sibling who appeared to be about 14 years of age. And of course I think their mother sang with them. The Partridge Family characters consisted of two band members in their mid to late teens , Keith and Lori, and the rest were two boys and a girl and all were ten years of age and under. I seems that the very young ages of some of the characters were for the sake of making for a funny situation in which the manager of the group has a hard time of his job because he is a "kid hater" even though he gets used to dealing with the kids in the band.
Still, maybe Tracy should have been the drummer instead of be so pathetically irrelevant. Of course it would mean that Chris might have been the one not to exist. But also, both Lori and Mrs Partridge played keyboards. It might have been better if Tracy played the second set of keyboards and Mrs partridge sang backup vocals and sometimes played tambourine. Credibility wise it would be the voices of the three oldest band members that could produce the songs of The Partridge Family. If it is hard to believe that keyboards can be played so skillfully by a girl of the age that "Tracy" was, which must have been 7 to 10 years of age, then it is no more unbelievable than a boy the age of Chris, who must have been from 8 to 11 years of age to be able to play drums as skillfully as he did on The Partridge Family songs.

I first watched Gilligan's Island when I was under 10 years of age.
I wondered back then about how the characters in Gilligan's Island were thought up. I think that the characters were funny as they were, and yet I found it curious as to why a movie star and a millionaire couple were chosen as the cast of characters but not other kinds of people. The Movie Star would be the sensual one who seduces the males and would be the character who is self important and spoiled. The Millionaire couple would be funny in their own ways for being people who are used to luxury and now have to live on a deserted island without the comforts of civilization. The inclusion of "The Professor" is understandable because the plots would be such that someone of the group of castaways has to be the knowledgeable one who solves problems and upon-whom the others rely for answers.
Mary Ann is the main character who had no distinction. She was just a young woman along with the other cast-aways.
But I have wondered why there weren't other characters instead-of, or along with the established castaways.. Why not a lawyer, or a police officer, or veterinarian, or cleaning lady, or an Opera singer?
I guess the Professor took the place of everybody from a doctor to an architect to a meteorologist as far as being the brains of the group.
Ginger was the person from the performing arts profession. Mr and Mrs Howell were on hand for extra silliness as the only husband and wife on the island. Mary Ann was just a nice country girl who envied the glamorous Movie Star.
What occupation should Mary Ann have had?

In "The Munsters" it was "Maralyn" who was the most obscure character. She mainly was the odd-one of the family. She looked like most people looked in that she was not green or had a goth appearance. She fit the definition of very attractive to everyone else. Her family loved her but thought of her as the ugly duckling and there was at least one episode in which her uncle Herman and Grandpa tried to find her the right man to date and did not realize that it was because of their scary appearance that men would run away after meeting the rest of the family. The Munsters thought that Marilyn's dates got a good look at Marilyn.
It did make for some funny episodes, but I wondered if the Marilyn character was really necessary overall.

Regarding, Family Affair I once read that the original idea for the characters is that Jody would be much older than Buffy, but it was decided that they would be twins and they would have a sister much older than they.
It seems to me that "Sissy" was the character who was least used in that show.

In "Please Don't Eat The Dasies," it seems that the second oldest boy was featured once when he had a crush on a girl who was abusive to him but when she was transformed from a tomboy to more of a girly girl he told her that she liked her the way she was, so then she went on a date with his older brother. It seems that this scenario could have happened with Trevor and Tracy. Maybe the Nashes should have had only 3 boys.
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