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adam436

The Sutherland Family - thoughts?

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I am just wondering what the general consensus was on The Sutherland family? At the time, they seemed quite popular (especially Tammin and Christie!), but from comments on this board, I get the feeling it was a poor era of the show. 

Individually, they were all fine except for Rhys, but as a family unit they didn't really work. They  were so overused and it felt like "the Sutherland show" for a good few years in 2001-2003. 

Rhsy was always so angry and hot-headed, and I don't think Michael Beckley was a strong actor. Dani seemed a bit up and down. At times she was whiny and annoying, but then at other times, she could be feisty. I think pairing her with dreary Scott and the Felix/Sarah storyline was probably the end for her though. Jade and Kirsty were fine in their early days. I feel like Kirsty lost her way once Kane returned in 2003 and then Jade sometime around 2002/early 2003. Max was a great addition too, but I could not stand Brodie at all. Why the writers thought it was a good idea to add her to the family was beyond me

 

The way they were written out was quite poor too. Having Jade being switched at birth made a mockery of everything the writers had built on over the last 4 years (such as the mudslide where Kirsty knew were Jade was) and nothing was gained long-term from the storyline. It was an insult to fans, and Jade could easily have been written out in another manner. Rhys' exit was also a bit odd too. It seemed off to put so much effort into creating a large step family with the Hunters/Sutherlands, only to have it all fall apart after a few months. It may have worked had Rhys and Beth not married or if Rhys had been killed rather than cheated with Shelley, but the groundwork over 2003 and the first few months of 2004 suggested it was going to be a long-term set up (a la Pippa and Michael). 

 

Do we know if Michael Beckley and Sebastian Elmaloglou were axed or did they leave of their own accord? It makes sense that Rhys was axed, as his exit was a catalyst for Sally and Flynn moving into Summer Bay House, bringing with it a whole new era for the show. Jade had already left and Kirsty and Dani's departures were pending, so the producers might have felt it was time to close the Sutherland chapter of the show for good (until 2008 anyway...). 

 

I won't go into the Hunters in the Sutherland analysis, since they were another family in their own right after the Sutherlands left, other than to say that Rhys and Beth did seem a bit forced. Beth seemed too old for Rhys, and it was obvious that she was initially created as a Shelley replacement. Clarissa made the role her own later on though, but the early days certainly implied that was to be her function. 

Edited by adam436

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2 hours ago, adam436 said:

I am just wondering what the general consensus was on The Sutherland family? At the time, they seemed quite popular (especially Tammin and Christie!), but from comments on this board, I get the feeling it was a poor era of the show. 

Individually, they were all fine except for Rhys, but as a family unit they didn't really work. They  were so overused and it felt like "the Sutherland show" for a good few years in 2001-2003. 

Rhsy was always so angry and hot-headed, and I don't think Michael Beckley was a strong actor. Dani seemed a bit up and down. At times she was whiny and annoying, but then at other times, she could be feisty. I think pairing her with dreary Scott and the Felix/Sarah storyline was probably the end for her though. Jade and Kirsty were fine in their early days. I feel like Kirsty lost her way once Kane returned in 2003 and then Jade sometime around 2002/early 2003. Max was a great addition too, but I could not stand Brodie at all. Why the writers thought it was a good idea to add her to the family was beyond me

 

The way they were written out was quite poor too. Having Jade being switched at birth made a mockery of everything the writers had built on over the last 4 years (such as the mudslide where Kirsty knew were Jade was) and nothing was gained long-term from the storyline. It was an insult to fans, and Jade could easily have been written out in another manner. Rhys' exit was also a bit odd too. It seemed off to put so much effort into creating a large step family with the Hunters/Sutherlands, only to have it all fall apart after a few months. It may have worked had Rhys and Beth not married or if Rhys had been killed rather than cheated with Shelley, but the groundwork over 2003 and the first few months of 2004 suggested it was going to be a long-term set up (a la Pippa and Michael). 

 

Do we know if Michael Beckley and Sebastian Elmaloglou were axed or did they leave of their own accord? It makes sense that Rhys was axed, as his exit was a catalyst for Sally and Flynn moving into Summer Bay House, bringing with it a whole new era for the show. Jade had already left and Kirsty and Dani's departures were pending, so the producers might have felt it was time to close the Sutherland chapter of the show for good (until 2008 anyway...). 

 

I won't go into the Hunters in the Sutherland analysis, since they were another family in their own right after the Sutherlands left, other than to say that Rhys and Beth did seem a bit forced. Beth seemed too old for Rhys, and it was obvious that she was initially created as a Shelley replacement. Clarissa made the role her own later on though, but the early days certainly implied that was to be her function. 

What are you thoughts on Shelley?. 

I like Shelley best out of Sutherland’s and her and Kristy (Who I sometimes like)was only Sutherland’s I like . 

Jade and Dani were too self pity. 

Rhys just annoying. 

But I far prefer Hunters thought. 

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I have only seen snippits of the Sutherland era and already it reminds me of the Barnhurst 5 era of Prisoner, not terrible, just so different and hard to watch. A bunch of new characters, with old characters leaving and only a few staying behind.

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Shelley was definitely my favourite of the Sutherlands, I think it all kind of fell apart when she left.

I never quite understood why they made Brodie a girl, in fact it might have been better if she were Kane. Let him live with the family for a few months and then have him “attack” Dani. 

Losing the Caravan Park location didn’t help though as whilst we always had a large proportion of Fletcher/Ross scenes, they were split between the exterior & interior of Summer Bay House & the Caravan Park.

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5 minutes ago, c120701 said:

Shelley was definitely my favourite of the Sutherlands, I think it all kind of fell apart when she left.

I think you're right to be honest. In hindsight, I'd rather have lost Rhys at that point too. There was however, no way the producers would have axed Jade and Kirsty, as they were way too popular at the time, and all the residences were either too small (i.e. Alf's flat) or too full (Irene's house) for them to really move elsewhere. I guess Leah or Sally and Flynn could have taken them on, but neither were really in their "earth mother" phase back in 2002/2003. 

Rhys and Beth had no chemistry and was clearly just an attempt to prolong his time on the show. I'd rather they have done something similar to keep Joel on post-Natalie than Rhys post-Shelley. I also wonder when the decision came to write out Rhys, as it seemed odd to marry him and Beth and then have him leave within a few months. They could have just kept it as a defacto relationship, like they did with her and Tony later on 

I still think one of the most bizarre moves the writers have ever made was making Jade not biological a Sutherland. It went against what we already knew about them (the "twin link") and there were plenty of other ways to write them out.  

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I think they trying  to make  Rhys and Shelley  H&A version of Karl and Susan.

As Rhys and Karl were both at first dismissive being apart of small community and Shelley was like cool mum and being friends with everyone like Susan was.  

 

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Rhys’ exit was awful as well, the whole town turned against him for how he treated Beth, now ok, there were some people who were meant to have known Beth for years, but we didn’t. It made sense he’d reunite with Shelley. 

I think they’d made the decision they wanted to revamp the Surf Club, knew they wanted a bar rather than the kiosk and maybe didn’t see grumpy Rhys as a welcoming host. Plus they maybe decided they wanted to return to fostering in Summer Bay House, so the only way to do that was to move the Sutherland-Hunters out of there and the only logical way (especially with Rhys losing one business already) was to write him out, so Beth had to move.

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Rhys was a character I hated at the time, but I enjoyed him a lot more in the reruns. His facial expressions and one liners were great.

I didn't really like Shelley, she just seemed so cliche for the show.

Kirsty was my favourite at the time, and I liked Dani a lot more than most too. Jade? Blah.

And you can't really talk about the Sutherlands without talking about Kane. I'll just say that I thought both the Dani rape storyline and the original KK romance were great, but bringing him back was a massive mistake. He'd already had his ending and they only brought him back because they didn't have any other ideas.

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On 02/03/2019 at 09:48, adam436 said:

Rhys and Beth had no chemistry and was clearly just an attempt to prolong his time on the show. I'd rather they have done something similar to keep Joel on post-Natalie than Rhys post-Shelley. I also wonder when the decision came to write out Rhys, as it seemed odd to marry him and Beth and then have him leave within a few months. They could have just kept it as a defacto relationship, like they did with her and Tony later on.

Well interestingly, the decision to marry Rhys and Beth was made by then-Script Producer, Coral Drouyn. She left the series halfway through the 2004 season and was replaced by Bevan Lee.

Of Bevan's decision to write out Rhys (and Max), he said in a 2004 BTTB interview: "I preferred to lose Rhys and Max through a very human story of a man falling in love with his first wife again."

Of Coral's opinion on Rhy's departure, she said in a 2007 BTTB interview: "I would not have got rid of Rhys – at least not for some time. I think Beth was made into a victim…and I haven’t watched the show this year so I don’t know where’s she’s going now.

I had planned a pregnancy for them, which threw the whole family into disarray (Kirsty and Beth pregnant together) and then …because of her age…. The baby has problems – will be disabled…and she has to make the decision whether or not to go full term. She decides to terminate – for the baby’s sake….Rhys is outraged and leaves her. Kirsty and even Kit turns against her….you killed a baby….they can’t understand her dilemma…. that she felt it not fair to bring a really disabled baby into the world. Hopefully it would have played with the same intensity as the Rhys infidelity and the Kirsty/Kane story."

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Annoying but they got the Magazine covers and were frequent TV guests.

Shelley was too good for Rhys, as was Beth.

By 2003, they'd began to run out of gas a bit.

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