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adam436

Did anyone notice a big shift in the show in 1990?

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I'm wondering if Channel Seven or the UK broadcaster told the producers the show had to be more "sexier". I notice there are more beach scenes with Adam, Matt, Viv and Emma walking around in very little, plus we got a raft of younger newcomers with zero personality including Sophie, Grant and Ben who were quickly shoehorned into as many beach scenes as possible. 

There was a bit of a cast turnover in late 1989/early 1990 too - Morag, Lance, Martin, Celia, Tom plus "unofficial" regulars Stacey and Andrew all departed rather abruptly and in quick succession. It was obvious the writers were struggling with most of these characters for some time. Andrew did nothing in his final months but sit around the diner and stick his nose in everyone else's business, Celia had just been given "filler" stories since returning from her Europe trip, Martin and Lance were basically sidelined once Adam arrived and Matt joined the regular cast and Stacey didn't really have any storylines of her own, aside from the romance with Andrew, and always a supporting character in literally everyone else's storylines.

We also had the introduction of the Surf Club in late 1989 too, which allowed for the male characters to walk around shirtless indoors as well as out

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Perhaps the powers that be noticed the increased attention that the younger, better looking cast members got? Certainly, Alex Papps was no stranger to teenage magazines at the time. I don't know what the show's intended demographic was when it was starting out but I've always been under the impression that most of its audience are teenagers/younger twentysomethings. They may have found that the audience didn't really care about the older characters and that casting younger, prettier actors in their place made the show more marketable. 

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On 06/07/2019 at 08:46, adam436 said:

I'm wondering if Channel Seven or the UK broadcaster told the producers the show had to be more "sexier". I notice there are more beach scenes with Adam, Matt, Viv and Emma walking around in very little, plus we got a raft of younger newcomers with zero personality including Sophie, Grant and Ben who were quickly shoehorned into as many beach scenes as possible. 

There was a bit of a cast turnover in late 1989/early 1990 too - Morag, Lance, Martin, Celia, Tom plus "unofficial" regulars Stacey and Andrew all departed rather abruptly and in quick succession. It was obvious the writers were struggling with most of these characters for some time. Andrew did nothing in his final months but sit around the diner and stick his nose in everyone else's business, Celia had just been given "filler" stories since returning from her Europe trip, Martin and Lance were basically sidelined once Adam arrived and Matt joined the regular cast and Stacey didn't really have any storylines of her own, aside from the romance with Andrew, and always a supporting character in literally everyone else's storylines.

We also had the introduction of the Surf Club in late 1989 too, which allowed for the male characters to walk around shirtless indoors as well as out

Martin and Lance were both axed and yet Fiona Space decided to leave. 

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Someone like Stacey was never gonna stay in a "backwater" like the bay for too long. 

Grant's casting somewhat backfired, while Craig was capable, His character was basically Henry Ramsay but with half the fun taken out. 

Julian got fed up playing Ben by the end of the year and wanted to make a leap to bigger things and it worked.

Rebekah had some great potential in the early going as Sophie but she got annoying by 1992!

I think within a Year and a Half, they did EVERYTHING they could with Lance and Martin and they just lingered for their final three months, though Lance did get a pretty emotional exit.

I think the PTB wanted H&A to go in a more dramatic, darker direction at this point and cool down the comedy a bit.

 

 

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4 hours ago, CaptainHulk said:

I think within a Year and a Half, they did EVERYTHING they could with Lance and Martin and they just lingered for their final three months, though Lance did get a pretty emotional exit.

I agree. The storylines with the stolen car, the hotdog stand and the dead goldfish just proved how out of ideas the writers were.

For them to survive, the producers would have had to split them up. Maybe Lance could have married Mariyln and started family and Martin could have become a bit more independent and mature (I'd have forgone Adam to kept Martin, perhaps taking on his storylines for the next few years). 

 

4 hours ago, CaptainHulk said:

Grant's casting somewhat backfired, while Craig was capable, His character was basically Henry Ramsay but with half the fun taken out. 

 

Even the titles had a bit of a "sexier" revamp in 1990 when you compare them to previous versions. I'm assuming there must have been pressure somewhere (either from Seven or the UK broadcaster) to push that angle. The beach too had become prominent. It was often used a backdrop in the early days, but characters were suddenly swimming, surfing or going to beach shirtless/in bikinis all the time. This happened occasionally in 1988/89 (i.e. Frank and Roo in a very early episode), but I've just re-watched early 1990 with the surf carnival, Grant's windsurfing lessons among other minor beach/surf plots, so it feels very obvious at the moment. 

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There was a point in  late 1989 where L&M were independent of each other for a bit but that didn't last.

 

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Yeah when you look at 1988 episodes, characters often wear jackets down the beach. Beyond 1990 this never happpens, it's always represented as being hot and sunny with the characters in swimwear.

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I See some beach scenes where Rebekah or Dannii is visibly wincing due to cold!

Mind you Craig and the guys fared no better, see some of those scenes were Grant is smiling extra hard 😂

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1990 and 1997 were 2 of the most duff 1990s years. Tom's exit left a huge void in the show in 1990, and never liked Michael much, he was a poor replacement. Also many originals left in 1989/1990.

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1994/1995 was the real turning points for the show and for the better too. It was good from 1988 - 1994/1995, but 1994/1995 - 2000/2001 (haven't seen past 1996, but from what I read, it was pretty good until 2000/2001) was when the show still had it's original magic, but was different, but still enjoyable. 2000/2001 - present was when the show declined, however, since 2018, while it definitely hasn't got it's original magic, the show is as interesting as it was from 1988 - 2000/2001 and quite enjoyable, more so than 2000/2001 - 2018 (however, there were good episodes and storylines peppered throughout that time period).

Edited by Luigi Severus Fletcher

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