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Why Is There So Much Hate For The Barnhurst 5?, In the Prisoner Cell Block H fandom
NostalgiaNerd
post Mar 11 2018, 08:42 AM
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i've been marathoning episodes of the Barnhurst 5 since Tuesday (Australian time) and honestly I don't get why these ladies are so frowned upon by the fandom - To me Nora is someone who'd be like your older sister Willie and May have a great maternal quality (okay, okay May more than Willie but it's there) Daffy while a bit thick and occasionally hot headed seems like the type of friend who'd give great (if somewhat weird!) advice and Chook certainly knows a lot about the legalities of things, Personally these 5 are my all time favourites (with Nora Wilie and May making up the top 3) But yet they seem to be despised all around the fandom......not gonna lie I don't get it?
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steveh31
post Mar 11 2018, 09:52 AM
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QUOTE (NostalgiaNerd @ Mar 11 2018, 08:42 AM) *
i've been marathoning episodes of the Barnhurst 5 since Tuesday (Australian time) and honestly I don't get why these ladies are so frowned upon by the fandom - To me Nora is someone who'd be like your older sister Willie and May have a great maternal quality (okay, okay May more than Willie but it's there) Daffy while a bit thick and occasionally hot headed seems like the type of friend who'd give great (if somewhat weird!) advice and Chook certainly knows a lot about the legalities of things, Personally these 5 are my all time favourites (with Nora Wilie and May making up the top 3) But yet they seem to be despised all around the fandom......not gonna lie I don't get it?

The actress playing Nora was miscast and couldn't act.

Willie was a screaming annoyance.

May was about the only good one but the storylines let her down should have been top dog.

Chook was really only there to bounce off Lexi and give her a friend and was boring most of the time.

Daphne was annoying most of the time but the real reason they failed was they were all clones of previous characters and bad clones.
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NostalgiaNerd
post Mar 11 2018, 10:08 AM
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QUOTE (steveh31 @ Mar 11 2018, 08:52 PM) *
The actress playing Nora was miscast and couldn't act.

Willie was a screaming annoyance.

May was about the only good one but the storylines let her down should have been top dog.

Chook was really only there to bounce off Lexi and give her a friend and was boring most of the time.

Daphne was annoying most of the time but the real reason they failed was they were all clones of previous characters and bad clones.

G'day Steve! great points mate (not that i agree but wouldn't the world be boring if we all agreed? :) )

I confess when I first saw the B5 I was like "who the hell are you lot?!" I missed a lot of eps on 111 as my uncle from Ireland was here at the time) But after a few rewatches i really got to like them but as the saying goes "One person's trash is another person's treasure
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smooth_criminal
post Mar 11 2018, 12:40 PM
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I think there were too many new characters all introduced at once, and they weren't as good as the ones we'd just lost. Maybe if they'd been introduced gradually it mightn't have been so bad.... And Nora should never have been top dog - May would have been a better option... or better still the producers should have fought tooth and nail to keep Anne Phelan as Myra. Losing her was a massive blow for the show.
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steveh31
post Mar 11 2018, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE (smooth_criminal @ Mar 11 2018, 12:40 PM) *
I think there were too many new characters all introduced at once, and they weren't as good as the ones we'd just lost. Maybe if they'd been introduced gradually it mightn't have been so bad.... And Nora should never have been top dog - May would have been a better option... or better still the producers should have fought tooth and nail to keep Anne Phelan as Myra. Losing her was a massive blow for the show.

Arguably you could say Prisoner is the one soap that allowed it's characters to become bigger than the show, Coronation Street has always said no character was bigger than the show but Prisoner allowed Bea Smith to become that and whoever you believe the removal of Bea was a big step but unfortunately allowed Joan to take this.

I can only think of Dallas where a character was bigger than the show in JR.
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PavlovsDog
post Mar 11 2018, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (NostalgiaNerd @ Mar 11 2018, 08:42 AM) *
i've been marathoning episodes of the Barnhurst 5 since Tuesday (Australian time) and honestly I don't get why these ladies are so frowned upon by the fandom - To me Nora is someone who'd be like your older sister Willie and May have a great maternal quality (okay, okay May more than Willie but it's there) Daffy while a bit thick and occasionally hot headed seems like the type of friend who'd give great (if somewhat weird!) advice and Chook certainly knows a lot about the legalities of things, Personally these 5 are my all time favourites (with Nora Wilie and May making up the top 3) But yet they seem to be despised all around the fandom......not gonna lie I don't get it?


In all fairness, I feel you have inadvertently answered your own question here.

Older sister, maternal quality, a bit thick and hot headed and knowing about legalities are hardly exciting qualities in characters.
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TheOldJude
post Mar 11 2018, 05:54 PM
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I certainly didn't mind them although I feel the scriptwriters 'missed the boat' in creating Nora. She had an interesting backstory but it wasn't explored enough and she was an ineffectual top dog.

May and Willie were funny.

Daphne was endearing and much better than the repulsive Merle or horrid Martha Eaves.

Julie was just a nice girl.

They were all better than that silly Barbie Cox and boring Kerry Vincent though.
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Dr Peterson
post Mar 11 2018, 06:45 PM
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Daphne and Willie are horrible characters. Annoying beyond belief. Julie just a boring character. Nora had potential but she was badly acted and were a wimp compared to the great top dogs of Prisoner. May was good in the beginning but she quickly became soft as Bongo would have said.

An overall rating where 10 is the best I would rate them like this:

May.....4/10
Nora.....4/10
Julie......3/10
Willie.....1/10
Daphne..1/10
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Jez
post Mar 11 2018, 09:36 PM
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Having watched the B5 era a few times I don't think they are bad characters at all. I didn't like Daphne and Willie much but liked the other 3 a lot, including Nora. Daphne and Willie I didn't really hate either, just found them annoying at times, sometimes the bickering between May and Willie was funny, other times annoying! I disliked the other new characters in this era like Jenny and Pippa far more than Willie and Daphne.


I think the main reason people hate the B5 so much is because they came into the series at a time when there were big changes for the show. Judy leaving, Bea being killed off and Myra soon to leave. Watch episode 533 and then episode 538 and a totally different cast in terms of prisoners in the episode (aside from Myra, Lou and Lexie). It would be interesting to see what would have happened if Bea had returned with the B5. Im guessing she would have become top dog not Nora Flynn! lol

I wonder why Julie lasted twice as long as the rest of the B5. I assume they kept her because of her friendship with Lexie, which I liked in the main, and also because of the romance with Steve (which I didn't like as he was a terrible character!).
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NostalgiaNerd
post Mar 12 2018, 04:49 AM
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QUOTE (PavlovsDog @ Mar 12 2018, 03:17 AM) *
In all fairness, I feel you have inadvertently answered your own question here.

Older sister, maternal quality, a bit thick and hot headed and knowing about legalities are hardly exciting qualities in characters.


Not all characters have to be psychopathic like Ruth or the Freak (come on she's at least borderline!) shows need nicer characters IMHO I mean look at Neighbours or Home and Away these days both full of villains and killers (yes I know that's kinda what a prison is lol) but i find characters like that on a regular basis boring :)
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Lillyivimia
post Mar 12 2018, 11:20 AM
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While by no means my favourite era of the show (or my favourite characters), I didn't mind the B5 too much. May had great potential and started off in a very promising manner. She had Top Dog written all over. She looked out for 'her' girls and was pretty much deferred to by the other members of the B5. Somewhere along the line it seems as if interest was lost in this side of May and Nora was seen as the better choice to take over from Myra as Top Dog. May was watered-down considerably in the process and she seemed to be going through the motions. I still like the character despite this and I feel this is solely down to the fact that the actress has such great screen-presence. She had the potential to be one of the greats if only it hadn't been for those pesky kids - er, Nola ...

Julie was a decent enough character, but there was little real depth to her. Just a genuinely nice young lady with an intellect the size of New York. The trouble is that the writers didn't really go anywhere with her. In essence, she was just Bobby and Lexie's mate, someone that served to serve THEIR storyline - not her own. Despite this, the actress was credible enough to make it woirk and so I still liked her. I just wish she was better utilised.

Daphne was a character who probably looked good on paper - but ultimately she was defined by her depression and I think this killed the character for me. When Daphne was allowed to have a depression-free day, she could be quite amusing - her various scenes with Lou are always refreshing and entertaining and it really does seem to me that Lou had a sneaky liking for Daphne under the surface. Again, Daphne was a nice decent girl, afflicted with chronic depression (albeit induced by her monthly cycles) - but that was all the show did with her. As an idea, it's worthy - as the sole reason for a character to exist, it was flawed.

I liked Willie (as the Vicar said to the ... er, no - this is no time for smutty innuendo). She was clearly included in the line-up as a comedic element and she was mostly played for laughs. But she had a genuine fondness for May and I think they worked well together as a team. Sadly (and I feel this is where the crux of the problem is), much of their sniping and arguing was contrived. It felt forced and so came across as insincere and contrived. In so many ways, now I think about it, it's the contrivances that let the B5 down. Daphne's mood-swings and depressions - contrived and not allowed to come naturally out of the plot. Julie's shyness and weird laugh and reluctance to admit her own intelligence - contrived. Al fiction is contrived - that's the nature of anything that's made-up - but when something feels contrived, it really does disengage you as a viewer.

Nora was by and far the best of the characters - on paper. What a wonderfully exciting backstory for a new Prisoner character: a sadistic and evil serial-killer, spurred on by her lover and immune to guilt or redemption for several years. And then - she sees the light and recognises that what she did was wrong. Again, it's a one-idea contrivance. With Nora, it's all about the redemption and the guilt. Done properly, this might have worked - but when the character blatantly says that the murders were committed 'by the OTHER Nora Flynn' she's already taken redemption out of the picture. By distancing herself and refusing to accept that SHE did the murders and that all that's changed is her perspective on them, then it was always going to be a non-starter. But, in essence, that wasn't the main problem with the character for me. She was too depressing and swamped down by her past. Understandable, yes - entertaining, no. Again, Nora was defined by this single aspect and it went nowhere. To my mind, I think Nora should have been pretending to be the redeemed sinner, all the time working behind-the-scenes to bring a bit of chaos to her surroundings - and not necessarily with a view to becoming Top Dog. B5 lacked a villain - and that, too, is a problem (in my opinion) with the era. Too much 'nice'. Nice is good - but for nice to work, you need a good slice of nasty. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Falconer_1
post Mar 12 2018, 08:24 PM
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I think the era went on too long, with weak storylines to boot.
Also, i agree with another poster(s) in that too many soon-to-be major characters were introduced at the same time. The shows dynamic changed, not for the better. It really comes across as someone's idea for a major new direction for the show, but failed miserably.
Once Myra left, the remainder of the BH5 era became very plodding.
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Jez
post Mar 12 2018, 10:36 PM
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I agree about Julie, they should have done more with her. Apart from when her mum died and her romance with Steve she didn't have any other storylines really and it felt like she was there to make up the numbers in both the B5 and Wentworth Warrior eras.

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cwathen
post Mar 13 2018, 10:10 PM
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As has been said before, the introduction was handled very badly. It was always a fact of life for Prisoner that characters came and went, but at the time they were introduced they seemed to be unable to manage this process. At episode 530 the 'prisoners' side of the cast still revolved around Myra, Judy, Marlene, Anita, Lou, Lexie, Marlene, Geoff, Matt and Frank (with Bobbie having only recently left). By episode 540 only Myra, Lou and Lexie were left (with Myra having only another dozen episodes to go herself), the focus of the series had shifted to the B5 who were introduced en masse out of nowhere, whilst Jenny and Ruth Ballinger had also been introduced and a whole new storyline was now in place. Oh, and they killed off Bea Smith who had been written out some 18 months previously as a plot device in the flashback episode.

Watching 530 and 540 in isolation, it's hard to believe than only a month or so went by between the transmission of these two episodes.

I would agree also that as written and as cast there was a clear mismatch between Nora and May. Sonja Tallis playing May and Billie Hammerberg playing Nora would've worked so much better.

Their exit was similarly badly handled, when everyone except Julie disappeared very quickly and the show darted off in in another direction again with another entirely new set of characters.
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LeachFreakTits
post Mar 14 2018, 04:19 AM
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I liked May and Nora but more should have been done with them and the other three were just catered to which was just wasteful bcause they were bland and dullishly boring.Julie would have been ok but they heavily relied on her weak confidence which was bad.
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Luigi Severus Fl...
post Mar 14 2018, 06:42 AM
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I actually didn't mind the Barnhurst 5 era, it wasn't bad at all, the Driscoll House story line was much worse, any interesting stories that happened during the Driscoll House story line was sporadic.

The Barnhurst 5 weren't too bad as characters, I thought Willie was hilarious with her whining and snide comments, I liked May (she should have been Top Dog, instead of Nora), Nora wasn't too bad, but I didn't like how she was always in denial of her crimes, you know, "the old Nora Flynn from 23 years ago...", like stop denying it and I didn't like her silly council, she definitely wasn't what Myra was, she failed miserably at being Top Dog, but I liked her character. Daphne, I liked (mostly because she was played by the same actress who plays Pippa in Home and Away), she was almost a mix of Cass Parker and Merle Jones (can you just imagine Cass and Merle together?), just with an obsession with plants. Julie, I had (or have, as she is still in the episodes I am currently watching) no problem with her, I just wish they could have done more with her (Due to her high intelligence, she would have been great at getting things done under the screws noses).

The Barnhurst 5 era would have been much better if an old character returned (one who went to Barnhurst, Bea or Chrissie, if anyone else has any ideas of other original/classic/old characters who went to Barnhurst, let me know), Chrissie would have been a good character to have return, because she could have made snide comments to Lexie and Lou (like she did to Margo, "piss off Margo, you're makin' me gums bleed!"), Bea returning would have been nice, then Nora wouldn't have taken over being Top Dog, but I can't imagine how Bea and Rita would have got on... Reb did return, but she returned way too late and left too early, in my opinion.
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Falconer_1
post Mar 14 2018, 08:55 AM
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QUOTE (cwathen @ Mar 13 2018, 10:10 PM) *
As has been said before, the introduction was handled very badly. It was always a fact of life for Prisoner that characters came and went, but at the time they were introduced they seemed to be unable to manage this process. At episode 530 the 'prisoners' side of the cast still revolved around Myra, Judy, Marlene, Anita, Lou, Lexie, Marlene, Geoff, Matt and Frank (with Bobbie having only recently left). By episode 540 only Myra, Lou and Lexie were left (with Myra having only another dozen episodes to go herself), the focus of the series had shifted to the B5 who were introduced en masse out of nowhere, whilst Jenny and Ruth Ballinger had also been introduced and a whole new storyline was now in place. Oh, and they killed off Bea Smith who had been written out some 18 months previously as a plot device in the flashback episode.

Watching 530 and 540 in isolation, it's hard to believe than only a month or so went by between the transmission of these two episodes.

I would agree also that as written and as cast there was a clear mismatch between Nora and May. Sonja Tallis playing May and Billie Hammerberg playing Nora would've worked so much better.

Their exit was similarly badly handled, when everyone except Julie disappeared very quickly and the show darted off in in another direction again with another entirely new set of characters.

Good analysis.

Also, reference Luigi's observation concerning Driscoll House. I think with Driscoll House it was a subsidiary part of the main Wentworth daily drama, as opposed to the BH5, which itself were actual characters.
Mind you, I have read lots of other posters' comments regarding Driscoll House in the past, and I think I might be one of the only people who didn't mind that era!
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NostalgiaNerd
post Mar 14 2018, 10:13 AM
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QUOTE (cwathen @ Mar 14 2018, 09:10 AM) *
Oh, and they killed off Bea Smith who had been written out some 18 months previously as a plot device in the flashback episode.

That seems an unfair reason to dismiss the B5 That's like saying "Oh, we hate The Freak because she got Bea Smith transferred to Barnhurst" or "Oh, I'm not going to give Ann a fair chance because she's not Erica" or "I hate Rita because she was able to topple The Freak" I don't watch the earlier episodes a lot these days (personal reasons which I'm not discussing here) So for me I regard the B5 as "my squad" (hahahah no i'm not like that fan years ago who quit her job just to watch PCBH and then said that Bea Lizzie and Doreen were her mates!)

Honestly I think because of the way I grew up I'm drawn more towards the Maternal type characters like Ann Myra Willie (it's in her she just doesn't show it often) Nora and May rather than the villains like Lou Marie Ruth and Peterson but that's just me and as the old saying goes one person's trash is another's treasure
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steveh31
post Mar 14 2018, 10:53 AM
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QUOTE (Falconer_1 @ Mar 14 2018, 08:55 AM) *
Good analysis.

Also, reference Luigi's observation concerning Driscoll House. I think with Driscoll House it was a subsidiary part of the main Wentworth daily drama, as opposed to the BH5, which itself were actual characters.
Mind you, I have read lots of other posters' comments regarding Driscoll House in the past, and I think I might be one of the only people who didn't mind that era!

Driscoll House failed because as Coral pointed out in her threads the ratings would dip whenever they did non prison scenes, Prisoner is probably unique in it not being able to entice it's audience by bringing in new sets or locations, the viewers just wanted to see the events inside the prison they didn't care if Miss X got a job when she got out or if she went on the rob, the viewers tuned in to see women in prison not women outside prison.
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TheOldJude
post Mar 14 2018, 05:27 PM
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May would have made a much better Top Dog than Nora who was nice but just didn't have what it took.
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cwathen
post Mar 14 2018, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE (NostalgiaNerd @ Mar 14 2018, 10:13 AM) *
That seems an unfair reason to dismiss the B5 That's like saying "Oh, we hate The Freak because she got Bea Smith transferred to Barnhurst" or "Oh, I'm not going to give Ann a fair chance because she's not Erica" or "I hate Rita because she was able to topple The Freak" I don't watch the earlier episodes a lot these days (personal reasons which I'm not discussing here) So for me I regard the B5 as "my squad" (hahahah no i'm not like that fan years ago who quit her job just to watch PCBH and then said that Bea Lizzie and Doreen were her mates!)

Whilst I think it is a fair point that Bea's departure left a gaping hole in the show (albeit arguably Bea's era was already over for some time before she left) and this wasn't filled adequately at first, once Myra was brought in as the 2nd long running top dog in the show, and Judy fitted into the same place as the loyal, but not loyal at any cost sidekick that she previously had been alongside Bea, the show had moved on and was doing just fine without Bea. By the time they killed her off, well over a hundred episodes had gone by and I'm not sure how many people still cared at this point.

Yet instead Bea's death was used as a plot device to smooth the introduction of the B5 - Bea was transferred to Barnhurst, they had come from Barnhurst so they could come in talking about Bea and hopefully it wouldn't seem so jarring to have a group of new characters appear en masse and become the show's core cast overnight. It just didn't work for me.



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Jez
post Mar 14 2018, 09:57 PM
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Wasn't it more the case that they wanted Val to return as Bea Smith but she refused so they killed Bea off to highlight the fact she would never return to the show. In a way they had to have the B5 mention Bea and Vera, it would have been odd if they introduced them and no mention was made of Bea since they came from the prison where Bea was.

I liked Nora and I think by saying it was a different Nora Flynn that was a cold blooded killer she was saying she was a different person now after spending 23 years in prison and was reformed. It would be interesting to see flashbacks of what Nora was like before she reformed rather than the flashbacks we got from Barnhurst when she was accused of trying to kill a baby.
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TheOldJude
post Aug 25 2018, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE (Jez @ Mar 14 2018, 10:57 PM) *
Wasn't it more the case that they wanted Val to return as Bea Smith but she refused so they killed Bea off to highlight the fact she would never return to the show. In a way they had to have the B5 mention Bea and Vera, it would have been odd if they introduced them and no mention was made of Bea since they came from the prison where Bea was.

I liked Nora and I think by saying it was a different Nora Flynn that was a cold blooded killer she was saying she was a different person now after spending 23 years in prison and was reformed. It would be interesting to see flashbacks of what Nora was like before she reformed rather than the flashbacks we got from Barnhurst when she was accused of trying to kill a baby.


Well said, Jez. Nora seemed to have genuinely reformed and was distancing Current Nora (the nice girl) from Past Nora (the evil murderess). It was her way of saying 'I'm not the woman I was'.
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Luigi Severus Fl...
post Aug 29 2018, 02:15 PM
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May should have been Top Dog and Nora should have been the voice of reason à la Pat O'Connell, Judy Bryant, Nancy McCormack etc. Nora just wasn't cut out to be Top Dog.
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Mark
post Aug 29 2018, 02:42 PM
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QUOTE (Luigi Severus Fletcher @ Aug 29 2018, 03:15 PM) *
May should have been Top Dog and Nora should have been the voice of reason à la Pat O'Connell, Judy Bryant, Nancy McCormack etc. Nora just wasn't cut out to be Top Dog.


May would have made a fantastic Top Dog.
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LeachFreakTits
post Aug 30 2018, 03:33 AM
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They both would have been good given half the chance.
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Luigi Severus Fl...
post Oct 3 2018, 08:19 AM
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I can name five characters that had worse storylines than the Barnhurst Five.

Steve Wilson (he was a complete bore)

Greg Miller (he and Karen should have left when Karen's first court case was a success, it should have been)

Karen Travers (her court scenes were a bore, her university storyline and when she was released and started the Sally Lee house, she should have gotten paroled first court case)

Jean Vernon (they shouldn't have delved into her life on the outside)

Paul Reed (okay character, but like Jean, his life on the outside was boring)
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TheOldJude
post Oct 3 2018, 03:41 PM
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The Kerry Vincent storyline was the most boring storyline for me and Barbie bloody Cox had no storyline whatsoever.

I would have liked to have seen the Lou/Daphne dynamic explored further as I genuinely believe Lou had a 'soft spot' for Daphne.
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Falconer_1
post Oct 4 2018, 07:43 AM
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QUOTE (TheOldJude @ Oct 3 2018, 04:41 PM) *
The Kerry Vincent storyline was the most boring storyline for me and Barbie bloody Cox had no storyline whatsoever.

I would have liked to have seen the Lou/Daphne dynamic explored further as I genuinely believe Lou had a 'soft spot' for Daphne.


Yes, I'm with you on the Kerry Vincent storyline.
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Lex82
post Oct 4 2018, 01:51 PM
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I'd agree about Lou having a soft spot for Daphne.
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Screwbaiter
post Oct 4 2018, 07:15 PM
Post #31



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Group: Inmates
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Joined: 20-February 10
From: Herts UK
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Re Kerry Vincent, as an artist myself, I could really relate to her story and character.
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