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Here are my thoughts about the 'vet couples'. I think each couple has one or more core dynamics to their relationship, which should be used as a foundation for all of their stories. This is not just a 'soap thing', by the way; couples in real life also have a certain driving force behind their attraction and their connection. I think that longtime viewers can identify core characteristics of Steve and Kayla's relationship, as well as Bo and Hope's and John and Marlena's. Now, certain viewers may not like relationships built on those elements (such as one person's rescuing another, or 'bad boy/good girl', or a 'soulmate connection'), but that's why not every couple is for every viewer.

I think the issues come when the writers ignore these dynamics and instead treat the couple as two random characters to insert into any given story. I think that Sheffer and now Higley are doing that with Steve and Kayla and Bo and Hope. John and Marlena are the only couple who I think have some semblance of their core dynamic left, though Higley seems to be doing everything in her power to remove that from the writing.

All this is to help explain why I think Steve and Kayla are not as popular with viewers now as they were in the 80's. What endeared them to viewers in the 80's is unfortunately almost completely gone now, and many of the current viewers didn't watch in the 80's. Stephen and Mary Beth are still there, of course, but Steve and Kayla are now treated as two generic characters. Any elements of Steve and Kayla's relationship we see now are (imo) being inserted by the actors.

Had Sheffer done the appropriate research and built their return story on their past core dynamic, they might have caught on more at the beginning. In my mind, it should have almost been an 'emotional repeat' of their initial story; while their histories over the past 15 years separated them, what brought them together in the first place should have been able to fuel their ultimate reconnection, no matter what the outside circumstances. It's most unfortunate that their return was under Sheffer's pen, as he didn't really "get" them as characters or as a couple, and by extension, neither did many of the viewers.
Edited by Ellie, Nov 13 2008, 10:06 PM.
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