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I think he was better than Lucy Allan, but not enough to warrant all the expense that must have been incurred with the reshoots, or the fire, which wasn't even necessary...Steph could have died in hospital or left town before passing away (like Laura on Knots Landing), and Malachy could have returned to Ireland with Lyndsey. It's not like his death had any impact, since Mercedes moved on to father and son in about a week.

I think Kirkwood was very uneven and I still am let down by some of what he did in 2008 (especially with John Paul and Niall and poor Kieron).

Marquess seemed to have an idea of where he wanted stories to go, which Allan and later Kirkwood may not have, but the stories never seemed to work the way he wanted them to. For instance, Steph's cancer story was strangely detached and almost an insult to her. The stuff with Mitzeee and the Costellos was so confusing and rushed - I still don't understand most of that family, I don't believe them as being related, I don't know why Jem was a part of the family. The Sharpes were bad but not so bad that they had to be rushed out. We had to put up with the Valentines for 4 years!

I wonder if he just created the O'Connors because he worked with the mother on Brookside. That and every soap needs a character who is obsessed with having a child. Diane and Rob just seem like energy drains.

I still don't really understand the Ste/Brendan stuff either, other than that it seems like the initial plan was for Brendan to abuse Ste, possibly kill Amy (that was the rumor) then leave. Now they want to keep Brendan around, but the whole domestic violence story seems to have changed around, with so many different people involved, side stories, and an attempt to make sure we don't see Ste as being the victim. So why tackle a subject like this in the first place?
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Paul Marquess Replaced/Leaving Hollyoaks · British Soap Discussion