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Gray Bunny
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I'd say the 2nd half of the first season of Melrose improved immensely, when they started having continuing storyline with Alison/Billy/Amanda, and later Jake/Jo and Jane/Michael/Kimberly.

I agree with your breakdown of the other seasons of Melrose. Season 4 was mostly good but started going over-the-top towards the last couple episodes when they gave Kimberly a split-personality and she locked up Peter in the looney bin. Jo's send-off with Dominick O'Malley was also a bore, and putting Alison with Jake sucked the life out of both of them.

Season 5 was definitely the biggest transition from good to bad. Really bad.


Back to the main topic of worst short-lived characters:
DAYS' Dr. Alex North, Willow the hooker, the 2 Tinda Lau islanders with Belle & Shawn... basically all short-lived characters around 2007. And don't forget that awful China Lee (I think that was her name) who saddled Nick Fallon with her two rugrats for a while. Talk about a random storyline!
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Short-Lived Soap Characters That You Hated · Soap Opera History & Discussion