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Viewing Single Post From: Thursday, October 4th Daily Discussion
BJ Deveraux
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Oct 4 2012, 10:59 AM
Oct 4 2012, 10:42 AM
Oct 4 2012, 10:06 AM
Oct 4 2012, 09:36 AM

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I agree they are giving the audience reason to sympathize with Nicole's reasons for going to such extremes - but I also think they've made sure to set in place that Nicole is scheming against poor, grieving Jennifer prior to the loss of the baby and that poor, grieving Jennifer would never have these uncharacteristic outbursts of anger if Nicole wasn't intentionally manipulating her to do so. As a result, in the end it sounds to me like they want the audience to feel that what happens is really a result of Nicole's actions and essentially she has it coming - and that Jennifer is a completely blameless heroine who is being victimized by the crazy lady.

Ultimately - I'd have preferred they not paint either character in such defining roles but allow the audience to empathize with both. It's times like this (among many) that I really hate they film so far ahead - because I'd love to have seen them set up the story so that neither woman is at fault or manipulating/hurting the other and then decide on the outcome based on the chemistry of the actors and the reaction/support from the audience. It's such a shame that there is absolutely no room anymore for the audience to dictate a story direction.
I disagree that they are setting it up as Nicole being responsible for poor, grieving Jen's outbursts. They set up the outbursts before Nicole was even doing any real scheming against Jennifer. She got angry at Kayla early on and she also had the argument with Abigail that was arguably out of character. At that point in time, Nicole had done almost nothing to manipulate Jennifer other than implying a relationship with Daniel which, while perhaps not as meaningful as she made it out to be, was hardly manipulation or a lie.

I think we are supposed to believe that Jennifer's irrational anger is out of grief (not that MR has been very good at playing it that way) and doesn't have much to do with Nicole's actions. Nicole didn't manipulate Jen into finding out about the DNA switch and going off the deep end about it. Nicole certainly didn't manipulate Jen into believing that Nicole is blackmailing or otherwise forcing Daniel into going along with the plan. It's been made very clear that Daniel is doing this on his own and, in fact, he made that very clear to Jennifer. So, Jennifer's obsession with Nicole isn't really about Nicole's manipulations and I don't think there is anything that's played out onscreen that is supposed to convince us that it is Nicole's fault.

That said, I don't think Jennifer is being made out to be the guilty party either. I think they are trying to set it up as both being sympathetic. Nicole because of losing her baby, Jennifer because while she's been over the top, she doesn't actually cause the baby's death. The problem is that MR doesn't play the vulnerability necessary to actually make the audience feel sympathy for her, so some of the audience then assumes that the show is trying to make us feel sympathy for her when, honestly, I don't think it's intended to be one-sided at all. If it had been intended to be as one-sided as some think, I believe it would have been written much differently. JMO, of course.
I think a lot of it comes down to acting strengths. AZ has worked to improve her craft over the years, and it shows to the point that Nicole succeeds more often than not in garnering sympathy even when she's scheming. And honestly, Nicole would have to be ten times worse a person than she actually is for her loss not to evoke some pity from even the most hardened viewer. To lose your baby three weeks before he's due--when you suffered a devastating miscarriage just a few years ago? I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

At the other end of the spectrum is MR who seems to be coasting on past performances rather than putting much effort or conviction into her current work. She's proving no better at playing grief-stricken now than she was at playing "torn" last fall. Rather than seeing Jennifer truly conflicted over Jack vs Daniel, we saw Jennifer fawning over Daniel and treating Jack like something stuck to the bottom of her shoe. And now her supposed grief and devastation is coming across more like jealousy and spite towards the woman who had the nerve to date her ex-boyfriend. Personally, i find the character unwatchable these days.

I also have my doubts as to whether T&W 2 intend both characters to be sympathetic. Mainly because I don't think they're that subtle. When they want viewers to love a character--like Rafe or Daniel--they have other characters prop him endlessly. When they want viewers to hate someone, they have other characters endlessly badmouth him. Because they kind of suck that way.
I really did think it was her sucky acting also. Harsh but true.
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Thursday, October 4th Daily Discussion · DAYS: News, Spoilers & Discussion