5 Reasons That Melrose Place's Heather Locklear Comeback Didn't Work


Though the CW pulled out all the stops so that Heather Locklear's return to Melrose Place would be covered with the same sort of press fanfare that might be given to the rebirth of Jesus himself, it's a shame that the network didn't make sure the episode she appeared in would be, y'know, good. Now that I've had a chance to watch the heavily-hyped, ratings-light installment, five things immediately leaped out at me that made this episode -- and this show, for that matter -- a sadly muddled mess:

1. Bad Lines

Aside from the verbally dexterous Katie Cassidy as Ella, most of the other regulars on Melrose Place run the gamut from serviceable to "cannot handle the overwritten dialogue they're given." While you might have assumed that the return of Locklear's Amanda Woodward would provoke the writers to finally craft some snappy lines, even Locklear was larded down with questionable dialogue. Things got so dire that when the CW cut together a promo of her supposedly catty comebacks, this was one of the three they scraped together:


Uh, burn? (Trust me, it makes just as much sense in context -- and feels even more badly written.)

2. Dumb Plotting

Locklear's first scheme in the episode was nonsensical: In order to prove her worth as an underling, Ella was forced by Amanda to give a made-up biography to the featured model they were representing at a fashion launch party. Though the model (series regular Jessica Lucas) came from wealth and had a famous lawyer for a father, Amanda decided that it would make for better press to claim Lucas's character had grown up in the crime-ridden inner city. Apparently, the resolutely 90's Amanda Woodward has never heard of Google and The Smoking Gun, or she would know that the ruse the entire episode hinged on could be disproved with a simple mouse click.

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  • Colander says:

    You Movieline folks must be show-stoppers at dinner parties (do people outside of HBO shows have dinner parties?).
    That's a compliment I scraped right off my heart.

  • Kyle Buchanan says:

    I can opine at length about anything if someone makes me dinner.

  • Kristen says:

    If you think you can do so much better, why don't you type up a television script for a one hour television drama and send it in to the CW or any network? See how much better you do, oh wait, you're just a blogger...

  • stolidog says:

    I didn't realize Jocyln Wilderstein was doing a cameo.

  • The Winchester says:

    I'm not so sure that burn was dissipated.

  • Amanda fan says:

    I start to wonder how old you are Kyle. Doubt you are a fan of the original.

  • stretch65 says:

    Jack Wagner was just on Monk

  • theplasticatedalienatednerdabomb says:

    "i'm not so sure it dissipated"? WHY the hell is Amanda saying shit like THIS?? WHAT were the writers even thinking? PLEASE honey, bring back the REAL Amanda Woodward we all knew and loved back from the 90's, dress her down some, flatten up her face by losing those collagen puffy injections, let her be just a teeny tiny bitty nice just like she used to be too .. i mean, it looks like she wants to make a living hell of a life for the rest of her co-stars on that pathetic low ratings show .. i wish she would be more of a tough no holds barred bitch instead of a ruthless one .. this is just NOT the Amanda we once knew .. her one liners back in the day actually made sense .. "i'm not so sure it dissipated"? i'm quite sure this show will dissipate even before you say the motherfuckin word "cancellation"
    can YOU say that 100 times b4 it goes off the air, darling??

  • Dali Mama says:

    Amen to "I'm not so sure it dissipated." LAME! Having Amanda rattle off these wordy unrealistic lines was enough to turn my stomach. It was embarrassing! Locklear rose above the pretenious script but why should she have to? Amanda was a women of few words and big action. She said everything with a withering look. Amanda wasn't some moustache twirling evil doer. So the writers sit in these meetings and seriously say things to each other like "i'm not so sure it dissipated" when they are talking about a script? I tuned in to see Amanda and Heather looked amazing. The words though... eh....

  • Well, apparently Colander and Kristen makes a great point: clearly this guy is just a blogger, and not a screenwriter. And if he is, maybe not a very good one.
    "Memo to Melrose: Don’t save your good stuff for later when there may not even be a later. Bring on the explosions and naked kidnappings and bring them on now!"
    Ok, so a show should take characters that we (the audience) have yet to really get to know and just through them in situations that are so outlandish to the point that we don't give a damn of how the outcome will turn out, because why? We don't care about the CHARACTERS. In other words, The Colbys, Models Inc., Pacific Palisades, and countless other dramas that went for complex shock storylines than plausible storytelling and got canned quickly.
    "When the CW brought 90210 back for a second season, the show seemed to have learned one key lesson: It’s pointless to devote a lot of time to the characters from the first series, because you’re attempting to woo a young audience that couldn’t possibly care less about those actors. Instead of taking 90210’s cue, Melrose has lurched in the opposite direction, firing two of its young regulars and exhuming five of the old version’s stars."
    I have to say fail with this comment as well. What true original 90210 fan didn't want to see the reunion of Kelly and Brenda and the ramifications of such an iconic reunion? It was a ratings stunt for sure, but think of the backlash if the new show DIDN'T bring back any of the new characters. True, 90210 has taken off this year in ratings and downloads, but that doesn't mean that it is safe from snark-tastic scenes and other means of disdain, but I still love it nonetheless. To launch a revival of a TV show after so many years and it not be a direct remake, you need an anchor. Star Trek did it, Family Guy just did it with The Cleveland Show, 'Buffy' did it with 'Angel' (metaphorically speaking), and I can name others forever, but the point is for both 90210 and MP to launch successfully, they need to draw in the old crowd as well as new and not alienate neither one. I, for one, never felt alienated, but when you got one faction saying get rid of the old cast and the other faction saying the new cast sucks, you have to draw the time old saying of you can't please everyone.
    So, Amanda's return didn't bring in big ratings. Big whoop. I just find it sad that when I see ANY news of MP it almost ALWAYS mentions the shows struggling ratings and to me that seems to be the only publicity for this show so far. In short, it's old. Now focus on the good instead of the bad.

  • There are definitely a number of particulars like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I provide the thoughts above as common inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up the place an important factor shall be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged round things like that, however I'm sure that your job is clearly identified as a good game. Each girls and boys feel the influence of only a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.

  • Sadie says:

    I think it was obvious why she didn't work, and the author of this article got it. (And it doesn't need an in-depth analysis, imho) Even on the original Melrose Place, "Amanda" seemed out of place with the 20-somethings making their way in the world and living at a relatively inexpensive apartment building. She was older and more sophisticated. Now she's ... she can't even speak. One really must be able to speak in order to say the kind of things that Amanda always said in a way that was bitchy or intimidating. I keep thinking of a toothless lioness! (Remember her hideous animal print sheets?)

    Also, why in the heck are the young girls who don't work for her rolling over for her and letting her be bossy? She is just another person living at an apartment better suited to younger people. And speaking of the building itself, did anyone laugh about the "penthouse"? How is there a penthouse in a 2-story building? Hehe!

    There was a girl in her 30s called Sue who always somehow ended up hanging out with my friends and me when we were in college, now we call anyone (including ourselves if we start to make that mistake!) by her name. Amanda is the Sue of Melrose Place deux. I did learn one thing from her - i might hate that i seem to have woken up one day and suddenly become 45, but i will NOT try to look younger by having crap shot in my lips or whatever some doctor did to HL. She looks odd and sounds worse. When we saw Daphne return as Jo, she had smile lines and wrinkles - and she looked real and beautiful! I do refuse to cut my hair, but it seems that the harder women try to look younger, the older they end up looking (although Heather is in NO way as bad as that Jocelyn woman... please).

    I wish they had had a second season, with just the new characters (and Augie! Why oh why was he let go?). The show just started getting interesting. Getting rid of Michael would have been good, or actually not recycling his old stories and behavior from Melrose Place 1992.