S-mel Ya Later
So Melanie’s gone. Again. Can someone enlighten me as to what the point of this return was?
I love Molly Burnett and like Melanie (particularly when they don’t write her as a stammering doofus), but this whole return stint felt so off. If they knew she was only back for six months, why did they throw her into a romance with Brady? They could’ve told almost the exact same story with them just being friends, minus the weeks of “Should we go on a date to see if we want to date?” stuff. Plus the friendship with Serena felt forced, and we barely got to see her with Abigail, Chad, Sonny, or Will. This whole thing reeked of desperately wanting a familiar heroine on the show to fill the hole left by Sami and Alison Sweeney, story be damned.
That said, Molly Burnett nailed all her goodbye scenes. I bought into her emotions so much that I almost even bought her ridiculous reasoning for leaving town — which was so flimsy and ill-developed that they might as well have slapped a sign on-screen that said, “Sorry, her short-term contract is up!” Her goodbye with Nicole was surprisingly terrific, especially how they had her tell Nicole to stop putting herself down, and I’m such a sucker for the Melanie/Maggie relationship. I still wish they hadn’t retconned them into being relatives, because the beauty of their bond was that they saved one another at just the right point in each of their lives: Melanie as she was spinning out following Trent’s death, and Maggie when she was losing Mickey. Burnett and Suzanne Rogers are so wonderful together, and their affection for one another (both the actresses’ and the characters’) really shone through in those scenes.
Farewell, Melanie, and may the next time we see you either be for an appropriate-length visit or a story that makes actual sense.