Why is One Life to Live's Natalie Banks One of Soaps' Most Hated Characters?



I have never fully understood the level of hatred One Life to Live’s Natalie (Melissa Archer) inspires in soap fans online. During the epic John (Michael Easton) and Natalie vs. John and Evangeline (Renee Elise Goldsberry) wars of yesteryear I got why passionate fans could hate a character they believed to be interfering with “their couple,” but to my recollection Natalie hasn’t been in a triangle that popular or controversial for quite some time. Recently, I’ve noticed the anti-Natalie sentiment resurfacing, Which makes me wonder, why do so many people seem to loathe Natalie?

Is it because Natalie is perceived to be a slut? If so then why isn’t Natalie’s twin Jessica (Bree Williamson) as equally reviled? It seems a bit convenient to give Jessica a pass just because she suffers from a Dissociative Identity Disorder, doesn’t it?

Is it because Natalie is the town’s busy body and ends up mixed up in almost everything? If so, then why is Natalie berated when the uber popular Dorian (Robin Strasser) messes with everyone’s lives, fans are loving Clint’s (Jerry verDorn) Asa-esque manipulations and Clint’s ex-wife Kim (Amanda Setton) who was both a tramp and a busy body was seen as a breath of fresh air?

Is it because Natalie is too often a victim? If so, then why aren’t Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson), Tea Delgado (Florencia Lozano), Blair (Kassie DePaiva) and again her sister Jessica tarred and feathered the way Natalie is?

Is it because Natalie isn’t upstanding, ethical or moral enough? If so, then why are her own mother Viki’s (Erika Slezak) actions are so easily forgiven after Llanview’s citizens discover she’s had a split from reality?

It is highly unlikely Llanview’s patron saint of propriety and moral uppityness, Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell) will ever have her ass thrown in jail for violating HIPPA laws and digging into a patient's records, but if Natalie had done something similar, fans would be crying out for her to be tarred in the Llanview town square.  I think it's high time the citizens of Llanview and the fans of One Life to Live give Natalie a much needed break.


Comments

SoapFan75's picture
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29 December 2009
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2 years 19 weeks

Ugh, I hate Jolie (as much as I hate Rylee) and hated Natalie during the Evangeline/John/Natalie triangle. My hatred is mainly based on the past since I do not watch the show consistently enough now. But ugh, she was horrible in that triangle, self-righteous and sense of entitlement which I will never get. I know she is actually Clint and Viki's daughter but I will always think of her as the "faux Buchanan" because she just does not fit the role of a Buchanan, she's out of place. And Carlivati waivers between her being a heroine when she is with McBore (she is a CSI now?, huh?) and a vixen when she is with a bump in the road like Jared (working at Buchanan Enterprises) waiting to reunite with McBore again. All the while spewing dialogue that makes her seem self-righteous and the person to make decisions that effect other peoples lives. I mean Jared died and she just decided she wanted McBore back and damn the fact that he was with Marty and Marty was pregnant. I still say she got off easy from Tess paying her back for Nash's death. Maybe Marty will finally give her, her comeuppance in this storyline. Ugh, sorry Luke but no lover of anything Natalie or Snatchalie as she is sometimes referred to on other sites.

Member since:
5 July 2008
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1 hour 29 min

Im Disliking Natalie and Brody Now Because Of Their Lying. Yes Marty Is Also wrong but Brody & Nat Could stop this if they told the TRUTH. Jessica did. It Makes Nat & Brody Look Like Hypricrites

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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17 November 2010
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3 years 13 weeks

I dispise Gnat. I have since she came on the show, and it has only grown worse over the years.
I get physically sick watching & listening to her, so I try to FF thru as much as I can. Some scenes I have to watch. Like when I think someone will tell her where to get off.
In the beginning I hated her because of who she is. And those eyes rolling to the back of her head? Can she even act?? She doesn't know where to focus herself in a scene, so she rolls away with them eyes. Look at the camera Gnat!!!
She is a liar. She is a manipulator. She is selfish. She loves & cares about herself only. She don't care who she steps on in the process for self gratification. She is a desperate women. Has anyone told her that John has never told her he loved her?? Or offer to marry the mother of his "so called child"? I believe,deep down, he hates her as much as I do!!
She walks around now, with her hands resting on that fake stomach which I find sickening since that baby is more than likely Brody's. When she puts her hands on her stomach (like the pillow may fall out) I want to scream. Even Bree who was really pregnant didn't walk around with her hands resting on her stomach.
I wish that she would die in childbirth. Allow the baby to live. I see no sense to this character. Never have, never will.

Member since:
14 November 2007
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I used to be a huge John and Natalie fan. Now, I just don't care. The thing with Natalie is that she has become so damn whiney. And she knows EVERYTHING. It's just enough to make it hard to stomach

BrendaBarrettHospital's picture
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17 November 2010
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3 years 13 weeks

I was never a fan!! Can you tell??

No Daisy's picture
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12 January 2010
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48 weeks 5 days

With Natalie you either love her or hate her. It's always been that way. Viewers admire her firey spirit or think she's too in your face. They want her to get the guy or think she's a man stealing ho. I guess it says something about MA that she can inspire such strong feelings either way.

What I like about Natalie is that she is so real. Even in a ridiculous storyline her reactions feel true to form. She has flaws, and she admits to them. Her lack of trust, and her ability (an need) to lie both stem from her childhood where she found out early she could only trust and rely on herself.

While I have loved Nataile since she appeared on the show, I steared clear of most online talk because of the Jovan/Jolie wars. That time was just vile and unfortunately, there are still people who won't let that go, or "forgive" the character of Natalie. The writers never felt the need to whitewash her like they are currently doing with Ford. She doesn't need it. She had fans despite some of her unsavory choices. Too many people hated Ford and the writers now want us to feel sorry for him so they brought in his abusive daddy in an effort to gain viewer sympathy. Natalie just takes her lumps and moves forward; viewers are not being manipulated into caring about her. I guess that makes her an underdog and I've always rooted for those. So as a Natalie fan, I'm buckling down and waiting for Marty to drop her bomb. Go ahead Marty, do your worst.

Member since:
3 November 2009
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2 years 25 weeks

I actually have no problem with Natalie. True, I didn't like her coming between Vangie and John back in the day...mostly because I have never liked John with anyone else, because he has no chemistry with anyone else. But that was a long time ago.
I wish the writers had paired her with Brody instead of Jess...partly because I am NOT a Jess fan and partly because I like their friendship and chemistry better than the sappiness Brody has with Messica ( not sure who first coined that phrase during her DID problem, but I use it all the time)
I thought she was wonderful with Jared, I like her scenes with Roxy and Rex, but maybe the reason she isn't seen as a "real Buchanan" is because the writers always sacrifice her on the alter of the "great and wonderful" Jessica.
So, I'm with ya, Luke...stop all the Natalie hating and save it for that self-righteous prig Marty. I'd love to see her ass kicked out of Llanview!

Cynabuns's picture
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19 November 2010
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Natalie has always been one of my Faves, But I get that for others not so much... which is fine since we aren't all supposed to enjoy the same thing..But I do think a good deal (not all) of that hate out there is still about Jovan/Jolie... and that in some people minds Natalie never paid for the evils she committed than (yeah I don't get that either)

Yeah Nat messes up pretty regularly and is most of the time her worst enemy....she is lying (But I appreciated the her intentions while not entirely pure are not mean or spiteful here.) and it is sure to blow up in her face in true soap style... as it always does.. I wouldn't want her to be perfect...perfect is boring.. and boring is the only thing I find unforgivable in a character.

Member since:
13 September 2010
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17 weeks 2 days

Well I can't say much about Natalie as she is now, because I don't watch OLTL. I just keep up with it on the sites and boards. BUT, I haven't liked Natalie from the first day she came on the show. Remember, when she was first brought on she was bad. Her and that cute guy who ended up being Superman in a movie, were out to get Jessica and scheming the Buchanans somehow (can't really remember). So, I started out not liking her then and never could afterwards. I think she is too brash and mouthy and I just can't feel any sympathy towards her at all. I think that OLTL ruined the character for me from the beginning. Although many characters start out bad and are redeemed (Marty Saybrooke) down the road and turned into heroines, I think OLTL never was quite able to get there for me with Natalie.

Member since:
9 December 2008
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2 years 6 weeks

I've loved Natalie since I started watching. Jessica is the twin that I can't stand. But then I've always been a fan of the redheads.

I liked her with Jared, want her with Brody and loathe her with John.

AlistairCrane's picture
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4 May 2008
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2 years 36 weeks

Gnat's a tramp who stole Marty's man. She also technically killed Nash. Stupid slut!!!

Member since:
2 May 2008
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2 years 16 weeks

I actually love Natalie.. so I think it's like it was said before.. you either love her or hate her.. I'm actually team natalie Smile

~Maura

Now.. ask me about Greenlee lololol

thecourt99's picture
Member since:
30 April 2009
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30 min 48 sec

i watched OLTL back when jessica was a baby and have recently returned to the show. I will admit that I don't really like Natalie, because I am not used to the crappy storyline that Vicki had twins with 2 different fathers and that Jessica is not a Buchanan by blood. I saw those scenes when she was loved by Clint and Viki... I think even Asa doted on her. It was actually adorable to me at the time.

So to come back and find out that the writers had undone that piece of history to create this new character, is BS to me. I want Jessica to be the blood Buchanan. So I hold it against the character of Natalie. Also, to me, she isn't even really likable and while that is good for most soap characters, she started off in the negative for me. I don't think she has any chemistry with John (I like him better with Blair). I don't see a sisterly bond with Jessica. I don't see a parental bond with Clint, Viki, or Roxy. I don't see chemistry with anyone, and I don't like her attitude.

But obviously, I was biased to begin with.

qeeerm's picture
Member since:
1 July 2009
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2 years 28 weeks

I can't stand Natalie she is a HOE!

She slept with her sister's BOYFRIEND.
it doesn't matter that Jessica was a little out of it, she knew it was a matter time before Jess got better. And then all she does is LIE, John is so STUPID that it's getting annoying.Jessica at least CONFESSED what she did.

cokeyloveshersoaps's picture
Member since:
29 December 2008
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12 weeks 4 days

I have always hated her since the very beginning and my feelings of her will never change she just irkes me, i dont like her twin sister either so i FF any scenes with them in it there are just some characters u hate and no matter what they do u will never like them.Luke i will give Natalie a chance when u give Ryan on AMC a chance and i hate him too. Big smile

Luke's picture
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24 August 2009
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Let me just share I have always liked Natalie.

I tell you what I do hate. I hate that she's been saddled with that moody idiot in John McBain. I do hate that

Member since:
7 January 2008
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6 weeks 4 days

I think Natalie is hated because she has always been seen as the 'other' or 'secondary' Buchanan. It took so long for viewers to see Natalie (herself) accept and embrace the Buchanan Bosom. I personally did not truly see Natalie as a Buch until she embraced Clint the first time. How can someone be a part of a core family when it takes years for them to meet their father onscreen. Natalie was introduced in 2001 and did not meet Clint until 2003. Clint was in London, not presumed dead! Also, I am sure fans still have an ax to grind for making Jessica, Mitch's biological daughter. Natalie is the scapegoat because her introductory storyline facilitated that reveal.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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2 weeks 3 days

I liked Natalie. She come onto the show as vengeful teen angered for being cheated out of her birth family. Natalie made Jessica's and Viki's lives hell; and it was great soap!

I applaud Melissa Archer for creating such a complex character.

Of course, I would rather see Evangeline and John together.

Mrpink1992's picture
Member since:
16 August 2010
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2 years 12 weeks

I like Natalie! And now with how much Marty hates her it makes you like her more. Yes she messed up back there is just something about the character that draws you in and wan to see where her story lines go!

Member since:
21 April 2008
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4 hours 15 min

The big reason why I hate her is because I hate rewritten history on principle, especially badly rewritten history. And Mitch raping Viki so that she became pregnant with two twins by different fathers and the whole sordid mess was horribly mangled history. To add insult to injury, the way Natalie arrived in town to so brutally torment Jessica and usurp her entire life was sickening.

I'm stubbornly old school. For me, Jessica is the Buchanan I know and saw grow up, although I despise the way they've know rewritten and destroyed her entire childhood. Natalie is the tacky little upstart who never belonged and who I've never been able to care about.

Member since:
5 August 2009
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14 weeks 1 hour

I don't like Natalie cause her justifications are always so shaky and ultimately self serving. Plus how annoying is it that her eyes spin in their sockets when she lies...which is all the danged time...LOL

Also what is with picking your career by the man you lay under. She reminds me of those girls you go to college with who changed their major everytime they met a cute guy.Oh I am a pool hustler,art dealer, BE executive,forensics expert...if she meets a garbage man I guess she will be rocking a jumpsuit and swinging off the back of the truck next month.

Member since:
6 February 2009
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2 years 47 weeks

OMG, Natalie slept with her sister's not BF...how unusual for a soap. And now she is LYING about it and keeping secrets about the baby she is carrying???? I really don't see to see how 2 unattached people having comfort sex makes her a ho, but Jessica cheating on her husband while said husband's kid is in the hospital doesn't make her one. As for Natalie and Brody being hypocrites, who on a soap isn't one. They aren't saying what they are doing is right, but it is what they feel they have to do.

As for the Natalie hate, I think a lot of it stems from bitter Jovan fans who live online and cannot accept that Natalie is who John chose and who he continues to choose. I also don't think what is said online is the overall consensus of the viewing audience. Otherwise Natalie wouldn't continue to be in front burner story after front burner story and Melissa wouldn't be promoted the way she is. I think ALL of that (plus TPTB always going back to Jolie, even if they are apart for a few years) drives some posters crazy who don't realize what year it is.

Trudi's picture
Member since:
6 January 2008
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2 years 41 weeks

While not all of it can be attributed to the Jovan/Jolie era, that's where I believe the bulk of it comes from. And it's only when Natalie is paired with John that the hatred reaches these epic proportions. That was a huge fan war, and much like Liason fans will never like Sam, fans of the long dead Jovan couple will never like, or even tolerate Natalie when she's paired with John. I also believe that hatred is largely confined to online viewers who seem to be more deeply mired in the character's histories and stories of the past rather than the general viewing audience who tends to move forward more readily and just go along for the ride.

But it actually works for the character, not against her. The powers that be love those characters who evoke a strong emotional response in viewers, whether positive or negative. Natalie is one of those characters you either root for or against, but few are indifferent to. That's why Natalie has remained front and center for so long while those sweet vapid characters who never do anything wrong have come and gone.

Member since:
6 February 2009
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2 years 47 weeks

LMAO, and other soap characters lies aren't self serving? Natalie was a pool hustler and BE executive before John and Jared (respectively) were on the show, so it really isn't Natalie "picking her careeer by the man she lays under". It is more the show setting up future storyline based on their plans.

Member since:
7 January 2008
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6 weeks 4 days

@Kitty - I think you quite right. People cannot move beyond the Evangeline-John-Natalie triangle. Also, Natalie's actions are similar to many female soap characters.

Posters such as RoseVioletDaisy proved my point. One of the core reasons the character is so hated dates back to her introduction and its fallout.

There is some deep seed hatred here. Somebody needs to call in Dr. Phil to mediate Smile Natalie's antics have never been as dark and twisted as Adam Newman.

SoapFan75's picture
Member since:
29 December 2009
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2 years 19 weeks

Oh I disagree about this being Jovan fans, kitty. I am not a Jovan fans. I referenced the triangle in my first post because that was the height of my annoyance but let me tell you I could care less who McBore ended up with. I really did not like Evangeline that much though I like the actress, especially on The Good Wife. As noted, I refer to John as McBore and that was when he was with Evangeline, or any other boring relationship. So I do not think you can just dismiss the Natalie hate as upset Jovan fans. At this point, who in the world would still care about that????? No, I never liked her from the beginning and again it stems from her being a faux Buchanan and a self-righteous, whiney dope who is a poor me wanna be heroine at one moment and low rent vixen the next when she decides she wants McBore again. Nope this is pure Natalie-hate for me!

Trudi's picture
Member since:
6 January 2008
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2 years 41 weeks

doctormo77 wrote:
@Kitty - I think you quite right. People cannot move beyond the Evangeline-John-Natalie triangle. Also, Natalie's actions are similar to many female soap characters.

Posters such as RoseVioletDaisy proved my point. One of the core reasons the character is so hated dates back to her introduction and its fallout.

There is some deep seed hatred here. Somebody needs to call in Dr. Phil to mediate Smile Natalie's antics have never been as dark and twisted as Adam Newman.

Or Sami Brady. Or Phylis Newman. Or Greenlee! Natalie is a "type" of character that exists on all soaps. Frankly it's the type of character I like generally, but for reasons I can't explain I don't like Sami and I love Natalie. But we aren't all supposed to like the same characters. That's why Natalie is as popular as she is loathed. I think Luke's mail is skewed, but there are other places she's one of the most loved characters on the show. And it's obvious the writer likes writing for her, so that's all that matters to me.

Member since:
20 August 2009
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1 week 6 days

I am mostly indifferent to Natalie these days. I hated her when she came on the show and I wasn't watching during her so called "redemption years". I just knew her as a nasty article who came to town to ruin her birth family. Seems like everyone has forgotten that except for Todd. He still treats her with a great deal of contempt and that always makes me laugh. I think there is a place for her on the show, I just wish they would make her a little less insincere. In some ways she and John deserve each other, they are both very bland to me.

jlafferty23's picture
Member since:
21 June 2010
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2 years 25 weeks

Yeah I cant stand the hoe..

She just irritates me.. I'm loving Marty's revenge, its hilarious to watch Natalie squirm

Trudi's picture
Member since:
6 January 2008
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2 years 41 weeks

I haven't forgotten that at all. And I didn't like her at first either. I can actually remember the day that changed, and it was when Roxy showed up at Llanfair and Viki defended Natalie. I turned a corner and haven't looked back. I love the dynamic between Todd and Natalie and wish we'd see more of it. I thought it was so funny the other day when Tea and Todd were being all grateful to John, when really it was Natalie who did EVERYTHING to discover that Tea was alive. No acknowledgement whatsoever. Certainly no gratitude.