How The Complete and Utter Destruction of Sharon Newman Parallels MAB's Dismantling of The Young and the Restless





For a few months now, viewers of The Young and the Restless have been subjected to the once popular and beloved character of Sharon Collins Newman (Sharon Case) having decided to delve into an icky romance with her former father-in-law, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). Fans have been none too amused over Sharon making this skeevy choice — to plunge head first into a relationship with a man she once considered a father figure. The plot twist has been all the more maddening, following years of Sharon's character being utterly assassinated, via one ill-conceived storyline and/or romance after another.  

Some may say, "It's a soap opera," or "This creates great drama and conflict," but in my opinion, this was one line that didn't need to be crossed with these particular characters on this soap opera. Soap vixens sleeping their way through families is certainly nothing new for daytime or primetime soaps. Guiding Light's Reva Shayne, The Bold and the Beautiful's Brooke Logan and Dynasty's Fallon Carrington all had near incestuous parings. However, the key word in the above sentence was "vixens". Sharon isn't a vixen; she's the show's heroine, not some hellcat in heat. She's also supposedly the love of both of Victor's sons, Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Adam's (Michael Muhney), lives.

Viewers were able to suspend their disbelief when Sharon fell for Nick's vile-yet-alluring, younger brother—and continued to be drawn to him even after learning he'd switched her baby at birth—due to the enormous chemistry the actors shared. Also, brothers being torn apart over the same lover isn't nearly as unseemly as a woman suddenly deciding to go to bed with her children's 70-something grandfather.

Why, instead of continuing to capitalize on Shadam's forbidden love affair, or the highly debatable Phick vs. Shick saga, did TPTB opt to have Sharon pursue Victor? For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone believed this would make for good soap opera.

We've read countless interviews where Y&R's showrunner, Maria Arena Bell, pledges to make Sharon into a "strong woman". Forgive me, but what's been done to this character under MAB doesn't bring to mind Kelly Clarkson's "Miss. Independent".

Has transforming Sharon into a promiscuous, recovering kleptomanic, who never considers what her sexual choices will mean for her children, really made her stronger in MAB's eyes? I'm starting to see a parallel between what has been done to this character and the dismantling of The Young and the Restless as a whole during this current regime's tenure. I guess my question is, can anything be done to fix either at this point?

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Comments

Member since:
14 June 2011
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Good article. Sharon Case should sue for non-support of her character at the hands/writing of MAB and her merry band of assasins, HS and SH. As for doing anything to fix/save Sharon? I'd have her exit the canvas for a while, but that would be with the proviso of a new writing team in place to re-tool/reset the character. I'd also bring her mother, Doris, back on. She always called her daughter out on her foolishness but also defended her when necessary. Just a couple of thoughts... Innocent

SoapArmageddon's picture
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22 January 2011
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The moment Sharon slept with three guys in one week a couple of years ago, I knew there was no turning back for this character.

But as to your final question, Jillian, I'd say YES. MAB has done a lot of damage to this show but there are still enough key characters in place to end the downward spiral Y&R has been in.

soapbaby's picture
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So on-point Jillian. Thank you for speaking the truth. The destruction of Sharon Newman absolutely characterizes the dismantling of Y&R.

Smitty's picture
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Jillian great piece and you ask a great question. One that I have struggled with. Can anything be done to fix Sharon or Y&R at this point. My answer to the Sharon part is absolutely not! I want Sharon Newman dead. I would rather her leave town or have Cassie whisk her off to heaven (well probably hell) than to see the character continually destoryed. I just don't see how you redeem this character after this. I was through with Sharon after the whole Adam nonsense, but this "relationship" with Victor just makes me ill. I didn't think anything could get worse than Shadam and then MAB & Co went there with SHICTOR OR what i like to call them SICK-TOR! The character of Sharon is unregcognizable at this point. TPTB should just put the character out of her misery. Also the same can be said for many characters that have been written under MAB. I absolutely hate Victor and Phyllis now. I used to love to hate Phyllis but I can't stand her. Victor just has gone too far.

As far as saving Y&R I think there is really only three people that can do it. Ed Scott, Kay Alden and Jack Smith. If these three don't come and save Y&R I would rather no one else try. Save for the year of 555-5555 I haven't really enjoyed Y&R since about late 2005/early 2006. Y#R does have it's bright moments but three bright days out of a month just can't cut it. It needs to constantly be that way and this current regime has proven they obviously can't handle that kitchen so they need to let some old cooks (Scott, Alden, and Smith) back in to save this show.

Member since:
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Good piece. I feel bad for Sharon Case. However, I admire that she's putting up with it. I'm not sure that a lot of actors would.

Coffee_Junkie's picture
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The higher ups at CBS Daytime need to stick a fork in *The Young and the Restless* beause as far as I'm concerned--it's done.

Either that or fire the ENTIRE writing team--especially Maria Arena Bell. Something that for whatever reason they are unwilling to do. Which says to me that they just don't care and are intending to get out of the soap business once the contracts for YR and BB are up.

Member since:
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I would make two cases in response to Jillian's excellent article.

1. Sharon was always a little screwed up. She was idolized by Nick, but her hidden 'teen mom' past kept her from feeling worthy of his love. As a result, she continues to enact ways for Nick to abandon her. It all seems psychologically sound from the background of this troubled young woman.

2. When did we have to start liking all of the characters in our soaps? In my opinion the humbling of unlikable female characters is one of the worst troops in soap writing.

Remember those stories that Eileen Fulton used to tell about people hitting her in the supermarket because of the bad things that Lisa used to do on ATWT? I can't help think that the twitter-verse's reaction to Sharon on Y&R and Jason on GH are the modern version of that experience. These characters are unlikable (at the moment) and I see nothing wrong with it.

Now, if Sharon suddenly straightens up and forgets that she was both in jail and a mental hospital than I might be concerned

Member since:
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Lastly, (in terms of what goes around comes around) - I would bet fans felt the same way about Mac and Rachel on Another World, and that lasted for 20 years

soapjunkie88's picture
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It can be fixed. The character and the show. But for that MAB has to go! This woman is incapable of good writing and she isn't honoring her father-in-law's show at all. These times I ask myself if she maybe hated him and this is a way for her of getting her revenge!? Well at least that's what the head of mine keeps telling me.

If MAB would be fired there would be a few points at how the new writing team could make Sharon work again.
Explain her behavior with bringing her to a breaking point. Show us that Sharon tried to find something after her marriage with Nick ended. Explain that she lost herself after her break up from Jack, which was the one that kept her going. Show the audience that Sharon is broken inside and she tried to find security in life.

It could be done. And it wouldn't be that hard. Because the choices that Sharon made since MAB took over ... they all go in that direction.

Another idea is a rip-off of a "B&B" storyline that involved Brooke and Stephanie in a few years back. Remember when Brooke was made an easy target while fighting for her children and ended up being raped?
A storyline like this could redeem Sharon. It sounds horrible ... but from a writer's point, you could show this character from another side again. The audience would start to care again. Maybe Restless Style could write another article about Sharon and how she slept her way through the Newman family & the Abbott brothers.
After the issue gets out some creep could go after Sharon believing that she's sleeping with anyone anyway.
This story could lead for Sharon to believe it's her fault and you could work the first suggestion I had in. It would make for a great story which has social relevance and shows what a good actress Sharon Case is.

Anyway ... yeah you could fix it. It's just sad that nobody at Sony and CBS wants to.

pjc722's picture
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FINALLY, an indepth analysis of the character of Sharon and the utter desire of MAB to ruin the character.

Thank you for writing it.

The only way to solve the destruction of Sharon, since she is vital to the show in the sense that she is the mother of 2 characters, former wife of 2 brothers and is a link to a central character who was killed on the show would be for Sharon to ultimately see how her choices in life have had consequences that she never realized. It's ironic that since MAB is showrunning this character into the ground all the while saying it's to make her a strong woman, that MAB writes Jack as the only man who has TRULY written Sharon off if MAB thinks it's a good story to tell. Recently, he said as much when he utter "I gave a long time ago on why Sharon does what she does and don't care anymore."

But the only way to solve it is to see the character leave the show for a year, at least, to rediscover who she is and to return that strong woman ALREADY. Way back when the character up and left Nick, Cassie and Noah for a year without any word she only returned the same person. A man followed her back and it was shown that Sharon was still making bad choices. This time Sharon has to leave, whether Sam returns and has a heart to heart with her and convinces her to return to New Mexico NOT for his love but for her personal love of herself and to refocus her life OR Sharon just opts to leave GC to rediscover what she wants to be as a person, not just a woman, then she should because fans would welcome back the character wholeheartedly.

david46208's picture
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@everyone: "It's a soap opera" -- The only people who say that are desperate to defend bad writing or deal with it for fear of losing the soap. Also there are those few people actually enjoy this mess. But it is what it is.

Yet, you are exactly right about how the destruction of Sharon mirrors the destruction of Y&R in general.

The thing with The Young and The Restless is that Maria is has very little investment in the characters on the canvas and constantly brings on newbies or ages people kids in hopes of having a hand in creating the next generation. She also comes up with plot-driven storylines that are bad ripoffs from other soaps, films and television series.

Maria herself touted Sharon as being somewhat like Reva Shane Lewis. But you can't copy or imitate the "slut of Springfield." Especially with Sharon, who was the heroine and the Nikki in waiting.

When it comes to her listening to the fans. It appears she does "listen," but what that translate to on screen shows that she does not get it.

We asked for more diversity. What did not ask for was a crackhead, a welfare mother who slept with her assumed Nephew, a singing child, an iconoclastic character who was sex on a stick recast with Willie "what da deal? what da problem?" the garbage man and a black female executive who is nothing more than a glorified secretary. We also didn't ask for a vet like Neil to be given a CEO position only to be backburned in favor of Patch. And the list can go on...

We asked for more business oriented storylines and corporate intrigue. What we did not ask for was that these stories would be centered around newbies like Genevieve and Patch.

We asked for more family and romance. What did not ask for was Jill's ever changing paternity, bringing on every aged kid of every character on the show played by some vapid actor as "mad at the world."

We asked for this show to get back to its roots. What we did not ask for was it to become Passions of The Port Charles Sunset Beach.

We asked for this show to focus on core characters. What we did not ask for was the cast to be filled up with every out of work ABC and P&G actor.

We asked for Drama and suspense. We did not ask for Lifetime movies of the week tales, that are even worse then the actual films.

We understood that the show needs to be on air and remain on air for as long as it can. We understood that Y&R needs press. But we did not ask for every out of work 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's sitcom star to have a guest role or short-term stint on Y&R just to get in Entertainment Weekly or People Magazine. If your writing can't do the job, then it is a wash.

Now with 3 hacks writing this show into the ground (don't let them Emmy's fool you Hogan), what can be done?

Well, just call Sally Sussman Morina or better yet, I would beg Agnes Nixon to come over to the show as a favor to her deceased friend and former co-worker Bill Bell. Then you just do an entire reset. Coma storyline can reset the show all the way back to 2007. And from there we can build tales that actually are what put the Y and R in The Young and The Restless.

Until, then ain't no hope.

Cyberologist's picture
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I've been disappointed with the writing of Sharon Newman but I can barely watch the show & haven't for a few months...I get tired of trying to "save the genre" by watching when the shows aren't doing their part by trying to save the show in their writing its like they purposely write the shows to fail.

Ryan-Scott's picture
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Sharon went to the point of no return for me when she hooked up with Adam after what he had done. It's sad to me because I like Sharon Case as an actress but Sharon Collins, the character, is ruined for me. I think the character should leave Genoa City for awhile.

Mel_O's picture
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With everyone suggesting Sharon's character be written off the show, whether it be temporary or permanent, maybe THAT was MAB's agenda all along.

SavePortChuck's picture
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Case's addiction to spray tan isn't helping matters.

Ryan-Scott's picture
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It's sad to me that Doris aka "Mom" has never checked Sharon like a piece of homework for all this crap. Doris always seemed like the only one who could get thru to her.

Restless Fan's picture
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Great article. I'm not sure either can be fixed. Perhaps under a deep commitment by all parties involved. Y&R is a shell of show. For quite a while MAB was riding the coat tails of better writers before her but those coat tails have run out. This show has her signature all over it and it stinks to high hell. Now she is ruining Nikki is this god awful storyline with Victor and Sharon. Why the Bell family lets her get away with it is beyond me. IMO they are ALL part of the problem.

Member since:
6 July 2010
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It can all be fixed! Smile

1. Fire the current writing team- reinstall as many of Bill Bell's people as possible with some younger blood that will actually take the time to learn and CARE!

2. Do a contaminated water supply story. Something (it could be natural) has been poisoning the water supply for MANY years causing EVERYONE to act out of character. Characters become themselves again.

3. Restore Jill & the Chancellor family. It's the link to the beginning and the only family left from the first decade of Y&R. At least one Phillip Chancellor (III and/or IV) should carry on. Recast if need be. Have a new re-cast Mac return, or SORAS her son. Remember Jill's original motivation, she may be a Fenmore or whatever, but she grew up poor- have her lead on with what she has gained in experience and wealth to lead her AND Kay/Brocks family into the future. It's not ALL about Newman.

4. Get rid of unneeded Newbies. The newbies should be younger legacy characters, or love interests for our long time Y&R veteran core characters. We don't need a Tucker, Sarge, and Carmine (even though he's cute) etc. Cast a young hottie for Chance/Phillip4.

The_Moustache's picture
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they've continued to destroy and dismantle the Sharon character while every damn week we've been getting some ridiculous Phyllis propping to make her look like a saint/heroine/victim.

soapjunkie88's picture
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3 July 2008
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Mel_O wrote:
With everyone suggesting Sharon's character be written off the show, whether it be temporary or permanent, maybe THAT was MAB's agenda all along.

I couldn't agree more. You have to know by now that MAB must be hating Sharon Case. And I have to say that SC is really one of the most professional people in this business. She stays classy and doesn't go to the mags and publicly complains about her situation.

People that keep wanting the character gone are doing exactly what MAB wants. This spring it was Eileen Davidson ... in the fall it could be Sharon Case that is "let go". Just sayin'.

Member since:
20 December 2009
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Hmm, I've never seen Sharon as the "heroine" of Y&R. Evah.

But she's definitely not a vixen either. I just can't imagine the Sharon who wsa horrified by Nick's betrayal with Phyllis thinking it would be okay to do her former father in law....

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david46208 wrote:
@everyone: "It's a soap opera" -- The only people who say that are desperate to defend bad writing or deal with it for fear of losing the soap. Also there are those few people actually enjoy this mess. But it is what it is.

From what I can see most "the few people" enjoying the mess are hard core actor fans who followed the one they love and covet from another show. No matter how awful the character, or story, they love it as long as their actor is employed. They are over represented online, the vast majority of viewers follow the show, not one actor's career.

I could see how some Phyllis & Victor fans would be happy because those characters are on ALL the time. But I don't think MAB's done their characters any favors. I used to love watching both characters, now I fast- forward them.

Member since:
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Ryan-Scott-Glad you remembered Doris, too... Innocent

Member since:
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I am so disgusted with this show that I cannot at all stomach it. How MAB is still in charge is BEYOND me! Brad Bell is letting his father's legacy die a painful death and he needs to tell her, "I think it's time to invite someone else in." Not that B&B is any better with the dominating Trifecta!

I used to love Sharon but the damage they have done to this character is basically irrepairable at this point! The ONLY way they can repair this is by making her realize she need a 12 step Co-Dependency Program and to figure out why she is the way she is. She needs to express her anger at Nick and his lording over her and telling her how to run her life when his isn't that much better. She needs to find her Dad and understand why he left her.

I could see some AWESOME scene with Doris talking about her father. Sharon dealing with the idea of seeing her father and being scared as an adult and not understanding anything but looking at how Cassie must have been scared as child, talking to Heather....stuff for Sharon to figure out Sharon!

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pennywise555 wrote:
david46208 wrote:
@everyone: "It's a soap opera" -- The only people who say that are desperate to defend bad writing or deal with it for fear of losing the soap. Also there are those few people actually enjoy this mess. But it is what it is.

From what I can see most "the few people" enjoying the mess are hard core actor fans who followed the one they love and covet from another show. No matter how awful the character, or story, they love it as long as their actor is employed. They are over represented online, the vast majority of viewers follow the show, not one actors career

ITA and That doesn't just apply to Y&R by the way.

Ever since Sharon got involved with Adam it's all been crap. Sleeping with 3 men was understandable. She was undergoing a nervous breakdown. Putting her with her babys kidnapper and her choosing him over her daughter was disgusting. I don't care how much alleged chemistry SC and MM had.

Sharon needs a long trip off canvas. Send her to an ashram or somewhere and bring her back in a year. And no more bed hopping.

Cordelia Chase's picture
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Even though I no longer watch Y & R, I keep up with via this site and Soap Opera Digest. When I was watching the show, however, Sharon was one of my least favorite characters. That had nothing to do with Sharon Case, who I think is a good actress, but because of how the character was written.

Nick was constantly putting Sharon on a pedestal, and it was inevitable that she would say or do something that would cause her to fall from it. Sharon, in my opinion, often acted like Nick was her savior or that she was somehow unworthy to be with him. Nikki treated Sharon like crap, which I never understood, because even though Sharon came from the wrong side of the tracks, at least she was never a stripper. Victoria also disliked Sharon, but back then, Victoria was full of herself, intolerant, insufferable, and played by a much more appropriate actress (no offense to AH, whom I LOVED as Steffi on Loving and as Mia on AMC).

With Nick, Sharon was a perpetual victim, and that got old really fast.

I thought Sharon's relationships with Brad and Adam were gross, convoluted, inappropriate, and unnecessary. Y & R has a lot more cast members than B & B. Does one woman really have to go through every man in a family, or the men who are involved with that same family?

I really loved Sharon with Jack. I thought their relationship was adult and both of them had their eyes open as to whom the other truly was. Also, I believe Peter Bergman brought out the best in Case. He's such an amazing actor, and she really shined when she was paired with him. I can't help but think about his reaction when Jack saw Sharon walk through the door after believing she had died in the plane crash, OMG. I loved them together.

This ish with Victor...I can't. I don't even want to know.

Sharon doesn't need to be the new Brooke Logan. She's already been raped, beaten, kidnapped, had a child die, had a child stillborn, had a child stolen, etc. I never saw her as the heroine as the show, just one of the leading players. She's also never been a vixen like Brooke. She's certainly no Marlena.

What Sharon does deserve, however, is a legitimate chance, and certainly better writing.

Ryan-Scott's picture
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SwanQueen59 Beer

MsAgentProvocateur1's picture
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david46208 wrote:
We asked for more family and romance.
Unfortunately we also got family dating and romancing each other.

And I agree with Ryan-Scott-- they lost me when they had Sharon get mixed up with Adam.

And Jillian has mentioned what I've been thinking all along: Sharon is no vixen, and for MAB and her crew to try to shift her into one, has been an utterly ridiculous FAIL! First of all the writing is not good or convincing enough, second of all based on William J. Bell's characterization of the Sharon character, she was clearly meant to be a flawed but decent heroine, the kind that an audience would root for.
On this show though, it's not just Sharon that's become so unlikeable, it's EVERYBODY on this show.

I watched a few clips over the past month (after not watching for almost 3 years) and there was not one character that I didn't want to SMACK. I was so irritated with everyone. Lauren was getting on my nerves and not in a good way, like she used to get on people's nerves in the 80s but back then she had some Diva-licious Flavor! Now, you just want to smack some sense into her hair-sprayed to death head!

This show can be fixed but THE CLOCK IS TICKING! They need to do a bit of housekeeping. Start with the writing staff. Then look at the cast and trim the fat.

As for the SHARON character, HERE'S HOW I'D REHAB HER CHARACTER:

As I understand, they didn't show scenes of Victor and Sharon inflagranti delicto, so I would 'create' a flashback where they show that Sharon and Victor DIDN'T do the DEED. Perhaps he carried her upstairs and in the midst of kissing, SHE SAY'S NICK'S which KILLS THE MOOD, they stop in their tracks. Sharon attempts to explain, Victor pretends it doesn't bother him and tells Sharon, he believes they can eventually move past this but the awkward feelings remain. This can also provide extra incentive for Victor to leave Sharon sitting in jail with Nikki-- he's still somewhat upset about what didn't happen in the bedroom.

I hear the BREAK-UP is imminent anyway, so why not have that be part of the reason for the breakup, as well as the fact that they were never right for each other in the first place!

I'd REVEAL THE FLASHBACK, when SHARON is SITTING IN A PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE, telling the Doctor about what happened. Have her begin therapy. Perhaps, the Psych can Flush out her DADDY Issues. In the Right Hands, there could be some great PIVOTAL DRAMATIC MOMENTS. She could talk about getting Pregnant in her teens, why she chose to hide it from her first husband, the Rape by Matt Clarke-- the fact that she never got counseling then. Eventually she could make the connection with her feelings of inadequacy, promiscuity and spiraling after Cassie's death and marital break up into the mess that she represents. The Psych could make the connection to Sharon's absent father and encourage her to explore those emotions.

Y&R NEEDS to do SOMETHING Momentous (a Judith Light/OLTL moment) to FIX this MESS. These Writers are the Wrong Ones to Write any show that wants to Survive though.

craigcp's picture
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Well, that's what I always thought they are make it so bad to wing people off like they did the other soaps, Y&R to far gone to save it, I believe it's dead soap walking.

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I'm glad someone mentioned Sharon with Jack. In some ways that relationship made the most sense for Sharon.I don't think Bergman and Case had great chemistry but Jack was sort of her safety net and security after losing Nick and Cassie and Jack adored Sharon. But I don't think either had blinders on when it came to what one meant to the other. Had they stayed together, I think Sharon would have matured into a much stronger character and it would have saved Jack from some of the nonsense he was put through.