Stuart McRae

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Timothy
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Post by Timothy » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:18 am

Miss Lewis wrote:Why do we dislike or in some cases hate Stuart so much?

When I first saw Stuart, I wasn’t impressed. When I realized he was trying to court Felicity, my dislike for him was set. Why? Why did I decide so quickly I didn’t like him. Reading here and in another forum, I’ve realized I’m not alone in my dislike for him.

On reflection, this is my conclusion. I’m bios against his looks and age. He’s not handsome and he looks old. At his age, he could hang out with Felicity’s father. This is the root of my dislike for him. If the a younger and handsomer man had come and courted Felicity, I might have given him a chance. This is ugly reflection on myself, I’m bios to looks (at least on tv show). I’m not alone in this bios. Some RTA Fans have talked about how cute is Michael Mahonen (Gus) is. This tells me looks do count.
Stuart is pushed into the 'Lazor Wolf' role in 'Fiddler on the Roof,' of the older man marrying a younger woman as a result of family/societal pressure. Felicity is pressured into marrying Stuart largely because it's what was expected during that time when there were fewer opportunities for women outside of marriage. Sadly, I think the age and looks factor does play a role for me too, partly because I'm looking at this from a 21st century perspective; and also, because Stuart is not a dynamic character. He's rather boring. It also doesn't help that an adult David Ferry's character was in a scene with the young Felicity in 'Felicity's Challenge.' Many of us didn't forget that scene and this actor pairing in the 7th season created instinctive negative reactions. It seemed wrong.
Miss Lewis wrote: Gus Pike, also, had a personality that won me over. Stuart lacked this. If Stuart had won me over with his personality, I could have overlooked his age and looks. Summary of Stuart personality: Banker, likes Felicity, likes kids, likes Felicity, cares about his friends, and likes Felicity. Stuart never won me over. He never convinced me that he had a passion for anything but Felicity.

In real life, personality and honesty are a very important factor in whom I choose to associate myself with. I don’t choose friends by how they look. I choose them by how they act and who they are. I try not to be bios against looks, though if someone looks like shady character I avoid them for my own safety. If Felicity was my friend in real life, I would advise her to follow her heart. If her heart said Stuart then Stuart it is. Yet on a tv show, I have different standards. The Romantic interest should be charismatic and/or handsome. There must be drama and tension in the romance. Felicity/Stuart's romance lack these things. Am I terrible for having double standards for tv show and real life? I don’t know.
I don't think it's terrible. We're conditioned to have expectations in dramatic presentations such as tv, books, theatre, etc; and Stuart ultimately fails our expectations of what a classic rival should be. There doesn't seem to be a purpose in drama of having a protagonist unless they can create strong dramatic conflicts that pull the main characters together with a satisfying resolution. We didn't get that with Stuart. In 'So Dear to My Heart,' he goes out with a whimper and is quickly ushered out of town for the wedding. In the end, Stuart is simply a place holder. Someone who passes time until Michael Mahonen agrees to return for the one or two episodes agreed in his contract. Stuart just didn't have a history. He didn't have good character development and it seemed like he came out of nowhere. It also seemed like he was pushed on us and nobody likes that.

They missed an opportunity by not having Arthur return as a rival. He had the history with Felicity and the fierce rivalry with Gus, obviously still unresolved by his stalking behavior at the end of 'Felicity's Perfect Beau.'

Miss Lewis wrote: The Truth is Stuart never won us over by his looks, age, or personality. He was doomed to lose Felicity even before he began. Of course, anyone who loved Felicity was doom to failure once Gus Pike returned.

My favorite Stuart quote: Return to me?

Stuart she’s lost to you forever, she always was.

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Post by Miss Lewis » Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:52 am

Stuart is pushed into the 'Lazor Wolf' role in 'Fiddler on the Roof,' of the older man marrying a younger woman as a result of family/societal pressure
I never liked 'Lazor Wolf'’ either. Now I know why. I disliked his looks, age and lack of personality too. And that he stood in the way of true love. Lazor Wolf, at least, was minor character and didn’t have as much screen time as Stuart.

Did they design Stuart to be disliked? Is that why they avoided giving him a personality? Did they want us to dislike him? If so, I think they over did it.
There doesn't seem to be a purpose in drama of having a protagonist unless they can create strong dramatic conflicts that pull the main characters together with a satisfying resolution. We didn't get that with Stuart
Well stated. Stuart didn’t help build Felicity and Gus relationship as a well written rival should. I am not so much against Stuart as I am against what he failed to do. He failed in being a great rival.
In 'So Dear to My Heart,' he goes out with a whimper and is quickly ushered out of town for the wedding.
Truthfully, I’m glad Stuart wasn’t at the wedding. Do you know how awkward it would be to introduce him? “this is Stuart McRae--the ex-groom”.
They missed an opportunity by not having Arthur return as a rival. He had the history with Felicity and the fierce rivalry with Gus, obviously still unresolved by his stalking behavior at the end of 'Felicity's Perfect Beau.

I agree. I’ve always felt Arthur was better rival then Stuart. At least we could get a punch fight out of Arthur. Stuart doesn’t even say goodbye to Felicity face to face before he leaves town. Also, I would loved to see Felicity redeem her behavior in “Felicity Perfect Beau”. At that end of that episode, she tells Sara that she “can’t forget about Arthur”. If Arthur had been the love interest in last season, I would love to see Felicity drop everything, Arthur included, to go find Gus.

Well, even though I’m not impressed by Stuart, at least I understand better why I dislike him as Felicity love interest.

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Post by Shelly » Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:51 pm

Timothy wrote:They missed an opportunity by not having Arthur return as a rival. He had the history with Felicity and the fierce rivalry with Gus, obviously still unresolved by his stalking behavior at the end of 'Felicity's Perfect Beau.'
Here, here.

I would've been much happier with Arthur re-challenging for Felicity's affections (even though I think--ultimately--he's better suited for Sara). It would've made a helluva lot more sense, given their past history and whatnot.

Actually, I'm somewhat surprised he wasn't lurking about in regards to Felicity and Gus after FPB. Ever notice that after FPB, when Arthur is involved in an episode, said episode is also Felicity-free, except for "Comings and Goings" and "Otherwise Engaged" (and even then, Arthur and Felicity don't interact with each other)?

I think another reason why I didn't like the Stuart/Felicity storyline is because it somewhat mirrored the Anne/Morgan Harris arc in Anne 2, or even the Anne/Roy Gardiner one in the Anne books. Felicity is presented with her "ideal man" (someone well-to-do, handsome (though I don't think Stuey is handsome at all), etc.) and then has to decide between her "ideal man" or the man who has always loved her, even when she was too stubborn and headstrong to realize it.

The difference between these two couples, to me, is that with Anne and Morgan, they never got engaged (although she'd come close to accepting his proposal); she was starting to realize she did have feelings for Gil. With Felicity, her feelings for Gus were already there; and if she found out he was alive (which she did), she would take the necessary steps to go back to him. But, IMO, she had to surpress those feelings of love for Gus after she accepted Stuart's proposal in "Love May Be Blind..." (and yes, I also think she was virtually forced into it, especially by Janet). As I said before, I don't believe she loved Stuart, and she certainly wasn't in love with him. She just accepted his ring to appease everyone else.
Miss Lewis wrote:Did they design Stuart to be disliked? Is that why they avoided giving him a personality? Did they want us to dislike him? If so, I think they over did it.
I kinda think they did.
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Post by katie » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:20 am

Shelly, have I told you lately that I love you? ;)

My thoughts are EXACTLY with what you said.
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Post by Miss Lewis » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:09 am

I, too, am surprise that Arthur wasn’t Lurking around. Weird how he is so determined to have one dance with Felicity (in Hearts and Flowers) and then doesn’t even say hello to her in Comings and Goings. I guess Arthur got over Felicity
Felicity is presented with her "ideal man" (someone well-to-do, handsome (though I don't think Stuey is handsome at all), etc.) and then has to decide between her "ideal man" or the man who has always loved her
I don’t think Stuart was Felicity's Ideal man. Timothy stated well when he said Stuart was a place holder. He was a place holder in Felicity life. He brought a place where she could find love and comfort. A place to find peace from the pain. I can’t see Stuart as her ideal. Could you explain in more detail why you think he is her ideal?

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Post by Shelly » Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:15 pm

I just mean "ideal" in that he was well-off, a professional (banker), and could be perceived as handsome (though, like I said, I don't think Stu was handsome at all), not to mention he could more than take care of Felicity. Gus, on the other hand, while he was definitely much more handsome than Stu, was--for all intents and purposes--nothing more than a sailor/hotel bus boy who lived in an old lighthouse and would've had to work twice as hard to take care of Felicity.

I was also keeping in mind Felicity's comment from (IIRC) season three, when she tells Sara, "I intend to set my sights higher than a dirt-covered boy who lives in an old lighthouse." A banker is certainly "higher" in status than a sailor/hotel bus-boy.
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Post by katie » Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:51 am

Her romantic ideal was Arthur, granted unicorns in the sea is a little too off for my tastes.
Her "status" ideal was Stuart, as Shelly so eloquently stated.
Her all together ideal and realization of her true love was Gus, of course.
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Post by Miss Lewis » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:16 pm

Thanks for the explanation Shelly.
Her romantic ideal was Arthur, granted unicorns in the sea is a little too off for my tastes.
Her "status" ideal was Stuart, as Shelly so eloquently stated.
Her all together ideal and realization of her true love was Gus, of course.
Well stated Katie. I see what you both mean now. I have trouble seeing Stuart as anyone ideal but then I’m not to impressed by Stuart.

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Post by Miss Lewis » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:55 am

Here’s a great old thread examining Stuart. This thread help me to see I wasn’t alone in my dislike of Stuart even though he’s a nice guy. It is sad how nice guys don’t always get the girl and thus the Stuart story is a sad one. If you have not read this thread, sometime you should…it’s an fun read.

I have some more comments to add about Stuart and some things to discuss about him.

I had forgotten how fast the romance between Stuart and Felicity happen. In the first episode that we meet Stuart, he’s already proposing to Felicity.

I find very funny that, when Felicity turns him down the first time, he almost runs out of town. Ah---this is foreshadowing of things to come. Stuart was always destined to run out of town if things weren’t going right between him and Felicity. If Gus hadn’t been discovered, it would be terribly funny to see Felicity's and Stuart's first fights. I think Stuart would be using his frequent trains miles a lot.

No wonder I have trouble accepting Stuart has possible match for Felicity. Before I had a chance to warm up to him, the story has him proposing. Thus, he is set up for a rival against Gus Pike’s “ghost”. If the Stuart romance was strung out over several episodes, I "might" have warm up to him (provided he had some personality given to him).

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Post by Timothy » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:33 am

Stuart needed to be a major protagonist to rival Gus. That would have made his brief stay in Avonlea epic, meaningful and interesting. The writers/producers didn't do that and that's why nobody cares about Stuart except for the occasional pity remarks. Weak writing and weak character in my opinion.

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Post by AvFan4vr » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:21 am

Wow! Five whole pages on Stuart! It was a fun read.


I'll have to admit, I don't mind Stuart that much. He's not a favorite character, but he's okay. I liked him the best in "The Last Hurrah". I thought that it was neat how he was all for saving Avonlea from the clutches of Carmody even though he hadn't live in Avonlea for too much longer than a year?.

I don't know if Felicity loved him... I think that she was oh... not intrigued. That's too extreme! ~laughs~ I guess it's somewhere in between intrigued and interested.

I actually like Stuart better than I like Arthur.

At the beginning of Return to Me, I kind of wonder if Felicity was having a few seconds thoughts on her decision to marry Stuart.

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Re: Stuart McRae

Post by alaria22 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:47 am

just rewatched whole series second time round. even though Felicity belonged with Gus, I found that Stuart was more my type. I though he was certainly more expressive in his emotions than Gus, expecially the way he looked at her. I would have married Stuart lol. But hey a man with a strong build always won me over the thinly type like Gus.

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Re:

Post by hannikan » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:15 pm

Miss Lewis wrote:If Gus hadn’t been discovered, it would be terribly funny to see Felicity's and Stuart's first fights. I think Stuart would be using his frequent trains miles a lot.
Ha, so true! I think this is why he is commonly perceived as being kind of selfish and immature... hello?! What about the Avonlea Bank and trying to help the community? Sort of reminds one of Felicity herself when she's a teen and didn't get what she wanted running up to her room and locking the door. And here is he is 40 something...he said himself he'd devoted his whole adult life to his career. Although he wanted to be a husband/father now and help the orphans, it seemed like he had a hard time transitioning from thinking only of himself. If he didn't he would have listened better to Felicity and not pushed her.
Miss Lewis wrote:No wonder I have trouble accepting Stuart has possible match for Felicity. Before I had a chance to warm up to him, the story has him proposing.
Yes, absolutely. I did like Stuart as a friend/partner in running the foundling home not really as a suitor until he jumped the gun so fast with proposing. If anything he needed to take it slower than normal given Felicity's fragile emotional state. Yes, it had been a year but she'd lost the man she'd loved since adolescence who'd help shape the woman she became. In all fairness Stuart didn't know all that, to him a year probably seemed like enough time. The only reason I could see Felicity maybe falling for Stuart is his similarities to Gus (yes, I know there aren't many). He alluded to being somewhat of an orphan, his mother died when he was young (like Gus) and his father was kind of a deadbeat. I think that tugged at Felicity's heart. In that way he was like cold Gus warmed over (a inferior version).
Miss Lewis wrote: Thus, he is set up for a rival against Gus Pike’s “ghost”. If the Stuart romance was strung out over several episodes, I "might" have warm up to him (provided he had some personality given to him).
Yeah, clearly we're not supposed to like Stuart too much or the ending would be too sad since he gets dropped pretty quickly. This is why I don't think someone like Seth Pritchard would be a good replacement. Considering Gema wanted out of the show after the 6th season because she'd started university, I think the limited number of episodes she agreed to do had a lot to do with how much time Stuart and Felicity had together, too.
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Re: Stuart McRae

Post by hannikan » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:28 pm

As for the Arthur rivalry I think that would have rehashed too much of what we'd already seen. I think they did leave things hanging a bit at the end of FPB that would allow for him to try again but ultimately Felicity was very firm in her position to let him go. I think it would have made Arthur an unlikeable character to have him return to try to win Felicity after Gus's death (any character no matter how handsome and charismatic would have been hated at that position) and I think the writers didn't want Arthur to be unlikeable at that point. He was already disliked by most viewers when he was a rival because we had already invested in Felicity and Gus but he had developed other likable qualities and relationships since then. He would have become even more unlikeable in S7 than he was originally. I think the only character that would have been a possible replacement for Gus (I don't think of Stuart as a rival because he's really never a rival to Gus only a possibility if there is no Gus) would have been Seth Pritchard because he had also lost his wife. But I think that the writers were setting things up in Homecoming and OOTA so that that's what we expected. It would have been too predictable and then too sad when Gus was found. Seth was a very likable person who the audience already had a lot of sympathy for. I don't think Felicity would have had any interest in Stuart at all just for his status. She'd already turned her back on factoring status into romance in rejecting Arthur because she loved Gus. I think the real thing that drew her in was his concern for the orphans and his story that reminded her of Gus. I think the one who was thinking of Stuart's status was Janet. She hoped that since Felicity's romantic ideal (Gus) was gone the comfortable status Stuart had would make up for him being older, not attractive and a little dull.
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Re: Stuart McRae

Post by AvonleaMom » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:59 pm

Excellent analysis, Hannikan!

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