I don't usually just link to other posts here, but Soaphunks.net has assembled a really nice tribute to Don Diamont. If you visit, you'll see that the site's owner talks about the ways in which Diamont actually played a formative role in his life. More importantly, there is lots of classic Don to appreciate. Please visit!
Of all the characters on daytime, Brad's situation was perfectly set up to be the body that was never found. He slipped under the ice. It could have taken till Spring to be able to drag the lake...and by then what might have remained of the corpse? And Brad, nee George Kaplan, knows a thing or two about "dying" and coming back in a new persona.
See, I understand why you might have killed off Brad, even if I'm not totally happy about the decision.
He was on the backburner all of last year, so it is clear you didn't really have any story in mind for him
By some accounts, the character was destroyed by the -- ahem -- previous administration, when he was given a ridiculous on-the-run-from Nazis storyline
Moreover, the character compromised the integrity of much of the Y&R characters, because they were all accessories to crimes he committeed: Brad killed two men (one with his thighs), but nobody brought him to justice (even to report it as self-defense). Thus, the whole canvas was tainted.
Daytime is in a financial rut, so even your show probably has to lose some expensive veterans. Arguably, on Y&R, Don Diamont and Doug Davidson (sob) are currently the two most expendable veterans.
Killing Brad spins off a bunch of wonderful story. Sharon's guilt. Noah's Saving Private Ryan-style "Earn This" maturation. Deepening of Phyllis' guilt (she sent him to his death, in some ways). Colleen's turn to the dark side (will she disrupt Victoria and JT's marriage in the process?). Abby's resentment toward her bio-dad (Victor was awful to Brad) and of Eden...the bad girl who set some of this in motion by planning an illicit skating trip. Ashley's guilt for being unkind to Brad in his final days. So, lots of stories can (and, knowing you, WILL) spin off from this.
I'll bet you get sick of people asking when Victoria Rowell is coming back. After all, they never found the body. So, I'll bet that you decided to show the body, so that everyone knew Brad was really, truly dead.
Even as I understand all this, and even as I put handsome Diamont out of my mind for a moment, you so diabolically made Brad more interesting than ever these last few weeks. Fearing the loss of his daughter Abby to Victor. Thwarted desire for Sharon. Hot hate-chemistry with Phyllis. At loose ends in business. So much to develop here. The character of Brad was ripe for remaking under your pen, Maria.
So, I am sad that you decided to make this so final. Unlike your brother-in-law's soap, I can't even count on the possibility of a device like "That wasn't Brad...that was a wax doll substituted by an Arabian prince".
I shall miss Brad and Diamont. I hope that he will show up soon in a new venue. I congratulate you in spinning another fine tale. But I'm really sorry that you chose to make it final. But I'll keep watching every riveting chapter of your story. Because you and your team are that good. I have put my trust in your storytelling abilities. There is no denying, if you're gonna kill off a veteran, this is the way to do it!
Giving this finality to Brad was wrong. At least, that's what my heart says. But I still love you, Y&R. See you tomorrow!
In my day job, I'm a behavioral scientist and statistician with a particular interest in aging and gerontology. At night, I'm a fervent soap student. That these two threads of my life should come together in daytime soaps, a dying and aging breed with principle appeal to an aging audience, is well...beautifully ironic. Studying the history of soaps also offers a lens into the culture and environments of the 20th century that shaped our older cohorts, and their subsequent generations.
I am a long-time soap fan who started young. Grandma babysat me, and our afternoons were filled with General Hospital and All My Children instead of playgrounds :-). I really found my niche in the late 70s and early 80s with the ABC lineup (AMC through GH). I started with Y&R in 1973, so I'm a lifer, and B&B in 1987, but I often have to hold my nose on that one.