Man, I am rewatching the introduction of Carly in 1996 and it is so good! They CLEARLY had a story planned out in advance, and the character of Carly was so brilliantly played by Sarah Brown. A few observations:
* Carly was so much smarter about people back then—to a point. She quickly figured out what everyone wanted and gave it to them, and it only started to collapse when her own lies and insecurities caught up to her.
* Her introduction to the other characters is almost flawless—almost like a newly created flashback. Her first meeting with Jason is scored to “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Ethridge! In her first meeting with AJ Quartermaine, there’s a little flicker of something between them. Maybe not a plan for them, but the show made it a point to introduce these two legacy characters without forcing it.
* Oh my god, Tony is such a terrible husband. I watched this the first time, but with a modern sensibility it’s even WORSE. He doesn’t respect Bobbie personally or professionally and has no self awareness. He gives Carly $5,000 to pay for nursing school—in front of Bobbie, without discussing it with Bobbie—and then gets all whiny when Bobbie brings up the clear conflict of interest (she’s the head of the nursing program AND paying for a student she must evaluate??)—not to mention not giving away thousands of dollars without talking to your spouse first! But. Even though terrible, it was totally believable and relatable—it didn’t feel “not Tony,” who was often totally self righteous.
* Jason really was crap to Robin AND Carly, he deserves to have her meddling after all these years.