The Cecily Controversy

Discuss the series, characters and episodes.

Postby Timothy » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:26 am

I like Molly's character. The problem is that it's not Cecily. Molly's character is not consistent with Montgomery's description of Cecily as having a mild temperment and acting more as peacekeeper. I think Molly would have been more accepted if her character was brought in as someone else entirely.
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Postby Miss Lewis » Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:16 am

I think “Christmas in June” caused a lot of problems for introducing the new Cecily. It is one of the few episodes that doesn’t take place in Avonlea. It is confusing to have a new actor introduced in a new setting. For most of the episode, the regular cast is absent. When I watch it, I enjoyed it but it didn’t seem to be connect to Avonlea. I didn’t think “here is Cecily played by a new actor” but rather “here is some girl that is also named Cecily” (Though I knew Molly was suppose to be Cecily King).

Honestly though, I don’t know if there was anyway to introduce Molly and have her accepted by most of us.

The whole “feel” of Avonlea was changing in season’s six and seven. The youth of Avonlea had dramatically changed. The lack of seeing Sarah, Gus and Sally Pots often, effected the whole mood of Avonlea. The additions of Nat Lester, Emma Bradly, Laura McDonald and others changed the feel of Avonlea. Cecily was just one of those changes. With all the other changes happening in Avonlea cast, the Cecily change seemed minor to me. Though it isn’t minor for a person to have a personality switch that drastic. (maybe her illness really did something to her---some diseases can change the temperament of a person. The disease must have changed her looks too :lol: ).

Both Molly and Harmony brought to life Cecily in different ways. The two different Cecilyes don’t mix. They are very opposite each other. This is one reason the transition between the two actors is hard. I like both Cecilyes…though I favor Molly. And yet I can’t imagine Avonlea without Harmony either.
Last edited by Miss Lewis on Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Timothy » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:53 am

The starlet database apparently can't tell the difference between the two. This is blasphemy!


Starlet Database - Molly Atkinson?
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Postby mjaclyn » Wed May 03, 2006 10:46 am

I really liked the original Cecily and it was very strange when they replaced her with a different actress. It seemed like they not only replaced Cecily with someone who really looked nothing like her but also completely changed her character. The new Cecily was totally different than the original character which (I think) ruined it for me a little bit.
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Postby Wild Roses » Thu May 11, 2006 5:13 pm

I was watching some Molly episodes today, and maybe it is just me, the new, revitalized Cecily comes across as a Anne-with-blond-hair. Sullivan does have a tendency to Shirleyize his characters and given that Davey never caught on with audiences, maybe that is why he remade Cecily the way that he did. (On the other hand, he never gave Cecily any of her own episodes while continuing to devote episodes to Davey.)
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Postby Shelly » Fri May 12, 2006 9:31 pm

Wild Roses wrote:I was watching some Molly episodes today, and maybe it is just me, the new, revitalized Cecily comes across as a Anne-with-blond-hair. Sullivan does have a tendency to Shirleyize his characters and given that Davey never caught on with audiences, maybe that is why he remade Cecily the way that he did. (On the other hand, he never gave Cecily any of her own episodes while continuing to devote episodes to Davey.)


Davey was just one big storyline thief, I say. *nod*

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Postby Matheson » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:46 am

We need to keep in mind that even though we can think that Harmony Cramp did not have the acting chops to do her role of Cecily, she did not get the chance to develop them. The writers of the series kept straying away from her character to focus on others. I've seen other show which gives at least one episode (one per season) to the other characters. We need to remember that Harmony did not get any episodes that focus on her Cecily. If they gave her at least one episode per season, she would have developed greatly. If she is considered a main character (she is on almost all the promotional posters and pictures), then she should have been given just as many character development opportunities as Zachary and Gema were.

Keep this in mind when thinking about which Cecily was better. Personally I like Harmony's Cecily.
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Postby Shelly » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:31 pm

Molly's acting skills + Harmony's overall look = perfect Cecily, IMO.

Matheson wrote:We need to remember that Harmony did not get any episodes that focus on her Cecily.


"Thursday's Child" was supposed to; but even then, most of the attention was fixed on Felicity's career change and how everyone else was affected by her illness. What about Cess herself?

Matheson also wrote:If she is considered a main character (she is on almost all the promotional posters and pictures), then she should have been given just as many character development opportunities as Zachary and Gema were.


While she may've been in the promotional material, she was never featured or listed in the opening credits, like most of the rest of those portraying the Kings were.

There are at least a couple of exceptions, however, IMO: RH Thomson as Jasper and Michael Mahonen as Gus. RH was listed as a "special guest star" in every episode he was in; but I'd dare say if you asked any RTA fan, they'd consider Jasper a somewhat major character (at least a supporting one). I also think most would say Gus was a major character, too (MM was a "special guest star" in the last two seasons; but in eps he was in from Seasons 2 through 5, his name would be listed in the middle, under "With...").

On the other hand, Cess was never a major character, not even when Molly played her...and she was a part of the King family! You'd see hers and Harmony's names* only in the closing credits.

* Molly was listed in the opening credits for "Christmas in June", "Homecoming", and HCMK/An Avonlea Christmas. But in the final season, she was listed solely in the closing credits.
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Postby Matheson » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:23 pm

I agree. Point is, she did not get a chance to develop because the writers wanted to focus on the other characters. If this could have been the case, her character would have become more like the Cecily from the books.
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Postby Shelly » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:03 pm

Ayuh; and in the books, Cess was an equal. *nods*
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Postby Matheson » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:08 pm

Shelly, your friend Beth on the Cecily section of your website said "She had about 1 line per episode and in some eps she doesn't talk at all except to say some trivial thing that was to the effect of 'It's not fair!' or 'Digger isn't stupid!'".

I agree with her. I'm pretty sure that the number times that she coughs in "Thursday's Child" at least doubles, triples, or even quadruples the number of lines that Harmony had in her Avonlea career.

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Postby Jody » Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:41 am

I did like Harmony Cramp better, when I watched Road to Avonlea the episodes weren't put in order (It went from Homecoming to So Dear to our Hearts) I wasn't into RtA that much and was channel surfing and caught the end of homecoming where you find out gus dies. I couldn't sleep all night after that. I was kind of glad the next day they skipped over all of season seven to the last episode I couldn't figure out who the blonde gil that was hanging around the king farm was. I think they should have followed the golden road instead of changing the actress, like the ending when Beverly says something about Cecily's feet never having left the Golden Road.
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Postby Shelly » Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:16 pm

So you think it would've been better if they killed off Cecily after S5?

I disagree. If she were killed off, I don't think it'd have done the series a lick of good, even though it would've been consistent with the books*, and even though neither actress who played Cecily ever realized their full potential and the role wasn't written convincingly to begin with. It would've gone in an entirely different direction, IMO.

* Although it's implied in The Golden Road that Cecily would die young, she is still alive at the end of the book.
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Postby Jody » Sat Mar 08, 2008 6:19 pm

Maybe so, but I would have rather they did that than change actresses. Could you explain how the series wouldve changed directions if Cecily had died? I can't picture how it would, and if it's explained to me I may change my opinion on it.
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Postby Shelly » Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:16 pm

Hrm, let's see...

You'd have the Kings in mourning and trying to cope with her death. Maybe some more regret from Alec and Janet for not paying as much attention to her while she was alive. Guilt from Felicity because she couldn't get help for her sister at a more appropriate time, and perhaps because she and Felix didn't always include her in their adventures.

I just think it would've dragged the morale and the mood of the show down for a while.
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