Within the last year or two, I've coined a term that I think applies to many facets of life but has its roots in "nerdom." That term is "The Lazenby Effect."
Sean Connery owned the role of James Bond for five movies before finally stepping away from the role. Almost universally loved to this day, there was no one who could fill the shoes left by Sean Connery effectively. Roger Moore went on to fill the role successfully in his own way for quite some time, but could he have immediately followed Connery and been as successful?
I doubt the decision was conscious on the part of the producers, but in retrospect, there's a bit of wisdom in choosing someone like George Lazenby to take over for Sean Connery in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." Choosing someone who is essentially an unknown and quite different from Connery served to facilitate an acceptance of someone else on the part of the viewers and fans. Roger Moore could not follow Connery, but he couldn't help but look great following Lazenby.
I know...I know...technically Moore did follow Connery since Connery came back for "Diamonds Are Forever." But, the Lazenby Effect was already taking place and people remembered that there were worse options than Roger Moore.
In order to keep Lazenby from killing off the franchise, there was another wise decision on the part of the producers. Padding that casting choice with a solid script and supporting cast (Telly Savalas and Diana Rigg) actually turned Lazenby's Bond into one of the best 007 movies ever produced.
So, for the Lazenby Effect to take place, you need the following...
1. Someone or something in the public eye that is generally well-liked or revered. 2. That someone or something will be going away. 3. That someone or something is replaced with a new someone or something that is obviously inferior. 4. The new someone or something is surrounded with outside substantial support. 5. The new someone or something is replaced yet again by someone or something that is better than the current option, but maybe still not as good as the original.
The Lazenby Effect is out there and come in all kinds of situations. When something is a tough act to follow, I wonder why we try at all. Why not stick a buffer in there and enact the Lazenby Effect?