Who Needs Women In Their 40s Anyway?
I don't think anyone has ever been under the impression that it's easy to age as a daytime actress, but oy vey, what a run we're having of shows letting talented middle-aged actresses go. I don't know what's going on on other shows, but on the two I watch anyone with boobs over the age of 35* has got to feel a bit uneasy. (* This phrasing may make it sound as though I believe there are any boobs on daytime that are older than 35, which is of course crazy talk. There are still a few women who have passed that landmark, however. A few.)
[A couple of these exits haven't happened onscreen yet, so if you believe that kind of info is spoiler-y, don't check out the rest of this post after the cut. There is no detailed plot info.]
General Hospital recently dropped Jackie Zeman (yes, I know she's beyond her 40s...) to recurring, which to be honest didn't really bother me much. Bobbie hasn't been front and center in ages, so the showrunners might as well be honest that she's peripheral now. (Plus, there's the scary surgery thing. Seriously, it's traumatizing.)
Then this last week Robin Christopher's Skye left town. I read, I think in Soap Opera Digest, that Christopher asked to be let out of her contract in order to spend time with her husband (the dreamy Matt Crane -- Another World 4evrOMG!!11!!1!) and kids, but I wonder whether she would have done that if the writers had let Skye do anything interesting in the last three or four years. (Before anyone points out my hypocrisy, in that over a year ago I suggested GH throw Skye under the bus in favor of bringing back Laura . . . In my defense, Luke and Laura make me do crazy things. For example, my lingering affection for those two characters is probably the only reason I still watch this horrible show.)
At least Robin Christopher will no longer be subject to the whims of the GH wardrobe department. Because damn, they were out to get her. So have fun being all gorgeous and familial in clothes made of natural fibers, Robin Christopher! You were way too good for this crap-pile anyway.
And other than the last couple of weeks (love you, replacement writers!), GH has a whole slew of non-20ish actresses they don't utilize well enough, with Jane Elliot's Tracy and Nancy Lee Grahn's Alexis (never forget how much Grahn rocks) at the top of the list. If I have to write a "they've been auf'd!" post about either of them anytime soon, I am going to get out the pointy-toed pumps and head to LA.
And then there's Days. Oh, Days. Siiigh. Is this show out to get me? First they bring back the highly irritating John Black (though now he's bitchy and hates Marlena, so we may be on our way to being BFF), then I read in SOD that they've let the crazy-gorgeous and talented Julie Pinson go. We just named her daytime's Most Underused Actress in our best and worst of 2007, and then bang, she's canned! In my little imaginary world I'm going to pretend they decided they couldn't continue to employ someone who had such intense chemistry with every single guy she ever shared a scene with, including the two dudes playing her brothers. Perhaps the show had been threatened with an Inappropriate Chemistry letter-writing campaign. Hopefully Julie Pinson and her hot husband will both end up with juicy roles on shows where they are better utilized. (Though I think Billy Warlock has now been on every single show, hasn't he?)
But Days wasn't done yet -- per SOD, Judi Evans is also off
the show. I was so excited for Adrienne's return, and I think Evans
did a great job in the role. She and Stephen Nichols are one of the best brother-sister combos I've ever seen on a soap. But since Justin wasn't part of the deal
and their four kids remained invisible, I suppose she wasn't long for
Salem. Why not, though? There is a great story or twelve to be told
involving Victor and his attempts to control his many heirs. Maybe the
recently freed up by GH and ATWT** Wally Kurth could have returned as
Justin, to become Victor's greatest rival? (My other idea, to bring Tom Eplin on as Justin,
will sadly now never happen either.) In conflict maybe even with one
or more of his kids? You can never get enough of Kiriakis angst or John Aniston's mustache. I
think that was one of Doug Marland's rules, wasn't it?
Anyway, farewell, Judi. May you land somewhere else in daytime, this time preferably somewhere without a talking dog.
Friday, news broke that one might think throws my anti-middle-aged-woman hypothesis out of the water: Per Soap Opera Digest's website, Days has hired Tamara Braun,*** to play "Ava, a woman from Steve's past." Fortunately, this actually doesn't prove me wrong at all, since Tamara Braun is a mere 37 and she looks like she's about 24. It would appear, however, that Pinson and Evans (and perhaps others?) had to be removed in order to make room for the return of Hogestyn and the Days debut of Braun, which is unfortunate. I get that the budget is tight, but couldn't the show have first tried paring down Kate's Forever 21 and drugstore hair color allowances, or -- as one of our readers once suggested about Jason Thompson as a GH cost-cutting measure -- eliminating James Scott's wardrobe altogether? As a viewer I would be willing to accept these tough choices.
** Per forums posters CarlD and smirks, ATWT is in the midst of a bloodbath of its own -- men, women, children, and pets being cast aside with abandon. What gives? People keep telling me this is actually a decent show. Is that maybe really just residual affection over the cute gay boys?
*** It is worth noting that when I emailed Mallory about this casting news, she responded entirely in exclamation points and jibberish. I still haven't decided if that was a positive or negative reaction.