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« Coming Soon! | Main | Beacon Hill, Season 2 Episode 2 »

April 18, 2020

Beacon Hill: Six Years or Six Seconds


Oh hi there! Long time no see. Anything interesting happen since last we spoke on here? The world's been pretty uneventful, eh? Beacon Hill is miraculously back, a thing we truly thought might never happen despite our certainty in 2014 that it would happen in 2015. But here we are in 2020, an otherwise entirely un-noteworthy year in history.

This was a ride, y'all! I could've done the normal thing and just rewatched the first season in preparation for this, but instead I just read my own recaps and was still pretty lost. To make things crazier, multiple characters have been recast, including the two leads! Is it not enough that everything seems at least mildly surreal in the midst of a pandemic and almost-nationwide lockdown? The answer is no, no, it's not enough. I suspect this all came down to actor availability and not anybody getting the boot, since most of the replaced actors still seem cheerful and excited about the new season. So we'll forgive it! Either way, we should forgive anything in life that puts more Nadia Bjorlin on our TV screens.

In a brilliant but equally disorienting (lest you think this post about it is going to clarify anything for you if you're lost!) move, the "previouslies" that opened the new season included clips from the first season BUT WITH THE REPLACEMENT ACTORS EDITED IN. Has anyone ever done this before? I liked it, even though it made me feel like the brownies I ate this afternoon weren't just innocent brownies. So let's see what we can parse.

Sara Preston, one of the two lead characters (at least that's how priorities broke down in the first season), was played by Known Soap Person Alicia Minshew in Season One. Sara is now being played by Known Soap Person Nadia Bjorlin.


Sara's brother Eric, who was played by Known Soap Person John Paul Lavoisier in the first season, is now being played by Known Soap Person (but not to me yet) Mark Hapka.


With me? Next up: Sara's ex-girlfriend Katherine Wesley (aka Kate) was played by Known Soap Person Sarah Joy Brown in Season One, while here she is being played by Non Soap Person Marem Hassler. (A cursory search tells me she may have done an under-5 stint on The Bold & the Beautiful, but I'm not counting that.)


So far I think that's it for the cast replacements. A few actors new to this season include Hillary B. Smith, Jessica Leccia, and Alexis J. Smith. We're also promised some Jacob Young later in the season. Also returning: Ron Raines, Crystal Chappell, Louise Sorel, Ricky Paull Goldin, Tina Sloan, Melissa Archer, Jessica Morris, Rebecca Mozo, and Scott Bryce, among others. 

We've spent six years waiting to find out who was at the door that made wealthy wino WASP Claire Preston gasp as she did, and it turns out it was Senator Tom Wesley. Do I remember enough to understand why this would be significant? No, I do not. I do know that he is Kate's father and I guess the other Massachusetts Senator (I do recall that Kate might be appointed to Senator William Preston's spot now that he's ill, and he happens to be Sara's grandfather). 

I feel like we changed exteriors? Again, it could be faulty memory, but I thought the whole thing took place in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, which is very urban. Yes, the Prestons were definitely wealthy but I thought they were townhouse-wealthy, not mansion-on-the-outskirts wealthy.

Preston house

If only there were some way to go back and verify! 

Anyway, Tom tells a perpetually-tipsy Claire that he's running for POTUS (I think? It sounded like he said "running for the leadership" but then she said something about his always wanting to be President.) and wants to make sure she isn't going to cause any problems. We don't know what's been between them, but she assures him she's not going to be his problem.


Sara and Kate do a little day drinking (if that's not water then it's the whitest wine that ever whited) and make a plan to go out later for a non-date dinner. 

Sara and kate

These two don't have quite the chemistry of the original match-up yet, but no worries, there's time! They do both have pretty long fingernails for lesbians but that's none of my business, right?

Sara's girlfriend Diane shows up at the family estate to "surprise" her. Claire (after reacting. very. slowly. to. everything. like a good high-functioning alcoholic) hilariously introduces Evelyn to Diane as "Sarah's grandmother."



Natalie and Jen, together again!

EVELYN: You know, I've always said that I could make out with a woman. Which would be very useful if a plague came and wiped out all the men on the Earth.

Ah, the old "straight girl talks about being open to making out with other girls to every queer woman she meets" move! Beloved. Did anyone else get a little uneasy at the line about a plague? NO REASON, no pandemic or anything, no worries.

Sara comes downstairs and tries to play off being super uneasy about Diane's surprise visit.

Susan stops by to see Senator Preston, which Claire seems to think is shady, as the two of them express general disdain for each other.



Gina and Ani, together again!

(Did we ever get mention of a wife for Eric in the first season? I do not recall.)

We then jump over to Kate and her girlfriend in a weird scene where Kate confirms that she wants to look so gorgeous for dinner that it'll devastate Sara and make her think that leaving her was the worst mistake of her life. 

Kate and girlfriend

I say the scene is weird only because what girlfriend would encourage this? At first I thought she just must be the world's most confident girlfriend, but then she did make an uncomfortable grimace when Sara was on the phone, so she's clearly not cool with all this. Perhaps it's all an act. Regardless, Sara was calling to cancel and Kate does a bad job hiding her disappointment.

We then learn that William's whole plan is to get Sara the interim appointment as Senator and to run for re-election, but to then lose. He has some plan about who he's going to run against her, and is certain the Governor is on board because he "owes" him. Damn, this was his plan all along? That's a hell of a long game just to keep this woman from dating his granddaughter! We also learn from a flashback that some unnamed "we" has dirt on William that they helped clean up and are getting impatient waiting for him to hold up his end of some bargain. Horrifyingly, the woman who came by to confront him about this took the glass he was drinking from out of his hand and just finished his drink!



Woman! Back up! Stay six feet away! Wear a mask! What are you doing!? (It's so hard to watch TV right now and not think about this kind of stuff constantly.)

William tells Evelyn she needs to move back in to his bed, much to her vomit-suppressing unhappiness, but she pretends to be fully enthusiastic about this, and Claire meets up with her mother, played by Hillary B. Smith with an accent I cannot determine. Apparently Claire hired someone to find her mother so she can find out where "Jason" is. Claire drinks a little more (Mom conveniently has a bar tray on the dresser of the bedroom she's in!), and Mom tells her she doesn't know where Jason is.

And that'll do it!

I'm so glad this show is back. And that the episodes are much longer this time! What did everyone else think? Is the theme song almost the same but totally not the same? Have you watched yet? If not, why are you still reading this?? Have you never watched before but now oddly find a little extra at-home time on your hands? You can get started here for free.

(And as always, if you comment below you don't have to use your real email address -- just put something in there that has an @ and a .com or something, it doesn't matter. Shh, don't tell!)


This was really weird with the new actresses but I'm still happy it's finally back!

Oh also I think that is a different house.

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