Springfield: The next generation

We’ve heard an awful lot of talk on Guiding Light about James Spaulding, the baby that Phillip and Beth conceived while they were both married to other people (he to Harley, she to Jim Lemay, Daisy’s adoptive father).

I was beginning to suspect that he might pop up on our screens, and my suspicions were confirmed this morning when I read on the PGP Classic Soaps blog that James is returning to Springfield. He’ll be played by Zack Conroy, who played Leo on As The World Turns last year.

I missed the Leo story on ATWT. (These days, the show goes so fast that if you get up to take a pee break, you may miss an entire gestation period of a baby!) So I can’t speak to Conroy’s acting abilities. But kudos to GL’s casting team – Conroy looks a LOT like a young Grant Aleksander (not to mention a lot like “sister” Marcy Rylan). To see a picture of Conroy, check out today’s post at the PGP blog.

Jill Lorie Hurst mentioned an interest in bringing the next generation of Springfield into the action when I spoke to her a few months back; I’m hopeful that this is the beginning of that idea coming to fruition. Of course, I’m hoping we see other teen or college age characters come onto the canvas (the Marler twins and, I can never say it enough, Peter Reardon – whose story possibilities could fill an entire book).

2 thoughts on “Springfield: The next generation

  1. GUIDING LIGHT was smart, and “produced” the next generation through endless pregnancy storylines over the past two decades.

    Unfortunately, the vast majority of these tweens, teens, and adults (by now) are languishing offscreen. And some are the victims of mindless SORASing, which has destroyed the timeline (and probably makes some actors scared to play the parents of children that would have to be adults by now, based on the age of other characters’ children…there’s got to be a reason that Susan “Daisy” Lemay didn’t age over a decade, while Leah Bauer grew overnight: Michael O’Leary can pull off playing a teen’s parent, but Beth Ehlers can’t playing an adult’s.)

    Kevin and Jason Marler…Peter Reardon…Marah Lewis…Jonathan Randall…Zach Spaulding (older than James)…Jude Bauer…Michelle Bauer…RJ Winslow (Roger’s grandson also, via Hart, just like Peter)…Dylan Lewis…Samantha Marler…the list goes on. Some of these characters made it to adulthood, but disappeared from Springfield. Some just disappeared. The options to use characters like Peter, Kevin, and Jason are getting slimmer as the years go by. The older characters? They’ve been gone for too long, with no good explanation. Supposedly, Michelle is returning, and her son Robbie will be SORASed at some point. Shayne is finally back, and we’re getting James too. But the idea of passing off GL to its next generation has never really come to pass. Kim Zimmer seems to finally be maturing as Reva, but shouldn’t Marah be around to play Mini-Me? Shouldn’t Dylan be the new Billy? Shayne the new Josh? Jonathan (recast if necessary–wouldn’t Kane Manera have been magnetic as JB, instead of being cast as the killer we don’t care about, Grady?) the new Roger? Samantha the new Maureen? (She’s Phillip’s full-blood sister–if anyone could be reintroduced now, it’s Sam.) And so on…

    I hope what Jill Lorie Hurst said about “bringing the next generation of Springfield into the action” comes to fruition. I love our current cast, but I want to believe that my show is going to be around 5, 10, 20 years from now…and I’m gonna have trouble watching Josh and Reva trading partners at the Springfield Nursing Home…

  2. SORASing James Spaulding sounds reasonable and logical. It will certainly shore up the Spaudling clan to have another of Phillip’s children in town. And will certainly give Grant more to play. And I’m all about giving Grant more material to work with, more storylines to be involved in — can’t tell you how much brighter my world is now that Grant’s back on screen!

    I’m also excited about bringing Michelle back to town. While I never was a fan of the Santos clan mob bullcrap and was deeply sorry they ever tied Michelle to that storyline, Michelle was too important a character to show’s history to write off.

    I’m struck that writing Michelle off (along with Danny, who I hope stays gone) was one of the first deeds done by David Kreizman when he assumed headwriting duties. That and killing off Phillip. Now they’re correcting both those horrendous mistakes. Just shows how important having a headwriter like Jill Lorie Hurst who understands and appreciates the show’s history is for the overall integrety of the show. And that’s what seemed to be so severly lacking under David Kreizman’s regeime.

    Also hope they shore up the Bauers some more. A SORASed Jude Bauer sounds like a good idea to me. Just think of the friendship/rivalry they could create between James and Jude (shades of the Phillup/Rick friendship).

    Maybe they can even talk Peter Simon into coming back for some occasional appearances as Ed. Either that or recast Aunt Meta. I think Maeve McGuire (who played Nicole Travis Drake Cavanaugh on Edge of Night and the 2nd Elena de Poulicnac on Another World, among others) would be great playing Meta.

    Yes, I’m excited about the possibilities for GL. Have been so very happy with the show in the past month. Hope we have more great things to come for many more years. Keep it up Jill Lorie Hurst. We’re counting on you!

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