The D word

cassidy_orlaghYou can count me among the many fans of the “Otalia” pairing on Guiding Light. It’s a great story for many reasons (more on that soon). 

But I have to say that I was pleased to see another Springfield citizen – and one of my favorite supporting characters at GL – in the lavender spotlight this week. We learned (in a very clever way) that Doris Wolfe loves the ladies. 

We all love big stories, and shows can rise or fall on their leading actors and couples. But being the fan of the underdog that I am, I’m always interested in – and entertained by – the supporting players. 

Over the years, the character of Doris has grown on the audience, and I really like Orlagh Cassidy’s take on her. Doris was first seen back in the 1990s, and prosecuted Annie Dutton after her misdeeds had been discovered and she’d left town. 

Doris was just a stock character at that point, but when they paired Doris with Alan Spaulding, and brought on her daughter Ashlee, Doris became more fully realized. Cassidy’s chemistry with Ron Raines (Alan) was great, and both Doris and Ashlee were entertainingly awkward and over-the-top when they tried to fit into the Spaulding family. At the time, Doris and Ashlee were welcome sights in an otherwise dark and dull show. 

A fantastic set of Doris clips from YouTube: 

Both characters have since been pushed to the back burner, but we’ve seen pieces of Doris’ life that really intrigue me. Doris talked to Ashlee about a man in her life that reminded her of Grady – could it be Ashlee’s father? When Doris went toe to toe with the Duke of Darkness himself, it made Grady far more alive and interesting that he’d been with any other character. 

And this week was an awesome series of snapshots into the mind and heart of Doris. On Wednesday, we saw Doris in the lesbian bar having a heated discussion with Olivia. And today, ruthless Doris was moved by the kick of an unborn baby. Just when you think Doris is so evil that she can snap her fingers and call for her winged monkeys, she shows she’s got a soul after all. 

Here’s hoping we see more of Doris and her softer, quirky sides – as well as seeing her keep her crown as Queen Bitch of Springfield. And maybe we’ll find out more about her past. I bet Doris has a family….and I suspect Ashlee’s dad might just be floating around Springfield somewhere! 

And speaking of Guiding Light – here’s a preview of the show’s upcoming trip to Orlando, Florida and the Universal Studios entertainment complex. 

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9 thoughts on “The D word

  1. I could not agree more. I loved the twist of Olivia running into Doris at the bar and I have to say that their conversation was one of the most honest, most heartbreakingly real moments I have seen on daytime in a long while. It didn’t hit a single sour note and both women played it brilliantly.

    I applaud GL for this turn of events.

  2. I’m also a fan of the unsung background players – especially when they have the obvious acting chops like OC, just waiting for a chance to shine (I was going to say “come out” LOL). This new twist on her character makes you look back on everything that went before it with new understanding. Any show is stronger when all the characters are 3 dimensional. This was a welcome step towards that with Doris.

    Look forward to your thoughts on Otalia too! Thanks!

  3. Doris is a fascinating character. You love to hate her and now you see some of her many layers from her run in with Olivia at the bar (oh that crazy hat) to her surprisingly sweet moment with Reva when her baby was kicking. I can’t wait to see what’s come!

  4. Point of reference, Doris wasn’t Ross’s foil in the case when Reva “pushed” Annie down the stairs at the Spaulding Mansion. Ross had just been named district attorney and was saying a few words when Annie fell. He prosecuted Reva, while IIRC Griffin Williams was her defense attorney. Doris started to appear on screen in 1999.

    BL, I could have sworn that Doris’ first appearance was at the Annie trial. But I could be wrong!

  5. Orlagh Cassidy is so fun to watch and I think adding her into the Otalia mix will lead to lots of great scenes with Crystal and Jessica. Guiding Light has been making all the right moves with this storyline. I really hope it pays off in the ratings.

  6. In 1999, there was another trial in which Annie was the accused. That may be the case you are recalling Patrick. I think that was the case where it was revealed that Ben Warren and Johnnie Cochran knew each other.

    BL, I trust your judgement, so I removed the reference about that earlier trial. Thanks!!!!!

  7. Add me to the Doris fan club! I’d been away from GL, and soaps in general, for years, so hadn’t seen anything of Doris before the My Two Mommies press conference. The scenes between Olivia and Doris at the bar were very powerful, and honest. And I just loved every second of Doris onscreen during Friday’s (3/13/09) episode: from the geeky excitement over possibly setting legal precedent, through her interactions with both Reva and Mel. I look forward to seeing more of Doris, both as part of the Otalia storyline, and in general.

  8. I first remember Doris when she prosecuted Michelle Bauer for Ben Warren’s murder. She was such a delight in her ruthless ways, but she was never a caricature, she always seemed real. I loved seeing her go up against Ross.

    I never thought she’d get a story of her own, but I was delighted when they brought Ashlee in and put Alan with Doris, even if the story went nowhere (as often happened with GL in 2005-2007). I also loved some of her scenes in the election story with Buzz, and how lonely she felt as she’d lost Ashlee even though she’d won the mayoral race. I always enjoy her relationship with Buzz. It doesn’t need to be a romance, but I would like to see more of their friendship.

  9. Another old GL fan here getting back into the light. The conversation between Doris and Olivia at the bar the other day is one of the reasons I’ve decided to give the show another shot. Orlagh Cassidy is an amazing performer and she gives Doris so much complexity it’s almost scary. I can’t wait to see more of GL in general and Doris in particular.

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