Loving the sinner (but not the sin)

In the last few years, As The World Turns added a lot of new faces that (a) had made their fame on other networks and other shows, (b) were very gifted but cast (or miscast) in a role that was challenging to fill, or (c) both.

This is the right-guy-wrong-role syndrome. I praised John Bolger for his work on Guiding Light (and elsewhere) while admitting that yes, he just was NOT Phillip Spaulding.

There are a lot of people on ATWT who deserve some R-E-S-P-E-C-T despite being stuck in thankless roles – mostly as recasts.

For example, Jon Lindstrom. Lindstrom’s a great actor, and I liked his take on Craig at first. I thought TPTB had gotten Craig horribly wrong as a character about midway through the Hogan Sheffer years. They’d taken what was a complex character with shades of good and bad and turned him into a one note villian.

I praised Scott Bryce’s return, but the story was SO dark and so….not Craig as we knew him that even Bryce could not make those misdeeds come to life. With Lindstrom, though, the character ‘lightened’ up a bit.

Unfortunately, the writing hasn’t been as helpful, and Craig was saddled with a few stupid stories this year: finding his insta-son, playing with mobsters, and, worst of all, flirting with Lily.

I can’t say this with enough emphasis: Craig and Lily? WOULD. NEVER. HAPPEN. EVER. I hated these stories, but I’ll definitely tip my hat to Lindstrom for working overtime to try and turn manure into cashmere.

Daniel Cosgrove would have been on my “rave” list a few months ago. I was very happy to see him come to ATWT. His Bill was one of the best newer character on GL.

I met Cosgrove a few years ago, and he’s incredibly funny (both shows have only scratched the surface of his capabilities). Casting his as Don Hastings’ son (another actor known for his sense of humor) was genius.

But Cosgrove has had to play the often-recast Chris in a story that makes Chris look like a selfish, secretive idiot. His romance with Katie, which was promising, first seemed to be leaning towards a sad, stalkery thing with Chris, and then went warp-speed into coupledom.

And of course, killing the best new character on the show so Chris could have a heart? FAIL.

Hopefully, the next role Cosgrove takes won’t be so contentious. I really think his best role is in front of him; his easygoing-but-steady on-screen personality reminds me of actors like Bob Woods or Robert Newman.

And lastly, we come to Noelle Beck. I was already planning to give props to Beck for bringing as much as she could to Lily. She’s grown leaps and bounds since her days as Loving‘s Trisha.

Beck is a professional, she’s engaging on screen and she’s gorgeous. She brought some new colors to Lily and she had a certain chemistry with both Jon Hensley (Holden) and Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda).

The only problem, of course, is that she wasn’t Martha Byrne. And no matter how hard she tried, some scenes and some histories just didn’t gel without Martha there. She also had some craptastic stories to sell, as well (see the Craig/Lily abomination, listed above).

I thought Beck was a class act before. Then we learned (thanks to Nelson Branco’s Suds Report) that Beck had offered to step down in April if TPTB wanted to bring Martha back. That’s a pretty damn classy thing to do, if you ask me.

Here’s hoping Beck lands a role soon, too – one that she can make her own.

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2 thoughts on “Loving the sinner (but not the sin)

  1. I am so glad that you gave props to Noelle Beck. All of the reports I’ve heard about her screamed that she was such a sweetheart, and it just crushed me to see continued people bashing her, simply because she wasn’t Martha Byrne. I can understand why fans felt that way–I really can–but poor Beck was the one at the receiving end of it, and that just wasn’t fair.

    Seeing her selfless offer only made me love her even more. I have so much respect for her, and I’ll gladly follow her wherever she goes. I completely agree that I hope she gets her perfect role in the near future.

  2. I totally agree about Lindstrom and Beck. I date the ruination of Craig to his cold-blooded murder of Sierra’s husband in the bell tower. After that he was never a viable, rootable character.

    But I have to be the only one who liked Dan Cosgrove as Chris. I thought he was Chris from the get-go. Sure he was made pretty much a douche through having him keep his illness a secret, but I thought Cosgrove sold it.

    You could also add Grayson McCouch’s Dusty to this list. Good actor, bad wholesale revision of character.

    Jef – I liked Daniel from the get go and didn’t have a hard time accepting him as Chris, but the writing hasn’t been helpful for him, that’s for sure.

    I would agree, McCouch could be on that list, too. He’s a good actor, but I never, ever understood the show’s take or his take on Dusty 2.0.

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