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.
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.
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.
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.