Wishful Casting: Deidre Hall to Y&R as Diane Jenkins
I'm too stunned to even give a proper reaction to the news that the IDIOT in charge of Days of Our Lives just fired two of the most popular stars in the history of daytime television, hopefully by tonight's podcast I will have thought of something to say that won't require Luke purchasing a cuss box. So to keep from sticking pins into a voodoo doll replica of Ken Corday's beloved golf bag, I figured I would do a Wishful Casting for Deidre Hall.
I'm not going to waste time by speculating what roles she could possibly play on any of the seven other soaps still on the air but one–The Young and the Restless. Save for the shameful LML years, Y&R has been the one soap that consistently valued its veteran stars. Where else in daytime would you find an 80-year-old (Jeanne Cooper) doing the work of her career in a front burner storyline?
Hall would fit in fabulously on the rejuvenated set of the lush, romantic, compelling Bell sudser. Our pal Nelson Branco suggested she play the long-forgetten sister of Nikki Newman, Casey, which I agree would be a stellar choice. Hall and Melodie Thomas Scott could definitely pass for sisters.
My pick for Hall at Y&R is a bit more of a stretch for the actress who has already made a career out of playing the good "Doc". What if she re-created the role of Victor and Jack's nasty ex Diane Jenkins?
Hall did her best work when the masterful James E. Reilly (R.I.P.) wrote storylines where she got to kick off Marlena's goody-two-shoes and play a real bitch. Fans of Days will never forget—although Corday apparently has— Hall's deliciously-wicked turn as the Devil Herself. Then there was her lethal take on Marlena as a psychotic serial killer during the Salem Stalker storyline. I don't think the actress has been truly inspired since Reilly left Days, but something tells me the wonder team of Sheffer, Arena-Bell and Rauch could definitely write a story worthy of the caliber and star power of the daytime legend.
The timing would be near perfect for Diane to return to Genoa City. Imagine Hall's version of Diane taking pot shots at Nikki about Victor being back with Ashley. Speaking of Ashley, it gives me chills just thinking about Hall once again squaring off against Eileen Davidson, who famously starred opposite Hall as Marlena's mortal enemy Kristan Blake on Days.
Romantically, the possibilities are endless. Jack and Diane share a son together, so there is tons of unfinished business there. What if Kyle came back with Diane, possessing an enormous chip on his shoulder due to the fact that his dad has bascially forgotten about him, while doting on Sharon's son Noah? Kyle vs. Noah for Eden could give the soap its first interesting teen set since the Glow by Jabot kids.
Michelle Stafford's Phyllis hasn't had a worthy adversary since Drucilla (Victoria Rowell) went tumbling over that cliff in upstate Wisconsin. I love Sharon (Sharon Case), but Phyllis needs a rival who can speak bitch just as well as she can.
Wouldn't it be nice to see Phyllis's face if the woman who once framed her for attempted murder was back in town? Diane could even become romantically involved with Phyllis's one-time obsession Danny Romalotti and start acting as a mother figure (or more... think Desperate Housewives' Porter) to Daniel (Michael Graziadei). The possibilities are restless.