No. 10: John and Marlena, Days of Our Lives
There are few couples that come to define an era for a soap opera. When you think of Days of Our Lives in the 60’s and 70’s you think of Doug and Julie, Bill and Laura and Mickey and Maggie. When you consider the early 80’s it was all about Roman and Marlena and Bo and Hope. The late 80’s gave us Shane and Kim and Patch and Kayla, but also marked Deidre Hall’s Marlena discovering an irresistible connection with a new “Roman” played by Wayne Northrop’s replacement Drake Hogestyn. READ MORE
A quick scroll up and down your TV's schedule finder and you could easily get the feeling it's Old Home Week. With reboots of Hawaii Five-0, 90210 and Charlie's Angels currently in rotation on the broadcast networks, a Dallas continuation coming to cable next summer and a limited run Arrested Development follow-up reportedly causing a bidding war, everything old is definitely new again. With that in mind, I decided to do a little Wishful Casting for my dream reboot of one of American's favorite primetime soaps, Dynasty!
If the CBS mega hit Dallas was the show that personified Reagan era greed, ABC's Dynasty was Dallas on acid and with much bigger shoulder pads. Created by Esther and Richard Shapiro and produced by the late Aaron Spelling, a showrunner so prolific it was once joked ABC stood for "Aaron's Broadcast Company," Dynasty was the campy saga of the warring Carringtons and Colbys, two Denver-based oil dynasties headed up by Blake Carrington (the late John Forsythe) and his ex-wife, the unforgettable Alexis Carrington Colby (Joan Collins).
With sultry primetime soaps making a slight comeback, as both ABC's Revenge and The CW's Ringer are doing solid business, I'd say Dynasty is a primetime franchise ripe for a reboot. I know the creators are planning to take the characters of Blake and Alexis to the big screen in a prequel, but I have to admit, I think these characters play out much better in our living rooms—or on our laptops, as the case may be—than they would in a crowded theater.
The CW has been trying to target more than just tweens and teens in recent years, and could prove the perfect hub for Dynasty 2.0, especially with the netlet's glossiest sudser, Gossip Girl, getting a little long in the porcelain veneer. A Dynasty sequel would be a series The CW's core audience, who grew up on sudsers like The O.C. or Melrose Place could watch with their moms, who came of age while Alexis was catching couture-clad beat downs from Krystal (Linda Evans).
I'd reboot Dynasty: The Next Generation with the show centered on striking, twentysomething heiress Krystina Carrington, daughter of Blake and Krystal, as the female protagonist. The show could launch against the backdrop of Blake Carrington's demise, as the various Carrington children and grandchildren return to Colorado to see just how Blake divided the spoils of his epic oil wars with Alexis, Cecil (the late Lloyd Bochner) and Jason Colby (the late Charleton Heston).
Who wouldn't want to see Pamela Sue Martin reprise the role of Blake's vampy, eldest daughter Fallon Carrington Colby, now a couragious matriarch and CEO of Denver Carrington? Sorry, I was never a big fan of Emma Samms in the role! Fallon is determined to get what she feels rightfully belongs to her and her children, the now adult Little Blake and Lauren Colby.
Fallon's former sister-in-law and bitter rival, the scheming Sammy Jo Dean (Heather Locklear) would also be skulking around to see if her ex-father-in-law left her anything in his will. When the will is read, it reveals Blake left his shares of Denver Carrington in equal distribution to Krystina, L.B., Lauren and Danny (son of Sammy Jo and Blake's gay son Steven), thus setting off an epic power struggle between the next generation of Carringtons and Colbys.
Which All My Children cast members will sign on for Prospect Park's continuation of the series? That seems to be the question on the lips of most soap fans and TV journos these days. While a good portion of the One Life to Live cast has agreed to continue with that series, only Cameron Mathison and Lindsay Hartley have signed pacts to continue on as con artist-turned-father-of-the-year Ryan Lavery and Martin-marrying Latina medico Cara Castillo, respectively.
As we hold out hope that such popular AMC stars as Michael E. Knight (Tad), Cady McClain (Dixie) Alicia Minshew (Kendall), Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Darnell Williams (Jesse), Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal), Jill Larson (Opal), David Canary (Adam/Stuart), Vincent Irizarry (David), Walt Willey (Jack), Julia Barr (Brooke), Ricky Paull Goldin (Jake), Chrishell Stause (Amanda) and of course Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) will eventually sign on with the show, the clock she is a ticking!
With only three and a half months before the scheduled relaunch of All My Children, this show needs to book more than two stars, and fast. I think it would be smart for Prospect Park to reach back into AMC's storied, 41-year history on ABC to find other characters and/or stars to consider bringing back, as negotiations with the most recent Mouse House cast continues. Here are 10 (or so) past Pine Valley dwellers I'd love to see make a return visit!
No. 10: Jessica Leccia, One Life to Live
Memo to soap execs: Just because an actor is wildly popular on one soap doesn't mean they will work on another. We're sure One Life to Live was hoping Jessica Leccia would bring some of the old Otalia magic from Guiding Light along with her as she created the part of Inez Salinger. Unfortunately, all Leccia managed to bring with her were those deer-in-headlight stares and monotone deliveries that drove us crazy prior to her pairing with Crystal Chappell on GL. DC's Luke Kerr has often said Chappell did all of the heavy lifting when paired opposite Leccia on GL. After seeing Leccia painfully walk around Llanview trying to figure out where she was in 2010, the rest of us are finally inclined to agree with him.
No. 10: Adam Gregory and Kimberly Matula (tie), The Bold and the Beautiful
It’s no easy feat to pull off representing the next generation of chiseled Forrester studs and sun-kissed Logans, but newcomers Adam Gregory and Kimberly Matula have managed to do just that as California dreams Thomas Forrester and Hope Logan respectively on The Bold and the Beautiful. Whether it’s reeling from learning her mom accidentally slept with her boyfriend (her), or pulling his father’s wife into a scandalous lip lock (him), Gregory and Matula have proven they are more than capable of carrying on their families sexy, near-incestuous traditions for years to come.
Watching All My Children last week was like visiting a lush oasis after being stuck in a creative desert penned by Chuck Pratt. AMC fan are hoping what Lorraine Broderick has started will continue when former Guiding Light scribes David Kreizman and Donna Swajeski's episodes start airing. Given Kreizman's penchant for outlandish, over-the-top storytelling, it's no wonder people are a bit nervous, after seeing Broderick get the show back on track so quickly. That being said, I've come up with 10 ways to help keep things moving in the right direction in Pine Valley.
No. 10: Angie and Jesse Hubbard need to drive stories, not support them
Angie (Debbi Morgan) and Jesse (Darnell Williams) need to drive stories, not support them, as they have in the awful tales featuring Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber, aka Madison (Stephanie Gatschet) and Randi (Denise Vasi). Morgan and Williams deserve better and so do the fans who were so excited when they first returned in 2008. AMC has two of the most popular African American characters in soap history on their canvas, and it's high time they used them. READ MORE