No. 10: Kim Matula, The Bold and the Beautiful
Kimberly Matula has moved up the ranks on The Bold and the Beautiful as someone you can't relegate as just a pretty face. Since her 2010 debut on the fashion world sudser, Matula has proven she can roll with the best of them, regardless of the storyline. While dealing with the retread of B&B's teen storyline, featuring Amber/Liam/Hope/Oliver, Matula's skills in acting were so palpable opposite Adrienne Frantz; it felt as though the storyline was focused on her character, instead of Scott Clifton's Liam! Unlike some of her co-stars, Matula dished out amazing performances with powerhouse Katherine Kelly Lang, as Hope blamed Brooke's vixen ways for being the cause of her frigid about sex. She also showed off her skills while chastising Hunter Tylo's Taylor for her bratty daughter Steffy's (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) behavior. Matula is proving B&B has a next generation heroine already in place to take over the mantle.
No. 10: James Franco, General Hospital
Marching to the beat of his own drum has proven successful for 2011 Oscar nominee and host James Franco. Unfortunately for General Hospital fans this year, it also meant a return to Port Charles by his Jason (Steve Burton) obsessed character, Franco. Instead of impressing the masses, Franco devastatingly disappointed. His continued dime-store attempt at transforming Franco into General Hospital’s version of Heath Ledger’s The Joker failed one again to inspire. James Franco may generate mainstream press for the ABC soap, but his acting, the character, and not to mention Franco’s storylines, are so convoluted we’d rather spend time watching the paint on one of Franco’s art pieces dry, than to see him return to Port Charles in the future. READ MORE
No. 10: Sami and Faux Rafe, Days of Our Lives
Rafe Hernandez (Galen Gering) has been Sami Brady’s (Alison Sweeney) constant, sturdy rock from the moment he began keeping her “Safe” on Days of Our Lives. While the road to happily ever after has always been paved with drama for these two—thanks in large part to the machinations of Sami’s dangerously-seductive ex EJ DiMera (James Scott)—in 2011 things got downright ridiculous, doppelganger style.
This past year, EJ’s dad Stefano (Joe Mascolo) convinced Junior to take a page from the old DiMera playbook, which reads: When you want to get rid of an enemy, replace them with a lookalike! While many a DiMera-sanctioned doppelganger has provided fun story for DAYS (Andre DiMera, Susan Banks, Hattie), the father and son duo having a common thug receive plastic surgery to look like Rafe, then replacing him in Sami’s life (and bed) was just plain gross. READ MORE
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!