Sometimes a girl has too much time to think. But sitting in traffic this week, I was really mulling over the fact that we have lost (or are losing) two male characters (and great actors) with rumors of the departure of others on the horizon. And as I thought about what the departures would do to the show, the fans, the stories, I realized something. There are a dwindling amount of 30's and 40's aged males on GL these days.
Maybe it's my own birthday coming up (I'll be 41 next Saturday) but like many fans, I look for characters my own age - who I can identify with. But while there are still women close to my age (Beth Ehlers, Harley, Crystal Chappel, Olivia, Beth Chamberlain, Beth, Gina Tognoni, Dinah, and Yvonna Wright, Mel) there are only three males left - Daniel Cosgrove (Bill), Rob Bogue (Mallet) and Murray Barlett (Cyrus). While it's hard to believe, Michael O'Leary will be 50 this month and Robert Newman will be 50 this June (and neither really look it). Bradley Cole is right behind them, as is Grant Aleksander should he return to the show. But there is a definite casting need for some younger males to get rid of some of these triangles which are making up all of the stories these days.
I have to admit that I always prefer characters I am familiar with - and rarely like recasts, it seems these departures might have us in a bind. While Jonathan's exit was certainly well known - although Tom Pelphrey has said he was willing to return as needed - Ricky Paull's departure will definitely leave a hole - especially with the fans. The scenes he had with Beth Ehlers this week reminded me (as if I needed any reminding) how great the two were together. I realize that pairing two actors together is a gamble - fans might like them - or not. But to take a couple with such a huge following (and the only one still together since Reva and Josh are apart -again) seems foolish.
As the week wore on, as I saw where things are going with Lizzie and Alan, I wondered, with some small amount of hope, that we could see Grant Aleksander (Phillip) again. Surely GL won't keep using the character off screen to feed the flames between Alan and Lizzie. You knew Alan's new and improved self wouldn't last long, and has to be reckoned with. But I think that only Phillip will be able to take on his father - that is the old, stronger, Phillip. Not the one who has gone off of the deep end. Alan needs to be put in his place, and I don't see a character strong enough on canvas to take him on, now that Tom Pelphrey has gone.
It is so amusing to me to see a powerful actor like Ron Raines (Alan) who I adore go toe to toe with someone so young and talented like Pelphrey. It's like watching a great dance, with two strong performers giving everything they have to the death each and every time. I certainly hope that we'll see another battle on the horizon.
But for now, it seems that we have to work with what we have. I must admit that I am liking the hand held camera work a bit more for outside shots. There are several times that I felt that they should have actually re-shot a reaction shot that wasn't gotten correctly. It's a learning process, I know, but hopefully one that will allow the show to grow and expand our fan base a bit. We'll need some great stories, for sure, but I've seen quite a bit of press about the changes the show has undergone, which can only be a good thing. I'm hoping that fans who might have walked away from the show might come back to see what the changes have done to the show, and hopefully stay for a visit in Springfield!
I have to admit that I was watching the videos on CBS.com and have to tell them that I've actually been to Springfield, Illinois and I don't really see any resemblance to Peapack, New Jersey, but that's ok. Maybe my memory isn't as good as it once was - I was last there in 1977 so I'm sure the town has changed a bit since then!
I just hope that all of these changes, both on screen and behind the scenes keep fans tuning in to Catch the Light for many years to come!
Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!