Thursday, February 02, 2006

Musical Soaps

OMG! Tristan Rogers has returned to General Hospital as Robert Scorpio, panache and Australian-accent intact, completing the ’80s flashback that began in December with the reappearance of Rick Springfield as Dr. Noah Drake, only slightly less dashing and hiding his Aussie roots as well as ever. If Luke Spencer hadn’t sprouted grey hair, I’d swear time in Port Charles had stood still.

I parted ways with the soaps when I graduated college and joined the world of full-time employment. But now that I’m home during the day, I occasionally tune in for the companionship. It’s been great catching up with my old friends, although keeping track of their new names and addresses has been like solving a Sudoku puzzle.

Erica Kane, Reva Shayne, Vicki Buchanan and Marlena Brady are all still holding down their respective forts. Diedre Hall apparently works with the same crew that lights Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters. I keep thinking my glasses are smudged, but they’re perfectly clean.

Holden and Lily are still breaking up and getting back together over there on As the World Turns (seems that, no, actually it stopped rotating some time ago). Bo and Hope are still sharing the Days of Their Lives. Victor and Nikki are not so Young but still Restless. The only difference is that these Super Couples are now parents to a whole new crop of hotties.

If you’re looking for Days’ conniving Carly, you can catch her on Guiding Light as conniving Olivia. Not to be confused with General Hospital’s Carly, who used to play Cassie on GL. The current Cassie also stars as Woman Looking for Her Son at Olive Garden. GL’s Alan-Michael Spaulding is now Ric on GH, whose wife Alexis is the refugee from Santa Barbara formerly known as Julia.

“She Gets Around” Award goes to Skye Quartermaine—same actress, same character has appeared on all three ABC soaps and married five times.

“Demi-Ashton” Award goes to Lila Quartermaine, played by the now deceased Anna Lee (b. 1913). The character of her long-time spouse Edward Quartermaine rotated between John Ingle (b. 1928, and now seen as Mickey Horton on Days) and Jed Allan (b. 1937, aka C.C. Capwell on Santa Barbara and Don Craig on Days, who was once married to Marlena!).

“What the …?” Award is a three-way tie. Get your scorecards ready:

  • Josh Taylor, currently Roman Brady on Days, formerly Chris Kositchek on Days

  • Wayne Northrup, formerly Roman Brady on Days, now Dr. Alex North on Days

  • Judi Evans, currently Bonnie on Days, formerly Beth on GL, Paulina on Another World and Adrienne on Days

Now, not only is a character never truly dead, they are being reincarnated right in front of our eyes and not just as Evil Twins.

Soaps are one part escapism, one part fantasy, one part comfort food. I dip my toes back in after a 15 year absence and it's like I never left. With my reality in constant flux, it helps to know that some things never change: love conquers all; the world is full of second chances; reinvention is within our grasp; mistakes can be forgiven; it never pays to pull a baby switch. If all this business of actors hopping between shows and characters is a little jarring, it’s also nice to see a friendly face in an unexpected place. And if they haven't aged a day, well I guess I haven't either.

Tristan Rogers, good to see ya, mate.


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