While I readily admit the zany, often depraived daytime serial Passions never found its way into my heart or onto my DVR list for very long, it can't be denied that the show had one of the most dedicated and talented casts in television history. Series stars Lindsay Hartley, Juliet Mils, Galen Gerring, McKenzie Westore, Ben Masters, Tracey Ross and others have stuck with the soap through almost nine tumultuous years on the air, first on NBC and then DirecTV. With DirecTV deciding to cancel the show and NBC unable to find yet another new home for the soap, Passions is set to cast it's final spell August 11, 2008. With that in mind, this Wishful Casting is dedicated to finding new homes for select members of the show's spellbinding cast.
Lindsay Hartley to General Hospital as Olivia
In a recent episode of the CBS/Days episode of the Daytime Confidential podcast I talked about how I would love to see Passions leading lady Lindsay Hartley (Theresa) take on the role of Dorian's daughter Adrianna on One Lite to Live. Something tells me with an actress as fiery and beautiful as Hartley in the role, the character wouldn't induce as many yawns as she currently does. However, it is on General Hospital that I feel the exotic Hartley would best be utilized.
As GH fans are well aware of, the ABC soap has a penchant for dark, alluring beauties, our own Luke calls them "Brenda Bots" and while I agree the soap does try too hard to recreate the magic of Vanessa Marcil with lookalikes, I think Hartley would still work well on the show. What if her character turned out to be the much mentioned Olivia, Kate has mentioned?
Speculation is that Olivia is Kate's daughter and although Kate and Sonny have maintained they never slept together, what if they did and were too drunk to remember after a night of spin the bottle with the Cerullo kids? Or, what if Olviia is the product of Kate's relationship with Trevor Lansing? Sharing a child with the villainous lawyer would certainly up the tension between Sonny, Kate and Trevor, not to metion it would give Ric a sister and much needed confidant. Hartley would be perfect in the role and could match even dynamos like Laura Wright (Carly) and Sarah Brown (Claudia) scene for scene. And what if Olivia shares a past with the brooding Johnny Zacharra? That would really give Lulu something to self-obsess over!
Juliet Mills to GH as Lady Jane Jax
This is definitely not an offense to the perfectly lovely actress who already recurs as Jax and Jerry's Aussie mother, but can you imagine what a hoot Juliet Mills (Tabitha) would be in the role? I know it's hard to picture Mills out of her quirky Tabitha get up, but in normal clothes and with a her real hair she would be a perfect choice to cement the Jacks clan as a core family.
I would love to see a late-in-life comedic love affair between Mills' Lady Jane and Edward Quartermaine (John Ingle). The pair could come to blows over Edward's meddling in his grandson Michael's medical care, which of course would lead to all-consuming love as do so many relationships that start out in hate on soaps.
Can you see the look on Tracy's face when Edward brings home Jax's mother as his new wife? I would pay money to see Mills and Jane Elliot go head to head. Besides, making Jax and Jerry Step-ermaines like Luke and Lulu would once again fill up the mansion for dinner parties and big comedic events with Tracy, Edward, Monica, Luke, Lulu, Jax, Carly, Jerry, Alexis, Lady Jane and Big Alice all spouting out one liners just like the good old Days, I mean GH.
Ben Masters to Days of Our Lives as Bill Horton
If Mickey Horton can return to town 20 years younger so can his brother! It would be great to see troubled Horton son Dr. Bill Horton return to assume the chief of staff role at University Hospital, not to mention strike up his decades old feud with his brother Mickey. Jamie Lynn Bauer (ex-Laura) could reprise her role as his long suffering shrink wife (who was first married to Mickey) and we could finally see the Laura/Bill/Kate triangle that resulted in Laura going stark raving mad and the conception of Lucas Roberts.
As a long term Days watcher it has always been hard for me to accept Lucas as a Horton since they have never really had him connect with Bill on screen Unless I am missing something, the characters have never even met. (Correction: Bill did in fact briefly meet his illegitimate son circa 1995 when he came home after Laura was released from the sanitarium according to Wikipedia. Thanks Jeopardy for the sharp memory!). It was anticlimactic to reveal Lucas as Bill Horton's illegitimate son when Bill wasn't around to play out the storyline. What if Lucas falls off the wagon when he gets out of prison and realizes Sami has fallen in love with EJ? That would be the perfect catalyst for his father to come home to Salem for an intervention and Masters to join the cast of Days. A fragile Laura wouldn't take kindly to the idea of Bill spending time with his son by Kate, which would cause her to lean on her old flame Mickey, much to Maggie's chagrin. Then Days could up the dramatic tension even more by bringing back Bill's estranged son Mike, which brings me to my next suggestion...
James Hyde to Days as Mike Horton
Days of Our Lives has made two major casting goofs in recent years in my humble opinion. The first was not taking one look at James Scott and realizing his uncanny resemblance to a young Charles Shaughnessy in look and manner. Scott would have been amazing as Shane and Kim's son Andrew, who like his father could have been an dashing international spy who came between one of Salem's supercouples, as opposed to a rapist who shot John Black. The second blunder was not bringing Shawn Christian on as missing Horton grandson Dr. Mike Horton instead of the random Dr. Jonas. Mike Horton is one of the most beloved and most often recast characters in Days history (think Kevin Buchanan on One Life to Live). The characteris as integral to the fabric of Days' mythology as the sand that runs through that hourglass. The secret of Mike Horton's paternity, as penned by the legendary Bill Bell, was Days' first major storyline and lasted almost a decade.
For those of you who don't know, Mike grew up believing he was the son of Mickey Horton and his first wife Laura, but he was in actuality the product of Laura having been raped by Mickey's brother Bill. Bill and Laura ultimately fell in love (the start of a trend on soaps of rapists and their victims later being paired or reunited in romantic pairings) and Mickey found love with Maggie, but Mike always had issues with Bill and continued to think of his uncle Mickey as his father.
With that much rich history to pull from it would be awesome to see Mike return around the same time as his parents, and who better to take on the role than Passions hunk James Hyde (Sam)? Okay, so Hyde isn't in danger of winning any major acting awards, he'd still fit in well in Salem and bring with him a diehard fan base. Imagine if Mike changed his speciality while absent from Salem and is now a psychiatrist like his mom? He could treat looney toon Ava, who would remind him of his mother's battle with psychosis, and have to go against his beloved cousin Hope when he announces he's fallen for the stylish fruit cake who kidnapped her. Wouldn't that make for a fun time around the Horton Christmas tree?
Tracey Ross to Guiding Light as Vicky Spaulding
Okay, so the last incarnation of Brandon Spaulding's long lost black granddaughter was in her 20s, its been years since the character was in town and I say Tracey Ross (Eve) would make an awesome older version of the role. Vicky Spaulding came to town with a huge chip on her petite shoulders a few years back over her mother Victoria (the product of an affair between Brandon Spaulding and his lover Sharina, a woman from Barbados) denying any claim to the Spaulding fortune.
Vicky Jr. wanted what was hers and went scheme to scheme against Alan and his son Philip for a short time. Then the character was paired in a relationship with David Grant that quickly went nowhere and Vicky disappeared from the canvas.
What if Vicky returns to clean up the mess Alan and Alexandra have made of Spaulding Enterprises? She could also begin a torrid May-December affair with Remy when she borrows a page from Dinah and enlists him as her henchman. I'm sure Remy's principled big sis Mel wouldn't take kindly to a scheming Spaulding diva corrupting her brother, which could give the soap a viable, soapy rivalry between two women of color.