Three’s Company

Branson, Martinez, Lindstrom

Despite gloom and doom about the state of daytime in almost all of its aspects, fans have been treated to some good soap opera lately. The Young and the Restless is the Must See Soap right now. One Life to Live has regained it’s glory and Guiding Light is steadily improving. Some of daytime’s best actors are giving some of the performances of their lives. With that in mind, there are three performers new to their respective shows deserving of special mention who I think are doing a bang up job.

JR MARTINEZ (Brot Monroe, All My Children)

Introduced amid a publicity blitz, JR Martinez came aboard AMC with a fascinating, real life backstory: an Iraq War veteran seriously injured and disfigured by explosives, eventually becoming a noted inspirational speaker for and on behalf of veterans coping with their life altering injuries. His addition to AMC’s canvas was purposeful and deliberate. The show wanted a real life injured vet to play Brot, former love of newcomer Taylor (Beth Ehlers).

AMC has received much justly deserved praise for casting Martinez, but make no mistake, this was as much a bit of stunt casting as it was groundbreaking decision. There is nothing particularly "new" about the character of Brot either. We’ve seen many characters who have been injured and/or disfigured on soaps, who have wanted to reconnect with the love of their lives. So what makes Martinez, despite his real life experiences, different?

The man can act. Don’t get me wrong, Martinez is no David Canary or Michael E. Knight. He has rough edges and there are a few kinks in his performances. However, in a soap world full of hair models and glistening pecs, it is refreshing to see an actor new to the genre (I don’t like the term "newbie") who hits his marks, knows his lines and can deliver them with believability and emotion. In fact, Martinez seems clearly enthusiastic about his role and one can see his efforts to be good is paying off every day he is featured. Martinez also has great chemistry with just about everyone with whom he has come into contact, including a refreshingly sympathetic Colby (Brianne Moncrief), romantic rival Jake (Ricky Paull Goldin) and the previously hard to grasp Taylor.

As a character, Brot has potential to bring a unique set of stories to AMC. Martinez’s physical appearance provides the opportunity for the writers and producers to explore a wide range of stories and issues without easy fall backs like miracle plastic surgery to turn the character into a himbo. So far the show has slowly and wisely integrated Brot onto the canvas without sensationalizing or exploiting his portrayer. Here is hoping that as Martinez improves, we will get to see more of what the character of Brot and this young actor is capable of delivering. (continued)

4 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Revafan001

    I agree all of what you said..

    I love the Babs/Craig interation… And also i totally agree that he brings all three previous actors tatlent.
    Shane coming back as mad about right.
    Brot, realy bores me..
    GL/AMC/ATWT/GH/B&B/Y&R Fans!!!!!!!!!

  2. Profile photo of elle

    I agree about JR Martinez- I think he’s doing a great job and a wonderful addition to the show. I actually think he’s got better chemistry with Colby, but she’s too young for him, I think- I think Taylor/Jake have bettter chemistry, but I’m enjoying this story.

    As for recasts, I don’t watch GL, so I can’t speak to Jeff Branson, but I think he’s a wonderful actor, and wish he could have stayed at AMC. He’s just a fabulour talent.

    I don’t have the same love affair with Billy Miller that most have- I can’t even watch him, so I guess I disagree that he’s the recast of the year. I’m not familiar with Biily Abbot (other than David Tom’s Emmy clips) as I’m not a long time watcher , so I don’t know who the character is supposed to be- but to me, Miller’s Billy is just Richie with nicer clothing. and I couldn’t stand Richie- so, to each their own.

    I don’t watch ATWT any longer, so I’m not watching Lon Lindstrom, but I’m also a fan of his, so I have no doubt he’s doing a wonderful job.

  3. Profile photo of season1217

    Is JR on contract? Is he going to be a long term character? If so, could they please change his name. When ever any says the name Brot, I cringe.

    My problem w/ Jeffrey Meeks was the eye makeup. Was it really necessary? Also, let’s not forget that Lindstrom not only played Kevin but he also played the role of his twin brother, Ryan Chamberlain. Who would make Craig look like a Sunday School teacher by comparison.

    And, I have never been a completely faithful watcher of Guiding Light but the addition of Jeff to the cast has made GL appointment soap watching for me. I loved and adored him on AMC.

  4. Profile photo of gigi2em

    JR Martinez is so refreshing, I am completely intrigued by him. I can see him improving each time he is onscreen. I too hope he is on contract, and will be with the show long-term. I can see lots of potential with storyline coming up! A big thanks to AMC once again for taking chances.
    Robin, GHOFS

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