I just added Ryan's Hope and Melrose Place alum Grant Show to a growing list of actors who I could give a lovely (fill in the blank) if I ever see a project of theirs again because they dissed the vehicle that a.) made them a star and b.) made me their fan.
In a New York Times article published yesterday about his kinky, couple-swapping primetime soap Swingtown on CBS, Show didn't resist the urge to take a pot shot at the 90's Fox mega-hit Melrose Place, where he starred as Beverly Hills, 90210 transplant Jake Hanson. Here's an excerpt from the Q&A:
New Yortk Times: You have been acting pretty much since you could work, right?
Grant Show: I’ve been acting professionally since I was 24, and it’s the only job I’ve ever done. I had financial low points just before “Melrose Place.” A few years after “Melrose Place,” when the luster of “Melrose Place” wore off and what was left was just the stink and I was just doing bad TV movies, that was a personal low point. I felt I needed to stop doing those, and I did. I went a long time without working at all. I bought a house. I got married. I kept trying to figure out how to move forward. I went to the Beverly Hills Playhouse, where I was working with Richard Lawson, who is just a fantastic acting coach, and I was trying to work through my own stuff , where I felt that every time I walked in the room people just saw “Melrose Place.” But then I learned that I was bringing it in with me, and that’s what they saw. As soon as I got over it, so did everyone else. Well, not everyone did, but most of them.
I get that actors have a hard time with being typecast after playing a character in a hit series or movie franchise. People tend to only see them as capable of playing the type of role that made them famous. Late actor Christopher Reeve (Ben Harper, Love of Life) famously struggled with finding quality roles after becoming a household name in Superman, but he found a way to express his frustration at being typecast without dissing the very projects that gave him his first 15 minutes of fame.
I haven't watched a project starring Nancy McKeon since she started dissing her years on The Facts of Life and probably never will again. She might be ashamed of Jo, but that character entertained my Gran and I for eight seasons.
Grant Show could barely act his way out of a broom closet-if the lights were on and there were glowing signs pointing the way out-when MP made its debut, but his killer good looks and chemistry with Daphne Zuniga (Jo) and Heather Locklear (Amanda) made him a superstar.
Now I suppose he wants fans to empathize with him because he had to do a few "bad movies"? Uh, disgusting much? I don't hear Grey's Anatomy's brilliant creator Shonda Rhimes complaining about having had to pen the awful Britney Spears movie Crossroads-not that she could heard over Katherine Heigl's moaning to the press about Grey's and Knocked Up.
I take personal offense to Show's remarks since the late Aaron Spelling was one of my idols. No, he never attained much critical acclaim for his "Jiggle Television" as critics called most of his body of work, but he had a hit show in primetime from the 1960's through most of the 2000's and I am sorry but that would serve this wannabe writer just as well as critical acclaim.
Even now, with Spelling having gone on to that Great Network in the Sky (Maybe it really is called Aaron's Broadcasting Company?) the struggling CW is placing all bets that an update of Spelling's Beverly Hills, 90210 will save the netlet. If that isn't a testament to Spelling's fun, prolific canon of shows I don't know what is.
Actors like Show really need to realize that the people sitting at home in front of the boob tube while they suffer through making a small fortune and make the covers of international magazines find it particularly difficult to relate to "woe as me" stories like his, especially with unemployment on the rise, lil' Billy off in Afghanistan and people having to sign over their first born sons at the Texaco just to fill up the tank.