|Anna Maria Horsford and Obba Babatundé play Vivienne and Julius Avant.|
While it's common to hear complaints about "newbies" on soaps taking airtime from beloved vets, watching Babatundé and Horsford as parents struggling to accept their daughter has been compelling viewing. To be honest, I have enjoyed their scenes in recent days more than those from actors I have been watching in the same role for decades on other daytime dramas. Both the new B&B actors were perfectly cast and bring a fascinating depth to their roles, and new point of view to a storyline that was already fresh, entertaining and educational.
The writing for Brad Bell's team at B&B has been outstanding as well in recent months, including standouts Patrick Mulcahey, Adam Dusevoir and Michele Val Jean.
"I'm not asking you to be different," Maya told her father on Monday, in an excellent Mulcahey script. "I'm not asking you to march in the transgender pride parade or read books about people like me or even to agree with all of the choices that I've made. I'm just asking you to respect the fact that I had to make them... and that I have a right to be happy."
Vivienne and Julius started to leave but Julius stopped when he saw how hurt Maya was, and walked back over to her.
"Stand up. Stand up, Maya," Julius told her. As she stood, he gave Maya a reason for hope. "Look in my eyes. I will try. I am set in my ways, in my thinking. But the one thing...that I will never stop being...is your father. So I will... try to get to know the woman that you've become... and... the life that you've created for yourself. I'll try and find a way to -- to fit in. This... I can promise you. What do you say? How 'bout some sugar for your old man?"
Maya could do nothing but cry, saying "Daddy..."
I cried too.
Watch the powerful scene below: