Sunday, July 19, 2009

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: March, Driscoll & Hearst

Three familiar actors returned to soaps this week. Forbes March debuted as Professor Jarvis on AS THE WORLD TURNS, John Driscoll took over the role of an aged Chance on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and Rick Hearst returned to THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL as Whip after a seven year absence and long run on GENERAL HOSPITAL. We Love Soaps editor Roger Newcomb gives his first impressions below.

AS THE WORLD TURNS' Forbes March (Professor Mason Jarvis)
NEWCOMB: Forbes March debuted as Professor Mason Jarvis on Wednesday's episode of AS THE WORLD TURNS. Mason is Noah's advisor on his senior project, which originally was supposed to be the film he was making about his father (which he burned). Without a project, Luke offered Noah a script he had written last year, and Noah later presented it to Mason for review. Mason's feedback on Luke's script mirrored some of the thoughts fans have had on the ATWT scripts in recent months: "It's way too complex for a short. There's no clear arc for your protagonist. The transitions are all muddy." The script for this episode was written by Cheryl L. Davis. Did she have ATWT in mind when writing this dialogue? March was believeable as a college professor and actually had honest and constructive advice for Noah. The audience didn't find out much about Mason's personality on his first day but March's trademark charm was there in spades leaving me intrigued about where this character may go in the future.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS's John Driscoll (Phillip 'Chance' Chancellor IV)
NEWCOMB: John Driscoll debuted at the end of Thursday's episode of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS as Phillip Chancellor IV. By the time his first full show on Friday was over, the audience had learned he now goes by the name Chance, which he got while on a tour of duty in Iraq. Driscoll did as good a job as possible of portraying Chance's reaction to seeing his returned from the dead father, Phillip III. It was one of those completely unrealistic scenarios that most of us would never be in so it could have been written several different ways and one would have been just as believeable as the next. Since this column is about first impressions, I do have to say that I thought Chance was a bit too stiff. Driscoll has said in interviews that the show passed on him after his first audition but he changed it up the second time around and won the part. He came across for me as an actor who was trying too hard to play the tough Army guy. The audience should never see an actor acting and it felt a bit fake to me. Chance has obviously faced a lot of hardship in Iraq and seen his friends die, and his return home, even without his father being there, would be tough. I'm a big fan of Driscoll and he looked fabulous in his Army fatigues, but upon first viewing, I wasn't completely buying him in the role.

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL's Rick Hearst (Whip Jones)
NEWCOMB: Stephanie found a picture of Whip at the end of Thursday's THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, and by Friday he was interviewing with Stephanie, Nick and Jackie. Rick Hearst is one of the best actors on daytime so it's nice to see him move to a show who plans on using him more (at least for now). Whip's return was all about humor. The writers went out of their way to create one funny circumstance after another for Whip including having the door slammed in his face by Nick multiple times and interacting with Pam and Clarke as he enjoyed one of Pam's lemon bars. I enjoy B&B the most when the show combines campy humor with their trademark drama and Whip's return was very funny. Hearst is a fine dramatic actor, but also excels as broad comedy and his reactions were dead on. By the end of the episode Stephanie had piqued Whip's interest in his ex-wife Brooke and it will be interesting to see what happens when they two of them see each other.


  1. Driscoll is a great actor but he's too old to play Chance. The insists that Phillip left as a teenager 20 years ago: 18 or 19 years old. Therefore, Phillip and Nina are no more than 39 or 40. So how old could Chance have been when Phillip left in 1989? Reasonably, we could say 1 to 3 years old. So, chance should only be 21 to 23. Driscoll looks 28 to 30.

    Secondly, Chance was too blase about meeting his father. Neither joy nor anger emanated from him upon finding his dead father very much alive. There was no sense of hurt, shock, or rage.

    I blame Y&R's writers and producers for this snafu. They should have written these scenes better. Why didn't they also have flashbacks of a Young Phillip and Nina with their son? Wouldn't that have been a great way to play on the emotional tension?

    Y&R has all three original cast members but refuses to use any of that great onscreen history. It makes no sense on a show that always uses flashbacks.

  2. B&B:

    Please, please, please Soap Gods, can you send Ridge and Taylor and their children to Paris for 10 year stint to run Forrester International?

    Seriously, the worst part of this show revolves around those 4 characters.

    The Ridge/Brooke/Taylor triangle is awful. It has to end permanently. Cruel? Inhuman? Evil? Yes, those are all valid words to describe forcing that triangle once more onto viewers. We've seen this crap, what?, 5 or 6 times already. Why bother going through it again?

    Best thing about B&B:

    1) Jackie M Gang
    2) Donna & Pam
    3) Bill & Katie