Too good not to talk about

Well, I feel a little sheepish about this, but I’m going to break my inviolate rule about discussing spoilers. For myself, I have always made an exception for casting spoilers, because they’re pretty much impossible to avoid anyway. But just in case any of my readers are purer than I, I have made it a policy not to discuss even casting spoilers here.

But right now I must, I must!

So … casting spoiler alert!
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Martha Madison and Brandon Beemer were released from their contracts. I still can’t believe it. Shelle … gone?

I’m positively giddy about this and it scares me, because I’m afraid that my hopes will be crushed. But I can’t spin this any way except to be a very, very good thing for the show.

First of all, I think this is great news for Jay Kenneth Johnson. I was thinking that Phelle was the only option I had to root for, and it was truly a devil’s choice: is it better to root for Phillip to actually be in a relationship with someone, even if it’s Belle? Because pining for her from afar is truly the worst of both worlds.

But now, they can explore Phillip as a character—his position as the Kiriakis heir (one of the few people we ever see at work!), his war record, his missing leg. And they can try him out with Chloe, Morgan, or, my choice, Stephanie. I know Stephanie was raised solely by Kayla the doctor, but she has a working class vibe that I think would play nicely off of Mr. Power Broker. This show has no patience, but I’d like to see Phillip and Stephanie with other people for awhile first. I’d like to let Stephanie get just a bit older and finish school—since this is Salem, about six months to a year should do the trick—before clashing with Phillip in some work-related setting.

Another reason this is great for the show is Shelle is a dead end, story-wise. Between the SORASing and getting together as teenagers, they have absolutely no history to draw upon for internal conflict. They’ve been in countless quads and triangles of various types (Jan, Mimi, Willow, Phillip, even Gabby!). They’ve done all the baby-related storylines. Claire was a WTD story, had a near-death scare, has been kidnapped twice and was part of a custody battle. Shawn’s recent role as “insecure working stiff” forced us to forget about his trust fund from the Horton side of the family, not to mention his Kiriakis connection. And Belle has a cushy trust fund of her own, so why was everyone acting like the only way she could live the good life was to hook up with Philliip?

There was also the fact that there was little chemistry between the two, and Brandon Beemer is a very limited actor. Martha Madison is actually a very good dramatic actress, so I’m sorry to lose her in that sense. I used to enjoy trying to come up with good ways to revitalize Belle and play to Martha’s strengths. A bitch who hates men or a crazy repressed stalker were my two favorite options. I enjoyed this later run of Belle, when she was screwing up her life and everyone was calling her on it. But a glittery princess everyone adores? It didn’t work. I didn’t think she was quite so chemistry-less as many people did, but she brought no joy to the role of Belle. (Because of her dramatic chops, though, I think Martha will have no problem finding another job.)

The biggest reason, though, to be optimistic about this is that this indicates that someone in charge knows what the hell they’re doing. Someone—is it you, Ed?—actually recognized that this pair was dead weight and, what is perhaps more amazing, was able to act on that fact.

Incidentally, I heard that John’s return was scripted by Ken Corday. I can just imagine the meeting between Corday and Ed Scott: “Okay, I’ll give you John back but I get to kill Shelle!”

13 thoughts on “Too good not to talk about

  1. John’s return scripted by Corday? As in wrote the dialogue and the sci-fi stuff?

    Why do I, more and more, think I know who the real problem is ;). It’s not Hogan.

  2. Well, if John’s return was scripted by Corday, all that means is that Corday knows how to cut and paste from last year’s scripts.

    ITA about Shelle. I’m so excited that I can’t stand it. The only thing that worries me is that there are apparently some people out there who think this is a big mistake and are gearing up campaigns to get them back. Knowing how Corday responds to fan complaints, I’m very afraid that he’s going to change his mind and ruin our late Christmas present.

  3. Corday’s responsible for bringing John back?? Was Corday in a coma last year and not realize that it’s the same storyline from last year with the excellent couple Steve and Kayla?

    May Shelle rest in peace…that is…until the recast.

  4. Well, I shouldn’t repeat things that I just read “somewhere” because they might not be true. I distinctly remember reading that John’s return “was crafted by Ken Corday himself” but I’m racking my brain to remember where.

    I’m surprised by the outcry over Shelle. Like I said, I think Martha Madison is a decent actress and I maybe could have enjoyed her in another role, but Belle-as-written isn’t it.

    I wonder if I should start a campaign of my own: “Keep the ‘Shelle’ away from my show! Sign in, please!”

  5. I don’t have to tell you how thrilled I am about this. I keep reading about the uproar over this, and it makes me nervous. Corday has a habit of listening to loud fans. I want to call Corday, Scott, NBC, and Sony and tell them all what a great move I think this is.

  6. MP, the stuff about Corday crafting the story was in the interview with DHe in SOW (or SOD) the week John returned to the screen. So, don’t worry, you got it right. But, I still say all he deserves credit for is cutting and pasting.

    I know some have different feelings about writing the show, but I do think it would behoove all of use who think sending Shelle to Downtown Europe is a great idea to let TPTB know our opinion. It might not measure up to the backlash, but it might be enough to keep them from changing their minds.

  7. I’m thrilled that Shelle are gone too but I keep holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. That the price to get rid of them must fall somewhere or they aren’t really gone actually (like John wasn’t really dead).

  8. Well, I agree that Shelle and Phelle were a boring recycling of hackneyed old storylines. I was ready to tear my hair out. It’s a shame Martha Madison had to lose her job as a result of their uninspired writing, though. I would love to see Philip with Chloe again, sorting through the mine of emotions he has buried over her. I always enjoyed them. As edgy adults it could be great and they still have the chemistry. Not a fan of Stephanie and the Salem Uni lot. I think they could cull them and save some cash.

  9. Lascuba, I AM going to write to TPTB saying I think this is a good move. Just like Tripp, I just can’t believe Shelle could be gone, simple as that—not without some kind of karmic payback coming to slap us in the face, anyway. I feel I need to do something to work for this!

    esp, thanks for the reminder about where I read that about Ken Corday and Drake’s return.

    Jamba, thanks for commenting. I agree that Martha Madison is a good actress. If they had gotten her away from Phillip AND Shawn and given her a job (especially if they let her be a bitch at the same time), I think she could have been very watchable.

  10. People who dont like red colour like blue movies. And angelic, clean Belle was good in paper, but not in the TV. Kirsten Storms is a good Maxie, but she was not good Belle. Instead the main young heroine turned to whiney, self-centered and charismafree closet-nympho who needed props like my sweet, innocent and misunderstood Cassie (feminine part of wonderful Gemini twins.) Martha took the role after awful Charity Rahmer (she got lot of crap from her acting, but she WAS awful) and soon the writer decided that Belle needed props – Mimi – again. (Not that I bought Shimi, either. Jason Cook and Farah Fath had looks and chemistry, and I liked sweet, vulnerable Mimi, but their relationship – forget it.) BB was always bad Shawn. What can I say? Bad thing that someone loses a job, but I hope Shelle is torn apart and gets unhappy ending. GRR!

  11. Christine, hee.

    I’m actually quite willing to give Shelle a happy ending and let them sail off into the sunset together. Any Shelle fans that are left will get their payoff after—what, eight years?

    Someone said on TWoP (Paxton, was it you?) that MM would be perfect starring in movies for Lifetime, and I think that’s brilliant. She would be terrific with all that suffering and drama.

  12. Yes, I did say that I thought MM would be very well suited to Lifetime movies. I really do think that would be a good fit for her, because they suit her skill set. They tend not to be very humorous, and the hot sex is even more limited than on Days. She’d be perfect as the wife and mother whose husband has an affair with his secretary, who turns out to be crazy and who threatens the family, with MM ending up killing her, whereupon the movie ends with apparently no legal consequences. Since most Lifetime movies are variations on this theme (at least the ones I find interesting; just like lascuba can’t stand soap baby storylines, I’m bored with “children with illness/mental problems” movies), I think she could find work for the next 15 years.

  13. In addition to the “wronged wife who justifiably kills the terrible homewrecker” movies, where I agree with you MM would be outstanding, I think she would also shine in those “sick kid of the week” movies. As long as it didn’t involve too much acting with children, hee.

    Personally, I hate sick kid movies with a passion, and not because I’m compassionate and hate to see children suffer. They are sure to involve bad kid acting and some transcendent heartwarming moment where the kid inspires everyone around him to be a better person. Gah, I hate that.

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