r.i.p. good acting

Caryn sent me the following article: Are Daytime Soaps Doomed? I haven’t watched soaps in years and years (actually, I think my addiction was cured the summer everything got preempted by the O.J. trial, which should give you an idea of how long ago it was) but for a brief time, I was incredibly addicted to Days of Our Lives, so the opening of the article surprised me:

On Wednesday, “Days of Our Lives” announced that it was firing two of the soap’s biggest stars: Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn. I was shocked and saddened by the news. Can you imagine the town of Salem without Marlena (aka “Doc”) and John?

Thanks to budget cuts “Days” execs reportedly had to let go of the highly-paid actors in order to keep their show on NBC for another 18 months, but with a bloated cast of 31, couldn’t they have axed some of the newbies instead of these beloved vets?

It’s weird how vividly I remember what was happening back 100 years ago when I was a Days junkie. But I would come home from summer tennis practice and call my friend Jacinda and we would sit on the phone saying “OH MY GOD” throughout the entire show. Back then, Hope had just returned, except Stefano had brainwashed her so she thought her name was Gina, and Lisa Rinna (along with her fish lips of doom) was playing Billie (she was very annoying), they replaced the actress who played Jennifer with a new one who had man hands, Jack came back from the dead, Sami was stalking Austin, and Marlena was possessed by the devil. It was all very realistic and exciting. Ahem. One of the most entertaining parts of the whole show (to us) was Drake Hogestyn’s portrayal of John Black. I can’t remember exactly when in the timeline of things it was discovered that he was a priest, but I do know that it amused us to no end that the man was only capable of one facial expression. I remember that I wrote about this once upon a time on my ex-blog (I’m always covering important topics, it seems) so I dug around until I found the image I’d used with the post, and in honor of his getting canned, I would like to resurrect The Many Faces of John Black:

the many faces of john black

And now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to write a little note to John:

Dear John Black,

Oh, whether Stefano had you in prison, or Marlena was rebuffing your advances (it was wrong! she was still with Roman!) and the way you would huskily whisper “Doc” to her, your skin was always an unsettling shade of orange and you obviously had problems with your hair (is that a ponytail?). And yet, through it all, your confrontation of every circumstance in your life with that face — lips pursed and then slightly parted, brow furrowed, one eyebrow occasionally raised — no matter if you were angry or broken-hearted, pensive or overjoyed, you always just looked slightly… confused. And that is why, even though I haven’t kept up with the days of your life (ha! so clever!) in years, I still remember you fondly, for your confused-looking dealings with everything that ever happened to you brought stability to the crazy world of Salem. And though I have no idea what will happen to your storyline now that your life is so ungraciously being cut short (I hope it’s exciting though), I want you to know that I wish you, your eyebrows, and your spray tan nothing but the best.


p.s. That’s really not sarcastic at all, I swear.


8 thoughts on “r.i.p. good acting

  1. I watched Days towards the late 90s when my brother got me hooked on it and Passions. What can I say, I was 13. So BOOOOO to Days for letting go John and Marlena. Fail, Days. Fail.

    I was mostly a CBS soaps fan (mother was so I would watch with her). Today they don’t look like anything like what I grew up watching. Kinda sad to be honest.

    And thus ends my daytime television talk.


  2. Granted, I haven’t watched it since the late 80s/early 90s, but I still remember all of the characters. Letting two of the oldest cast members with the longest-running storylines go is idiotic. Who’s next? Kayla and Patch?

    Screw you, NBC, for ruining a show that I haven’t watched in nearly two decades, but that’s not the point, so as stated, screw you.


  3. I did not know that Deidre had been let go or Drake! but here I am, reading your blog for the first time, and I am saddened by this news. In college, we called her Dr. Marlena “turbo tits” Evans because well, the bras she wore were always so cone shaped. Disturbing, both that I remember that and that it was the truth.


  4. This news is almost reason enough to start watching again, just so I can see how the two of them will be killed off.

    It’s so sad. I, too, remember the devil possession period, as well as John-in-a-gas-chamber and Marlena-in-a-birdcage. Damn, that’s quality TV.


  5. This just hit me! What about the “Marlena in a pit” sequence – when Stella threw her in a big dirt pit in the floor, and gave her food, and Marlena was wearing a white pant suit for like 6 weeks straight. Bless her heart, that pant suit never got dirty, or stained, and she was always a portrait of composure.

    Brings a tear to my eye to think about that. And the hours of senior year in college we all spent watching it. Good times, people, good times.


  6. SA — Um, your comment just made me feel old. Anyway, throughout my entire stretch of unemployment I’ve kept meaning to become hopelessly addicted to a soap again, but instead I’ve discovered that TLC airs What Not To Wear in the middle of the day, so that won. So I’m still entirely not productive, just not in the way I’d intended to be. What was my point? I don’t know.

    Scriber’s Web — Oh yes. I’d forgotten about that, but now I can hear it so clearly. And I may be laughing a little bit.

    Cheryl — But they are so expressive. Sure, they’re always in the same position, but they have so many meanings.

    Sir — I’m afraid I am not familiar with either Kayla or Patch, and I’m sad that there wasn’t a character named Patch when I watched the show.

    Paula — I think it would go against the laws of nature for Marlena to get dirty, even if wearing a white suit and trapped in a pit. Oh, Days of Our Lives. What a show.

    lesley — I can’t believe I forgot about Marlena in a birdcage! Quality television!


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