October 3, 2006

Let’s Talk Tad…. 

Martin, that is.  Wow.  Just…WOW!  I had almost forgotten how powerful a well-written, well-acted scene could be until I saw Michael E. Knight in action as Tad Martin on the witness stand.  Bravo!  Bravo!  (I say also to the writers:  MORE PLEASE?!)  Now THAT…is how rage, grief and bitterness should be played. 

*wonders if the new kids on the PV block are taking notes* 

For that matter, I wonder if the writers, producers and B.S. Frons are taking notes?  Knight’s entire performance was pure SOAP, folks.  Who knew that Michael E. Knight could pull off that kind of performance?!  Well, those of us who have been watching the show for longer than five minutes sure did.  It’s a shame Knight is rarely given the opportunity to shine in a D-R-A-M-A-T-I-C capacity.  We all know that he’s comic gold, when allowed to be, but we so rarely catch a glimpse of the tortured soul beneath the jester- like façade. 

Aside from the fact that I agree C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E-L-Y with everything he said (as Tad) about Dixie and, even though we are supposed to believe it was all an “act,” Knight really sold it.  I, for one, could genuinely feel all the anger, frustration, pain and sorrow as he sat there pouring out his feelings in open court.  There has been overwhelming (positive) response to this single performance, so much that one can only hope TPTB sit up and take notice of what those whom they deem as easily dispensable, veterans like Knight, Irizarry, Canary, Barr, and Willy, (to name but a few) are capable of.  The ones they are all too eager to shunt to the backburner, (in favor of younger, cheaper and supposedly prettier actors) are the ones who make this once great SOAP watchable. 

So, the bloom has fallen (a little) off the rose.  Big deal.  Everyone gets older.  It isn’t always about the ones who are young and “appealing” - at least not by the criteria TPTB are using.  TPTB are guilty, more often than not, of forgetting the fans who have been around for ten, fifteen, twenty or more years - fans who have faithfully followed the lives, loves, trials and tribulations surrounding the characters of Pine Valley for longer than their favorite target audience has been alive.  Tad Martin may not be the hot young stud he once was, but that’s OKAY.  We like to see our characters grow up and evolve.  It’s the natural order of things.  We like to see REAL women on canvas, instead of just 20 year old cadavers with huge sweater-puppies that make us wonder how they could possibly stand upright. 

What we don’t want is to have our (veteran) characters reduced to bit parts, wallpaper, or caricatures of their former selves.  We do not want to see a David Hayward who has been reduced to a simpering, begging, pleading, puppy-dog panting after the likes of Dixie Martin.  It’s beneath him - and US.  We don’t want to see a vibrant, intelligent woman like Brooke relegated to wallpaper and trotted out for a few seconds of “shrewing” at budding Mrs. Robinson, Julia Keifer.  We don’t want to see the Adam Chandler that has been transformed into a simpering fool who could be bested by Krystal (with a K-Carey).   We don’t want to see someone like Jackson Montgomery (who has EVERY reason in the world NOT to like or trust the Lavery family by the way) suddenly kneel down, either groveling or in homage, to those Lavery boys. 

Turning vets like these into complete idiots, punching bags and shadows of their former selves is what is ruining this show.  Give us the Tad Martin we saw in that courtroom and we’ll be giddy enough to keep tuning in.  Keep beatifying the likes of Krystal, Babe, Ryan and Jonathon while vilifying Tad, Jackson, Zach, David, JR and Adam while bringing in the Colby’s, Sydney ’s and Sean’s and just see how long it takes for people to tune out in droves. 

Until next time, take a seat at the bar; the drinks are on me!