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40 minutes ago, titan1978 said:

Compare this to the Country Club scenes with Alexandra and Roger, and the episodes just after.  Subtle, character based writing and performances.  Even when Beverlee could have gone into histrionics she played layers.

 

14 minutes ago, KMan101 said:

I think Marj could have played a better Alex. The writing wasn't there and she didn't always elevate it either. 

40 minutes ago, titan1978 said:

I think this was trying to emulate it..but it was the Marvel comics version of that scene. I agree, Marj did quite well as a "different" version of Alex and strangely, I believed her more as a business woman then I did Bev...(Bev played the behind the scenes manipulating the strings better..."Oh me..why I just let others with more experience handle that..." as she takes a knife to your throat..) Again, both were dependent on the writing and also the directing..at that time I think JFP just wanted everyone to go OTT like Deas and Marj. The confrontation with Faux Annie really makes me want to see what Marj could have done with a harsher, more midwestern version of Alex.

 

It does make me laugh at all the faces and the throwing of chairs..for no reason at all..and Van/Maeve's look of embarrassment through this. I just wish they had progressed Van into the rich matriarch of SF role instead of sighing away with Matt and letting Dinah abuse her, and not recast Alex.  A non Ron Raines Alan really turned on by Biz Van and Van playing him would have been good.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, KMan101 said:

I think Marj could have played a better Alex. The writing wasn't there and she didn't always elevate it either. 

 

Here is what I think. First let's set aside the absolute trashing of the character in latter years when she had nothing to do anymore with what Bev had played and where, frankly, I can't blame Marj for cashing the check and just phoning in a hysterical over-the-top caricature.

What this clip shows is that even in her early years the writing had shifted for the character already for one. And for two I can't entirely blame her for not trying to be Bev - no one could - and as someone who had played a recast before she knew it is better not to try.
They hired her because of how she played Capitol's Myrna and this is what she was channeling. It wasn't Alexander as BmK played her but it could have worked with stronger writing/stories.
When it didn't, she clearly could not be bothered to salvage whatever they were doing

Edited by FrenchBug82
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3 hours ago, FrenchBug82 said:

 

Here is what I think. First let's set aside the absolute trashing of the character in latter years when she had nothing to do anymore with what Bev had played and where, frankly, I can't blame Marj for cashing the check and just phoning in a hysterical over-the-top caricature.

What this clip shows is that even in her early years the writing had shifted for the character already for one. And for two I can't entirely blame her for not trying to be Bev - no one could - and as someone who had played a recast before she knew it is better not to try.
They hired her because of how she played Capitol's Myrna and this is what she was channeling. It wasn't Alexander as BmK played her but it could have worked with stronger writing/stories.
When it didn't, she clearly could not be bothered to salvage whatever they were doing

I agree, as soon as Marj appeared the writing had changed...(I remember her coming home to the Spaulding mansion where Roger and Jenna were sleeping in her bed..and she gets in on top of them not knowing they were there..it was supposed to be comedic but it was stupid..Alex would have no idea what happened in her absence even though she was in NY before SF and could have easily found out, etc.)  

 

Yes, no one could play what Bev. did. but that is why they should have never recast..or just recast to finish up the Jenna vs. Spaulding storyline and had her leave..(if I was JFP I would have gotten on my hands and knees to get Bev to finish out the storyline.) Have Van assume the role or bring back Amanda...which would have been a smart thing to do...a fresh take with Amanda and A-M bonding against Roger and Jeana and then  bring back a recast Alan to pit them against each other.  Funny you mention Myrna Clegg, Alex wasnt Myrna but I gotta say, Marj was more fierce and Alex like as Myrna so I can kinda see why they chose her.

 

And I agree, when they properly for Alex Marj was really good and solid. And, she has one of my favorite scenes in the horrible Alex druggin Alan storyline where RR is laying there like a sack and Alex goes to walk out, but then turns around to kick him...so not Alex but hilarious in its own right..I wanted to kick the boring sack that was RR's Alan!

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I loved Marj as Vanessa on AMC.  My feelings about her are not meant as a slight, I think she was very watchable.  As others have said, this was a tough recast to pull off.  She kind of plays her as exasperated and almost looney at times, and it’s like she got no background at all.  I think the actor should interpret the role but still they need to hold on to the essence of the character.

 

But that is also the fault of the writers, directors, and producers.

 

Even Zaslow is having a rough go, he’s one of those people I usually think is flawless.  But the seams are showing there too.

 

I wonder what Constance Towers could have done with Alexandra?  After Helena on GH, I feel she could have pulled off scenes with Roger and Mindy quite well as a colder, more calculating version of Bev’s Alex without going full out like Marj did.

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12 hours ago, titan1978 said:

I agree!  It’s hard to watch.  The writing was not as strong as it had been, and everyone is over the top.  It’s also a room filled with recasts that for me, just don’t quite work as well.  Blake, Mindy, and Alexandra just don’t have the same shine that they did.

 

Compare this to the Country Club scenes with Alexandra and Roger, and the episodes just after.  Subtle, character based writing and performances.  Even when Beverlee could have gone into histrionics she played layers.

Can you imagine Sherry, Krista or Kimberley Simms and Bev in those scenes 

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1 hour ago, cassadine1991 said:

Can you imagine Sherry, Krista or Kimberley Simms and Bev in those scenes 

I can’t.  Because it’s all so over the top, and what I have seen from all three is more nuanced work, and characters that had more agency beyond what man they were with.  Yes they were all in relationships, but the women on JFP shows are so secondary to the men and so lacking in other motivations.

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Lord, I remember those scenes too. That was really when the show was going down the tubes indeed, especially with that drab Tangie Hill skulking around corners. Just very sad.

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4 hours ago, titan1978 said:

Even Zaslow is having a rough go, he’s one of those people I usually think is flawless.  But the seams are showing there too.

Yeah, if you read between the lines of my earlier post, I was kind of uncomfortable with how he delivered the lines and that's why I said it was the whole setup that did a disservice to everyone involved because if even Zaslow can't hit the right note, then it is the music sheet that is flawed.
 

4 hours ago, titan1978 said:

My feelings about her are not meant as a slight, I think she was very watchable.  


I didn't take it as a slight. I think even she hinted by the end that in her latter round after she came back post-Vanessa, the writing was so horrible that she was not even trying and just going full on OTT to please the writers.
And, again, the fact she played Myrna so brilliantly shows that it was not on her. She could do it- they just didn't give her the material to do it and then she just let herself be molded by the writing.
Reminds me a bit of Amelia Heinle over at Y&R. She too was taking over a really strong actress and a strong character and she too had played a somewhat similar character on another show with great results but the minute they brought Victoria back, the writing for the character had mellowed and she didn't try to push back with her acting. She let that carry where she went rather than try to cling to the OG's version that she could have emulated on acting skills alone.
       What would have been the upside for Marj to swim against the tide of what the creative team was clearly going for and risk being criticized for trying to copy her predecessor too much?
She also didn't have great chemistry with many of her costars - which is intangible but a shame nevertheless. She and RR were fine but RR was, well, lacking so it didn't help Alex as a character and there was no one else that I could have watched her interact with just for the sake of it.
Bev had not only great chemitry with her family characters but watch her with Roger or Fletcher or Blake or with Reva and the flow is delightful. Noone had that effect on Marj unfortunately - they should have tried to bring a character like that for her.

 

4 hours ago, Mitch said:

Alex would have no idea what happened in her absence even though she was in NY before SF and could have easily found out, etc.)  


That was the major loophole in that story regardless but indeed playing the initial confrontation as a comedy rather than concoct a reason for which Alex could not come back until now despite knowing but she is now on the warpath would have been so much more satisfying.
Which is why we can bat around other great ideas for recasts like Constance Towers but ultimately the characterization had changed the minute Bev walked out. Alex would have known about Jenna and Roger stealing Spaulding and would have come back. That's where they needed to write her differently, whoever was going to replace Bev, because otherwise the absence made no sense.
 

4 hours ago, Mitch said:

if I was JFP I would have gotten on my hands and knees to get Bev to finish out the storyline.


If you read any interview she did in her latter years, she was done. Like, really done. No amount of hands and knees, and certainly not on the part of JFP who had antagonized her, would have changed her mind.
 

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14 hours ago, titan1978 said:

I loved Marj as Vanessa on AMC.  My feelings about her are not meant as a slight, I think she was very watchable.  As others have said, this was a tough recast to pull off.  She kind of plays her as exasperated and almost looney at times, and it’s like she got no background at all.  I think the actor should interpret the role but still they need to hold on to the essence of the character.

Yea, I would have loved Marj as a totally different character. Both Bev and CB played the Spauldings as "to the manor born" and quite different from the rest of midwestern SF and the Lewis. Not so much Marj and RR. RR would have made a great Mike Bauer, no matter what he came off as too nice and too fatherly that his "badness" just made him look like he had gas all the time. But agree, it was so weird that tightly controlled Alex was huffing and puffing and acting like a nutcase. I thought they were going to do a menopause storyline (not that women with menopause act like nuts but looking for some kind or explanation.) The worst had to be when smart Alex was tricked by Roger into thinking that a snake bit her and he was acting like he was sucking the venom out of her as she was moaning more in ecstasy then anything else, no a car hood no less. I know that JFP would take out her own venom on the actors characters, even after they left so I wonder if poor Marj had to play JFP working out her issues with Bev through Alex. But its in other regimes too, the change of Alex's character from JoanAlex purring and in control to Marj screaming and thowing chairs in the police department is striking.

 

14 hours ago, titan1978 said:

I wonder what Constance Towers could have done with Alexandra?  After Helena on GH, I feel she could have pulled off scenes with Roger and Mindy quite well as a colder, more calculating version of Bev’s Alex without going full out like Marj did.

I think she would have been great but too close to her GH character. I always thought that Lara Parker from Dark Shadows would have made a great Alex...I know they were considering RS from OLTL and Jane Elliot but Parker was away from soaps long enough to bring a fresh spin and not replay her old character. She would also bring that icy glamour with a just hidden "Ill cut a bitch" vibe Bev always gave. I think she and Zaz would have given off some heat.

 

 

Edited by Mitch
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11 hours ago, titan1978 said:

I can’t.  Because it’s all so over the top, and what I have seen from all three is more nuanced work, and characters that had more agency beyond what man they were with.  Yes they were all in relationships, but the women on JFP shows are so secondary to the men and so lacking in other motivations.

 

THIS. JFP loves her some bland leading women. 

14 hours ago, titan1978 said:

I loved Marj as Vanessa on AMC.  My feelings about her are not meant as a slight, I think she was very watchable.  As others have said, this was a tough recast to pull off.  She kind of plays her as exasperated and almost looney at times, and it’s like she got no background at all.  I think the actor should interpret the role but still they need to hold on to the essence of the character.

 

But that is also the fault of the writers, directors, and producers.

 

Even Zaslow is having a rough go, he’s one of those people I usually think is flawless.  But the seams are showing there too.

 

I wonder what Constance Towers could have done with Alexandra?  After Helena on GH, I feel she could have pulled off scenes with Roger and Mindy quite well as a colder, more calculating version of Bev’s Alex without going full out like Marj did.

 

You summed it up well.

 

I've often wondered about different actresses in the role. 

 

I think Marj frustrates me as Alex because I believe she could have played that role but the writing wasn't there and like even she said, she didn't really elevate herself above the material. She played it exasperated and over the top.

 

I loved her as Vanessa on AMC. I've only seen bits of her on Capitol. I've seen her in many other things and believe she was more than capable of playing the layered Alex I would have wanted to see. But even with Bev in the role, the writing was declining and you can see her do her best with the material. God she was brilliant. 

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Posted (edited)

GL and GH aired in the same time slot when I was a younger, and GH was my show.  So back then I didn’t watch GL.  As a fan of the genre though I bought the GL coffee table book back then, and knew by reputation about characters like Roger, Holly, and Alexandra before I had seen the book.

 

After all my watching this summer, the Curlee HW era up to the Blackout is some pretty amazing soap opera.  And while there are some bright spots and certainly some well produced material after that, it’s just not the same.  I am biased, Sherry Stringfield played one of my absolute favorite characters on ER, so I already love her Blake.  But without Bev as Alex and also KS as Mindy, that whole corner of the show is not as interesting for me with the recasts.

Edited by titan1978
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8 hours ago, KMan101 said:

But even with Bev in the role, the writing was declining and you can see her do her best with the material. God she was brilliant. 


We are indeed missing a point when criticizing Marj's Alex is that while Bev gave the kind of performance only she could give, Alex during the whole blackmailing Mindy saga was already verging on the over-the-top huffy-puffy shrieky bitch that Marj played. Bev had a better handle on what she wanted to play so it was less in-your-face on-screen than it became but the character was already written differently - less cold and in control - in that whole saga.

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