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35 minutes ago, Soapsuds said:

Laurence Cask wanted a blond hair Emily with zero appeal.

 

Well, then, he succeeded. 

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Honestly, you could have paired Melanie Smith with Telly from "Sesame Street" and it would've been FIRE.  Smith's Emily was LOADED with sexual energy, and any writer would have bowed down and thanked the soap and other gods for her.  Letting her slip through their fingers, IMO, was right up there with RYAN'S HOPE/ABC's decision to fire Sarah Felder (Siobhan Ryan Novak #1) in most boneheaded casting moves of all time.

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3 minutes ago, Khan said:

 

Well, then, he succeeded. 

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Honestly, you could have paired Melanie Smith with Telly from "Sesame Street" and it would've been FIRE.  Smith's Emily was LOADED with sexual charisma, and any writer would have bowed down and thanked the soap and other gods for her.

Gawd it was great seeing her again during the reunion show. Melanie lo looked great and seeing her play Emily again was a treat.

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3 minutes ago, Soapsuds said:

Gawd it was great seeing her again during the reunion show. Melanie lo looked great and seeing her play Emily again was a treat.

 

Who knows?  If she had been there for ATWT's actual finale, she might've made the character's pairing with Roger Howarth's Paul actually palatable!  I'm just saying!

 

Let me be clear: I've nothing against KMH.  If she had been hired to play Samantha, for example, or even been tapped to be a Betsy recast, she would've been wonderful.  But she was not Emily Stewart.  Not by a long shot.

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14 minutes ago, Soapsuds said:

I've never cared for KMH acting style. She got worse as the soap went on.

 

If there was a decline in the quality of KMH's acting, then I blame it on the fact that directors and producers have stopped actually working with actors to get the best performances from them.  Now, it's just hit your mark, point the cameras, shoot the scene and then move on.  It's been AGES since I've seen a truly worthy performance from anyone on daytime, and that's because TPTB just don't take the time anymore to work with them.

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4 minutes ago, Khan said:

 

If there was a decline in the quality of KMH's acting, then I blame it on the fact that directors and producers have stopped actually working with actors to get the best performances from them.  Now, it's just hit your mark, point the cameras, shoot the scene and then move on.  It's been AGES since I've seen a truly worthy performance from anyone on daytime, and that's because TPTB just don't take the time anymore to work with them.

 

Khan nailed it again.

 

I do think some performers can still do a good job but like you said, it's all so rushed ... 

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2 hours ago, Khan said:

 

If there was a decline in the quality of KMH's acting, then I blame it on the fact that directors and producers have stopped actually working with actors to get the best performances from them.  Now, it's just hit your mark, point the cameras, shoot the scene and then move on.  It's been AGES since I've seen a truly worthy performance from anyone on daytime, and that's because TPTB just don't take the time anymore to work with them.

 

I have been saying this for a long time-- directors matter, lol. Coming from the theater world, I know all too well that an effective director can really coax the best performance from an actor or an ineffective director can encourage the worst impulses from a performer.  It may not seem as though they are needed on a fast paced television series but they are, perhaps even more so but that is when it becomes critical to have a director adept at communicating a clear vision for each scene and each character within it. Not just telling the actors where to stand (which I am not even sure they'd do these days).

3 hours ago, Khan said:

 

Well, then, he succeeded. 

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Honestly, you could have paired Melanie Smith with Telly from "Sesame Street" and it would've been FIRE.  Smith's Emily was LOADED with sexual energy, and any writer would have bowed down and thanked the soap and other gods for her.  Letting her slip through their fingers, IMO, was right up there with RYAN'S HOPE/ABC's decision to fire Sarah Felder (Siobhan Ryan Novak #1) in most boneheaded casting moves of all time.

 

I was under the impression that Melanie really wanted to leave, though don't quote me on that, lol.

During the late 80s/early 90s, it seemed like, at times, ATWT was a victim of its own success. Actors hit their strides and demonstrated their talent and appeal in compelling stories,which made them prime targets for casting agents and producers who came calling, which gave the actors more options, which they often wanted to pursue.

I also wonder if the production department of some of these soaps believed that, since they had found such talent in the past, there would always be a pipeline of talent waiting and readily available. By the end of the 90s however, that no longer seemed to be the case, at least where ATWT was concerned.

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3 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Coming from the theater world, I know all too well that an effective director can really coax the best performance from an actor or an ineffective director can encourage the worst impulses from a performer.  It may not seem as though they are needed on a fast paced television series but they are, perhaps even more so but that is when it becomes critical to have a director adept at communicating a clear vision for each scene and each character within it. Not just telling the actors where to stand (which I am not even sure they'd do these days).

 

Exactly.

 

I'm sure Melanie Smith wanted to leave ATWT, but I'm also sure ATWT -- and Laurie Caso, in particular -- didn't fight very hard to keep her.  As an EP, Caso wasn't awful, but his choices tended to be so conservative and safe.  Case in point: Darryl Crawford.  That character DESERVED a dynamic actor to bring him to life.  Someone along the lines of, say, Roscoe Born (ex-Joe, RH; ex-Mitch, OLTL; et al).  Instead, Caso gave us Rex Smith, who was about as fascinating to watch as a root canal.

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I actually thought KMH was a good performer in the first.few years on the show (even she thought the.show was crazy for casting her after she found out who played Emily before her).

 

I sometimes think some performers fit better on certain soaps than others.  KMH seemed more she would have fit better on an ABC soap than a P & G soap.  She even admitted not being am ATWT watcher growing up (Chicago and Chicago suburbs...ABC soaps rated higher than CBS soaps by a landslide)

 

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9 hours ago, Brolden said:

Which story are you referring to? The mid 90s are a blur for me. I've seen one or two episodes of her with Jef, and liked them as well. When the Soapcentral recaps pick up in late '96 Emily seems to be in some sort of triangle with model Paul and Sarah Kasnoff (is that the story you mean?) before being thrown in Diego's orbit.

 

Her affair with Diego, which included scenes where they essentially tortured a blind Sam, breaking into her home, gaslighting her, making out in front of her as she called out to know who was there, etc. It was really crass, unpleasant material that made Emily look like a sociopath.

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2 hours ago, amybrickwallace said:

 

Thanks for that visual.

 

LOL!!

 

But seriously.  Melanie Smith was like ATWT's answer to Susan Lucci: no matter what else was going on in the scene, or who with, your attention invariably drifted toward her.  Not the greatest actress in the world, mind you, but certainly one of the more captivating.

 

10 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

KMH seemed more she would have fit better on an ABC soap than a P & G soap.

 

Actually, I think KMH was on the right soap -- and if not ATWT, then certainly GL, or even AW

 

OTOH, Roger Howarth DEFINITELY belonged on ABC soap, lol.

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20 minutes ago, Khan said:

 

Exactly.

 

I'm sure Melanie Smith wanted to leave ATWT, but I'm also sure ATWT -- and Laurie Caso, in particular -- didn't fight very hard to keep her.  As an EP, Caso wasn't awful, but his choices tended to be so conservative and safe.  Case in point: Darryl Crawford.  That character DESERVED a dynamic actor to bring him to life.  Someone along the lines of, say, Roscoe Born (ex-Joe, RH; ex-Mitch, OLTL; et al).  Instead, Caso gave us Rex Smith, who was about as fascinating to watch as a root canal.

 

I remember when Emily returned for David Stewart's death, and how they nearly recast her until Melanie worked out her schedule. This was also when they recast Betsy with that woman no one had ever seen before. I suppose it made more sense with Betsy (although I would have tried to get Suzanne Davidson), but recasting the two main Stewart women audiences of that period would know sort of suggests Caso didn't really take them seriously enough as characters or as a family.

 

Melanie Smith had "it." She was a very sensual actress, but never too much so (otherwise she would have looked like a predator in the storyline with Paul). She managed to be both seductress and hurt girl who still had the scars of being preyed upon. She also worked very well with Marie Masters and Patricia Bruder. She was believable as a busienesswoman, even though she shouldn't have been (KMH generally wasn't). And while I loved characters like Julie, Melanie's Emily was the best fit for the "othered" role that you always needed on a soap like ATWT - someone that the "good" people of the town either tolerate or openly loathe. The only other time ATWT came close to matching that in its last years was Maura West's first run as Carly.

 

I wish Melanie's Emily could have met Carly.

Edited by DRW50
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7 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

Melanie Smith had "it." She was a very sensual actress, but never too much so (otherwise she would have looked like a predator in the storyline with Paul). She managed to be both seductress and hurt girl who still had the scars of being preyed upon. She also worked very well with Marie Masters and Patricia Bruder. She was believable as a busienesswoman, even though she shouldn't have been (KMH generally wasn't). And while I loved characters like Julie, Melanie's Emily was the best fit for the "othered" role that you always needed on a soap like ATWT - someone that the "good" people of the town either tolerate or openly loathe. The only other time ATWT came close to matching that in its last years was Maura West's first run as Carly.

 

YES.  Especially the last part.  I STILL remember Marlena De La Croix comparing MW/Carly back then to a young Carroll Baker and agreeing with her 1000%.  MW/Carly was truly one-of-a-kind, and the fact that ATWT handled both actress and character so badly in its' last decade, never giving her material that rose above generic, is one good reason why AS THE WORLD TURNS turns no more.

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Whereas Liz Hubbard and Colleen Zenk seem to look back at their characters' periods as vixens/vamps with ambivalence, Melanie seems to embrace her character's unabashed sexuality, which I appreciate. When men play 'bad boys', I never remember any mentioning  regret or hesitation at taking on the role, why do so many women seem to do this? Perhaps it's a generational thing?

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