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Attention Soap Newbies: Take It Slow

charles mesure, laura wright


Slow And Steady Wins The Race: GH’s Brennan (Charles Mesure, with Laura Wright as Carly) has gotten off to a strong start.

There’s a fine art to introducing new characters (and recasts) and it starts with playing them sparingly.

Exhibit A: GH’s Jack Brennan. His s-l-o-w introduction with A-listers Anna and Carly has been a master class in creating interest in that groovy Australian cooling his heels in Pentonville. Making Jack a former WSB honcho in cahoots with Valentin at Pikeman was also an eyebrow-raiser: Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

Carly went to him for advice on what her options were re: the FBI blackmailing Jason with info about her and didn’t like what she heard.

Jack: “You broke the law.”

Carly: “I’m aware.”

Jack: “You’ve got yourself into quite a situation.”

I have a million questions about this guy, which is a good start — especially if he’s going to be a love interest for the irascible Ms. Spencer.

Gio is another one being broken in slowly… but cool it with the violin playing for a while. We get it, he’s musically talented. No need to hit us over the head like this:

Trina: “The way he played was like a painting! Gio is an artist. I can see how violinists were rock stars back in the day.”

Anchor Gio with his “aunts” Lois and Olivia and play the mysterious connection he has to Sonny before having the P.C. college girls gush over him and his “artistry.”

As for GH’s other new musician, my jury’s out on The Blaze Show. Blaze singing, talking about singing, going to the recording studio, etc., and her mother Natalia being a manipulating homophobe is not the way to create rooting value for two newbies. Nina and Maxie rolling their eyes at the overbearing Natalia doesn’t help, either. (When Maxie calls you a “pain” you know you’re on a bad path.) And why does Natalia say “my daughter” in every sentence? We know who Blaze is.

Better to have Blaze support Kristina and Natalia be there for Sonny if they are to grow on us. We’re just now getting used to the recasts of Kristina and Molly (third time’s the charm, huh?) and it’s been a year. Always go for the slow burn.

They’ve kind of done that with the new Jagger, but he hasn’t gelled. Maybe that’s because none of our P.C. faves like him.

Spinelli: “Did Agent Cates try something with you?”

Carly: “No. I wish he would have. That would have given me an excuse to stab him.”

Ouch. John “Jagger” Cates looks and acts nothing like the previous actor and walks around P.C. making empty threats while everyone walks all over him. Carly fished around for who his target is and he got all braggy, which was not a good look.

Jagger: “A good agent never tells.”

Carly: “Are you a good agent?”

Jagger: “The best.”

Ha! Sam got the better of him with one “damsel in distress” routine and Spinelli immediately stole his phone and hacked into the FBI server. If that’s the “best” the FBI has to offer in Port Charles, give me incarcerated WSB agent Jack Brennan every time.

B&B’s Luna and Poppy are Exhibit B (for Bold, get it?), having been brought in as Li’s niece and sister who shared a possible past with Bill Spencer. Eight months after we met Luna, she took a paternity test proving Bill was her father — another good example of a slow burn. Poppy is a wild card with her drugged mints and veiled threats to Katie about “her” house, but I’ll take that newbie every day if it gives Dollar Bill a story.

Deacon (seating Poppy and Bill): “Inside or outside?”

Bill: “Anywhere but the homicidal maniac’s section.”

One quibble: Did B&B drop the Zende story? I feel like Bill would be asserting himself as an overprotective father and making trouble for Zende after hearing about his one-night stand with Luna. And not for nothing, how is R.J. — a Forrester! — good enough for Bill’s daughter? Lots to play there.

Y&R’s Claire came on like gangbusters as a villain who tried to kill the entire Newman family, and now they’re playing her like the squeaky-clean daughter on Little House on the Prairie, complete with hair tied back and high lace collar. (That you, Half Pint?)

The sudden halo on that nut job made no sense but finally someone in her “new family” called them on it.

Victoria: “You weren’t very nice to Claire. She’s your sister.”

Katie: “The kids at school say she’s crazy and dangerous.”

Victoria: “Claire is not crazy.”

Katie: “She was in a mental hospital for being fine? Maybe she’ll murder us all in our sleep.”

Out of the mouths of babes.

Elsewhere, Audra entered in 2022 as a snarky plotter sleeping with Tucker and Kyle at the same time — which gave her little rooting value but watching her best Tucker with Glissade changed that.

Victor (to Audra): “We will create a cosmetics company that will crush whatever comes our way.”

“Whatever” meaning Victor’s longtime enemies, Tucker McCall and Jack Abbott, both bested when Victor 1) secretly funded Audra to take Glissade from Tucker and 2) offered to hire Jack’s son Kyle to run it with her. It was a “two birds with one stone” takeover and it was masterful — but Audra doesn’t know her new boss like we do.

Victor: “I want Kyle to become your co-CEO.”

Audra: “I am more than capable of running the company on my own.”

Victor: “This is not a suggestion.”

As for DAYS, I still haven’t adjusted to the old actors they’ve recycled into new roles. Morphing Gwen into Theresa might have worked better if Theresa wasn’t so front-burner. When I watch Theresa now, I see Gwen. Ditto Bonnie/Adrienne, Alex/Ben, Stefan/Jake, Everett/Nick (and Bobby…). But, I am working through Diana/Anjelica because it’s been decades since Anjelica had a story and Leo/Diana are a welcome throwback to Y&R’s Kevin/Gloria.

Elsewhere, they’re doing a good job with those newbie teens. We know all four of their parents (Brady and Theresa for Tate, Nicole and the late Daniel Jonas for Holly), and the friends they hung out with at the prom were believable. Tate ditching his date, Sophia, so he could sneak off with Holly was mean, but at least she called them on it.

Sophia: “Cut the crap, Holly. Tate doesn’t have a headache.”

Holly: “I feel terrible for hurting you. You’re my best friend! You could have any guy you want.”

Sophia: “I wanted Tate.”

Brady and Theresa stormed in on Holly and Tate at the Salem Inn with such aggression that Tate turned to his grandmother.

Tate (to Marlena): “It was like being raided by a SWAT team! Mom busted in there like a deranged person and pretty much called Holly a slut.”

Cut to Theresa at the DiMera mansion going nuts on Holly being with her sainted son, Tate. Beat it, ordered Nicole.

Holly: “Mom, I like him. You understand what it’s like to have feelings for someone when everyone tells you they’re bad for you.”

Oh, yes, she does. And it’s comments like this that will cement these cute teens:

Brady (to Theresa): “Our son is a red-blooded male who is hot for this girl he has been forbidden to see.”

That’s Soaps 101, baby!

Hey. It’s only my opinion.