Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A New Eric Brady on 'Days of our Lives'?...

Feelings...such strong feelings...

And I don't know exactly how to feel about this yet.

Eric Brady was my first love. Not first crush, mind you, but first love. And that had everything to do with his portrayer, Jensen Ackles. Ackles was on Days of our Lives during a time when the caliber of talent was heads and shoulders above "just" soap opera acting. These were intense professionals dealing in some very real, heartbreaking storylines. And even when they took a turn for a more whimsical side, actors like Ackles kept the characters grounded enough that you were willing to go with them on their brief, wacky detour.

Ackles left Days of our Lives in 2000 and has gone onto slightly more mainstream success, but the show didn't recast the role of Eric Brady. Though Ackles had not originated in it, but merely played the first "adult" version of the character after he went through a bout of SORAS, keeping him off-screen and often mentioned but never seen seemed a testament to Ackles. Who could dare to follow in his footsteps!?

But today, we have an answer, as it appears that Greg Vaughan, last seen for a hot second as a philandering husband in GCB is taking over Eric Brady. 

Earlier, Vaughan Tweeted "Here's to new beginnings!!" with a photo of the NBC sign on the Burbank lot. I am waiting on confirmation from the network that he is, in fact, playing this beloved character, but Soap Opera Digest has already run the story, and they're pretty reliable when it comes to this sort of thing,

Vaughan previously, famously, stepped into another high profile soap opera role as Lucky when Jonathan Jackson left General Hospital. Funny enough, Vaughan knows Ackles' take on Eric very well, as he was dating Ackles' co-star Julianne Morris while her character was romantically entwined with Ackles' on the show. He was often seen in the background of many a Days of our Lives fan event to support his then-girlfriend.

Now, I'm a big fan of Vaughan's, and if anybody had to take over this role, I'm glad it's him. He and Ackles both have the "sexy smoldering" thing going on. But overall I'm notoriously skeptical about recasts, even after all of these years, especially when it is for a character I hold so dear in my heart. I know it's just a part of the daytime business, but I still have to ask the question: why? 

In all honesty, I have always disliked recasting. If one actor takes a character through such pivotal (emotional) moments and storylines over an extended period of time, that actor has basically created who that character is supposed to be in the audience's minds. The writers certainly give the actor the jumping off point-- and the words to say-- but the physical mannerisms, look, style, and ways in which the writers adapted to that particular actor are all thanks (or at the detriment of) that specific person. 

So why can't the writers just create brand new, equally awesome parts for the new cast members to play? Sure, the history might not be there, but the history in this case might prove to be a double-edged sword and quite limiting. For example, Eric and Sami are twins, so there's one love interest option out! 

Okay, I may be grasping...

But additionally, in this specific case, Vaughan is someone I would actually prefer to see pop up on a primetime drama. I had high hopes he might return on GCB, and when that got canceled I figured he could easily find a home on another ABC project. In fact, Revenge is currently casting a role I thought he'd be perfect for... 

And bringing Eric back without Greta? Why is this show ruining all of my favorite childhood couples!?

Change is a part of life, and I may not like it, but I guess I better get used to it. Now I just hope Vaughan is on-screen introduced in a red shirt (no one wears windbreakers anymore), staring forlornly while sitting on a swing! You have to pay respects to those that came before...

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