Deep Soap: ATWT Alums Turn To Other Soaps

Terri Colombino and Maura West (Bryan Bedder/Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Terri Colombino and Maura West (Bryan Bedder/Charley Gallay/Getty Images)

Terri Columbino Joins ‘One Life To Live’

Terri Colombino is the latest ‘As The World Turns‘ alumna to land a part on another soap. According to SoapNet, she will be playing Aubrey on ‘One Life To Live.‘  Aubrey will first appear in late November. Look for her to be connected to the Buchanan family. got a hold of the casting breakdown and adds, “Aubrey’s proper breeding masks her free-spirited nature.”  The obvious implication is that Aubrey is Echo (Kim Zimmer) and Clint’s (Jerry VerDorn) long lost child.  The Buchanans would have an illegitimate Procter & Gamble branch. Colombino’s presence may encourage some ATWT fans to give OLTL a chance.  Her comedic timing will undoubtedly be an asset to the often intentionally funny soap.  I am just happy that the Buchanans have  a major storyline coming up, and that the Book of Eli will be over soon.

Maura West Hits The Ground Running in her ‘Young & The Restless’ Debut

Another ATWT alum is already appearing on a new soap. My verdict of Maura West after her first two days as Diane on ‘The Young & The Restless‘: perfect recast.  Welcome to Genoa City, Maura.  The Emmy-winning West’s talent was never in question.  The only concern was whether she would be a good fit for the role of Diane, who was previously played by Alex Donelley and Susan Walters.  Though both West’s ATWT character Carly and Diane are troublemakers, Carly was far earthier than the gold-digging, wannabe patrician Diane.  The 38-year-old West is also significantly younger than her predecessors, which could have changed the dynamic of her relationship with the 50-ish Jack (Peter Bergman), who is supposed to be her peer.

Fortunately, West owned the character from the moment she stepped on screen.  She gave Diane enough gravitas and maturity that the age difference was irrelevant. My first thoughts were how much more beautiful and glamorous she looked than she ever did in Oakdale. This is not to say that she looked unattractive on ATWT, but it highlighted how unflattering the lighting and wardrobe was on the P&G shows.  West’s Diane is already a completely different character from Carly.  Her voice is different, she carries herself like a woman who has been an insider for a long time not an outsider with a chip on her shoulder.  West had immediate chemistry with everyone she has worked with, from her  exes Jack and Victor (Eric Braeden) to her enemies Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott).  They all seemed like they had been working together for years.

Watch Full Episodes Of Y&R On XfinityTV

My only quibbles were with the writing.  Keeping Diane and Jack’s son Kyle an elementary school student while Abby (Marcy Rylan) is now an adult is one of the worst holes in the daytime time-space continuum ever created by SORASing.   For those not watching during the initial storyline, Ashley and Diane were pregnant pregnant via artificial insemination at the same time. Diane believed she had knocked herself up with Victor’s stolen sperm, but it turned out that Ashley stole Victor’s swimmers from Diane’s freezer (seriously, this actually happened) and replaced them with Jack’s.  Kyle should be in the same age group as Noah and Abby now both for continuity and because there are not many stories to tell about children on soaps.

I also found Diane’s barbs about Nikki’s alcoholism a case of giving a character dialogue that is relevant to a current storyline but does not really make sense.  As far as Diane knows, Nikki conquered her drinking problem back in the 1990s. Yes, she saw Nikki ordering a drink, but there was no reason for her to not buy Nikki’s claim that she wanted a club soda.  Everyone gets thirsty.  So her line, “Kyle is a well-adjusted, happy boy, because unlike your children, he doesn’t have an ex-stripper, pill-popping alcoholic mother who bounces from husband to husband while he’s shipped off to boarding school,” rang false.  Nikki’s stripper past has been a constant source of mirth for her enemies.  Her substance abuse problem was actually relatively short-lived and was rarely addressed until her current storyline.

Other than that, I am thrilled that Diane is back, that Y&R cast a daytime veteran in the role, and that the show is continuing to utilize its history.

When Brenda Met Dante

The secret is out: ‘General Hospital’s‘ Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) used to have decent hair!  That was my major takeaway from the flashback scenes of him and Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo).

It seems that when Dante was a uniformed cop for the NYPD, he was briefly assigned to be Brenda’s bodyguard.  What happened next is a mystery.  All we know so far is that he accepted her offer to raid a giftbasket in her hotel room, grabbing a few premium chocolate bard to bring home to Olivia.

Once I get past the numerous coincidences involved in this story: the fact that Sonny never mentioned Brenda’s last name to Dante when he was talking about her, that this trained investigator who presumably researched Sonny before going undercover in his organization never learned about Sonny and Brenda’s relationship, and that Brooklyn never mentioned that her mother used to run a record label with Brenda, it is a good twist. Whatever happened between them — and I’m betting on covered up a crime that involved the Balkan, not a secret romance — it gives Brenda something to do that is not a retread of 1996.

The most striking thing was how much more likable Dante was before he met Sonny.  The Dante of the uniform and slicked back hair had integrity. He was charming. He harbored no doubts about being a police officer.  He had no interest in bending the rules.  He did not wear that damn gold chain.  I was reminded of how much I liked the character before he decided to lie about Sonny shooting him.  Brenda was more interesting, too, because she was doing something besides obsessing about her past.  Yes, the real secret that was revealed is that Sonny ruins everyone and everything.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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