Is Lisa Rinna Returning to ‘Days of Our Lives’?

Lisa Rinna Allegedly Returning  to “Days of Our Lives”

Is Lisa Rinna returning to “Days of Our Lives,” the show that launched her career? A writer for the Huffington Post claims that she is. According to Naughty but Nice Rob, Rinna will once again play Billie Reed. Rinna was the original Billie, playing the role from 1992 to 1995, which was later played by Krista Allen and Julie Pinson. Given that Billie’s brother Austin (Patrick Muldoon) is back on the canvas, and that Billie created Countess Wilhemina cosmetics, the company that her mother Kate is now running, it could be a good time for Billie to return. However, I am somewhat skeptical about the article’s quote from an alleged inside source, “Lisa is doing a James Franco… There is something full circle about bringing her back to the role that made her famous and now harnessing her celebrity to secure the future of the show.”

Given that Rinna has not been nominated for an Oscar, starred in a summer blockbuster, or enrolled in a half dozen PhD programs, I can’t imagine anyone other than her publicist comparing her to Franco. Rinna, who is largely famous for being famous, has worked primarily in reality television for the past few years most recently competing on “The Apprentice“. DOOL’s representatives did not respond to a request for confirmation, but the usually reliable Soap Opera Digest picked up the story. According to the article, Rinna’s first tape date is in December.

Watch “Days of Our Lives:”
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In other casting news, “One Life To Live’s” Robin Strasser tweeted that she is moving to Los Angeles and will not appear in the online version of the show.

“General Hospital” Uses HIV As A Weapon

General Hospital” has managed to thoughtfully, sensitively portray Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) life as an HIV-positive person for the past fifteen years. Audiences have followed Robin from her initial devastating diagnosis at a time when HIV was almost always a death sentence, to her treatment with drugs that have enabled her, and millions of real people, to lead a full life.  Her emotional journey from a teenage girl who had given up on love and physical intimacy to a grown woman with a marriage and a family has been as powerful to watch. It’s a unique storyline. I can’t name another HIV-positive series regular on a current television show. Even when the rest of the show has been focused on the mob and serial killers, Robin’s storylines were realistic and socially relevant. The show found interesting ways to use her HIV status in storylines, including Robin’s fear that her child would be born HIV-positive, and the additional danger that Robin faced when she was shot during Metro Court hostage crisis.

That ended this week. In the most tasteless, offensive storyline since am amnesiac Marty fell in love with the man who raped her on “One Life To Live,” psycho Lisa (Brianna Brown), forcibly drew Robin’s blood and threatened to inject Robin’s husband, Patrick (Jason Thompson), with it, so he, too would become HIV positive. In addition to being disgusting, it was a step decades backwards, to an era when HIV-positive people were considered dangerous. The numerous organizations which have given GH awards for all the show has done to educate viewers about AIDS and HIV would be appalled that HIV was being used for shock value.

Watch Robin And Lisa’s Tussle:

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Robin managed to slap the syringe out of her hands, but, at the end of Tuesday’s episode, she threatened to do the same thing to Lisa. She did not actually do it, but it was an appalling moment of character destruction. Would Robin be tempted to kill the woman who terrorized her for months, and threatened to hurt Robin’s family? Sure. She’s human. The world would be a better place without Lisa, and Robin would no longer have to live in fear if Lisa were dead. Would Robin, a woman who volunteers at AIDS treatment clinics in Africa, who was inspired to become a doctor because she lost her first love to AIDS, deliberately infect anyone with a incurable chronic disease that typically lies dormant for years just to make her suffer? Never.

The episode ended with the syringe falling on the deck of the boat where Robin and Lisa were fighting. That creates danger for anyone who happens to stumble across it. If it falls into the water and washes up on shore where an unsuspecting person might step on it, that’s even more dangerous. I suppose GH can have Robin or one of the other doctors who have joined her on the cruise from Hell  take the syringe back to the hospital where it can be disposed of properly, but that seems unlikely given the sensationalistic way HIV has been treated so far. I suspect that the weaponized syringe of blood was thought of as nothing more than a shocking moment that would make a good cliffhanger and possibly generate some controversy that will get people talking about the show. I doubt there was much thought given to what it meant in terms of the show’s history or character development. If I were more cynical, I would take this as evidence that ABC was deliberately tanking the show to justify canceling it for Katie Couric’s talk show.

The only silver lining for me about GH this week is the news that long time staff writer Shelly Altman has been promoted to co-headwriter. That signals that someone is aware that the show is deeply problematic and is attempting to do something to fix it.

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

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