In no particular order, original castmembers returning don’t count in this one:
Billy Miller as Billy Abbott: The original Billy Abbott (David Tom) was a tough act to follow. He started out as a bit of an arrogant jerk, but softened up with Mac. By the time they were to get married, David Tom had been replaced by Ryan Brown, who I didn’t hate as much as others, but he didn’t have the same vibe as Tom and played Billy as too much of a goody goody. When John Abbott died, they brought Billy back from a several years’ project with Scott Seymour (see my next post) and he was a completely different person who didn’t seem like an Abbott at all. But when Billy Miller came, he took the character and made it his own. He’s a bit of an arrogant jerk, but he’s so likable that you forgive it. Moreover, he connected with David Tom’s portrayal in a very real way. It’s not only possible, but probable that a guy finds out the love of his life and the woman he just married is his cousin, and he responds by becoming a womanizer and losing his idealism. That’s what Billy Miller did with Billy Abbott. He’s got great chemistry with Jack and Victor (though I am concerned about his chemistry with Ashley) and is like a younger version of Jack. He’s proably my favorite character on there right now.
Davetta Sherwood as Lily Winters: Off the top, the character of Lily annoyed me from the moment she got back from Paris. She’s like that snooty broad you went to school with who knew everything and would get whatever she wanted the rest of her life. Even as they softened her character, she still bugged me….maybe because I couldn’t see Christel Khalil as Drucilla Winters’ daughter….not nearly enough sass. Then, Khalil left and I fell in love with Lily. She was not only fine as frog’s hair, but she seemed a more natural fit as Dru’s daughter. I was EXTREMELY disappointed when Khalil came back to reprise the role, because this was one recast they got right.
Peter Bergman as Jack Abbott: Yeah, I know there will be some heartburn over this one, but the fact that he’s been in the role for 23 years alone makes him a must for this list. People SWORE by Terry Lester’s portrayal of Jack and he’s the original Jack to me. However, Peter Bergman made the role his own. He does vulnerability very well and makes the ongoing Newman-Abbott war one where you don’t know who’s the good guys and who’s the bad guys. His showdowns with Victor (especially when he threw the chair through the window!) are legendary, but I especially liked when Victor was sick and he was buddies with Jack.
Rachel Kimsey as Mackenzie Browning: Another one people will disagree with me on, but I liked Rachel Kimsey’s turn as Mac in ’05. There are some recasts that allow you to take a different turn with a character and this was one of them. I couldn’t picture the original Mac (Ashley Bashioum) as…sexy. She was cute in a pollyanna-ish kind of way, but they took great pains to make her into a pure, chaste, virgin. When Mac got with JT and they started co-habitating, that could only work with another Mac, not the one that people associate with virgin. They did something similar with Colleen…how creepy would it have been to see Lyndsy Fonseca sleeping with Professor Korbel (although, after seeing Hot Tub Time Machine, I’d like to see more of Lyndsy Fonseca!)? They had to bring in the slutbag Colleen (Adrianne Leon), who I grew to like, before going in the other direction and bringing it full circle with Tammin Sursock, who played it less slutty. Anyway, I appreciated Kimsey’s turn and would like to see more of her. She had far more charisma and better chemistry with JT than the current Mac, Clementine Ford.
Sharon Case as Sharon Newman: The original Sharon was extremely hot, but a far worse actress than Sharon Case, who’s not too hard on the eyes herself. Sharon Case has a certain gravitas that the original Sharon would never have been able to pull off. She’s one of the rare people where I blame the writers rather than the actress for her character’s shortcomings. They’ve always written her as needy and frail, the quintessential damsel in distress. I’m still trying to figure out how they had the audacity to have her get on Nick for cheating and NEVER letting it go when she abandoned her husband and kids and slept with Cameron Kirsten. Nevertheless, her performance is always good and takes weak material and makes you empathize with her.
Not that I watch that kind of thing, but what are your favorite recasts on Y & R?