Busted to Blissful ~ November 2006

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AMC's Babe does a 180 and Passions Julian is Back

Lesleyann CokerIn this month's Busted to Blissful, Soapdom's Lesleyann Coker is fed up with All My Children, but she couldn't be more delighted with the turn of events on Passions.  What on AMC has busted Coker's bubbles? What is it about Passions that has put her in bubblicious bubble bliss!  Read on...
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alexa havins babe amcBUSTED ~


All My Children has ruined the character of Babe Chandler by boxing her into a pointless and unpopular affair.  Babe has already been redeemed once after the seemingly unforgivable crime of stealing fan favorite Bianca’s baby.  It appears unlikely the writers will be able to accomplish such a miraculous recovery twice.

Babe has always worn her heart on her sleeve, which is what constantly gets her in trouble.  It’s also the trait which has made her transgressions forgivable in the past -- she does the wrong thing for the right reason.  However, with her recent affair with Erica’s “non-abortion son,” Josh, Babe has managed to cross the line of acceptability one two many times.  Her actions disregard the hell she went through in order to make her marriage to JR work after he tried to kill her. 

The only way Babe’s decision to take JR back made sense was to consider Babe and JR’s twisted and tormented romantic history.  After all they had been through -- her trial for kidnapping their son and letting JR think he was dead; the infamous Bianca baby-switch; her lie about having her first marriage annulled when it really wasn’t; and playing on JR’s confusion about his mother’s return from the dead to get sole custody of their son -- the couple had finally managed to forgive the sins of the past and find their way back to each other.  They wanted nothing more than to create a family with and for their son.  In spite of everything, it looked like they had made it, which is why Babe’s one night stand and declaration of love for Josh makes absolutely no sense.

Babe has continually made it clear to both Josh and JR, that she was only interested in a friendship with Josh, and her priorities were her son and husband.  All of a sudden, Babe did a 180 and declared her love for Josh after a night of torrid sex on the Fusion office rooftop.  Either Josh is really good in bed, or Babe has lost her marbles, her clothes and her marriage.

Alexa Havins has always played Babe as a spunky heroine who oozes with love for her friends and family, but the character’s confession of love and desire for Josh was too abrupt a turn for even this accomplished actress to pull off.

JR may be a tricky bastard, but Babe has done her share of lying and conniving, which is why they’re a perfect match.  The couple understand each other on a deeper level, and neither is afraid to back down from a good fight.  In fact, they appear to thrive amid their dysfunctional firework flare-ups.

With the truth out in the open, and JR in the hospital after jumping through a window in a drunken rage, it’s unlikely the young Chandlers will get back together any time soon, if ever.  This inexplicable storyline is a waste of a good pair, not to mention an annihilation of the character of Babe, one of AMC’s most promising recent creations.

Ben Masters (Julian, Passions)BLISSFUL ~

I know Evian fans aren’t going to like this, but I’m glad the real Julian Crane on Passions is back.  The sappy sensitive creature that has been inhabiting Julian’s body for the last few years, wooing Dr. Eve, is not the Julian I know and love.

My Julian is feisty, cantankerous, and blessedly sarcastic.  He’s also an unabashed womanizer and enjoys his liquor a little too much.  This is the Julian who loves the wealth and power of being a Crane, and who was so emasculated by his father Alistair that he agreed to keep his sister Sheridan apart from her true love Luis by trying to kill her a couple of times.  The old Julian is a character unlike any other on daytime, and as portrayed by the wonderfully uninhibited Ben Masters, a true delight to watch.  This Julian, unlike the later one, made me laugh out loud and never want to miss his antics.

For whatever reason, the powers-that-be decided to change course with Julian, and turn him into a romantic leading man.  Masters has been a shell of himself ever since.  However, I’m thrilled to say the original Julian Crane is back in the building.

In typical Julian fashion, he did not take his break-up with Dr. Eve lying down -- unless you count seducing Valerie on his desktop so Eve could find them as lying down.  He called Eve every name in the book, and pushed her as far away as possible, all because she wanted to help her ex-husband, TC, recover from a stroke.  Julian behaved like the big, spoiled baby he really is, and I couldn’t be happier his true colors are out again.

I knew my Julian was back for sure when he tangled with Tabitha over their daughter, Endora.  Julian blustered and threatened to take custody of Endora, when Tabitha pulled out her trump card by reminding Julian of his friendship with the late Timmy.  As clips of Masters and the late Josh Ryan Evans played, it brought tears to my eyes, and was a welcome treat for long time fans.  It reminded us that even though Julian can be a bastard, Timmy touched his heart in a way no one else ever could.

As if a scene between Masters and the fantastic and underrated Juliet Mills (Tabitha) wasn’t enough, the writers put the icing on my cake with a scene between Julian and Rebecca (the hilarious Andrea Evans) where they pretended to be Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes during a sex romp!  No self-respecting actor except Masters could get away with prancing around in his tighty-whiteys lip syncing the words to Cruise’s famous song and dance number from the movie, “Risky Business.”  I loved ever second of it.

The only thing that would make Julian’s return even more perfect is if and when he goes up against his ex-wife, “Poison Ivy.”  Masters and Kim Johnston Ulrich (Ivy) have a fun chemistry together that has been missed.

Masters looks like he’s having the time of his life as raucous Julian, after years stuck in gentleman mode.  It’s a shame the writers can’t find a way to combine both character traits, a la Masters’ tender scenes with Evans.  Regardless of the material he’s given to play, Masters has given life to a truly original character.  Welcome back Julian.

About the author:  Lesleyann Coker is the co-author of Boob Tube, a forthcoming novel that goes behind the scenes of the soap opera industry.  She was previously a reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine.