Popular Actor Out

This one hurts.

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Discussion behind the cut, yada yada.

an-eileen-davidson-picture

Soap Opera Digest reports that Eileen Davidson finished taping on July 16. Since they shoot so far ahead, she’ll air through 2018 the end of the year. Ken Corday says that “the official word” is that she’s leaving “to take some time out with her family. Will she be back? We’ll see.” Davidson just tweeted the following:

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 10.22.35 PM

I’m torn on how to feel. Actually, no: I’m incredibly disappointed. Her presence has been a huge kick in the ass for the show. Kristen has been a ton of fun to watch, and Davidson has clearly relished playing this character.

But I don’t quite have that “Oh shit, what are they doing?!” feeling that I have so many times before. People are speculating that she only signed a one-year deal and has simply chosen not to renew that. I do think there’s some validity to the idea that Sony coaxed her into jumping from their other soap, The Young & the Restless, to help Days. If Tomlin & Whitesell had this character foisted upon them, they’ve certainly run with her and seemed excited about it; instead of being a John/Marlena/Brady story with Kristen as the villain, it’s turned into more of a Kristen story. But maybe they have a great ending in mind. If that’s the case, well, then, go for it. I’d rather Kristen go out with a bang than be watered down just so they can keep her running around Salem. I do hope they’re smart enough to give her an exit that creates future story instead of just stopping things abruptly. And part of me hopes that this is more of a ’90s Stefano exit — writing Kristen out to give her a break, with a plan to bring her back at some point in the future for some very specific purpose.

Wouldn’t there be something dark and delicious about Kristen fleeing Salem or letting people think she was dead, and then, in her final scene, she walks into a hotel room somewhere in Europe and greets a man… who turns out to be John? I think I could get into that.

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15 Comments on “Popular Actor Out”

  1. Dan Says:

    I don’t know how to feel about ED/Kristen’s departure. Personally, Kristen isn’t my favorite, and her return played out pretty much as I expected (barring the brilliant Kristen hates John twist). Overall, ED is a strong veteran who has been able to play a range of emotional material that many “veteran” actors would have flubbed. She was exciting, interesting, and delivered some wonderful campy lines. And while they did a great job integrating her with the past (Marlena / John / Jennifer) and the present (Sami / E.J. / Chad), there is nothing to look forward to with Kristen. You know she and Brady will never be able to make it work. Kristen’s future in Salem was only destined for heartache.

    And yet, there are things I felt denied. I wanted to see a Sami vs. Kristen vs. Nicole vs. Sami situation over anything (most likely Eric). I wanted a f#cked up Kristen / E.J. dynamic based on their history. I wanted Kristen involved in Chad and Abigail’s relationship with tension between Jennifer / Kristen. Oh well, what could have been…

    I’m not overly thrilled with Kristen’s latest story. It is too reminiscent of an era I thought we had worked hard to forget. To be fair, I can’t blame ED for that, but her presence sort of demands that sort of storytelling. I see fans fawning over this story, and I roll my eyes. Stories like this are the reason soaps are seen as a joke.

    Until today, I didn’t realize Kristen was the person who appeared in the most episodes this year. Because the show is such an ensemble, I don’t think we’ll feel Kristen’s departure. I do feel we are about to skew younger, and I’m not against it. I just hope they beef up the presence of what we have left.

    • UnderYourWing Says:

      going YOUNGER will totally LOSE me…then again i am not “young” …. a true veteran viewer….i can take it in bits and pieces but watching the stuff with these kids holds ZERO interest for me.. i can truly care less……..i guess they want to cater to teenagers and lose their older loyal viewers…..so be it…..

      • Dan Says:

        Well, according to the latest SOD, I guess I’m wrong. Corday claims there are no new younger hires after next month. I guess the casting call for the three twenty something males and one teen female were abandoned or Corday is a liar. Take your pick.

        What do you mean you’re a true veteran viewer? It has different definitions to different people.

        I think as long as the show continues to tell multi-generational stories I’ll be happy as I’m certainly not here to find out whether Sami goes to jail for offing a recurring dayplayer or whether Eric learns Kristen drugged and raped him.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Well, they probably cast those characters already, and/or they’re dayplayer types like JJ’s current friends. But Corday is ALWAYS a liar, let’s be real. 🙂

      • mykleraus Says:

        I think younger characters can be just as compelling as older ones. I wouldn’t want the more established characters pushed aside so the show could be overrun by random young people, but I do think the youngsters are useful in creating story for characters who are too old/played-out to keep having the same romantic travails over and over. Will’s story has created drama for Sami, EJ, Lucas (to a degree), Rafe, Kate, Justin, and Adrienne, among others. JJ (like him or not) has been a story engine for Jennifer and Daniel, not a random teen brought in to have some romance with a stranger. If they continue writing this way, I’m onboard.

    • mykleraus Says:

      That’s kind of why I’m not heartbroken about her leaving — they would not be able to continue writing Kristen the way they have been if they wanted to keep her viable in the long term. But she’s been such a jolt of energy. Sami and Nicole both have that bitchy thing going, but neither is as nasty or over-the-top as Kristen currently is. And, as you mention, there are things left to play with her. I really would love more exploration of the weird Kristen/EJ dynamic, which they’ve addressed but brushed aside in favor of playing them as ‘just’ siblings.

      I don’t mind if we skew younger or older or whatever, as long as the community feels remains. It’s been months since I felt like we were seeing people ONLY with their contemporaries or the folks in their immediate story.


  2. It’s sad to see Kristen go, as Eileen’s performance has been magical. I can’t help, but worry about the future of Marlena. With Kristen, John, and eventually Will off the canvas, I hope we don’t see even less. Corday stated recently that she will remain as “Eric and Sami’s Mother.” Maybe I’m being irrational, but that sounds like Caroline to me.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I know… It makes Marlena even less relevant, which it kind of seems like this regime wants, tbh.

      I’m really hoping they recast Will, which might be an unpopular opinion. But I think he’s too important a character (a Horton, Brady, Evans, and Roberts) to disappear. He’s the lynchpin of the younger generation.

  3. Erica Says:

    I love Kristen…mainly because of the magic that Eileen Davidson brought to her character. She was just as good or better this time around than she was in the late 90’s and I think it is a testament to Eileen that Kristen’s character took the front of the John/Marlena storyline. I also really enjoyed the sisterly chemistry that she had with EJ and enjoyed the mess she got herself in with Brady. I love that she fell in love and we got to see that vulnerability (tortured v. tormentor). I can’t say enough good things about the woman’s crazy acting chops!!! Her depth and ability to portray such multifaceted emotions in a period of 60 seconds is incredible. I for one am going to miss her terribly…I looked forward to my daily dose of Kristen and am keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll pop back up later down the road.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Agreed! She’s been so fun. Even with some stupidity (her scheme with Eric makes not-the-most sense), her attitude is just so exciting. Her energy has been great for the show, and I think she has been this Brady’s most compelling pairing. I wish they’d done a little more with her and Marlena, but I do really like what we’ve gotten.

  4. Jayme Says:

    It sounds like ED really cares about Kristen’s future on the show and feels strongly that a break is necessary for these types of characters. Otherwise everybody just looks like a bunch of dummies…more so than usual. 🙂

    There’s still a ton of stuff that can happen between now and November, so I’m excited. I’m hoping her exit is so epic that it sends multiple characters on different trajectories, similar to how the explosion did last August.

    I’m all for wacky story telling if it’s tempered with something very real. Kristen’s love for Brady was such a great twist in what otherwise could have been a generic love triangle with John and Marlena. Could you imagine if she came back to Salem and STILL loved John?! Viewers would be BEGGING for her to leave. Instead we get this surprise love affair with his SON, integrating herself into the 30’s/40’s age bracket of the show that desperately needed a jolt. I’m sorry, but if I never hear about some secret formula for a wrinkle cream or a bullshit new lipstick, it’ll be too soon.

    I hope when the character returns (and she will, no question) that they explore the whole baby issue. When they touched on the subject of adoption with Brady, you could see Kristen coming unglued. What I’d love to see is Kristen return with a baby in tow. What better way to redeem herself than to show up a year or 2 later as a mom? The twist would be that she has been raising Nicole’s thought-to-be-dead baby as her own (knowingly or unknowingly, thanks to Stefano) It’s a stretch, but they did it with Chelsea, no? Wasn’t she buried in the bayou when she was born? This show is insane.

    • Jayme Says:

      My phone keeps wanting to autocorrect Stefano into all caps. STEFANO!!!!!

    • mykleraus Says:

      Agreed on just about all counts. There’s still a lot of story left to tell before she leaves, so I’m hoping this means they go balls-to-the-wall with it.

      Kristen coming back with a child would be… interesting. I thought that’d be the next natural story to tell with her, honestly. I want another baby switch about as much as I want a daily hour of Cameron and Abigail, but there could be lots of drama in how Kristen obtains a child.

      And yes, Chelsea (Georgia) was buried in the swamp… after being stillborn… in 1998. So obviously she was a living teenager in 2004.

    • Erica Says:

      I was and am a big fan of the Kristen/Brady pairing. Can’t get enough. There has definitely a depth to that storyline that kept it from being the same old fight over John. I will be happy when Kristen comes back period, but it would be awesome if she came back with a child. One of the things that I love about Kristen is there’s always a twist and element of surprise.


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