Ridiculous Casting News

We have a whole bunch of rumored returns confirmed, and they range from “Oh, huh” to “WTF?!”

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Jason47 is confirming that Sal Stowers is back as Lani Price. Sal Stowers, who was hired to play a character without any seeming direction or purpose whatsoever, has been rehired to play the same useless character. Okay, sure. If this is just to address her existence/where the hell she went, fine. Otherwise, I cannot fathom the point of this. I thought they might put her with Rafe originally, but they wrote Rafe as so not interested. Then her initial flirtation with Shawn held some promise, but they couldn’t be bothered to commit to that, and then Lani was briefly a nymphomaniac, and then she vanished. I hate the idea of her fading into the ether without mention, especially because she’s the second child whose childhood Abe missed out on, and Theo should care about having a sister. I, however, do not care about this character or understand what value they see in her that they couldn’t be bothered to infuse during the nine months she was floating around in the background of scenes.

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Meanwhile, the new Soap Opera Digest confirms that Christie Clark and Austin Peck are returning as Carrie and Austin. I truly have no idea what to do with this information. I love Christie Clark and Carrie, and I think she has a genuine place on the show. So does the character of Austin. But both their returns as a couple (2005-06 and 2011-12) were bland retreads of past stories, and I don’t think I can sit through another round of fickle Carrie cheating on another guy. It’s interesting that they’re bringing back Peck instead of Patrick Muldoon, who played the role during the couple’s last stint. This does mean that we should finally figure out the sex and name of the child they had offscreen after leaving Salem last time, as well as finally seeing Carrie onscreen with Anna again after 31 years (!!). I do hope they’ve dropped Austin’s scintillating, ridiculous career as a forensic accountant, since I didn’t believe that either version of Austin could even count, particularly Peck’s, and of course there would be a place for Carrie as an attorney, but…

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We also have confirmation from Jason47 that Martha Madison is back as Belle. What are we going to do with two blonde, lawyering, constantly-desired-by-all-men, unable-to-take-personal-responsibility sisters-of-Sami? In theory, there’s a place for both of them in Salem, and I like having that family rounded out a bit, but they’ve made the characters a bit redundant in each of their returns. It is kind of funny that Carrie, who was a teen in the early 90s, ostensibly has a toddler, while Belle, who was born in the early 90s, now has a college-aged child due to plot-point pregnancy and SORASing.

What do you guys make of all this?

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16 Comments on “Ridiculous Casting News”

  1. Matthew Says:

    I have to say all I like all three pieces of news while still agreeing with all your points about how the characters were treated (by the writers) in the past.

    There is room for everyone. (Well, almost, I’m sure I can think of a character or two I could do without!)

    When Douglas Marland was writing ATWT, he was known for maintaining a cast of almost 50 (as opposed to the standard 30 or so) and making a point of having everyone appear at least once a week.

    A large cast can enhance the overall show. It really can be done! It can work! It’s all up to the skill level and commitment of the writers to creating a balanced canvas.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I don’t hate any of them, really. I just find them more WTF-y. I actually like how, in recent years, they’ll bring people in for quicker stints or use recurring characters in bursts (like how Adrienne has had pops of story the last 5-6 years). I think rotating is smart, as is knowing when characters should play supporting roles — and when you don’t need to slap returnees into automatic tortured love stories just to justify having them on the show.

  2. rustyspigot Says:

    They better make the Anna/Carrie scenes happen!I actually liked Belle the past month As for Austin and Lani? Maybe they can have a boring affair together.

  3. Dan Says:

    I will be surprised if any of these are contract returns.

    If the show is going with the Valerie Grant secret I suspect they will, secret child from her past, then the show will want Lani around to play some of the duality and finish some of the unfinished business between Abe and Lani. Also, the Lani / Theo relationship would be interesting to explore given his relationship with both Claire and Ciara given her own with Shawn Douglas.

    I don’t think we have Brandon Beemer for the long run. I suspect his contract was up in January and they wrote him out. My guess is Madison is returning to have Belle and Shawn reunite and leave Salem together.

    That leaves Carrie and Austin. Anna’s return will most likely involve some revenge scheme against Andre. If the show is going to use Kate’s kidnapping plot like I suspect, to shoehorn Kate into a marriage with Andre, I think an Anna / Andre / Kate story would benefit from a brief return from Carrie and Austin. Also, I would like to see the show have Carrie and Austin deal with Abby’s latest mess.

    Then again, this show could also put them all on contract and have all their scenes cut like Judi Evans… so who knows.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Ugh, I do not want to see a Kate/Stefano retread with Kate/Andre. It worked once, mostly because of performer chemistry, but that seems so stale if they do it again. But yeah, having Carrie and Austin involved in whatever their mothers get mixed up in seems like a wise use of them.

      I’m fine with Madison and Stowers doing guest stints. I don’t like the Lani business being left so open-ended. If they would just write scenes where it seemed like she had a point, I wouldn’t have wanted her gone in the first place — but it was like all energy and direction came out of the show whenever she came onscreen, and you could tell the actress was never given any sense of purpose.

      I’d be fine with Belle and Shawn bopping in and out for Claire-related things or holidays. I think it’s a nice use of them, and I’ve really enjoyed Belle as a professional and a member of her family the past few months. I just don’t think this version of her works at all as a romantic lead, so I’m fine if they stop trying that.

      Mostly I just don’t care to see a bunch of returns where they cram these people into forced breakups and triangles like what they did with Carrie and Austin in 2011-12. Carrie/Rafe had chemistry, but it was all played so inorganically and bizarrely. And I don’t think they even mentioned or interacted with Abigail after the two-day wrap-up of that story in early 2012, which was a shame.

  4. Fluffysmom Says:

    ROTFLMAO about Austin especially Peck not being able to count. So true! Please let him have a new career or be a stay at home dad.

    • mykleraus Says:

      He’ll probably wind up nebulously working for Kate again. I never bought him as an executive, but it’s heads and tails more plausible than the forensic accounting thing.

  5. Michelle Says:

    I think it was said in SOD that Carrie/Austin are a limited run and I think Belle is as well. Interesting they brought back Peck. Maybe Muldoon was busy? Or maybe he just came off as old as dirt last time. Especially in that story where Abby supposedly found him hot enough to go nuts over.

    I have no use for Lani, I thought the actress was poor. Maybe she can hang out with Dario and I can fast forward them both.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I’m all for visits. Laura was fun, and we have others coming up. So if they use these characters for pop-ins to fill in where they’re needed, that’s awesome and I’ll be glad to see them.

  6. Shea Says:

    I just can’t get excited about a Carrie and Austin return. I would much rather have the chance to get to know undeveloped characters like Sarah Horton, Andrew Donovan or maybe another one of Justin and Adrienne’s sons.

    I have no real problem with Lani returning as long as they have a purpose for her this time around. But I would also be perfectly fine if they just never mentioned her again.

  7. marypickford Says:

    The Belle, Carrie, Austin (possibly limited) returns make me think of some big family event where they bring back a bunch of people just for that. Like they did with Shawn, sr.’s funeral. I’m fine with that.

    I liked Lani when she was with Abe and Theo, so I think I liked her more than other people did, but my reaction was definitely WTF on that one.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I wonder if some of this is for a John/Marlena wedding, which would be nice.

      I didn’t mind Lani with Abe and Theo. I hated how they gave her no wrap-up at all. Abe hasn’t even mentioned her!

  8. Jamie Says:

    I really liked the scenes with Belle and Chad and thought they really played well off of each other. So, I’m happy to see her come back for that. But, I’m a Shelle fan from way back and actually got a little teary eyed when they went off to Tokyo together. I’m sad to see she’s returning solo. Hopefully it’s just temporary for story.

    Carrie is one of my favorites, so glad to see her back! I could really do without Austin Peck though. I have never liked his portrayal of Austin. I think it’s time for Carrie to hook back up with Mike Horton!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I liked the scenes between Belle and Shawn on their “last” day. He’s back before she is, so I imagine she either comes to visit or to usher him out again.

      I would love a recast Mike. Pair him with Carrie! Or Eve!


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