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On the Industry

Gold Standard, Week Of Crushing Defeats
Posted by Tommy Garrett on Jul 12, 2009 - 2:16:31 PM

HOLLYWOOD—This week’s Gold Standard was very difficult to decide on, but because of so many grand and incredible performances we chose John McCook, Eric on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Daniel Goddard who portrays Cane Ashby on “The Young and the Restless,” and Lesli Kay who portrays Felicia Forrester on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

John McCook Courtesy: Gilles Toucas, Bell Phillip TV Prod.

John McCook has been performing as a solid actor for decades on the hit series. This week his character Eric Forrester faced utter devastation and destruction of not only his personal life but his company Forrester Creations. McCook was amazing when Eric faced the shock that his two children Felicia and Thorne were quitting their positions at Forrester Creations because they feel unwanted by their father and at the company he founded with wife Stephanie. McCook’s performance was flawless during the scenes with his two children. When Eric asked what he could do to keep them on at Forrester, they replied, “nothing.” John McCook’s eyes welled up with tears and the emptiness that Eric felt was all over the actor’s face.

He then was forced to tell his kids that their mother was not coming back to work at the company and if that was the reason they are now so unhappy at work, then they needed to leave. But when Eric asked Felicia and Thorne, “If this means I am out of my children and grandchildren’s lives, I have to live with that,” he seemed devastated. McCook seemed generally shaken in the highly emotional scenes. The actor who is a real life father must have felt the pain his character was feeling with the thoughts of losing your children and family because of choices you’ve made. Even though Eric has his current wife Donna, he has lost a great portion of his life and decades of history by losing not only ex-wife Stephanie but Felicia and always solid, Thorne, from his life.

Eric faced even further shock when ex-wife Brooke walked in and announced that she was also leaving the company. She assured Eric that it was only a leave of absence and that she needed time off. Eric begged her to reconsider. Then Brooke gave Eric even more heartbreaking news, that she and his son Ridge were separated. McCook looked as if he’d been hit in the stomach by a two by four. The actor gasped in shock and immediately asked the next question. “Does this mean Ridge is also leaving the company?” Brooke countered, “You need to ask Ridge. From what Stephanie tells me, he’s moved in with Taylor.” Eric’s life has fallen apart and now the loss of Stephanie, Thorne, Felicia and Brooke from his beloved company may mean not just chaos but utter annihilation of his fashion house. With so many problems at his company, Eric seems incapable of facing anything more. Bill Spencer is lurking around the hallways of Forrester Creations waiting to buy the faltering company at a fraction of its worth. Stephanie is waiting to pounce on the situation to protect her kids’ interests. And psycho sister-in-law Pamela was lurking around the corridors planning to get even with Eric’s wife Donna, who planned on wearing the show stopper at Friday’s fashion show.

John McCook’s portrayal of Eric’s devastation by week’s end was palpable. You could feel the pain Eric felt when he realized that without Stephanie and their brood, that his future was bleak. His love life may be a bit more exciting with the uber sexy and young Donna. But his legacy and his business were flat lining. McCook played grief, fear and devastation in a way few leading men are able to carry. John McCook was truly this week’s best daytime television performer.

Daniel Goddard is an actor born in Sydney, Australia. Like Russell Crowe, Goddard seems to be one of the most honest actors in his scenes. Weeks ago when his Cane married Lily, you could see the joy on the actor’s face playing those scenes. This week you could not only see but feel Cane’s despair as he realized by the real Phillip Chancellor, III coming back to Genoa City, he would be the one losing. Cane lost his wife, his mother and grandmother in one big scene. This is a storyline that Maria Bell brilliantly brought to fruition in almost secrecy and with aplomb. The famed executive producer Maria Bell managed to keep many secrets from the press in order to surprise us but offer a rare genuine surprise to her millions of viewers.

“Y&R” has one of the most stable and solid group of actors on any show. But Daniel Goddard has proved that he can play it all. Yes, Cane’s handsome, sexy and exciting. Cane can also be fun, happy and even sad. But Goddard had to play a Cane that lost it all. Everything is gone now, including his reputation. The actor made many hardened viewers of soaps cry and grieve with him during such poignant scenes that will surely garner the actor an Emmy nomination next year.

Daniel Goddard makes the viewers care what is next in Cane’s life. The way things are going, they have to improve. The old saying comes to mind, “When you are at rock bottom, you have no place to go but up.” Here’s hoping Goddard plays the upswing with the brilliance and fervor that he was able to convey Cane’s tragedy this week.

Then we return to “B&B,” where Lesli Kay’s tears of sorrow and sadness made such an impression on me as a critic. The actress is at her best when Felicia Forrester is filled with emotion. Leaving her father’s company was not only a difficult decision for Felicia, but one that was almost like dying. The cancer survivor who almost died a few years back from colon cancer seemed like she was strengthened by her brother Thorne’s decision to follow his sister out the doors of Forrester Creations.

Lesli Kay Courtesy: Gilles Toucas, Bell Phillip TV Prod.

Winsor Harmon and Lesli Kay are so incredibly talented and they both shined through in the scenes where they told their father, Eric, goodbye. But watching Lesli’s face as she felt betrayed and forgotten by the dad she once adored was surely a difficult scene to play, but watching Lesli Kay, it came across as effortless. This is what the actress is able to exude on screen. She makes some of the toughest scenes seem easy to play. We all know they are not, but that’s her gift.

This week’s Gold Standard goes to three of daytime television’s best. John McCook, most especially after decades in the toughest business on earth, showed us why he’s still here!



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