Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hide and Seek

One of the things I love best about my involvement in this Project is getting to know parts of GL history in intimate detail. It's certainly very enjoyable to read to published histories or to hear stories from other fans, but there really is no substitute for hands-on, first hand experience with the storylines from the past.

It's been very easy for me to dive headlong into eras or plots that interest me right away, but there's a different (and in some ways more fulfilling) satisfaction in taking a look at parts of the past that I've avoided for one reason or another. Taken from the end of 1990, Hide and Seek was intended to be a quick glimpse at India Von Halkein, but as I went through the clips (which I've had for over a year and never watched), I became engrossed in the story of Phillip's struggle to clear his name in the murder of Neil Everest and its effects on the people close to him. As the focus swung from Phillip to Rick to India to Beth and over to include Alan-Michael and Roger and Alexandra and Mallet, the clipset grew to an unanticipated length.

Hide and Seek does serve its intended purpose as a great document of the electrifying work of Mary Kay Adams as India, but it's also a great look at the (admittedly underepresented in this Project) '89-'91 era of GL's history. The show is a rich, vital, smart tapestry at this point, with far more charm, style, and heart than I had given it credit for. I think part of what it is is that I had a knee-jerk repulsion to a time in the show's history that gave birth to the Coopers-- the saccharine blob that would go on to eat Springfield in the coming decades. Also, I've tended to want nothing to do with Mark Derwin's interpretation of Mallet, but strangely, the character and the actor (whose work I so despised during his time as Ben on ONE LIFE TO LIVE) are used to great effect here and Mallet comes off as a fascinating and substantial quasi-anti-hero, with Derwin displaying remarkable and potent chemistry with Beth Chamberlin's Beth and Kimberly Simms' Mindy.

This clipset is also a nice look at the evolution of the legendary "Four Musketeers" as the various relationships within are put to the test and the young adults have difficulty coping with their changing lives and shifting needs. It features massive doses of Phillip, Rick, and Beth, as well as a fair bit of Mindy. It's worth mentioning here that Beth Chamberlin's early work as Beth is really something to behold, being as it is lightyears away from where it ended up in the late 90's or certainly today. For my part, I prefer the spicier 21st century Beth, but this look at the early years of her work with the character is certainly absorbing from an archaeological standpoint.
Also featured in this set is Gloria Biegler, an accomplished stage actor who played Beth for only two days when Chamberlin was unable to work. She's actually not bad and I wouldn't mind seeing more of her work in another role. In addition to Biegler and the other actors listed, Hide and Seek boasts a vast array of compelling performances from Beverlee McKinsey, Peter Simon, Michael Zaslow, Rick Hearst, and William Bell Sullivan as Gary Swanson.
I should also mention how strange it is watching Christopher Pennock from DARK SHADOWS playing Justin Marler. I can't even see him as Justin and I just hear the DARK SHADOWS theme playing in my head during all of his scenes.
This is a long clipset, perfect for a cold winter indoors, so grab a cup of hot chocolate, settle in, and enjoy Hide and Seek--
As a sort of epilogue, here's a previously posted mini-set from about three weeks after the end of Hide and Seek
A Very Spaulding Christmas


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