Thursday, January 31, 2008

She's Come Undone

I remember an article from a soap magazine from 1997 (probably Soap Opera Digest) in which the character of Annie was described as "She's not just front burner. She's the whole damn stove!" That's a fairly accurate assessment of the way that GL used the character as a story engine to drive several different plots and affect most of the other characters on the canvas.

Her biggest involvement was obviously with Josh and Reva, since Annie had been turned into a scheming, lurking, raving madwoman to accomodate the return of Reva. I felt at the time and still feel now that this was a great shame. It would have been far more interesting to have Josh find his way back to Reva (if that's absolutely what the show felt it had to do) while keeping Annie as a sane, if troubled, character. Alas, GL took the same route it always does by making the alternative to Reva into the most horrible woman on the face of the planet. The amazing Cynthia Watros, however, never let Annie lapse into caricature and held tightly onto the essential humanity and complexity of the character.

For her efforts, Watros won a Lead Actress Emmy in 1998 in recognition of her work in 1997. Probably her best remembered performance came during '97 when Annie's plot to frame Reva for causing Annie to miscarry fell apart. Watros is literally mesmerizing in the scenes where Ross manipulates Annie into confessing her scheme, in large part because she keeps the character so real and sympathetic. Wisely, the scripts provide ample opportunity for Annie's point of view to come across and Watros takes full advantage of this as she plays the anguish of losing the love of her life to someone like Reva.

Having said all of that, my favorite moments in this set come in clip 10, where Annie corners Reva in the elevator. For my part, this scene goes a long way toward demonstrating why Watros won her Emmy and why Kim Zimmer felt so threatened by her. Watros' work is especially miraculous considering the hostile environment that had been created for her on the set, including, but not limited to Zimmer's abuse of Watros in the media, referring to her by names like "Wicked Watros."

From Wikipedia: "Watros has had a complicated history with Guiding Light co-star Kim Zimmer. Zimmer and Watros met and became friends when they co-starred in an off-Broadway show Four Dogs and a Bone by John Patrick Shanley. Although there is no long-standing rivalry, working in close quarters apparently caused a serious rift between them when they both appeared on Guiding Light. In particular, a physical altercation between the two actors was captured on tape during filming of a Guiding Light episode."

I actually wasn't aware of these specifics until I started researching this blog entry, but I have to say that I definitely see a tension that goes beyond their characters in clip 10.

In addition to Annie, Reva, and Josh, She's Come Undone also features substantial appearances of Ross, Blake, Alan, Marah, and others. Also, please note the outrageous sideshow plotting and self-consciously gothic dialogue from hack writers Barbara Esensten and James Harmon Brown.


She's Come Undone--

clip 1 , clip 2 , clip 3 , clip 4 , clip 5 , clip 6

clip 7 , clip 8 , clip 9 , clip 10 , clip 11 , clip 12

clip 13 , clip 14 , clip 15 , clip 16 , clip 17 , clip 18

clip 19 , clip 20 , clip 21 , clip 22

For a bit of background on how Annie, Reva, and Josh got to this point, check out GLMP's Shine the Light clipset, which is taken from January of 1997 and features the show's celebration of its 60th anniversary. Annie's involvement in the lives of Reva, Josh, Alan, and Blake gets lots and lots of attention in this 35-part set.


Blogger Jane said...

One of my all time favorite clip sets! Thanks!

11:23 AM  

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