So I was watching my daily hour of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” this morning and each of the two episodes they showed had a different “Aunt Viv.” Now I LOVED this show. I actually cried during the final episode. Yeah, I know… But I was never really comfortable with Daphne Reid replacing the uber fabulous Janet Hubert — who left the show over contract/salary issues. Don’t get me wrong — I like Daphne Reid, it’s just that in my opinion she didn’t ooze bougie-Black-fab quite like the first Aunt Viv.
And that got me to thinking about other shows I liked who swapped out actors in the same role. And I thought about Lionel Jefferson from “The Jeffersons” and “All in the Family.” If like myself, you are a student of these shows (pats self of back ;) you’ll remember that the first Lionel left and was replaced by the second Lionel, and then returned a few seasons later. Crazy. I was always partial to the middle Lionel. I thought he was handsome ;) My mom went to high school with one of them, but I can never remember which one…
And how could I do a post like this without mentioning the two Becky’s on “Roseanne.” Becky 1.0 left the show to go to college — which of course you can’t hate on. But as much as I loved her on Scrubs, I never liked Sarah Chalke as Becky 2.0. Maybe it’s because I really loved that show and I’m averse to change. Maybe it’s because the second Becky was a little too pretty and polished for the Connor family… Who can say for sure? But I never quite bought it.
There’s really no point to this post other than to say that if you’re having contract disputes or actors have to leave your show because of personal issues, instead of replacing them, you should do what they did on “Family Matters” and write that character out of the script with no explanation.
Remember Judy Winslow?
When she left the show, they didn’t replace her. They didn’t create a storyline to explain why she vanished. They just acted like she never existed and made the rest of America wonder, “Are we crazy, or wasn’t there another kid on this show?” That’s the way you do it, Hollywood. Like when a character got whacked on “The Sopranos”…That’s just the end of that. Sure that dismissal probably had a lot to do with her turning to a career in adult films, but what are you gonna do?
I was going to write a conclusion sentence or two to this entry, but I’m drained and I’m sleepy so I’m just gonna take a nap instead. Because I can.