The facts: the original Melrose Place is probably my favorite television show of all time. I could write an essay on why, but let's just leave it at "it is" for now. I have waited patiently for a decade, and now at long last my beloved Melrose has been remade for a new generation...but will it be any good? That is what I will explore here each Tuesday night (or Wednesday evening) in the Melrose Memo. I understand that those of you coming here for comics, movie or general geek news probably have little to no interest in hearing my thoughts on this program, but people--it's Melrose Place.
Late-breaking news: My DVR sucks and skipped Melrose tonight! Fortunately I have another related topic to discuss and will catch the replay on Friday, but obviously I am very shaken up due to this tragedy.
First, let's deal with the elephant in the apartment complex: while I was off getting married and stuff, the news broke that Ashlee Simpson and Colin Egglesfield will be getting the boot from Melrose following the resolution of the Sydney murder mystery in episode twelve. While it was initially reported as a harmless creative decision that had been planned some time ago, in the week-plus since all sorts of ugliness has spread from Heather Locklear supposedly getting Simpson kicked off the show for calling her old to the producers saying Simpson is one of the worst actresses they've ever seen.
Now if you've read my Melrose posts before (and I'm assuming you didn't opt to jump on with episode eight), you know I liken Colin Egglesfield's acting prowess to that of a doorstop and will not miss him in the least, but on the flip flop, Ashlee Simpson's Violet has been a true revelation for me in this revamp, and I'm hella upset to see her go. I've said before and will say again she's probably not the best actress in a classic, y'know, "acting" sense, but she is great at playing this one character and also the perfect type of actress for Melrose Place in my estimation. I understand folks who are coming into this incarnation of Melrose cold probably just think "bad actress should equal pink slip," but those of us who were disciples of the original know that the right kind of bad actor can make a decent show great. No, Andrew Shue never learned more than three facial expressions in his six years on Melrose and if Kristin Davis had auditioned for Sex and the City with her reel as Brooke Armstrong she'd likely be waiting tables right now, but that over-the-top, absurdity was part of Melrose's campy appeal, and I'm sad to see the new version lose its chief source of that charm. I initialy held out hope that Violet would follow in the path of other MP redheads like Kimberly and Sydney, disappearing only to return a half season down the road dramatically, but the ongoing hostilities between the two sides seem to preclude that in the near future (and who knows how much of a long-term future the show even has).
Nonetheless, Amanda is on the way and even if they had to can some cast members to do it, the producers seem motivated, so hopefully Melrose turns another corner in the next few episodes to get even better than it is now (and I'm already digging it, so that's good news for me). A move away from the encompassing murder mystery and towards some good old-fashioned bed-hopping (promised by those producers) could be just what Dr. Mancini ordered.
I also feel obligated at this time to acknowledge that Colin Egglesfield is probably a perfectly nice dude and I am genuinely sorry he lost his job. I will never forget the intensity with which he looked at that bird's next in episode seven.