By day, Sean Kanan plays bad boy Deacon Sharpe on The Bold and the Beautiful. However, fans of the actor can see him anytime on the Amazon Prime six-episode series Studio City now in its second season. While some shows experience what’s known as a ‘sophomore slump,’ Studio City, thanks to a talented acting ensemble, led by Kanan, tight writing, and sharp directing by Timothy Woodward, Jr., shines even brighter in year two.
The series picks up with many of the storylines established in Studio City’s first season. Sean Kanan plays Sam Stevens, who portrays Dr. Pierce Hartley on the fictional soap Hearts on Fire. Sam’s pursuing his dream – being an action star in a feature film. He still has one foot in the daytime door, but while Sam can yell about coffee orders gone wrong and do his best to manipulate his soap shooting schedule, he doesn’t get to do what he wants on the movie set of Maximum Velocity.
Lilly Melgar plays savvy and sexy movie publicist Becky Pope, who lets Sam know that he doesn’t have the freedoms he enjoys in the daytime world. Nonetheless, being on the big screen is still Sam’s dream…right?
Throughout the series, Sean Kanan digs deep into Sam’s persona, and in the process, he shows colors we’ve never seen before from the actor. He’s asking himself the tough questions in life that some people figure out early on and some never know how to even pose the inquiry. Sam’s stepfather, Doc (played by Daytime Emmy-winner Tristan Rogers) is dealing with his mortality; Sam’s also wrapping his head around a twist that sounds like something out of a soap – the presence of his likely long-lost daughter, Delilah, played by Juliet Vega (Kanan’s real-life stepdaughter).
“Maybe I’ve been getting paid to fake my emotions so long when it comes to the real thing, I don’t have such a handle on it,” Sam confesses to Delilah. “I feel lost. I don’t even know where to start.”
Sam also bonds with his action feature leading lady, Shelby Brock, played by Natalie Burn. Shelby may be a feature star, but it’s clear in scenes with studio boss Dennis (Will Roberts) that sexual harassment is still taking place. Roberts doesn’t come right out and proposition Shelby but he makes it clear that marquee prominence comes at a price — a price that Shelby finds is far costlier than she imagines.
“Fame is a funny thing,” a tearful Shelby confides in Sam in one of Studio City’s most heartfelt scenes. “We want it so bad. And then you get it and it’s nothing like what you imagined it’s going to be.”
While Sam’s status as a daytime veteran gives him cause for reflection, don’t think that younger actor Nick Cassidy (who plays hottie, Dr. Devin Striker, on Hearts on Fire), played by Philip V. Bruenn, has it any easier. The hunk wants to be known for his acting chops and not his abs but…well, soap fans know the value shows place on abs.
B&B fans will notice some other familiar faces in the Studio City cast. Daytime Emmy-winner Justin Torkildsen (ex-Rick, B&B) is Gloria’s ambitious nephew, Jacob, an aspiring soap producer who just might rise to the highest level of his incompetence. Daytime Emmy-nominee Anna Maria Horsford (ex-Vivienne, B&B) plays Jolene Hernandez, a no-nonsense casting exec, who tries to smack some sense into Sam. Scott Turner Schofield (ex-Nick) reprises his role as Max Carter, who plays one of Hearts on Fire’s many doctors.
Like all good soaps, Studio City leaves you with a cliffhanger that is both character and plot-driven. It’ll leave you wanting more. Studio City is a must-see for soap fans not just because of its soap opera backdrop but also because of its solid storytelling.
Studio City was created by Kanan and Jason Antognoli. Timothy Woodward, Jr. serves as showrunner and director. Sean Kanan, Michele Kanan, and Timothy Woodward, Jr. serve as writers and executive producers. Check out the series by clicking here.
The Bold and the Beautiful (BB) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Los Angeles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on B&B spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
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