A soap opera writer may lay out a year’s worth of story, but if a front-burner actress gets pregnant, that could throw a monkey wrench into that dangerous stunt and/or bikini scene penciled in for the ninth month.
A show’s options include writing the pregnancy into the story, or putting the actress behind a series of bigger and bigger purses, plants, and desks… before needing to write her out for a few weeks altogether.
Sometimes, the baby-mandated exit leads to years worth of story, such as when Sarah Brown leaving the General Hospital (GH) canvas led to Jason (Steve Burton) raising baby Michael as his own, which ultimately broke up his relationship with Robin, among other soapy developments.
Or Alison Sweeney’s Days Of Our Lives (DOOL) maternity leave, which led to Sami dressing up as Stan (hey, at least it was original). Sometimes the last minute pregnancy triggers a classic triangle like Another World’s Rachel/Steve/Alice.
And sometimes it forces a stupid rewrite, such as Guiding Light’s Harley (Beth Enlers) suddenly remembering that she slept with her ex-husband, Phillip’s (Grant Aleksander), best friend, Rick (Michael O’Leary), and now she’s pregnant — in a story point that went absolutely nowhere after baby Jude was born.
So how do fans feel about real-life pregnancies getting “reel” — is it what you were expecting?
Facts of Life
Ducking and covering just doesn’t cut it, deliver 77% of you. You’re watching for the whole actress, not just her from the chin up. GH did a good job with each of Rebecca Herbst‘s pregnancies, and now Liz has Cam, Jake, and Aiden.
Stay the Course
Mazel tov to the actress, counter 22%, but why should her family planning choices affect your favorite characters? Some vixens are just not the maternal type, and they should remain that way onscreen!