Ok, I know that Dark Shadows is very possibly the corniest television show known to mankind, but, but, it's so campy...soo good in its totally unbelievable special-effects and completely unremarkable acting skills. And now Johnny Depp is going to be in a movie version? Is there anyone in the world as excited as I am right now? I think the only thing that could make my day better would be hearing James Marsters and David Boreanaz were joining the production as well. The cast would then be complete (and very hot)...oh, who am I kidding? Seeing the three of them together in anything...<is speechless>.
On a completely different and yet slightly tangential note, I have a new theory. Lately I've been pondering why so few SciFi actors are able to escape the drag of SciFi. And wondering why the ones who escape its pull are able to. So far as I can tell, the ability to get a good role in a new show doesn't stem from how good of actors they were or how very pretty they were, or even how well they were connected, but on their general affability and pleasantness to be around.
Let's just take BTVS as our example: now who has been the most successful since the show? Arguably you could say David Boreanaz has done better for himself than anyone else, which is rather ironic. If you are a fan of DB or BTVS, you'll know that David was no actor before joining the cast of Buffy season one. And if you watch the same season you'll see a definite inferiority in his acting ability when compared with everyone else. In the early days of watching I was always amazed Joss kept him on. I figured, you can find a good-looking guy anywhere. Why not kill him off and bring someone else on instead. But if you listen to commentaries you often hear Joss refer to him as having a great sense of humor and being a generally fun guy. And in the end it worked out for Joss. By the middle of season two he was a decent actor, by the end of it a really good one, and the decision to give him his own show, while shocking at the time, is perfectly understandable in retrospect. By the middle of ATS, DB had completely come to his own, and now you can understand why he's not only a co-star, but a successful co-star on Bones.
Another strong success is Alyson Hannigan. She obviously acted before Buffy, but shall we say that Buffy was her first really adult role? Anyhow, once again, we're always told in commentaries not only how fantastic of an actress Alyson is, but also how terribly sweet she is. Although I believe she is terribly cute, though, I wouldn't call her hot. But despite the fact she's not a classic beauty, or perhaps because of it, she's excelled in both movies and television since the end of BTVS.
Anthony Stewart Head is another name to drop here, although he has been a very good actor all his life. Still better actors than he have been type-cast to infinity after leaving a SciFi role, even if they had been in another genre before. But now Tony Head seems to be able to choose whatever role he wants. And why not? In the commentaries he was always held in highest esteem.
Now let's look at our problem cases. First off, Sarah Michelle Geller. She's obviously a fantastic actress, yes some of her idioms bother me at times, but that is true of all actors. Why then is it that she has been in nothing but SciFi, dark humor, and (worst of all) B-horror movies since leaving the show? It's my belief that it's all due to the last few years of the show. I'm not sure if SMG suddenly developed big-head syndrome, or if she just suddenly grew sick of the people she was with, but from everything you hear, for the last two years at least, she was a bit of a horror to work with. In the early days everyone had got together and spent time with each other outside of work, but at the end she was no longer willing to even do interviews. She had fights with several co-workers and the whole will she agree to an eighth season? will she be a part of ATS season 5? was more immature than anything else. My guess is, if she ever gets a show again it will be SciFi, and not a lead.
And then we hit Emma Caulfield who there is no word of since the show's demise. I think she was a very talented actress, but the fight between she and SMG made her untouchable for almost any role. Likewise James Marsters, although he has gotten a few bit-roles since. He was a better actor, though, and the fact that he isn't in a show now is almost definitely due to his disagreements with SMG.
So my big conclusion is: don't fight on set if you're in a science fiction television show, or you'll get no more good roles for the rest of your life.