No, I'm not talking about old Becky vs. new Becky on Roseanne. Although, new Becky is much better, especially on Scrubs.
Why did they recast the sister and recut the pilot episode? I saw the original, condensed pilot at the SDCC 2007, and the recut pilot last night on NBC.
The first "Becca", Mae Whitman, was an angst-ridden, cocky, emotional teen who blamed the title character, "Jamie Sommers" for just about everything that was wrong in her life. Oh, and she was deaf too (although I do not believe the actress is deaf).
The second "Becca", Lucy Hale, is a perky, cocky, cute-as-a-button teen who has the proverbial sisterly fights with Jamie, but all in all is doing okay. Oh and she's a computer hacker, and not deaf.
The episode I watched last night seemed a lot lighter than the original pilot, even though it still had it's dark moments. Whereas Jamie's life seemed really depressing and heavy before, it seemed a bit more casual and slackerly now.
I have to tell you, I was very disappointed when the producers announced at Comic-con that they had recast the sister. As was most of the audience. It was nice to see a hearing impaired character on a major show that was just like any other character. It was also nice to see a female character that was not super skinny and super pretty. She was a normal weight and was a bit goth. I was excited to see that many female teens would identify with her. So no, I was not initially happy about the change.
Hale's Becca is one of those super cute girls that we are supposed to believe is some sort of outcast and computer hacker. Um, yea, right. She isn't a bad actor, it's just that it's too much. Maybe I could see Whitman's Becca as a hacker - she had the loner tendencies needed to make a good hacker. But Hale? No way. It seems like the powers that be decided, "hey the sister needs to be involved in the stories somehow...computer hacker!"
Maybe my opinion was spoiled by the pilot that could have been. Maybe I wouldn't be so critical if I hadn't seen the first version. Maybe I'm just sad that an interesting female character was scrapped for another OC lookalike. Maybe I'm being too harsh on a really great show - looking for something to pick apart.
Truth is, it still is a great show. Michelle Ryan's "Jamie Sommers" kicks major booty. As does Battlestar Gallactica's Katee Sackhoff as "Sara Corvis." The women do rule this show, and that makes me happy. Besides, maybe the new Becca will grow on me. Maybe she'll gain ten pounds and start painting her fingernails black....