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Soap Love Notes: Days’ Eric Martsolf rocks as Booster Gold, Smallville “Booster”

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

It’s no secret that daytime soap operas are a dying breed. Two more significant blows recently rocked the soap world when ABC announced they were canceling both All My Children and One Life to Live (Boo!). Once they sign off (in September 2011 and January 2012, respectively), there will only be four soaps left. So, it’s even more satisfying when I see daytime’s finest moonlighting in primetime. And it’s even better when they do a stellar job. 

Case in point: Eric Martsolf. He’s currently Brady Black on NBC’s Days of our Lives; but I know him best as Ethan Winthrop from another cancelled daytime drama, Passions. When I heard TPTB at Smallville tapped him to play the ultra cocky superhero from the future, Booster Gold, I was excited. However, I was unexpectedly surprised by his fantastic performance. As Booster, he made Clark jealous. Booster was all flash and no substance and only sought validation from the media. He would wait until the last possible minute to zoom in for the rescue to up the drama factor and then he would pose for a photo opportunity. Booster was the anti-Clark (or as he’s known in superhero form, The Blur). In the end, Booster and Clark learned from each other, although I think the one that got the greater lesson was Gold.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Martsolf’s performance was confident; as if he’d been part of the Smallville cast forever and not just for one episode. He was also able to show some vulnerability that made his character instantly likeable near the end of the hour. He more than held his own with Tom Welling, who was also excellent in “Booster.” Eric hit all the right notes. I’m always happy when daytime TV stars get to show what they’re made of on a bigger stage. There’s no need to worry about his post-daytime career. I have faith he’ll join some of his fellow Passions alums who are doing so well in the primetime world like Natalie Zea (FX’s Justified); Ryan McPartlin (NBC’s Chuck) and Kim Johnston Ulrich, who’s guest-starred on the CW’s Supernatural, CBS’ NCIS and The Mentalist in the last few weeks alone. Too bad he didn’t get to act opposite his former Passions brother, Justin Hartley. After all, Justin’s been crazy good as Oliver Queen on Smallville for years. I’m confident Eric can follow their lead. Consider me a fan.

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