There are certain actors and actresses who are forever associated with certain roles. Some actors enjoy such association and some don't. Both attitudes are understandable. 30 years after playing a character for a few short months (in the case of a movie) or a few short years (in the case of a successful TV show), actors and actresses might actually want to be remembered for more than an old character. They also might simply want to bask in the glow of having brought so much joy to someone. Tough call.
Alan Ruck. Every time I see Alan Ruck I think of Cameron Frye. I think of him lying in bed, I think of him kicking his father's car, I think of him pretending to be Sloane's dad. He's done tons of other great things. He's been a starship captain, worked in the New York City mayor's office, and didn't get blown up just because a bus went over 50 miles per hour. To me though, he'll always be Cameron Frye.
Last night he popped up again. He had a beard and was a kooky retired scientist on Eureka, but he was still Cameron Frye. I was still waiting for him to go off about how his father is always riding him. That didn't happen and I didn't really expect it to happen, but it would have been nice.
I don't mean to denigrate Alan Ruck. He really has been in a lot of things and done a wonderful job in them, but Ferris Bueller's Day Off is… okay, I'm a writer and should, possibly, be able to come up with something more slick, but it's Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Sure, I like my '80s Brat Pack stuff as much as the next child of the '80s, but, except for The Breakfast Club, I'm more Ferris Bueller. And, as much as Matthew Broderick (who I also always associate with the movie any time I see him) made the movie, it would have been nothing with out Ruck's Cameron Frye. Frye was, as Bueller well knew, the ying to Bueller's yang.
Ruck's scientist wasn't the ying to anyone's yang last night, but he did step up and provide the necessary bits and pieces of information that allowed Sheriff Carter to solve the freak-of-the-week problem.
Actually, I think Eureka tends to do a good job with its weekly stories and multi-episode arcs. Mostly, that's because they just don't spend that much time on the multi-episode stuff in any given week and it's not crucial to the goings-on (I say this because last week I railed against Burn Notice for not doing enough with the overarching plot). It is, assuredly, really important to the characters on the show (or it is when they learn about the truth behind everything), but it's not the characters' sole raison d'être, which is why they can get away with changing around the long-term story over and over and over again.
But, that really has moved us away from Ruck, hasn't it? You know, it doesn't really matter to me that I always think of him as Cameron, after that moment of recognition and a fleeting smile, I'm always happy to watch whomever he may be portraying. So, more Ruck I say, more Ruck. I have my doubts that he'll be back on Eureka next week (it's not really how the show is structured), but I have my fingers crossed.