Applause, Applause
By: Robert Schork
Soap Opera Weekly Magazine
August 8, 2000

Outstanding Performer for the week of July 10

Often, performances are lauded in this column for their "sobering" quality, but one cannot say that about Ben Masters' recent tour de force as Julian unceremoniously unraveled from a reluctant, stick-up-his-butt prom chaperone to a hilariously intoxicated buffoon.

In one evening, Harmony's spoiled blue blood with too much money and not enough sense behaved so irresponsibly as a supposedly adult escort that the Harmony chapter of MADD could make him its poster boy.

As Julian's blood-alcohol level rose, so did the volume of laughter in this office – all thanks to Masters' deft comedic timing. The actor turned in a drunken performance that would give Forster Brooks a run for his bourbon. Masters deliciously played every nuance of inebriation for maximum humor: from his askance posture to lack of hand-eye coordination, to his exaggerated emotional affectations, to his dropping of whatever vestigial inhibitions Julian possesses when he's sober, in order to maul Eve – proffering a textbook presentation of how not to behave when one is pulled over for DUI.

Masters' uncanny ability to take the most politically incorrect facts of Julian and make them entertaining instead of offensive is inspiringly contagious. In fact, his turn as a plastered bastard made the idea of becoming tipsy look so appealing, we were left wanting to swim in our own shaker of Martimmies.