By Margaret Lyons
Updated March 09, 2009 at 09:39 PM EDT
Chris Weeks/
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Ashlee Simpson is headed to Melrose Place. Um, yay? I’ve already expressed some of my trepidation about the new show, and the addition of Mrs. Wentz doesn’t necessarily bode well. Not that her work on 7th Heaven wasn’t dandy, just…she’s a better reality star than she is actress. But that’s okay because…

Simpson will be playing Violet, “a character whose disarming naivete masks the calculating, shrewd sex kitten within,” according to EW’s own Michael Ausiello. Sound familiar, fans of old-school, original blend, real thing Melrose Place? Sydney. This is me heaving a sigh of relief because Ashlee Simpson is already Sydney from Melrose Place. So no real acting required. Behold:

Older, blonder sister, whose perfect-seeming marriage eventually crumbled
Check and check.

Often finds herself under the creepy control of other people
Sydney joined a cult in the third season, lured to its compound by her roommate Rikki (Traci Lords, never better). Ashlee has Papa Joe Simpson.

Had a wedding that raised some eyebrows
Sydney’s blackmail-induced wedding to Michael — his second of four marriages on the series; Syd’s first of two — made us all feel terrible for poor, sad, older sister Jane. His first wife. Ashlee’s black eyeliner–bedecked shotgun wedding to rocker Pete Wentz, while ethically sound, was still kind of weird, perhaps because Simpson’s father officiated.

A long list of different jobs
Sydney’s jobs: prostitute, stripper, con artist, a work-release gig that made Jane her boss, etc. Ashlee’s: nose, dye.

All righty, PopWatchers: Does Simpson’s casting make you more or less excited for this project?

Strange Bedfellows

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