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« Second (+) Lives for One Life to Live Characters, Installment #2 | Main | Sucks So Good: True Blood 4.5, "I Hate You, I Love You" »

July 21, 2011

The End of an Era (And a Hair-a. Gosh, I Hate Myself)

We have spilled much virtual ink over the years going on and on about the mystical and magical powers that Megan Ward possesses, so much so that we seriously contemplated amending our tagline to read "We mock soaps out of love. And hate. But mostly love. And OMFG, Megan Ward is awesome". Because REALLY: that hair! That perfect ability to toss off a bitchy one-liner with the perfect amount of withering condescension! The as-yet-unreplicated gift of making Sonny not just tolerable, but likable!

Remember? Remember the fabulous?

Kate 
Because she possessed such qualities, the General Hospital powers-that-be regarded her with almost total revulsion after a certain point, siphoning her stories over to Olivia and Claudia and bumping her down to recurring and then basically forgetting that she even existed unless Maxie and Lulu needed to make allusions to Kate's legendary (and off-screen) bitchiness. In a world where Abby is a thing! It's offensive, no?

But I thought, "Hey, she wasn't gruesomely murdered--although it wasn't for a lack of trying, because she was shot multiple times. I mean, since she was okay with it, I should probably be over it by now, but I'M NOT--so there's a chance that one day someone will say 'Holy crap, you guys, we wasted the talents of Megan Ward for this long?! What is wrong with us?! Let's bring her back for a frontburner story, like, now!"

Well, probably to help ease Sonny's heartbreak (I mean, she was his first love. Until history was rewritten and then she wasn't), Kate is coming back. Just...not with Megan Ward.

Digest has learned that daytime newcomer Kelly Sullivan joins GENERAL HOSPITAL in the recast role of Sonny's ex, fashion maven Kate Howard. She replaces Megan Ward, who originated Kate in 2007 and played her until 2010. The role is contract, and Sullivan is expected to start airing in early fall.

Um, what?! Why on earth did they not ask Megan Ward back? Are they intimidated by her awesomeness? That must be it. It's the only reason that they would so something so staggeringly BONEHEADED.

(Well, that and...staggeringly boneheaded is the only way they know how to be)

I am not pleased. Not that that means anything, because GH has not been concerned with pleasing its viewers since 1998, but I just wanted to go on the record with this. I'm about to start chanting "Megan Forever! Recast Never!"

"Why does Sonny need his heartbreak eased?", you might ask (but probably not, since many of you have quit this show). Well, dear readers, Brenda left him, which he was sad about. And she left town with JAX, which he is ENRAGED about.

Sonny: Brenda and Alec left with Jax? On his plane? All right. Do me a favor: get my plane ready. I'm leaving.

I wouldn't want to be a piece of stemware within arm's reach right about now!

And yeah, rewind: Brenda (and Alec) left on Jax's plane.

Brenda: Guess what? In Rome, because you know I used to live there for a very long time, I used to throw coins in the Trevi Fountain every single day. So if we dive in the fountain and we find all the coins I threw in there...we could be incredibly rich. (Ear-splitting cackle)
Jax: Hey, do me a favor--when you're in there, toss a coin in for me.
Brenda: Or you could just stay long enough to toss one in yourself.

Maybe I'm reading into things here, but between the lines I'm seeing "Stay with me! Wish for us to get married and live happily ever after and your wish will come true and I love you and Mallory will cry tears of joy at the very thought!"

Comments

VM and IR were both fantastic this week and I'm thrilled Brenda and Jax finally extricated themselves from the piles of crap that call themselves the heroes of this show. I totally believe that last scene was a hint and Jax and Brenda are going to live happily ever after flitting around Europe.

And with them gone, so am I. This show is terrible. No need to subject myself to it anymore.

While I like the idea of Brenda and Jax running off into the sunset together, I had a few WTF moments:

(1) Can Jax just LEAVE after being arrested?
(2) After everything Jax did to win sole custody of that kid, really, he's just bailing on her entirely because he didn't win full custody?
(3) Maybe I am alone here, but I didn't believe one line of the Brenda-Sonny breakup scenes. Maybe it was because MB couldn't fake an emotion. But it just seemed so contrived. All of a sudden, Brenda realizes he is an asshole, and all of a sudden, Sonny admits he is an asshole even though he has pretended not to be an asshole around Brenda for 20 years.

IMHO, the door was left open for Brax to be in love forever or for VM to come back and reunite with Sonny. No fanbase won, and the writers can easily make either a couple on or offscreen, which is probably their intention. As a BrendaFF, I really don't care as long as she isn't destroyed anymore.

Recasting MW's awesomeness with a 33 year old blonde? There are no words. Surely, this 33 year old woman is going to pass for Sonny's HIGHSCHOOL sweetheart. Never a fan of Skate, but c'mon. I will always believe Brenda is his only viable love interest, but can we at least make this rebound bang realistic?

ALC, I am with 100%. I was not moved by the Sonny/Brenda breakup scenes this week. Of course, outside of their wedding, I haven't been convinced that Sonny and Brenda are a good couple since 1997. Oh well, at least I will not have to put up with VMG's horrie acting choices. MB totally phoned in those scenes. I say good riddance Brenda. I will miss Jax as I adored him but his character has been sacrificed for years now.

Could any couple this side of Sonny and Emily be worse than Jason and Sam? They are good to look at but they are dull and lack romantic chemistry. A marriage proposal instigated by Maxie and her shenanigans? No thank you. Could it get less romantic?

Also, sorry y'all but I could live without Kate Howard, I say get rid of the character altogether if she is to be paired with Sonny. Ugh.

Let's get some things clear up front - I really like Vanessa Marcil, even when Brenda is making me scream in frustration. The last time I actually thought Brenda and Sonny belonged together was back in 1996, BEFORE she married Jax. And I as much as I love VM, I feel like every scene she and Maurice do together is a display of improvisation - like they are told the general idea of the scene and are let loose; watching their reactions to one another, listening to their random proclomations, listening a good point ramble into absurdity confirms that for me.

It's been difficult watching Brenda learn her lesson with Sonny twice. She moved past him years ago when she accepted Jax's love for her, and despite her claim that Sonny is the only one that gave her a home, I think Jax actually did once upon a time. But much water under the bridge, she crossed paths with Sonny and feeling swept up by him, perhaps remembering the romantic ideal of their relationship in her youth, she decided to give it a go again - knowing that in choosing Sonny, she was choosing NOT to have children. She was willing to risk her life to revisit her youthful love and maybe make it right this time, but she wasn't going to bring a child into this life. Then, she wound up with a kid anyway and had to make a choice, even though she put it off for a bit, trying to figure a way to work it. But being faced with the darkest side of Sonny, she realized her fears were true, and that at the end of the day, Sonny was always going to choose the mob and power over family. It's impossible to feel sorry for Sonny - and has been for years - because all he does is cry and whine over the repercussions of his actions, makes the women in his life feel sorry for him - and changes nothing.

And Carly. Wow. If there was ever a defining moment for that character, it was when Brenda said something about not wanting to bring a child into Sonny's life, that his life was too dangerous and Carly said "So what?" After all these weeks, months, years of debate over whether Carly is a good mother, the answer is boiled down to that sentence. Her kids are in danger because of Sonny (and Jason's) life - so what. Carly wants those two men in her life, the safety of her kids be damned; nothing matters more to her than Sonny and Jason, her kids have always come second to her need to lean on those two men. And she can't understand or relate to any woman choosing the lives and happiness of her child over her own needs. So Carly reacts in anger, and hates the type of woman - like Brenda - who would even contemplate not putting herself first.

And Jax. He's gotten a bad rap for the things he's done to protect his daughter, seeming selfish and unmoving, and even going to criminal lengths to get sole custody of his daughter. But you know, to Jax, when he deals with Carly it's like dealing with a drug addict, only Carly's drug is Sonny (and Jason). He can't reason with her about Sonny, he can't stop her from seeing Sonny and as she has proven - time and time again - the safety of her kids comes second to Sonny (the drug). So, Jax has done some dumb things, but to me - it's justified.

I only wonder - how many times can you make two of your three main characters look like selfish, awful people before no one cares anymore?

(and you know, I didn't like Megan at first, but she really grew on me; they spent months writing for her and selling her relationship with Sonny - and now, they want to recast her? huh?)

Skate! I really loved Kate since she made Sonny likable! Go figure! I loved the college educated woman who was running a magazine versus Carly who married rich men. I hated Luke conning Jax out of part of his hotel for Carly. Ugh.

Kate was pushed out for Olivia and Claudia..grrr!

The new "Kate" was born in 1978 and MB was born in 1962!

Ladybug, you pointed out what I came here to say. I wrote my article on the new casting "decision" (cough cough) today with all the factual prowess required of a journalist, but here I am, in my 'safe place' (thank you, Mallory, Louise and Becca!) to say what I REALLY feel.

WHAT THE CRIKEY FUCK!?? Kelly Sullivan is nearly a decade younger than Megan Ward (which means nothing since Megan and I share a birth year. 42 is the new 32 - ahem), but in addition, she LOOKS 25 AND SHE IS BLONDE AS HELL! How, HOW for the love of all that's holy are we supposed to believe she is Olivia's cousin and related, in ANY way, to an Italian family?

Does Garin Wolf know about this? Because seriously, his decisions have been on point up to now but this one has me completely baffled. BAFFLED.

I seriously can't believe that they replaced Megan Ward with someone who looks a decade younger than Lisa LoCicero and Maurice Bernard. Seriously she looks like she's the same age as Abby! So now Sonny and Michael can date women the same age.

Completely over Sonny and Brenda, if only because they played the same break-up scene at least 3 different times this week. She left and went to the hotel, Sonny came over, and then she came back to the house, and the dialogue was mainly the same except for yesterday when he admitted that money and power mean more to him because they last and love doesn't. So why should I care about this character if this is his arc? And has been for almost 20 years?

To Mike up above: I 100% agree with the fact that Sonny and Brenda scenes seem improvised a lot and don't make sense most of the time. I recall a scene in the hospital when she was recovering from being drugged by the Balkan and Brenda told Sonny to take his shirt off at the end of the scene. There was no context for her to say that and at that moment I realized that they don't follow their scripts at all. I think they both have enough clout on GH to just follow an outline and say what they want in scenes. I notice that they whisper and both of them are often searching and stumbling over words. I have to turn up the volume for all of their scenes. Listen, I love, love, love Brenda/S&B/VMG, but her acting choices were horrid this time around. It's like she took quirks she always had (the laugh, the whispering, the sleeves) and played them up to the hilt. MB obviously checked out of acting and GH in like 1999, so I wasn't expecting much from him. I am sad Brenda and S&B are over, but I really don't know what angle GH was going for this time around.

i cannot believe they recast megan ward. just. cannot. believe. it.

I am heartbroken that Megan Ward will not be back as Kate Howard. I've been writing and calling GH since May 2009 when she was bumped to recurring, asking TPTB to bring Megan back on contract.

She is an amazing actress and an equally amazing woman. Kate Howard was the first soap character I ever invested in and SKate was the first couple. NO ONE CAN REPLACE MEGAN as Kate Howard. And the actress who has been cast does not fit the character. This is just another failure on GH's part.

Megan's Kate Howard made Sonny a better character and GH a better soap. I agree with the analogy I read that Frons is like the pilot of the Titanic--only he's driving GH right into the iceberg.

I will miss Megan terribly and I doubt I'll be watching GH anymore. It's just too disappointing. I'll read romance books instead.

nuKate Howard had to be in diapers when Sonny was a teenage thug. Kelly Sullivan is a year older than Andrea Bogart/Abby, the girl dating Sonny's son, Michael. I heard they wanted the character to be a mixture of Anna Wintaur and Carmela Soprano, and this is what they came up with? I've seen her picture, and she's very pretty, but not very Italian-American looking, even if you're North Italian.

As Kate, Megan Ward was cringe-worthy. What or who were you watching?

Both Ingo's and Vanessa's exit s/ls have left me feeling completely angry, frustrated, more anger, sadness, confused and furious.

I am still a Brenda fan even with all her strange behavior, cackling, and twitching over the past year. I am sad to see her leave mostly because at least there was one character on the show who hated carly almost as much as I do. However, there is no doubt in my mind that Brenda did the right thing by putting Alek first. Brenda wants to learn how to be a great mother? Well, she already took her first maybe biggest step in the right direction and for that I am proud of her.

There is also no doubt in my mind that Jax is a better man than Sonny. Yet, regardless of what was said or happened I still hope for the day when Sonny final fucking gets that the power ain't IT, gives his adult kids carte blanche to use his private jet to visit, send his crazy ass ex-wife Carly a SMS goodbye and sets off for the life he should have started with Brenda 30+ years prior.

When GH goes down, that is how I want the Sonny s/l to go out.

Out of that whole back to Bensonhurst or whatever story, the single best thing to come out of it was Kate/Megan Ward. A breath of fresh air...and then she just disappeared all of a sudden. Stalled that whole storyline dead, I'm guessing because by then it was already set that Brenda was coming back. That said, I am really upset that they are going to bring back Kate with a new actress BUT I am going to give this poor gal a chance. She's going to need a bit of help I would guess. I would have loved to see a Sonny/Brenda/Jax/Kate story, but my wishful thinking and I will sign off.

I love General Hospital but also Days of Our Lives! Did you hear about this really exciting contest to meet James Scott and Joseph Mascolo on the Days set and to appear with them in Soap Opera Digest? Check it out at http://www.classwish.org/days/fame

I still don't understand why they replaced Kate with Olivia as Sonny's first love. Kate annoyed the HELL out of me at first, but she was a miracle-maker -- she made Sonny tolerant, even almost likeable!

As for recasting with an actress a decade younger than Megan Ward, well, I can't help but think that MB doesn't like Sonny getting involved with "older" women.

I am mostly against recasts as a rule, the most recent ones I can think of I don't like...however...I always give a chance! There are so many passionate Kate/MW fans on here I worry for that girl! Oh, and if anyone could tell me if that is indeed MW in a Nestle water commercial, I'd appreciate it. Been driving me nuts.

Great blog,

I think they are intimated by her awesomeness. So many of her fans, and not her fans cannot figure out why she was not given her contract again. Megan Ward has not only the talent, but the resume to back up her roles! I mean GH was a step down for her!

Then they hired someone so not fitting for the part, too young and etc. I mean come on, it's Megan Ward! did she want a kidney as a down payment for her contract, I doubt for a second she even asked for a pay increase.

GH will be the last soap on ABC, and they thank us for still watching. They need to listen to what we want, say no to MisCast...reWard us with Megan back!

Recasting Megan Ward is beyond Ridiculous. She was the whole show for me back when they gave her great story and airtime. Stopped watching when they bumped her down to recurring because the show just isn't tolerable without her. I've told her personally how much I hate how they treated her the past 2 years. She's beautiful, talented, hilarious, and a hell of a human being. How do you take HER role away from her. It boggles mind. Whatever. Burn GH. You'll be cancelled in a year or less. (and yes that was Megan in a nestle water commercial for the girl who asked).

I was so close to walking away from GH all together, but then they had to bring back Jonathan Jackson. But even that SL is total crap. I happened to like Megan Ward's Kate for the longest time until the SL went into Devil Wears Prada knock off. I like Megan because she brought a spice to that show. All of the women on there poor victims. Not Kate. I loved her.

There are not many characters left on this show that are tolerable. I'm even sick of the SL's that scrubs get. I don't like Lulu and Dante. Elizabeth is boring and whiny. The only thing I did not FF through yesterday was Helena's scenes.

If Garin Wolf doesn't pull a miracle out of his # this next year, I truly believe GH is going to be cancelled.

Thanks, S. I thought it was. To Tabby, it is going to get better, look at what they are doing with bringing a lot of the Q's back! I think it will be more balanced and less mob, more history. I hope so anyway....

Is anybody else as put off by the DOOL shills as I am? Pay for some ads on ABC during their soaps or something but stay away from here. It's as irritating as a VM & MB scene, maybe even more. That said, I'm hoping Baby Kate remains the independent, smart and classy woman that Megan Ward gave us. If she comes back all clutchy and needy, I'll be soooo pissed off!

Decided to tune in to GH again over the summer. Kate, as played by MW, was my favorite character on all soaps. ever. Well, I loved Maxie, too, as played by KS. I was so disappointed to see that both of my favorites were no longer on the show. I slowly came to appreciate the actress who played Maxie and look forward to seeing her in other roles. But, the role of Maxie has a special, extraordinary energy only when played by KS. I am beyond thrilled that KS is back because it is as though Maxie has come back to full life. The actress playing Kate/Connie isn't awful. She simply hasn't captured the essence that MW brought to the role. I can only hope that through some miracle MW will return as Kate!

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