THAT's what Katrina has decided anyway.  Well, some change is good.  I mean, I truly love having my own website that is all done the way *Katrina* wants it and is free to change anything at a whim if a fan writes with a great idea.  When my bank account changes on payday (my husband's payday -heh, heh, heh), that is a good thing and when my Dr Pepper (alas!  now must be diet!  yack!) glass changes from empty to full, that's also good.  In the world of Soaps, however, Change=Bad.  Such is the life of a Virgo.

I'm going to admit something that brings me shame and pain.  I hate recasts and I hate (usually) new people.  I like for things to stay the same, for no character that I like to leave (V Ardanowski, white courtesy phone!), for no newbies to come on board without prior approval, etc. 

Case in point.  I really don't like the "new" people on the show.  By "new," I mean they've come on during the past two years or so.  Chloe, Hannah, Juan, NuNik, Gia..they've got no GAME, no SUBSTANCE.  It's not just the actor and it's not just the character, but some weird symbiosis of the two.  I know some of you remember when, for instance, Lucy Coe came on the show.  There was this really nasty, evil guy named Kevin (no, not THAT Kevin, another Kevin - O'Neill or something) who had committed a murder and covered it up and this mousy little librarian was his alibi.  She showed up to testify, severe bun and Buddy Holly glasses in place, ducking her head and speaking so shyly.  She was interviewed repeatedly by the boys in blue and still, little quiet girl, very unassuming, very reticent...til the end of the story when we saw her answer her door, invite the eveel Kevin into her lair, whip off those glasses and old woman clothes and turn into Lucy Coe right before our eyes!  Holy COW what an entrance!!  THAT is entertainment!!  Not, "ennnh, ennhhh, he tried to steal my purse, boohoohoo I stole some money from Jake" or "He's my father, I know he is.  You're my girlfriend...I know you are" or "Oh, I would DEARLY love to meet the people who wrote these love letters that I've carted all over the world!  I couldn't BEGIN to find them on my own and I'm so GLAD you invited me to crash your town!"  

Now that he's been working with Jacob Young (more on that one in a bit), NuNik is growing on me and they have their little comedy team thing going down just fine.  Loved the scenes with the freezer and the whole deadTed thing did a lot to wake up their relationship and reestablish that this IS Lucky and Nikolas, even if two totally different people are playing the parts.  So I'm getting used to the idea.  But you know?  Coltin Scott just doesn't have the regal GGGRABB that Tyler Christopher had.  Nikolas was raised a prince and should be a little weird because of it.  This whole idea of him being like all the other kids just doesn't wash.  The "Cassadine Hat" scene when the freezer was missing was a good bow to his position and it's the little things that go a long way toward making me a happy girl.  Although he can grow on me, he's no Tyler. 

Which leads us inevitably to the observation that Jacob Young isn't a Jonathan Jackson by anyone's measuring stick.  He's gotten settled into the role and is working with it quite well, but again, he just doesn't have the grab.  Perhaps that is for the better, because it would really be heart-wrenching to see JJ giving Rebecca Herbst the business about not loving her any more.  

I've said it before to the disdain of many, but I liked Sean Kanan much better as AJ.  He was so much more bitter and pathetic.  Billy Warlock is a really good actor, but he lends that chipper, smartass attitude to AJ whereas SK was just dark, morose and seriously pissed.  

My way is to give it a few months before I rag out a newcomer because it has to be intimidating as anything to walk into a ensemble cast of 30 or so and expect to blend and not have your every acting flaw become glaringly apparent.  I let them settle in, make themselves at home and figure out what they can really do before I judge them harshly...normally.

I'll make a special exception for the new Tammy.  I understand that this was a quick recast due to a Patricia Healy emergency and they had to grab whoever was walking by, but if I didn't know she'd previously been on a soap, I'd think they grabbed the woman cleaning the toilets in the commissary that day.  I don't know if she's just not into the role or what, but her I've seen better performances from a seven-year-old ten minutes before school starts.  It hurts me to see this woman on the screen.  I'll get back to you on her in a couple of months if PH doesn't return.

Some actors are able to ease right into a role like a comfy shoe.  Stephen Nichols had been dark and sinister and regal in his role as Stefan Cassadine since day one.  Sure, we slipped into the namby pamby side of Stef when he had Laura squirreled away at the country home and there were no more challenges to be won, but that was only a temporary moment of frivolity in a sickly twisted character.  From the hand we first saw with the signet ring to the dark and shadowy figure Laura spoke to on Spoon Island to the wacko who tenderly caressed his mother's cheek and told her he picked his lovers because they reminded him of her to the casual way he ordered the death of Helena's henchman today.  Stefan is soap opera equal of Jafaar from Aladdin.  How can you not love a character whose mom is ripe for a game of retroactive birth control?

Some new characters ease in gently and fondness for them sneaks up on your.  Ari/Andreas has always been fun in his sick little way, although I imagine he probably lives his life in perpetual cringe since everyone in Port Charles has taken to getting him in a half Nelson and holding a knife to his throat.  There's also the added tension of knowing that when "Madam" terminates the help, she tends to be quite literal about it.  Reginald's character grew and grew until he became as much a member of the Quartermaine family as any of their many illegitimate children.  Johnny is so much a fixture that many, including myself, are itching to have Sonny walk in on him and Carly playing a fine game of Chauffer and Rich Woman (wink, wink).  Perhaps if more of the new characters were eased in on us rather than put immediately into front burning (and I do mean burning, as in ruined, toasted, putrid) storylines with an "in your face approach" they would be easier to handle.  Bringing Chloe on board and having it immediately, glaringly obvious that she is there to play Barbie to Jax's Ken is a little aggressive and transparent.  

The glowing exception to this is, of course, the wonderful A Martinez.  I was not impressed when I heard he was coming.  I knew what he looked like from "L. A. Law" commercials and I'd had a little girl hormonal issue with him when he played Cimmaron on "The Cowboys" back in ought six when I was a preteen, but I wasn't excited about anyone coming back to pick up Asher Brauner's role of Roy DiLucca.  It sounded like one of the dumbest moves they could possibly make.  One scene: Roy shaving between Pentonville and Port Charles, made me think this could get really interesting, really fast.  Not a word was spoken and you never got to see his full face.  But there was something about the way that man wielded a Bic disposable razor that made me believe wonderful things were in the future.  When he danced with Bobbie to "How Deep Is Your Love," I can tell you, Mr Rasbold got himself some lovin's that night!  This is one fine actor who is having the life from his performance and the air from his room all sucked out by Bobbie's leech-like attachment to his face.  The face-hugging, proboscis thrusting creature from "Alien", the all-consuming slime of "The Blob" and the cloying ugly of an ape all have nothing on the pervasive Bobbie.  She stalks him like the mangy coyote that fells the graceful stags and reduces an articulate, consummate actor to the ugga bugga snorts of a Neanderthal man.  How grateful I am that there are now scenes with Mike, Carly, Sonny and other non-Bobbies to showcase the talent of this man.  So seldom does a character/actor come into the corral, firing with both guns blazing, only to run out of ammo so soon.  Reload, my friend!  Here' s a new clip!

So as I said at the beginning of this rant, overall, change=bad.  Ease my new friends into my life or put them to the A Martinez litmus test.  If they don't turn the same shade as he is, they gotta take a back burner until I'm ready for them.  Give me the rich, intriguing character of a Sean Donnelly, Anna Devane or even old Hutch the Hitman to a thousand plastic Hannah/Chloe dolls from the Barbie factory.  One thing to remember about Barbies...only their dresses and hair are different...the face is always the same and their little vinyl heads are forever empty. 

See ya next week,