Wishful Casting: The Rick Hearst Edition
We all knew it wouldn't be long before General Hospital felt the heat in regards to the pay cuts affecting the entire daytime landscape, and it should really come to no surprise to anyone that the stellar Rick Hearst is viewed as seemingly expendable. I mean why would a soap actually want to keep one of it's best actors around? A guy who actually still gives it all in every scene and doesn't ask for perks, bells, whistles and half year surfing vacations in his contract? In the interest of turning lemons into Vodka tonics, I've decided to make the best out of the situation and try my hand at Wishful Casting Mr. Hearst.
I'll go ahead and get this one out of the way, since so many of us would love to see it happen. I would sell my last episode of Santa Barbara VHS tape if Hearst were to leave GH and return to the role of Alan-Michael Spaulding, and take a good 200,000 viewers with him. AM is one of my all-time favorite soap characters. His romance with Lucy Cooper (Sonia Satra) was straight out of a romantic comedy—save for the part where a psychotic cross dresser raped her and made her think he gave her AIDS, before killing her stepmother.
With the Spauldings front and center and actually being written for correctly—thank you Grant Aleksander—GL is prime for such a heavy hitter to return. Imagine AM returning to town to pick up where he left off with one-time partner-in-crime Blake (Liz Kiefer). I think I literally started puberty watching one of Blake and AM's sex scenes in the early 90's. There's also AM's pasts with Dinah and Marina (Which I would like to forget, but it is there). Oh, and did I mention AM is not only a Spaulding, he's a Bauer. Type amongst yourselves! The question is, would the long-time LA-based actor uproot his life for a move to Peapack?
All My Children
We know how ABC likes to keep it in the family. GH's Tamara Braun is currently lesboing it up in Pine Valley, so why not Hearst? The soap already has two other former Spauldings running around town—Vincent Irizarry and Ricky Paull Goldin—why not make it a family reunion? What if GH spun Ric Lansing off to AMC where he could represent Amanda in the custody battle she will no doubt have to fight with David Hayward? If that doesn't work, he could always recreate the role of Tad's nephew Charlie Brent, last played by Kennedy cousin Christopher Lawford.
One Life to Live
I predict Hearst would be an easy fit as either of Viki Davidson's sons, Kevin or Joey. Since I am partial to Dan Gauthier's version of Kevin, and he would no doubt return to the show if they asked, I would rather see Hearst as Joey, and have him reconnect with Dorian, much to Clint and Viki's chagrin, or steam up the sheets with Marty, Blair or Tea.
As The World Turns
Sigh, I only include this show because it wouldn't be a full-on Wishful Casting if I didn't, but to be honest, I wouldn't want my student loan collector to go this show right now. That being said, it might be nice to see Hearst tackle a less Yuppie-ish role for a change. What if Chris Goutman brought him on as Holden Synder's brother Caleb? From what I gather, Caleb was the Cain to Holden's Abel, so it might be fun to see Hearst in a plaid shirt and some blue jeans, mixing up on the Snyder Farm. Especially if it keeps the newly-returning Rosanna (Cady McCain) out of Paul and Meg's Vortex of Suck (TM Luke Kerr), we've already lost poor Barbara, Dusty and Carly to the Vortex, enough is enough! Caleb could also embark on a torrid affair with sister-in-law Lily. Noelle Beck and Jon Hensley, while both amazing actors, are snoretastic together. Let's mix things up a bit!
The Young and the Restless
Not too many opportunities for Hearst in Genoa City as Matt Clark, the character he inherited from Eddie Cibrian is deader than the career of Bristol Palin's wedding planner. Although it could be fun to see Hearst come back to torment Sharon's psyche like he did when bat-shit-crazy Trisha saw visions of Matt. Oh wait, they're about to do that with Roscoe Born. Moving on.
The Bold and the Beautiful
Hearst was in fine form when he played wisecracking Forrester executive Whipple "Whip" Jones III on The Bold and the Beautiful. As Whip, Hearst battled real-life pal Sean Kanan (ex-Deacon) for the, um, hand of Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang). Whip was one of the most original, refreshing, funny characters B&B created in years, which of course is why they scrapped the role. I would love to see Whip return to town and save Brooke from Rick and Ridge's "Show Me You Pickle" contest, or, here's a thought, why not pair him with the ravishing Lesli Kaye (Felicia)? Of course with my luck, they'd put him with one of those wicked Logan sisters, Katie or Donna.
Days of Our Lives
The first time this soap fan was introduced to Hearst, it was as Julie Williams' mischievous grandson Scotty. Scotty came to town to take control of his grandparents old club, Doug's Place, which Nick Corelli had turned into Wings. He also clashed with his cousin Mike (then Michael T. Weiss), before ultimately falling in love with Faith (Melinda Clarke), the daughter of a crazed, religious cult leader who had been bested by Patch and Kayla. It would be nice to see a Horton return to a show that, you know, used to be about the Hortons. Hope (Kristian Alfonso) could use a brother-figure (technically Scotty is her nephew) to talk to when Bo's pesky visions make her cross, and I don't know about you, but I'd much rather see Rick Hearst's Scotty be there to pick up the pieces for Nicole when things go South with EJ, than Brady. Sorry, Passions Guy No. 2. but Hearst and Zucker would set Salem on fire!