GH Characters and Couples I’m learning to love again!

Carly Corinthos Jacks.  The moment Sarah Joy Brown stepped foot on stage, I became a Caroline “Carly” Benson-Roberts (…Quartermaine Corinthos Jacks)”  fan.  Carly is a character who is so good, she practically writes herself – and by “good” I mean good at driving people crazy with her half-baked schemes. 

I absolutely adore Laura Wright in the role and not just because I would crawl into a deathmatch cage to have hair as gorgeous  as hers.  I’ve been madly impressed with her interpretation of Carly.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been as happy with the writers’ re-invention of the character since Wright took the role.  It started off well enough, but then the writers transformed a relatively self-reliant, strong, vibrant character and into a highly co-dependent, whining, meddling pain in the ass.  HEARTBREAK!  So what’s to like?

The writers are reinventing Carly once again – for the better.  She’s taken a huge step forward and has decided to put her marriage before the mob.  Jax’s quixotic attempts to rescue princesses who aren’t exactly looking to escape from the clapsed arms of Port Chuckles’ dark knights has been painful to watch. I’d given up hope that the man could ever find true love.   To have Carly choose him gave me  a glimpse of the old Carly.  It’s about time some woman realized that Jax was the much better alternative to a life of gunshots and death threats – hard to believe it’s taken so long. 

Choosing Jax hasn’t been her only shining moment.  To have her reach out to Robin shows both Carly’s depth and vulnerability, traits the writers have ignored for far too long.  Wright and McCullough were amazing, bringing great sensitivity and a delightful sense of history to their scenes, addressing Robin’s post partum depression.  (Click HERE and you’ll see why I think it makes perfect sense that these two women can now become friends).  Theirs will be an uneasy truce, if the writers bother to take them that far.  Can’t you see Carly and Robin as great ‘frenemies’?  Imagine them as daytime’s  answer to Ouiser and Clariee!

Jason Morgan.  I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ to describe what I feel for him.  I do find Jason a TAD more watchable right now.  We’ve seen Jason sacrifice himself for the women he loves – but only when he’s personally involved and presumably getting something out of the deal.  His willingness to fight for Spinelli’s freedom is impressive.  The writers created a character so stoic and removed from any emotional response that he was transformed from the living-giving Jason Quartermaine, to the life-taking Jason M. 

What’s next?  Who the hell knows?  This is GH!  What I would like to see, besides getting Jason away from Liz and finding out that the Jake isn’t his, is to have Jason Q. return.  Jsaon Quartermaine, in the realm of daytime at least, could have a medical breakthrough.  He could wake up one day, reliving every kill Jason Morgan ever made.  Since Jason Quartermaine never indulged the same, weak, moral equivalencies that Jason Morgan does, he wouldn’t view JM’s kills as ‘righteous’.  After a brief psychological breakdown, Jason Quartermaine could walk back into his family’s home, pick up where he left off, and become a new man again. He could return to the hospital, post medical school, and join the medical staff at GH.  That would be a far better tribute to Alan than having his ghost show up every other month.  Another option is having him put his new business skills to use at thelegitimate though sometimes shady at ELQ.

By the way, I was wrong, I said that I couldn’t get worked up over yet another GH disaster storyline.  The commercials have me hooked.  Of course, it was disappointing to see Jason MORGAN there, calling shots and taking control yet again.  BASTA!  Enough already.  Let’s hope the doctors are the centerpiece heroes in this storyline about a MEDICAL crisis.

Johnny Zacchara.  For the son of a psychotic mob boss, and a man who was anxious to take the reigns of power from his father, Johnny is an OK guy!   I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Johnny/Lulu relationship – though I did enjoy the care he gave Lulu when they were on the run for Logan’s murder.  Brandon Barash (Johnny’s portrayer) has it all but the writers have made little use of it. 

Johnny has spent most of his tenure on GH playing a stoic, stale version of Jason Morgan.  He’s so much better than that!  Watching the guy remake himself has been provided fans with  a fascinating character study.  Johnny, as he’s written, has never had to think about what he would or could become.  There was never a choice.  Yet, he has become the hope of that  segment of the audience that has always wanted to see Sonny and Jason walk away from mob life for good and figure out what kind of people they are.  Johnny has shown a grit and the courage that the scary big bads haven’t shown so far.  He’d rather mop floors than run drugs?  He’d rather clean tables than prostitute women or kill rivals?  FINALLY!

If we’re lucky the writers are treating him as someone who wants this change for his own sake and not just for Lulu.  Johnny has to be the mob-boy-turned-human-being who makes it.  I’m rooting for him (and for the writers to continue to make him a unique character. 

Liz and Lucky

Fine, that’s not a picture of Liz and Lucky, it’s a gratuitious shot of Maxie and Spinelli (Maxelli).  GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to it’s younger couples. Couples at midlife? Not so lucky. In GH’s younger set there’s Robin and Patrick, Sonny and Claudia (for now), Jax and Carly (for now), Lulu and Johnny (for now), Jason longing for Liz and vice versa (for now), Lucky and Sam (for now), Maxie and Spinelli (sorta’).

Clearly, the only confidence I have is in the Scrubs pairing. Sonny and Claudia’s marriage is running on borrowed time, as are Lulu and Johnny given his connection to Claudia’s soon to be ill fortune!  Rumors/Spoilers suggest that Kate Howard will get to have the last laugh and find one of Jerry Jax’s magical DVDs.  Once Claudia falls, Johnny can’t be far behind – hopefully this won’t be the end of the Zacharra sibs.  I have a feeling they’ll find out that their hired gun wasn’t responsible for Michael’s shooting after all, but that their father sent someone who was responsible.

Of the above mentioned couples, the couples that are seemingly headed for the land of ‘couple swapping’ is that of  Liason (Liz and Jason) and LuSam (Lucky and Sam).  They’re headed back to their original pairings as it SHOULD be.

Lucky and Liz  together bring out the best in each other, when they’re good. Jason and Liz together bring out the worst in one another.  They also bring out the worst in those around them. To make Jason and Liz work the people around them have to be trashed to hell.  It appears to be the writers’ only trick to make Liz sympathetic (instead of desperate, clingy, and careless with her children’s lives) or to make Jason seem a better man when with her – when in reality nothing ‘s changed about him..

–Carly had to betray Jason and sleep with Sonny – something she would NEVER have done, just to give Jason cause to turn to Liz.   Carly’s love (or obsession, you choose) for Jason was so great that she risked jail time and death just to be near him.  No matter how much she loved Sonny later, it was easy to see that Carly still regretted that the one thing she couldn’t give her son, Michael, was Jason’s DNA.  Her great regret was that his brother A.J. was his father.   Sex with Sonny?  Completely out of character for Carly.  It was, however, the beginning of his turning to Liz for help during his dark times.  It was also the beginning of the writers stealing back Lucky’s hard earned place as a true GH hero.

— Heroic Lucky had to become a drug user and cheat (discussed HERE). Out of character for Lucky who was one of the truest of true hearts this show’s ever produced.

— Sam developed a vicious form of babymania and had Liz’s child kidnapped just to hurt her.  Given the scenes of Sam with her own brother before he died, and her feelings about her own pregnancy, family was always her first priority.  It was simply by watching the ‘great love’ of  Jason and Liz that she quickly become capable of risking harm to a child.  Sure.  Anything to make Liason more sympathetic… only NOT.

When you have to work that hard to put a couple together:

1 – you’re tearing apart a great cast, dumping on your show’s history, and chasing off viewers.

2 – there’s nothing worth having with the couple you’re foisting on the audience. There’s a reason there was such a negative reaction to Jason and Liz.  There’s just far too much emotional manipulation of the audience rather than an emotional connection between the characters.  I will be more than happy to see Liason go.

I’d like the writers to restore the LnL2 history.  I’d like to see Liz try to figure out what her attraction to Jason has been when he’s so unlike anything she’s ever wanted for herself and her children – yes, despite the fact that both of her sons have biological fathers with criminal histories. 

I don’t want to see Lucky beg for her love or try to win her back.  If she can forgive Jason’s murderous tendencies, she owed Lucky more than walking away from their marriage when he was ill.  The writers need to take Liz on a journey of deep exploration, and let her try to win HIS love and trust back.  St. Liz passed another man’s child off as his when he was ill, she really doesn’t have a lot of room to judge the man for his past.

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How GH (accidentally?) found its way back home.

Well…I’m in awe.  GH managed to pull off one of the most romantic weddings in at least a decade.  With Patrick and Robin’s “scrubs love” wedding:

There were no secrets hanging over their heads.

The couple wasn’t forced to marry to form a life saving alliance – nor one to protect the other from prosecution.

There were no jilted lovers hiding at the back of the church waiting for the chance of stolen lovelorn glances.

No baby’s mama drama.

Nary a gun-totin’, trigger-pullin’ mob boss in the crowd to disrupt the nuptials.

One sweet, but failed, prior attempt and now nuptial bliss.

This wedding was all about the fact that these two people love one another unconditionally and want to be together. Who knew that still happened in daytime?  Who knew that something as ‘basic’ as a wedding between equals could be so exciting?  The audience knew, and the writers have finally listened.

In addition to the fact that the wedding went off without a major hitch, there was something else that made Robin and Patrick’s wedding so special to me.  Daytime is rife with 2 dimensional hotties who literally look great on paper, but can’t convey a meaningful emotion to save their soap lives.  Newbies are hurled at daytime viewing audiences like cheap baubles,  Cracker Jack prizes – if you will.   We are supposed to be too stunned by their beautiful outsides to notice the emotional stunted performances causing our own insides twisting with disgust and annoyance.

They come from no where, are tied to no one, and when they are linked to core families, their characters are changed so drastically that they may as well have been cast as products of completely unknown soap families (ah hem… ATWT… Dani Stewart… uh?  WHO?… Exactly)   I should also add that when they’re tied to core families, their arrival is often a signal that the core characters we care about will be pitifully used to introduce them and are then  shoved into the soap attic while the writers delight in playing with their new toys.

What made the Scrubs wedding extra special is that Robin and Patrick are legacy characters, Robin being a GH regular (more on than off)  since the grand 80s.  Their families have been around forever, even if hottie Dr. Noah Drake hasn’t been on screen consistently, for more than a decade.

There’s something special about the soap children of characters we loved becoming adults and marrying.  There’s something special about the fact that the writers took the time to develop Patrick as a character, and Robin and Patrick as a couple, even if it’s only because the writers were busy focusing on the mob storyline for Sonny and Jason.  If Scrubs was an afterthought, this should be sufficient notice to the writers to consider taking a look back at what other storylines they told in the shadows of the dark opera that plays out front on GH.

Stories like that of Robin and Patrick (LnL2, Lulu and Johnny, and Spinelli and Maxie, Mac and Me… just kidding) don’t ‘detract’ from the writers’ beloved mob storylines, they give weary viewers a place to rest when the mob stuff becomes too much to bear.  I would love to see more of the Scrubs romance, and any of the other couples mentioned above.  In the coming future, I would love to see this show strike the same balance it did this past week.  I would find myself far less resentful of the Sonny and Jason fiasco if there was something more to the show than these two pathological characters and their pathological lives (sugarcoating who they are and what they do doesn’t change anything for me – they kill for a living and then call it self-defense when those they’ve chosen to do business with do the same).

I past all of that.  This past week, I remembered what GH use to be during its heyday.  I thought about Anna and Robert, Tony and Tania, Tony and Bobby, Frisco and Felicia, and yes, Luke and Laura.  I thought about the love/hate relationship between Alan and Monica that was always more about love than hate.  I remembered actually wanting to tune in day after day to see what was going on with GH’s lovers.  Seeing the Scorpios back together, I  thought about other GH families (and poor Maxie, a motherless child, who seemed to have peace for a brief moment in time when she watched her cousin Robin being embraced by her own mother).  Anna back as the Scorpio family matriarch?  What I wouldn’t give!

Robin and Patrick’s wedding gave all of that back to me.  If that’s all I get, what a pity, but I’m happy to have had it.  Tough times are ahead in the land of “scrubs love” but even that has me more intrigued than all of the natural disasters, fire bombings, hotel massacres, and church shoot outs the writers have penned for this soap in the past decade.

If I can’t appeal to writer camp based on their love for the history of GH and the great cast it has at its disposal, how about appealing based on the economics of producing the show?  Any drama is about the humanity of the show’s characters.  It’s about making the emotional connection to the audience.  Developing Scrubs,  “Maxelli”, LnL2, and others is a damned bit cheaper  than paying technicians and pyrotechnics to blow things up and tear things apart.  Think about it.

The way to a girl’s heart… OLTL/ATWT/GH

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The way to this girl’s heart  is through her favorite soap character… or at least through halfway decent writing!  I was THRILLED, today, to hear Clint and Nora mention something they rarely talk about – their familial past.   It was such an organic moment and so perfect, that I watched it twice.  Given the closeness of Bo and Nora, I’ve never been able to really root for Clint and Nora,  but today I ‘got it’.  I realized what made them special.  There’s a realism with Clint and Nora that most other couples lack.

Some couples have to be heavily in love – hot and steaming just to sell themselves (nice try DAYS’ Ej and Sami – no sale).  Others have to be angry and bitterly fighting to prove their passion (yes, I’m talking about YOU GL’s Bill and Lizzie).  Clint and Nora just have to ‘be’.  When Nora asked Clint if he ever thought about why they were together, if they belong, if they were meant to be – his response floored me.  He said that since she is his ex sister-in-law, some would say they didn’t belong together at all.  I love when soaps acknowledge the ookyness that so many of us are feeling when they have siblings (or mothers-daugthers, fathers-sons) swap partners.

Yeah, I cried a little… ok, I would have under other circumstances, but you get the point.  It was such a sweet ‘us against the world’ moment that no matter what happens with Clint and Nora, I’ll always have that one perfect day with them.

Listen carefully, ATWT’s writers.  THAT’S how you write a mature romance.  This whole thing with Blondie/Jack/Janet just makes me want to pluck my eyes out with Katie’s chopsticks, I tell ya’!  In essence, Jack has reduced his ‘special’ time with Carly  to a good roll in the hay, something he can’t get over or stop wanting.  They have a ‘chemical attraction’ says the mighty Jack(ass)   I thought I was being too harsh on Jack, yesterday.  NOW?  I realize that I’ve given him TOO much credit all along. Carly loves that pinhead with her whole heart.  She wants Jack even when she can’t be with him physically.  My entire gripe about Jack  has been that when he’s in pursuit of another woman, he reduces Carly and his time with her to almost nothing.  Today, he’s outdone himself.

Oh, and who didn’t see the mugging coming a mile away?  Guilt guilt guilt…Jack will work even harder to make Janet happy — while sneaking off for ‘chemistry lessons’ with Carly. Janet doesn’t want to be Jack’s consolation prize, but dear writers, I’m starting to feel as if Janet is OUR consolation prize.  I’d rather see more of a focus on CARLY’s happiness and having her finally have a place where she feels she belongs, with someone who finally and truly loves her.  Janet?  Not so much.  I still just don’t care.

You’ve at least made up for shoving Janet at fans by giving us Henry and Vienna, Katie and Brad.  We even got to see Bob and Kim (even if it was under pretty sad circumstances).  Letting Chris Hughes go?  What are you THINKING, PTB? That dude had ‘walking fantasy’ written all over him (at least, that’s what the sash he’s wearing says when he’s in MY dreams).

Speaking of dreams,  GH left me pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.  Lainey LIVES!  She’s so rarely seen that I’m always thrilled when there are any Lainey sightings on deck.  I still mourn for the loss of Justice Ward when I see her, and wonder why the writers no only ended his short life the way they did, but then treated his relationship with Lainey as ‘no big thing’.  It was so sad to hear her say that she wasn’t really close to Justice, but that she still felt bad about his death.  OUCH!

Oh, and excuse me, but was that REALLY Maxie showing genuine sympathy towards Lulu, and willing to taking on psychopathic papa Zacchara to help Lulu out?  Not only has Kirsten Storms made Maxie HER character with her interpretation of who Maxie Jones-Scorpio is and should be, she’s given the character such a wonderfully sharp edge.  I don’t mind seeing that edge occasionally softened.  Today, I didn’t know who to feel sorrier for, Lulu or Maxie.  Maxie stopped caring about anyone other than herself long ago.  She seemed almost as lost as Lulu.

To see her give a damn about Lulu’s condition, enough to take on old man Zacchara in order to make sure that Lulu could see Johnny, gave me hope for the character. It gave me hope that the writers would continue down the path of creating a multi-layered ingenue fans would come to appreciate for years to come.  Well done, Kirsten, well done!  Oh, and Maxie’s new look, the mini-Kate Howard look, is working for her.

Katie/Connie is going to need Maxie’s adoration by the time Sonny finds out that she lied about his child and has been keeping Olivia’s secret this entire time.  Someone set up the barware, it’s time for Sonny to start smashing things!

How interesting that Katie/Connie places such a high premium on honesty… and has been able to look Sonny in the eye this entire time, knowing the secret she’s kept from him.  I can’t wait! Should we place bets on whether Carly finds out before anyone else and torments Katie/Connie and Olivia?  Are we taking bets on whether the earlier rumors are true and Spinelli is Sonny’s long lost son, after all?