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« Soap Blog Coalition | Main | Funeral For a Friend »

May 28, 2009

The People vs. Tony Geary

I liked life so much better when I operated under the assumption that everything bad about General Hospital was solely the fault of Bob Guza, and that the lack of rioting by the cast was just an example of their professionalism. When a certain daytime icon began being destroyed in a systematic faction and became history-denouncing and unlikable, my first reaction was, "For the love of Xenu, Guza, will you stop at nothing in your quest to be terrible?"

Except it turns out that while Bob Guza ruins most things, he doesn't ruin everything and cannot be fully blamed for the curious case of Luke Spencer, since Luke's portrayer is the story's biggest cheerleader and has taken to the streets (or, more accurately, the soap mags, but the image of Tony Geary roaming the streets proselytizing about Luke's story arc is the only amusing part of this debacle) to chastise viewers who are unhappy with the way Luke has been written.

If you are perplexed by a Luke who cheats on Laura and chooses a mumbly grifter over his own children, prepare to get schooled after the jump!

"Luke has faced his mortality, and that changes people...[we've] reinvented him as a fuller, more mature man facing the end of his life...whenever that may be"

I literally cannot comprehend this version of Luke being described as mature. It does not compute. Unless he is using "mature" as "older". That I can see, especially since the average Port Charles lifespan is shockingly low.

"Through Ethan, who is so like him and who shares his demons and dreams, there seemed to be a perfect opportunity to really take a hard look at what he's accomplished, what he's failed at and what's left for him"

Dude, you don't need Ethan for that! Here, I'll sum it up for you:

What he's accomplished: ruining one of the most beloved legacies in daytime
What he's failed at: entertaining the ever-dwindling number of GH viewers
What's left for him: poorly written shenanigans

There you go! You can send Ethan back to wherever he came from now.

"It's interesting that fans have never been angry with Lucky for the way he's talked to Luke," Geary says in his character's defense.

That IS interesting! It's COMPLETELY interesting that my mind went to "sympathy" and "affection" before anger when discussing a character who has done little more than dare to be mad at the father who blatantly disrespects him, judges him, dismissively refers to him as having a dead-end life in which he raises other men's children and has a hearty chuckle at that time Lucky was kidnapped and brainwashed.

I completely love this justification, and by "love", I mean "can't compute because my brain exploded". "All of these people are mad at Luke for being a douche, but what about Lucky?!?! He's the mean one! He's mean and disrespectful and...he's mean! To Luke! Make him stop!"

"Whether or not Ethan turns out to be his son, the fact remains that Luke had an affair on Laura," Geary acknowledges. "Of course, fans aren't happy with that."

I could almost feel him rolling his eyes dismissively in that last sentence, perhaps because I am paranoid and have an overactive imagination.

"But you know what? It doesn't make him love Laura any less. This is the way life is. I've always known that Luke has had women on the side."

This is me speechless. Literally, all I could muster when I first read that was a shocked "...". I know he has mentioned Luke visiting hookers before and I either repressed it or wrote it off as some sort of hallucination. "This is the way life is"? If life means having one of the best couples in all of daytime set on fire for a tawdry and stupid, and boy is it stupid, story, I want no part of it. In fact, to quote one of the worst movies of the late 90s, I DOAN'T WAHNT YOUR LAHF, MR. GEARY.

"He grew up in a whorehouse."

Is this the new "Deke locked Sonny in a closet when he was younger, so please excuse the ensuing decades of terrible behavior"?

"I've said for years that he has successfully separated sex from love all his life."

"I've said it so many times! Why do I still have to explain this to you? God, you guys are lame."

"That doesn't mean he wasn't totally devoted to Laura."

Um...that is actually exactly what it means.

"I have always embraced challenging the fans"

Thank you for taking time out of your day to do this community outreach, Mr. Geary, and doing your best to educate the poor, dumb fans who don't get the genius of your new, dark version of Luke Spencer!

"But they have a tendency to want to freeze you in time. They want to keep that character what he was when they were happy."

This is highly reminiscent of Julie Hanan Carruthers accusing people who were unhappy with All My Children of rewriting the show in their heads and imagining stories that never actually took place. Like, what GH is doing with Luke is just too good and we, the fans, are just being selfish by not recognizing that. We're living in the past and it is totally cramping Tony Geary's style!  

"But life changes. People change. I think if they stick with it, they're going to be okay with it. If they're not, they're not and that's okay, too. I'm thrilled that they're going to be challenged."

"If the viewers we have right now are idiots who don't recognize sheer brilliance when they see it, that's okay. I pity them for living such sheltered, sad existences, but it's okay."

On Luke's ongoing battle with his son Lucky: "Lucky carries Luke's rage and his sense of justice," Geary says. "It's not the same sense of justice that Lucky has, because they come from different worlds. But they both have an inability to get on with things when they face something unjust"

That answer was a convoluted, unintelligible mess of vagueness. I especially like how quick he is to point out that Lucky doesn't have the SAME sense of justice as Luke, as if a shared sense of justice would mean that Luke caught Lucky cooties.

On What Luke has learned from Ethan: "To love life again", states Geary. "Luke has been looking at life as if it were over, the best years gone. He's not kicking it with the relish that he used to. Ethan is reacquainting him with the reasons he loves life. They're so amazingly connected."

First of all, the phrase "kicking it" brought to mind a host of terrible middle school memories wherein teachers would try their hardest to use slang they thought was in, and was invariably hopelessly outdated and cringe worthy. Stop trying to make fetch happen, Tony!

Secondly, if only there was something in Luke's life that he could love! It's such a tragic shame, isn't it, that he is unmarried, with no children and no siblings in Port Charles for him to love. No wonder he glommed on so quickly to this mysterious con-man. Childless, single orphans are very easy marks and obviously Luke was no exception!

Thirdly, his discussion of Ethan in this interview, and others, is always spoken in the most breathless and reverent tones. It makes me uncomfortable and reminds me of nothing so much as Bob Guza's relentless worship of Jason Morgan.

On Luke's attraction to Holly: "He'll always have feelings for her", nods Geary. "She's a con woman. She seduces men to get their money. He loves that about her. It's a turn-on".

RIP, The Real Holly Sutton. I'll always like you more than your Guzafied, poorly-written 21st century incarnation. At least we'll always have YouTube to remember how you used to be!

On what makes Luke and Tracy's marriage work: "She's his constant and is the best challenge Luke ever had," Geary remarks. "And I do believe that they have great, rough sex. I think they slap each other around and love it. Why do you think he calls her Spanky?"

I imagined a variety of horrifying explanations for the Spanky nickname and yet none of them managed to be quite as disturbing as the one offered here.

Divider

I think it's clear that my hatred of Luke is not going to end and is, perhaps, amplified by the fact that Tony Geary is so damn giddy about the direction Luke has taken, even if that direction is terrible.

Special thanks to Beth R., Simone and Charles for alerting me to this crime against humanity!

Comments

I heard that marijuana is legal in Amsterdam. Perhaps Mr. Geary has been indulging a little too much.

If Tracy/Luke have really rough sex, I feel sorry for Monica and Edward having to hear it...

And TG is a complete idiot whose character is washed out and should never, ever return.

I can't believe it. But:

1) Tracy deserves a helluva lot better

and

B) I hope Laura DOES come back, and has a crazy mad love affair with Scotty (Scott of the Lucy years, not the irrationally dastardly years).

I'm sorry, but TG has earned a place for himself next to GUZA. I don't like using such strong language, but there it is.

[QUOTE]"But life changes. People change. I think if they stick with it, they're going to be okay with it. If they're not, they're not and that's okay, too. I'm thrilled that they're going to be challenged."[/QUOTE]

Oh really? Given the piece of sh#t storyline TG has, I'd say that it's not THAT much of a challenge at all. And that pretty much goes for all of the other stories on GH right now. Way to crap all over your own legacy character,and drag down Genie's Laura at the same time.

I'm heart sick with the way Holly Sutton has been ruined. Yes, watch old school Holly on youtube, if you want to see who Holly really was. I have no idea what this incarnation of Holly is supposed to be.

I'd love to see Tracy Q walk out on Luke and turn him out on the road. Seriously, when would TRACY QUARTERMAINE put UP with this crap off of a man?

Guza has taken nearly ever woman on this show and molded them to be mob loving whores, or ridiculous charicatures of what a woman is...in any real relationship.

Hello? WTF is happening to Robin Scorpio? She comes back from treatment and literally on the same day has to deal with some guy showing up on her door step to let her know he might be her brother?

Ok so Lucky and Liz are back together now?

There's no build up for any story. Everything happens within a few episodes. The stories are not believable. The actors looked tired and pissed off to me.

I think it would be a good thing if GH closes shop for good. Or just give me Night Shift. They've ruined everything about GH. Everything.


I thought Luke Spencer was the wanker, but maybe he isn't the only one...

I have been a GH fan for decades and for Tony Geary to think so little of fans who have loved the Luke & Laura story. They were legendary. And now Mr. Geary is only a legend in his own mind. Hopefully Tracy can take the money she wastes on the booze he drinks and dedicate a new Alzheimer's/Dementia wing at the hospital. Then put him in and throw away the key.

I cannot believe how disrespectful he is to the fans, but to his cast mates. And with his comment about how con-women are a turn-on? Maybe Sam will be interested.
If the comments about 'spanky' were meant to be humorous, no one is laughing. Just shaking our heads in disbelief. Do us all a favor Tony, leave and don't come back.

I thought he called her Sparky. Maybe both?

Tony Geary has the ego of someone who was part of a phenomenon in the 80's, gets to run off for half the year and is always welcomed back, gets an Emmy nomination for terrible work, chews through scenery to the applause of the masses and generally feels he is the best thing since bread was first sliced.

I have not been able to stand his performance for some time and now I cannot stand him.

I knew Tony Geary had lost what remained of his mind when I saw this in TVGuide Magazine:

http://tvguidemagazine.com/soaps/daytime-emmy-nominees-react-1123.html

I think you know all you need to know when you read the words "Wendy Riche reign of terror."

As I said in the comments there:
"Reign of terror?" Really, Tony? Yes, of course, Wendy's regime was atrocious. Back in her day, the show had ridiculous things like balance, humor, and three-dimensional characters! How evil and thoughtless of her to make those things happen.

Clearly, it's way more interesting when the show pimps out its villians as heroes, makes cops and military men look like fools at best and monsters at worst, and tries to package your ennui and vague disinterest as "acting du jour."

Y'know, I almost could accept Luke's chafing at a traditional life and having an unconventional romantic life with Laura if:

(A) They had laid the groundwork for it in any of the other SIX storylines where they've revisited L&L's past, or

(B) Laura would have been aware of it, or they would have had an open sex life, or something. Because doing it now is just sticking it to Laura further, and it's so clear that the current regime hates Laura.

What is particularly hurtful is how TG has taken upon himself to trample on Luke and Laura's 30 year history without hesittion as to what Genie may feel. This is her life's work, too. Genie fought to have equality with her co-star Tony. She was never afforded the same contract (vacations, etc) as he had. All women should be outraged at Tony's chauvinistic attitude towards the viewers (who are mostly female) and the attitude he has pronounced Luke as having towards women (the whorehouses, women on the side, Laura being "okay" with these trysts, announcing his devotion to Laura despite being able to separate love from sex, and reducing the character of Tracy to a lapdog waiting patiently for Luke to return to her-and by the way, that is NOT the Tracy I have known for decades, and almost proud and boastful of being such an awful father). TG, when you pee into the wind, it comes back at you. You have successfully ruined your legacy (and Genie's, who had no say in the matter) and by doing so, have made your self irrelevant and disliked. We are not seeking your idea of a "challenge" and we are not buying your new "Luke."

I'm not surprised by this at all. As we get older, some of the worst things about us gets magnified by 10 and Tony has long, long, long had a darker, messier, uglier version of Luke in his head waiting to bust out. Back when the Labines were writing Luke and Laura, he complained because Luke was too domesticated. Then it was the hooker nonsense and its just escalated to this horrifying, character trashing nonsense. What you have here is a bored actor who has always wanted a 'complicated' Luke - but unfortunately, to both Tony and Bob, complicated translates to disgusting, amoral and anti-family (if they can throw in a little murder and bloodshed, all the better). Tony has long let his need for new challenges compromise the Luke the audience knows - and he's finally taken it too far. He's agitated with the audience because they don't want this version of Luke, this very ugly version of Luke that may be fun for him to play as an actor, but is insulting to those of us who knew and liked and enjoyed a different, and yes, better version of Luke. Luke was a bad person who made good - he was far from perfect, but he was trying and that was what the audience fell in love with. This Luke doesn't try anymore - he gives in to all his nasty, distasteful indulgences and looks down on those around him who don't find that lovely. I think it's time for Luke to pack his bags and move on - because THIS Luke is not fun, enjoyable or interesting to watch in the least.

I would register shock, outrage, and utter disgust at Geary's ramblings, but like with all other things GH-related I am numb and really have little interest at this point.

Thanks Bob Guza and Jill Farren-Phelps.

After reading Tony Geary's lunatic ravings, I have only two words for him.

Early. Retirement.

LOL at "Disorderlies" and "UHF." I was just going to remind people about his fine repertoire as an esteemed actor.

I wish there were some kind of tally to keep track of how often viewers fast-forward through Luke scenes on their DVRs.

There is a surreal level on which this interview is incredibly entertaining.

^Mike, you nailed it. TG has completely forgotten why the audience got invested in Luke in the first place. I think a lot of actors make the mistake of believing that after a certain point, the audience shows up just to see them, and whatever they need to do to keep it interesting for themselves is justifiable. Uh-uh.

I can understand why TG might find playing this version of Luke more interesting as an actor. The problem, as many have pointed out, is that he appears to have no respect for the fact that much of the audience became invested in a much different version of Luke, and particularly Luke and Laura. And while he might be having fun with all of this, it would be nice if he would at least attempt to understand why this is upsetting to the fans -- his fans who have followed and supported the character for decades now.

I really haven't watched GH in years/decades, but I'm dismayed that Luke believes that Lucky's not "good enough" to be his kid?!

RAGE RAGE RAGE.

TG has always had a chuckle at the audience's expense. The guy stated clearly when he started the Luke role, he didn't want to be a soap star, but the storyline took off and he was in the midst of a goldmine with Gloria Monty and Genie...and here we are. I think he struggles professionally that he will always be Luke of Luke and Laura. While he has come to terms with it, made a living (a good one at that) with it, he is excited about any opportunity to break out of the Luke and Laura framework. What he calls challenging the viewers, is his way of explaining embracing any s/l that breaks the storied development of the Luke and Laura legacy.
I assume every year he ponders, do I go back to work, make another x amount, or just stop. And each time, the writers come up with something to appease Tony, that isn't old school Luke and Laura, while the viewers are perplexed. If Luke Spencer isn't Luke Spencer, why is he on?

I've got no issue that a character needs to continue to develop, have new perspectives, use humor and of course go through soapy angsty stuff. But this is a shell of Luke, where the only thing that resembles his former character is his face. (The hair certainly has had its own evolution! :) TG hasn't changed much with his stance re: soaps in his 40 years on and off GH, why would Luke Spencer change so drastically?

I also want to add another guess of what could be happening here. TG may be doing this out of a personal desire to help the actor who plays Ethan. If TG stands up for him, before his time off, perhaps Ethan can stay in town. Just a guess.

Wow.
Wow.
I can't even think straight.
TG made us love him by raping the sweet, young, and married Laura. That alone was amazing. For the obvious and the less obvious reasons. He has been so loved that his "vacations" and on screen nonsense has been tolerated by the fans. Maybe he is just testing us to see what it would take to get rid of us. If only...
I loved Kat's post with the quote. I say we all mail him copies of that.
If this sickens you and you would rather watch old school TG/GH there is a great series on youtube of the whole Scotty, Laura, Luke story starting just before the rape. I am enjoying watching that much more than I have enjoyed GH in YEARS. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqhlddG0DE&feature=related

Does. Not. Compute.

I think what happened here is the same thing that reportedly happened to Roger Howarth: he hates the fact that the character of Luke Spencer, a unprosecuted rapist, essentially became a romatic lead and an Emmy-winning Icon of Daytime and he now feels trapped in the character with no means of escape.

Think about all the concessions the show has given him: six months off a year, almost-total storyline control, permanent front-burner status (complete with every character on the show kowtowing to him) and so on. It reminds me of the Fred Gwynne story about 'The Munster's Revenge' in 1981: he REALLY hated the show and never wanted to portray the role of Herman Munster again. But the producers kept calling, so his wife suggested that he quote the most outrageous number he could think of as his price for doing the movie. He did...and TPTB agreed. And I think Tony did something similar in the early 1990's thinking they would never agree to his terms to return to GH. And when they did, he realized he'd never get Luke Spencer out of his life.

But now the Idiots-In-Charge have utterly destroyed the integrity of the character and defecated all over the 'Luke & Laura' legacy and thus alienated all those fans who tuned in for that story during the 1980's, and Geary clearly now feels that Luke is finally being written as the lousy bastard he always thought he was but hasn't been able to play since the late 1970's. And the soap opera hierarchy (which, let's not forget, HATED the 'L&L' phenomenon for the most part) are revelling in the continued deconstruction of the Luke Spencer Mythology and gleefully dole out Emmys to Geary for his 'exploration of Luke Spencer's dark side' and all that jazz.

I vividly remember the 'very special episode' of 'One Day With...' that they did for Geary and the barely-suppressed disdain he seemed to have for the Luke and Laura saga ('well, the rape is what put us on the map'), his own history on the show and his status in the soap opera world. He came across as the living definition of 'self-hating'.

That's my take, anyhow.

I don't care what anyone says he is Bill Ekert.

Wow, I guess I am really in the minority, here. I actually LIKE the Ethan character and his relationship with Luke. I have always thought Lucky, as played in the last three or four years, anyway, has been a whiny, spoiled child. Everyone dumps on Luke for pointing out that he is raising two children that aren't his, but if Lucky was so okay with his life, why get so pissed at Luke? Sometimes I think we're supposed to believe that Lucky really wanted to be more like Luke but didn't have the stomach for it.

Luke loved Laura. No doubt. It was a great love, but Luke is also a cad. He was before Laura, during Laura and after Laura. He raped her, for the love of God! Anyone who has watched them from beginning to end (and I have - started in 1979!) knows that Luke was never the settle down and be faithful type. I don't think that changed his love for Laura, I think it's just in his make-up.

I didn't like Ethan at first, but I think his interactions with Robin and Lulu have been really great, and given that I loathe pretty much every other scene in the show (Claudiwhore is really making me homicidal), that is saying a lot.

I guess I also understand where Tony is coming from in terms of getting older, thinking your life is over and needing something to snap you out of yourself and into a different frame of mind. I'm sort of enjoying seeing him take Luke in another directions.

Okay, let the flames begin.....

Rene, please don't worry about flames! ALL opinions are welcome here...okay, maybe not pro-Guza opinions, but all other kinds!

It was really interesting to read a different take on the interview. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Wow. I'm not even a big Luke & Laura fan, and I'm offended. Poor Genie Francis! Poor Jane Elliott. Tracy needs to dump Luke on his bum and Tony Geary can just leave the show and not come back... Grrr.

I haven't liked Luke for years, but now my anger has expanded to TG.

And I may never get that rough sex image out of my mind. Ewwww!!!

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