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« Our Column in the 10/6 Issue of Soap Opera Digest | Main | "Unfortunately, a brain is not a foot." »

October 01, 2009

James Franco heads to GH, and Our Heads Explode in 50 Different Ways

1. This morning, I got an email from news correspondent Beth R. saying that James Franco would be joining General Hospital.

2. Thinking I must have misread it, I leaned into take a closer look at my computer monitor.

3. It still said that James Franco would be joining General Hospital.

4. James Franco, the movie star.


5. General Hospital, the piece of crap airing at 3 PM on ABC.

6. I then asked, "My James Franco?"

7. (Yes, I said that. Out loud. Do not judge me, for I already judge myself)

8. Because James Franco is...I love him. In a completely healthy, non-stalky way.

9. Okay, it is kind of stalky.

10. But he was Daniel Desario! And he was so good in Milk! And AMAZING in Pineapple Express. And he's so pretty! And so talented!

11. I own many of his movies.

12. Okay, most of his movies.

13. I even paid real, US money to see Nights in Rodanthe, and he's not even credited in that!

14. And I still have the issue of GQ with him on the cover from last year, even though I am 26 years old and should be well beyond things like that.

15. The point of this embarrassing overshare is that I am a James Franco fangirl.

16. The only person who I think makes me more hysterical is Leonardo DiCaprio.

17. And if I got an email saying that Leo was going to be doing a stint on one of my soaps, I'd probably need to be sedated.

18. (I also would hope that he would at least hold out for The Young and the Restless!)

19. I was speechless, to say the least, unless hysterical, high-pitched laughter counts as speech, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

20. This has been the week of me being speechless: first from Ryan and Erica Ryan and Ericaing, and then Jonathan Jackson returning to GH and now this.

21. The people within hearing distance of me are the biggest beneficiaries of these soap happenings.

22. Still reeling from the news, I went to the bank.

23. Not to take out a large sum of money to finance a trip to Los Angeles and the GH set specifically.

24. Really, that's not why.

25. And while I waited, I checked for official confirmation of this, the biggest soap news of all time, on SOAPNet.com

26. And there was confirmation.

27. And I made a sound that was part gasp, part muffled scream and part laughter.

28. The bank teller then leaned across the counter and studied my eyes intently.

29. I am pretty sure this was to check the size of my pupils to see if I was on the drugs.

30. When my transaction finished, I practically sprinted back to the car and did something akin to this


30. I then called my best friend and left her the most rambling, hysterical voicemail of all time. I'm not even sure it was in English. It was lots of "Ohmigod"s and "Eeeeee!!!" and the occasional confused, "And I don't know why!"

31. And as I drove home, obeying the speed limit

32. (Well, it was a speed limit somewhere)

33. It hit me:

33. I never criticize anything that James Franco does.

34. He's been in some movies that others may describe as "terrible", but I always defend them.

35. (Sometimes the only defense I can muster is "Whatever, suck it", but that usually ends the argument!)

36. Does this mean that I will start to defend General Hospital?

37. And defend a story that's heavy on Jason, at that?

He'll be playing a mysterious character -- the details are too hot to share now -- who will interact with most of Port Charles and in particular, make Jason's life a living hell. Expect James to start airing on November 20th and he'll appear on the show for multiple weeks.

38. I think it does, because Becca sent me an email with the subject "What is James Franco thinking?" and my immediate response was "That he's awesome, duh".

39. It's a completely involuntary reaction!

40. I am having terrifying visions of a future where I am compelled to say things like, "I can't wait for General Hospital to come on!" or "GH should totally submit this on their Emmy reel next year for Outstanding Daytime Drama and I will totally campaign on their behalf".

41. And HE approached GH!

The coolest part about this? James approached General Hospital about joining the cast.

42. Which, at least GH doesn't have the balls to approach an award-winning movie actor about doing a stint on their show, so their ego isn't completely out of control.

43. Also..James Franco is short (EDIT: Just to clarify, he's not tiny, but it's said that he's 5'10, which means he's probably an inch or two shorter than that, and I am a giant so I consider most people short).

44. If he is in a scene with Maurice Benard and they are roughly the same height--or, heaven forbid, MB is taller--this will mean that I need to forfeit "Sonny is a shorty" jokes for the rest of eternity.

45. Which is totally disappointing, because those are some of my favorite Sonny jokes to make!

46. Although we'll at least always have the Duh Face.

47. And now I am left to impatiently wait for his scenes to air and gear myself up for two possibilities:

48. The show will continue to be terrible and I will be forced to defend said terrible show, have to watch Jason scenes IN THEIR ENTIRETY WITHOUT FAST FORWARDING and will possibly have to give up my arsenal of wee Sonny jokes.

49. Or he will be the recipient of the best, most engaging writing in years and his guest stint will be, overall, genuinely fantastic.

50. OR--I don't count this as a possibility, since it's more of a probability--I will wind up not being able to focus on any of his scenes at all due to the nervous, hysterical laughter I burst into whenever I hear or see the words "James Franco on General Hospital". Because REALLY, I cannot stop laughing.



I agree with Sarah's comment. I was looking foward to your commentary on the non-wedding of Spixie until all this craziness happened.

Please don't forget about the karaoke madness.

Um, now I really want to watch Soapdish. Must purchase.

And this also reminds me I never finished watching the whole of Freaks & Geeks. Must correct this as well.

16. The only person who I think makes me more hysterical is Leonardo DiCaprio.
YES!YES!YES! I better not EVER see him in public. It's on. Run Leo. Run like the wind. LOL!!

It will be interesting viewing since my husband who insists he never watches (yeah right, sitting at his desk facing the HUGE television isnt watching)but asked 'where's Jason's pink tie' the other day .. I bet he asks WTF is Franco doing on GH?

I guess I am officially an "old lady" now, because James Franco is O-K, but...I just can't fathom how his appearance is going to make GH any better, any more tolerable, any less douchey, any less REPULSIVE!!

Now the Spixie non-wedding? That was the GH soapy fun that got me started on this show almost as long ago as you are old, Mallory! (I WAS in the 6th grade, though!!) Come ON, gals! Mac and Patrick doing Macho Man??? THAT was a "squee!!!!" moment! Mac hitting on Alexis? Everyone looked like they were having a great time shooting those scenes. Spinelli was even TOLERABLE!! Barely did his jibberish speak and looked pretty darn handsome in that tux. Shows what a great character he could be if they let up on the geekdom or a bit.

Soapdish....oh MAN how I love that movie!! Especially if you were watching soaps heavily in the late 80's/early 90's.

"Hi, I'm Lori Craven and... I'm an actress."

"An actress! Really! How nice for you! I'm Betsy Fay Sharon and I'm a bitch. Now get out of here."


Mallory, if this turns you into some GH fan girl with blogs all about the wonderfulness of GH, I may have to kill your guy James Franco!

I know he's only supposed to tape three days, but I have this image of him completely apeshit, running around the GH studio parking lot in his underwear screaming, "Get me out of heeeeeeere!" by the second taping day.

And Soapdish, among a great many other things, sealed my lifelong love for Robert Downey, Jr ("I have to seriously rethink this relationship."), and it was only slightly lessened when I found out he passed out in a random kid's bedroom while high.

Honestly, I'm just as dumbfounded by this news today as I was when I first heard it. I'm not a James Franco stalker (I mean fan) like others, but I don't have anything against him either. To me it's just really really weird, but I have to admit that I am intrigued.

I'm still in a state of shock. I find myself wondering around with this smile/grimace/perplexed/mesmorized fangirly look on my face.

I told this news to my sister and one of my good friends, both of whom don't watch soaps. Here were their same exact reactions:

*frown* *chuckles* *ponders* "Um....wwwwwwwhy???"

I've never been so excited and upset at the same time in my life. I'm drinking tonight.

For all of you looking for a post about the Spinelli/Maxie non-wedding, it's coming! We wouldn't miss the opportunity to talk about something actually good on GH, it is just a bit slow-going with work, school and the head explodey news of the week. Patience, grasshoppers!

realbrenda4ever, you hit the nail on the head: being super upset and excited simultaneously is exactly it.

Another example of how Y&R is losing the casting war.

Obviously he has never seen this show.

Either that, or he got it mixed up with ER and thought it would be a good opportunity to work with Linda Cardellini again.

I refuse to believe anyone of his talent and stature would willingly offer to work for Guza and Phelps.

^ Frankly I don't think he knows how bad GH is. All he knows it's a soap, and his manger has connections via also being Steve Burton's manager. The likelihood he even knows who Luke and Laura are, let only the current state of GH, is slim.

If GH could have a female character outted as a man then I will be GH #1 cheerleader.

I read that he is really into the acting craft and he wants to experience everything. Since his manager is Steve Burton's manager, he was able to get the hook up to GH very easily.

The one thing I hope doesn't happen to him is that he films all his scenes in those three days then when he goes back to watch them, they suck. It's not like in the movies where he can sit in the edit room and remove stuff. He won't see his scenes until weeks later and if Guza is writing them, I really feel sorry for him. He is suppose to be playing Lorenzo's nephew. So that means not only is he going to terrorize Jason but also Sonny and the girl who "killed" Deigo, Sam. I bet we will see Carly somewhere in there also.

That was my first thought... he's doing it for research... (although I thought it might be research relating, in some capacity, to the course he is/was taking)because other than WTF..my only other thought was that James Franco had to have approached them and he wasn't doing it for the work or because he loved GH so much he had to do it....
And I will be in total agreement Mallory... Thank God for James Franco cuz at now or at least from when he starts filming I can enjoy GH no matter what! lol

This is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read. You might need some professional help, but you are still hilarious. :-)

Seriously? You defend "Whatever it Takes"??

Sina with the Soapdish referrence FTW! NICE ONE!

Is this for real?

Yes, Franco is 'researching a role' which is probably IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS which will come out next year. It's now in pre-production. He plays William Vincent, a man who comes back to NYC to rescue an ex-GF from The Mob. Since GHosp. has 'Mob connections', I'm guessing that's why he chose this soap.
(I'm not a soap fan but I'd like to see his acting in this! The man is nothing short of GORGEOUS!!)

Okay. If he's actually researching a role, I can buy it. Otherwise, there is just no effing way he would do this...and I refuse to believe he would do it for anything other than this reason. In fact, the thought that he's that awesomely dedicated to his craft only deepens my crush on him.

So, wait. This role he's researching must be a campy version of the mob; something like "Married to the Mob". Because why else would he chose GH for "mob research". The man has mean comedic chops, so it has to be satirical, right? And if that's his reason, then it's like a movie within a movie and he's aware of the absurdity of it all and that would elevate my crush on him to super stalker status.

James Franco on GH. Love it. This soap opera keeps getting better and better.

i think, for some strange reason that he'll be playing aj quartermaine whose very much alive andhas had plastic surgery.it'd make sense, he's stalking jason out of his twisted jealousy and need for revenge, and noone in town,especially jason would expect aj to be alive,but since its a soap opera, you can die one day and return from the grave whenever ratings call for it, and as luck would have it, a big hollywood star comes along,hes playing a mysterious character,and jasons his target.sounds like aj to me, he was always out to get revenge on jason, so i beleive james francos the new aj quartermaine,back from the dead with a new face,knowing his dad alans dead, emilys dead, and wants vengeance on jason whom he holds responsible.. thats my equation on the subject.......

First time visitor to your website cuz of James Franco near General Hospital. Loving him, not in a stalky sort of way, but just discovering for first time and wanted to know if he was a real artist from NY because he used his real last name on the show. Glad he's appearing, but I have watched GH ever since Luke & Laura came back in 1994 out of the airplane. Y&R puts me to sleep. Days/Lives lost me when Marlena became possessed. GH has it all: more beautiful people, exciting acting and storylines, hot sex scenes. The women are more real, not manipulative. Also, they approach real women's issues with courage: breast cancer, battering, rape, AIDS, cheating men, loss of children, etc. I can't get enough of this show. I would have also rather have seen a veteran return to liven things up, but with soap operas disappearing (OLTL, GL) I'll be happy if JF can contribute to introducing my favorite daily show to some young twits and possibly keep GH a buzzing for a long time. Psst. JF is way cool, but not as cool as Luke & Laura getting married on my 16th birthday!

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