The Role of Lucky Spencer Is Now Being Played by Jonathan Jackson
Mallory really wanted to post about Jonathan Jackson's return as Lucky Spencer after today's airing of his first episode back, but she and her therapist were wary of her venturing back into multiple-personality land (it's never as fun as they make it seem on soaps!). So you are stuck with me, and -- Debbie Downer alert! -- while I enjoyed Jackson's Lucky very much back in the day, I was far too old to have a crush on him and therefore my assessment of his return is likely to have far less "eeeee!"ing than Mal's. I'm sure she will balance the scales at a future date. I have it on good authority that screencaps with animated exploding hearts are well underway.
So, first day back. "Remember me?" was a terribly cheesy opener, but Jackson had the decency to look chagrined by that, so kudos.
And then we cut to the credits, which readers have emailed to point out still include Greg Vaughan. How grossly cheap is this show?! It is bad enough that the credits have at least four dead characters in them, but really, you somewhat brutally fire a longtime cast member and then leave him in the credits even after his replacement has started? This show is to class what Lindsay Lohan is to sobriety. (Related note: You look fab for 56, Lindz! Don't let anyone tell you differently!)
Side note: The Beard must be eliminated. A strategic razor could get in and out without causing any collateral damage. I say we let it try. For the good of the country. Or at least for the couple hundred of us still watching General Hospital.
Back to the real issue at hand: Jonathan Jackson is a good actor. I'm sure I will get used to him as Lucky again. But today didn't wow me. It's going to take a while to see if he has romantic chemistry with Becky Herbst or his other possible love interests -- I didn't think Lucky and Liz exactly scorched the screen with their hotness today. Truth be told, it is going to take a while for me to think of the teenager I watched in the 90s as a sexy leading man type, particularly when he still looks like he could play a teen. (He looks at least a decade younger than some of the 90210 cast. Of course, so does Lindsay Lohan.) Becky Herbst looked a bit like a teacher seducing her high school student, and she looks young herself. And I think his youthfulness is going to create some issues beyond the Liz relationship as well. I do not buy Lucky as a seasoned cop, and I am still going to be overcome with giggles the first time this Lucky interacts with his ex-girlfriend Sam. Kelly Monaco is gorgeous, but she is going to look like his mother's hot friend.
On the other hand, "cowboy" is a better fit for the original recipient of the moniker than it ever was for the significantly older Vaughan (it always sounded a bit lascivious to me when Luke called Vaughan's Lucky that), and Lucky's chat with Laura at the end of the episode did melt a few of the icicles around my heart.
(Though seriously, who has a corded phone?)
Tony Geary seemed to show up more than he has recently in Luke-and-Lucky scenes, so I guess that's a plus if it continues until his next 20-month vacation. Plus it goes without saying (but because I am me, I will say it anyway) that if this walk down memory lane puts the idiots who run this show in a place where they bring back Genie Francis to complete the Spencer family reunion, I will suspend disbelief and tolerate virtually any story, including Lucky actually being 45 and having developed a dangerous addiction to plastic surgery and Botox.
The thing that bugs (worries?) me about this return is really that regardless of who is playing him, Lucky Spencer is going to written horribly about 95% of the time. The smart, witty, kind, adventurous kid we all watched in the 90s has morphed into the town's perpetually unlucky-[note: not a pun, because I am not lame like this show was today] in-love doofus. Jackson is walking into this shoddily constructed Nikolas-Liz-Lucky triangle that I'm not sure anyone could make me think is anything other than nonsensical and seedy. But if that anyone does exist, it's probably the person who originally infused Lucky with his goodness and warmth -- so I will let him try.
But enough of my rambling. To get a definitive answer to a pressing societal question, we must do as they have done through the ages: Internet poll!