Acting (And Actor) Out
I am not going to bother with a (trying to be) clever introduction because sometimes, when it comes to bad news, it's best to just blurt it out. Sort of like ripping off a Band-Aid. So here we go: Jonathan Jackson is OUT at General Hospital.
I know. I know! I had the same reaction as you. If your reaction was to gasp and say "WHATNOWHYOHMYGOD!" and then semi-hysterically g-chat all of your GH-watching friends, that is. Which, while sort of crazy, is far more measured and reasonable than when JJ left the show the first time around, when I practically went into mourning and, literally, became dehydrated from crying fits when Lucky "died". So...progress?
Word from the set is that the beloved and acclaimed actor is exhausted from a heavy work schedule and months of a harrowing storylines that have included the death of Lucky's child and the character's addiction to drugs1. Sources say Jackson had attempted to get GH execs to lighten his schedule with no luck. He also wanted to be romantically reteamed with Rebecca Herbst (Liz) but struck out there, too.2
1 I am totally right there with him, because the doom and gloom that became Lucky's life has been absolutely brutal to watch. I wonder if the tipping point was spending hours on the floor, staring at pills. That would have been my personal tipping point.3
2 Seriously?! And we couldn't go that route because tragedy is that much more entertaining to watch?
3 I still can't believe that happened
Although if TVGuide is right and Jackson is filming his final scenes on November 17th, that doesn't leave much time for a proper farewell. I worry that Lucky is going to finish his depressing, dull adventures in Ireland by writing a postcard to Ethan that says "Need a break. Be back never!" or that Lulu's spiteful wish that he get shot instead of Dante turns out to be foreshadowing and that he will get killed off suddenly and randomly, in which case I will probably have a rage breakdown. I know, I know, that's me jumping to the worst possible conclusion, but this IS GH, so it's...gosh, it's sad that the worst possible conclusion and the best case scenario are almost always the same thing when it comes to this show.
The rest of Monday on General Hospital, ignoring Lucky's boring (seriously, I cannot stress that enough. Boring. Dull. Zzzz...) soul searching in Ireland, can be summed up quite neatly in two words. The first word? Tantrum. The second word? Rape. Yes, this episode was a must-miss.
You'll remember (unless you are able to easily and quickly repress GH memories, in which case I salute you and also seethe withe jealousy) that, on Friday, Carly became engulfed with pettiness and jealousy when she saw Shawn in the company of a pretty woman. Reasoning that any man she shares even a brief conversation with belongs to her for all eternity (can't you just see her wailing at the Starbucks barista "How can you ask that skank for her order? Did my order mean NOTHING to you?!"), Carly felt justified in embarrassing Shawn and "intimidating" Renelle by making allusions to the alleged fun, sexy times she and Shawn shared in Hawaii; of course, Renelle was less "intimidated" and more "concerned that this woman is allowed out in public". When her plan didn't work, Carly decided to get all up on Johnny, which Sonny saw and...he was less than pleased. Like a toddler would when denied yet another episode of Go Diego, Go!, Sonny became pouty, shouty and at one point, actually stamped his feet in rage and impotence.
Johnny: What comes next, Sonny? You grab her by the hair, take her back to the cave?
Sonny: You don't want to push me right now, Johnny.
Oh, but he, in his grief over Claudia (yes, still, inexplicably) totally does, Sonny. And getting sassed by Johnny just made Sonny even stampier.
Sonny: I won't let you take advantage of her grief.
Carly: Why do I HAVE grief, Sonny? Because of you, Jax is gone and he's not coming back and YOU did it.
Sonny: Keep your mouth down. Check yourself. We're in a public place.
Had Sonny said "Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself", I would have declared Serial Drama an official Sonny Corinthos Appreciation Blog for, like, an entire day. But, alas.
This continued for some time and was interrupted by the arrival of Kate Howard, who swanned in, saw a situation that was both embarrassing and nearing the point of physical violence and decided that to stick her upturned nose into the middle of everything. Because this is GH, there was a lot of "the slut calling the tramp a whore" type sniping.
Kate: Picking fights with boys over trash looking for a quick pickup?
Carly: Wow, that's rich, coming from the Coney Island Cutie with the smell of corn dogs in her hair. At least I admit who I am and where I came from.
You know, I really do love Carly (it's a mental defect, I know), but I rarely, if ever, find her to be right in any given situation, unless it's the "So wrong, it's..." variety. Honestly, though? I had to give her reluctant props for fighting with Kate, lame as her comebacks may have been (taunting her as Connie? Calling her a boardwalk tramp? Carly is a selfish, unpleasant harridan, I know she could do MUCH better than either of those insults), because Kate had absolutely no business getting involved with that hot mess.
Although maybe she did it because she has LOST HER DAMN FOOL MIND.
Kate: I want to go back to a less complicated time...when I held you and never wanted to let go.
Oh, for the love of, I want to vomit all over everything.
Carly and Johnny, by the way, left together and had a conversation that was far less mushy. When Johnny asks her if she remembers what the day is, Carly blithely says it's Josslyn's birthday, forgetting that it's Claudia's deathday and that...
Johnny: The right people still haven't paid for it.
The viewers have totally paid for it though, Johnny. Isn't that enough?!?!
Jake's wasn't the only place where some serious fit-throwing took place; no, Maxie had a jealous meltdown over Matt and Elizabeth speaking to each other in Elizabeth's hospital room. While she recovered from being assaulted by Lisa, Liz got to hear Maxie call her a "manipulative little slut" and accuse her of playing the victim in the shrillest, loudest way imaginable.
Matt: If you would just stop and listen, which I know is difficult for you, a good time was not had by all, especially Elizabeth. She was chloroformed and thrown overboard.
Maxie: Making Elizabeth the victim yet again.
Matt, incredulous: She WAS the victim!
I have no idea what the writers are going for with Maxie, aside from "Bitches are always hating on other bitches, right? High five!" because she has been wholly, ridiculously unlikable lately and I can't blame it entirely on the temporary recast, who I think is trying her best but isn't infusing Maxie with the tiny bit of vulnerability that Kirsten Storms usually does. No, I fault the writers here, who have just turned Maxie into a one note brat. And that one note is TERRIBLE.
I'm not sure if I want Matt and Elizabeth to turn romantic, not least because my eardrums and I are not prepared for Maxie screeching about how she totally knew Liz was being a skanky homewrecker all along, but...Jason Cook and Rebecca Herbst have a very nice, natural chemistry together. They were totally cute today. She's all sassy and adorable, and he's relaxed and charming. I enjoy!
Matt: It's not even Freudian, it's literal. Gorgeous, ripped dude gets you out of the ocean, walks you up on the beach, sets you down...I'm sure he just goes to town on the mouth to mouth and then he disappears out to the ether in which he came, I'm sure, walking on water.
Elizabeth: ...I never said he was ripped.
Matt: Not when you were conscious.
Elizabeth: Are you kidding me? Do I need to be embarrassed right now?!
Then there is the horrible end to Jason and Sam's honeymoon: Jason, sitting in a box, watches as Franco carries an unconscious Sam out of the shower, places her on the bed and starts to undress. Then, in an insanely creepy moment, Franco smarms that he needs some privacy because "it's the lady's honeymoon after all". UGH, DISTURBING. SO, SO DISTURBING.
He then turns the camera off, leaving Jason to imagine what's happening to his wife while he's alone, in a box, powerless to help. He cries and then...hardens. That's an inappropriate way to phrase it; he becomes enraged or, as my notes say, "Jason hulks out". He will, I'm sure, pledge to kill Franco once and for all and will fail at that, because the GH writers are going to milk this James Franco thing for as long as they can before the show gets canceled, no matter how many viewers turn their televisions off in disgust. Just a hunch.