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« I Could Run Through A Glass To Be With You | Main | Presented Without Comment »

May 30, 2013

But What Will His Canvas Be Now (Besides Terrible)?!

If you've been fortunate enough to have missed any of General Hospital this week and have no idea what's going on, your luck's about to run out because I'm going to quickly recap (because if I have to suffer, we all should!): rather than bring Roger Howarth back as literally any other character in General Hospital history or in the imaginations of the writing staff (LITERALLY any other character. ANY ONE. Steven Webber. Tom Hardy, the fictional doctor. Tom Hardy, a fictionalized version of the British actor. Casey the Alien. Casey The Alien's cousin Pacey. Serena Baldwin. ANY ONE!), the decision was made to bring him back as Franco, daytime's most popular genius artist/serial murderer whose stint on this show amounted to a bulleted list of completely criminal and unforgivable misdeeds mixed with embarrassing performance art and a vibe of deeply uncomfortable weirdness.

I know what you're thinking: "Mallory, are you having a fever dream. Because every word you just typed is pretty ludicrous". I totally agree with you.

And I know what you're thinking now, too (I'm slightly psychic): "But...he was so terrible and there's absolutely no way to redeem him, so bringing him back and trying to make him a viable character is--" Is kind of impossible? Is that how you were going to end that sentence? I know, it seems like it's kind of impossible. I was worried about that, too; how on earth do you expect a character to stick around town when he's drugged people arranged rapes and faked rapes and kidnapped babies and basically sexually harassed Jason whenever he got the chance and also MURDERED A LOT OF PEOPLE? 

Well, the writers have thought of that: a lot of it never happened. Franco just made people think that it happened and he totally has proof, you guys! He has DVD evidence! Let's all watch the DVDs, which all include a musical break in which Franco performs Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" and okay, that didn't actually happen (but you know James Franco's Franco TOTALLY would have taken it there in spoken word form). Yeah, that song popped in my head when Franco popped open his first DVD and now it is stuck in there on an endless loop. I hope you're happy, Ron Carlivati. You have me singing Shaggy.

Franco: I don't mean to hurt you. Just trying to hurt Jason because he rejected me. You're safe, you know. Not gonna touch you. But Jason will always wonder if I have. I'm so sorry. I didn't rape you. But I am so sorry that I let you think that I had.


Carter: Okay, I got it.
Franco: No, you don't got it. You don't got it, Carter. You don't got it.
Carter: You just told me to do a number on this kid.
Franco: That was solely for my brother's benefit. I'm making this so that I can torture Jason. The goal is to hurt Jason. Never Michael. NEVER Michael. Do you understand? Say that you understand.
Carter: I understand.
Franco: You don't touch Michael. Just the opposite. You do everything you can to protect Michael.

Bygones to infinity! Not only is he NOT a rape procurer, he is a kind-hearted person who doesn't want to see anything bad happen to Michael! All misdeeds forgiven! Even the murders, because you know there are probably DVDs of him clearly trying to prevent all of the murders he committed but he keeps getting hampered by some guy in a mask, like a villain on Scooby do. Let's decide who we'd like to see him couple up with, amirite?

 Franco: I thought I could control Carter, but I was wrong. I made a mistake! I thought Carter was going to protect him. Instead, it turns out he was a sexual predator. I was just as horrified as you were when I found out.

He was horrifed, you guys! The bygones continue! I was going to say that maybe Franco should have found out what the hell Carter was in prison for before he sent him on this terrible mission because the guy LOOKED unstable and unsavory, but then I realized that I had to stop thinking about this because thinking make me HATE THINGS.

I cannot.

I also CANNOT with the fact that this is a show that made me think to myself, "Well, on the bright, at least Lulu wasn't raped!" That is our bright side: kidnapping and utter terror. Fantastic. I will say that I got a little misty when Lulu's memories came back and think that Emme Rylan is really doing a wonderful job, but I can't say much more than that because my brain has fried a little on account of everything I've written above.

And I will say that if I were forced to give the show the tiniest sliver of credit for anything today, I'd give the most begrudging of props to the Michael/Franco scenes for giving us some pretty fantastic performances. Sean Kanan and Chad Duell were phenomenal and I don't just mean this moment:

Michael: The first thing you should know is that I spent some time in Pentonville.
AJ: You went to PRISON?! [Looks around the room, like, "What the fuck kind of scoundrels raised this kid?!"] When?! [Silently prays that it wasn't when he was like twelve]. For what?! [Hopes it wasn't murder but knows it was probably murder, because this IS General Hospital so of course it was]

Although it did make me laugh. They were great and Laura Wright yelling always makes my day. Everything else makes me want to shower. Or drink Drano.


AJ already knew that Michael went to prison. AJ yelled about it.

That is the first time I've seen that dialogue. I just. Wow. That speech to Sam. Not. ueber. creepy. at all.

Aj yelled about Michael being shot. I don't think he's had the opportunity to yell about prison or the prison rape until now

It's like they are TRYING to piss people off. Making Roger into "Franco" is controversial, sure. It gets people talking, great. It also causes people to walk away from the show that so many praised them for saving from Guza and Wolfe.

I knew this would be bad, but this week's shows take the cake. I see no coming back from it. First The Chew, now this. And when we're relieved someone wasn't raped after dealing with two other rape stories in the same episode, well...

I love Roger, but I'd have to think, HAVE TO that he knew this would be a guaranteed bomb. He's way too good on OLTL and hamming it up like crazy on GH as he did before with, guess who writing his stories? Yeah.

It's such a shame, because the show is just beyond redemption. For years I've happily overlooked the one or two storylines or characters I hated just to enjoy the ones that I loved. But there's so little to love these days, and bringing him back as Franco (Franco!! How stupid is this?!?) just puts it over the top. I deleted it from my DVR today, and that makes me sad.

So how long until Carly sleeps with the guy who did or did not arrange for her son's rape?

Reading this makes me SO GLAD that I stopped watching the day Todd Manning left. I was never going to accept the whole "new character" concept and now that I know he is Franco, my decision to stop watching really was one of the best I ever made.

In defense of Ron Carlivati, I truly believe he is doing the best he can...and that makes me sad. Franco being instantly "redeemed" because all of the things he did he really didn't do at all! Wow that makes not a nickel's worth of sense. But treating the audience like idiots - he has never pissed me off before but that trash about Franco having DVD's that totally prove he is a stand up guy- just lazy writing.

OK. I have no right to be so critical. I've never written anything more than a grocery list and maybe this will all play out much better than I think right now. Otherwise, I'm Bethany out!

"He was horrified, you guys!"

Yeah, Franco was suuuuper horrified. That's why he gleefully made jokes about it and slapped up huge pictures of Michael and Carter during his last art show or whatever.

This show is vile.

Did not watch and don't plan to.

He's Franco for one reason: so that OLTLers Roger and Kristen can play father and daughter again.

Because, you know, that's SO important to the history of GH and all.

Franco and the 2 rapes he was involved in? Never happened! (either of them!)

All the murders? Eh! And shhhhhhhh!

Todd & Starr live on! Who cares if it makes no sense for GH! Who cares if all the OLTL shit Craptini forced on GH resulted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Let's keep shoving OLTL on GH. Woohoo!

Great plan.

No wonder I stopped watching this show.

Interesting to see how bad the show has become since the 50th. I feel sorry for the OLTL actors but it was a stupid idea to bring them back as other characters. I mean not one person has mentioned how RH's Franco looks like Todd or KA's Kiki looks like Starr. Using the same actor as a different character never works(Emily/Rebecca). Are they ever going to revisit the storyline where we saw Robin kidnapped? Or the fact that Britt's mom knows she's alive. Where's Anna and Duke, Mac and Felicia, Lucy and Kevin? How come they can't get any airtime?


I agree. The DVDs are completely lazy writing. And it's insulting to make us think we should buy it for that reason alone. I don't get Ron, I don't. Didn't understand the moronic things he did on OLTL, and now, it's like we're watching a real live nervous breakdown take place in the form of "creativity".

No offense to him, I'm sure he's perfectly fine. But I do have to wonder WTF someone would think bringing back Franco in any form and literally whitewashing his mistakes was a good idea. My stepmother isn't an onliner and was confused as hell and felt insulted by this Franco crap, and as a result, has stopped watching as of today.

You know.. I actually didn't think these episodes were as horrible as I thought they would be.

How many murderers, rapists, etc. are on this show? I mean, this is also the GH Legacy. I don't think it's pretty or superbly entertaining. But it's ridiculously GH.

And any Stavros and Cassadine day with Nik and Alexis is a good day. IMO.

The dvd bit exonerating Franco is insulting, I agree. I felt a bit cheap having watched hours of storyline and investment washed down the drain. It's why I wasn't invested one bit in a single person's pain or suffering other than the audience's for having to suffer through this dreck. Because come a month after they've gone through the ritual ablution, Franco will be AOK and mixed up in ELQ shenanigans and ugh.

Also, I realized how embarrassed I was to explain this mess to someone outside the soap fandom. I thought about it from the perspective of a pretentious douche like James Franco even, whose mockery of soaps by way of his character Franco is validated by the fact that his caricature of a vanity project lives on, convolutedly, as a real GH character. And, I was embarrassed that I watch this show because this wasn't the fun kind of convoluted that soaps often do.

I always had a problem with the way Jason and Sonny were the "Heros" of GH. Jason killed people on orders from Sonny-- they are not stand up people. AJ outrage at Michael's prison time was justified-- the adults in Michael's life screwed up big time-- as I recall Jax wanted to tell the police the truth all long but Carly sided with the mob guys. I have never forgiven nor forgotten Sonny shot Dante in the chest --in cold blood and walked away--- I don't care if Dante was his son or not....why am I ranting because the rewrite of Franco was truly the last straw for me. I don't care if Sam wasn't really raped--she believed she was violated by Franco-- he caused her psychological harm-- I don't care if Franco didn't mean for Michael to get raped--HE DID... Franco was an awful character I hated the Quartermaine rewrite because the Susan Moore affair with Alan was great just the way it was....

How long before Franco and Carly are in bed together? Sick--

I believe the need by the writers to have KA and RH as the father/daughter duo is going to ruin GH. I watched in disgust as Franco was explaining away his crimes-- all the time thinking this is awful--

This show is off the rails. One again its been turned inside out for these 3 mediocre actors, its ridiculous.

Just because Franco has DVD's the whole thing can be an act, but the other characters (and the audience) are supposed to swallow it whole and just accept it, he's a great guy, see the evidence? RC got out a big ol' bucket of whitewash and a brush and just started slapping it on the whole Franco mess. Many people are wondering how long it takes before Carly is in bed w/Franco, I say not very long because the preview showed her visiting him in prison. That's step #1 putting her right into his orbit. Even if Franco didn't "mean" to hurt anyone he did mean to hurt Jason, her BFF. Will she really have a relationship with someone that tortured Jason? I don't like Carly and I'm not always on board with LW's portrayal but I was cheering her yesterday when she yelled at him to shut up. She was excellent. For once I was hoping Sonny would shoot someone. And then Sam didn't...why? Just put us out of our misery!

There were other ways to make Roger & Kristin father and daughter. There were other ways to put Roger into a Quartermaine orbit than making Franco a Q and recasting the part.

I wonder how Franco will explain kidnapping Aiden and giving him to his mother.

Well I was glad I was not alone in not hating (not loving -- except AJ & Michael, I loved them -- mind you, but not hating) this week's episodes despite some intense hatred from others. I will say that I would have PREFERRED that RH had been a Cassadine, if for no other reason than to give Nick something to do other than moon after Liz. And I really do loathe GH's "rapists are bad but murderers are heroes" mentality.
I totally understand people finding this offensive and quitting this show after a "last straw." Mine came when Jax was raped and Carly and Jason giggled about it. I quit watching for years. Maybe it's just that the show was so insufferably bad when I quit watching that, to me, in comparison it's much more watchable now.

Your recaps make me so happy that I have stopped watching this show. I can't believe that out of anyone possible they chose to bring RH back as Franco...who was not only terrible and did heinous things but was also a complete and utter failure as a character. I fail to see the logic in this.

I can't believe I ever had faith in this new regime...I should know better by now...

I missed this week because I am staying somewhere that has no TV and I am glad. What the hell good can possibly come from this stuff? How can they keep him on canvas now??

Well it wasn't what I wanted (huge understatement). I was really hoping that he'd be a Cassadine - or Sam's dad or something like that. I also don't like KIKI, as KA is basically acting like Star with dark hair.

It may be that they chose Franco because of how RH was able to redeem (sorta but not really at all) Todd Manning from gang rapist to who he was...BUT and this is a HUGE BUT - that sorta redemption took YEARS and some really EXCELLENT WRITING.

This DVD shit is insulting. Better to make him actually Franco, and show a different side of him, so he can have something to play anyway. Let the story be Franco being redeemed, not Franco -the great guy no one ever knew!

Why the hell couldn't he have been Victor or Valentin Cassadine!?? Huh!??

This Blows.

The thing that grates me the most is that once again, this show is ALL. ABOUT. JASON. Blah blah Franco blah blah Jason blah blah blah and Jason will never see this and Jason's my twin brother and SHUT UP SONNY and whatever. RH can't come back as a Cassadine or someone completely out of nowhere, he has to be Franco to explain what happened to Jason since OMG JASON ISN'T HERE. I have never in my life seen a show so fixated on one character.

I love RH up and down and six ways from Sunday, but if he agreed to this, my only guess is that he's got enough $$ to live on and is fine with just playing Todd Manning 1 hour a week, and hoping this will enrage fans so much that he'll get written out.

I tend to agree with the comment above that there's just no coming back from this. Were this under JFP/Guza or JFP/Wolf, it would be bad, but it would be just another in a long, long series of dark, sick, unpleasant storyline choices that we either put up with or didn't. Under these circumstances, however, after a year of improvement and some real signs that somebody, somewhere really "got it" and the show was getting back on track if not perfect, this feels like they're saying, "Ha HA! You thought we were going back to real stories about real people! You fools! You suckers! We're just as sick as ever!" And that's worse--much, Much, MUCH worse. And I think people who tune out because of this are probably gone for good this time.

It's like the expression "epic fail" was invented just to be applied to this situation, because it shows such colossally bad judgment on so many levels. The mind is just boggled trying to comprehend it. Who in the world thought any of this was a good idea?

For my money, unless Carlivati and Valentini have come out and specifically said, in so many words, "It was our decision to do all this, we made all these decisions, the network gave us free rein and we just thought this would be great," then I'm thinking most of this is being handed down by ABC and they're just coping with it as best they can.

Aside from everything else, I really hate the thought that JFP and Guza are off somewhere feeling smug right now, with some justification.

My theory : Sonny'll shoot Franco in the head, and when he wakes up he'll be normal and sane--a reverse Jason. Magically absolved of all sins, he will be wearing goofy sweaters and living at Q mansion by Xmas. And everyone'll be so relieved that Sonny gets off scot-free as usual. Hah.

@bethie If only he was a Cassadine. If only.

@Jennyp I think Franco's going to save Danny from an illness, then, he'll save Michael from a car accident, carrying him on his back, and then....

Carly and FrankoTodd will be in bed by the end of the summer!

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