I admit I have extremely mixed feelings about Todd Manning on General Hospital. Sure, part of it is that it's bittersweet to see any Llanview residents in Port Charles because it serves as a reminder that One Life to Live is no more. And in many ways it would be easier on my heart just to imagine the characters living on happily with their families. And while I really love Todd Manning as a character (I phrase it that way to emphasize that I find him compelling, not that I think he's a super-swell guy who I'd really root for in real life), my very favorite thing about Todd Manning just happens to be Blair. So it's hard to see him without her -- even broken up they're better in each other's orbits than outside of them. Not to mention one of the coolest things about how they've developed his character over the years is that they resisted the urge to turn a gray-hat former gang rapist into some heartthrob who went from hot relationship to hot relationship. We've only ever seen him with Blair and with Téa (and in both cases, these were not typical romances by any means), and sexual intimacy has always been a careful issue for him. And that is so important to me. If you're going to pull that standard soap trick of turning a rapist into a viable leading man, it's the only way I can stomach it. I absolutely in no way, shape, or form, ever ever want to see Todd bounced from leading lady to leading lady and put through the usual battalion of chem-tests. I will lose my lunch.
And, since I've launched into this dissertation, another thing that worried me was that we already have Sonny, a bad boy who gets away with tons of stuff but who genuinely loves his family and sometimes his woman and always has a gaggle of people making excuses for him, and do we really need another? And yes, I find Todd a million times more compelling because of his self-loathing and his constant battles with himself, but still. Might it be too much?
So I was nervous. Very nervous. And today I was reminded why there's so much more that differentiates him from Sonny and the number one characteristic? Humor. Sonny is rarely written to have much of a sense of humor and, in fact, is quite frequently such a depressing wet blanket. The trademark Todd Manning humor was a breath of fresh air for me today.
So for now, I am cautiously optimistic and very glad to see him. For now. And he apparently is free of all charges due to PTSD which, ha, but it would be a pretty easy case to argue considering what he'd been put through for eight years (although I loved that his original version was that they acquitted him because his mother didn't love him!).
Also, I love how people (especially Sonny) on this show routinely point guns at people and threaten to kill them and then either change their minds or are somehow thwarted and it's either witnessed by or admitted to the police and nobody ever gets arrested for attempted murder, ever. Because attempted murder is not really a crime in Port Charles. And now Starr's locked up for it. I can't say I hate Michael for it, though, because it stops the cycle. I know he did it for childish reasons, but honestly if he'd ever been held accountable for flirting with crime early on, he might not have gone in the direction he did. (Of course here I am applying psychological growth principles to GH, when we know full well Starr won't "learn" from this because... well, soaps!)