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« Can We Get To It Already (or Victodd's Moonlighting) | Main | Sweet Mercy, Show, I was JOKING! »

November 07, 2011

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? 

Says TVGuide:

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?!


DividerThen 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.


Notice how Jason didn't really get enraged until he had to watch the monkey with the cymbals get all homecoming parade on his ass?


On the good side, I think I love Liz and Matt together. Like you said, it's just a nice, natural chemistry. Nothing forced, and the actors seem to be having a good time in their scenes together.

I have no pity for poor JJ and his poor-me, I'm so overworked drivel or that he didn't get to work with BH in a romantic way. The character was completely elevated to angelic standing just to accommodate his return. His scripts from the beginning of this re-re-recast were loathsome. I sure didn't hear him refuse the Emmy for the vile, snot-dribbling, tirades he won it for. For the sake of the GH that used-to-be, I was willing to overlook some things, but the day he wished Elizabeth to be that broken girl who crawled out of the bushes after being raped? Give me the Emmy - I'll beat some sense into him with it. Vile and inexcusable and I think there's enough blame to go around several layers of GH hierarchy for that insensitive reasoning.

I'm so over Carly and whoever the flavor of her day is - Sonny, Shawn, Johnny, Jax, Jason... whoever happens to be tweaking her little woman part at the time. One can only hope Lucky is just the first of the Spencer's to be leaving. Take them all. Please.

Matt and Elizabeth have a really believable and refreshing friendship-vibe playing out but I'm certain someone's interference or ego will take that unique relationship and try to make it oh-so-romantic or anything else that would ruin it and make it un-watchable too.

Jason hates Franco for doing something bad to Sam? Huh. Is that the same kind of hate he had for Sam doing something atrocious like watching a crazy woman take his child or the thugs in the park thing? 'Cause if it is, then I'm thinking all Franco is gonna get is a second-rate mobster with some pretty weird ideas about payback. He married the woman who hurt his child. I suppose he could just have a sleazy one-night stand with Franco and call it even. Franco wins, Sam already has, and Jason has a lot more wrong with his moral code than can be blamed by having random car parts shoved up his nose for a few years.

If TV Guide is right about the last tape date...then its recast all the way. And I'm not crying about Jon's leaving at all. Mainly because he's likely snotting it up on screen over Lucky having a hangnail and is crying enough for everyone and their mother. (did he miss the fact there aren't really light hearted adult storylines on soaps? or did he just ignore everyone and their mother who said straight out he wasn't returning to the same show he left a decade before? because yeah...that's not exactly suprising when it comes to GH)

Adios JJ!

I did see the YT scenes of Liz and Matt and it reminded me of the friendship that GH blew between Liz and Nik.

Sam and Franco? I'm surprised that Ford didn't offer to go over to GH and show them how a "real" rapist gets the girl!

I agree with the above poster where Jason going after Franco will be a huge bust. Nope. You don't marry someone that you KNEW wanted your kid dead on at least two occassions. Nope. Nada. The "real" Jason Morgan wouldn't forgive Robin for years and he sure in hell would never take Sam back after the crap that she did to Liz, Cam and Jake.

Why did GH bring on another woman for Sonny?

Maybe if we're lucky (no pun intended), Lucky can take Carly, Luke, Aiden, and Lulu with him when he leaves town.

@LadyBug I can't stop laughing at your comment about Ford and Franco. While they're at it, they could just throw in an undead Victor and his airquotes!

What really freaked me out about today's episode was my TV's description of it- "Franco gives Jason a wedding gift." RAPING SOMEONE'S WIFE IS NOW CONSIDERED A WEDDING GIFT?!?!?!?!???!! So much hatred right now. SO. MUCH.

I love Elizabeth and Lucky, but he's busy sulking in some random graveyard in Ireland and reading that letter with Siobhan's ANNOYING voice over and over while he and his greasy hair stare at some pills FOR A WEEK. Liz needs a friend right now, and I love that she's getting that with Matt. I give it about a month before the writers screw this one up, but in the meantime, I'm really liking those two together.

Fake Maxie is so freaking irritating. I'm sure she's trying her best, and she's good if you're going for the vain, self-centered, clueless bimbo, but that's not who Maxie is. They should have sent her to Paris on some Crimson thing while Kirsten Storms recovers.

Also, is it just me, or does everyone in Port Charles seem to have the same birthday??? Carly, Josslyn, Claudia, Emma, Maxie, apparently Elizabeth... when did this happen?

JJ leaving the show? Looks like he saw how much the writers screwed up Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo's return, realized that they were pulling the same crap with him, and decided to hop off the hamster wheel and move on to greener pastures.

I say good on him because the stinking turd that this show has become doesn't deserve a fantastic actor like him.

Leanne, I don't know when they established Claudia or Carly's birthdays but I know Liz had a November birthday back in 1998. And Maxie was born on Halloween. And since GH days are like two weeks now, everyone's birthdays are mushed together.

I can't take Sonny-loving nuKate. I was rooting for Carly.

As for JJ leaving, I'm afraid for how much worse it's going to make Luke, considering he's pretty much reprehensible enough now.

I really must give kudos to How is the Show Still on the Air when talking about Franco, Jason, and Sam. You gave me the best laugh of the night. Because seriously that's what's running through my mind. He should seriously be forgiving Franco within a month's time with what he THINKS that Franco did to Sam.

As for JJ leaving, it really doesn't break my heart. I'm happy he's gone so they can stop doing a 180 on Elizabeth where she's not even thinking about Lucky months at a time then all of a sudden she can't let him go. I always find that ridiculous.

I'm also happy because I thought he was an overrated actor even back in the 90s...Nails on a chalk board was his voice with the screeching in the 90s and 'go to crying and snotting to evoke any emotions' in the present. I will not miss that.

They need to keep the Elizabeth and Matt relatioship as a friendship and friendship only. They have a pretty good friendship vibe. Matt does get on my nerves talking about himself a lot and whining about Patty but as long as Elizabeth doesn't have to continously tell him what a good doctor he is, I can try to work with their friendship.

I stopped watching when he came back - i knew they would go even darker with lucky. i enjoyed him when he was a kid on the show - but not as an adult (shave). i really grew to love GVs version of lucky (even with all the crap the writers handed him).

JJ has always been too over the top for me.

Plus did you really think he would stay long - he is a soap star that comes and goes when they want to - (ie: could care less about the fans).

As much as I love JJ, I am not in the least bit surprised. This is why it's ridiculous to throw a perfectly good actor out of a role for someone who is not likely to stay. If JJ had left before RH came back to OLTL, maybe I would have been able to keep TSJ. Not that I don't love JJ or RH (because they are both dear to my heart), but it is obvious that they feel they can come and go as they please, and TPTB apparently agree.

I would love to see GV back, but after the way they treated him, I doubt he'd go there.

Regarding soap stars that come and go when they want to: I'm not sure it's fair to say they could care less about the fans. I certainly don't expect any soap actor/actress to look at something TPTB are handing them that they're not happy about but decide to stay anyway "because of the fans"; I think that's unfair to the actor/actress. Sometimes stars make outrageous demands, and other times they make perfectly reasonable ones, and TPTB simply don't listen or don't take them seriously or don't care. People have been all over Susan Lucci for not taking Prospect Park up on the offer they made her, even going so far as to proclaim that she "owes" it to her fans to do so, since there's a widespread perception that online-AMC is doomed without her presence. I'm sorry, no, she doesn't owe that to anybody; I understand from online reports that Prospect Park offered her exactly what she already had with ABC, but she's taken several pay cuts in recent years and she's been commuting from New York to LA--maybe she just decided that exactly what she was getting was no longer enough to make that worth her while. Whatever--she doesn't owe it to the fans to continue if the arrangement she's being offered isn't one that makes her happy. Ditto if Jonathan Jackson is tired or unhappy or whatever; we're getting only one side of the story, for sure, but it's not hard to believe that his gripes might be legitimate, and I don't think he's obligated to make "what the fans want" the deciding factor in his decision.

That said, Greg Vaughn got a raw deal a few years ago when JJ decided to come back; I can't imagine he'd want to return to play Lucky after the way he was treated, but if he does and they bring him back, it certainly would help remove the sour taste that was left in many people's mouths when he was dropped. And maybe then the writers would stop writing so much dark, angsty, depressing stuff for Lucky, since at this point I think they just do it to give Jackson more opportunities for tears--it's as though JJ's propensity for waterworks drives Lucky's story the way Geary's vacations drive Luke's.

my point about JJ (coming and going) was not aimed at all soap stars...but there are some actors/actresses who want to be on the screen (daytime)...and are there year in year out (case in pt GV) while others leave to "make it big" and it doesn't work for them and they come back - again and again. everyone knew as soon as JJ got tired or saw greener pastures he would be out of there. why invest in that??

And to note on TG (luke) - i haven't invested in his stories in years- cause he always leaves - i would just prefer if he left for good...instead of having his odd moments on the show.

i want to watch a soap for the day in day out...not for actor to come on to be given something just so HE/SHE can win an emmy and then leave. ugh

JJ doesn't cry because he likes to, but because the writers write Lucky's life as being so unrelentingly tragic and bleak that tears are inevitable. JJ is a good crier, and apparently can do it on command, but he isn't doing it for his health, and I'm quite sure he's as sick of it as we are, thus the leaving and all.

Tanya, I so agree. I totally tuned out on anything Luke is involved in after the Ethan mess. And am also over Tony Geary. Just leave already. He's another one whose acting is over-rated. I agree with whoever said that about JJ. I always liked him but still am with you on that.

I've been watching old episodes of the Frisco & Felicia years on Youtube (and there was some Luke & Laura in there) and while it's fun to take a walk down memory lane, it's also so depressing knowing how everything turned out. The current writing regime has totally crapped all over the past 20 years of this soap...

Well, no point getting on a soapbox (no pun intended-heh). It's the same thing we all hash over almost daily because the current state of the show is so unbelievably horrible. I stopped watching and only keep up via this blog. Like everyone has said, it either puts you in a coma of boredom or gives you a stroke due to rage.

Good for JJ for getting out of this mess. I don't watch anymore but this gives me one less reason to get sucked back in. I, too, hope they don't kill him off because they first time they did I literally wore black for a week. As for Liz and Matt, if they unite they are headed for back-burner-ville so the writers should be happy - one less thing to worry about.

One thing about Lucky leaving though - if he does so willingly, why the heck would he walk away from his son no matter how much bad blood is between him and Liz? I just don't see that being true to character.

This show blows.

"Jonathan Jackson is OUT at General Hospital"

GOOD. And also, HA! That's what GH deserves for firing Greg Vaughn in the first place!

JJ has done nothing of note since his return (that doesn't include tears, red eyes, and snot). I will happily concede that JJ was Lucky as a boy, but his interpretation of Lucky as a man was a total failure.

JJ probably made up his mind to walk after they had him lying on the floor for almost 2 entire episodes, staring at the pills under his couch/chair. That would've done it for me, unless I owed money to a loan shark.

I loved JJ as Lucky and I wanted him back with RH soooooo badly and I gasped when I read that he was out! That being said I agree that his story lines have sucked and as I doubt GV is coming back they better get an awesome Lucky, but that's doubtful right?

Lucky has TWO sons in Cameron AND Aiden. Guza should have never written in Becky's last pregnancy and now Lucky is about to permanently abandon two little boys. Of course, it will finally FREE Liz from having to watch Lucky snotting and crying all over town about how she did HIM wrong during the Niz affair and completely blank out his own skankiness with Maxie and Sam while married to Liz.

@Niki any sane awesome actor wouldn't sign on with the trainwreck GH has become.

I liked GV and had quit watching the show when they treated him the way they did, dumping him because JJ was coming back. Of course, I did relent and started peeking in from time to time.

But bringing back GV would be, to me, more of a slap in the face rather than taking the sour taste out of my mouth, because essentially they would be saying, "Well, the guy we really wanted has walked, so, yeah, we'll take you back." No thanks. Hopefully GV has enough sense not to do it.

I don't blame JJ at all. They completely disregarded even his wishes (why am I not surprised) and his heavy stories without anything light had to wear him down.

It's interesting how many people think an actor's job is so tough when they're playing a part laced with some heavy stories. I believe that he (fortunately) hasn't actually had a substance abuse problem in real life, nor has he had the heartbreak of having a child actually die. Dude's getting paid pretty well to do the job of "pretending" these very real tragedies. That's his job - pretending. It isn't like he's doing something with life and death decisions daily in the medical field or teaching in a school with not enough funding for books or part of a military unit facing God knows what at any given moment. He isn't a real police officer facing daily split second decisions or any of a hundred other groups of professionals who have more valid reasons for job burnout.

JJ is worn out from playing pretend? Too damn bad.

krissy - all i can say is WORD.

I wonder if JJ's son will continue to play the role of little Aidan now that his dad IRL is leaving the show.

Well, well, well. The golden child is leaving. All I can say is BYE. I was one of the most outspoken voices against the firing of GV for JJ's return. It PISSED me off beyond reason. What was the point of any of it?? They didn't put Lucky back with Liz. TC left so he didn't act much with him. He and JMB have all of the brother and sister chemistry of Charlie Brown and Lucy. I mean WHAT WAS THE POINT?? I'm just glad it's over. Let the character go away and stay gone at this point. And while he is at it take Luke and Lulu with him.

I kind of have to disagree with you BN about JJ not crying because he likes too, but because of the writing for his character. To me, the crying is JJ's acting choice and the only way he knows how to convey any emotion where he thinks it will move the audience or get him that emmy. JJ has been red eyed and a tear drop in many scenes that weren't even called for him to be red eyed or having a tear fall from his eye. And what really drilled it home to me about the crying being JJ's go to was when Siobhan got 'kidnapped' and Lucky was on the phone with the kidnappers while Jason was standing next to Lucky and JJ had Lucky shed a tear and that was when Lucky barely knew Siobhan.

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