Thursday, February 28, 2013

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Who should be the new Lulu?

Julie Marie Berman announced this week that her time on ‘General Hospital’ was coming to an end after eight years.

Fans immediately started freaking out. I get the feeling. Lulu is an important character.

From the minute she landed on our screens, Berman embodied Luke and Laura’s youngest child better than most could imagine. She was sassy, brave – and she had appropriate “daddy issues.”

Through the years, Lulu has been involved in a number of front burner stories -- but somehow she always managed to keep Lulu firmly anchored in reality despite the surreal nature of her storylines.

A lot of fans don’t want to see Lulu recast – but I think at least one of Luke and Laura’s offspring needs to be represented on the canvas right now. With Jonathan Jackson on ‘Nashville’ and Tyler Christopher still MIA – that leaves Lulu.

So who are fans willing to see in the role? I’ve heard a number of names bandied about. Let’s tackle them one at a time.

Bree Williamson: There’s no denying that Williamson is a powerhouse – and she already managed to take over one popular role (Jessica, ‘One Life to Live’) and make it her own. Williamson has shown a knack for making tough -- and yet vulnerable -- heroines. I think Williamson could have smoking chemistry with both Brandon Barash (Lulu’s former lover) and Dominic Zamprogna (Lulu’s current husband) -- and I think that might be a triangle worth watching. The problem is, Williamson is currently finding success in primetime -- on several different shows. Not only is she recurring on NBC’s ‘Deception,’ but she has also been a regular on SyFy’s ‘Haven.’ I can’t see Williamson coming back to soaps. At least not now.

 Jennifer Landon: Landon has proven herself to be popular and powerful. She took a character that never should have caught on (Gwen, ‘As The World Turns’) and made her a fan favorite practically overnight. Not only was she a fan favorite, but she became a beloved character in the show's history -- despite only being on 'As The World Turns' for a few years. Her stint on ‘The Young and the Restless’ was admittedly less auspicious, but Landon has multiple Emmy wins and a marked sex appeal. My only concern with the possibility of Landon taking over as Lulu would be Starr and Lulu breaking out in song at the Haunted Star. Landon is an accomplished singer – and the horror of duets between the two business owners is almost nightmare inducing.

Jen Lilley: Lilley filled in for Kirsten Storms when she was ill and was a temporary recast of Maxie (albeit, the temporary recast lasted for almost a year). While I didn’t dislike Lilley – and I know she had her fans – she was never Maxie to me. She never made the character her own. When I was watching Lilley onscreen, it was more like she was doing an impersonation of Storms doing Maxie more than anything else. Also, I think it’s probably way too soon to bring Lillley on the canvas – especially as the best friend of the character she was playing months ago. Lilley might be gun shy about taking on Lulu knowing that, should Berman opt to return, she would likely be bounced again.

Alexa Havins: She had a lot of haters when she was Babe on ‘All My Children’ – but as annoying as the character was (and she was often extremely annoying), Havins was a perennial scene stealer -- no matter who was on the screen with her. Since AMC went off the air, Havins has done periodic guest work – and a season long stint on ‘Torchwood.’ Still, since she’s a new mother, I’m guessing she might enjoy a steady gig. The problem I have with Havins is that I can see her having solid chemistry with Barash, but for some reason I can’t picture her with Zamprogna. That might be a definite drawback to her casting.

Erin Torpey: The original Jessica Buchanan grew up onscreen. A lot of fans were crushed when Torpey left the show, but she showed a great deal of loyalty by returning for guest spots from time-to-time. A spot check of Torpey’s current credits show that she’s doing mostly voice work. She might be a nice fit for Port Charles. Plus, Torpey’s Lulu owning a business with Kristen Alderson’s Starr would be kind of fun – as would her interactions with Roger Howarth’s Todd.

What do you think? Who did I miss? Who would you pick to play Lulu?


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