Sunday, April 14, 2013

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Thawing out a super villain is hard work

Stavros lives.


Yup. One of ‘General Hospital’s’ all-time dastardly villains showed up alive and kicking this week – despite dying onscreen (twice) before.

The reveal was campy, over-acted and altogether awesome.

Sue me, this is the reason I love soaps. I love the rampant improbability.

The last time we saw Stavros, he slipped into a crack in the Earth and was presumed dead. Of course, his body was never found.

This week, we found out his mother, Helena, found him and rehabilitated him. Of course, the minute he regained consciousness he was obsessed with Laura again – but this time he thought Luke and Laura’s daughter Lulu was his beloved “Ice Princess” and kidnapped her.

The kidnapping of Lulu – while bringing Luke and Laura back together – also served as a way to give viewers a few weeks to get ready for the transition of a recast in the important role of Lulu.

Longtime portrayer Julie Marie Berman left the role a few months ago – and she’s being replaced by
Emme Rylan. I know it’s early, but I have to say that Rylan’s first scenes as Lulu were a little wooden. Don’t freak out – that was just a joke. It was lying there (much like Lulu) and I couldn’t pass it up.

The Cassidines have always been soapy goodness – like Eterna on ‘One Life to Live’ – and if you love the genre you can’t help but love the storyline. It’s  not meant to be believable people.

I have seen a handful of people complaining on message boards that this is completely “unrealistic.” These are the same people that didn’t have a problem with Sonny and Jason – and the fact that they were mobsters that didn’t run guns, drugs or stolen merchandise. They never seemed to question how they were rich and, yet, never did anything illegal.

Robert Kelker Kelly returned as Stavros and – while he still is as hot as ever - -his acting seemed a little stilted. Of course, he’s been working as a pilot instructor for the past few years instead of acting. Despite all that, though, I loved the reveal.

Here’s the simple truth: I would rather watch Cassidine madness - -no matter how improbable – than the ridiculous follies of Sabrina the Super Nurse, Saint Kate of the Multiple Personalities and Dr. Britt of the Embryo Stealing.

I understand the Cassidines are an acquired taste, but longtime fans of GH cannot deny that the
balance on this show has been so much better in the past year. After a decade of Sonny, Carly and Jason eating Port Charles – it’s a relief to be able to see older characters that fans love.

I know that Stavros is not sticking around for the long-haul – and I have a feeling the current storyline will facilitate the introduction of a new Cassidine villain (reportedly to be played by the returning Roger Howarth) – but while it lasts, I’m going to enjoy in.

In the aftermath, I’m guessing we’ll have a brainwashed (or amnesiac) Lulu to deal with. This will allow fans to spend time with Dante and Lulu – without feeling the recast was forced on them. The writers will try to rebuild the magic of Dante and Lulu from the beginning.

Personally, I’m of the mind that I won’t be able to accept Rylan as Lulu. I know it’s ridiculous, but Berman WAS Lulu to me – like Kimberly McCullough IS Robin – and I don’t think I’m going to be able to get behind this recast.

I’m willing to give it a shot, though – especially if I get to see Stavros acting like a loon for a couple more episodes to facilitate it.

What do you think? Were you glad to see Stavros again?


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