Thursday, May 30, 2013

'General Hospital' and the great Franco mistake

‘General Hospital’ head writer Ron Carlivati made his first big mistake this week – at least for me.

I know a lot of soap fans think he made his first big mistake when he killed off Jason Morgan – but I applauded that decision (and still do).

The reveal this week that Roger Howarth was the presumed dead Franco (a character originated by the Oscar nominated James Franco) had just about every ‘General Hospital’ fan I know scratching their head. I was one of those fans.

When it looked like Howarth was portraying Franco last week, I had my doubts. The anvils Carlivati was dropping had me convinced that this couldn’t possibly be Franco. I didn’t believe he would be so heavy-handed in his writing. Looks like I was wrong.

First off, I have a hard time believing that the serial killer Franco we were introduced to would make his first dastardly endeavor such a lame one: Poisoning relish. 

Second, Franco was a serial killer and rapist. Why would they have a popular actor like Howarth
portray one of the most hated characters in all of GH history?

Thirdly, and most importantly, what kind of shelf life would a serial killer have as a character?

Well, guess what? They’re rewriting Franco’s entire history.

What do I mean?

  •   Franco did not rape Sam. I know a lot of fans already suspected this, but it’s been confirmed.

  • Franco did not “kill” that guy from the art show. That guy killed himself. The fact that he conveniently did it when it could benefit Franco is just a coincidence.

  • Franco is not behind Michael being raped in prison. That now happened purely because of his association with Jason (Sonny has been conveniently spared).

Are you confused yet? Me, too.

Howarth is a tremendous actor with a tremendous following. Why not create a new character for him? Why resurrect the one character just about every GH fan can agree should be forgotten?

I was thinking that they would make Howarth some unknown Quartermaine/Cassidine heir that had ties to both families. Anything but Franco. I would have taken a Casey the Alien recast over Franco. No, seriously.

Now, I’m not 100 percent convinced there’s still not some revelation out there about this character that we don’t know yet. Why do I think that?

They clearly want to make Howarth's character Kristen Alderson’s Kiki’s father. If they do that and
he is Franco and he is still Jason’s twin brother then that would make Kiki and Michael related by blood – and therefore they can’t pair them.

I don’t see that being a feasible long-term story for two reasons: Alderson’s Starr and Michael were fairly popular when they were paired together a few months ago and Alderson and Michael’s portrayer Chad Duell date in real life.

I don’t know how they’re going to fix this situation – and they desperately need to – but something has to be done. 

I was not a fan that could pretend that Jason wasn’t a stone cold killer. He was not a hero to me. As much as I love Howarth – and no matter how they try to wash away the sins of Franco – I’m never going to be able to accept the character.

As someone that has embraced Howarth’s Todd Manning – a vicious gang rapist and attempted murderer – I know this makes me a hypocrite. It is what it is, though. I’m never going to be a fan of Franco.

On the flip side, I am enjoying both Kiki and Michael Easton's new Silas Clay character. Why couldn't they have done something better for Howarth? And why did Howarth agree to this?

The disappointment is still giving me a headache.
What do you think? Is there more to the Franco story? And are you happy that Franco is back?


Blogger EricMontreal22 said...

I've enjoyed a lot of Ron and Frank's GH (much more than I have the show in years--which is not saying much) but they've always had some serious issues--and one has been rape related--no big surprise for anyone who watched their run at One Life. The Connie/Kate rape thing has never even really been fully addressed (it's just a silly plot point for the most part, and now her issue is more based around her love of Sonny... Umm ok.)

Oh and I'm with you that killing Jason was not one of Ron's mistakes (though I think it was outside of his control and was an actor based decision.)
But yeah, this is just an epic mess--in every respect. I have to elaborate about the complete fail of the Michael rape element. I may have missed something, but for the life of me I can't even understand the convulated reasoning he made.

Franco paid Carter to appear to be targeting Michael but really be protecting him and then because it appeared he was attacking Michaelhe could tell Jason that Franco says hi? What am I missing. How does that even make sense? How do you appear to be targeting someone in jail to the extent that Jason gets really hurt and worried without actually doing them any harm whatsoever??

Ron has had crazy convulated plots before that don't really hold any logic if you take themapart, but in the show's universe they have some sort of internal logic. But this just does not make any sense. Hiring someone to look like they attacked or harmed Michael but really have them protect them.... I mean how does one even do tht? How smart did Franco think this guy he hired was? If he really wanted Michael to be safe, wouldn't he have double checked to see what this prisoner's history and conduct in jail had been? Franco was meant to be mentally unstable, but did he lose a ton of IQ points as well?

Howarth is a good actor, sometimes brilliant, but he obviously doesn't know how to play this mess--so he is clowning around (and frankly it's not very different from when Todd clowns around.) Doesn't he feel guilty that even if he didn't rape Sam, he still dragged around and abused her drugged up body? She should be thankful?

Add to this that the main other story going on during these episodes was meant to be dramatic Lulu telling Dante if she was raped by Stavros or not. Apparently she wasn't because she was "strong" I'm glad for her, but I don't know why we shoudl care or believe it--maybe a recast Stavros next year can tell us hat he erased the rape memories from Lulu.

This also sends a dangerous message about rape. Enough rape victims aren't believed. If now the details of these characters' raes, or even the rape itself have turned out to all have been tricks put into their heads.... Oy. I can't go on.

May 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM 
Blogger popeyesbaby said...

I am so tired of these soaps writers abusing rape stories. this is a mess. I hated rc writing oltl but stuck with because of loyalty to the show. but I will not do the same for GH. I can't understand how he thinks a good idea to rewrite two of the most moving stories on this show for his own pleasure. they need a new writer.

May 30, 2013 at 8:08 PM 
Blogger Dent Eq said...

Hey nice Blog!! Very informative post!! Perfect explaination on Hospital Equipments

June 5, 2013 at 5:14 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, it was the introduction of RH that was your first clue to RC being a 'heavy handed writer'? I only wish that was my first such revelation but I have found his constant campiness, plot point writing and recycling of both OLTL and GH stories, without even making the faintest attempt to be innovative with the redundant material, a clue to RC's abysmal writing ability.

Casting RH as Franco in a bizarre attempt to rewrite GH history so that he can keep a modified Todd on the show is just the latest in a long laundry list of transgressions performed by RC in his fairly short tenure as HW for GH. The show was foundering before he took over and I know a lot of fans feel he has saved it. Yet, I believe it was at best a Pyrrhic Victory wherein the cost of the battle was too great to be sustained by the show. Now all I do is watch the occasional clip of the show on-line and lately that clip is more and more becoming the preview for the next day's episode. I don't believe that I am alone in my feelings of alienation with the show since the ratings aren't exactly red hot.

June 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM 
Blogger goldenalchemist19 said...

People are overreacting to the whole Franco thing.

Everybody knew Franco didn't rape Sam the moment it happen.

The original version of Franco's scene with Carter was enough proof that he didn't order him to rape Michael. He said "be creative" and rape in prison is least imaginative thing you could do. It's practically a cliche after Oz.

It also shows how hypocritical the GH fanbase is. Characters like Sonny, Carly, Jason, Luke, Tracy, etc, get an unlimited amount of second chances for their crimes and mistakes, but Franco cant get one.

Sonny shot Carly in the head and nealy blew up Kristina with a car bomb.

Jason killed people for a living. And according to Franco in 09, he had killed over 1000 people on Sonny's behalf.

Carly kidnapped Nikolas' son and ran off with Jax.

Luke raped Laura on a disco floor, and killed Lucky's son while driving drunk. And never paid for either crime.

Tracy refused to give Edward his heart medication when he was having a heart attack(even if he was faking, Tracy didn't know that).

But for them, their mistakes are excusable. For Franco, it's not.

People need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and watch how the story plays out before they pass judgment. They might be pleasantly surprised.

June 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RC is on my last nerve lately. There are too many people on canvas and he drops storylines. It's like he has writing ADHD. Anyway, I still think he's punking us and we'll find out that this man isn't Franco. There is no way he would have Michael and Kiki together if he is. RH could have easily been a Cassidine. He would have been awesome. Why does KA have to be his kid anyway? Stupid.

June 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM 
Blogger goldenalchemist19 said...

To reiterate myself. GH viewers need to quit being a pack of hypocritical whiny haters. Nobody on GH has spotless honor.

Not to mention people have been whining about GH for years. Making demands about what they want to see happen, characters they want to return, etc. And Ron Carlivati made a lot of it happen. But they still whine meaning they'll never be satisfied and they always see something wrong.

June 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM 

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