By Marilyn Henry
There already have been big discussions on the internet about Jonathan Jackson returning to his role as Lucky on General Hospital. Newer viewers who don’t know his work are jolted; other long-time viewers are thrilled. I don’t know whose bad
In the last few weeks, the show seems to have turned a corner. Good grief, did they lock mob-obsessed Guza in a closet and allow someone else to spin actual soap tales for awhile? Who knew it could happen?
taste decides the direction of the insulting promotional ads, in the vein of “The REAL” Lucky is back, or whatever. They got so much flack over Greenlee ads you’d think they would learn, but obviously TPTB are basically without taste.
That aside, I am loving having Jonathan back on the show. The character of Lucky has been stunted for so long. Suddenly what I’m seeing now is an excellent actor giving the part of Lucky some intensity, depth, naturalness and truth. Amazing. JJ makes the role rich, worth watching – with face, voice, body language.
Greg Vaughn was indeed handsome, but there was never a moment I believed he was Lucky Spencer. He was too old for the part, too unexpressive, and they wrote him as a stiff-necked, up-tight type, and not terribly bright. Impossible to believe that could be Luke and Laura’s kid, especially after JJ originated the role so differently. Vaughn was an OK actor, I guess, but not special at all. That’s my perception. A lighter role he might have handled better, but not Lucky Spencer who had been raised on the run, who had a dad like Luke, who understood when the law helps and when it doesn’t.
Watching JJ today – well. Lucky is alive again. JJ has given him personality, wits. I hate that he and Luke are at odds and they have to continue to have him disdain Luke, but at least he does it with some sense that he actually loves his dad and simply cannot go along with his dad’s attitudes and habits. And we have to remember that this isn’t the same Luke who was such a good father/pal to him. And they did have that falling out when Lucky was told by Nick that Luke raped Laura way back in the disco days. Some of that hurt is still there, but in their scene on the dock, I felt he was ready to be angry with Luke, but that he deeply loved him, too, and was trying not to show it.
And in the scene with Liz – he expressed more in that short scene than I felt Lucky had in years. I really felt the scene, I was drawn into it and surprised afterward, because GH hasn’t engaged me that much in years.
Now if they could somehow repair Luke – but that doesn’t seem possible now that Luke himself confirmed he cheated on Laura 20-some years ago. They certainly don’t need Ethan now, but that whole mess with Luke may not be repairable.
In the last few weeks, the show seems to have turned a corner. Families, some decent dialog, a little history, vet sightings, real emotions, real romance that wasn’t of the “wham, bam, thank you, ma’m” type, and getting rid of the dispicable Claudia – good grief, did they lock mob-obsessed Guza in a closet and allow someone else to spin actual soap tales for awhile?
So GH is nearly watchable and even enjoyable these days – wonder of wonders! Who knew it could happen?
A note from Marlena: Film historian Marilyn Henry is a longtime General Hopital viewer and who has written extensively about the Spencers. She wrote the mega popular three-part “Legend of Luke and Laura” series for my Afternoon TV magazine back in 1982-3, and many GH-related pieces since then for marlenadelacroix.com.
For Marlena’s perspective on Jackson’s debut see my response to James Mills’ message in the Comments section.