By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman
Let’s start off with the positive here: The Nurse’s Ball is coming closer and closer (to be aired the week of April 1) and both current and we longtime General Hospital fans sure have a lot to look forward to.
After a few mediocre weeks (starting with the end of the vampire story), GH delivered an episode this Friday that was quite good and full of the surprises Mr. Calivati had promised us on Twitter the day before. I literally screamed when it was revealed that Britt and the shockingly returned Dr. Lisa Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) were mother and daughter. The beloved Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) finally reappeared, too. Then Nicholas (Tyler Christopher) came home at the end of the episode, and I surprised myself by bursting into sentimental tears when he and his mother Laura embraced.
Indeed, there have been all kinds of screaming at Chez Marlena for the last two or three weeks and it hasn’t always been screams of delight. My fellow GH watcher Moose (a novice, who is still learning which end is up, GH-wise) braces for the coming storm of outrage and Nigel, our beagle, hides in his crate every time Luke, Laura and Scotty show up together. On cue, I scream, “It’s a travesty and a sacrilege!”
Having these three fabled characters back together again is the soap opera writers’ opportunity of a lifetime. But this crew, headed by Mr. Carlivati, is blowing it big-time. Hey guys, can you spell superficial? Artificial? Clumsy?
The worst part of this travesty – the real sacrilege – is the way they are writing Laura. Totally passive. Looking vacant and confused. Mostly just standing around. Why waste the valuable time of the very accomplished Genie Francis — and ours?Let me re-iterate: This is no slam on Ms. Francis. She is simply given nothing to do but stand there in that ridiculous wedding dress with those godawful peplums and try to look concerned during those anemic arguments between Kin Shriner’s Scotty and Tony Geary’s Luke (how can any writer go so wrong with such accomplished actors?)
So many unanswered questions hang over these stiff proceedings. Why does Laura really agree to marry Scotty? Is she being cowed by him? Would grown up Laura allow herself to be cowed by anyone? Why has she lost her assertiveness? Is there supposed to be some surprise yet to be discovered that explains Laura’s behavior? Did Helena have her hypnotized?
This is not our Laura, the character we’ve watched mature from a shy teenager into a real woman of heart and independent mind over the many decades we have known her. How dare you, GH writers, downplay the (rare for daytime) growth of a female character in which we have so many memories and years of our lives invested?
Genie Francis has said in interviews that she didn’t want to return to GH in order for Laura to be again portrayed as a victim. Well, not even that is going on, at least not so far. It makes no sense for Laura to be brought back and not write for her.
I know the Luke/Laura/Scotty story has a long way go and hopefully all this will change. But if Laura doesn’t get her personality, hard earned maturity and IQ back, the resulting disaster is likely to be among the worst mistakes Marlena has ever seen on a soap opera.
Am I making too much of this? Asked one of my longtime GH viewer friends when I told him my feelings this week, “How is this any worse than when Guza turned (the currently dead but soon to somehow return) Rick into a kidnapper and a murderer?” No, Luke and Laura just count so much more. No matter when you started watching, or which past couple you adore, Luke and Laura are General Hospital! They are soap opera! Mr. Carlivati, you and your team are better than this. Go back into the room, watch some tapes, and think this through. And especially, do right by Laura.
P.S. And speaking of the aforementioned wedding dress: Whose idea was it to make Laura look bad? Lucy is supposed to have picked out this miscreation. But everyone knows Ms. Coe doesn’t have such bad taste. Dressing Laura this way is an insult to the ever-beautiful Genie … and her fans!