Oh No, Not Again! On General Hospital, Sonny and Carly Redux

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Carly and Sonny: The heart wants what the heart wants, with pepperoni and extra cheese

Soaps rarely go backward.  So it was a big surprise this week on General Hospital when resident baddies Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Carly Jacks (Laura Wright) slept together again. Carly’s love Franco was stuck for the night in a hospital elevator with Nina when Sonny showed up at Carly’s house with a pizza — and so much more.

Carly and Sonny’s history stretches back nearly twenty years. They have been married to each other four times and have two sons — Michael (whose biological father is the late A.J. Quatermaine, but was raised by Sonny) and Morgan. In between marriages and other periods of togetherness, both Carly and Sonny have been involved with others.

Sonny went with Connie Falconeri before she was murdered and was last seen with her cousin Olivia, before the two amicably broke up just last week.

Meanwhile, Carly has been involved with Franco, who had a long sociopathic past all his own before he was operated on recently for a brain tumor, which suddenly transformed him into a benign art therapist at the hospital. Sonny’s irresistible late night pizza delivery notwithstanding, Carly still claims to love Franco, who came home from being stuck in the elevator and almost found Sonny in bed with Carly. But through a series of improbably lucky circumstances  Carly got away with it. But still …

Is there an ulterior motive in this sudden Sonny-Carly rematch?  After all, Franco knows the secret that Sonny murdered A.J. and if Franco turns him in, Sonny could go to jail. This being a soap with Sonny a central character, taking him out of the action for a long time seems highly unlikely.

But in the interim, the latest Carly-Sonny rematch is underway. Is this good news or bad? What do you think?  

Too-sweet Young Love on The Young and the Restless

The most sickeningly sweet new couple daytime are the newly married Summer Newman (Hunter King)  and Austin Travers (Matthew Atkinson). I simply can’t stand their fake billing and cooing and endless making eyes at each other.

Summer met Austin when he was a cameraman on Summer’s Aunt Avery’s cooking show.  At the time Austin was planning to kidnap and kill Avery, an attorney who had gotten Austin’s mother’s killer off a previous jail stint.  Austin and Summer fell in love, but not before Austin mistakenly shot Paul the police captain in the kidnapping attempt.

Serious business, kidnapping and attempted murder. But never fear, young lovers. The generous Paul agreed to a plea deal in which Austin doesn’t have to go to jail for his evil deeds. Not in any real court, of course, but this is soap opera. We get it. Our problem is, now we’re stuck with this cloying couple, probably for the duration. Ick!

Wacky Weddings on The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Kirsten Storms’ Maxie: betrothed to a would-be jewel thief

What a week of wacky weddings on The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital! Both Wyatt and Hope’s on B&B and Maxie and Levi’s on GH were entertaining enough, but when you come down to it, one was sillier and more inconclusive than the other.

On B&B, Liam was supposed to meet up with Hope on the plaza by the Eiffel Tower, all the better to pursue their nuptials, but missed her when he got distracted rescuing Ivy, who had been pushed off a bridge into Seine River by Quinn.

Meanwhile, Wyatt, who had been lurking nearby, whisked Hope off to Monaco, where Bill keeps the Spencer yacht fully manned and ready for adventure. Wyatt proposed to the indecisive Hope, who had managed to duck the wedding she had promised Liam, and now found herself trapped in a similar promise to Wyatt. She appeared in the next scene in a mini bridal gown, all set  to start the ceremony.  But once it was underway, she dashed to the bow of the boat, reached out to Wyatt and the two leapt inexplicably into the sea, where they were pronounced man and wife while treading water.

But this is a soap, so how legitimate was this ceremony?  Neither Wyatt nor Hope are residents of Monaco and neither wedding vows nor rings were exchanged. Are Wyatt and Hope legally wed? Or did Hope, the girl who can’t say no (well, she tries, but neither of her ardent suitors will listen) escape again?

Back in Paris, Liam took the news of his half-brother’s wedding rather badly and confided his misgivings about Hope’s true feelings to Ivy. Feigning sympathy, Ivy took this sharing as good news indeed, and started making eyes at Liam. We know what that means.

So is the Wyatt-Hope-Liam love triangle over? Will the dueling horn-dogs ever give up? Will Hope ever make up her mind? This is a soap, after all, so we know the answer.

On General Hospital, the nuptials of Levi and Maxie provided a week’s worth of nonstop action. Moose’s reaction, “Holy cow!” heard from the kitchen, says it best.

Prior to the ceremony on the Haunted Star, policeman Nathan (who is in love with Maxie, who is in love with him but doesn’t realize it ) exposed that Levi was a fake who was marrying Maxie so he could steal Maxie’s mother  Felicia’s Aztec necklace.  After Nathan found Levi with the necklace, Levi drew a gun and knocked Nathan out, tying him up.  Dante, who had excused himself from the ceremony, rescued Nathan, and the two proceeded to stop the wedding.

At that point, Maxie had already stopped the ceremony with her doubts about her love for Levi.  Suddenly, after Dante and Nathan burst in, Levi and an accomplice who had been masquerading as an immigration agent took Lulu and Maxie as hostages as Felicia handed over her Aztec earrings to Levi.   Then Levi, for no apparent reason at all, shot Maxie’s step-father Mac at point blank range.  When last seen on Thursday, Levi and his accomplice escaped the Haunted Star with Maxie and Lulu at gunpoint.  Will Maxi and Lulu be rescued? 

This was certainly one event-filled wedding, with a good cliff-hanger at the end. Levi, whose Australian accent is a fake, was exposed to be a con man and vows were never taken.  Nathan and Maxie were revealed to love one another.

What happens next? I’d bet on more “Holy cow!” weeks. 

The Young and the Restless: Can Nikki Resist Falling Off the Wagon Again?

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a.  Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Melody Thomas Scott: Will Nikki stay sober?

The vodka martini stands alone at the bar waiting to be sipped.  The well-dressed older blonde woman stands next to it, looking hard at the beguiling beverage. Her face tells us she’s fighting the fight every recovering alcoholic fights countless times. She wins  this round, walking away, leaving the martini untouched.

But how much longer can The Young and the Restless’  Nikki Newman resist the siren song of alcohol? The classic Alcoholics Anonymous slogan “One Day at a Time” could have been written for her. A lifelong alcoholic, she is always vulnerable to drink, and falls off the wagon when the pressure is strong enough.

Lately, the pressure has been very strong — the public revelation that she mothered Dylan McAvoy as a young girl when she was a member of a cult led by Ian Ward. Although she was having an affair with Ian, her baby turned out to be fathered by her friend Paul Williams.  Ian even sued Nikki for emotional distress for passing off  Dylan as his son.  Although the case was dismissed, the trauma sent Nikki to an AA meeting, where she told her story to sympathetic ears. Ian swore that getting Nikki back on the sauce would be his revenge.

As portrayed with tenderness and torment by Melody Thomas Scott, Nikki’s great vulnerability to the temptation to drink under pressure has made her a very popular character over the last 30 years.  Will Nikki’s  inner strength be great enough to carry her over the hurdles of temptation that keep on coming? 

It’s an ongoing question that will get a powerful challenge in the upcoming fall season. A new cast member will be joining Y&R. She is primetime star Meredith Baxter, who will play Nikki’s “drinking buddy” Maureen for a few months. Is Maureen also the mother of Kelly and Stich? Can Nikki survive a major dose of this alcohol-soaked “friendship”?

General Hospital’s Chemistry Tests

You never know when two actors are going to hit it off.  General Hospital has been experimenting with several interesting pairs lately.

Lisa LoCicero and Wally Kurth are being paired as Olivia and Ned to quite the charming effect.  Recently after some drinks they watched TV in a hotel room, where Ned had to warn Olivia against a very bad joke — drunk-dialing an animal shelter to inquire about an adoption. Happily, when she sobered up she was mortified that she’d done something stupid.

Another attention-getting couple is Michelle Stafford and Roger Howarth, who have been given a few funny and charming scenes lately in which the unlikely couple Nina Clay and Franco build a friendship.   Both Stafford and Howarth are noted for playing bad characters and their pairing is an interesting face off.  Of course Franco’s girlfriend Carly doesn’t like it.

Most enjoyable, too, are Maura West as Ava  and Tony Geary as Luke, seen skyping Carly’s bid for the job of evil drug-dealing Luke’s underboss. What a treat it is to watch two soap superstars at work and play. Or perhaps I should say, work they make look like play!

The Bold and the Beautiful: Matrimonium Interruptus

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Eternal triangle: Scott Clifton’s Liam, Kim Matula’s Hope, Darin Brooks’ Wyatt (photo from michaelfairmansoaps.com)

Getting married is easy unless you’re on a soap.

In real life, there’s a ceremony in a church or back yard or judge’s chambers, followed by a reception, followed by a honeymoon, followed by living happily ever after (in the beginning, at least, that’s the plan).

But in the Soap Universe, nuptials are commonly interrupted by exes back from the dead or guilty secrets revealed or whatever. It’s worse on The Bold and the Beautiful, where weddings usually don’t happen at all. Most B&B couples haven’t been able to make it to the altar no matter how many times they’ve tried.

Consider Liam and Hope.  They’ve had half a dozen almost-weddings.  At first Stephie announced her pregnancy (she miscarried), and later Hope’s long lost father Deacon showed up out of nowhere to break up the couple. The biggest obstacle to Liam and Hope’s happiness has been Wyatt, Liam’s half-brother, whom Hope also happens to love.  Recently after Liam and Hope reconciled, Wyatt presented the Hope of the Future Diamond to Hope, causing another schism in the romance.  The Liam-Hope-Wyatt triangle is never ending. (My Moose, always listening from the kitchen, likens this story line to the saga of Spin and Marty from The Mickey Mouse Club days. How’s that for dating himself?)

Then there’s Brooke and Bill. They fell in love when Bill was married to Katie and planned to get married after the divorce. But then Ridge broke up the wedding Bill had elaborately planned in Abu Dhabi by falling out of a helicopter into the ocean. Bill took responsibility for that accident and Brooke put him off again. And yet again when Deacon tried to sidle back up to Brooke – the mother of his child, Hope —  and reclaim her as his old love.

Hold on. Interruptus et necdum completum est. Another couple that hasn’t made it to the altar yet is Ridge and Katie.  They fell in love quickly after Katie broke up with Bill and of course Ridge was married to Brooke many times. Will they wed again? First, Ridge has to recover from the brain damage he suffered when he fell out of the helicopter.

The rest of the B&B cast also remains unmarried. Eric is still Stephanie’s widower, despite his flirtation with his ex-wife Donna. Comic sidekicks Pam and Charlie remain involved but are unengaged as of late. Young Aly and Oliver haven’t enough experience under their belts to get engaged but it could happen.

But  I remain optimistic. The year is barely half over. Perhaps there will be a completed wedding on B&B in 2014 after all.

General Hospital’s Outstanding Young Thesp

Young Nicholas Bechtel is achieving star status as the smart and determined Spencer Cassadine on General Hospital. Nicholashas been excellent, especially recently as Spencer has run away.  He is funny and spunky and has had several compelling scenes with Roger Howarth who plays Franco and of course many with Tyler Christopher who plays his father Nicholas.

Usually, child actors on soaps are fillers or background. Newcomer Nicholas is a notable and most welcome exception.