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News for the week of 14-Oct-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Tony Geary (Luke) pissed off Luke-and-Laura fans yet again with his candid thoughts in an October 9th, Michael Logan in-depth, TV Guide interview. Likening the more insistent LnL fans to children of divorced parents who never gave up the dream of a reunion, Geary said he wants more and better for his and Genie Francis’ (Laura) characters than another stale retread. “The past is best left in the memory. Nothing stays the same except butterflies under glass,” Geary said. “In drama, there has to be conflict and movement. There is nothing less interesting to me than the thought of a 65-year-old man making goo-goo eyes as he feeds his wife strawberries and they forever relive their glory days. … The audience needs to let it go and find interest in tomorrow instead of yesterday.”

If Geary had his way — and who says he does? Not him — and Luke had to go, the actor would want his anti-hero to go in a blaze of glory, even talking up suicide at one point to TPTB who were horrified at the idea. And, Geary wouldn’t want Luke rising up from the dead like soap characters tend to do nowadays. That dilutes the full effect, he said, pointing to cable shows for maintaining the integrity of the kill. “That's one of the reasons people are loving the great cable shows so much right now — because characters are in real jeopardy and they really do die. That makes us invest as viewers. It makes us feel. It makes us believe. In soaps, people come back from the dead all the time, to the point where death is just a bus stop,” he said. “It's not my choice to go but I've had an awfully good run and I wouldn't mind being a sacrificial lamb to let the audience believe that characters can really, really die. I think that would be offering the show, and the medium in general, a great gift. [Laughs] Now watch. The powers that be read this interview and go, ‘He wants real jeopardy? Let's give him jeopardy. Let's kill the mother--ker!’”

Geary didn’t endear himself much to former head writer Claire Labine by detailing his detestable domesticated return storyline with Francis’ Laura in the 1990s. He blamed the uncharacteristic, diluted anti-hero Luke on Labine, going so far as to say he overheard the then-head writer and then-executive producer Wendy Riche talking about what to do to Luke next. They were at a loss, he relayed, and didn’t seem enthused about bringing back the adventuresome duo as fans remembered them. “It was clear from the beginning they were not thrilled with the idea of writing and producing this couple. Labine then set out to deconstruct Luke and Laura, first by sticking them in a house and domesticating them. Gone were the rough edges and the danger and in its place Laura became a total hausfrau who was BFFs with everyone in town, and Luke fed the dog and fell through the sofa cushions,” Geary summarized. He added that it was his idea to bring Luke and Laura back with son, Lucky, from the Diner after having been on the run. After that, it was Labine’s end game.

Geary protested Labine’s writing of Luke as much as he could. “I complained bitterly, to anyone who would listen, and I took it on myself to rewrite the offending scenes of bland kitchen drama,” he went on. “Labine, of course, hated that and told me she didn't want to write an amoral character and that she didn't understand the Luke I wanted to play — the one I had always played — and if I kept insisting on making my character so dark by working against her scripts I would have to go to another show. Then, Genie's character left — after divorcing Luke, which no one remembers, to marry a Cassadine — and I started to get extended time off.”

After Labine left the show, the damage was already done, Geary said. “Luke had been domesticated. I spent the next five years struggling to regain the lost ground and reinvigorate the more complex qualities of the character that I have always treasured. In the meantime, I've watched those qualities be siphoned off and installed in new characters until GH became a veritable stable of antiheroes, Luke being written the mildest of the lot — a phenomenon that continues to this day.”

Finola Hughes (Anna) surprised a lot of viewers last week when she pulled double duty as Dr. O wearing an Anna mask and Anna visiting upon Faison. Hughes acted as if she studied Dr. O’s mannerisms for years; the transformation was flawless. Many viewers who weren’t in-the-know could sense the subtle shift in presentation and execution from the burning eyes to the transmuted vocal mannerisms. Hughes spoke with Daytime Confidential writer Susan Hornik (October 8th interview) at last month’s Television Critics Association Press Tour about upcoming story. Hughes said she’s looking forward to the rival mob and its effect on Sonny, and never imagined she’d still be playing the sharp crime fighter. She missed her other crime fighter — cohort John McBain/Michael Easton (now Silas) — but she found an “equally great rapport” with Dante in portrayer Dominic Zamprogna. She even said Anna’s not quite done emotionally with Luke. “I always feel like Anna has feelings for him. She loves, loves, loves Duke, but she finds a lot about Luke to be compatible.” Stay tuned for Hughes’ next directing challenge, a romantic comedy to follow up her debut, film festival entry The Bet.

GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is having a charityBUZZ online auction to beat the bullying in schools. Fans have until October 30 to bid on a chance to win a walk-on role at GH, among other prizes.

Denise Alexander (ex-Lesley) answered the question of a lot of fans about her on-screen limp the last time she was seen on GH. Turns out it was off-screen too, due to a pinched nerve. “But when I look back on it, I don't remember being in pain. I don't remember anything except what a wonderful experience that was. I so much enjoyed what we did. We all did.” Alexander’s playing coffee shop owner Lola of The Inn, a web series by Steve Silverman. She couldn’t imagine Lola and Lesley getting along right off the bat, but thought their senses of humor could be a bridge to understanding. –We Love Soaps, Part 2 of 2, October 7, 2013 by Roger Newcomb

Sean Kanan (A.J.; ex-Deacon, Y&R/B&B) joins the new, zombie-comedy indie TV series, Acting Dead, by New Media producers Brian Beacock and Susan Bernhardt. Acting Dead shows up early next year. Co-producer Bernhardt knew of his previous work on GH and with Eric Martsolf (ex-Ethan, PSNS) at ACME Comedy in Scandal Crest last year. She loved the comedy he brings.

Say hello to Sean Blakemore (Shawn) for as long as he’s on GH. He joined Twitter last August.

Gossip for the week of 14-Oct-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

I hear GH extra Sabrina will be a casualty of the mob. Please, let this be so. Her story with Carlos, a man old enough to be her father (or maybe she just acts like a 9th grader), is so throwaway.

Genie Francis (Laura) returns soon after having reportedly renegotiated a “very nice” contract, according to the latest Insider’s Lounge; Part II, October 6th drop over at Daytime Dish. After she returns, Laura will finally get her major story. “They [know] that Laura's return has been botched. Sadly her gain comes at some serious cuts. Expect to see at least 4 actors put on recurring or completely written out.”

Head writer Ron Carlivati really preferred to write for Felicia and Frisco, and perhaps even Luke and Laura. This doesn’t seem to be happening as executive producer Frank Valentini “decided not to bring [Frisco] back again.” With Carlivati not digging Mac with Felicia, what’s to become of this couple? Carlivati’s going to bring Frisco back without involving portrayer Jack Wagner by having “Anna turning to him for help via phone calls.” This based on the latest from HNY/DD.

Britt will confess to using Lulu’s eggs to impregnate herself. But the dad may turn out to be Stavros, leading to Lulu’s interminable insane asylum stay. Britt turns around and redeems herself by standing up to her mom, Dr. O, so she can bring Nikolas and the others back safe and sound. Robin, however, has been tagged to save the day, with Anna plugging Faison for good. Guess who comes back anyway to join in the fight? Frisco.

What if different actors come back to play Maya, Dillon, and Dr. Lucas? Maya and Dillon might have no choice but to come back to help Franco and Tracy salvage what’s left of ELQ. What’s Dr. Lucas doing back? He’s Duke’s secret weapon in unveiling Derek Wells as Julian Jerome.

Helena has a will, which demands attention. The fallout from this unravels throughout fall and winter season, revealing more than who gets what but a whole lot of family drama.

And, Kiki finds herself knocked up by either Morgan or Michael in the snooze of the century.

The above spumors are from “Moe,” Insider Lounge/DD, October 7, 2013.

One of the shocking secrets that may come out of the reading of Helena’s will is Lucky’s ongoing brainwashing, which would explain some things. For that, GH needs portrayer Jonathan Jackson back next month “for at least a month for the showdown on Cassadine Island.” And, Stefan’s not dead! Here’s the deal: “The revelation that Lucky has been brainwashed for over a decade by Faison and Helena is coming, and it's going to change everything we've known about Lucky for quite some time. Somebody, besides Stefan (who is found drugged and being held prisoner on the island), is found to be alive and well and being kept on Cassadine Island by Dr. Obrecht. Who is it? Prepare to be surprised. I am hearing: Georgie.” –Guest, Insider’s Lounge; Part II, Daytime Dish, October 10, 2013

Seems more and more likely that Britt isn’t Dr. Obrecht and Faison’s daughter at all, but Duke and Anna’s.

Please make Diane Spinelli’s bio-mom. These two are too much alike to pass up.

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