Given the circumstances, what should GH have done?
Prospect Park had the rights to Todd, John and Starr (who originated on OLTL), and asked for the characters back, so GH had to jettison them. That left Roger Howarth, Michael Easton and Kristen Alderson unable to play those characters while still under contract to ABC as actors. It also left GH without two of its strongest leading men and its only viable teen girl.
Enter three new characters.
Howarth is now playing Franco, GH’s most ill-conceived character next to Casey the Alien. The role was created in 2009 for film star James Franco, who reveled in playing the psychotic kidnapper/murderer/rapist a few days a year. The bummer is that by twisting themselves into a pretzel to accommodate a movie star who wanted to dabble in soaps, GH rewrote history to give core character Jason a twin… for just a handful of episodes.
Recasting Franco with Howarth was smart, although it will be an adjustment for fans who loved him as Todd. Franco is a Quartermaine, so with some gentle rewriting of history he’ll fit right in with dad Alan (tried to kill Monica and Rick, killed bad guy Ray, stole drugs) and stepmom Monica (hit Sam while driving drunk, kidnapped Pierce, helped A.J. fake his death). And can’t you just see more scenes with his viperous Aunt Tracy?
I also like making Alderson Franco’s daughter Lauren aka Kiki. The actors have a proven father/daughter chemistry that will feel familiar, and it will be fun to watch the characters find their way to each other. And don’t discount the excitement Oakdale fans will feel when Howarth and Maura West share scenes as Kiki’s parents. (He was Paul, she was Carly on ATWT.)
I’m less sold on Easton as a nerdy, glasses-sporting doctor named Silas – is Felix going to make him over next? Silas is the brother of nutbag Stephen Clay who thought he was a vampire named Caleb on the now-defunct GH spinoff Port Charles. The beauty of the original storyline – where Caleb actually was a vampire – is that it pre-dated “Twilight” and all the other vampire-loving TV shows and movies. Why not capitalize on that? Bring Caleb back in an “Is he or isn’t he?” storyline and have Sam fall under his spell like Livvie did on PC. (Sam and Livvie were both played by Kelly Monaco, duh.)
There could have been valuable story in that, not to mention the PR value in resurrecting TV’s hottest original vampire.
That’s not to say that the hospital can’t use another doctor, or that tying Silas to Sam via the custody battle for Rafe won’t work. And Easton has certainly proven over the years that he can play anything. I just wish they’d tapped a bit more of PC’s history on that one.
Regardless, I reject the argument that any of these actors should have been made Cassadines. Or worse, not brought back at all. I think they are talented stars who carved a place for themselves on GH.
What do YOU think? Vote below: