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:








36 Responses to TAINTED DREAMS: Rating “The GH Three”

  • Erick says:

    This isn’t about the “Llanview 3” but it is about something else you mentioned in your blog above. You called Franco the most ill-conceived character next to Casey the Alien. Everyone at SOD has done a great job of ret-conning, because that story garnered the “Most Creative Storyline” in your Best and Worst issue in 1990. I quote, “But when it was time for him to return to Lumina, our reaction was, ‘Does he have to go?’ ” (page 66, January 8, 1991 issue) Apparently none of you worked there then….

  • Carol says:

    I am not happy with the characters selected for these actors, but I am happy they are still around. What particularly doesn’t ring true is that no one has mentioned how much Kiki resembles Starr or Franco 2.0 resembles Todd. Can GH not even say their names? On the Haunted Star, when RH made his appearance to the assembled guests they all recognized him immediately, even though he is now older and has hair that is a different color in every scene.

    I like the idea of the Silas character, but don’t like the way they rushed the custody of Rafe. If Silas would have diagnosed Danny first and gotten to know Rafe better as a result the storyline would have had better rooting value. Instead he comes off as an unfeeling jerk whose only reason for wanting Rafe seems to be because he can, totally disregarding how horrible it is for Rafe to be reminded of his mothers killer on a regular basis.

  • JR says:

    I think you should have given another option. That the characters/actors return to OLTL. In my opinion GH should never have gotten them. They belong on OLTL and that is where they should be. GH Should have had to ‘recast’ instead of the other way around. I hope Prospect Park wins their suit against ABC! ABC has never had the ‘soap fan’s’ back and anyone who thinks they do hasn’t really paid attention to their shenanigans for years. They wanted out of the Daytime arena and intentionally tried to destroy the shows to do so. Beware of ABC they do not want GH to succeed, no matter what they spout now.

  • Janice says:

    I think they (abc) should have bitten the bullet and paid out the contracts on those 3 and let them go. They don’t fit in. The whole thing is stupid. I’ve never been a KA fan….I don’t see the hype over her. And RH is playing Todd playing Franco. Boring and redundant. As for ME…..he’s the best of the 3 and I can somehow see him fitting into this role. In a perfect world, none of this would have happened. But the ratings are showing what the GH viewers want….and it’s not the OLTL 3. Just my opinion

  • Heather says:

    Seriously? The three new characters are awful. What’s worse is once again the show revolves around them. No wonder so many of my favorites have walked away in the last year. We all know who Frank and Ron care about most and it’s certainly not a majority of the cast or the fans.

  • Richard Hammer says:

    I am enjoying Howarth playing evil however I am having hard time accepting him as Franco. Franco was such a monster that I find myself rooting for Sonny to put him in cement shoes once and for all. Why would they put Howarth in a role that would invite comparisons with its previous portrayer and that we would already want to see dead? Makes no sense. What is really bothering me though is Michael Easton’s Silas. The chemistry between Kelly Monaco and Michael Easton just isnt there with Easton playing Silas. And what is driving me totally nuts is this…Starr Manning and John McBain are not in Port Charles. Nor are they in Llanview. Yet Blair and Todd never mention their daughter on OLTL. It really bothers me when soap characters disappear and no one on the canvas even mentions their name. Are we supposed to pretend that they never existed? As for Kristen, Roger and Michael – I don’t understand why Ron C. had to make their new characters so unlikable.

  • Gail says:

    As CH says, they all were under contract to ABC, and the way PP has been conducting themselves, I cannot blame the actors one bit for not wanting to call PP their fulltime gig!
    I love all three getting to do something else on GH. I hope RH goes back to PP when he can, but the writing on PP has been less than stellar. I am disappointed and hope it improves. It goes from here to there with nothing happening and delayed or no reaction to events.

  • ash says:

    Love Roger as Franco..that man could play anyone and I’d buy it. Kiki is growing on me and I like that she has air time with RH. Silas I’m not the biggest fan of but its very early so I am giving him a chance. On another note… Port Charles vampires did not predate Buffy so Caleb is NOT the original TV Vampire. There was also a show called Kindred that predated Buffy.

  • SaveOurSuds says:

    Great blog CH! I am enjoying Franco and Kiki a lot more than I thought I would. Both actors are obviously having fun in the new roles and I love watching them. These characters are also, dare I say, a bit edgy. We get to see if psycho killer/wacky artist Franco can be redeemable or given layers. We get wild girl Kiki flirting with the Corninthos bros (one of which is her cousin). Love Michael Easton but so far Silas has been a very mysterious character. I think I need more time to see what makes him tick. I also would have liked to see him come on as a more upbeat character than his brooding previous ones. I’m wondering if there is a reason they chose not to do that though. His chemistry with KeMo is still there though for sure.

  • Terry says:

    I beg to differ, Carolyn…Caleb was neither TV’s original vampire nor its hottest. Barnabas Collins was TV’s original vampire. Heck, Angel on Buffy even pre-dated Caleb (I’m sure Buffy was the inspiration for the whole storyline on PC). And Alex O’Loughlin was TV’s hottest vamp.

  • J Murray says:

    I am not crazy about the characters that these fan faves are now playing… Silas is a snob, Kiki is obnoxious, and RH’s Franco is a bit 2 carefree and like Todd. But I love the actors – so I guess this is the cross we have 2 bear 2 get them back! I just wish it didn’t come at the expense of some of our other fan faves like Bradford Anderson. Putting him on non-contract status is criminal! And it is one of the reasons long time GH fans are starting 2 tune out! Wake up, GH!

  • AmyRose says:

    So far I think the introductions to all 3 characters has been rough. I like James Franco and the attention he brought back to soaps for a short time, but I was really ready to move beyond him and his manipulations. Same thing with vampires, I loved the vampire story on PC and squealed with delight when they touched on it on GH. But they closed the book, resolved the story and sleeping dogs should lie.
    But as for the actors – yes I wanted them back! I accept that they had to be new characters for legal reasons, I just wish they would have been different or better characters.
    Kiki has been rude from day one. Yelling at Michael for being concerned about his brother, showing no gratitude for Michael taking them in, instead kicking Michael out of his own bed so she could have sex with his brother in Michael’s bed. Did Ava skimp on the manner lessons? Morgan is at fault in this too, he went from a sweet boy matchmaking Jax and Carly, to an insensitive, rude jerk.
    Franco is darn near irredeemable. I know GH has reformed characters successfully before, but Franco…? I think RH’s talents should have been directed elsewhere. Make him a Hardy cousin or something. KA could still be his daughter, and then it would be less creepy when her and Michael have these meaning moments they are going to start having. (Guiding Light anyone? Emme is going to slip and call herself Lizzie instead of Lulu if they keep on that line!)
    And Silas. Well frankly Silas is an asshat. He didn’t care his brother was a serial killer and he didn’t care he had a nephew. I think the only reason he started to care was because he found out Rafe was the Barrington heir and thought there might be money involved. Because instead of gradually getting to know him and trying to build a relationship, he is just bulldozing in for the immediate grab. And I find it interesting that I haven’t heard anyone go up and ask “John! When did you get back in town?” Everyone goes straight to Caleb.
    Sorry, I apparently had a lot to get off my chest! Don’t get me wrong, I love all 3 actors, and maybe the new characters will grow on me, but right now they are all rude, grating or homicidal.

  • Eileen Hargis says:

    PP wanted to share but have creative control over the 3 characters. Not something another show could allow, remember that too.

  • PJ says:

    I trust GH to make the best of a bad situation. It is not reality tv. That being said the show can make outrageous choices that do not insult the viewers intelligence as long as they stick to basic history and that the viewers remember this is a soap! Sometimes “history” has to be “adjusted” on the soaps and this has been going on since the being of this genre. So I say go with it people. At least we still have this amazing show to watch everyday and these amazing characters to welcome in our home every day. Long live the soaps!!!

  • Beth G says:

    I think RH would make reading the phonebook interesting, so I am trusting Carlivati to make Franco work. Too soon to vote on Easton’s Silas–they need time to cultivate the character–I’ll be patient. Kiki–time will tell on that one too. It is a shame that she is Michael’s cousin, they clearly have chemistry. And NO VAMPIRES PLEASE!!!! My only bone of contention is the fact that the characters see that Silas looks like his brother (and John McBain) but Kiki and nuFranco bear no resemblance to Starr and Todd. I guess I’d be “happier” if all 3 actors were in completely different roles than just 2 of them.

  • Angie says:

    RH is making Franco watchable hated the original Franco & the storyline.RH can make it work with some good writing from Ron. Kiki is fun more like Starr before the dead Hope story, enough with the dead kids on GH. More love in the afternoon less killing which brings me to Silas & Sam missing John McBain but giving Silas a chance as I love Michael E. Hope Silas loosens up & starts looking sexier. Still think we might see return of sexy Caleb aka Stephen Clay in the future. There was a wink to that in the morgue and if I know Ron there are many twists & turns for these character can’t wait.

    • Audrina Starr says:

      I liked James Frank, the original Franco, he was just creepy enough to be a possible Cassadine ancestor, not a Quartermaine ancestor. I only watched OLTL for ME so I don’t really care about Starr or Todd but love seeing Michael and Kelly Monaco working together again. Silas seems a little more like Father Michael Morley but PC fans know who Father Michael was, Caleb Morley and I would LOVE to see Caleb and Olivia Morley return.

  • Annalee says:

    Great article! Thanks! We needed Carolyn-mom to have a sit down with the ‘kids’. You offered it up in a soothing ‘get it or get out’ way only a true veteran of the genre could do.
    So , yes mom, I will continue watching and let these three soap veteran actors ‘do their thang’….
    I KNOW by Nov. sweeps all the ‘who’s a better choice for whom to play’ will be forgotten.

  • scott says:

    Dont forget pp wanted to share abc did not

    • PJ says:

      Oh I did not know this

    • SZima says:

      ABC was willing to share, but it was up to the actors if they wanted to go back and forth to play on both soaps. Only RH chose to do so. ME & KA chose not to. They still needed to find new characters for them to play on GH, however. They chose wrong for all three as far as I’m concerned. I’m HATING all three new incarnations.

    • ash says:

      ABC couldn’t share PP wanted creative control meaning they had say over their storylines. No network would agree to that!

  • Daisy Day says:

    Both Silas, Kiki and NuFranco come across as a gimmick by ABC to try to keep OLTL fans tuned in and by doing so, many GH fans are tuning out, myself included. I FF through their scenes – Kiki’s mouth and eyebrow twitching is freaking me out – her acting skills are limited to that. Silas is just weird – he needs to clean up – a stylist would help! NuFranco is just not enough of a good actor to replace the marvelous James Franco that played the original Franco. Is hard to tell the difference between their old characters and these new ones – it is like they only changed the names. The writing has been horrible – the storylines make no sense. I feel badly for those GH actors that are not getting enough screen time due to the newbie characters. GH has always had the best cast in daytime – why screw with it?

    • Enrique Buenrostro says:

      OLTL fans aren’t tuning in to see those three, they got OLTL back and some have written off GH completely

    • Dani says:

      Thanks Daisy as you’re right, they’re a gimmick by ABC to keep OLTL fans and these actors employed through not fault of their own.

      If people would be objective and really, really, look at these “new” roles, they’d find them to be ridiculous. I have the most respect for KA, RH and ME it is not their fault but it’s not working for me. Franco is not enjoyable, even with RH playing him.

      I can’t believe Carolyn isn’t a bit annoyed at this Daniel with possible cancer storyline. Another baby being ill. It’s tooooo much already. We’ve endured Jake’s loss, Jocelyn’s transplant and near death experience, and now this. I’m a mom and it’s un-nerving to say the least.

    • Eileen Hargis says:

      Daisy, Daisy! RH can act circles around JF, who only did his short stint as Franco fully believing he was doing GH a huge favor, which was not TRUE! He made a mockery of the character, overacting, chewing the scenery, and pushing away everyone on the show because he is a star! At least in his mind, anyway. U should hear what his costars thought of him!

  • Jen S. says:

    I think Kiki works the best of the three and Alderson greatly benefits from no longer having to be a character saddled with a dead baby. I hate the resurrection of Franco and am not feeling Roger Howarth’s portrayal at all though I am probably less enamored of Howarth’s schtick than a lot of other fans. It feels like he’s got a new hair-do but is basically playing Todd. But at least Todd was a fully realized character. Easton’s Silas is a one-note bore so far but we’ll see. McBain really benefitted from the connection to Anna. Carolyn — I hate the “All the Qs are criminals” defense — the same b.s. that was used to prop up hit-man Jason at their expense. It’s going to take more than a “gentle rewrite” for many fans to accept this version of Franco. Howarth is going to have to dial back the mugging and one-liners and give us a reason for us to care.

  • Josephine says:

    “Regardless, I reject the argument that any of these actors should have been made Cassadines.”

    I’d like to state that Roger would have been fun as a Cassa-Q (Alexander Cassadine. that would add one more relative to the Cassadines rather than
    have Nikolas as the only brooding prince.
    That would also grant Alexis a relative rather than have her have no other
    relatives at all.

    Then he would also be a Quartermaine rather than the infamous Franco.
    Tell me, who would NOT have loved to see Roger Howarth play a completely
    new character? Rather than the same old same old sociopath like Todd?
    I still see Todd Manning and the going blond? Overkill much?

    What they would have had to avoid was make Kristen his onscreen daughter
    yet again. Kristen can also try a new direction. And for heavens sake the whole
    Michael/Starr redo with Michael/Kiki is something we wish would just not happen. But are we that lucky?

    I agree with the Michael Easton part. And I do not like his wardrobe at
    all, let alone the Sabrina Santiago glasses! Lord have mercy!

  • Mark says:

    NO VAMPIRES! If you want vampires on a soap watch Dark Shadows!

  • Rebecca says:

    Kiki > Starr. ‘Nuff said.

    RH as Franco has made me like a character that I actually quit watching GH because of (well, one of the many reasons during The Dark Ages). As long as I separate the Franco of then with the Franco of now, all’s well. RH is so awesome. He makes anything work!

    I really, REALLY think it’s too soon to judge with Silas. We barely know him. He’s the one where we have barely any history of the character. All we know is that he’s direct, has no bed-side manner, and wants custody of Rafe (either for reasons obvious or not so obvious). Hope we learn more soon. And like with RH, I feel like ME can make anything work.

    So in conclusion, I’m along for the ride. RC and FV have done so much to improve GH over the past year (who thought we’d ever see Duke, Faison, Kevin, etc ever again?! Plus the day to day writing is excellent!) they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  • Jewell says:

    The only one I think will be best at pulling off a different character is RH.. Kiki is so annoying,I liked when Michael played Caleb, to me the show has been a bore and I have now tuned into Days.

  • Belle Cody says:

    I actually like Michael Easton as Silas. It’s a different character for him. We get to see him in a suit!! I’m less sold on the character of “Kiki”. Not feeling that one at all. Howarth as Franco is okay but…

    Wonder if ABC can get the characters of Todd, Starr & John back now that it looks like Prospect Park is shut down??

    • Jewell says:

      Prospect Park is not shut down, they are on hiatus which they were doing anyways, just earlier. I just hope RH still gets to play Todd on OLTL..

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