BUSTED: GH WRITES MICHAEL INTO A COMA
General Hospital recently made a huge mistake when it decided to write young Dylan Cash off the show by placing his character, Michael, in an “irreversible” coma. It’s rumored GH plans to later recast the role with an older actor.
Cash joined GH in 2002 when he was just seven years old, playing the pivotal part of Michael.. The character is an integral part of two Port Charles families. He is the biological offspring of AJ Quartermaine, and was adopted and raised from infancy by mob boss Sonny Corinthos, when Sonny married Michael’s mother, Carly.
Since 2002, we have literally watched Cash – and Michael – grow up before our eyes. Now 13 - a treacherous age for child actors in Hollywood - Cash has nevertheless managed to hold his own in complicated scenes with powerhouse actors like Maurice Benard (Sonny), Laura Wright (Carly) and Steve Burton (Jason).
Cash never came across as precocious or cloying as so many child actors do. Instead, he got better with age and has come into his own as a fine young actor. It was a pleasure for fans to watch his development, which is another reason the prospect that Michael will emerge from his coma magically aged is even more galling.
What would have been the harm in letting Michael age naturally in the form of Cash? GH has already set a fine precedent for such normal character occurrences in Kimberly McCullough (Robin) who also joined the show at the age of seven, and is now 30 years old. Fans were there to watch it all as McCullough and Robin traversed each real life and onscreen milestone from first kiss to college to pregnancy. It only helped cement the affection fans have for the actress and the character since we witnessed her life unfold in real time.
Though McCullough has come and gone from GH at leisure through the years, the role of Robin was never recast out of respect for the actress, and the hope that she would eventually return, as she inevitably did. Why couldn’t Cash have been afforded the same courtesy? When Robin was in her gawky preteen and early teenage years, fans didn’t love her any less. If anything, we loved her more because she was relatable and endearing. Another great example of a real teenager that fans have embraced is One Life to Live’s Kristen Alderson (Starr), who joined the show at age six and is now 16. Cash deserved nothing less than the same treatment as these other ABC stars.
It is a loss to fans and to the show that some short sighted suit decided that the best way to age Michael would be to have him wake up one day no longer a child, but as a bona fide soap stud. Given enough time, Cash could have fit the same bill some day, and fans would have supported him and rooted him on through every step of his journey to manhood.
BLISSFUL: DAYS GETS SNARKY
The character of John Black on Days of Our Lives has always been beloved by fans. However, he had become rather one dimensional over the years. In spite of the character’s limitations, I was against the decision to kill John off last year. When the show decided to resurrect the character several months later, I was also not thrilled at the prospect of another “back from the dead” story.
My opinion has drastically changed with the new incarnation of John Black. When John woke up a few months ago, he had no memory of his previous life, which has caused the character do a complete 180. No longer content to be everyone’s hero, John is a bit of a rogue. He has mastered a cool, calm, devil-may-care persona, and the show is all the better for it.
No scene in recent memory was as effective as the one between John and his step-daughter/nemesis, Sami. As Sami clued him in to his past, complete with flashbacks, it was fascinating to watch John react. Instead of being devastated by some of the more tawdry revelations (he made love to a married Marlena on a conference room table which a young Sami stumbled across; he slept with Hope, etc.), the new and improved John was impressed with himself. He was proud of his womanizing and that his past wasn’t as lily white as he had been made to think. He also reveled in learning about Sami’s misdeeds (stealing and selling her baby sister) and appeared to come away from their chat with a newfound respect for her, albeit for the wrong reasons.
That’s what makes this John so much fun – he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him and has zero moral compass. He taunts Marlena whom he now calls “Blondie,” by punctuating every droll line with a puff on his ever present cigar, and flirting with other women.
Was there anything funnier than John going on a date with Nicole? Speaking of snarky characters, Nicole’s return is also a welcome addition to the canvas. She’s a spitfire who makes any heroine seem bland by comparison. Chloe anyone? One of the best lines in ages was when Nicole informed Philip that Chloe was “all boobs and hair and no substance,” which is something I’ve thought ever since the character returned to town last year.
Nicole has chemistry with everyone who crosses her path, from Philip to EJ to Sami to her current gal-pal Ava. Arianne Zucker (Nicole) looks like she’s having a fabulous time, as does a reinvigorated Drake Hogestyn (John). These delightfully sarcastic characters would be even better together than they are alone.
A Nicole and John pairing would be a match made in heaven – or hell – depending on your perspective – and it sure would be a lot of fun to watch. Marlena might long for the old John but I sure don’t. It’s fun to see characters we thought we knew gain heretofore unseen spunk and sass, and inject life into formerly dull Salem.
Lesleyann Coker is a reporter and monthly opinion columnist for Soapdom.com. She is also the co-author of Boob Tube, a forthcoming novel that goes behind the scenes of the soap opera industry. The book is available in ebook form at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/3 . She was previously a reporter for Soap Opera Weekly Magazine.
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