James Franco Returning to ‘General Hospital’

James Franco (ABC)

James Franco (ABC)

Franco Will Crash Another Wedding

Oscar nominee, graduate student and tattoo artist James Franco is returning to “General Hospital” to reprise his role as Franco, the artist/serial killer who uses murder as a canvas. TV Guide reports that Franco will first appear on the September 20th episode. According to the magazine, Franco will once again be part of a longterm story arc, though he will probably pre-tape weeks worth of scenes over the course of a few days because of his busy schedule. Franco’s upcoming storyline is “the baddie’s most twisted plan yet and that he’ll likely be pulling other characters into his web, including ditzy heroine Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms) and bitch queen Carly Jacks (Laura Wright) and her baby Josslyn.”

Franco’s return will coincide with the wedding of his object of obsession, Jason (Steve Burton) and Sam (Kelly Monaco), which is scheduled to air September 26th. Will Franco interfere with the nuptials? Franco’s appearance will also coincide with the final ABC episode of “All My Children” and the debut of the network’s new food show, “The Chew.”  Might the network be hoping that the movie star will persuade viewers who are upset about the end of AMC to keep watching ABC Daytime?

Franco is involved with a lot of dangling plot threads. He threatened Josslyn. There were some hints that he might have had something to do with the accident that killed Jake. He took an interest in Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) that was never referenced during her recent return to the show. He ordered Carter to rape Michael (Chad Duell) in prison, so Michael should have a serious axe to grind with him. Perhaps some of these storylines will be revisited. Last time, James Franco had significant input into his storyline, casting his friend and mother in roles on the show, and concocting an elaborate location shoot at the Museum of Contemporary Art that he filmed for one of his numerous projects. It will be interesting to see how new headwriter Garin Wolf interprets the campy, bizarre character. Will Franco be more grounded in reality this time around? We may get a clue about the show’s new direction tomorrow, Tuesday July 26th, when Wolf’s first episode airs. Whatever Franco does this time, it’s a safe bet that James Franco, the actor, will write an essay about it.

Actual Romantic Scenes in Port Charles!

Speaking of Sam and Jason, though I have never been a fan of the couple, I applaud the attention and care “General Hospital” gave to their engagement. It was a throwback to the good old days when marriage proposals were a big deal in daytime, rather than a perfunctory two minute scene between two people who have only known each other for a few months. Jason and Sam were content living together without any formal commitment. But Jake’s death and Sam’s decision to undergo surgery that would allow her to become pregnant made them reconsider their relationship. I liked that each one of them talked about marriage with people they cared about. Sam’s mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) shared her misgivings about Sam choosing to make a lifelong commitment to a hit man while acknowledging her own lousy track record with men. I loved that she classified her platonic marriage of convenience to Jax (Ingo Rademacher) as her most successful. I always wished that the show would have paired them for real.

Since the stoic, pragmatic Jason would never think to plan a romantic proposal, it was the perfect choice to have Maxie (Kristen Storms) figure out what was happening and insist on micromanaging the engagement, persuading him to dress up, set up a romantic evening on the rooftop of their building, and purchase a very expensive ring. It was a clever way to create a traditional romantic scene while keeping Jason in character. Maxie managed to drop the ring off the roof right before Sam arrived, so Jason improvised by proposing with a lug nut. It was cute,original and perfect for Sam and Jason’s non-traditional relationship. Jason even managed to make a beautiful speech.

Jason: Right, and we do need markers in our lives, otherwise, the days just kind of start bleeding together, and without meaning to, you start taking things for granted; that somebody will always be there, that they’ll always know how you feel, and I’ve done that to you. I mean, because we’re so comfortable and our relationship is so easy that I’ve already started counting on our future together without ever saying the words or asking you how you feel… I wanted to tell Jake that I loved him. And I wanted to tell him that I was his father in a way that he could understand, but I didn’t get the chance. But I learned from what I lost. And I will never take time or love for granted again. I love you so much. And I would be honored to spend the rest of my life with you…will you marry me?

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