Luke and Laura, General Hospital, and Ron Carlivati better not let us down!

· Popular culture

Laura is back on General Hospital! Today was the first show I’ve seen in a while. I came back because I saw Genie Francis on a cover of one of the soap news magazines. I haven’t watched the show on a daily basis for years—in fact, I think that the last time I watched regularly was when Genie Francis visited in 2006. As I said to a friend, this was the Superbowl of daytime, when she came out of that catatonic state.


All she had to do was weakly call out “Luke!”, before he left her nursing home room, and the magic was back. She looks fabulous now as I saw on today’s show. I also enjoyed her on Young and the Restless, and wish that her character on that show had been written according to the original premise of the character, because she started out to be really fascinating with the incestuous overtones with her son, Cane, played by Daniel Goddard (another excellent actor, who would be a good candidate for the next James Bond). Her character kind of lost her identity after a while—something that has never happened with Laura, even when the character did have to deal with some bad writing.


The thematic throughline, of course, for Laura’s storylines on General Hospital is the classic, great love Luke and Laura shared in the late ’70s and early ’80s. It went on for longer than that, but those were the glory years. I remember reading that people in college rushed home to their dorm rooms to watch everyday. Part of the charm was how Luke looked at Laura. Part of it was Genie Francis’s extraordinary screen presence, which was especially strong when she was a teenager, and her acting ability. Part of it was Anthony Geary’s charisma and acting chops. Part of it was Kin Shriner’s Scotty Baldwin. Part of it was people who identified with Genie, because she was a teenager playing a teenager, and many teens identified with her. Sure, most teens don’t have to deal with killing their mother’s lover, and other soap opera staples like that. But many teens related to Laura’s finding herself, her puppy love with Scotty Baldwin (Laura and Scotty took the ratings to number 2, while Luke and Laura catapulted the show to number 1), her becoming an adult, her getting a job, her falling in love with Luke, the dangerous, unfamiliar, man. And part of it was a mystery, because who can explain the chemistry these two have?


Anyway, Laura is back, and the writing by Ron Carlivati (who used to write One Life to Live) seems like it will be faithful to the cult of Luke and Laura. My big hope is that he will have them remarry for the upcoming 50th anniversary. I’m not precisely sure when the actual anniversary is, but I hope that by that time or soon after, they will be reunited. What I saw between Tracy Quartermaine and Luke today seemed like it was kind of pointing in that direction. We can only hope!

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