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General Hospital

James Franco on the art of soap acting and more!

Courtesy/NY Festival

Courtesy/NY Festival

I have to say, James Franco is doing a fantastic job bringing attention to soaps right now, not only with his acting, charisma, and performance art connections, but also his writing.  Check out his entry in a new piece out today by the actor entitled, The Limits of Control which is on Lapham’s Quarterly website.  In the piece, he details the control actors have in certain parts of the medium they work in, which adds to their performances or possibly subtracts.  Franco wrote these words below, which to soapers, means he completely “gets” the soap actor’s style and what they have to work with.

Franco, Recently, I performed in the soap opera General Hospital. It is easy to make fun of soaps, with their melodramatic plot lines, constant exposition, unnatural lighting, swelling music, and lack of action. Most of these aspects are due to the extreme speed at which soaps are produced. With five episodes a week, at least sixty pages need to be shot in a day. That’s a feature film’s worth of material shot every two days. This pace allows for very few takes, usually one. Soap acting is generally considered inferior to other acting, with the lack of takes cited as the reason. However, there are many fine film performances that are made up of just a few takes: Clint Eastwood is famous for doing one or two takes when directing; Robert Altman was very loose with his direction, always looking for spontaneity and truth; Gus Van Sant does very few set-ups, and very few takes. Innumerable directors of Oscar-winning films have used such techniques. The reason that soap actors look the way they do is context—how they are filmed, what they are saying, and how they are blocked. There is absolutely no way to act in a soap and pull off a performance like Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, or Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. These incredible performances are supported by the incredible filmmaking that is behind them. They are given the time, dialogue, space, and aesthetic of films made by great directors.

This isn’t to say that soap opera performers are worse than film actors, or that their performances are inferior. The soap opera performance should always be perceived in context: it involves actors working in a tradition that soap audiences have come to expect and love. Soap actors are delivering exactly what they are supposed to—they are in tune with their audience and they are not attempting to transcend it. If Brando had tried to play Terry Malloy in a soap, he wouldn’t have had the time to sculpt the performance into the brooding, tortured, nuanced emotional force that won him an Oscar. The contender wouldn’t have been a somebody, instead he’d just have been another mumbling dope with bad eye makeup.”

So what do you think of Franco’s thoughts on soap acting?

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bottomchef
bottomchef

James franco is so full of it. This whole article is somehow “justifying” his film star self going into soaps. And it’s quite backhanded. Can’t he say “I went to soaps so I could try all kinds of mediums. Period.” and then he could shut up abt it forever. He’s saying that soaps are crappy bec that’s what the audience expects them to be. Certainly majority, if not all of the soaps are in bad, crappy states, and the ratings reflect that. There’s a lot of disatisfaction now bec of the bad writing and worse performances. But most probably nothing (at that time) was more addictive and dramatic and edge of your seat exciting than Bill Bell penning Y&R’s Sheila escaping to B&B. The acting, writing, directing were all engrossing. It was the definition of great soaps, it was gripping and the audience kept coming back for more. Soaps don’t know how to do that now. And what the hell is james franco saying abt characters not beinf fully fleshed out? Soaps have the luxury of creating storylines for the same characters for years, so the character evolves over long periods of time. B&B’s Felicia may not be the best ex., but the character evolved not bec of Brad bell’s neglectful writing, but bec Lesli Kay was able to develop the character bec of her performances. Here’s hoping Nancy Grahn delivers a verbal smackdown thru twitter directed at pretentious james franco again. His movie star presence did not even translate in the ratings.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Julexis Goes To Therapy

On General Hospital, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) was able to convince Julian (William deVry) to attend therapy with her to help her better understand her issues with men and relationships, which all of have been tainted by the destructive relationship between her father Mikkos Cassadine and her mother.

When Julexis sits down for the session with Dr. Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom), things take a bad turn when Alexis starts explaining to Julian why he is there, while Julian feels it’s just an attack on him, and their past, especially when it comes up how he held a knife at her throat on the pier and tried to kill her. Julian tells Kevin that everything he did was to protect his family from his crazy sister, Olivia.

Courtesy/ABC

Julian is ready to storm out, but Kevin suggest they implement more structure to the session to make this work for everyone.  It’s clear Julian does want to help Alexis, and/or also come to understand something about himself and their relationship, and why it splintered.  When asked by Kevin why Julian felt encouraged to pursue Alexis when he first came to town; knowing he was a criminal and she was on the right-side-of-the-law, Julian with tears in his eyes says, “Redemption.”  Julian says he fell in love with Alexis, but also liked the idea of proving and becominga better man.  He then says that both of them were trying to break the cycle of violence from their pasts, and he wished they had both been able to do so – in a heavy-dose-of-reality moment for Julexis.

The session ends, and Julian and Alexis walk to the hospital elevator, and he agrees to go to more sessions with her, saying that they both have issues to address so they can move on with their lives.  Alexis thanks Julian and offers one day to repay this favor.

In these scenes, William deVry and Nancy Lee Grahn brought the heartfelt emotions and the internal conflict that has made Julexis a dynamic duo on GH.   Now with Julian seemingly moving on with Kim (Tamara Braun), and Alexis wanting a fresh start, will these joint therapy sessions enable them to do that  … or perhaps can they resolve the issues that have plagued them, and move on with each other, and grow from it?

So, do you think this is the true end of the road for Julexis?  What did you think of the performances of Will and Nancy?  Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Chase and ‘Janelle’ Two Sides To Every Story?

On Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital, viewers were given more of the back-story between Chase (Josh Swickard) and Nelle (Chloe Lanier) told through a series of flashback from their disparate recollections.

At the PCPD, over the phone, Chase thanks his former police partner, Abby for sending the files he had on one … Janelle Benson.  As he peruses through the files and sees the image of Nelle contained within it, and a postcard from Florida, Chase flashes back to his interrogation room and meeting suspect ‘Janelle’, when he was working as an officer in Maine.  Nelle was being questioned in the drowning of her fiance’ Zack..  Chase asks why the upset ‘Janelle’ chose to vacation in Maine instead of Florida.  She says it was so Zack could put space between him and his disapproving family.  However, ‘Janelle’ does admit going kayaking was her idea.

Next, she cries that she had to make the decision to try to save Zack from drowning, but thought maybe she might die too, so she decided to save herself, and not go in after him, in what was an impossible situation to be in.  Abby questions ‘Janelle’ about Zack changing his will right before they headed off for their vacation.  ‘Janelle’ lets it firmly be known that it was all Zack’s idea to change his will.

Chase believes ‘Janelle’ is innocent, but Abby thinks Janelle is played the helpless victim card.  Chase decides to release Nelle.  Later, Chase remembers traveling to Florida, because Nelle was reportedly being harassed by Zack’s family.  When he got to Florida, he recalls staying in a motel, and was set to meet up with her at a diner.  However, ‘Janell’e surprised him while he was half-naked in a towel and the door of his room.  Next thing you know, things get hot and heavy as she seduces him.  Chase flashes to them hitting the sheets and being in the throes of passion, and promising to take care of everything for her.

Meanwhile, Nelle and Michael (Chad Duell) are talking at The Floating Rib.  Nelle admits to Michael that she has a past with Chase, and her fear of him trying to bring her down now that he is in Pot Charles.  She says that Chase would do anything to get ahead in his career.  Michael asks if Maine was truly the last time she saw Chase.  She says it wasn’t, and says he followed her to Florida.

Now, as there are two sides to every story, Nelle flashes to coming to visit Chase at his motel room; where he is only wearing a towel . In her version, she portrays Chase as the instigator.  She start to cry and tells Michael that in her gut she knew that something was off about Chase, but she felt like she was drowning inside and he was her lifeline. Nelle says Chase became obsessed with her.

Then while alone, Nelle remembers how she was able to get Chase to go out to the store and get her some water after their hot sexcapade.. Once she is all by herself, Nelle calles the police to report misconduct by an officer at the motel.  Meanwhile, Michael has headed over to the PCPD to confront Chase.

So, which version of the story of  Chase and ‘Janelle’ do you believe? It appears Nelle has done a number on Chase. What did you think of Chloe Lanier’s performance where she can go from portraying the victim in a situation, to an evil bitch, with ease?  What do you think of Josh Swickard as the PCPD’s main cop, now that Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) is on his way out of GH?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH Preview – Week of June 18, 2018

This week on General Hospital, as Carly (Laura Wright) is being drugged up with anti-psychotic meds at Ferncliff, it’s Jason (Steve Burton) to the rescue.  Carly’s bff finds a way to infiltrate the state mental institution. Meanwhile, Carly had been talking to Kevin (Jon Lindstrom), who says he will help her through her ordeal emotionally.  But is Carly really seeing Kevin, or is it just a figment of her imagination?

Elsewhere, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) seeks out her ex Julian (William deVry) as she tries to come to terms with the root cause of her issues with the men she chooses to be in her life.  Julian, who has gotten closer to Kim (Tamara Braun), now has a chance to try to help Alexis and make up for the ways in which he hurt her.  Could this be the beginning of the patching up of Julexis, or the final straw?

Sonny (Maurice Benard) has just learned that Mike (Max Gail) moved the body buried at Croton. Where did Mike take it?  How will this have future implications?

Here are more teasers for the action coming up on  GH:

MONDAY JUNE 18

Obrecht covers her tracks.

TUESDAY JUNE 19

Nelle reflects on her past.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 20

Michael confronts Chase.

THURSDAY JUNE 21

Nina demands answers.

FRIDAY JUNE 22

Valentin’s romantic gesture back fires.

So, what story point are you looking forward to playing out this week on GH? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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Jason Thompson as Billy

The Young and the Restless

Airdate: 6-21/22-2018

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