When I first really started watching General Hospital, “my” Sonny and Carly were Maurice Benard and Tamara Braun. I loved what they both brought to their roles, and adored their chemistry. Tamara was the only person I could envision being Carly and when I learned that she was leaving the role in 2005, I was crushed.
The first recast, Jennifer Bransford, proved me right. I absolutely hated the storyline they gave her, and wasn’t too fond of the actress myself. It was a complete disaster. Perhaps my dislike stems from my hatred of the storyline, but I really came to dislike her and lamented that the Sonny and Carly I loved were “dead.”
Fortunately, Jennifer Bransford’s run as Carly was short-lived—I think due to immense fan backlash—and General Hospital brought in a veteran, Laura Wright, to take over. I have only watched ABC soaps, so I was unfamiliar with her work, but wasn’t inclined to give her a chance as Carly and certainly didn’t intend to support a Sonny/Carly relationship after the mess that was the previous recast.
Laura Wright revived the character of Carly for me and, better yet, had chemistry with Maurice. She wasn’t Tamara, of course, so I would never quite feel for Laura’s Carly / Laura’s Carly with Sonny what I did when Tamara was in the role. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad, or I don’t like it. In fact, Laura is my Carly now.
I never thought I’d like a Carly recast after Tamara left, and doubled down after the first recast, but Laura is so good that I can’t honestly picture anyone else playing the role. Her chemistry with Sonny is natural and believable, and even though Sonny and Carly have hurt people, hurt themselves, done all sorts of not-so-good things in the name of their love, I still buy their relationship and still root for them to be together.
Now, onto another recast: Lulu, and the real reason I made this rant.
I was never a huge Lante fan; I was into Lulu and Johnny and was crushed when they broke up. I did eventually accept Lulu and Dante as a couple, though, and enjoyed them, though I was never totally invested in them.
I liked Julie-Marie Berman and Dominic Zamprogna together, and I could buy them as a couple even though I was ambivalent about Lulu and Dante as a pair. The actors—their chemistry and interactions—sold me on the pairing.
I’ve never been a fan of Emme Rylan’s Lulu with Dante though. When Lulu came back with amnesia, following the Ice Princess storyline (which I hated, for the record), I was actually rooting for her to end up with someone else and for Dante and Lulu to split up and move on.
I’ve just never bought this version of Lulu and Dante as a couple. It feels like they’re an “impostor” couple wearing a mask of the couple I actually enjoyed. When Dante and Lulu are together I don’t feel anything, except boredom and a desire to press the fast-forward button.
It’s not for a lack of trying, in my opinion, though. I really enjoy Dom’s acting, when he’s allowed to do it, and while I don’t think Emme is quite as good, I’ve enjoyed some of her storylines/scenes apart from Dante. I actually liked her scenes with Johnny, and liked her with Dillon.
I want to see both Dante and Lulu with other people because when they’re together, I just don’t care about them. I haven’t liked any of their storylines and until this kidnapping/cheating storyline, I was perfectly happy with Dante and Lulu as the background “happy perfect married couple” we never had to actually see because they bored me so much as a couple.
Dom’s chemistry with Brytni Sarpy is making this even more apparent to me. Their scenes are engaging and natural. Both actors seem emotionally invested and in tune with one another. Even if it’s just for a few moments, I’m glued to the TV screen to see how it’ll play out.
Lulu and Dante, this version at least, just don’t hold my interest. And using Valerie to as a prop to make Lulu and Dante interesting isn’t going to work for me either. General Hospital has only succeeded in making me care about Valerie as a character and want Vante to become an actual relationship, and made me less invested in whether or not Lante can survive.
If the storyline is about Dante and Lulu finding a way to forgive each other for their lies, while using Valerie to bring this about, count me out as a viewer. Valerie has been a breath of fresh air as a new character, while the Francos and Avas and and Morgans and Rics and Madelines and Ninas run amok every other day and make me grab for my remote. The character, and actress, deserve more than to be an accessory to a boring Lante storyline.
(All the photos used in this post were found via googlesearch and don’t belong to me. I will take them down upon request.)