Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

So, apparently James Franco joined GENERAL HOSPITAL as a form of performance art. He proclaims that it’s about making the audience suspend their disbelief. Not for nothin’, Mr. Franco, but have you ever watched a soap? We viewers suspend our disbelief every single day.

Franco outlines his reasoning in an article in the Arts & Entertainment section of the Wall Street Journal online (click here to read the article), and I really appreciate learning his take on the experience and what prompted him to try his hand at a soap now. It seems like he’s really committed to his craft and to taking artistic chances. But it also makes me chuckle and shake my head…because while it may be this ground-breaking, avant-garde experience for him, for soap viewers it’s just another sweeps stunt, just another crazy story. And soap actors…? They do this 52 weeks a year, making the impossible seem possible.

I could name off 20+ storylines more shocking than Franco the Crazy Artist from this year alone. (Mr. Kitty! Nash’s corpse!) Never mind the entire history of the genre! Elizabeth Taylor played Helena Cassadine on GH in 1981…I’m thinking that was a bit more for viewers to swallow than James Franco stepping on throats and ravishing ingenues! Or how about rapper Snoop Dogg scoring 2008’s awesomest guest appearance on OLTL? Not only did he perform his latest single, but he also interacted within the fictional Llanview universe, establishing a past association with the character of Bo Buchanan. We’re used to meta commentary on the genre, cross-media interaction, etc.

And then there’s baby switches, evil twins, face transplants, eye-patches, people back from the dead…need I go on? James Franco, you’re talented, you’re good-looking, and you’re clearly a risk-taker, but you’re just another day at the soap opera beach!

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