Soaps and star power: Be our guest!

I think it’s safe to say I lost interest in James Franco‘s run on General Hospital roughly a week after his Nov. 19 debut. The Jason worshipping lunatic just didn’t hold my attention. (Isn’t it bad enough that the show is in love with Jason’s career as a hit man, without introducing the meta element?) And the supposedly heightened tension of Franco grabbing Lulu and Sam this week has me yawning and studying my nails. (I need to repaint them and my cuticles are a wreck!) It’s just another mob story, just another tale of somebody after Sonny and Jason and using their loved ones to get to them. Lather, rinse, repeat. Nobody’s going to learn anything and we’ll see the same story again in the fall, just featuring a different villain.

However, the news that Snoop Dogg is returning to One Life to Live next month has me cackling with glee. Oh my God, I love it and I cannot wait. Just check him out behind the scenes, chilling with Robert S. Woods (Bo) and Hillary B. Smith (Nora).

Why the monumental difference in my reaction? Well, I think it’s pretty simple: Snoop feels like “one of us.” He’s a fan, who used to watch the show as a kid. He has an emotional connection to the genre that brought him to Llanview last year and led him to make a return visit. It’s not an experiment, an attempt to do performance art and shatter audience expectation. Snoop Dogg is doing it for fun, for love, and because he wants to be a part of the story. And who is he in scenes with? Who is he paying homage to? Bo freakin’ Buchanan. Not the Todds and Mitches of the world, but someone he identifies as a hero, as a character who’s really cool.

Cameos and guest appearances have to be done with a certain amount of camaraderie — not just with the show, but with the audience, because its their living rooms you’re being beamed into. And Franco effortlessly fit into the mobtacular world, cracking wise and winking at violence as art, but I think the connection with the viewer is what was missing. A lot of people watching soaps don’t even know who this young whippersnapper is. With Snoop, I feel like he’s a household name even if you don’t listen to rap and hip-hop. And, so, when you have a good looking guy pop up as yet another enemy of Sonny and Jason, with perhaps no real identification except for, “I think he was in the Spider-Man movies,” where’s the giddiness factor? I mean, beyond the fact that he’s, as Cher from Clueless would say, “kind of a Baldwin.” (Sorry, showing my age there…remember when the Baldwin brothers were the standard for a family o’ hotness?) So, yes, Franco is charismatic and easy on the eyes…but so is almost every other guy on daytime!

Snoop being an OLTL fanboy gives him a kinship with soap viewers, because we’re that way, too. We may not be famous rap stars or actors, but sharing that passion makes inviting him into our living rooms in the afternoon an easy prospect! We know we’ll have something to talk about over coffee and snacks!

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9 thoughts on “Soaps and star power: Be our guest!

  1. “We may not be famous rap stars or actors, but sharing that passion makes inviting him into our living rooms in the afternoon an easy prospect! We know we’ll have something to talk about over coffee and snacks!”

    Just don’t go crazy if Snoop turns down your chips ‘n dip ;-)

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  2. I agree with you Mala. Snoop Dogg coming on OLTL reminds me of the days when Rosie O’Donnell and Carol Burnett would do guest appearances on AMC, because they loved the show. The storyline on GH is once again another chance for Jason to play hero and to make the Port Charles Police Department look like idiots. Monday’s episode when Carly was telling Jax not to call the police because only Jason knew how to take down Franco was nauseating. Not to mention, that once again, Jason will wonder about his life choices and then do nothing about them.

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    • It’s just so weird to me, because we’ve had years and years and YEARS of the same storyline…to the point where Vincent Pastore guesting was no big deal and Franco’s barely been a blip on the ratings radar. And I’m wondering what it’ll take to effect real change. Because at the end of the day, I DO want better for Sonny and Jason even if I’ve grown disillusioned with them. There IS other story out there that could be told!

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    • Crap, you’re right. I DID get that from Clueless, and not BTVS. :::face-palm::: I’m going to edit that reference and pray no one thinks I’m too big of a doofus.

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  3. Also with James Franco coming on to GH, the storyline seemed so contrived. It was such a waste, contributing nothing. There was no development to see where it was coming from, it was hastily tied into Claudia’s death. I mean the problem with GH is that it isn’t using the actors it does have or they drag some storylines on too long . I tune in when I see Coleman, or Mac/Alexis or Scrubs (Robin/Patrick). They could be developing the hospital a little more. They need to learn to flow the storylines better.

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