Changing Johnny for the worse

For the Week of April 30, 2012
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GH Two Scoops: Changing Johnny for the worse
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Beloved Johnny Zacchara is morphing into a bad guy. His dastardly deeds this week include cheating on his girlfriend with a mentally ill woman, blackmail, and apparently running an organ trafficking business. Does this foreshadow his murder -- find out in this week's Two Scoops.

The impossible has happened. I am in complete agreement with Olivia Falconeri. It's a sure sign that the Mayans were right about this apocalypse prediction for 2012.

Olivia voiced my own thoughts this week, when she uttered the understatement of the year about Johnny Zacchara: "Johnny has changed. He's doing stuff now that I never thought he was capable of."

You and me both, Liv.

That "stuff" includes cheating on his girlfriend and sleeping with a mentally ill woman, just for revenge against Sonny. And, oh yeah, apparently running a black-market organ-trafficking business and blackmailing the good Dr. Steve Webber. Say what?

You heard me. I feel like Kate isn't the only one with two personalities running around Port Charles. This isn't the Johnny Z I know and love. What happened to him? Did he snap? Did Anthony's orchids finally drive Johnny to insanity?

He isn't the troubled, soulful, piano-playing, mob-hating young man I fell in love with years ago. His character is undergoing a major transition. This week was a turning point, and I don't like the direction he's headed.

Johnny is a popular character because, despite his horrific background, he usually does the right thing. He kept Michael out of the mob business, despite all of Michael's pleas. He didn't take advantage of Kristina, despite her plots to lure him as her boyfriend to make Sonny crazy. Johnny has repeatedly been an antihero in a bad situation, which is just the kind of character most fans love.

In the world of soaps, characters sometimes change directions abruptly. If it makes no sense, we fans call it character assassination. Like for example, when a beloved character suddenly starts doing things he wouldn't normally do. It's usually after behind-the-scenes writing and producing changes, or if an actor is recast.

That seems to be the situation here. Although, one could make an argument that Johnny has just succumbed to all of Sonny and Anthony's mental torture and hit bottom. If that's the case, I hope that Johnny is only a temporary bottom feeder. I want him to rise above.

I'm sure the writers probably need to have a "real" mobster bad guy on the show, because let's face it. Sonny and Jason, who fans affectionately call "gummy-bear mobsters," aren't really all that vicious. But, I would argue that we already have Anthony to fill the villain role. Yes, he's hilarious, and perhaps a little crazy, be he still kills people without breaking a sweat.

Johnny's character worked because he never came across as sinister, until this week. He hasn't crossed over to a mustache-twirling villain just yet, but it seems he's close.

I miss the soulful, piano-playing mob-hating young man, Johnny was. Please, writers, I'm begging, don't ruin this character for me. I'm having flashbacks to my beloved Jasper Jax and the horrible treatment his character received. When Jax left town, he hardly resembled the fun-loving corporate raider that was introduced in the '90s.

Johnny's actions lately have fans in a frizzy, so much so that Brandon Barash took to Twitter to chime in on his status on the show. He reveled that he "didn't know what the future held for him and his alter ego."

Not exactly reassuring. So, GH executive producer Frank Valentini took to Twitter, too, to say that the rumors about Barash leaving were untrue. Well, that's a relief. Now, if I can just get Johnny to remember that's he's supposed to be a good, bad guy, my work here is done.


Matt Hunter killed Lisa Niles? As of Friday, it seems that is what we're supposed to believe. Maxie confessed to Spinelli that she saw him do it, and Matt is suddenly flashing back to his drunken night on the cruise from hell.

I'm still not convinced Matt did it. I'm sure it was Anthony who took down the devious doctor. Well, at least I was. It's been quite some time since Anthony snuffed someone, so I think he's due to take credit for this one.

Speaking of Maxie and courthouse confessions, did any of you have a dry eye when Mac broke down outside the courtroom? I'm not sure which was better, his scenes with Maxie or Anna. All I know was that I was a weepy mess. That's just how I like my soap moments. Plenty of drama, tears, and decades of history and familiar faces to back it up.

I don't know how to begin to say thank you to the writers for finally giving John York some meaty scenes. Bravo to John, and bravo for those in charge for finally seeing what fans have known for years. Mac has been neglected for too long. I love that it was Anna who gave him comfort, realizing that he now has two dead "daughters" and another one headed to the pokey. (If anyone in town is a candidate for a personality switch due to stress, I'd say Mac is on equal footing with Johnny.) Now that Felicia is back, maybe Mac will get even more scenes.

Across town, everyone Sonny has ever slept with gathered to celebrate his birthday. Seriously, wouldn't it be a little uncomfortable having tons of your ex-lovers gathered in one place? I think it would take the "happy" out of his birthday. As I saw Alexis, Connie/Kate, Carly, Sam, and Olivia, the silliness of the situation hit me. I was just waiting for Brenda to hit the door anytime. I don't think Sonny has any business calling Kate a "faithless whore," considering his guest list.

And for those of you who had any doubts that it was Sonny who shot out the tires on that moving car, I think we can put that to rest. He couldn't even hit Johnny and Kate in bed less than five feet away. Johnny's wall took two bullets instead. Now I understand why Sonny has paid Jason to be his hit man all these years. Sonny needs to spend some time at the shooting range.

Then, there's Jason. If a man was ever meant to wear a blue shirt, it's him. Wow, did he look delicious in that party ensemble. I'm not a fan of his marriage to Sam, but if she keeps dressing him that way, I might get on board.

On second thought, no. Not even that can make me a fan. I'm sorry. I have tried, but Sam and Jason just don't work for me. It's nothing personal against the actors. I like them both. I just don't like their characters together.

Considering Sam's pants should be on fire with all the lies she's told her husband, things aren't going well for the newlyweds. And don't get me started on how non-supportive Jason has been to his wife who was raped and is now pregnant, supposedly, with her rapist's baby. These two need therapy. But they shouldn't call Dr. Keenan. Seriously, worst psychiatrist ever. He deserved that knock on the head that crazy "Connie" gave him. He's known that Kate has a split personality for weeks but has done nothing to help her.

One character who has finally grown a little is Sonny. He only hurled one breakable object after finding Kate in bed with Johnny. And Sonny didn't go down the predictable route and hit the sheets with Carly, despite her pleas. Bravo, Sonny! It's clear that Carly is never going to mature, but there may be hope for Sonny.

Sonny's party sure was entertaining, if you weren't the cake. (Rest in peace blue-frosted chocolate layer cake.) I couldn't help but chuckle as Michael seemed to eat his way through the party. The way he was noshing on appetizers reminded me of Brad Pitt's character in the Ocean's 11 movie franchise. And Michael's expression when he saw the smashed-up cake was priceless.

Other scenes I loved this week were the Tracy and Luke exchanges, as "spanky pants" tried to cook up a little poison to kill Anthony. Then, there was the Carly and Luke conversation about Jax, and how Johnny is no Jax. Let's face it. Any scene Luke graces is a winner, but that heartfelt conversation with "Caroline" was top-notch.

The Luke scene that really had me rolling was shared with John McBain. The vampire jokes just kept coming. For those of you who don't know, Michael Easton played a vampire on the short-lived soap Port Charles. If you missed Luke's hilarious conversation with the dark one, check out the Best Lines of the Week section for a good laugh.

It looks like Lulu has turned into Veronica Mars. Well, maybe not. At least Veronica had the good sense to have a dog and a Taser with her, when she went after the bad guys. At least Lulu told someone she suspected a dirty cop was behind the stripper attacks. Of course, Luke isn't always the most reliable guy in a crisis. Oh right, he did save the world once. I'm sure Ronnie is no match for the Spencers.

Overall, this was a fantastic week in Port Charles. I love the new direction I'm seeing, other than Johnny's behavior. So, keep doing what you're doing, folks.

I can't wait to see if Anthony will suggest another three-way with Anna and Tracy, if ABC can throw any more Avengers plugs in our show, if John McBain will set another world record for time spent searching a house, or if Jason will finally embrace that blue is in his color palette and not black.

Best Lines of the Week

(Officer John McBain shows up at Sonny's house with a search warrant and encounters bodyguard Max.)
Max: "A lot of people have tried to put Mr. C behind bars. The charges never stick."
John: "Sounds like a challenge, Max. I'll have to get out my Tony Robbins tapes."

(Carly walks in on mentally ill Kate and Johnny, after sex, and demands an explanation.)
Kate: "We had sex, and it was fan-freaking-tastic. Don't deny it, Johnny. Carly's not a complete idiot. Well, actually she is, but she's not blind."
(Later, Carly threatens to kill Kate, but Kate tells her that Sonny was already there firing bullets.)
Kate: "Sonny can't even shoot me, and he's a mobster with a gun."

(Using his best vampire accent, Luke greets John at the door. It's an inside joke, as Michael Easton once played a vampire on Port Charles.)
Luke: "Ah, good evening, Lestat."
John: "Lestat?
Luke: "A character in a book that you have a very curious resemblance to."
John: "Is Anna here?"
Luke: "She is, would you care to come in?"
John: "Can I speak to Anna now, sir?"
Luke: "But of course. Just give me a minute to drink red garlic."

Reader Spotlight

Thanks so much for all the incredible feedback. I hope you'll keep sending emails to me.

  • I'm in agreement with you on most things except Heather Webber. I cannot stand this character! There is nothing at all likeable or sympathetic about this woman. I didn't know her before but I think they have filled in the gaps pretty well. Luke's expression is priceless but he is so much better used in other stories. If they carted Heather back to Ferncliff tomorrow, it wouldn't be too soon. There are just so many characters and stories on the canvas, this is one I can do without. -- Lisa

  • Here's my theory: Ewen is Jerry Jacks' son! Heck they even favor, and what a wonderful way to bring back Sebastian Roche! I am loving the balance in the storylines as well, though the mob storyline is a big part of why I like GH so much (I'm an action kind of girl). I would also much prefer GH bring back veteran characters, than continue to give us more Ronnies and Deloreses. The return of Heather Webber alone was one of the highlight of April for me. She's hysterical, and her scenes with Luke are phenomenal! I am continuing my boycott of any Michael/Starr pairing. That girl is already on my last nerve! - Lyndsey

  • I also like the other readers' opinion that Maggie could be behind Robin's kidnapping. Makes sense to me, and I think she's also related to Lisa. - Patty Pratt

Jennifer Biller
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