The chick’s got a blinding smile. I dug her as a reluctant stripper and A.J.’s champion. Otherwise, we need a proctologist pronto. 

Don’t ask me what her secret is. 

Courtney shows up and I’m fast asleep. It’s bizarre. 

Her portrayer Alicia Leigh Willis is no slouch in the personality department; I could stay up several nights listening to her chatter away animatedly about surfing, volleyball and ex-boyfriends, and how she deals with soap fame. The actress, let’s face it, is far more goofy than she’s allowed in character . . . a common soap opera complaint (just ask Matthew Ashford on DOOL after he tried to spark an older man/younger woman attraction outside the script with Alexis Thorpe). 

If the dour, unimaginative PTB ever allowed half the GH cast to carry over their personalities to the characters, it’d be a whole different ballgame for most viewers. I can’t help but recall an episode in SOAPNET’s reality-TV competition, “I Wanna Be A Soap Star,” where finalist Kimberly did considerable damage to an otherwise staid piece of dialogue as an agent and a nurse. Executive producer Jill Farren Phelps gave Kimberly the most curtailing note imaginable, compared to the butt-reaming she gave to Mykel and Maya, along the lines of: Tone it down, you’re too outstanding, just read what’s in the script without much inflection or any hint of subtle, layered intrigue. 

If that’s the criteria by which GH runs the show, no wonder I get in a good night’s sleep after a good and boring Courtney scene. I’m thankful that at least TIOC thought better than to leave her dangling with android Jason; the two of them together, with their pauses, long, drawn-out silences, one-word prompts, was worse than visiting my chain-smoking, personality-challenged in-laws. Jason and Courtney, JOURNEY, had little to drive them as a compelling couple, other than looking pretty as a picture together. 

Ingo Rademacher’s Jax – unlike Billy Warlock’s A.J. – cannot provoke enough of the compelling from an armchair, much less the human facsimile, Courtney, on his own, which he very well must do to succeed with me. His dismal pairing, as CASPER, has fans either bemoaning a lack of interest, signaled subliminally on Courtney’s part and a over-eager horniness on Jax’s, or swooning to the usual stereotypical jock meets cheerleader equivalent of a multiple orgasm. 

But it’s not enough to keep me interested. 

With Jason, Courtney was tentative, cautious, painstakingly and painfully considerate of his every shifting, unspoken mood. 

With Jax, she’s just a cockteasing, withdrawing, trifling shrew of an avoidance expert. (Her suddenly taking on the superficial humanitarian project known as drug addict post-pregnant teen Bridget prompted Jax to diagnose this as another move to avoid dealing with him; probably the most right he’s ever been.) 

He takes her on exotic adventures. She barely stifles a yawn, rolling her eyes at Jason with Sam. 

He brings her bouquets of her favorite flowers, tins of her favorite ginger snap cookies. More yawns and a THAT’S NICE, NEXT! 

He holds her hand in silent support during her despair. She hardly notices, never even tells him about the anniversary of her miscarriage, preferring to share the moment with Jason on the docks, silently, of course. 

He introduces her to his mother Lady Jane for lunch. She can’t even be relied upon to make it in time. Then, she lashes out when his mom rightly questions her commitment to Jax, using her tried-and-true MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY, aka ACCEPT MY HUMONGOUS LIST OF CONDITIONS, OR ELSE THERE’S ALWAYS JASON. 

He even re-built the Port Charles Hotel into a Metro-Court resort in her honor, thoughtfully adding a luxurious office at the penthouse next to his, stupidly assuming she’d want to spend as much time with him as possible. She laughs at him, disbelievingly (this lovesick jerk did all that for me when all I can think about is getting back in Jason’s jeans?), turning down his offer with assertions of her independence and her far-fetched excuse of LIKING THE OFFICE SHE’S ALREADY IN, the office that got shot up and God knows what else, like it’s nothing. I don’t think she even dropped to her knees in gratitude, a gesture Jax most assuredly would be grateful for. 

Frankly, the only time I’ve seen Courtney falling in love was when she fell for A.J. and his black sheep rep. Their YOU AND ME AGAINST THE WORLD (without the circus clowns) charmed me into giving this GH newcomer a chance. I knew theirs would be a short-lived mirage of a love story once Jason caught a glimpse of Courtney stripping (if ever a mischaracterization portrayer Steve Burton would be right to question. . .) and once TIOC mischaracterized A.J. as a stalking loser to raise the bar for his hitman golden boy brother, but still, a few weeks of someone that strong, level-headed and blonde-ly beautiful sticking up for the Quartermaine embarrassment did my underdog heart good. 

There was even a time back then that I could not believe – as online speculation hinted – Courtney would turn A.J. away for Jason. Courtney came from A.J.-like parents, her father Mike bailed on her materialistic, slutty mother, the two of them ultimate failures, forcing her as the sole caretaker way too early, forming the stoic, dignified but inwardly grieving young woman to come. 

No, I told myself, this Courtney will stick by A.J., understand his motivations, see where HE came from, parents who favored Jason and Emily, an adopted sister who worshiped Jason when she could’ve learned more about drug rehab and redemption from A.J., a grandfather who taught him the sadistic art of self-flagellation just when glory appeared within reach, … just as she stuck by Mike in the end and forgave her mother for using her as a means to get rich. 

She dropped A.J. like a bag of garbage in seconds flat, a world record. At least Keesha left a note. 

Hooking up with Jason so fast dwindled her rooting value for me immediately. Gone was Courtney’s level-headed grasp of ethics mixed with a healthy empathy for the less-fortunate up against all familial odds. Instead, she’s making eyes with a hitman, building him up as this big hero, out to rid the world of criminals, make it a better, safer place for children; IOW, deceiving herself for no earthly reason whatsoever, save to please then-new ABC Daytime president B.S. Frons. 

Leave the motivation to the long-time fans and the old-school soap actors twisting in the wind, I guess. 

If you people think she’s over Jason by now, you’re as delusional as I used to be with A.J. and as Jax is now. 

Amazing what a flash of a blinding smile, a shake of a full set of ta-tas can do to a man. 


He Deserves It

A lot of AMC fans are either apathetic to or up in arms about the selection of Jeff Branson (Jonathan) in AMC’s Emmy pre-noms for “Outstanding Supporting Actor” – along with Cameron Mathison (Ryan). 

I can’t speak for Mathison’s 2004 review, but what Branson did with his badly fleshed-out newcomer role was nothing short of miraculous. Most of his colleagues would’ve packed it in ages ago (see Christian Campbell/Bobby II), if not literally, then figuratively going through the motions. 

It is entirely to Branson’s credit that the character of Jonathan went from nebulous to irritating to this unspeakable undercurrent of intense, bottomless complication bordering on an almost-hypnotic spell. I completely believe in him, as Maggie did in the beginning. Even after the abuse, physical and mental, I want to believe in him, in the strength he is capable of tapping into to overcome his abusive origins, and that despite the slap, loves Maggie enough to change. 

The scene between Jonathan and Ryan during the week of January 31st were AMC’s, and ABC Daytime’s, very best. Finally, I see why Mathison’s Ryan has been displayed as a saint and a hero. Finally, Ryan is living up to such impossible standards by sticking around and proving, with his own example, that withstanding a childhood of abuse is possible. When Ryan grabbed Jonathan and nearly begged his younger brother, the one he abandoned to a psycho father, if he had the strength to be a real man. . . I cried, both for the story’s compelling quality and the two actors’ redeeming touch. 

Next year, for sure, these two, Mathison and Branson, should receive Emmy nominations, if not downright the shared award itself. I’m only sorry that Maggie’s Elizabeth Hendrickson, who’s finally turning in the bravura performances everybody else believed her capable of, had to leave to please the BAM fans and cater to a group that’s long since abandoned any hope of a truly equal gay love story. 

AMC needs stories like the one impacting Ryan, Jonathan, Maggie and Bianca, not just to expedite two major exits (Maggie’s and Bianca’s), but to last into the next chapter.