Sonny's Dog Day Afternoon
|Roll over, Sonny! Pant! Beg! Go Fetch! ‘Cause you
Every dog has his day.
And the sun always sets,
Even on a “Sonny” day.
I remember when GH was practically the “Luke show.” Intermittently, it was the “Luke & Laura show,” but Genie Francis left enough that mostly it was Luke. Remember those days? We jumped straight from “Luke & Laura” to “Luke looks for Laura” then “Luke & Holly” and “Luke and the WSB” and “Luke is the Mayor” and “Luke owns a casino” and “Luke & Laura, Part 2”. His stories have been so varied. Great stuff. I loved Luke and I still do.
Now we have the “Sonny show.” What’s the difference? Well, here’s what we’ve had from Sonny: “Sonny the mobster.” The end. Period. That’s it. No matter what he’s doing, it’s always in The Mob. If they would vary his circumstances like they have Luke’s, then The Sonny Show would be a lot easier to take. How about “Sonny Goes Legit?” Or “Sonny Has An Alternate Personality.” Gosh, that would have been far more interesting than this Alexis/Kristina crap, fake or not. I mean, variety! I just want some variety. Even McDonald’s has more than one type of burger. Jeez!
The other big difference between “The Luke Show” and “The Sonny Show” is how other GH characters have been used. When it was Luke’s day as the GH Top Dog, other characters had storylines of their own, separate from his AND they had sufficient and satisfying screen time to act them out.
Also, I think Anthony Geary was just shrewder than Maurice Benard. Even though both actors seem to be very smart and very appreciative of their fans (although neither one is big on fan events), Tony Geary just seems to be “in touch” with what the viewers are wanting. In other words, TG could probably sense when too many viewers might have been getting tired of seeing his face.
Now, you can say that TG doesn’t have that much say in what is written and neither does Maurice. To a point, that’s correct, but they’ve each been known to push for a change in their storylines and have gotten it. However, what I’m talking about is securing one’s success and popularity for the future. In soaps, that’s quite a trick. Tony Geary didn’t always use to take several month long vacations a year and I don’t think that’s something he started doing just because he could. I think that part of his reason for doing that was to insure that his character didn’t die a sudden death from overexposure. This is what MB is running the risk of now.
You see, when GH officially tanks in the ratings, and they will if they keep going like this, they will need scapegoats. When a new regime comes in to “clean up” the show and come up with new storylines, they are going to look at what the show has been doing and all they’re going to see is Sonny, Sonny, Sonny.
Now a good writer could look at that situation and see that they need to just feature that character a little less and change his circumstances (i.e., The Mob). A half-ass writer (and most of them are, IMO) will decide the only way to solve the problem is to get rid of Sonny. Hey, they could even get a shallow murder mystery out of the deal, too.
If you’ll recall, GH had a time of terrible “suckage” in the early 90’s (near the end of Bill Ekhart and the return of Luke and Laura). It was around that time that TG started taking his extended vacations and they have increased ever since. Smart. Because, you see, if the show was going to continue to decline, he sure wasn’t going to be the one they’d blame it on.
I’m sure TG has other hobbies and interests, likes to travel and just in general, likes to relax and have time to himself. But I also think that TG knows if too many viewers had gotten sick of him (like so many are getting of Sonny), then he would have been gone a long time ago with no red carpet back. He understands who butters his bread. It’s us. No matter how many of The Powers That Be want to ignore that fact, it will always come back to “us”. It’s a cycle, like the seasons: we get one regime who ignores us, then one who wants to cater to our every whim, then one who knows how to make us happy AND have wonderful stories of their own creation.
If MB is smart, then he’ll negotiate for a few extended vacations when his contract is up again in a couple of years, if it’s not too late. He might be the Leader Of The Pack right now, but every dog has his day and I’m not so sure dusk isn’t already upon him.
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