Ah, little Lucky Spencer. I guess I was in high school when he showed up in town after years on the lam with his Soap God parents, Luke and Laura. Jonathan Jackson's Lucky was just a little kid with a darling face and a big ol' dog. He played friends with Emily Quartermaine and in what seemed like no time at all, lit up the screen and became half of another enigmatic daytime coupling when Elizabeth Weber was raped. I'll never forget the tenderness that Lucky showed toward Liz. Their teenage romance was soap and more soap and once I went off to college, I made sure I programmed my VCR so I never missed a minute of it. Jackson's star burned brightly and he was inevitably lured away to movie making, but not before he defined Lucky Spencer as an incredibly dynamic character. He was Elizabeth's champion, a poet and an artist, smart as a whip and splashed with a healthy dose of Spencer renegade. Loved me some Cowboy, oh yes. When he "died" in that fire, dear GOD, I about died too. I'm not a terribly nutty soap fiend who gets all jacked up over whether or not Carly would have done this or that (she would, get over it) but oh my, I think I spent days in a stupor over Lucky in that fire.
Then came the Jacob Young as Lucky years. They felt like decades. Yes, he came back and he was surprise! not dead to begin with. I certainly wasn't programming my VCR anymore but I vaguely remember all that mumbo jumbo about Protecting Your Queen Lucky and the almost marriage to Elizabeth when she was dressed as Laura Ingalls and oy, I just can't go back there. I'm too fragile. Not that I didn't adore the fact that Helena Cassadine was on the show at the time, but her brainwashing of screaming, glowering Lucky was maybe the longest storyline ever. Jacob Young, whom you may now know as JR on All My Children, destroyed every nuance that Jackson had created in the character. Arguably, Helena's year-long brainwashing had something to do with the personality shift, but Young really drove home the fact that he was no longer our Cowboy. Amazingly, he won a Daytime Emmy for his performance while Internet users the soap world over sat with mouths agape. Also amazingly, his portrayal of JR Chandler is spot on and I love him on AMC. You couldn't have convinced me that he was an actually decent actor when he was playing Lucky.
With Lucky destroyed, estranged from both Liz and Luke (and OH, what they did to Laura), I didn't have much hope for ever seeing his character resurrected into someone that held my interest again. Enter Greg Vaughan. Likely hired for his high eye-candy quotient, Vaughan has been quietly present as Lucky for a while now. He's interesting mostly because he's damn hot. But while I'm ogling, I sometimes see shades of Cowboy just struggling for a chance to break free. The dumbest writing point EVER has been making a policeman out of Luke Spencer's kid. Um, no. Lucky spent his entire childhood on the run and I'm certain, cultivating a healthy mistrust of all things law enforcement. Now I know he had a fallout with dear ol' dad that may have spurned such a turnabout, but we were never shown any real evolution in Lucky's character - he was just slapped into a police uniform because no one could think of anything else to do with him, evidently. It was a plot point that took nothing into consideration except that it might serve as a way to tick Luke off for a week or two.
So, his storylines have been mostly focused on policing and we know what kind of respect the law gets in PC, so...Lucky hasn't had a whole lot to do beyond showing up to serve Sonny with warrants. He got himself shot this summer and in an unmemorable turn of events (cuz honestly, I can't remember how), ended up living with Elizabeth. Here we have the darlings of the early 90's - LUCKY AND ELIZABETH, PEOPLE! - reunited after years of estrangement, after Elizabeth's painful marriage to Ric, baby by Zander and countless other soapy woes and they basically fall back into each other's lives with a "Hey, that's right! I still love you, ya know" and that's that. They get an apartment and Lucky assumes daddyship of Baby Cameron. Now they're caught up in the Great Adultery Race with Liz all pregger'd up again, this time by Jax because that was the only way that Lucky's hospital bills could get paid. Talk about storyline shaft for poor ol' Cowboy. And though he's getting it again, Greg Vaughan manages what only a few others do in the soap world. He *shines* in mundane scenes. He conveys a sparkly little lovey look in his eye when he looks at Elizabeth. He makes me realize that they are a couple worth rooting for, that there IS a long lived connection and that they could totally be hot if we could ever get a glimpse of them without that baby squalling interruption from the other room. For all the flowers coming alive, statues coming to life and whateverthehellelse unendurable crap we had to subject our eyes to (Pirates!! Do you remember the pirates?!) when we were being convinced that Nikolas and Emily were 2-getha 4-eva, I never got the warm and fuzzies like I do when Lucky and Liz are sharing a container of ice cream on the couch. There's that nuance, that depth, that something that says someone in this room is Luke Spencer's son. Props to Rebecca Herbst too, but she's proven herself so many times over that it's hard to imagine how she ever gets bumped out of front-burner status.
There may be a wealth of writing mishaps to come. We may see Lucky react violently to Jax and get caught up in some pitiful courtroom battle where he doesn't stand a chance because he's among working poor. We might see this story get abandoned entirely and have to recall six months from now if Lucky even still lives with Liz. Hopefully though, someone will finally begin to notice Greg's star quality and bring a little bit of Jonathan Jackson's initial qualities back into the life of Lucky. I'm pulling for a guitar and a trip to New York City. Then we can talk about a little Private Investigator business instead of this city payroll crap and some capers with Luke that Liz isn't exactly sure about, but ends up joining in and oh, the possibilities! Lucky is a cornerstone of the GH community with relations to Luke, Carly and the Cassadines; I would think that they couldn't even consider giving up on him as a main character. Until the story unfolds, may he continue to be shirtless so I can eat up his yumminess with a spoon. I meant to say that he should keep eating his ice cream with a spoon. Yeah. Darn typos.