When it was announced that Jonathan Jackson would be reprising his role as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital, I, like many viewers, felt conflicted. Greg Vaughan had been in the role since 2002 and was doing a pretty decent job and his tenure made the role his own. But, I grew up watching Jackson as Lucky in the 90s. It’s no denying that soap fans have an deeper connection with actors who originate roles but I was reluctant to jump on the “JJ is back as Lucky” bandwagon for one main reason: this, after all, is still General Hospital and the headwriter is still Bob Guza.
Sure, they’ll be able to recapture Jackson’s magic with on-screen father Luke (Anthony Geary) but will they actually write the character with balls? The last time Lucky had balls was during the writer’s strike in 2008. They mysteriously disappeared again (along with the hospital) when Guza regained control of the show.
Guza is infamous for focusing on the mob storylines and botching casting coups, like Sarah Brown’s 2008-2010 return stint or James Franco’s recent appearance. A Guza-written GH is the sole reason why viewers don’t really want daytime goddess Vanessa Marcil to return as Brenda.
The storyline for Jackson’s return involved Lucky reuniting with childhood sweetheart Liz (Rebecca Herbst), all while Liz was screwing Lucky’s half-brother, Nikolas (Tyler Christopher) behind his back. Cringe! They’re bringing Jonathan Jackson back for this? Are you serious? Luckily, Jackson’s performance this past week improved the storyline tenfold.
Earlier this month, Lucky finally discovered that his half-brother had developed feelings for St. Liz soon after losing the love of his life, Emily (originally Amber Tamblyn, later Natalia Livingston). After being confronted, Nik decided to do the noble thing and leave Port Charles. When that whore (Liz) found out that Nik was leaving for France, she decided to go on over to his castle to wish him goodbye…with sex. Lucky, who was feeling guilty for sending his brother away, went over to the castle for a visit and caught them in the act.
Instead of confronting them right then and there, Lucky calmly walked away. He did meet up with Nik that night, but instead of laying into him or saying goodbye, he convinced him to stay in town. Lucky, who would have been sober for almost 2 years after a painkiller addiction, hit the bottle and realized that he was no different than his own father. Lucky’s drinking increased, which had his younger sister Lulu (Julie Marie Berman) worried. Lucky decided it was time to finally confront the two people who were supposed to love him the most.
Lucky bashing his fiancée Liz and brother Nikolas was must-see TV this past week. Watching Jackson’s Lucky confront the two people he has loved the most in his life was like watching a childhood friend go through a bitter breakup. Not only did you want to yell at Nik and Liz and call them names just like Lucky did, but you also wanted to cry with him.
The fallout from this storyline has also been able to give Julie Marie Berman some solid material this past week. Her confrontation with her fallen sister-in-law at the hospital was quite satisfying for all Liz-haters.
Fans can speculate whether or not Vaughan’s portrayal of Lucky in this storyline would have had the same effect, but we must remember that Vaughan’s Lucky was never actually properly written for. This current storyline involving Jonathan Jackson has given me some newfound hope that things at General Hospital can actually improve. Even if it is just for sweeps.
Here are some clips from Lucky’s confrontation which originally aired on Monday, Jan. 25th:
Liz-haters unite, here’s Lulu making a scene at the hospital (also includes her dishing it out to Nik). Originally aired on Tuesday, Jan. 26th:
And for kicks, you may also remember Jacob Young assuming the role of Lucky after Jackson’s departure. Here’s Lorelei Gilmore’s take on the whole situation…I wonder how Gilmore Girls would tackle this storyline?