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When Good Couples Go Bad 

               How many times have we heard the phrase “I will love you forever” in daytime? How often does that phrase ever really ring true? You look at a certain couple and say “Nothing could ever break them apart” and two months after they break up you’ve forgotten the sensation they once were.  Remember those fantastic couples that you loved, that you considered yourself a major fan of? Remember those two you thought would last forever only to be devastated by their separation?

Couples are what soap operas are really about. No matter how much action, suspense, mystery and special effects they try to dazzle you with, it’s all about that guy and that girl and their trials together.  In soap operas, it’s no surprise to learn that a woman has had five husbands (and five different last names) or that a guy has had three relationships in the last year, because it’s all about trial and error. You try him with her, and when that doesn’t quite work out, that guy and that girl might be cute together. And often real life gets in the way of the perfect couple when an actor or actress leaves the show. It’s a rough and bumpy road for soap opera characters and anyone that stays together longer than a year deserves applaud.

But why? Why do those great relationship end up in shambles? I must warn you that I wasn’t around for many of the legendary couples and triangles that made GH history so bear with me. 

The Couple: Lucky and Liz

The romance: The teenage romance born of tragedy and founded on pure, true love. When Elizabeth Webber was raped, Lucky Spencer was there for her. He helped her deal with her shame and hurt and through that gentle support, love blossomed. Everyone watching knew that nothing could break apart this perfect couple because their love was so strong and so real. I even thought they would last because it was wasn’t a relationship founded on lies, distrust, dishonesty, deception or any of those good old fashioned soap values that come standard with most affairs. In the end, it wasn’t any of those things that would eventually tear them apart.

The Division: It was a tragic day when Lucky went up in flames as he slept. Liz was beyond devastated, believing she had lost her soul mate for good. In the end, that belief would prove true. Nearly a year had passed before it was discovered that Lucky hadn’t die in the fire, but had been kidnapped (not to mention recast) by Helena Cassadine to be used in her deadly chess game. When he came back, he wasn’t the same person and at first scorned Liz. He had been brainwashed while in captivity and was succumbing to the whim of Helena. Only his deep love for Elizabeth could bring him back from the depths of darkness, and for a while, it worked, until Helena took that away from him to. As hard as they tried to fix it, the love, the spark, the magic was gone forever, and the inevitability of the situation kicked in and they separated for good.

The Aftermath: Today you’ll find Liz currently in cahoots with two mob men who collectively raise the room temperature to the point of combustion. Lucky has been dallying around with Liz’s sister, Sarah, probably just because he has nothing better to do. All hopes of restitution were smashed when Helena killed the love that existed between them. Their love was strong, but not strong enough for the ice princess. Will Lucky one day be able to pull from the depths of his mind this love? It’s a soap, anything can happen, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

My Thoughts: Sometimes I think this couple was broken up because of sheer boredom. The writers couldn’t figure out what to do them…both of them seemed too perfect to have any character flaws. Maybe they thought it would be wonderfully tragic to have Lucky’s love callously erased by an evil matriarch, but all they were left with was two characters tied down by a stale bond and a commitment that suddenly meant nothing. Clueless as how to make a relationship last, TPTB decided that these two should go their separate ways. Yeah, it could have worked out, but with so many hot, single men, and so few girls, Elizabeth was needed to fulfill the needs of some other painfully desperate men. Whether they’re better off that way, who knows? 

The Couple: Alexis and Ned

The Romance: This neurotic lawyer and The Music star (in another life) made it all the way to the aisle. But in a Runaway Bride-esque fashion, the nervous bride bolted at the last minute, with the help of an unwitting truck driver. This was a couple I loved, mainly because they worked, because they were believable. They were the right age for each other and had the right temperaments to complement the other. I wasn’t there for the beginning, but I was around through the middle and the end…and hopefully the beginning again.

The Division:  Once again, I thought nothing would break them apart. Another slap to the face. Ned couldn’t put up with her reluctance to commit, she couldn’t put up with losing her independence. When she stopped mid-aisle and fled, it was the last straw and they both threw the towel in.

The Aftermath: Their paths have crossed once again, as Ned is involved with Kristina (What is with the guys going for their ex-girlfriends sisters?) and is now claiming Alexis’s baby as his own to protect the baby from Sonny. Will this combining of forces lead to the combining of something else?

My Thoughts: These two really had some chemistry and had just enough quirks and character flaws to keep me interested. I had forgotten just how good they worked and looked together until now. I just couldn’t see Alexis with Sonny. She’s just too…tall for him. And Ned, well, I don’t understand why he suddenly cares about Kristina so much. He acts as if they’ve been together for years and sounds so sure of what he’s saying about love and all that (which I personally think is a load of crap). When it comes to choosing between the two sisters he shouldn’t ask, “What is the right thing to do?” or “Who has the best legs?” but who is going to give him less grief and cause the least of pain. Right now, they’re both doing a pretty good job of putting the pressure on ol’ Ned. He’s trying to be righteous by helping out Alexis and protecting her baby, but it’s not the easiest thing, especially with her psycho- anxiety and hyper! ventilating. Just think how much worse she’s going to get as the pregnancy progresses! And we all know Kristina can’t keep her mouth shut for anything. Neither rain, sleet, snow nor a whole lotta money could convince that girl to keep a secret. Not that she’s a malicious gossip spreader. She just blurts things out, but it’s not her fault; it’s that darned piehole of hers. Ned’s got himself tightly wedged between that rock and that hard place. It’s for sure he isn’t going anywhere soon, and with Alexis always being within arms reach, something better happen. 

The Couple: Sonny and Carly

                  The Romance: We all know how this couple got started. Hate and revenge is how it began and that’s what it’s always been about. Sure, they have their loving, serene moments (once in a blue moon), but then it’s back to hurting, scheming and fighting against each other. Sometimes I’m a little doubtful when they say they love each other. I know they love to fight and argue, they love to hate each other, but then again, maybe it’s all for the making up, because they looove making up.

The Division: Just like clockwork Sonny and Carly follow the same pattern over and over again. Fight, make up, fight, make up, etc…the ups and downs of this relationship are as prominent as a roller coaster and more plentiful than the weeds in my garden. Divorce can’t even keep them apart, although it takes an apparent tragedy to make them realize how much they care for each other, until the next fight of course.

My Thoughts: Why is Sonny and Carly on here? They’re still together, you say. It’s true they’re still together, but they’re not what they once were. They’re the prime example of a good couple gone bad. I remember a time when Sonny hated Carly, hated her deceptions and lies with vehemence. He couldn’t even stand to be in the same room with her, and, if I remember correctly, she wasn’t too hot about him either. But one night, in the back of a limo, hate and revenge forged a curious bond between the two of them and suddenly we had one of the most explosive couples on daytime. Unlike Lucky and Liz’s tender romance or Ned and Alexis practical coupling, here were two people who hated each other and then suddenly, they were in love. It was fascinating that these two people could love each other, and because of that love, hurt and wound that person, all in the name of love. At a time, I would have said they were my favorite! couple. You may say the divorce was just a temporary setback, but in reality, it changed everything. There were also new writers. With new writers, we saw a new, independent Carly, and then, when the old writers came back, we got the old, scheming Carly and the old brooding Sonny. But it just wasn’t the same. Sonny and Carly were no longer explosive and exciting, but stale and annoying. The hate, and the fiery arguments that were so enticing then just sound like petty bickering now. The novelty has worn off, and the pattern is getting old and repetitive. S&C need to move on or give it up. 

The Couple: Luke and Laura

My Thoughts: This is just tribute to the couple who did what no one thought possible, what was virtually inconceivable to anyone with a decent knowledge of the way soaps work. Few couples manage to last more than a few years without going sour or stale. Few couples manage to make themselves into living legends. What started as a sensation so many years ago has evolved into legendary proportions. Neither divorce nor Helena Cassadine in all her glory could keep them apart for good. True love is true love and good writing will hopefully keep this epic couple from being shoved into the closet or kicked under the carpet to prevent the inevitability of their monotony.  New actors and characters come and go, but personally, I like the older, solid character. They’re rich with history and deep with meaning. 

These are just a tiny fraction of the countless numbers of couples that have come and gone. Some have made marks that will last forever, some are forgotten two weeks after they end. Some make daytime history.

So, who ever your favorite couple or past couple may be, or who you favor as a future couple, all daytime viewers are united by this phenomenon of boy meets girl. As long as they stick to that formula, soaps will always have an audience, and couples will always have fans (well, most couples). Don’t worry, soaps aren’t really as profound as I make them out to be sometimes. They’re just silly little shows that occasionally make insightful reflections on life that leave lasting effects on us. Well, I’ll have to cut my little philosophical deliberations short. General Hospital is coming on.


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