What is in a name?  In this case, quite a bit.  Mercury is not only a fast moving planet whose zodiacal influence is that of communication and lightening quick changes, but also a chemical element that is reflective, consolidated, reactive to external stimulus and absolutely poison if you mess with it.  Our newest GH columnist, Sherry Mercurio, embodies all of those wonderful attributes and more.  If you haven't been following her columns in our Muse Writer section over the past year, then you have definitely been missing out on a good read.  Sherry now will have her own column On the Soap Box and I very much look forward to her submissions.  I know you will as well.  Welcome, Sherry!!

Katrina Rasbold
Eye on Soaps Web Woman


Hi everyone!  I'm so excited and honored to have my very own column here on Eye On Soaps.  I've been a fan of this site and it's varied columnists since it's infancy, and am so pleased to be a small part of it.  I'll be attempting to give you a regular commentary on the current happenings around Port Charles and whether you agree with my opinions or not, I hope that you will get some enjoyment from reading them.  I would ask that all my readers please know that the opinions I give on any given day are truly the way I feel that day, but aren't set in stone.  With soaps you can't always wait to see how things end up because they don't ever end.  And what looked really bad yesterday often looks better when you see what tomorrow brings or vice versa.  I've also gotten very good at seeing most characters in more than one light, so just because I enjoy a character doesn't mean I can't see why others find them completely appalling.  And it doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good humorous barb about them now and again.  I really try not to take my own, or anyone else's opinions too seriously. 
Most importantly, I want everyone to know that I really love and enjoy these shows or I wouldn't be spending valuable time watching and then writing about them.  Any criticism's I give are meant to be (okay, mostly) constructive criticisms with a twist of humor, of course!  So the goal here is to enjoy the great shows together and to use a little humor and sarcasm to get through the not so great ones. 
Please feel free to let me know how I'm doing :)


March 6, 2002 
AJ has been the most interesting character for me these days.  I've never been a huge AJ fan, though since he has had very little storyline that didn't involve him being the patsy, who can blame me?  I have, on the other hand, always liked Billy Warlock just fine and knew he was capable of playing more of a part on GH than he has been allowed to.  I haven't been disappointed.  Being that his character has basically been a side note for some time now, the writers had what amounts to a clean slate when it came to developing his current motivations and personality traits.  And so the difficulty they have (or some of them have, at least) with actually taking a characters history into account while they write hasn't been a problem this time.  The history basically is two events:  Jason's "head to tree" thing and Michael's birth and the subsequent hostile takeover of said son.  It's pretty hard to screw up a characters history when they don't actually have one that was all that interesting to begin with.  So when I heard AJ would be getting a front-burner storyline, way back when, I wondered where they would go with AJ.  A total turn-around brought on by the love of a good...sister and the yearning for a lost son, or was AJ going to do something really stupid and continue to be the target of the whole town but on an even grander scale? 
What we have now is an interesting mix of the two.  In the beginning you could just feel AJ's little ego soaking up having a sister around that was backing him up on anything and everything he said and did (why she has done that is still beyond me, but that's not AJ's fault!)  and also giving him something of a friend which he hasn't really had since beyond forever.  Then he started to get way more confident in his ideas and schemes.  He used to come up with a plan and just go off trying whatever he thought up without actually having the cajones to carry it off.  He would either run scared at the first dark look from Sonny or he would proceed to make things much worse for himself by sticking around.  But lately he is different.  Not in the way everyone keeps saying "mean, angry, desperate, cold, out for blood" etc, he's different because he feels like he can actually win this one.  Really believes it this time.  And we have to believe he might too.  After all, whether you like his plan or find it morally reprehensible, you have to admit - it's a good plan for AJ's purposes.  And he's thinking smart and executing his moves with confidence and just the right amount of glee to make him seem like he is finally at the top of his game.  And it's glee over his own accomplishment - not over Courtney's plight.  He is just really focusing on his plan and hasn't stopped to look at what might happen to Courtney in the long run.  Maybe he won't care or maybe he will care very much when he really faces that.  Who knows?  But in the mean time I like seeing Billy play AJ this way.  It's a good story idea that undoubtedly could be done better but hey, can't have everything!  And it's the only storyline that I can watch with at least a little uncertainty as to how it will all turn out.  Of course, AJ will very likely find himself in love with her on the very day she finds out what he has done to her, but there are other options and regardless of the outcome, the ride is going to be fun and that's pretty important to me these days as I try to sift through and find something good to say!
Now, you know there are some problems with this story and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few, at least.  And, well, I can't really pull off the "eternal optimist" thing very well anyway so why try?  So here are a few of my current issues with the AJ/Courtney story:
1)  Courtney can either be a really sweet, naive, 20 year old or she can be a 20 year old (because the one thing we are sure of is that she is 20, 20, 20, 20, 20 already!!) that has had lots of "older, rich guys" hit on her but she "knew what they were after".  And where does a pre-20 year old hang out that all these rich, old men were hounding her??  Whether it was the casino or somewhere else I doubt either place fostered her innocence any.  If she has had any life experience that would enable her to have been able to weed out those other men, I'm thinking she would have had enough life experience to make her more suspicious of AJ and just a little curious about why Sonny is so worried.  BUT, I am willing to let most of this go because any young girl in her position would have to have serious father figure issues - any man she is attracted to until she works that out can conceivably be both older and rich.  But AJ better look out because she also must have serious abandonment issues and that can make a woman a big handful!
2) Janine is another issue for me.  My initial reaction to her part in all this was just plain disgust.  But I have tried, for the sake of not letting it ruin the only story I'm half-way enjoying, to look at this from her perspective.  Let's say that she has one big goal in life - not to let her daughter marry trash like Mike (in her mind, not mine - I like Mike!) and to make sure that her daughter doesn't have to struggle with money as Janine herself has.  With that in mind I can see why she might be overlooking some obvious warning signs and making what appear to me to be poor decisions.  I'm working overtime to convince myself that she isn't pimping her daughter away, but rather that she thinks that if she can make Courtney love this man then she will have accomplished her goals in life.  Because, and this is a hard one for me too because I think she is supposed to be smarter and more street savvy than this, apparently she really thinks AJ loves Courtney.  So if I believe that she really thinks that, then I can see my way to not hating her for the way she's shoving Court at AJ.  Of course the issue of her not wanting to check further into why Sonny hates AJ so much nags at my mind...she would have to be suspicious if she knew that what AJ wanted in life more than anything (before he wanted Courtney, that is) was to get back at Sonny... See, it's work keeping this positive train of thought on the track!

Here are a few "Why?" thoughts on this subject:

Why does AJ have to walk Courtney to the hallway where she goes to get out of sight every time the doorbell rings - can she not find her own way there yet?
Why didn't they just go ahead and show AJ give her all the new makeup and hair products she obviously got her hot little hands on to go with her new outfits?  She went from a carefree style to full-fledged glam in a matter of minutes. 
Why hasn't Courtney figured out a way to meet Michael so she could see for herself what all this fuss is about?
Why do I suddenly fear that AJ may just be a silent partner owner of my house?


On to the next item of interest.  Maxie's SORAS and subsequent recast.  I'll just be up front about this and say that I hate the idea with a passion.  I think it sucks, big time.  Let's, just for fun, imagine what the introduction of the newly aged Maxie will be like, shall we?  Three to Five days pre-screen debut:  Felicia and at least three others mention how time has flown and Maxie is getting so much older, will be signing up for college, is on birth-control, etc and whatever.  Maybe we will even get some fond memories from them about her first date, drivers training, prom, graduation and so on.  Then the big day comes and Maxie shows up (you'll know who she is because everyone will have to call her by her name at least twice that day) with some sort of a AH-HA! moment that will drive home the fact that she is now 20ish.  For example, maybe she'll show up in a jail cell after getting caught at a Rave (haven't used that set in awhile) or maybe she'll show up in her own living room (haven't seen that in awhile either) on the couch making out with a boy when Mac shows up unexpectedly to check on her.  This would be easier to forecast if I knew where she's supposed to be now but, whether I should or not, I don't.  So let's do one that has her coming back into town because that seems vaguely familiar...She gets off the plane, which Flea happens to be able to meet because her new romance storyline hasn't heated up yet, and she (Maxie, not Flea, though you never know!) has a nose ring, navel ring and a blue-haired little punk of a boyfriend in tow.  Whatever will Felicia do with all that on her hands??  Should make for riveting drama.
Maxie "Why?" thoughts:
Just....Why, Why, Why, Why are they doing this?????
Are we supposed to not wonder Why Georgie is now waaay younger than her sister?
Why are we being cheated out of seeing what could have been good soap stories, like Maxie going through the formative years with a police commish as a step-dad, and Maxie dealing with Felicia heading into yet another romance??  This child could have provided some reality-inspired drama and it could have been fun to have a more innocent teen storyline going.  It's either you're 8 and window dressing or you're 20, look like a model, have committed or helped to commit at least one felon, and have a self-proclaimed occupation that you rarely do anything with but no matter, because you have places to live and transportation - no real income needed ( I better stop now or I might go on for days...).  There's no in between with this show!
Again, Why??
That about covers anything and everything of substance that I have seen or heard about lately.  I'll wrap up with a few other thoughts that have popped into my busy little brain lately:
The Scoobies at Windermere, plus a few aunts??  They've got the haunted mansion looking set, all they need to do is add the van out front.  If only they were talking about ants instead of aunts - please don't subject Alexis to this, please - I will beg if need be.
All I have to say about the Carly/Sonny/Alexis/Zander debate is... Carly and Jax, Carly and Jax, Carly and Jax.  And I will repeat myself and say that Sonny and Alexis should do it and get it done with already!  Carly and Jax actually have a little chemistry and I'd be interested in seeing that followed up.  Let me add though that Sonny and Alexis are the only ones that have permission from me to do the nasty, at least right now.  Any other pairing on the show of anyone under 35 is just way too messed up... they all need to see a shrink before they do anything else.  Yes, I know Sonny and Alexis aren't much better, but I want to see them mixing it up so I'm giving them a free pass!  Sue me!  Nobody is doing anything just because they actually love someone - which brings me to:
Where is the romance?  I thought a few months ago all they could talk about was getting the romance back in the show - apparently me it all blew right by me.  Everybody is just either icky (Ned and Kristina) or messed up in the head (pretty much every other couple) - what's the deal?
Luke and Laura have been a little romantic, though.  I thought the whole kidnapping and wedding thing was pretty silly and I think it could have been written just a little better and then would have been good, old soap "camp" but it was all just a bit off for me.  In fact the only reason I didn't fast-forward all of it was Sally Struthers - she was the only part of the whole thing that was right on target, in my opinion.  She was a hoot - and she saved that whole story!  Luke's "death" was also a bit off, but once Laura starts boo-hooing, I admit it, I'm suckered right in. 
How quick are Carly and Zander to keep up so well with Skye??  My gosh, they were literally right on her heels - how she didn't feel their breath on her back I'll never understand. 
Speaking of Skye, she looks so great some days and then other days she looks like she has way too much makeup on.  She is definitely a less-is-more type I think.  The days when they cake it on she just looks hard.  Maybe that's the point and I'm just too dumb to appreciate the symbolism, who knows?  I just know that on the days when she has a more natural look I am always noticing how gorgeous she really is.
Sarah: who needed her?  But on the positive side, she is better than the first Sarah - never did like that other actress very much, can't remember her name...
Besides the romance, the other thing that is MIA is family.  The Q's are nowhere to be found for the most part, Audrey isn't around to help Sarah and Liz, Luke and Laura haven't seen their children in awhile again, that goes for Flea too, Michael is missing, Florence, Tony, Bobby and Lucas, no one who is actually related really spends any time together anymore... 
That also leads to something else we need more of...kitchens.  When is the last time you saw a kitchen on GH?  Everyone goes into the kitchen and comes back from the kitchen but no one is actually seen in one.  People hang out in the kitchen in real life, at least in a home where there is a family - which we don't really have so maybe we don't need a kitchen.  I don't need anyone to actually cook, I'd just like to see someone have their morning coffee and some conversation at the kitchen table or counter ( no - not the Q's, don't worry!) instead of in the formal dining room, maybe when Luke and Laura come home... or maybe kitchen appliances aren't in the budget at GH.  With my luck my wish will come true and Windermere will suddenly have a kitchen, complete with food fights, so.....I'm sorry I mentioned it.
Well, that about wraps it up for me.  Take heart, there's always next sweeps! 

E-Mail Sherry

Read Sherry's Profile

Sherry's Muse Columns