Katrina's Soap Journal  By Katrina Rasbold  

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Although overall, the Soap Journal has evolved into the spoiler commentary or the Totally Irreverent Weekly Recaps, every now and then Iíll have something to say that doesnít fit in with either one.  Thatís when the Soap Journal will stick its head out, look for its shadow and head back inside again straight away.  This is one of those times when I have something to say. 

This particular column is about Elizabeth and Jason (sorry, those dumbass combo names make my teeth vibrate and I refuse to use them...unless, of course, it sounds kinda dirty, like calling these two ďJizĒ or Sarah and Lucky ďSucky.Ē  OK, Iím a bit juvenile from time to time, so sue me). 

I was talking to Sage a couple of nights ago and he was on the verge of writing a column about the two of them in response to the pages of messages on his message board begging to know how long the triangle was going to go on and why they are being tortured thusly and whose idea it was.  You can feel the pain of the Liason fans (that really hurt to say that word, so donít expect it again) because their favorite pre-couple isnít in the sheets yet.  As we were discussing it, Sage suggested that I take over and step up on The Soap Box once again about it.  I wasnít sure that I had enough to say on the subject, but I decided to give it a whirl.  I will be referring to some of Sageís rumor info in the course of the column, so if you are unspoiled, better scat now. 

I have to confess that I do enjoy Elizabeth and Jason together very much, despite a few chuckholes in the road.  One big one is that deplorable ďpaint the windĒ crap that poor Rebecca Herbst was force to say without gagging and Steve Burton was force to listen to with a straight face.  Admittedly, that must be one of the most poorly written tidbits in GH history, but the actors managed to pull it off by distracting us from the heinous dialogue (well, itís Jason, so almost a monologue by Liz) with their electric chemistry.  

Something Old: 

Another obstacle my appreciation for the couple had to surmount was a few years of my basic indifference to Jason.  There is no denying that he is a deliciously handsome man and looking at him even as a piece of furniture would in no way hurt my eyes.  I didnít really notice he was good looking until he got Keisha off of him (proving that heís had a Madonna Minus The Whore complex since Brenda dumped him for Jagger) and left his hair short off after the unfortunate Head versus Rock WWF Smackdown.   Once he got that nappy hair out of his eyes, that boy grew up right before my lustful eyes. I thought the whole emergence of Jason Morgan from the Jason Quartermaine cocoon was fairly verbose and uninteresting, overall, but my, my, that haircut did him a wondrous world of good.  The only other thing that really caught my attention was when he drove the motorcycle into the Quartermaine living room.  

As Jason The Mobster was drawn on the canvas, it left me yawning.  His no-name fling with Carly was sexy and who can contest the magnificence of teeth meeting condom package, 

but I thought the whole battle between Carly and Robin was tiresome and Jason being written as heavy on staring and light on words had trouble holding my interest.   As he continued on with Robin, I found myself detesting him by association.  The desire to smack that prim, condescending look off of Robinís face and superglue her sanctimonious arms to one another as they crossed for the umpteenth time over her chest bled over onto Jason and I began to FF his scenes.  Other than isolated moments and a pretty face, Jason blended into the GH woodwork for me...except for his scenes with Michael.  My heart melted as he read to Michael about Africa and talked to him respectfully, almost reverently about everything in the world.  The custody battle between AJ and Jason had me riveted, as did his testimony and I cheered when the judge awarded shared custody.  

Then in one episode, when Carly was trying to make it work with AJ, there was a scene where she was dancing with him at Lukeís with Jason looking on.  The light caught Carlyís oversized diamond wedding ring set and she looked over her husbandís shoulder at Jason, who was staring longingly.  His face said it all.  It has always been my impression that people who insist that Jason never really loved Carly just didnít see that scene.  No doubt was left.  

When Jason brought Michael to the Quartermaine mansion and handed him to Carly, it was one of the very, very few moments in soap history (and weíre talking about three decades worth for me) that caused me to break down and sob.  Again, it was all over his face and by the grace of the acting gods, Dylan and/or Blake Hopkins was ON that day and played it to the hilt, even as a little toddler.  Guza must have been in heaven with his Jason fetish stroked and sated for the month.  

In contrast, I didnít have very many moments where I particularly liked Elizabeth at all.  Part of the reason is because I am a grown woman...a mom of six children spread over nearly 25 years.  I took care of my little brothers for six years before I left home, so that means that Iíve spent about 30 years taking care of children and my youngest is 2, so Iíve got a ways yet to go.  The last thing I want on my one escape from kids is to see more kids and to hear teens whine about their horrible lot in life.  Seeing Elizabeth acting out by setting up Sarah to look like she was cheating on a test just caused my eyes to glaze over.  She didnít really get my attention until the obvious:  the rape.  RH played a painful storyline to the hilt and did a magnificent job that could not be ignored and brilliantly showcased her talent.  When coupled with the indomitable Jonathan Jackson, it was magic.  

When Lucky died, her grief for him in the chapel was beyond palpable.  It caused my heart to ache and when Lucky (that would be the real one, JJ) was watching the same scene I was seeing on his little closed circuit faisonavision, my heart tore out again.   After she left the chapel, Elizabeth lost me again...until she began to connect with Jason.  It didnít take long before I was screaming at the TV, ďJUST KISS HER!!!Ē  RH is a wonderful actress, but she especially lights up when she has the opportunity to play off of a leading man who is equally as electric, which is why Iím not even discussing the regrettable Jacob Young, Megan McTavish, Dancing-on-the-Bar months of being force-fed sand.  Just suffice it to say that I am partially responsible for Steve Burtonís return.  I must be.  I burned enough candles and got calluses on my knees, praying to hear the roar of a motorcycle in the distance and see PodElizabeth (the one who was stuck begging crumbs from FauxLucky - yeah, I can save keystrokes by eliminating the ďauxLĒ from that one and be perfectly content with my new little blend name), perk up her ears, moisten her panties and leave roadrunner zing marks in her wake.  Eat those for a while, (F)Lucky. 

When I heard from Sage that it was a go and Burton was not only returning, but was hot for Elizabeth and Jason to connect, I was thrilled.  Although I did not have a burning dedication for Liz or Jason individually beyond recognizing that both actors are brilliant when given good material, my appreciation for the two of them together and my anticipation for what is to come was and is immense. 

Thatís the something old part.  

Something New: 

Being a fan of the couple, I can honestly say that I have been quite happy with how things have proceeded since Burtonís return.  I know there are many who are screaming for a microwaved meal of the coupling, which has been virtually guaranteed by both Burton at his fan events and the studio, but Iím willing to wait to savor the intense flavor of a story that has simmered a while (can you tell Iím dieting again?).  Despite my initial pleading for Jason to return and Liz to hike up her skirt, hop the back of the bike and snuggle right into leather and muscles, leaving nothing to Port Charles and Lucky but the sight of her retreating middle finger in the distance, I had to consider where the characters themselves are versus what I want.  Sure, I want to see them together, but as much as the fan base might be screaming for it, it just isnít time yet.  Jason told Elizabeth that while he was away he didnít think much about them and he explained why.  It made sense if you think like Jason and I feel that it was written keenly on character for him.  Guza created Jason Morgan and he adores him, so he writes well and often for him.  Jason, because of his injuries, is very pragmatic and simple...not a simpleton, but simple.  

When he left, Elizabeth told him that she wanted to be with Lucky and could not be with him.  Jason accepted this and subsequently, left town.  When he returned to Port Charles when the Great Carly Crisis was resolving, his impression would still be that things were as he had left them with Elizabeth.  Although his feelings are certainly there for her and not concealed in any way, he would have them restrained out of respect for her.  When she saw the eyeball-melting, stomach-churning, puke-inducing sight of Lucky with his tongue all over Sarah, she did what any red-blooded girl would do, she slapped the shit out of him (BraVO, girlfriend!) and flew out the door, having the tremendously great fortune to run right smack into my favorite combo, leather and muscles.  ďLetís go!Ē and away they went.  Hot, heavy, a taste of whatís to come, the sample of what the perfected recipe tastes like and bam!  Elizabeth pulls up short and tells him she doesnít want to do this, not this way, anyway.  When she goes to him, she wants it to be for the right reasons.  She wants it to be an action and not a reaction.  Ever our Jason, he respects her wishes, gives her a big leather and muscles hug and pole vaults home.  It gives them both (and us!) something to think and fantasize about.  (Good, Guza!  Nice sample!)  As far as Jason knows, Elizabeth cares about him and will give him cues about how to proceed.  He will not make a move without her encouragement.  But man, that Jason pull!!!  Rrrrowlll!  

Now, there is a new element that surely was on his mind before, but has been thrust (I love saying ďthrustĒ when talking about Jason) onto the front burner by recent events, that being that there is no denying that being with or around Jason is a life-threatening danger to anyone, even Elizabeth.  Since that point has been recently driven home, it will be on the minds of everyone concerned.  The conversation between the two of them in the hospital will assuage some of the concerns because Jason now knows that Elizabeth has made an informed (well informed!) choice to be with him despite all that has happened.  Far from putting a wedge between them, the fact that she is stalwartly dedicated to him after facing death because of him can only serve to solidify their union even more so.  Jason will allow her to know her own mind and make her own choice, so that bridge is traversed with a zero body count and a coup on the charts. 

Another vote in favor of the union moving slowly is to seriously consider Elizabethís headspace.  We have to remember that she is not a Bobbie or Carly type who is able to easily move from one man to the next.  It took a great deal for her to be able to give herself over physically to Lucky, not only because of the rape (although as too many women unfortunately know, a rape carries with it severe and long-reaching psychological ramifications under any circumstances and is even more tragic when it is the first sexual experience of someone) but also because she was emotionally still a virgin.  Aside from the rape, she has only ever been with Lucky and for years, it was thought the ďpermanent lockĒ would keep them together forever.  She never even considered that she would ever be with anyone else and when he died, she still couldnít really think of loving anyone the way she loved Lucky.  

She was connecting with Jason in a different way when Lucky came back, which threw her into a situation so confusing and psychologically destructive that thereís no way the girl could sort anything out.  The return of her One True Love from the dead would be a mind-blowing experience of such a degree that everything would go on hold to process the situation.  Her natural reaction would be to of course let go of the new relationship to return to the love of her life, with whom sheíd been given a second chance.  Between Helenaís programming and Luckyís betrayal with Sarah, permanent lock became permanent crock and while sheís coming to terms with all of that, here comes Jason back again.  Tres confusing, Oui?  Elizabeth is still reeling from Luckyís betrayal, the loss of the close relationship she thought she had finally kindled with Sarah, not to mention still shaking off the clutches of Endgame, Helenaís programming and dealing with Luckyís loss of his feelings for her.  Just a few months ago, she was in the middle of a wedding to him and had to make the devastating decision to walk out of it.  Afterwards, she was given new hope when they decided to date and work on re-igniting the spark for him (her spark still doing fine) and they were rolling on that when Sarah came into the mix.  This is a huge amount to process in a short amount of time.  

Many of us would initially say that the best way for her to work this out is to have a great romp with Jason to clear her head and as we saw, it was her first thought as well.  But we have to slow the roll (as she did) and remember that Elizabeth is not a woman who acts out with her crotch.  She does not use sex to put a band-aid on a painful situation or to validate herself.  Honestly, in my opinion, she is too sexually inexperienced to do that.  She has only really been with Lucky and that was in the confines of that permanent lock, so we have to give her some time to sort out her head, put (F)Lucky to rest once and for all and figure out how she feels about Jason so she can go into a spectacular romance unencumbered by baggage from the recent past.  Elizabeth does not rush into a physical relationship with a man for many reasons and definitely is not going to do so until she is clear on how she feels about him and knows her heart.  Having felt that perfect love with (Jonathan Jackson) Lucky, a man will have a tough act to follow.  She knows that she got back a cheap imitation Lucky from Helena and the memory of how things were before the fire is, Iím sure, still etched on her heart.  That will be the template she uses for future love and although her love with Jason will be more mature and definitely different from the young love she had with (JJ)Lucky, I have no doubt it will endure and be just as strong, if not more so.  As with everything she does, Elizabeth is going to have to work through it her own way and in her own time.  When she has clarified her feelings, sheíll be ready for more from Jason.  Itís already begun with her acceptance of his life and the cuddling of the postcard he gave her.  Weíve seen the love in his eyes, so we know itís ON. 

Regardless of what the fans want and how we would react, we very much need to keep the motivations and personalities in mind as this story plays out and let them do it there way.  The thing to remember also is that Bob Guza is telling this story.  For him, Jason just left because he was not here through the McTavish year from hell.  Guza knows and adores both the characters of Jason and Elizabeth, so we can relax and trust him to play this out just right, in perfect keeping with their truest selves.  We cannot let what WE want corrupt the story as it unfolds. 

Something Borrowed:

This stupid storyline with Zander.  What irritates me most about this...well crap, there is so much that irritates me about this that I donít know where to start.  Zander AND Chad Brannon have been so sorely abused in the past 2 years that itís a travesty to drop him right in the middle of a burgeoning romance between Jason and Liz, not to mention having it follow months of making puppy dog eyes at Carly, only to have her scrape him off her well-heeled shoe the second Sonny took an interest.  Letís go back even further and rake out that obscene break up between Zander and Emily.  A beautiful love story like theirs, mirroring the Masters, Luke and Laura, by building it out of the unlikely material of a violent act inflicted upon the leading lady, deserved to go out with more than a whimper on the phone.  Granted, CB worked better with that phone than 90% of the actors on screen at that time did with humans to play against, but still, we needed more closure than we got.  We STILL need more closure than what weíve got.  Sadly, Amber Tamblyn just recently commented on her message board when asked if Emily would be returning that GH had not contacted her about a return.  ďThey have my number.Ē  Since the accident paralyzed Emily, Zander has had little to do but stand around and glare.  A fine job, he has done and when given the opportunity to let loose, such as the dynamic scene in which he blasts Carly, Jason and THEN SONNY, he really shows what he can do.  The sad, sad thing is that they are borrowing the story of Jason injured and recovering in Lizís studio, of Jason insinuated into Lucky and Elizabethís rekindling of feelings, of Jason being the smoldering, sexy presence that cannot, will not be denied and forcing Zander to eat it.  

I do understand Zanderís presence in the story.  Itís a soap, fer crying out loud, and there is no way in hell a couple who is meant to be together are going to be together without some kind of conflict and some kind of choosing going on.  Itís just the way itís done.  The course of true love never runs smoothly, especially between noon and three in the afternoon.   I donít like him being in the middle, mucking things up, but I understand it.  The problem is that the whole thing was just handled wrong.  Itís going against the Elizabeth that I know (detailed above).  She and Zander had almost no association beyond his relationship with Emily prior to Jason coming to town.  Since Bob Guza has stepped back into the head writerís boots, heís been all over the place, trying out Sonny and Alexis, trying out Sarah and Lucky, trying out Zander and Kristina and basically throwing things up in the air to see what sticks to the ceiling and what falls and crashes.  

Itís painfully obvious to everyone concerned that Liz and Zander were thrown together as an afterthought to provide antagonism to the Jason and Liz reunion.  Itís nothing more than a vehicle to propel the story and because we know and can see that, it instead causes the story to sputter and threaten to stall.  Itís like trying to pour STP into your engine and finding out someone replaced it with water.  It doesnít work and instead of conceding defeat and slowly (or quickly) backing away from a bad idea, instead (in true Guza fashion) he has decided to jump right into it, having Liz and Zander actually do the deed on July 22nd, not only just do the deed, but having JASON witness a great deal of the passionate goinís on!!  Sure, this definitely makes Jason keenly aware of how he feels about Elizabeth, but itís messy and itís clumsy and itís unnecessary and itís only going to end up right where we knew we were going, which is with Jason and Elizabeth together, in love and beaming broadly.  The added bonus is that we (again) have poor Zander on the outs, having been (again) let down for another guy (thatíd be three times in a row).  Itís totally unnecessary when Liz and Jason are already working through the conflict of her recent break up with Lucky and the dangers of being in Jasonís life.  

They could have just as easily gotten a good old May-December thing going on between Zander and Bobbie (hey, the almost forbidden can be done VERY well on soaps!  Submitted for your approval:  Joey Buchanan and Dorian Lord Ė rrroowlll!) or go all out and recast Emily if you canít afford Amber (itís really, really getting ludicrous that Emily is at rehab for THIS long and is seriously glitching the flow of things) or bring back Robin, recast if necessary, and team her up with Zander.  Hell, recast Sarah with Gina Tognoni and give them a whirl!!  There are so many different directions where this can go and NOT screw up another story that is developing beautifully and itís amazing to me that the powers that be are insisting on pushing this on us.  

Something borrowed?  Yeah.  The same old rehashed crap for Zander. 

Something Blue:

Thatíd be me.  Thatíd be the rest of the fans of Jason and Elizabeth.  (Thatíd be Zanderís ďboys,Ē so the one good thing is that heís FINALLY going to get some!)  Iím pretty doggoned pissed off that a good story is being screwed up due to one or some of all of the following factors:  ABC politics, Writerís ego and refusal to accept when something isnít working, the desire to stir up fans (as they did by dragging out the Sonny-Alexis stuff just to keep fans in an uproar on the net) or just plain bad judgment.  

One thing that we, as fans, tend to forget is that as much as weíd love to believe it to be so and delude ourselves into thinking, it is not about us. What we see on the screen has so little to do with what the fans want that we might as well not even be here sometimes.  Itís about who is scratching whose back at ABC, about story wars between different powers in charge, itís about how many hours one actor or another will or can work, itís about what sponsors and network fat cats and (sometimes) actors want.  We are a piece of the pie, but itís not enough to live on and certainly not enough to start swinging threats around about boycotts and such.  We donít have nearly the power weíd like to believe and my impression is that ABC treats us like they are the drug dealer and we are the junkies.  No matter what kind of low-quality blow they send our way, weíll still snort it up, bitching and complaining about it through every sniff.  They know that we know that they show is pretty safe.  If we complain, they know we are watching.  If we stop watching, the show goes away (say ďAnother WorldĒ with me, folks) and they move on to other ABC jobs or to living off of their Swiss bank accounts and we pretend like we donít miss the crap they were feeding us. 

The one thing that is keeping me going with this is that I know that ultimately, weíll get our Jason and Elizabeth romance and that all of this is just foreplay (but, as the lovely Rita Rudner said, ďI once had a friend in labor for 36 hours.  I wouldnít want to do anything that FEELS GOOD for 36 hours.Ē) for the big lovefest that is to come.  Iíll let them beat me up for a while (like I can change it) as long as I get what I want in the end.  I donít like it, but Iíll still be around.  Meanwhile, letís just hope to God that Carly is able to get Jasonís shirt off in the interim because while leather and muscles is one of my favorite things (leather and muscles and warmly tanned manskin, blue eyes that sparkle and close dirty danskin...nice little buttocks that pluck my heart strings...these are a few of my favorite things!!), it just canít top shirtless and muscles.  Iím sadly, sorrowfully depleted in the Jason Without Shirt department and need a fix in a bad way.  Shoot me up, GH!!



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March, 2001

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