Sunday, April 5, 2009

General Hospital: Maurice Benard Appears on The View

*This Opinion Piece by Spin's Vixenella was published first on General Hospital: Maurice Benard Appears on The View

General Hospital’s (GH) multi-Emmy winner and leading man Maurice Benard was sexy and gorgeous on ABC Daytime’s The View yesterday (Thursday, March 12). He chatted with the ladies in Los Angeles and described his current storyline, but is this story making Benard’s famous character, Sonny "The dimpled Don" Corinthos, look like a world-class fool? What has become of the once venerable mob boss and when will this ridiculous farce end? Sonny is now married to and literally sleeping with the enemy and shows no sign of coming to his senses. Intimately tangling Sonny Corinthos with the criminally insane Zacchara family undermines sixteen years of Maurice Benard’s brilliant portrayal of Sonny, the most complex of mob bosses. For all Sonny’s volatility and flaws, he has never been stupid… until now.

For nearly a year, Sonny’s young son, Michael Corinthos has languished in a coma resulting from a gunshot wound to the head he received in a botched hit targeted for his father. The hitman was killed last year, but he was strictly an independent contractor hired by rival mob family, the Zaccharas, now Sonny’s in-laws.

At the time of the botched hit, twenty-something Johnny Zacchara (Brandon Barash) was head of the Zacchara organization. Johnny wanted rival mob boss Corinthos dead, and Johnny’s inner hot-head wanted to do the job himself. Enter, Johnny’s ruthless sister, Claudia Zacchara (Sarah Joy Brown), who convinced Johnny to let a hit-man kill Sonny so the Zacchara family would not be blamed. In an attempt to keep his own hands blood-free, Johnny agreed and let Claudia handle logistics for the hit on Sonny. Legally and morally, both Johnny and Claudia are equally responsible co-conspirators in this murder for hire scheme gone awry.

While neither Johnny nor Claudia intended young Michael to be injured, the fact remains he was shot as a result of their conspiracy. Marriages, lives, and relationships were torn to shreds in the aftermath of Michael’s shooting, yet Johnny and Claudia both move about the GH canvas with scarcely a care in the world. Most viewers have all but forgotten Johnny and Claudia’s role in perpetrating the violence. Some have even “forgiven” them, but all of GH was nearly destroyed by this horrific event, including Sonny’s longstanding friendship and partnership with Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) a man Sonny was closer to than his own brother. To add insult to injury, Sonny married Claudia at the behest of her father, Anthony Zacchara (Bruce Weitz), who himself feigned paralysis in order to shoot Sonny’s fiancée, Kate Howard (Megan Ward). That particular incident occurred at the altar on their wedding day, nearly killing Kate and ending Sonny and Kate’s dreams of a future together.

Even worse, Claudia’s co-conspirator brother, Johnny, fancies himself “out of the mob” and plans to open a garage; however, he is currently employed as a paid escort for Sonny’s former fiancé Kate Howard. Started strictly as a business arrangement, Sonny’s marriage to Claudia shows signs of becoming a real romantic relationship as Sonny and Claudia enjoy sexual intimacy and bond over their shared hunger for power. Sonny’s brother, Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst), who himself has played mattress tag with Claudia, knew all about Anthony Z. shooting Kate at her wedding to Sonny. However, he hasn't said a word to his brother about it. Now Sonny’s ex-fiancée, Kate knows about the Z’s botched hit, but she too has failed to mention to Sonny what she knows. Jerry Jax (Sebastian Roche), ostensibly dead, has hidden DVDs detailing Claudia involvement in the hit all over Sonny’s house. Jerry's intent may have been to taunt Claudia, but the search for the hidden DVDs has turned into to a veritable Easter Egg hunt involving Claudia, Kate, and Rick, each secretly ransacking Sonny's house searching for them. Sonny though still knows nothing of this and hasn’t stumbled upon a single DVD himself. Meanwhile, Sonny blithely meanders Port Charles growling orders -- business as usual -- while the FBI strong-arms Sonny’s long-time business partner, Jason Morgan to turn him over to the Feds. Collectively, it represents a ludicrous turn of events for the character of Sonny Corinthos with no end in sight.

How long can Sonny Corinthos remain oblivious to the betrayals swirling about him and remain a viable, respected, leading man? For sixteen years, Sonny Corinthos has been the wisest of “Wise Guys,” but my, how the mighty have fallen. Sonny needs his brain, his instincts, and his mojo back right away before all that’s left of daytime’s greatest “Godfather” is a shell of a man, now irrelevant and completely out of the loop of his own life. Sonny, wake up and smell the imported Corinthos coffee STAT!

Maurice Benard's appearance on The View 3-12-09 courtesy of ABC and EdwinTV21


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