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When a favorite returns home

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When watching shows, particularly soaps that have been around as long as I have, it’s almost always nice to see a familiar face return after a long absence.

After about a decade, one of my favorite actors has returned to the role he was originally cast for. Jonathan Jackson returned in October as “Lucky” Spencer, oldest son of Luke and Laura on General Hospital. I literally watched the guy grow up on the show. It was fun to see him return, in the same role.

I just discovered Jackson’s return the other day, however, because I am still about two months behind on my GH viewing – finally playing catch up after a brief boycott when the new actors for the “rapidly aged” Michael Corinthos Jr. (Drew Garrett) and his half sister, Kristina Davis (Lexi Ainsworth), were introduced to the show in the summer. I’m learning to like the new kids — They’re just not the original kids I watched grow from the cradle to elementary and junior high aged kids.

Some cast returns aren’t what you expect. I love Sarah Brown, who started the role of Carly Benson Jones Quartermaine Corinthos Alcazar Jacks and was OK with Natalia Livingston as Emily Bowen Quartermaine.

I was excited to see Brown returning to the show in recent years. And, she does play the psychotic bad girl well, which is why the role of Claudia Zacchara wasn’t such a reach for her. But, even that was an adjustment for me — having Brown on the show but not as Carly, even if its been years and years since she was on. I loved her as Carly. But, Carly is now a  softer Carly instead of the hard edged young woman who tracked her birth mother down only to steal her husband and become fast friends with budding crime enforcer Jason Morgan after a night in a bar. Man, I loved that Carly! What a train wreck! But Laura Wright does a fab job as the more mature, cultured Carly Corinthos Jacks.

As for Livingston, well, I’m still not crazy about having her back. Her character was killed. They opted not to bring Emily back as a ghost or in a plot with Emily not really dead. I’m not crazy about having her on the show as Rebecca, Emily’s long lost twin with a grudge. But if she brings out the Cassadine in Nikolas (Tyler Christopher), who am I to argue? That guy needs to macho up; he’s not even measuring up to his princely persona lately!

Have to say, after the crazy pace and dealings life has sent my way in the intervening months, learning that Jackson’s was back on GH just made my week. I’ll admit I squealed like a school girl, excited over that a outfit.

No slight to Jacob Young (now JR Chandler on All My Children) and Greg Vaughan, who have since played police man Lucky on GH. In fact, I’ve really grown to appreciate Vaughan as Det. Spencer. But Jackson, I’ve always loved in the role of Lucky. Glad to see him back.

Jackson, to me, has always looked the part of the infamous Luke Spencer’s kid, and his chemistry with Tony Geary and Elizabeth Herbst (Elizabeth Webber Spencer) is something else. There’s so much potential for Jackson to re-embrace his role as “Cowboy” and give Luke’s illegitimate kid with Holly, Ethan Lovett, a run for his money.

Jackson as a cop though? Well, one who straddles the line between white and dark hats, maybe. Guess I’ll have to keep watching to catch up and see. The kid never ceased to amaze me before, so he could very well pull it off as Det. Lucky too.

And the fact that the writers started him with a potential conflict between Lucky and brother Nikolas seems to me only easing back into the role. Shades of the 1990s? If I recall, there was a conflict regarding the brothers’ relationships with the women in their lives then like Liz (who was a bad girl back then, not the goody, goody Nurse Spencer/Webber of today) Liz’s sister Sarah and Emily. They were all old pals, and Liz was the interloper for a while.

I’m hoping for good things from the writers. This cast has always had such good chemistry and been so fun to watch. They play off of each other so well — good, bad, sweet and down right roguish.

Guess we know how I’ll be spending those long winter nights when my regular shows — Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, Bones, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, One Tree — are on break. OK, so I’ll have to catch up on GH between all those great holiday tear jerkers on Hallmark and Lifetime and similar channels that I get sucked into watching every time.

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