July 24, 2009By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jul 24, 2009
You know, I accept that Sonny Corinthos is the center of GH now. There's no use in wailing about the mob-driven storytelling. That ship done sailed. The ship that hasn't sailed? Sonny's love life. That can, and should, be dry-docked and overhauled.
Almost every single time he gets involved with a woman, it's the same tired and misogynistic cycle. There are variations on the theme —Emily, for instance, skipped the "I hate you" phase — but for the most part, it goes like this:
1. Woman moves to town or into Sonny's sphere.
2. Sparks fly, or contempt flies, and there's a lot of snappy banter.
3. Sonny flashes his dimples even as he says things that would require a restraining order if he were a real-life man, and all of a sudden the woman is "susceptible to his charms."
4. There is an island trip or a pasta dinner or some other grand gesture to make the stalking er, wooing complete.
5. "I hate you" becomes "I love you"(or, in Claudia's case, "I still hate you but let's have sex") and then the woman is basically turned into a codependent pile of mush who can't put her shoes on without Sonny telling her which foot they go on.
6. The woman briefly wakes up or tries to re-grow her spine, to no avail.
7. Sonny cheats or breaks up with her "for her own good" only to get involved with another woman five minutes later, claiming he's never felt this way before.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
After 15 years of watching Sonny cycle through everyone from Karen Wexler to Reese to Kate, I really want to see something else. Female characters get crushed by Sonny, and that's not TV I enjoy. The only women who've really survived are Carly — though she's never been extricated from his world, and her marriage to Jax suffers because of it — Brenda (by virtue of LEAVING), and Alexis, who gets played for a tightly-wound buffoon for her troubles. Everybody else gets shuffled out of town or dies.
Here's a thought, GH: Maybe the womenfolk are not the problem. Maybe it's Sonny, whose caveman courtship tactics and inability to remain faithful box the character into a place where we see veteran actor Maurice Benard saying the same dialogue every year with the names changed. Let's give him something else to do!
v Especially since Olivia is becoming the latest martyr to the cause. The Falconeri family was a headache-inducing rewrite of Sonny's history to begin with, but I liked Olivia because she genuinely seemed to be uninterested in Sonny despite their past. Sure, they hung out after she hit town, but she had her own life and finally got her own love interest. And Johnny/Olivia isn't a pairing that appeals solely to me; they're getting rave reviews from many viewers. Yes, he's a mobster, too, but he's nice to her. He treats her with respect. So why would GH sacrifice that just to make her Sonny's Flavor of the Month? Because of the botch job on Sonny/Claudia, perhaps? Gee, I wonder why viewers don't like Sonny married to a conniver who arranged for his son's shooting and got pregnant just to save her own skin? Newsflash: Claudia isn't Sarah Brown's Carly, and no amount of bonding over babies is going to echo that version of Sonny and Carly. The Claudia/Sonny relationship is too ugly (And let's face it, S&C v.1.0 weren't exactly sunshine and roses).
So why just pluck out Claudia and paste in Olivia? We're going to see the same story we always see, and I don't want to see Lisa LoCicero on the backburner or fired by next year because SoLivia tanked! I want to see Sonny decide he doesn't need a love interest and focus on his kids or his business — lord knows both are a hot mess these days! OR I want to see him go back to Kate and just settle down, because they were working just fine before he married Claudia for the Zacchara empire and Kate got the shaft. Come on, let's switch it up a little. For once, let's have a woman in Sonny's life avoid the bullet to the head.