So, for me and apparently others like the writer of this article, the essence and history of the Maxie/Lulu relationship was key to the reveal scenes. And, like her and her husband, I missed the nuances and depth Julie Marie Berman’s history on GH could have brought to the reveal scenes. I felt a twinge of her absence when Lulu was with Maxie for the delivery and during the family scenes outside the nursery. The relationships just hadn’t been established well enough with ER’s Lulu to have them resonate the way they should have in these important parts of the story for some of us viewers. But, as Tamilu says in her article, the absence was especially felt this week. In the past several months, the Maxie-Lulu friendship has been painted somewhat as a “let’s-go-for-ice-cream” nice, happy friendship – rather than the hard-fought, brutally honesty relationship that has been forged over the years between these two young women. So, in the moment of extreme crisis, the depth and nature of that important friendship lost its impact … and Lulu’s anger came off more superficial than it should have in this story for me. In the past, Lulu would have been furious with Maxie, but she would also have shown that a big part of her anger was that she loved and trusted Maxie so much that the betrayal was that much deeper. I just didn’t feel this with a new face playing Lulu, especially since the recent writing hadn’t focused enough on the history of their relationship. A few words were thrown at this thought, but the essential “feeling” just wasn’t there.
And don’t forget that Lulu has a history of difficult relationships and needing to learn to trust. However, the writing and subsequent acting interpretation of ER’s Lulu has been as if that difficult past has been wiped clean – as if it barely happened in this and other relationships. So, when her Lulu had to be the wounded party in these scenes, that needed sense of history and of past struggles was missing, as was a deeper emotional impact for some long-time followers and fans of Lulu Spencer.
So, to go back to what the writer of the article said, this article and my comments are about acknowledging that sometimes there are emotional moments that play much better for some of us with familiar faces and the sense of history we need. It is not about Julie’s choice to leave and recasting her character. The writers knew that she intended to leave as early as July, 2012. It is now October, 2013 – 15 months later. There was plenty of time to rework this story, or to have chosen not to start it, after Julie initially voiced her intentions. (And we have certainly seen that GH management can rewrite in a frenzy on short notice – especially with the machinations to insert three OLTL characters into GH, remove them and then re-insert the actors as totally new characters).
As I processed this article, my mind raced to other topics; for example, character-based stories vs plot-point stories … the timing and process of making changes in characters and actors … the role of actors in maintaining character integrity. But, I’ve rambled on long enough for now.