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ABC (2)

It all could’ve gone so differently for Wes Ramsey’s character.

If there are two things that General Hospital viewers agree on, it’s that (1) they love Wes Ramsey and (2) they don’t love Peter August. And it’s a shame, because really, the show could have had its cake and eaten it, too, if only it had painted the character in shades of gray that weren’t so very close to black.

Think about it: If Peter had seemed to savor twirling his metaphorical mustache a bit less, and tried a mite harder to be the man that Maxie deserves, the audience would have been torn on him. We would have empathized.

He’s not bad,” we would have found ourselves saying. “He just keeps finding himself in situations that are!”

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If we could give passes to career criminals like Sonny and Jason, and accept that it was a brain tumor that turned Franco into a homicidal maniac, surely we could’ve gotten behind a Peter whose halo kept falling off owing to the devil’s horns with which his DNA had cursed him. And if we could do that, we would’ve really felt for him when he crossed a line — or appeared to cross a line — that caused Maxie to dump him with a thud.

What’s more, if the daytime drama had crafted that kind of Peter — a hero whose past never ceases to upend his future and a villain who yearns to save the day — he would’ve been uniquely positioned to ultimately be paired with… Wait for it, wait for it…

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Carly! Eventually, the truth about “Mike” and Nina is going to blow up the Corinthoses’ marriage. When it does, the Mafia donna is likely to do what she always does when her life implodes: lash out. But once she’s done writing new riot acts to read Nina, she’s going to want to dull her pain. What better way to do that than by confiding in the handsome ne’er-do-well who’s busy beating himself up over the fact that his best never seems to be good enough.

Viewers would get an intriguing new couple in the underworld queenpin who never met a plot she wouldn’t hatch and the second-generation baddie doing his damnedest to emerge from the shadow of his nefarious parents. And as an added bonus, we’d get Ramsey and real-life love Laura Wright throwing altogether different sparks on screen than they do off.

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What do you think, General Hospital fans? Would you have liked to have walked the road un-traveled with this alternate version of Peter? Had he not kept Sonny’s whereabouts a secret, could you imagine this Peter being catnip to Carly? On your way to the comments, stop off at the below photo gallery of more General Hospital stars and their real-life mates.