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Why I Am a Fan of Franco and Liz

March 30:

Deconstructing GH week after week can run the risk of getting repetitive so is trying something new – we’re taking a break from our usual style this week to tackle one of our perhaps unpopular opinions. In this case, I am a fan of controversial couple Franco and Liz. 

He had a tumor

One of the main reasons some fans still loathe Franco and can’t stand to see him with Liz, or at all, is due to his past crimes. Franco, originally played by James Franco, was meant to be a short-term character, a crazed Jason-obsessed serial killer. The show kept bringing him back though, and finally made him permanent when General Hospital and ABC lost rights to the Prospect Park show characters. Roger Howarth’s Todd Manning was transformed overnight into Franco Baldwin. The dilemma was that the old Franco would not be welcomed in Port Charles seeing he set up Michael’s prison rape and let Sam believe he may be the father of her child, so the writers pulled out the old “the brain tumor made me do it” excuse. It’s a classic soap plot, and Franco isn’t the first to have his crazed behavior explained by a disease that was later cured.

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Other characters have gotten a pass

Franco has tried to make amends. He has apologized for what he did, and that is all he can do. He isn’t the only character to have been reformed on GH or soaps in general. One of the most beloved characters on the show, Luke Spencer, not only raped Laura, who he went on to be a super couple with, but ran over his grandson Jake and killed him. Okay yeah, Jake was later brought back to life in true soap fashion, but Luke had already been forgiven for his death by then. Then there is Sonny, who brutally murdered AJ, but used his bipolar disorder as an excuse. Sonny still remains a fan favorite, in spite of his profession, along with his assassin side-kick and Franco’s nemesis Jason.

Franco and Liz are both flawed

Liz may not be a former serial killer, but she is no angel. She has lied and connived to get things she’s wanted at times. Many in Port Charles hated her for years. Both Liz and Franco are flawed, and that is what makes them so great together. They can see the faults in each other while striving to be better people. Characters that are clean cut and pure get tiring, but those that are pure evil just aren’t fun to even hate. Franco and Liz are fun, and they are fun together.

They are both artists

They have an artistic connection, have discussed art in the past, and could make beautiful art in the future. When Franco put his old art up for sale to sever his ties to his past, Liz was by his side and proud of him. He also used the money for Kiki’s schooling and the GH art therapy program. Perhaps down the road Liz and Franco could create new art, hold new auctions, or even own their own gallery to rival Ava’s. There is a lot that could be done with the artistic side of Franco and Liz.

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Franco is great with Liz’s kids

Liz’s son Jake also has a great artistic connection with Franco, which can continue to be explored. Roger Howarth simply shines when he interacts with many of the younger cast, whether it’s Liz’s sons Jake and Aiden… I’d include Cam in here if he wasn’t almost always at camp, or Kiki, who he still feels a father figure to.

Franco and Liz have awesome friends

Liz is besties with Epiphany and Felix, and who doesn’t love those two? Sometimes just watching friends having fun is a nice break from the usual day-to-day craziness on soaps. GH could use more scenes of this trio, and Epiphany definitely keeps Franco in line because she can be one scary lady! Franco has his own awesome friends too. Well okay, he recently patched things up with his ex Ava, who has a past just as screwed up as his. But they’ve both made great progress. Then there is Dr. Obrecht, who like Franco has made strides in redeeming herself. And come on, her Nurses’ Ball numbers are legendary, and she’s always been supportive of him. However, the current storyline of Drew and Franco searching for answers to their past could bring them closer, and Drew definitely could use more friends than just ole Curtis.

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Photo credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

– Dustin Cushman


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