It’s a rape party, and everybody’s invited!

Well. That was a thing that happened. (Dear Ron Carlivati, remember that rape moratorium we talked about? No? That only happened in my mind? Damn.)

So, the good news is we finally know who Roger Howarth is playing! The bad news is… it’s exactly who we thought it was. You know, the thing that seemed too stupid to possibly be true. And hey, Sam’s maybe-rape has officially become a non-rape! But not to worry, the cosmic rape scales have been balanced out by Lulu and Stavros:

Lulu and Stavros

(God help us all if Dante’s less than sensitive reaction from the previews for tomorrow wasn’t just a misleading edit, is all I can say about that.)

And, of course, AJ’s about to finally find out about Michael’s rape. Which is actually something I’ve been waiting for since he found out about the coma thing. But coming on the heels of watching a traumatized Lulu relive her “wedding” night and a traumatized Sam forced to sit through a video of her own assault, I just… I’m all raped out for the moment, guys. Seriously.

And the thing is, on paper, this was actually good day of soap. Half the town gathered in a remote place during a storm! A villain returned from the dead with dramatic revelations! A slideshow of Jason making stupid faces! (What? Tell me that wasn’t hysterical. I WON’T BELIEVE YOU.)

Franco and Jason

Except the villain in question happens to be possibly the worst thing to happen to this show in the last ten years. (And that is a time period that includes blog wars, toxic balls, and Courtney, just to provide some perspective.)

I’m honestly baffled by the decision to saddle Roger Howarth, a popular leading man, with this hot mess. I mean, literally the only good thing about him not playing Todd anymore was that for the first time in 20 years, I might finally be able to enjoy watching him without the uncomfortable knowledge that he was a rapist. But no. Instead of bringing in some Quartermaine or Cassadine cousin who hasn’t already been written into a corner, they’ve chosen to resurrect a terrible retcon created solely for a shitty celebrity stunt-casting promotion, who literally NO ONE IN THE WORLD HAS MISSED.

(The single silver lining to this debacle? Now we really never have to see James Franco again.)

Franco feels bad

And if the purpose of today was to “redeem” Franco enough to be viable as a grey hat instead of an outright villain, um… no. Sorry! The fact that he didn’t actually rape Sam, but merely drugged her, filmed himself with her unconscious naked body to get back at her husband, and allowed her to think she had been raped for more than a year doesn’t really make it better, even if he does claim to feel really, really bad about it now.

Nor does his apology to Elizabeth erase the fact that he still effing kidnapped her baby. Or any of the other murders we saw him commit. Or that time he nearly blew up Sam and Lulu. Or the Michael thing, which we’re obviously going to hear more about tomorrow — but seriously, even if they retcon that he didn’t have anything to do with setting it up, he’s still the kind of person who was willing to take credit for it and taunt people with it afterward. THIS IS NOT A VIABLE NON-VILLAIN.

I wouldn’t be worried about any non-Guza human being understanding these concepts, but despite my love for a lot of things about the show under Carlivati’s direction, this has proven to be a problem area for him in the past. To put it mildly. So I’m not exactly brimming with confidence that it’ll be handled in a way that won’t give me rage seizures, you know?

But something tells me this story will be providing rant fodder to last for days and I don’t want to shoot my rage wad all in one go, so let’s just wrap up for now with two things I did enjoy today:

Quiz support

Carly comforts Sam

Elizabeth holding onto AJ for support? AJ getting in Franco’s face when he was being creepy toward her? Carly standing by Sam and comforting her through the video reveal? Delightful!

(Psst, show… I would like more of that and less with the express train straight to rape city, please. Could we maybe work on that?)

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28 thoughts on “It’s a rape party, and everybody’s invited!

  1. I agree…..this big reveal so doesn’t want to make me watch the show anymore…

    and with the revelation that lulu might have been raped, and all that….

    and I thought that he wasn’t for rape….

    i’m sorry…but, you had this grand vision…

    I said this in other places, look to the world what other soaps are doing……

    they have gay characters, they have trans-gender characters…oh yeah they have their share of criminals as well..and rapists…but guess what they are not the big heroes of the show…

    this is where the vision is being lost….it started 30 years ago with jack (days) being a rapist…and being forgiven for it…..or somewhere in that time period…guess what….I never did forgive jack and never will…..and I will never see franco, and Stavros as heroes….

    or any of the like..it’s time to stop putting these people as heroes..and make them out to be the true creeps that they are….and when they’re killed off…keep them killed off…don’t keep on bringing them back, 30 years down the line..(Stavros) or 2 (franco).

    susan

    • Ditto! I agree with everything you said. This show has had an axe to grind against women and children for the last ten years or so. Rape, killing off children and babies….totally disgusting. I love Roger Howarth and to bring him back as PSYCHO Franco is totally disgusting. Writing has gone down hill since the 90’s. I almost quit watching when GH became Mob-Central under Guza and now we have the same “lack of imagination” with the new writers. Seems all they can write are rape stories, DID storylines, switched babies, etc. The same thing they wrote on OLTL and we all know what happened to that soap. Writers are lazy and have no idea what a fresh new storyline would look like if it bit them in the ass. I am like a lot of people……I watch soaps to be entertained….not to get sick at my stomach.

      I also thought showing pictures of Jason (Steve Burton) was a slap in the face to his fans. He would still be on that show if they had been as accommodating to him as they are to Tony Geary (who I would not miss one bit if he was never on screen again). I have never been that fond of Mr. Geary and could care less about any of his storylines…as most are the same ole drivel. IMO, ABC screwed the pooch when they allowed PP to retain the characters of Todd Manning, John McBain and Star Manning…..especially after they had HIRED THESE ACTORS to play the same roles on GH. Now we get 3 new characters that I absolutely cannot stand, i.e. Kiki (please put her out of OUR MISERY), and Roger Howarth as psycho FRANCO. Bad move RC and FC.

      Ok, thanks for letting me rant.

    • I agree..i’m seriously thinking of dropping it as well….I go swimming a lot in the summer…..so to rush home and every day watch it on youtube….really does get to be a chore…

      I wasn’t home yesterday when it was on….I volunteer…..for something every Wednesday and that’s where I was……

      and you know what, I don’t even feel like watching yesterday’s eppy….

      what is getting to me is that he’s playing all these baby games….

      again…didn’t we see the one baby syndrome 2 times on one life, in the past 5 years……..

      didn’t jess’s baby die while starr’s lived…but the babies got switched….didn’t tea’s baby die on both shows, while the baby got switched…why must he keep on repeating those stories….why must they all…and now we’re going to have britch and maxie go into labour on the same day…why…does he think that seeing the same story over, and over, and over, and over, will give him creative juices…no, all it says to me is that he’s a lazy writer…that he has no new ideas, and that it is time to hire a totally different writer….not one that’s been in the business 30 years……how can you be fresh….if all you want to do is top your own stories now..

      and let’s not mention the rape part….how many times do we need to see that story…..

  2. “(God help us all if Dante’s less than sensitive reaction from the previews for tomorrow wasn’t just a misleading edit, is all I can say about that.)”

    I’m sure it is . . . but if it isn’t, it’s just bullshit, is what it is. This is the guy who didn’t get mad at her for messing up their chances for adoption or for putting them in danger in the world’s crappiest brothel house. There is just no way he would do that.

  3. I was very disappointed w the Lulu rape story. Most soap viewers are women so I don’t know why writers would think we want to sit down w a cup of tea and watch women be brutalized in our spare time. I watch soaps for pure entertainment, rape isn’t entertaining.

  4. Good effing lord. My DVR hasn’t recorded GH for the last two days. Clearly it was protesting this bullshit. I watched the first few minutes of yesterday’s episode and stopped because I couldn’t be bothered to put myself through the discomfort of watching it. That’s entertainment folks!

  5. This marked the first time in a couple of years I’ve thought seriously about dropping GH cold turkey. Like you, I’ve loved a lot of things about RC’s GH, but…I can’t take all this rape. And it’s impossible not to feel like Ron is playing out the Jess/Brody/Ford “rape? what rape?” debacle all over again with Lulu and Dante (the second she woke up with amnesia, I started worrying about this). I adored Jess and Brody, and watching them destroyed in the most disgusting manner imaginable hurt so much I basically stopped watching OLTL until the end.

  6. Luke and Laura. I think writers feel that since folks accepted Laura marrying and having babies with the man that raped her on the floor like a dog is the norm. When rape stories are well told like OLTL’s Marty and GH’s Liz it’s hard to look at the silly plot driven nonsense from RC and not want to send him to a shrink. You don’t fall in love with your rapist!

    • i so agree with that…luke and laura were different…….I didn’t watch it…when it actually happened…I have seen it since, because someone sent me a dvd of it…..that they copied from soapland or whatever that station is…so…

      but, not now……like someone else said…it’s entertainment for women…..why do they constantly put us down like they do….

      susan

  7. It’s really such a shame that GH is so truly terrible now, when for a while, it was the first thing I wanted to watch when I got home from work. I’ve been toying with taking a break for a couple weeks now but the latest developments have pretty much made the decision for me!

    • i know, that’s it, it was must see tv…but we should have known that it wouldn’t last…it never does….

      i don’t want to see any more rape stories, any more stories where one baby dies, one lives….any more mob stories….so what’s left…..

      serial killers…..

      i watched dexter for awhile……i don’t live in the US…they showed us the first two seasons…and i got season three on dvd…but then we had our own dexter so to speak…and well, now i don’t want anything to do with that show……..about how a guy hacks up people’s bodies……even if they are bad….to begin with…

      susan

  8. I said this on another site yesterday–that the show was all about rape-we have Luke a rapist-yuck and good riddance, Sam a victim only not, Elizabeth a prior rape victim, Lulu forced into sex with Stavros, and Michael a rape victim. NuFranco now played by RoHo and to me he is Todd a rapist. I honestly never thought Sam had been raped but that’s neither here nor there but they thought she had been-that whole s/l was awful and poorly done-
    I like EW/AJ at times –Carly and Sam seemed weird to me but maybe its because Carly always called her names before this year. carly was also being a mega bitch to Lulu before it all started–Sonny was his usual weasly self. maxie well that was weird also since she had sex with Franco-ewww.
    ITA I never want to see JF again. I’m still amazed at how they still like to show SBu’s face in awful pictures (sour grapes I believe) and yes he was a serial killer. we at least saw jason with another side Franco we only saw the crap perverted side. I don’t think this is going to work, so far none of the three OLTL actors are drawing me in.
    on a good note I do like Maura West but not Kiki.
    RC is doing no one (himself included) any favors with this s/l direction because you can’t redeem this guy–what a waste of talent RoHo is better than this poop.

    • RH as far as i’m concerned has never been a good character, and why he’d take on a job like this is beyond me…he’s typecasting him self, and RC is letting him…..RH I didnt’ see all of todd…but he did unquestionable things…when he moved over to ATWT…he was pretty much todd to me by the name of paul…now…..their stories were so similar..and now he’s playing the likes of franco…another creep…

      no, RC is doing no good to himself…but yet why is RH….taking over another role, that he knows might not last…..it really shouldn’t……….be like this…

      because of the roles that RH has chosen….and the characters that he’s played..i have never liked him…and will continue to do so as long as he is playing franco…if they wanted to show me another side of the actor…then they should have him playing a completely different character…a brand new one, and not a stupid recast…that is all bad…..

      they changed the character of paul ryan to suit him…when I began watching atwt, paul ryan was the good guy…but once RH took over the role..he wasn’t anymore…and you know what, that makes me not want to care about the actor…if those are the only roles that he chooses to do, playing the bad guy…

      SUsan

      • Susan, can we be done with the ellipses please? … indicates an omission from the original text, which is not the way you’re using it. Your thoughts seem interesting, but I cannot read them the way you are writing

  9. They really need to acknowledge the fact that what Franco did to Sam was still sexual assault. First the man put cameras in her honeymoon suited and both watched/filmed her and her husband having sex without their permission. Then he drugged her, touched her naked body without her permission and then later taunted her and her husband about impregnating her. Then he let her believe that he raped her for a year and a half. He’s a sick freak and still just as much of a sexual predator. Its disgusting and the fact that he didn’t actually penetrate her does not diminish his assault on her.

  10. This too much like Guza, exploiting women, for my taste. It was on the right track this feels like a huge step backwards.No matter what you think of these women, rape is never OK, Igot REALLY annoyed at Sam haters actually thinking Sam deserved what Franco, and WANTING her to have Franco’s baby just b/c they don’t like JaSam. Seriously?
    On a different note, I do like Emme Rrylan’s Lulu but I worry she’s getting the same treatment from fans as GV/JY got for Lucky and other replacement actors gets, she’s getting crapped on for not being JMB. And that’s not fair. I miss JMB but I can deal with Emme Rylan

  11. I have to say I feel like a lot of these comments are a huge overreaction. I am disappointed that Howarth is playing Franco, a character I despised. But I thought the last two episodes were well-written and well-acted. What happened on screen was exciting and interesting. It didn’t look to me as though anyone’s trauma was being negated – Howarth as Franco seems as psychotic as ever, just played by an actor I prefer. We don’t actually know what happened to Lulu yet. I think they made a poor choice, but I don’t think anything has happened on screen YET to warrant so much outrage.

  12. ITA Anne. And today, it looks like nothing at all happened to Lulu except one forced kiss. I am the opposite of outraged. I am entertained.

  13. i hope this time they have the rape victim talk to a rape survivor and not hire this one a stripper/hooker boyfriend. they have Liz who is a rape survivor still on this show and jason,sonny, nor carly thought about asking Liz to help mikey or just talk to him? i wouldn’t want lulu going to her mother, but her former s-i-l and someone who has been around the girl for 15yrs.

  14. On the whole, I’m no fan of theme parties. They tend to end up forced, and natural conversational flow is stifled, at best. But I’m pretty sure of all the theme parties that I’d not want to go to, this would top the list.

    Now, the choice of RH playing Franco (a character so reviled by myself and a friend that I refer to him as the F word) is troublesome at best. He may not have raped Sam, but his leading her to believe she was is not a positive. He may not have been behind the rape of Michael but his making him believe that he was isn’t that great either. And we still have the itty bitty problem of serial murder. Lulu saying no and not actually being raped is no great shakes either, given that she was threatened in order to sexually provide for Stavros. And, really, all in all, I’m terribly, terribly tired of rape on soaps. (Do I even have to qualify that with “on soaps”?)

    That said, now that the initial shock and disgust is over, I’m going to try and focus on the positive. I do not want to wipe the smug of RH’s face with a lye covered ice scraper. I’m going to reserve that for NuMorgan. If Franco didn’t rape Sam, and didn’t cause the rape of Michael, that means St. Jasus was wrong, and therefore, fallible. That’s fun and novel. And Jane Eliot owns me, which has always been the case, but I no longer want Luke dead. So that’s nice.

    So while this is not at all what I wanted, I’ll stick it through, and hope for the best. Hell, I outlasted Guza, and this too shall pass. Gotta keep an open mind, right? Not something I’m particularly good at, but I’ll try.

  15. I have to agree with Anne and Marz about RC giving us Guza-like rape stories. If anything it seems to me he’s trying to undo those rape stories in order to make RH’s character someone we can actually like down the road. Now THAT is something i’m not so sure is going to happen, but it does open the doors for some great quartermaine stuff which is always good for me. Especially loving Maura West.

    I hear Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) has left Young & The Restless. I think GH should jump on that and bring her over. She’s super!

    • she’d make a great foe for both tracy, and the new character of ava, wouldn’t she…

      susan

      I hear Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) has left Young & The Restless. I think GH should jump on that and bring her over. She’s super!

    • Unfortunately, I feel like not understanding when a villainous character has gone waaaaaay too far past the point of long term viability is the most Guza-like failing RC possesses. He already did it with Johnny last year, IMO, and I see signs of it here.

    • they didnt’ have to make him franco in order to fit into the family…

      yes, have him as a q…but not as franco….

      franco has done too much….why not make him an entirely new character, where he can have a clean slate with him…and all that…

      so….

      johnny to me was understood, and he is paying for what he did to cole and hope…and his grandfather….so, no, johnny was actually redeemable…in so many ways….he knows what he did wrong..he lived with the guilt, and everything…

      but i’m sorry, I don’t buy franco’s excuse at all…and never will…

      susan

  16. The only good part of the show was:
    “Not in you. You’re hawt! Seriously, look at her. She’s gorgeous.”

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