Welp. Those five seconds it looked like maybe this latest incarnation of Johnny Zacchara wouldn’t be a gigantic failboat sure didn’t last long. It’s a little ironic that one of the only characters I consistently liked during the Guza era is one of the ones I’ve hated most during the Carlivati era, but here we are.
Carlivati’s Johnny exists solely to make Sonny look good in comparison — as if there are enough Machiavellian mob takeover schemes in the world to ever make me forget what a raging douchebag this guy has been for the past 15 years:
NO DICE. HIS TEARS GIVE ME LIFE.
To be fair, Guza’s Johnny characterization was a little schizophrenic, too. Remember when they introduced him with all these warnings about how he was this CRAZY and OUT OF CONTROL!!!! daredevil who spent all his time jumping off bridges? And then almost immediately decided to make him a sensitive, brooding, classical piano playing, genuinely nice guy who respected women and didn’t really want to be a part of the mob? Good times.
But Carlivati’s conception of the character has always been super dark, amoral, and completely devoid of the Johnny who cared about other people and did his best to be a good person in a bad situation.
AND I HATE HIS STUPID PUFFY HAIR, TOO.
So of course now he’s apparently joined the giant super villain league of evil team up that also currently includes such luminaries as Helena and Victor Cassadine, Caesar Faison, Jerry Jacks, Lord Larry Ashton, the recently deceased Peter Harrell Sr., and whoever the hell FauxLuke turns out to be. (Ed. note: please be Frank Smith, please be Frank Smith, please be Frank Smith.)
OF COURSE. I don’t know why I thought for a single second things might go any differently.
And of course, Julian is joining up, too. Maybe? Sort of? I mean, his heart’s not really in it, but his penitent “I’ll do anything for my family” routine — which was a REALLY GOOD look on him, by the way — turned out to have a pretty big “unless they don’t immediately forgive me for lying and putting them in danger” proviso.
(But at least he’s had the courtesy to also be hanging around doing shirtless handstand push ups while incarcerated, which is more than I can say for some people, Johnny.)
Elsewhere on the canvas, my number one soap opera pet peeve — i.e. anything involving soap court — has been so out of control stupid that I’m having trouble knowing were to even begin ranting about it.
NICE DRESS, THOUGH
The Port Charles family court system has such interesting priorities! They apparently have the resources to employ a vast network of spies all around the city to monitor Maxie’s love life for months on end. But are simultaneously so short staffed that they couldn’t even be bothered to be involved in the custody of Ava’s baby. (“Eh, let’s just outsource this one to a random doctor. He probably knows what he’s doing.” — PC Family Court)
The fact that Kiki has been judged fit to be in charge of another human being while Maxie is still banned from even supervised visitation with her child — despite both the wishes of the custodial parent or a lack of any evidence that she’s actually a danger of any kind — is so rage inducingly idiotic that words sort of fail me? Like, even Kiki’s mother thought that was the dumbest thing she’d ever heard.
And speaking of lazy writing, could they really not have found a more believable reason for Sam to be suspicious of “Jake” than the coincidental use of one extremely common phrase? The rest of the story is fine — Sam looking for revenge on Jason’s behalf, not realizing it’s actually Jason that she’s targeting? Liz believing he’s innocent, not knowing he’s been brainwashed to forget he’s guilty? Classic soap!
But because they couldn’t be bothered to write an even mildly plausible reason for her to suspect him, right now Sam just looks like a ranting crazy person, even though we know she’s right.
Do better, writers.