Sunday, November 19, 2006

Welcome to the Family

Many GL fans cringe at the very mention of the name "Santos." The reason for that is that the Santos story gobbled up a whole lot of airtime for a period of many years at the same time that the San Cristobel saga was doing the same thing and (viewers feel) pushing GL further and further away from it's "raison d'etre." For my part, I just don't tend to enjoy mob stories on soaps (or anywhere else for that matter). I finally gave up GENERAL HOSPITAL earlier this year for that very reason after 23 years. What I think people tend to forget is that the beginnings of the Michelle/Danny love story were actually pretty compelling viewing, brought to life by a quartet of passionate, charismatic performances. Joie Lenz (now known as Bethany Joy Galeotti of ONE TREE HILL fame) is perhaps the best known outside the soap world. Her time on GL as Michelle Bauer was a starting point for a long and consistent television career and devoted following of fans. Paul Anthony Stewart (ex-Danny) would remain on GL for seven years, becoming one of the most popular leading men in the history of the show. Saundra Santiago (ex-Carmen) escaped much of the Santos curse, earning many fans even among mob-hating viewers (myself included). Ironically, her character, in hindsight, was the one least suited to the show. Santiago's (and Carmen's) popularity is a testament to the power of her committed, bravura performances.
And then there is the (as far as I'm concerned) shining light of this story: Tammy Blanchard as conflicted "bad girl" Drew Jacobs. Blanchard's heartfelt, spirited work as Drew made the character into a three-dimensional human being, eliciting sympathy, laughter, frustration, and a host of other emotions from the viewer, often in the space of a single scene.
Bearing all that in mind, Welcome to the Family is not just a long series of Michelle and Danny cooing at each other or dodging bullets... or cooing at each other while dodging bullets. It's an unflinching look at the (not always nice) beginnings of their relationship in 1999 and the people in Michelle's life as they reacted to her new circumstance. Look for a heavy focus on Michelle and Drew's changing friendship (and Drew's growth as a person), as well as some good scenes with Michael O'Leary as Rick and the incomparable Mary Stuart as Meta. (One thing you will come to realize as you "get to know me" is that I will seize any and every opportunity to showcase Mary Stuart.)
And so... Welcome to the Family.

clip 1 * clip 7 ** clip 13
clip 2 * clip 8 ** clip 14
clip 3 * clip 9 ** clip 15
clip 4 * clip 10 * clip 16
clip 5 * clip 11
clip 6 * clip 12


Blogger Eleonora said...

I just discovered this blog and I love it! :)

I'm a long time GL fan, but I loved the Santos story. It's one of my all time favorites. The scenes you showcased are Manny at their very best :)

11:12 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I use to love Danny and Michelle. Ipersonally liked Michelle better when Bethany joy galeloti was playing michelle but that was one of my favorite times during GL. I'm only 22 but Iv'e been watching GL off and on since i was a little girl (my grandma and aunt use to watch it) But these are wonderful clips I remember all this stuff and watching it!

12:14 AM  

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