Tamara Braun Online
EST 2006 | your premiere source for all things tamara
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_399.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_397.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_398.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_396.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_395.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_394.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_393.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_391.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_392.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_390.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_389.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_388.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_387.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_386.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_385.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_384.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_383.jpg
GENERAL_HOSPITAL_-_02212018_382.jpg


GENERAL HOSPITAL is about to celebrate it’s 55th anniversary on April 1, 2018. It’s been on the airwaves for longer than any of its other competitors on the other networks. Even its two ABC sister soaps One Life To Live and ALL MY CHILDREN don’t have the same bonafides. So in light of that astounding accomplishment, one would think the impetus of the current powers that be would be to beef up the show’s future by borrowing from the past. Last year saw an amazing fete from executive producer Frank Valentini in his ability to lure back two of the show’s high power players. Those being our Tamara Braun and Steve Burton (Jason Morgan). The other was to bring back Genie Francis and push her toward becoming the grand dame of the show in giving her a larger role in her capacity as the iconic Laura Vining Webber Baldwin Spencer. Even having her find love again and marrying her to long time VIP Kevin Collins played by long-time vet Jon Lindstrom. It looked like they were positioning this show to become something more in terms of making it viable past it’s 55th Anniversary. So what mistakes have they, or rather Frank Valentini made that makes the viability of this show in question? Let’s examine.

When it was announced that Tamara was on her way back to GH I had hoped, as did many others, she would be reclaiming her role of Carly Corinthos. I know for me I had all my fingers, toes and eyes crossed. When ABC Soaps in Depth said it would be featuring an article in its November 2017 edition with Laura Wright it seemed from all appearances it would be an exit interview. When it came closer to Tamara’s airdate, we received news that her “character” would have something to do with Patient6 (Jason) and she would have news on him. This baited us more with the possibility of a switcheroo that she would indeed be replacing Wright, but then we found out her character’s name would be Kim Nero thus dashing all our hopes she would be playing Carly once again. A role all of her fans was praying she’d one day come “home” to play. Frank Valentini said in an interview he’d talked to her back in 2009 at the Daytime Emmy awards where she won for Best Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama for her role of Ava Vitali on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. If I’d be a betting woman, I’d deduce Valentini was perhaps positioning Tamara to come back to play Carly. That was until 2011 when Laura Wright won for Best Actress in a Daytime Drama for playing largely a faux Carly. Given the field that year The Bold & Beautiful veteran Susan Flannery was the front-runner given her decision to retire from the soap. However, Wright won in effect scuttling any chance of Tamara’s return to come back to play Carly.

We come to 2017 and Steve Burton’s triumphant return as Jason, Genie finally being elevated to contract and Tamara returning as Kim. So what’s wrong with that picture? Plenty. Apparently Genie was given her walking papers before Christmas. Yeah she was demoted to non-contract status and in Frank Valentini’s words to appear in count ’em TWELVE episodes a year. That is so demeaning to this actress who single-highhandedly saved this show from cancellation back in 1977. Until the David Hamilton Murder Case GENERAL HOSPITAL was on the cancellation block. With the creation of that storyline the show was saved from cancellation, with Genie and her onscreen mother Lesley played by Denise Alexander being the stars who not only saved the show, but brought it to prominence for Gloria Monty to be able to come in to revamp the show with the espionage and intrigue of the Left-Handed Boy story, but also bringing in Tony Geary as Luke Spencer. But again remember it was Genie and Denise who saved this show. Not Geary. Geary if not for Monty would have been a short-term character, gone in perhaps the customary thirteen week cycle and never to be remembered again. Instead Luke was saved and it was Roy DiLuca (Asher Bruner) who was sacrificed in order to set up the beginning of the Laura and Luke phenomenon. Notice what I did? I said LAURA and Luke. Not the other way around as is the custom for most articles to give Geary more credit than Francis.

We’re more than two months away from the April 1st 55th anniversary. Yet we have Frank Valentini making ridiculous if not insane decisions such as not bringing Tamara back to play Carly and letting Genie Francis go. He hired Laura Wright’s boyfriend in a parking lot for a contract character no one cares about, but he reduced the iconic Genie Francis to twelve appearances a year? If Valentini had any balls, which I don’t believe he does, he’d have cut his losses with Wright…and face it in most of the message boards and comment sections I visit daily, no one likes Wright’s interpretation of Carly. They don’t like her selfishness, her hubris, her grandiosity and her loudness. I’ve counted at least a dozen nicknames. They want the Carly back who had learned lessons, grown, become a woman and had vulnerability, something Wright is totally incapable of playing due to her lack of understanding of subtext. Oh sure she can cry on cue, but little else in terms of subtlety. However, Valentini did something we GH and most specifically we Carly fans never thought would happen: Tamara Braun would come back to GENERAL HOSPITAL. Given the re-hiring of Steve Burton and the re-signing of Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) to another three years, and the 55th Anniversary of the show coming up, what a time to have reunited the real CarSaSon (for the uninitiated that is Carly/Jason/Sonny) and begin to carve out a path to keep the show on for the foreseeable future. Imagine what that would look like to bring about a renaissance for this show and give us back our grown up Carly, original Jason and Sonny, plus giving us Laura Vining Webber Baldwin Spencer now Collins in a storyline worthy of Genie’s ample talent, and allow this show to get back to what it used to do: Entertain.

I’m being told by some that they love Laura Wright’s Carly. Most of those are newer fans who just started watching when Wright was playing Carly. They don’t understand who Carly was under Sarah Brown, and who she became under Tamara Braun. What is currently on our screens with Laura Wright is not Carly. That Laura Wright is not trained enough to understand that “playing my Carly closer to the original” means backsliding for a character that had become something more under both Tamara Braun and Jennifer Bransford, she clearly doesn’t understand what playing a long term character on a soap opera means. If we look at the character of Luke Spencer as a model and see that what started out to be a one-note character become a hero, then we see what that means in terms of making the show current. We have to forget what mess Tony Geary made out of Luke in the end in trying to deconstruct the myth. That’s what Laura Wright did. She deconstructed all growth Tamara’s Carly made in understanding why she had the impulses she did, why she lied, why she did the things she did. She learned a lot in light of the Kristina reveal and became a heroine in her own right, not Wright. And that is what we all do when we watch these shows. We grow along with the characters because that’s the nature of the show. For any of Wright’s fans who believe she’s playing the grown version of Sarah Brown’s Carly, think again. She’s not. She claims she’s playing her Carly, “closer to the original”. Again she’s not. She’s playing as some have said to me in private emails and as that poster to IMDB said, more of Princess Cassie Winslow from Guiding Light. She’s not playing Caroline Leigh “Carly” Benson Corinthos. She’s playing a transplanted Cassie. That’s all. When you look at Tamara’s three other soap characters of Ava Vitali (DAYS OF OUR LIVES), Taylor Walker (DAYS OF OUR LIVES) and Reese Williams (ALL MY CHILDREN) not to mention Kim Nero, none of these other characters Tamara has played is anything like the other. Carly is not like Ava, is not like Taylor, is not like Reese is not like Kim. This shows how well Tamara is able to craft her characters into individual beings, not carbon copies of another one she’s played. We could see in 2014 with the “Carlypalooza” episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL aired on the 51st anniversary of GENERAL HOSPITAL on April 1st, we saw Tamara work her magic. Bring Carly back to her evolved self. That alone told us that Laura Wright is all wrong for playing Carly. One thing I know about running this website since 2006 is the proclivity of my visitors in terms of the gallery views. Most of the time they’re viewing the most recent uploads, however, most of the current views have been in the section dedicated to Tamara’s time as Carly for the years 2001 and 2002, the years I have up in the gallery. (I’m still working on editing 2003-2005). But people are interested in her time as Carly. I’m not getting as many hits on the Kim Nero section of gallery as I am on the Carly Corinthos section. That says something. I’m going to let you interpret that in whatever way you will dear reader. But to me it’s clear.

So what would my short-term fixes be? Fire Laura Wright. Get rid of her or find another character for her to play. It’s been done before via the One Life to Live three. Reinstate Tamara as Carly. Perhaps have Carly suddenly a doctor. This show has done weirder things. That would give Tamara that meat she loves to play and fulfill for her what she wanted for Carly way back in 2005 when she made her decision to leave due to the lack of wanting Carly to have a career. Heck it’s been done before. Do a do-over of the Mayoral race and have Laura win. Allow her to become what Laura was always meant to become, a champion of Port Charles. That’s who she was back in the 70s and 80s. Make that happen for her and for her fans. Get rid of the flotsam in Valentin, Nina, Ava. Those characters wouldn’t be missed. Pervy Franco, get rid of him. No one likes him either. Make Roger Howarth Todd Manning again. With the settlement of the Prospect Park suit in ABC’s favour, they now are able to use the ALL MY CHILDREN and One Life to Live characters. Do it! Perhaps the pairing of Howarth and Rebecca Herbst as Elizabeth wouldn’t be as skeevy considering “Franco’s” past. Todd Manning though flawed, became a better man after what he did to Marty Saybrooke (Susan Haskell). But those are just some of my short-term solutions to correct those mistakes Frank Valentini has made with this show. If there are others please post them in the comments section. If you like this post and by and large agree with it, share it on your social media accounts. Tag Valentini, ABC and GENERAL HOSPITAL if you like. We have to become proactive to correct the very bad decisions that have been made. And bringing back Tamara Braun as someone else other than Carly, and firing Genie Francis is bad logic.




6 Responses to “The Future of “General Hospital” & 55 Years On TV”
  1. Anonymous says:

    What’s wrong with Ava Jerome played by the magnificent Maura West? Did Maura said anything that offended you in the past as Laura Wright did? Too bad you missed Ava’s performance as a burn victim, maybe you would’ve seen her in a different light. She got rid of Connie and Morgan, hallelujah! I only don’t like that she encouraged Sonny to kill AJ but to be fair, Sonny would’ve killed AJ without Ava being there anyhow.

    • tamara braun online says:

      Misty:

      Where in that article did I mention Maura? Show me. I personally don’t like her acting style. I detested what she did as Diane Jenkins on The Young & The Restless as she was nothing like how the character started out with Alex Donnelly, then followed up by Susan Walters. I don’t care enough to have seen her “work” as a burn victim because I don’t care about the character, and not a lot of other people do either. As for getting rid of Morgan, disgusting move on the show’s behalf. See I remember the day Morgan was born. I was watching when Carly then played by Tamara fell down the stairs at that house out in the boonies and first Alcazar (Ted King) found her, then Sonny arrived shooting Alcazar and in the process, shooting Carly in the head. That scene was amazing work done by Tamara and Maurice. But that was the child Tamara played out the pregnancy all during the Ric Rape storyline, then the Panic Room, then his birth. I’d be inclined to hate Ava Jerome for that reason. And unlike Tamara who gets only a few short scenes over the course of eighteen episodes, West got a whole episode to herself. It’s really nice when you’re a FOF (Friend of Frank [Valentini]). You get tons of airtime.

      So again if you can point me to where in the article I mentioned West, then we’ll talk.

      Dianne

  2. CeRon says:

    Maura West is a decent actress. I think its the character of Ava that is over saturated and its obvious MW is a favorite of the executive producers. I don’t think I’ve seen GH dedicate an episode entirely to a character outside of Luke or Sonny. I don’t think, in my opinion, that Ava deserves that treatment. She doesn’t have the history or connections on the GH canvas to merit a stand alone episode. I CANNOT stand Laura Wright, however, the character of Carly Benson Jacks Corinthos, no matter how mediocre the current portrayal, also in my opinion, would deserve a stand alone episode before Ava.

    The management of GH in the last 15 years has been questionable. I mean if a viewer was an AMC or OLTL fan, it may have been exciting, but the show is unrecognizable. The lack of respect for history and actors is atrocious. What is being done to Genie is just deplorable. That woman has been treated like trash so many times but yet has remained loyal to the GH brand. It’s sickening. I’m not upset that other GH actors aren’t speaking up, because with soaps on their last leg, I’m sure they want to keep their jobs, it’s just the blatant disrespect that makes it really hard to keep watching.

    • tamara braun online says:

      CeRon:

      Completely agree on Maura West. I hated her on Y&R as Diane. She was not the Diane Jenkins I had come to know in Alex Donnelly and Susan Walters. You’re right about her being a favourite of Frank Valentini. Right now on the many message boards they’re calling his favourites “FOF” or Friends of Frank. It’s the same as “FOJ” or Friends of Jill [Farren Phelps]. Well they did sort of give Carly an episode. The 51st Anniversary Carlypalooze episode where Sarah Brown (who had the gall to call her Joy) and Tamara less one Jennifer Bransford came back to play Carly’s many faces and history. So Carly did get an episode. For me though it still comes down to the reasons why Valentini brought Tamara back in the first place only to relegate her to bit player, which is all I’m seeing.

      The reason the show is unrecognizable is because Frank Valentini has his fantasies of who he wants to see together, not who the fans KNOW should be together. I mean Anna and Finn, when Duke/Robert were the loves of her life. The only reason for Finn is because Michael Easton was on OLTL as McBain and Valentini was over there with Ron Carlivati. So Easton is a FOF. Same goes with Roger Howarth. Because of the whole Prospect Park fiasco, they had to do a quick rewrite and use Howarth, Easton and Kristen Alderson as other characters because they weren’t allowed to use their OLTL characters. So now ABC has the rights to them back, and it would be so easy to make the switch back to McBain and Todd Manning, but yet they don’t because “Franco” is a favourite character of Valentini’s.

      As for other GH actors not speaking out, I’m sure there’s a ton of stuff happening behind the scenes we don’t know about. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Tamara leave soon. When that happens, I’m out. I just do not have the stomach for this show. The only thing that would keep me is if Valentini made the move and fired Laura Wright and returned Tamara back to her glory as Carly. But what’s the likelihood of that happening? I’m working on another post by the way. Hope you’ll read that one.

      Dianne

  3. Anonymous says:

    Underneath the picture of Tamara, you wrote this: “Get rid of the flotsam in Valentin, Nina, Ava. Those characters wouldn’t be missed.” That’s where you mentioned Maura, at least her character’s name. That’s why I wrote about it.

    So, let’s talk:

    I think it’s rather unfair to dislike an actor because you dislike the character. The actor is only doing the character as written on the script. I don’t know if you know who Christopher Meloni is but he played a murderer on Oz and a detective on Law and Order: SVU. I hated Keller, but should I hate him as Stabler? Keller was an evil man and while Stabler was a hothead, he was one of the good guys. Do you know where I am getting at? Just because you didn’t like Maura’s characters on As the World Turns or The Young and the Restless, it’s not fair to extend the dislike on General Hospital unless she was extremely rude to you in person? Or Mary Tyler Moore who played housewife Laura Petrie and assistant Mary Richards. I loved Laura but eh-so-so on Mary Richards but I don’t hate Mary Tyler Moore for doing her jobs. An actor is just doing their job, I get it. I don’t hold their characters I don’t like against them. Sounds kind of unfair. I didn’t watch Maura on Young or World, just know her on General.

Leave a Reply