Is it right to keep Maurice Benard(Sonny)isolated in one storyline just to please a fan base??




Maurice Benard has been hitting pay dirt for General Hospital for eight years now. He has been a part of two supercouples (Sonny and Brenda and Sonny and Carly) and now a potential third (Sonny and Alexis). From 1993-1997, the character of Sonny Corinthos was integrated and woven into many storylines as well as being in a hot burner love story with model Brenda Barrett. Sonny was best friends and partners with Luke Spencer (he got Luke his bar, Luke's Place), and pals with Lois Cerullo, Robin Scorpio, Lucy Coe and Kevin Collins. He had a big brother relationship with Stone Cates and then Jason Morgan. Fans enjoyed this because Maurice is very talented and his onscreen chemistry with these actors was in turn comical, poignant, friendly, intense and loving. We saw many sides of Sonny through his interaction with other GH characters. All that changed when Maurice returned to GH in late 1998 and Robert Guza was head writer. By this time Lucy Coe and Kevin Collins had exited GH to start up the GH spin-off "Port Charles". The Luke/Sonny friendship (IMHO the best male friendship on soaps) was broken off to make room for Roy Delucca (thats a WHOLE other editorial). Sonny was then alienated from Robin because he sided with Jason in the baby Michael "who's the daddy" storyline. Suddenly, Sonny only interacted with Jason, Carly and Sonny's dad Mike.

In 1999, Sonny was put in a power house front burner story with Carly Benson, then played by Sarah Brown.Their on-screen chemistry was electric and they soon became very popular. Enter the Carly fans first ( CFFs). Once Sonny hooked up with Carly, the CFFs became very possesive of Sonny and demanded he do very "un-Sonny" like things to pay homage to their diva. Tptb tried a friendship with the character of Elizabeth Webber and Sonny, one that was meant to be a "Robin-type" friendship for Sonny. But Liz had long been an enemy of the CFFs diva Carly and they cried foul. Anytime Sonny interacted with Liz they emailed, wrote and called tptb. Soon, the Sonny/Liz friendship ended. The CFFs crowed that THEY had ended the onscreen friendship. Next, they turned their sites to Sonny's attorney, Alexis Davis. Alexis is a woman Sonny greatly respects, admires and considers a close friend (soon to be more I hope--ANOTHER editorial). He and Nancy Lee Grahn have a wonderful onscreen chemistry that is in turn funny and poignant. The CFFs cried foul again because Alexis doesn't bow and scrape to their diva. Fortunately, Nancy Lee Grahn has a large and vocal fan base who LIKE her friendship with Sonny so they were not able to nix the Sonny/Alexis friendship. WE understand the CFFs love Carly, but is it reasonable for them to demand that Sonny not be in any storyline without Carly and limit the actors that Maurice can work with?? Carly is by nature abrasive and impulsive and rubs many people the wrong way. Sonny has been forced to cut off ties with character after character to defend his wife when she does idiotic things. Is that fair to Maurice? The CFFs are constantly complaining that Carly has no friendships and that Carly should turn to other men to make Sonny jealous. They want to see their Diva all over the GH canvas. Is it fair of them to demand the opposite for Sonny/Maurice??

Now, Sonny's storyline has turned a corner. Seperated from Carly, he interacts with Alexis and they are becoming MUCH closer. Also, a sexual under-current between them, which tptb have been teasing fans with for months, is beginning to come out into the open. Recently, Alexis had a steamy "dream" about Sonny--which proved beyond a doubt that Maurice and Nancy have what it takes to be a hot and sexy couple. This storyline opens up MANY opportunities for Sonny. It could pull him into the Cassadine story. He could interact with Nikolas, Kristina, Gia, Stefan and the incomparable Cassadine Grande Dame, Helena. This would also be a great time for Sonny and Luke to repair their friendship.

And now Sonny will be getting a sister!! Sonny with a little sister would be almost as much fun as Sonny having a daughter. Sonny would be a protective, nervous, scared, loving, funny brother. This story could also FINALLY explore the Sonny/Mike relationship (good news for Ron Hale fans), and also make Sonny deal with the repressed feelings he has about being abandoned by Mike which left him vulnerable to abuse by his step-father Deke.

This is my plea to tptb. Please let these stories be ABOUT Sonny. Please use this as an opportunity to weave Sonny into many storylines, explore HIS background, embark upon HIS relationship with HIS sister. Please let us learn more about his mother Adella! Please continue to make Sonny and Alexis grow closer towards a romantic relationship. Please have Sonny turn to Alexis when he is confused about these repressed feelings and memories that bubble to the surface when he discovers his sibling. One of the charms of Sonny and Alexis is that neither dominate their scenes. WE see a sweet, sharing and loving friendship. WE see a couple who make each other smile, not cry. WE see a couple who genuinely LIKE and respect each other without reservation. We see a couple that TRUSTs each other. And we see actors who are very generious to each other in their scenes and who really enjoy working together.

We are FINALLY getting to see some great Sonny Corinthos moments now that his storyline is going in a new direction. Maurice is getting a chance to interact with other characters which he should have been doing all along. He deserves more then to be locked up in PH4 with Carly for all eternity.

Oh--and a Sonny/Alexis baby storyline would be awesome!

-JB, 11/22/01