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Low Fidelity: Carly’s Affair Drives Story and Provokes Thought On General Hospital

Carly (Laura Wright) struggles to cover her tracks when Franco (Roger Howarth) becomes suspicious. Photo courtesy of ABC Production.
Carly (Laura Wright) struggles to cover her tracks when Franco (Roger Howarth) becomes suspicious. Photo courtesy of ABC Production.

The romance between General Hospital’s Carly Corinthos Jacks (Laura Wright) and Robert “Franco” Frank (Roger Howarth) has been one of the most controversial couplings in recent soap opera years. Fans either love them or hate them. There is no in between. Either way one couldn’t possibly call them boring.

For me, it was easy to instantly like what many considered an insta-romance. Wright and Howarth ooze chemistry in every scene together and I adored their first onscreen pairing as Todd and Carly. It also helped that I was able to easily ignore movie star James Franco’s attempt at being a soap star. Others couldn’t let go of the character’s history. While I think they may have missed out on some entertaining moments because of this, I also understand that some things are hard to look past.

With recent story it appears the pairing may have hit their expiration date (at least for now this is a soap after all). After many months of establishing the pairing as a couple who are very much in love, everything has come crashing down under the weight of jealously and infidelity. Commitment is hard when you’re on a soap.

Normally when it comes to love triangles, I have a couple I want to prevail in the end. Throwing a third party in the mix to add angst can move a couple to super couple status as obstacles solidify and strengthen their bond. In this particular story though, I suspect no one will get out unscathed.

Carly’s motivation for cheating on Franco seems to stem from her frustration with his intolerance of a third party in their relationship. After reassuring him that he was being unreasonable in his jealously, she ended up proving that his fears were not unfounded. Carly slept with her four time ex-husband Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) in the very bed that she shares with Franco after he was unable to make it home one night.

The broken picture is symbolic of the break in Carly and Franco’s relationship. Photo courtesy of ABC Productions.
The broken picture is symbolic of the break in Carly and Franco’s relationship. Photo courtesy of ABC Productions.

Carly has never been the poster girl for commitment though often audiences have been given glimpses of hope that she would change her ways. In that regard, her unfaithfulness isn’t so much surprising as it is disappointing.

While infidelity is a soap staple, it is also a real life relationship issue for General Hospital to explore. The serial tends to lean towards fun camp and action adventure but it can also excel at rooted real life situations. In this particular story line, an affair isn’t really an obstacle for the couple to overcome but a source of pain.

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About the author

Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop is TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.

  • Carson4ever

    Carson belong together! They are each others soulmates, they understand each other like no one else could! They are kind of dark & twisty, and that makes them AMAZING because that makes them instresting. I hate “boring” couples and couples that don’t make sense. Franco & Carly NEVER made sense, they only got put together because of LW and RH’s chemistry. But I have to admit this story makes me kind of Franco & Carly at least tolerable because it makes Carson even more HOTER with their sneaking around. I so hope we’re heading for a Carson reunion!

  • Emily

    I wish CarSon was a default choice to the writers but i think the pairing is here to stay this time and it isn’t their usual ONS. On april 1st a whole episode was dedicated to them with two previous (popular) Carlys coming back for it. Then in june or july they had that one episode at teh park with Spencer where they talked about people being meant to be together and all that. I believe they’re the lovestory being told right now, the start is messy as usual with them but i would bet on it ending with a 5th wedding.

  • SaveOurSuds

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Emily! I have seen others say that CarSon is the “lesser of two evils.” It sort of makes them seem like a default when looked at that way. It will be interesting to see what the writers have planned.

  • Emily

    Carly and Franco never made any sense on her part, so i’m not surprised that they’re now telling us (via Bobby and Olivia dialogue) that she only got with him because she was a mess over Jason’s death. They were only put together because the actors have chemistry and now they’re giving Carly this silly excuse to get her out of it.

    At least character-wise having an affair with Sonny makes more sense for Carly than dating the guy who send a rapist after her son, strapped her cousin to a bomb and had a weird pedo obsession with her daughter. This relationship made Carly intolerable to a lot people, myself included. I’m not fond of “CarSon” but it’s the lesser of two evils and is rooted in history.

  • Kramer TyDsNe

    Yes it would be I only watch GH when it is good (I miss the good old GH).

  • SaveOurSuds

    Thank you for commenting Kramer! Wouldn’t it be awesome if after everything blows up Jax returns to town again to help Carly put her life back together? I think that would be a great story for down the road.

  • Kramer TyDsNe

    My mom started watching General Hospital in 1981 with Laura and Luke’s wedding than she stop watching GH until I started watching it I forgot what it was called but I called it the monkey disease I think it was in 2006 I was only 12 years old than.

    So moving on with… I started liking Carly with Jaxs (I didn’t know that he was the brother of Jerry Jaxs) than I like Carly with Franco than Sonny (I never seen the other two actresses who played Carly) because I started watching GH in 2006.

    I wish Carly could have stay with Jaxs because he was the only good guy not bad guy plain and simple.