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.
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.