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The Role of Lucky...(GH)

On Tuesday, longtime fans of General Hospital witnessed the return of Jonathan Jackson as Lucky, the role he originated in 1993. Being a fan of both Jonathan Jackson and Greg Vaughan, the actor who eventually replaced Jackson when he exited the show, I had mixed feelings about this re-cast. Greg Vaughan fit the role of Lucky better than most replacement actors ever fit their respective roles. He became Lucky, and even die-hard Jonathan Jackson fans learned to not only accept him, but embrace him in that role. On the other hand, there are few things more satisfying to a soap fan than seeing a character's original portrayer return to the screen. It is like welcoming home an old friend or a family member that you haven't seen in years. And as a soap fan, a part of me was really excited to see Jackson back in the role he helped create, even if that meant Greg Vaughan had to leave. I have to say though, after watching Tuesday's General Hospital, I'm a little disappointed and disheartened by this casting change. I know a lot of J.J. fans are going to want to throw things at the screen after reading that last sentence, but before anybody does irrefutable damage to their computer let me explain.

As I said before, I am a fan of both Jonathan Jackson and Greg Vaughan. I cannot emphasize that enough. I think they are both terrific actors who just happened to make their mark in the same role. Unfortunately, as I predicted, seeing Jackson as Lucky today was a bit unsettling, particularly since Vaughan was still in that role just last week. First of all, these two actors share no physical resemblances whatsoever. Second of all, Jackson does not appear to have aged much since he left the show in 1999. This might not be an issue if it weren't for the fact that Jackson now seems almost too young to play a role that was his from the beginning. This is partially due to the fact that GH seems to have ignored the most important rule in re-casting, that the transition from one actor to another has to be as seamless as possible. It is just a shame that the transition from Vaughan to Jackson wasn't, because this problem could have been so easily avoided by simply expanding the time between their air dates.


  1. I couldn't disagree more. When JJ left and was replaced by Jacob Young, they couldn't have been more different (time in between re-cast did nothing to help this fact either). When GV replaced Jacob Young, they couldn't have been more different. So the fact that GV and JJ are different is irrelevant, IMO. For me, GV never settled into the role of Lucky. Being a GH fan however, I still accepted him as Lucky. But, JJ returning is the best thing that could have happened for the show and the character. To me, the fact that JJ "looks" young has no bearing on whether he can play a mature older Lucky. Some people have baby faces; Robin, Liz, Jason. Yesterday's episode reminded us of what Lucky was built on; strength, romance, kindness, smarts. He had lost those things along the way. Blame it on writing, but it's also in part due to the actor involved. In just one episode JJ was able to portray all of those things even with cheesy lines. That's about acting, not writing. I hope people will give this a chance! (btw- I respect your opinion though and am willing to bet you will be LOVING the switch soon) LOL

  2. Hi FutureTeach 11!

    I knew as soon as I posted this you were not going to agree with what I said! lol! That's okay though. If everyone had the same opinion this would be one boring blog. Believe me I hope that J.J. does settle into this role and brings something special to it. Like I said I was actually looking forward to his return, it was just a little weird for me. I do hope that changes soon though because like I said I am a fan and I really wanted to be happy about this re-cast.

    By the way, it is really funny reading an opposing opinion about J.J., with his picture right beside your post. lol!

  3. Paula,
    I absolutely agree! I was not a GH fan until about a year ago, so the only Lucky I have seen is GV. I liked the chemistry he shared with "Elizabeth". After seeing the episode with JJ, I have to say I was less than impressed. I say if they wanted to bring JJ back to the show, bring him back as Jason's long lost son or one of the teenagers! Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Paula,

    That IS funny!!! What did you think about the episode today? Of course I think JJ and Tony rocked it!! lol

  5. As far as J.J. goes, it was still a little strange today, but hopefully that will change with time. I think there is always an adjustment period with re-casts anyway. And even though I had seen J.J.'s Lucky before, I had gotten so used to Vaughan in that role that it is going to take time to readjust my way of thinking about Lucky. Having said that, I am still a J.J. fan and I still think of him as a gifted actor, its just about what one becomes accustomed to over time.

  6. I really liked Lucky singing "My Girl" to Liz on New Year's Eve. It was a very tender moment!

    Hope everyone has a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year

    Paula Q


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