Is #GH ’s #JasonMorgan Really All That and a Bag of Chips?

General Hospital’s local amnesiac mob-enforcer, Jason Morgan, generates the kind of reverence and enthusiasm typically reserved for Catholic saints and Batman. Residents of Port Charles hang on his every word hoping against hope that he will choose their Thanksgiving table over all others. A little of this worshipfulness goes a long way and while Jason has his charms, none of his attributes justify turning the gaze of an entire city on his well-toned abs. Port Charles, especially its female residents would do well to learn that Jason Morgan is not all that.

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Steve Burton as Jason Morgan, pinterest.com

Jason enjoys one of the best origin stories in daytime. Once upon a time Alan Quartermaine’s much-loved illegitimate son took up space on our television screens as “the good son/brother/friend” pleasing all who knew him except fans who hit the fast-forward button the moment he skipped into our living rooms. He waxed on about chirping birds, blue skies, and the general goodness of life while his Aunt Tracy rolled her eyes and said, “Would you please shut up!” Who among us wasn’t cheering on a sloshed A.J. as he drove his car into that tree with precious Jason in the passenger seat? In a stroke of genius, rather than nuke a legacy character (I’m looking at you, Emily Quartermaine) GH clean-slated him, wound-up his id, and turned him loose on Port Charles as Jason Morgan.

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The Family Q. Sean Kanan as A.J., Leslie Charleson as Monica, Stuart Damon as Alan, and Steve Burton as Jason. http://www.pinterest.com

These early years were Jason’s best and among the show’s finest. GH rolled him into the ground-breaking Stone/Robin HIV storyline by linking Robin’s grief over Stone’s death and the potential loss of her good health with Jason’s rebirth. The early months of their relationship where both taught the other “how to live again” produced an organic connection between two characters that remains unmatched in GH lore. Jason’s choice to turn his back on the upper-crust Quartermaines in favor of poor-kid turned mobster Sonny Corinthos also energized the character. Steve Burton brought out Jason’s aggression and balanced it with a caring sensitivity making him a heartthrob.

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Steve Burton as Jason and Kimberly McCullough as Robin, fanpop.com

Then somewhere along the way things with Jason took a turn for the worse. Robin and Jason outgrew each other, Carly and Jason forged a co-dependent relationship, and the Corinthos crime family took over Port Charles.  Friends and relatives (read: writers) over-relied upon Jason’s presence in their lives, treating his monotone as the voice of God. Jason aptly took on the nickname “Stone Cold” both for his killing ways and for his flat, near comatose line delivery.

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Burton’s Jason, en.wikipedia.org

Jason’s need to protect females like the cave men of yore draws women to him in droves. For example, Carly relies upon Jason as her own personal cleaner/therapist rather than drawing on her own considerable strengths. Jason spends his love life boomeranging between Sam McCall and Elizabeth Webber, two women who can’t seem to tie their own shoes in his presence. Both find themselves attracted to Jason, despite his hazardous employment choices and static wardrobe. The two attack one another and swoon over Jason when they should stop, look at each other and say, “Huh. You know what? There’s a lot of hot guys in this town. Wanna go hit the bars and see if we can find one who doesn’t shoot people for a living?”

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Kelly Monaco as Sam and Rebecca Herbst as Elizabeth. “Hey, wanna see if there are men in this town who prefer suits to leather jackets?” highlighthollywood.com

When we first met Kelly Monaco’s Sam McCall she was a savvy con-artist who knew how to manipulate powerful men and women. Despite her ability to play this aspect of Sam convincingly, it soon became apparent that Monaco’s greatest talent lay in crying. This talent ended up working against the actress’s interests by boxing Sam into a cycle of peril and rescue, thereby watering down the character’s depth.

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Jason (Billy Miller) and Teary Sam (Kelly Monaco) michaelfairmansoaps.com

Kelly Monaco and Steve Burton complimented one another’s strengths and weaknesses, fitting together like peanut-butter and jelly, but after a while a person gets tired of eating PB&J for lunch every day. One suspects Steve Burton felt similarly as he packed his bags for Y&R’s Genoa City (I am getting hungry). By the time Cesar Faison kicked Jason’s corpse into the PC harbor, Sam’s character had been reduced to a teary pool of vulnerability.

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Oh dear. Will the sun continue to rise without Jason? MichaelFairmanSoaps.com

A Jason-free Port Charles allowed Sam to grow as a mother and as an individual.  She made matches with two men, Drs. Clay and Drake, both of whom knew how to make conversation and happened to occupy the profession Jason Quartermaine once hoped to claim as his own. Kelly Monaco rekindled her legendary chemistry with actor Michael Easton who played the smart, hot, and damaged Silas Clay to perfection. Then GH split up the duo perhaps in preparation for Jason’s return from the dead (not that Jason, but I understand the confusion).

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Kelly Monaco (Sam) and Michael Easton (Silas) general-hospital.wikia.com

GH chose Billy Miller to reanimate the character and his Jason more closely resembles a bully than a loving protector. He briefly played amnesiac Jason as Jake Doe, a rather insipid piece of beefcake who Elizabeth welcomed into her home without knowing a thing about him. [FYI, in real life this scenario ends with a crime scene not a thwarted wedding]. Elizabeth discovered that Jake was really her beloved Jason and spent months whining about how much she loooved him and could not stand to lose him. All of her moaning smacked of plot-driven writing designed to do nothing more than delay the inevitable JaSam reunion. One suspects that Rebecca Herbst tired of Elizabeth’s ridiculous addiction to NuJason as quickly as the audience did.

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Epiphany (Sonya Eddy), Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), and Jake Doe (Billy Miller). Good times. abc.com

Unfortunately, since her reunion with Jason, Sam has conducted herself no better than Elizabeth. For example, Sam leaves her young son behind to help Jason clear his (once-again) besmirched name and the duo end up on Cassadine Island. Sam behaves as if she cannot take in oxygen without Jason there to guide her breathing. At one point, Sam pitifully stumbles across a beach, yelling “Jaaason, Jaaason!” while Ava responds with a hilarious “Jason’s dead!” likely thinking to herself, “My God this chick is needy.”

Unlike Steve Burton, Billy Miller’s Jason objectifies women and I don’t mean sexually. He treats women like actual objects to lean on, prop himself against, or drape his entire body over. He acts like your ninth grade boyfriend who didn’t know where his hands belonged, other than on you. And he doesn’t just do this with women. Spend some time counting how many people’s shoulders he squeezes, hands he grabs, and small children he ensnares in his crossed arms. Just watching all of this possessive touching makes me want to roll my shoulders and yell “get off.” When Steve Burton’s Jason put a hand on someone it was to declare his undying love or to send them to the grave.

Miller’s Jason also lacks the warmth of the original. He invades Elizabeth’s space in an almost menacing way obliterating the unspoken love that simmered beneath all of Herbst and Burton’s interactions. Burton’s Jason also displayed real affection and patience for Laura Wright’s Carly whereas Miller greets Mrs. Corinthos with a forced smile and a wince suggesting that his Jason can barely stand to be in her presence. GH appears to have noticed and we see little one on one interaction between the two.

Finally, NuJason talks too much having turned the character from laconic to loquacious. For Miller, every “hey” is followed by a “man” or a “son.” I am pretty sure that Burton’s Jason never called anyone “man” unless he was drunk or delirious; though there is a chance that Jason Quartermaine threw the term around in a sad attempt to look cool. True, Burton’s grunting wore thin, but it defined and distinguished the character. Perhaps we can blame Jason’s recent personality change on his stint in a cryogenic freeze tank or that time he was run over by a truck. In any case, Jason’s behavioral changes are noticeable enough that some night Sam should say, “Honey could you shut up so I can get some sleep?”

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Monaco and Miller, abc.soapsindepth.com

Billy Miller’s performance makes me yearn for Steve Burton’s Jason. In hindsight he wasn’t so bad and he could walk past a person without putting his hands all over them. The character would benefit from the John Black treatment. When Steve Burton tires of whatever he’s doing in Genoa City he can return to Port Charles as the real Jason and take up with his true love Sam (if she hasn’t drowned in a pool of her own tears). Miller can resume his life as Jake Dull Doe sharing random conversations with people only marginally interested in his existence so long as he never darkens Elizabeth and Franco’s door.

Port Charles benefits from Jason’s presence in small doses especially Burton’s dangerous yet gentle version of the character. Women like Sam, Elizabeth, and Carly shine when they’re standing on their own instead of sitting on the ground wailing, “Jaaason!”

And that’s because Jason Morgan is not all that, he carries no chips, and no one has seen him operate a toaster.

 

 

 

35 Comments »

  1. beautifully expressed, what I loved about Jason with Robin and Elizabeth in the very beginning is long gone. BM is a problem in the role, but the writing of the women is the most egregious part, and has been since Guza. To call it sexist is to be generous. I don’t understand why jasam fans like Sam with Jason, especially BM’s version, for the reasons you give. And the same for Elizabeth. Both of them act as though Jason is some sort of addictive substance, even their families come last when he is in the picture. Very very glad Elizabeth at least is safe for the time-being, now that she is in Franco’s orbit. He respects her.

    Thank you for a terrific post, I look forward to them.

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    • I will always have a soft spot for Jason and Robin. That pairing was genius and just really sweet. I always thought of Liz with Jonathan Jackson’s Lucky over Jason, until Franco came on the scene that is.

      Sam has a lot of potential, but we have not seen her act like an individual in a long time. All of the whining and begging really grates on my nerves.

      Thanks for writing! I appreciate it.

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    • Robin was a love of Jason Morgan, he only dated Liz here and there,no great love!Whoever stuck Liz into the romance did a dis service to Jason.If they had recast Liz, and made her more believeable the couple may have worked but they didn’t and don’t and never will!Love the action GH will the mob and it was great all we have know is a version of that boring as OLTL!It was boring and it was nothing, nothing, nothin, no theme or anything just dumb storyline and everyone banging everyone,and its not a necessary!Tri’s or not either!Y&R have been #1 for years who have couples who been together for long periods!They do not play their weak actors/actresses!Guza had it right and the ratings were great! I stopped watching when Frank and nathan encouraged hate between fans bases, and thats never a good thing!So I stopped watching GH, washed down version of OLTL!

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      • Thank you for the comment! If the writers are actually encouraging the fans to hate each other that is terrible. I can confirm that their is a lot of hate out there over this issue! I agree that the writers intended Sam and Jason from the beginning. I never had a horse in the race so to speak. I did not watch OLTL, but I have dabbled in Y&R. I prefer the action and adventure of GH too. Mostly the spy stuff. Thanks again.

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      • Guza was great,they made a mistake firing him!!!!! BM has won 3 Emmys on Y&R,so he is a great actor,all he needs is good materal!!!! The reason why a lot of people dislike BM has nothing to do with the actor!!!! If an actor doesn’t have the materal to work with,he can’t shine!!!!

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  2. 100% true & brilliantly written. All women suffer & are diminished at the alter of Saint Jason.Miller is God awful as Jason.What are they paying him for? He either literally walks through scenes. The only thing I’d change is I’d never bring Burton back & have Miller’s version end up back in the harbor. Everybody’s better off with a dead Jason.

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    • Thank you!

      If they could bring back Burton and show him once in a while (this would never happen) instead of on a constant loop I think I would like it. Truthfully, the show did just fine without him. It was nice to see Sam function on her own or with a conversant partner.

      I despise Billy Miller’s Jason and can barely watch him on screen. He acts superior to all and has no reason too!

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  3. I appreciate your perspective; however, I don’t see Billy Miller’s portrayal the same way. I finally like Jason again thanks to Mr. Miller. I freakin’ love JaSam now. Some people see superiority – I see loyalty and take no b.s. He is clear as to where his loyalties are as far as Sam. He stands up for what he thinks is right regarding Jake. He doesn’t kiss Liz’s ass anymore; how refreshing. I am glad Liz has Franco. Maybe she can finally leave Jason & Sam alone now. He balances Carly’s exuberance with his more low-key yet still smiling demeanor. I really like all the touching – he is very affectionate when he needs/wants to be. He has more personality. On another note, I hope Sam rejuvenates the PI business along with Spinelli and Curtis. GH has lots of strong, intelligent women. Time for Girls Night Out again.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment! I think Billy Miller has been quite successful in the role. He has a lot of loyal fans. My daughter is one of them. She did not like Steve Burton’s Jason because she found him “boring” (she is 13). She really likes the new Jason and finds him much more interesting. As you could tell, I am having a hard time with Miller’s interpretation of Jason because it feels so different than the original. Every actor (especially a recast) has to make a role their own.

      I agree that Sam should dust off her PI skills. She and Curtis would make a good team. And glimpses of Spinelli are always appreciated. It would be very interesting to see Liz and Sam form a friendship of sorts, but that might be too much to ask!

      Thanks again!

      Like

      • Look how far Carly & Sam have come. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is how I see Sam & Liz right now. Sam should keep her guard up, trust HER instincts. Thank God she trusts her husband. Women cannot be friends when one of them is still attracted to your husband/partner and makes petty, snarky comments or goes behind your back to betray a confidence. Jealousy makes even the most beautiful people ugly.

        Man, Sam & Curtis on the same team would be awesome! He wouldn’t mess with her because he remembers being clocked by Jason at Nicholas’s and was smart enough to stay away. 🙂 Sam & Hayden can bond. JaSam, Fayden, and Carson can go out together, Lante. Bro’s Night Out, too. I’m down for it.

        BTW, I love chips. Jason is lots of different flavors – Salt & Vinegar when he is in protective mode and calling people out, BBQ when he’s being a Southern gentleman, and …something super smooth and spicy when he’s putting the moves on Sam. Plain if he’s bored out of his damn mind with something or someone.

        It’s okay to disagree. I personally don’t mind a different opinion. Change is hard for some people but give it a chance, keep an open mind. Billy & Kelly are electric together and you just might surprise yourself down the road. Like they all were saying, different yet familiar. (He can talk all night long in that sexy voice of his, although let’s face it…Sam would have other ideas ;). Have a good day!

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      • I think Sam has been very forgiving of Elizabeth considering the whole “she stole my husband” thing. I have found myself amazed at Sam’s generosity toward her. I think the writers are trying to clean up the mess that was made with the Jake Doe storyline. Again, could be wishful thinking.

        I promise to keep an open mind when it comes to Billy Miller’s performance as I also have an addiction to chips.

        Good to hear from you!

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  4. I personally think your all a bunch of bias Liason fans left over, who cannot move on. All JaSammer’s love BM. He is doing a great job, and your bias columm is crap. Post this, do not post this, I really do not care. SB, moved on and never looked back, four years ago. Get over this crap. BM, is a great recast. SB, left that role with no kids, BM, had to take it over with two kids. Can you get any more obvious, you left over Liason fans. Even RH, didn’t want to renew her contract until she could end the Jake doe crap, Did you honestly think, he would never be Jason again! Your bias and ridiculous, and your writing proves it.

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    • Thanks for the comment. I realize that you might not believe me, but I am not a fan of Jason and Liz. For me Elizabeth always belonged with Lucky (the Jonathan Jackson version). Yes, I am biased in that I have an opinion about these characters. I appreciate the time you took to read and comment.

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  5. What garbage. If that is all you see, then you are so blind you need a seeing eye dog. NuJason may be more affectionate with Sam and others, but after a 3 YR forced separation from his soul mate, not many JaSam fans find fault with them holding on to each other. I doubt anyone reunited with someone they thought they lost would do less. Steve Burton had decades to build the chemistry he had with Carly, Sonny, & Michael. Billy has had to overcome bad storylines and choppy writing. Instead of 10 minutes 4 days a week as Steve had to explore the nuances of his relationships with others. Billy is having to manage it in 4 minutes 2 or 3 times a week with choppy meandering stories. I love the new funnier affectionate side of Jason. His personality doesn’t dominate Sam as it used to. She found her footing without him, learned to get on with it. She is confident again, sure of her own heart and now sure of their love. So now their life together is about where the can go together as opposed to where he will lead her to.

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    • Thank you for the comment! I agree with you that Burton had years to develop chemistry with Carly and he managed to do so with a few different actresses in the role. Billy Miller is just warming up to the role and he and Kelly Monaco work very well together. I am looking forward to the JaSam baby story.

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    • I agree, BM, is awesome. Recast are never the same. Now playing Jason with two kids in tow harder. AN, moved on. Jason was never to stay with, liz, HE was hired for the part of Jason, bashing BM, is childish. JMO, BUT RECAST ARE JUST THAT , EVERYONE KNOWS, THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE THE PART YOUR OWN. PERSONALLY, I would NOT WANT SB, BACK!

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  6. I am going to say this because it needs to be said and I am going to try to be as respectful as I can. The whole point of BM’s Jason was that he was going to be a blend between the old and the new so in that respect this Jason was supposed to be different from the Jason Morgan character. That was explained when they decided to play the memory loss and return angle. Now if folks don’t like the new Jason well okay that is your right but to bash BM for doing his job (very well I might add) well that is just not right. He is a blend of something new and something old and totally has made the role his own. I didn’t expect him to be just like Steve Burton playing Jason because that wasn’t what he was asked to come in and do. Be mad at the writers and director but putting the blame on Billy is ridiculous. Personally I am enjoying this “Jason” and the interaction between him and Kelly. They have reinvented Jasam and although I love every version of them this one is really touching my heart.

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  7. Love Billy Miller but hate his interpretation on Jason. This maybe because I was a big Jason Morgan fan, Jason Quatermaine not so much. I also don’t really like him out of the mob. It just seems like they have no real direction with the character now. Not a big couples fan, I did like Sam better when she was running the PI business.

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  8. I hated Jasam, but

    “Kelly Monaco and Steve Burton complimented one another’s strengths and weaknesses, fitting together like peanut-butter and jelly, but after a while a person gets tired of eating PB&J for lunch every day. One suspects Steve Burton felt similarly as he packed his bags for Y&R’s Genoa City (I am getting hungry).”

    If he wasn’t tired of wearing the same shirt everyday, and tired of having the same “I’m gonna shoot you” dialogue every day, he wasn’t tired of being paired with Kelly Monaco. He left because the producer didn’t treat him with the same deference Guza/Frons did.

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  9. I love Billy Miller,so I totally disagree with you!!!!! Burton’s Jason threatened to kill Sam,Miller’s Jason,ever since Jason and Sam have gotten back together,has been nothing but tender and attentive towards Sam!!!! That’s what I like to see!!!!!

    Like

    • Thank you for the comment! Sam and Jason are enjoying a much deserved honeymoon phase. Given that this is Port Charles I am not sure how long it will last. Miller and Monaco work well together. It will be interesting to see where GH takes the couple and the character of Jason.

      Like

  10. Really! Are we even talking about the same GH, better yet, the same Jason Morgan. SB, version of Jason, was a horrible bully, he had no respect for any woman, except for Sam, Carly and Liz, because she was the mother of his child. Once in awhile he would say something nice to his mother. He downgraded woman, all the time, even killing a few. Yeah, SB, played Jason, very methodical, but for most of the time he was MEAN. I ask, how would he play Jason now, the father of two small boys? BM, is excellent actor. He is a three time Emmy award winner, who came to GH, to reprise and recast a role that had bad writer’s from day one! Bringing back a dead child and finding Danny now four, then that ridiculous Jake Doe, story line, we all had to sit through. Then he had to be Jason with no memories, which to me should of been JASON WITH HIS MEMORIES, because at that time he was mean, to ppl like Nik and Freaky Franko. And did not take Lying Liz’s bull. Then he had to go on and re invent himself again to play Jason with memories, with two kids now. Of course he will laugh and smile more, they made him into a family type of man. SB, only had to be a killer! Shoulder touching and hand holding and such, is not up to BM, the directors and writers decide where and when he does that, IN MY OPINION, ANYONE WHO THINKS A RECAST IS GOING TO BE IDENTICAL TO THE PREVIOUS PERSON, IS JUST PLAIN RIDICULOUS. I personally think, YES, BM, IS ALL THAT, AND YES, A HUGH, FAMILY STYLE, BAG OF CHIPS, AND MORE!

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  11. Hi I have to say I love your article. I’m a Huge Jasam family. I’m a huge Stelly fan and I can’t support Billy Miller Jason Morgan, his Jason. I grew up with Steve Burton as Jason Morgan and there is no connection to that Jason since his take over. I haven’t watched since Steve left but I’ve watched clips on youtube and I’m not impressed.

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    • Wow. It is really nice to receive a level-headed comment from a Jasam fan. I encourage you to check out GH. There are some great storylines and pairings at the moment. I also miss Steve Burton’s Jason and the way he related to the other characters. Thank you for the comment!

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      • You’re allowed to love that Jason, but that isn’t the true Jason Morgan. I want the Steve Burton version, who made me believe he loved Sam with just looking at her. I don’t have to accept this Jason who isn’t being written right. I don’t care that another actor took over the role but to change the character so he is unrecognizable to fans who have watched him for years is inexcusable.

        Like

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