Friz Rocks My World

On Friday February 3 several significant developments occurred but only one of them shook the earth. A federal judge in Seattle put a stay on a racist travel ban thereby reminding Americans that the United States has a founding document. It’s called the US Constitution and it matters. Congress took steps to loosen the Dodd-Frank law so mark your calendar for the next financial collapse. And, the Ag Department scrubbed all of the data pertaining to animal cruelty from its website thus allowing POTUS to kick puppies. Yet, none of these events matters more than what took place in Port Charles where General Hospital’s Elizabeth and Franco had sex for the first time. #FrizLove teaches me that if a reformed serial killer can find happiness with his lady love then there is hope for my world too.

general-hospital-winter-romance-franco-elizabeth
Roger Howarth (Franco) and Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), General Hospital, ABC Promo, via tvline.com

Franco and Elizabeth have taken a traditional but not well-worn path to soap love. They spent a year or more moving towards one another at a snail’s pace always wondering if their growing feelings justified action. Was he capable of reform? Could she withstand his imperfections? Was he the one to finally put her first? Could he make amends with so many? GH used its playbook to put multiple obstacles in the couple’s way most recently the return and murder of the man who raped a teenage Elizabeth. This storyline compelled Franco to take stock of his own crimes against Sam much like the original storyline pushed Luke to do the same with his against Laura. Most soap romances rely on plot development to the exclusion of character growth. Not so in the case of Liz and Franco.

To understand the difference between Liz and Franco’s love story and that of other entertaining PC couples, we have to start with Roger Howarth and Rebecca Herbst. Howarth’s reservoir of talent elevates every scene he’s in and the performance of every scene partner he has. His mastery of language and subtly, pushes Rebecca Herbst to new degrees of emotion. The writers know what they have in Howarth and that they are writing for a couple whose natural chemistry cannot be denied or wasted.

Rather than rush Franco and Elizabeth into bed GH exploits every interaction, every eye-lock, every brush of a hand on an arm to maximum potential. The final effect of this excruciatingly delicious build-up leads audiences to feel as though they are watching real people fall in love. So much so that when it comes time for Franco and Elizabeth to make love the audience’s mood becomes voyeuristic as if we should not be watching two people share such an intimate experience. Franco and Elizabeth’s romance is not just story telling at its best, its acting and writing at their best.

Not every GH fan sees the virtue in Franco and Elizabeth’s romance. One individual took the time to send me a personalized anti-Friz tweet and I felt torn when upon further investigation I discovered that this person includes #F*CKTRUMP in their profile. As a general rule I have great respect for the average F*CKTRUMPer, yet how can I relate to one who shows contempt for Franco and Elizabeth? It’s a real conundrum.

These days I see the world through lenses clouded by Executive Orders and alternate facts. I find it impossible to separate politics from my work, my writing, and my television viewing. That is part of the reason why Liz and Franco’s big step matters. It is a welcome distraction, but it’s also something else. It’s the payoff for investing in a beautifully constructed, perfectly paced romance. Soaps do not get better than Friz. Period.

 

 

8 Comments »

  1. Roger and Becky rocked it! So sexy and sensual. They are my favorite couple right now and I didn’t think I would like them. Hope the writers continue with them forget haters,they have a huge fan base and should not be made to feel bad about shipping them cause no other fanbase feels bad about shipping their couple and all couples have their stuff,none are better they all have shitty past who cares it’s a soap. Follow the chemistry and story. Friz have it!

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    • I agree with you! That love scene was the perfect culmination to the Friz romance. It is of course also the beginning of a stronger relationship. The writers took more time with Friz (as opposed to Hayden and Finn who I also like) and that suggests to me that they will not abandon them.

      Thanks for the advice on the haters. I appreciate the comment and support!

      Like

  2. I am a huge Elizabeth Webber/Becky Herbst fan. Huge. I’m also a longtime GH fan who watches faithfully because it’s my guilty pleasure and a needed distraction. This week for me was an A+ in soap storytelling, with Liz & Franco’s romance being the cherry on top.
    I must admit I was a bit hesitant to throw myself into the Friz pairing. But one cannot deny the chemistry and acting brilliance of Becky Herbst & Roger Howarth. They are awesome on their own, but put them together and WOW. Thank you to whoever decided B&R needed to pair up.
    I agree with everything you wrote. Friz rocked. But I think my favorite was your observation that watching Liz & Franco feels almost voyeuristic. It so totally does because Becky & Roger make this Friz pairing feel true. The slow build, their banter, the heart-eyes & eye-sex :). They sold it. I hope this new official couple gets some well deserved happy-time complete with the Webber-boys, Kiki, Scott & Laura forming a nice solid foundation of family.
    Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to more great acting, writing, directing and fun-times w/L&F. It’s good to be a Friz fan. 🙂

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    • The writers still have so many other places they can take Liz and Franco. I realize that Elizabeth doesn’t need anymore children and they don’t need kids of their own to be complete. My little fantasy, however, includes a baby girl for Friz and I don’t think I am alone.

      I love Liz’s burgeoning relationship with Kiki and Laura is a great support.

      Friz is worth the investment.

      Thanks for the lovely comments.

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  3. I have to say, the slow build for this amazing couple was delish. Going from I hate you. To I love you. Has been mind blowing to watch. And long over due. Soaps I thought had abandon the slow build. Much to my happy surprise they have renewed my faith. In telling a love story with all it’s beauty and ugly. For I never thought I could see these two people together as a loving couple.But leave it to Becky Herbst and Roger Howarth to prove me completely wrong. Happily, for they have something I could have never for seen chemistry and writers that have brought that chemistry to the screen. So Thank You

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    • Thanks for writing and for becoming a #Friz fan. Our patience and allegiance paid off. The actors and writers delivered. Chemistry like Howarth and Herbst’s is quite rare. I am grateful that GH spotted and nurtured it. Things are only going to get better from here.

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  4. You put it perfectly, the Franco and Elizabeth story is acting and writing at its best, and the love scene in particular was one for the ages, and just as you said, I actually felt uncomfortable about peeking in on such intimacy. I’m an old soaper, with lots of love scenes under my viewing belt, and truly can’t recall more than a handful that have touched me that way.

    I wholeheartedly agree that Howarth’s talent is giving Herbst the opportunity to scale new acting heights. Character-wise I think Elizabeth has really given Franco a much-needed grounding and attachment to the GH canvas. Rebecca and her Elizabeth is coaxing something out of Roger’s Franco that his previous partnerships and stories didn’t. It’s the perfect kismet of story, character and actress for him.

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    • Excellent analysis. I too have seen many a love scene on GH and this one really hooked me. It managed to be intimate, sexy, and meaningful all at the same time.

      Franco’s relationship with Nina always seems more parental than sexy. They had a nice rapport and I loved their verbal banter, but you are right. With Elizabeth, Franco has become a deeper person. She has humanized him. And given the screen-time and pacing put into that love scene I truly believe the writers know they have something amazing to work with in Liz and Franco.

      Thanks for writing!

      Like

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