Written 3/20/02 by Suzanne originally for
Why does Sonny seem to choose women that aren't his "type"? First there
was Carly, and now Alexis (although, arguably, she chose him).
In real life, people may make bad choices, but they generally try to
choose people that interest them and make them happy. However, couples are
put together on soaps for far different reasons.
Sonny is a control freak. He breaks the law, but he doesn't lie to his
friends or family. He doesn't trust easily, and he very seldom forgives.
Betrayal is the worst thing in his book. We learned that when Brenda wore
a wire to betray him to the cops. So why would Sonny ever end up with
Carly? Story-wise, this never made any sense to me. Carly was already
well-known around town as a liar and a schemer. Nobody trusted her and few
liked her. She seems like the last person Sonny would ever end up with.
Okay, maybe they were just physically attracted to each other, so that
explains why they had one night of wild passion. But after that…
Alexis and Sonny are very different. Alexis is tall, Sonny's short. Alexis
is honest and law-abiding. Sonny is a mobster. Alexis talks a lot; Sonny
is very quiet. Alexis is well-educated and Sonny comes from the streets (I
doubt he ever went to college). So why would either of them ever be
attracted to one another? I know they say "opposites attract", but that is
rarely true in real life.
So why does Sonny choose women who are very different from him and from
each other? Simple. The people in charge at GH know that Maurice Benard is
a great actor and very charismatic. He is very intense. You wouldn't want
to put him with just any bimbo. Vanessa Marcil was good, but even she was
not really in his league acting-wise (sorry, Sonny & Brenda fans!). We
won't even discuss Lily….
So they want to pair Benard with another very good actor because they know
that usually works. Put two very interesting actors together, two people
who really know their craft and what they're doing, and often they
connect. We saw sparks fly with Alexis and Luke, but unfortunately that
never developed into a romance (too bad!). She also had chemistry with
Steven Nichols, but once she found out that he was her brother, that was
end of that crush (which is just as well because even as cousins, things
were too icky between them). There are few actors on the show that are in
the same category as either Benard, Sarah Brown (ex-Carly), or Nancy Lee
First we saw Brown and Benard together. Even though Carly may not have
been the most likable person in the world, she had a special kind of
vulnerability that made you feel sorry for her and sort of root for her,
even when she was doing mean or self-destructive things. That's also a
quality that Benard brings to Sonny. Sonny may be a mobster and he's done
a lot of rotten things. But you know that deep down he's that scared
little boy that got beaten by his stepfather and locked in a closet. You
can often see that in his eyes. So Brown and Benard were wonderful
together! Even though their characters´ pairing made no rational sense
whatsoever, fans instantly started rooting for Sonny and Carly because it
was just magical to watch two great actors work together.
When Brown left, she was replaced by Tamara Braun. Braun is an okay
actress and very pretty, but she is no Sarah Brown. She has very little
chemistry with Benard. I think she has grown into the role more but she
will never be in that same place that Brown was. She has much more
chemistry with both Jax and Zander. Fans started rooting for Sonny and
Alexis as soon as the two had scenes together. You could see the sparks
fly from them, even when all she was doing was defend him to the police.
It is great to see the two actors getting a good storyline together.
The GH writers are being very wise with the pairing of Sonny and Alexis.
They know that this is an odd choice for both characters to make, so they
are taking it very slowly. That not only makes it more believable, but it
gives the audience a chance to get used to the idea and prolongs the
courtship dance between the two characters even more.
More soap writers should learn from this example. Soaps used to take
relationships more slowly and build them in a more realistic way. Now it
seems most soap characters meet and jump into bed and then breakup before
you even know who they are.
Another good reason that the Sonny and Alexis pairing works is that they
are friends first. This has worked in the past for couples such as Robert
and Anna in the 80´s. Sonny is not really great at relationships in
general because of his very dysfunctional upbringing. Now that he has a
sister to get to know, he is having more difficulties. He already trusted
Alexis as a lawyer and as a friend. Now she is helping him to be a better
person. She is teaching him how human beings are supposed to act (this
from a Cassadine!) and how he should treat situations with his sister. It
is great to watch Sonny evolve and one can only hope that they continue to
make the character grow, as his romance with Alexis grows.
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