Jonathan Jackson has been back almost a year already & Vanessa Marcil has been back since the summer. Both big daytime stars & iconic characters. Both returns were hyped ad nauseum before they came on the scene. Once they were actually onscreen,...disappointing is putting it mildly.
JJ has chemistry with every person he works with & he can be in the moment & convincingly convey any emotion beautifully, no matter how awful the writing/storyline. So, why wasn't special effort made to give him a better welcome home? First, the much-hyped reunion of Liz & "the real Lucky" fell flat because of storyline that was started when Greg Vaughan was still Lucky (the unexpectedly hot pairing of Liz & Nik). Then, there was angry Lucky (which actually was an improvement over GV's whiny Lucky). Now, we finally have what Lucky really would've grown up to be, but once again, he has no story. There was hope when he first met up with Siobhan. But, the feisty Irish lass lost her backbone. Now, she's just a pain in the arse.
Nothing illustrates what a mess Brenda's return is better than the recent replay of the episode when she & Sonny were going to run away together & he was going to divorce Lily. Watching VM-G's interaction with MB & KM, there were no forced smiles, no cringe-inducing hysterical laughs at nothing. It was all natural. There was nothing forced about the chemistry between the actors. Sonny & Brenda are supposed to be caught up in some passion-filled, undying love. So, why do they seem more like old friends who've met up & have nothing to talk about? I see nothing of that old, "we have to be together, damn the consequences" passion & love. I see two people going through the motions to answer the question, "what if?" To me, it's actually destroying the rich history of both characters to go back there. At least, as its' being written & acted.
Not to mention the fact that Brenda's planning a wedding to Sonny, yet no scenes of Edward trying to talk sense into her. She's going to all these wedding appointments, food tastings, etc with Max, Milo & Spinelli instead of her Matron of Honor? But, the biggest miss of all with ths whole wedding story. Not one mention of the name "Julia". It's almost as bad as the bus crash in which both of Bobbie's grandsons are on board, yet no sign of Bobbie offering comfort to Carly & no nod to the accident that killed Carly's little sister.
Oh, one more small quibble. Isn't Feb 18 on or close to the anniversary of Lily's death & Brenda & Jax's elopement?
Then, there's what VM-G's return did to the surprisingly promising Sonny/Claire relationship. I'm probably in the minority, but despite not particularly liking Sonny or Claire individually, I actually liked them as a couple & thought Sonny finally met a woman who could keep her integrity & sanity despite being involved with him. It was the first mature, adult relationship Sonny's had with a woman & I think it had untapped potential. It was also a vehicle through which the show could put Sonny on a path to more maturity. To live through the things these characters live through & show no character growth makes the events of their lives pointless & it also makes investing in those characters pointless.
The show needs to deal with the things that are stagnating these big returns & get them out of the way. Either Lucky still wants Liz or he doesn't. Either Siobhan is the plucky lass that will make the audience forget about LL2 or she's the spineless waste of time waiting for the Balkan's next bullet. Get the baby Balkan story done with & bring back an interesting villain like freaky Franco. Get Brenda on mood stabilizers & deal with her made up Huntington's disease ripoff illness & bring back the vintage Brenda only older, wiser & maybe a little bit battle weary. Give these actors something worthy of their talent & the hype that surrounded their returns.