Actresses who are super good at playing bad, like General Hospital’s sublime Chloe Lanier, are a major rarity… and THAT’S why Nelle should never be redeemed.
It takes a special brand of performer to instill wicked into a character. There’s that gleam in her eye when she’s masterfully manipulating. There’s a subtle smile when she’s casting someone under her spell. There’s that self-satisfied look when she’s pulling off her latest con.
Lanier can deliver all of the above in spades, so trying to transform her into “misunderstood,” simply to make her worthy of Michael (Chad Duell), would be a big mistake.
Bad Girls Rule
Every soap needs a good female puppet master; a gal who controls and influences others in a clever or unscrupulous way. GH had the luxury of two of them with Ava (Maura West) and Nelle.
With Ava suddenly attempting to redeem herself for the love of Griffin (Matt Cohen), flipping Nelle would leave the soap seriously lacking. Bad girls rule, and daytime is dullsville without them.
Fire and Ice
Michael’s the show’s quintessential good guy. Nelle is his polar opposite. Teaming him with a nice girl, like the soap tried to do with Sabrina, failed and was totally lackluster. Transforming Nelle would mean more of the same, and nobody wants to watch paint dry.
The contentious relationship between Michael and Nelle can be what makes them interesting. She needs to keep plotting and scheming until she worms her way back into his life.
Since her arrival in Port Charles, Nelle has amassed a slew of enemies. First, there was Sonny (Maurice Benard), Carly (Laura Wright) and Bobbie (Jackie Zeman). Now, Nina (Michelle Stafford), Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) and Maxie (Kirsten Storms) have been added to the list.
Watching Nelle deal with the after effects, pick herself up, and plot payback keeps viewers watching. Her spats with Nina and Maxie were fiery and fabulous, but it’s her one-on-ones with the cunning Valentin that have been particularly mesmerizing. Keeping Nelle bad means those face-offs will continue.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.