There’s nothing like a wedding to thrill soap fans… but rarely does a couple stir up controversy the way GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Jason and Sam do! So with the pair poised to walk down the aisle next week, we asked Soaps In Depth‘s executive editor, Richard M. Simms, what is is about the lovebirds that makes them one of the most passionately-debated duos in recent soap history.
“Oh, geez,” he says with a sigh. “You’re basically asking me to poke at the hornet’s nest with a sharp stick!” It seems that there are two groups of fans who’ve been waging an often nasty war with one another for quite some time now. “On the one hand, there’s the JaSam crew,” Simms explains. “Obviously, they are very big fans of Jason and Sam, and they’ve been looking forward to this wedding for a very long time. On the other side of the proverbial aisle are people who want to see Jason with his ex, Liz. They’re the Liason crew. And whenever those two groups come together, man, things can get really nasty!”
Both sides have reasons for feeling the way they do. Liason lovers can’t support Jason being with a woman who stood back and watched as his son with Liz was kidnapped. And JaSam fans believe that Liz was nothing more than a tryst the hunk would have forgotten all about were it not for the fact that it resulted in her having a baby. (That child, Jake, was killed in one of the most shocking and controversial twists to hit the soap in many a year).
“The two groups will likely never see eye to eye,” admits Simms, adding that while it’s not unusual for soap opera triangles to divide the audience, rarely to things get as nasty as they have between these two groups. “Ever since soaps began, they’ve featured love triangles,” he explains. “A great love triangle does exactly what this one has by creating a situation where half of the audience is rooting for one pair, while the rest of the audience is rooting for the other. It’s a tried-and-true staple of the genre. But every now and then, for whatever reason, a triangle comes along that creates not only a rift but a divide so great that the two factions turn downright nasty.”
Asked to name another recent triangle that inspired such hostility, he mentions THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS’ Phyllis/Nick/Sharon and DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Rafe/Sami/EJ. “Both of those storylines have fans who can be intensely invested, but neither is to the point of the Sam/Jason/Liz folks.”
And what can he tell us about this week’s highly-anticipated (by non-Liasoners) wedding?
“It’s perfect for the couple,” Simms previews. “For weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about how this is going to be a very big, very fancy event. And it’s actually starting to freak the bride and groom out. It’s not that they don’t want to get married. They do. They are very much in love. But they may not necessarily be having the wedding that’s right for them. In some ways, it’s very reminiscent of the wedding between Pam and Jim on THE OFFICE.”
Elsewhere in the new issue, look for a lengthy chat with GH’s Ingo Rademacher, as well as a revealing interview with ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Trevor St. John. “A lot of people were very upset when his character, Victor, was killed off a few weeks ago,” says Simms. “Here, he gives his side of the story as far as why he left and what he wish could have been different about it. Finally, with ALL MY CHILDREN ending its ABC run a week from today, look for a loving tribute to the show, including an interview with beloved creator Agnes Nixon and the cast reflecting on their favorite memories.