STARSHINE
Maurice Benard (Sonny) & Sarah Brown (Carly)
Their dysfunctional pairing is exposed as the real thing

Soap Opera Update
April 10, 2001
by Laura Debrizz



Emmy-worthy performances were recently given by Maurice Benard and Sarah Brown (Sonny and Carly)—not an unusual circumstance considering that these long-hailed performers are often associated with Emmy gold; she won three while he was robbed of two—in a series of scenes that parlayed yet another extreme into the characters' perverse love. An internal defect in Sonny which, over the years, has been done every which way to provide a new perspective on an old problem, once again prompted torture in both its perpetrator and victim. For Sonny, the pain surfaced in his contradictory selves: the one knowing and believing in his love for Carly felt remorse for pushing her away, while the shrewd mobster went about extinguishing the only blaze that elicits a longing for life. Carly, on the other hand, was damaged by Sonny's words, and instead of slipping into a puddle of pity, she fought for her equally dysfunctional soulmate.

Brown and Benard shine in tackling life's brutalities, and yet, we had forgotten just how good they were when left to do nothing but ravage one another in each of the rooms occupying Sonny's penthouse. Yes, we are well aware that Sonny and Carly are about overt sexuality, but as gifted as Benard and Brown are, they need to suffice as simply more than a supercouple. And GH made sure they did just that when a volatile Sonny, mentally and physically, inundated an unrelenting Carly.

So involved were the performers in each of these confrontations—Sonny announcing their marriage was over, and later, Carly pleading with her husband outside of a church—that all vanities were forgotten. Brown, as Carly, shook uncontrollably, and like her alter ego, emoted tenacious dominance (choosing to come thisclose to Benard's face) and withering subservience (cowering to her co-star's glare). Also impressive was Benard, whose deft interpretation of Sonny's demons continues to equally daunt and amaze. It was thought unlikely for the actor to ever top the performances given following Brenda's betrayal and Lily's death, but Benard silenced such notions with this recent material. It was unsettling to watch an enraged Sonny shove Carly, but Benard injected a morality that would absolve Sonny of this indiscretion.

Brown and Benard brought the world's complicated ugliness to the forefront, and managed to paint a beautiful picture to the contrary.


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