By Karen Valby
Updated July 07, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT
Todd Williamson/

Image Credit: Todd Williamson/WireImage.comMuch has been written lately about the adorably rubber-faced James Franco and his lark of a time on the soap opera General Hospital. (Quick rehash: Franco is playing a celebrated artist/serial killer named Franco. Sample dialogue from today’s episode: “I’m very fond of the number 66. I just like saying it. Sixty six. Sounds dirty.”) Franco, the real-life version, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal shortly after his arc began explaining he was treating the experience as a guerrilla piece of performance art. “I disrupted the audience’s suspension of disbelief, because no matter how far I got into the character, I was going to be perceived as something that doesn’t belong to the incredibly stylized world of soap operas.” Reading his op-ed, I couldn’t help but wonder what his GH co-stars were thinking, especially since I’d guess those hard-working men and women don’t think of their jobs so lightly, as if they were amusing art projects.

I like the guy. James Franco makes me laugh and I enjoy watching him in movies. I think it’s completely charming that his own mother, an amateur actress flexing her muscles in her local comedy improv troupe, is now playing Franco’s mother on the soap. But then there’s the recent story in the New York Times reporting that Franco’s buddy Jeffrey Deitch, the newly installed director of the West Hollywood Museum of Contemporary Art, would be swanning into a couple of scenes on GH as well. How many more members of James Franco and Co. can I expect to chew up scenery on my afternoon soap?

What say you PopWatchers? Are these just the uptight hand-wringings of a girl who used to come home at lunch during grade school to watch the budding romance of Jennifer and Jack on Days of our Lives?

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