General Hospital: What’s not to love about this show?

MichaelQ Sonny CarlyClearly, becoming a Quartermaine has made Michael SMARTER!  He has seen through Lord Larry in record time, dumped his duplicitous parents, and stopped accepting excuses from everyone who keeps claiming they want to love and protect him – while plotting to keep him in the dark about the “fundamental truth of his life”.  Sonny killed his father and was aided and abetted by  his mother. Taking a life is such an inhuman act, even on soaps.  To have it treated as a minor altercation was mind blowing, so I’m glad that the writers have finally stopped treating the violence on the show as commonplace and trivial.  Watching Michael turn his back on his parents was a thing of beauty (and I say this as someone who LONG ago supported Sonny and Carly protecting Michael from AJ).  Sonny and Carly were never innocents, and AJ was never all bad, but there was a point at which they were able to be parents and deserved to love Michael without the constant threat of losing him… then came the kidnappings, and presumed deaths, and the violence that was so outrageous it lead to Michael falling into a coma after a bullet meant for Sonny landed in his brain. That was followed up by Michael’s enforcer dreams, Michael taking a life, a prison sentence,  and sexual violation.  It became impossible for me to see how they could ever be considered anything other than an unmitigated disaster in that kid’s life.

If we were having this conversation out loud, you might be tempted to tell me that:  Franco was responsible for Michael’s rape (or more like Franco’s associate).  Faith Rosco kidnapped Michael.  Claudia was responsible for Michael’s coma and for the fact that he ended up taking her life.  Yeah, got all of that… and yet all of it is tied to the fact that these were people gunning for his father, aimed at hurting his father and mother, and Michael became “collateral damage” along the way.  At no point was Sonny ever allowed by the writers to show growth and put his family before lifestyle… yes, he tried to break free and couldn’t because of the power vacuum it created and the additional risk to his children… got it… the writers could have had Sonny leave his family and watch over them from a distance.  They didn’t.  In Sonny Corinthos they created a character who is loathsome, selfish, vain, and hateful despite his dimples (shame on Lucy and FCarly Is Arrestedelicia).  By the time he got around to daily threatening to kill a pregnant Ava once her child was born, he was done, in my book.

It felt good to watch AJ ‘s son walk away from the dark, unsalvageable, things his parents became. Carly faulted Franco for Michael’s rape… and then fell in love with him… and then threw the rape of her son in his face when he exposed her as a cheat and liar.  Was Michael’s pain never in her mind before that?  Every time that man touched her did she not feel sick thinking of what happened to her son?  Was Michael’s rape a weapon she was waiting to use any time they had a disagreement?  Franco becomes angry that she didn’t do the dishes so she tells him she’s still mad he was responsible for her son’s rape?  I’m guessing it would have also been a useful argument in getting him to mow the lawn, take down the Christmas tree, do laundry, etc.

Michael’s emotional upset at watching her get close to Franco was never the tipping point?  Carly’s “love” for Franco, and willingness to marry him, was more about protecting Sonny than making sure Michael did not have to re-live one of the worst times in his short life – and there have been so many awful times for that child.  She even allowed her son to be the best man at their failed wedding.  What kind of mother does that?  She continues to say that Franco blew her family apart, not Sonny’s depraved act of killing AJ.  It was Franco, not the fact that she lied and put herself between her son and the truth for Sonny’s sake.  Nope.  It’s all Franco.  Useless.  Carly’s lack of insight into the damage she’s caused to others is frightening.  It was entertaining when she was young.  It’s migraine inducing as she ages.  Ages is supposed to bring wisdom.  Instead, it only seems to bring gag inducing helpings of stupidity and cruelty for Carly.  She becomes more selfish in time, not less.

In a soap-to-soap mashup?  I would expect a “worst mother/daughter/sister” of the year face off between GH’s Carly, BnB’s Brooke Logan, and DAYS’ Sami Brady.  I think the title would be a fight to the finish between Brooke and Carly, or at least a tie.

Sonny is BookedOddly enough, only Sonny seems to be experiencing any true remorse.  Carly is still raging at the world and trying to force her son to love her and respect her again (a right I think she’s given up by protecting Sonny when even she should have been disgusted with him).  Sonny is willing to suffer the consequences of his betrayal of AJ’s son, the child he made a promise to love and protect, long ago, finally realizing that he allowed his hatred for AJ, disguised as love for Connie, mattered more than every day he ever spent raising and nurturing Michael.  At least the writers have allowed Sonny to show some insight into his behavior.  I don’t think they will ever allow Carly to grow up and learn that her actions have consequences.  I no longer care if they do.  I will simply cherish the moments of seeing handcuffs slapped on Carly and having her spend some time behind bars.  While I see zero hope for Carly, I do see hope for Sonny (if the constantly swirling rumors of Maurice Benard’s leaving aren’t true).  I don’t want Sonny in Michael’s life again, but I would love for the writers to take this opportunity to reinvent Sonny.  Let him be someone completely different from the man he has been all these years.  Benard is such a gifted actor with so many more stories he could help tell, I hope that happens, for the sake of the show and its fans.

What I love most?

There is one more Quartermaine in the world of Port Chuckles, and after losing Alan, Lila, Edward, and Tracy, I am happy to see Michael back in the fold.  What’s that?  Tracy hasn’t passed away?  She may as well be gone, given her repeated betrayal of her family and her willingness to put them all at risk for the sake of “love” for a man she clearly doesn’t know well enough to realize that something is wrong and that the man she married couldn’t stand her touch.  Even Liz and Sam are picking up the “NuJase is OldJase” vibes.  Eh, I’ll save all of that for another blog, another time.  Maybe I’ll be able to soon blog about the return of Jason Quartermaine, one day soon!

The Walking Dead Returns: Season 5 Episode 1

… Producer Gale Ann Hurd said that our questions would be answered.  I just wish the questions were different.  Answer 1.  The Terminans are cannibals. … Read the rest here:  All About The Tea: No Sanctuary

The Strain – The Third Rail Comments

EphEvery piece of film or literature that has a villain needs a hero (or at least an anti-hero) as a counter.  Last night’s episode of “The Strain”, The Third Rail, left me feeling that we, the schmucks in-between these two central characters, are doomed if Eph is our hero. Ephraim Goodweather is not a flawed hero.  He is just flawed, and each week, I find myself rooting for Pennywise “The Master” to take him out… and take Nora with him (thanks @pheonixatdusk, for the clown reference!).  If Eph is our hero, I am afraid that The Strain’s version of humanity is either without hope, our about to suffer a huge credibility crisis if Eph leads them all to salvation.  With each passing week, it feels more and more as if Vasiliy, Gus, Dutch, Abe and the #VigilanteVamps are meant to save humanity from the growing viral threat and save Eph from himself.  By saving Eph, hopefully they will liberate Nora from the stupidity of loving a man who treats her as a mirror for his enormous ego.

Like most central male characters, Eph is a bundle of contradictions, ones that cannot be explained by the simple notion that he is a man in the midst of emotional conflict – as far as I’m concerned.  He takes his associate / mistress to help him find his missing ex-wife, and proceeds to have sex with her in his wife’s house while a crisis of epic proportions is taking shape outside in the streets.  He deeply loves and cares for his son, but places him at risk to leave him in the care of a woman with dementia who cannot care for herself and was difficult for other adults to control.  Is it the writers’ indication that Eph is willing to risk his precious son’s life in order to be the hero?  Are we to understand that he doesn’t trust the others to make it without him?  How could they survive or do their job, without his guidance, right?  Yet, in the last episode we find that instead of saving the group, he needed to be saved when his own desires got in the way and put the lives of the others at risk.

TheEyeballIs Nora too dim around/enamored by this man to understand that almost all of his actions have put her life at risk?  Does she not understand that when given the choice between his need for Kelly and his relationship with her, she has lost every single time?  I don’t know if it the writers intend for us to dislike these two and their utterly selfish and narcissistic behavior, but if it is? Dead on!  I find them both contemptible.  Eph is written as a man who “loves” Kelly – in the way a only narcissist can.  He loves her when he’s not busy punishing her for the shortcoming of not allowing him to ride roughshod over her life (interpret that to mean that Kelly has standards and he doesn’t get to play god with her).  Pay attention Nora.  Eph does not seem to like be held accountable for his actions.

In a scene that was meant to show us his compassionate side, he discusses with “the mirror” the sense of conflict he feels.  If they were in a remote village during a viral outbreak, they wouldn’t kill everyone off to save the others.  They would find the cause, cure the ill, and leave as many people in tact as possible.  TVgod help us when Eph meets the #VigilanteVamps. He will be convinced he is 100 percent correct.  Are we to buy that he thinks this walking talking virus is the same thing?  What seems more likely?  That he believes it or that he is wankering on – making this event all about him?  To me, as he is written, it seems more likely that a man with a God complex cannot conceive of not being able to lead a team to cure others who are ill and that he is capable of fixing all things.  It explains his rush to rescue Kelly despite the improbability that she was either alive, in that cave, or that he could save her on his own, given the sheer number of vamps they’d already passed in other corridors.

The Strain Nora EphIt is his God complex that leads him to mock Vasiliy’s attempt to create a UV weapon, and his need to throw his advice in a way that demeaned Vasiliy and his efforts. Of course, Eph was the the only functioning brain in the room.  He is grateful for Abraham’s support, I believe, but not especially big on the idea of seeing Abraham as the leader of their ragtag band.  It is the same arrogance that would make it difficult for Kelly to take him seriously as anything other than a ranting tool, looking to prove the rest of the world wrong and himself the god of all things.  If the writers really want to redeem this guy, have him reflect on why no one was willing to take his counsel (not his ex-wife, not the judge in his custody case, not the team leaders of the CDC, no one).  Then let him acknowledge the contributions of the others.  If the writers want to redeem Nora, wipe the reflective shine off of her and let her stop following behind Eph as if she was given to him like a puppy at Christmas.  Give her a little of Dutch’s kick-ass edge.

My last thoughts on the show are about just how much I’ve enjoyed watching it.  Now that I know the books that precedes the show exist, I refuse to read them.  I typically hate watching movies based on books because I fear the mythical/legendary bean counter execs who, from offices on the magical top floor, come up with ideas to make movie-versions of good books “more profitable” and simultaneously unrecognizable.  Since I have never read the books I can enjoy the show for what it is, for me, an alternate version of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Ephraim = an unlikable, though not completely off-base version of Rick Grimes.

Zach = a battle tested but too young to know he doesn’t know it all, Carl Grimes.

Kelly = Lori. You knew she wouldn’t last, no matter how much she was needed to balance Eph/Rick.  What man can be a hero without a dead wife/girlfriend, mother of his child, to avenge?

Nora = She a little bit like Carol (who was in love/love with Rick in the graphic novel, though not the show).  I only hope the analogy carries through and she leaves the whimpering Nora behind and becomes stronger.  I have a feeling that Mama Martinez will become Nora/Carol’s “.Sophia”

AbThe Strain Guse = Abe – strong, fearless, and leading an army to knock the undead back into their graves.  It took me a while to realize that David Bradley is the sane actor from the Harry Potter series!  From Argus Filch to Abraham Setrakian. Impressive

Dutch = another Michionne, wielding technology like a sword.

Vasiliy = Daryl Dixon. You don’t know why you love him, but you can’t help it.  Whatever he is and whatever secrets he keeps, they’re better left unsaid.

Gus = No equal.  In the Vamp Apocalypse I want this guy at my side.  He’s tough like Vasiliy, thinks quickly like Abe, he has the integrity and loyalty Eph lacks… and on the shallow side, he’s amazingly hot. This is when casting goes terribly terribly right!  Thank you, casting directors.

I probably won’t be able to comment on each week’s episodes, but when I am able to comment, I hope to see you back here.  If not, join me over at www.allaboutthetea.com! A great site with great commentary on reality tv and celeb news!

Hey, until then, could someone ask the writers where Neeva and the Luss children are?  The #VigilanteVamps let them go and we’ve heard nothing since.  Are they joining the fight? Maybe the Luss kids and Zach can keep an eye on Mrs. Martinez since none of the adults want to monitor her.

Charles Keating has passed away

Image: Charles Keating, All rights to this image are retained by the original owner

The Daily Mail is reporting that daytime, primetime, theater stage, and the big screen actor, Mr “Charles Keating, star of Another World and All My Children has died aged 72 after battling cancer.”

If a person can be measured by the joy not just to those they love as well as complete strangers, Mr. Keating will be remembered fondly.  Another World was my first soap love and I remember Mr. Keating signing on as the devastatingly charming Carl Hutchins.

After the inconceivable loss of Douglass Watson (Mac Cory), it seemed highly unlikely that any actor could create a character would be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with Victoria Wyndham’s Rachel Cory and make fans care about him.  We had yet to be introduced to Mr. Keating. He was an actor with great wit and charm, and it was always a pleasure to watch his work.

My condolences to his family, and to all who knew and loved him.

What has happened to controversy in daytime?

I began thinking, about whether there are any truly unique storylines in daytime.  Every storyline billed as “Never Before Done” has been a bitter disappointment. They were either storylines in which writers ripped off their own work – playing out earlier told storylines with different characters,  storylines that truly were unique but never have been attempted (all of #Passions, or #GL’s Clone Reva), or storylines that offered some other thinly veiled variation on a theme.

The only storyline I could think of that is unique (and not one that I’m applauding) is the storyline involving the #boldandbeautiful’s Brooke.  She has had affairs with two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law, having children with all three men: with Son-in-law Nick there was a child inadvertently carried by Taylor Hayes – who was married to Nick and accidentally artificially inseminated using Brooke’s egg; an egg that was supposed to be donated to science.  The son-in-law Deacon affair produced Hope Logan, while Deacon was still married to Brooke’s rarely mentioned daughter, Bridget.  The affair with brother-in-law ¢Bill Spencer – who was married to her sister, Katie, resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage.   The writers appear to be gearing up for a storyline in which Brooke’s former son-in-law, Deacon Sharpe, finds himself competing against her former brother-in-law, ¢Bill Spencer, for her affections. The only truly original plot in daytime  is also one of its seediest… pun intended.

I prefer to think of it as the lust triangle from soap hell. Thanks to the ever wonderful Katie Logan (portrayed by Heather Tom) and Ridge Forrester (now played by Thorsten Kaye) working together to expose  the perennially sleazy ¢Bill Spencer for the lying fraud he is, I realize how much I miss REAL controversy in daytime.   Whatever happened to the days when scandalous storylines weren’t always about sexual impropriety?  I’ve had enough of #BoldandBeautiful’s Brooke and her various in-law affairs.  I was never able to tolerate #Days Sami cheating with Ej – the man the writers admitted was her rapist.  Their relationship is a sadly outmoded “victim-perp” romance and #Days writers should have none better.   As brilliant as #GH’s Maura West is in the role of Ava, I am exhausted by storylines about women who are unsure of the paternity of  their children, most especially when those men are related.  I have had it with men like #GH’s Sonny, or now defunct #SunsetBeach’s Cole who have slept with and/or impregnated mothers and daughters, as well as half the town around them.

Do you know what kinds of controversial and awe producing storylines I miss?

  • Realistic and useful return from dead plots – #AllMyChildren’s Nina Cortlandt was led to believe her mother  died in childbirth.  Yet, years later, Daisy Cortlandt shows up, reclaims her family, and becomes a pillar of the community despite her reportedly scandalous past.  What a joy it was to watch Daisy operate in stealth mode, trying to figure out if she was friend or foe, as she reconnected with Nina while avoiding the watchful Sauronesque angry eye of Palmer Cortlandt, Nina’s father.
  • Shady corporate take overs were some of my favorites (and not those that are resolved with fashion show takedowns, #BoldandBeautiful).  Remember when Lucinda welcomed Connor and Evan into the fold, not knowing who they really were, at first, and having no clue that they were back to reclaim the Walsh family fortune?  HA!  What about Lucy “helping” Barbara Ryan by buying the “Simply Barbara” clothing line, to have money for Paul as Babs went on trial for the murder (HA!) of James Stenbeck?  Barbara is cleared, later, and has to start a new fashion label when her “friend” Lucinda refuses to sell back the company.  No annual competing fashion shows.
  • Remember #AnotherWorld’s Mac Cory fighting for his corporate life, only to find out that the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of his empire was his own daughter, Iris?  Heartbreak as it was the end of her relationship with her father.  Mac Cory, due to Douglass Watson’s death, was soon gone on screen as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNnnCgPhm0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UkgaeETUPs

  • If you’ve forgotten that #AsTheWorldTurns’ Kim Hughes was once terrorized by an unknown stalker, how can you call yourself a soap fan?  The greatest twist ever?  The stalker was seemingly innocent, highly successful and beloved  Douglas Cummings, fiance of her stepdaughter, Frannie Hughes.  Even now, when I hear “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a part of me begins thinking about this storyline.

  • #GuidingLight’s Sonni/Solita/Sonni storyline.  Sonni Carrera, a brilliant psychiatrist meets and falls in love with Josh Lewis (and who didn’t fall for Josh?).  Sadly, it was a ruse.  She and lover Will Jeffries were plotting to steal the Lewis fortune.  The twist?  Sonni was not Sonni, but her “evil”, wild child twin sister, Solita.   Solita was Will’s mistress and muse.  Solita had long been buried when Solita stole her identity.  Double twist?  Solita wasn’t Solita after all. She was the real Sonni Carrera, who had a psychotic break after her sister’s death and created a Solita persona.  I could have died for soap joy.

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Guiding Light writers were chock full of twist heavy, jaw dropping, edge of your seat storylines – ones that weren’t purely about sexual scandal: — Annie, in her desperation to hang on to husband Josh Lewis, carried a dead fetus, until she could set Reva Shayne Lewis up for pushing her down the stairs “killing” their baby. — Beth revealing she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Bradley Raines and her fight to become strong enough to turn him in and reclaim her sense of safety. You’re beginning to get my point, right?  Someone (or a group of people) in daytime have decided that not only does “sex sells” but that sexual impropriety is all daytime has to offer, any more. I want more.  I want those cleverly drawn, nearly impossible to think of on you own, scandals that daytime once offered.  I want family betrayals that take place with clothes on, both feet on the floor – no bumping uglies, folks. I want to look at new characters and wonder if they are friend or foe, and if my fave characters have something to worry about. I want daytime writers to give me romance and intrigue, and stop making sex feel like a weapon. I miss daytime for what it was.  I’m not willing to accept it for the limited thing is has become.

General Hospital: To every point there is a counterpoint!

It’s no secret that I think General Hospital is blowing the rest of daytime out of the water!  I said so here –> Why You Should Be Watching General Hospital.  I received a very interesting counterpoint from writer, Ilona Saari.  (More about Ilona at the end of this post).  I thought the response was so interesting that I’d like to share it with you.  It’s a different kind of GH love letter:

I only wish I thought the show was as good as you do. But I’m glad to see it from you prospective. Granted, it is far superior to the Pratt/Guza Penthouse 4 years, but when Guza took back the reigns, it began to get better w/ humor (Diane was created), wonderful returns of old characters (Robin) and wonderful pairings (Scrubs) – his problem as a writer was that he would come up w/ great story ideas and beginnings, then develop ADD and not be able to follow thru… Wolf, the strike scab, was just a plain disaster… Then Ron and Frank came, and at first they did wonders and I loved the integration of the OLTL characters.

But, alas, that didn’t last as OLTL-ABC and Frank/Ron became embattled in copyright garbage and egos. The show suffered as Ron hadn’t a clue had to deal w/ it all storywise, so it was dealt w/ badly. The lst return of the Nurse’s Ball was an unmitigated disaster w/ a cheezy set that looked like the ball was being held in a church basement to the embarrassment of Richard Simmons.

Then when the OLTL mess was over, Ron decides to bring back Roger as Franco. God Lord, that was an insane creative choice. This wonderful actor could have been anyone… a new Q, a Cassadine, a Webber or Spencer even a white Ward… but nooooo. The brain tumor explanation was just plain lazy writing. And Carly would never, ever be w/ Franco after what happened to Michael.

Letting Jax go, the last white knight really (except for Patrick) was a huge mistake – Carly and Jax could have grown into the Rachel/Mac of AW of GH… They were a mature, sexy, dynamic couple, imo. Carly was softened, but not made soft, by her love for Jax.

Bringing Nik back, however, was a smart move and his love affair w/ Britt (and her redemption) has been the best thing about GH since the show fell back into disrepair during last year’s Nurse’s Ball.

The Cassadine/Obrecht/Faison/Duke/Anna stuff was was too cartoonish and has fallen totally flat for me as a writer – Masks, masks everywhere. I’m sorry – once was enough – then again w/ Anna and Obrecht? Oy. And now what – again w/ fLuke – I hope not. But this fLuke storyline is just cringe-worthy tho I’m sure TG is having a ball. If he’s really Bill Eckart or Damian Smith, as rumor has it, neither would be jonzing after Kiki or be so creepy a sexual predator… If it’s Damian – did he have his face made like Luke if he survived the fire? Is it yet another mask? I don’t care. I FF thru all TG’s scene and have never done so before – ever. I just want Ron to stop writing Tracy as an old, lonely woman who will believe anything to keep Luke – and just end this miserable story. Tracy and Luke are dynamite together — this story is just an embarrassment to all involved. But at least I got to see Ned. I wish Frank would bite the bullet and bring back Ned. I don’t want the Qs to vanish — they are our look into John Cheever country, always have been, and I love that family – but all recent head writers of the show seem to want to demolish them… and now Ron is building up a new “core” mob family w/ the Jeromes.

I won’t even go into Obrecht and how I also find her existence at the head of the hospital one of the laziest pieces of writing Ron has done.

I do love Julian and Ava, tho — again for many, many reasons and I love that Julian is Sam and Lucas’ father – fun. I hated the courtship w/ Alexis tho where she was flirty like a teenage virgin. What a waste of Alexis. Tho now that they’re together, I like their chemistry. I just hope the writing becomes more interesting on how these two will work.

I am also thrilled that Ric’s back, tho his relationship w/ Liz never cut it with me. His courtship and marriage to Alexis til Guza ruined Ric did. Their bantering and love was GH’s version of Tracy/Hepburn and I loved them together. That said, I do not want a Nik/Liz rerun – I want Nik and Britt to find their way back to each other — they are very hot together.

I did think Jordan was undercover from the beginning, but I do like her addition to the show as long as Ron is not setting her up to replace Anna because he wants to get rid of Finola.

Levi is another embarrassment. Obrecht and Donna Mills being sisters,, etc., etc. Say what??? Trying to make another instant family w/ Nathan and Britt and Obrecht at the expense of who?

The show is bloated w/ characters and no one was more mistreated than Sean Kanan — Ron so botched his return and decided to throw AJ under the bus much the way Guza did after AJ had become such a fascinating “Sidney Carton” character well on his way to redemption. The killing of AJ was a disappointment and only serves to give MB more angst moments and a shot at an Emmy. But then to let the story just dangle somewhere in space for weeks, again – sloppy, lazy writing.

Ron does that a lot. He starts a story and then you’re left for weeks til it becomes part of the canvas again. He doesn’t seem to know how to write the three story arc traditional in soaps in a weekly fashion, so if a viewer doesn’t like one story, s/he gets a bit of the ones s/he does like on a weekly basis.

Sabrina and Patrick are a mess as a storyline… and her character has been shoved down our throat for too long – she’s a dolt and a bore and she’s dragged the character of Patrick down w/ her. And Carrrrrrlos. Don’t get me started.

Thank God Maxie’s back! Our own Carole Lombard — is Nathan her Clark? He might be. he has the look. And I love the way he looks at her.

Duke, OTOH, is a yawn. Anna has no chemistry w/ him anymore. Robert should have been the one to stay at GH, not Duke. And Robert in this disaster of a fLuke story, might have saved it.

Well, if you’ve read this far – I will end on an ‘up’ note. I still love GH — and do think the show’s better now than a few years ago — and I think it’s getting better again from all the mistakes Ron made last year… and I agree about the diversity — It’s been seamless and I love that. It’s about time.

 

Ilona Saari  is a former speechwriter, deputy press secretary, and is the author of the political thriller Freeze Frame, available on Amazon.  FYI, you Foodies out there, our author also writes her own blog featuring the most amazing recipes and travel adventures you’ll find anywhere!  Read more at “My Dinners with Richard“.  It’s more than worth your time – I believe you’ll thank me for it!

While Ilona and I  may not agree 100%,  I love having such a well seasoned, meaty, opinion to give me something  to think about.   I’d like to thank my talented friend for keeping my feet on the ground, because I do love GH enough to put my blinders on and keep lowing it “as is”.  Complacency kills in any creative field.

Shhhh… don’t tell her, but I still think that this show is the best in daytime.

GH: May 27, 2014

My thoughts on today’s show?

  • Sabrina… I just can’t.  I want to be empathetic, and yet I just keep hoping there aren’t too many Sabrina/Patrick scenes to fast foward.
  • Elizabeth and Ric?  Sweet, Subtle, feels so real.  I love them.  Given the way Ric left the show with each exit, it’s sometimes difficult to remember how sweet and kind he’s capable of being.  Ric is Mr. Right Now, Mr. Right Tomorrow, and Mr. Right Whenever-Wherever – as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve always loved Rick Hearst best when he was playing a romantic lead (GH’s Ric Lansing, GL’s Alan Michael Spaulding, BnB’s Whipple Jones).
  • Lulu/Dante./Rocco- Big Ben? Ditto.  Sweet, Subtle, Real.  Given his pedigree, I love that Dante is so protective of Ben that he doesn’t want to talk about the worst of the worst aspects of his job. He has to spell out D-E-A-D because he doesn’t want Rocco to hear the word. Keep that baby away from your father and bar ware, Dom.
  • F’luke and his disregard for forensic evidence is astounding.  He never wears gloves.  He never does anything in hiding.  Unless he planned on killing Bobbie and the cutie pants officer guarding Lucas’ door,  what was the point of attempting to kill Lucas while being the last person in the room?  Add that the fact that his hand and finger prints are all over Lucas’ breathing tube – as his prints are all over the gun that was used to shoot Lucas and kill the hitman.  F’luke’s crime spree is getting stranger and and stranger, and I hope that’s intentional – serving as an indicator that he’s on a rampage and will soon be caught.
  • Ava.. F’LOVE… I effin’ love Ava and the writing for her!  She utters the words, “Mr. Corinthos is sending someone for me” to her server at about the time Carly is going to play audio evidence of her guilt in Connie/Kate’s murder?  Methinks she’ll see Sonny,  in person.
  • Carly has never had a respect for the law, decency, morality or ethics, but it shocks me that she would steal AJ’s phone (yeah, it still shocks me) and give Sonny the info, rather turn the recording over to the police.  Sonny is going to end up in prison one way or another.  He’s either going for killing AJ or for killing Ava.  Carly doesn’t always know what crimes Sonny has committed, but she’s been in his life long enough to know that he’s almost never innocent.  Her involvement in pointing Sonny in Ava’s direction is reckless, no matter what.
  • Ava is a beast… she’s reading “Crimson Magazine”? She is a beast (and I’m not quite sure how I mean that.  It’s both good and bad.)  She must really like dancing on Connie’s grave!  This is Maura West as ATWT’s Carly Tenney, defiling the sacred Snyder pond by flicking a cigarette into it.  What is it about MW’s bad girl characters, who seem to like sticking it to the people she hurts.  No cardboard cut out of Connie for target practice?  Ava is showing some restraint.
  • I get it… my beloved Scotty Baldwin is the AJ Quartermaine of the Baldwin family.  He’s a perennial screw up, but even he should have held his ground and been willing to call Julian’s bluff rather than had him set free.  Scotty is capable of being a bad ass, when he wants (that is, when the writers let him). I wish this was one of those times.  How much has Julian changed when he’s willing to pull a gut punch like this one?  I realize that he was desperate to get to Lucas and saved him from Fluke, but had he told the truth, he could have done more for his family.  His behavior makes me question Alexis’ judgement even more – both as a mother and as a woman.  For all of her warnings to Molly about being smart, making good choices, putting her future first, Alexis does none of these things when she’s in love with her latest mob kingpin boyfriend.   What can Molly learn from her?  It also doesn’t make sense that Shawn was irredeemable for not being able to leave Sonny’s organization and yet Julian is far worse.

 

 

  • More Sabrina/Patrick/Emma/baby Drake? Still can’t.
  • Ava trying to convince anyone, most especially her own daughter, of her innocence is hilarious!  Kiki chastising Ava for sleeping with her boyfriend’s father is even funnier!  Adding Ilene Kristen as Ava’s mother to this pair?  That is a stroke of genius.
  • HA, that Carly finally notes that A.J. is not AJ Quartermaine but Ava Jerome.  Sonny realizes that AJ was pleading for his life and that he’s killed an innocent man.  How will the writers redeem him?  Can Sonny be redeemed after this?  My guess is that we will find out that Sonny didn’t deliver the final blow. It’s another Fluke murder (again taking place in the hospital) or someone else has taken A.J.’s life when he should have been on the mend.  The problem is that A.J. would never have been in the hospital to be murdered if it weren’t for Sonny.  The additional step they’ll have to take is to convince the audience that A.J. was slated for death no matter where he was found.  Will it work, or is it possible that the writers have gone too far, this time?   A.J. has rarely been a chaacter i liked or loved (I couldn’t stomach Billy Warlock’s portrayal of the character) BUT he was a legacy character and I wish he’d survived this ugly attack.
  • Even when Sonny is dead wrong, Carly tells him to stop blaming himself.  Is this goober serious?  She’s angrier at Ava for upsetting Sonny than she is at Sonny for killing an innocent AJ?  Michael should stop sending Mother’s Day cards. No phone calls, no Mother’s Day luncheons.  Carly is more of a partner to Sonny, even separated, than she has ever been a mother to any of her children.
  • Geez, it seems like such a small issue – Lulu wanting to carry her own child, but it is potentially,  so big.  Lulu is willing to risk losing the only shot (for now) she and Dante have at having another child, because she wants to carry the child herself, knowing the risk for miscarriage.  Is it simply natural to want to carry a child at any cost or is it selfish?  It’s a question for this couple to answer, but I have to wonder, given Dante’s lean toward surrogacy, if this is an issue that will come between them, later.
  • Fluke, threatening babies.  PLEASE let that bastard be caught soon.  Sure, go after Ava, but the threats against children make me want to see this guy get his!  The writers were brilliant to have Fluke play on Julian’s insecurities (most notably, the fear that Anna hates “Jules” and wants to bring him down so badly that he shouldn’t count on her for help.  There’s no way Anna would allow Fluke, or anyone else, to kill Julian while he’s in her care, but he doesn’t know that.
  • Elizabeth and Ric are my shelter from the storm of crazy that is GH.  Just watching them joke and plan for a dinner feels like a romantic getaway.  I know there will have to be some sort of conflict, soon, such as Liz wanting Nik back the minute he’s together with Britt again, happy and probably planning a family.  For now, I’ll take what I can get.
  • Ok, the only interesting thing about Sabrina and Patrick is that Drake becomes her son’s middle name?  Is that a subtle tell that he is Patrick’s son?  Is baby Gabriel going to make it?  Gabriel Drake Drake?  I dunno.
  • Ava thinks that she and Sonny are on decent terms.  I can’t wait to see her run into Sonny’s arms, thinking he’s there to rescue her.  Carly asking Sonny what he’s going to do is as maze dull as anyone could be.   She gave her “snitches get stitches” speech to Sonny when explaining why she would never go to the police.  What was the point of her asking Sonny what he was going to do. Of COURSE he is going to kill Ava.  Is there any doubt about that?  Isn’t that why he killed AJ?  His belief that AJ killed Connie?   Carly and Sonny have played this game for too long!

Like many of you, my feed was disrupted by the President’s comments and ending the war in Afghanistan – so we end, here, and move on to other important news.  I will see you again, soon.

Why you should be watching General Hospital

…if you’re not already a fan!  If you think this blog reads like a love letter to #GH, you’re damned right it is!  This show is not just good, it is the best it has been in a very long time!  Why should you watch?  I could give you as many reasons as there are cast members, but here are my big four:

1 – Balance, balance, and more balance.  

When I last walked away from General Hospital as a consistent viewer, lead and supporting characters were one of three types: Mobsters, Mob Molls, or Mob affiliated. Having more than 35 years invested in this soap, I can remember when the show was about family drama and intrigue, romance and mystery.  I see so much more of that now than before the mob takeover.  Ric Lansing is back and he’s sworn off his former mob ties.  At least for now, the story is that he has come back  to reconnect with the only woman who ever truly loved him and who wasn’t looking for a life on the edge.  Hell, he WAS the edge the last time he and Elizabeth were together.  In scenes that I love like sunshine, we also see him back and reconnecting with his daughter Molly, whose only father figure has been  her uncle and Ric’s brother, Sonny Corinthos.  Keep in mind that Sonny was also her mother’s former lover, the father of one of her sisters, and the former lover of another sister.  The mob was so well integrated into the show that even family members were sleeping with and having children with the same mob boss (yeah, yeah, Sam didn’t know that Alexis was her mother, at the time).  Bigger twist?  Sam’s  child with Sonny is delivered stillborn and provides the stem cells that Kristina, his daughter with Alexis, needs to survive.

You need a truckload of Advil and at least 12 of your 14 vacation days to pull apart the twisted family tree GH writers created in order to sell the mob storyline.

The mob had become so important that even Justus Ward, whose family was made up of  prominent social activists in the Port Chuckles community, became another mob mouthpiece.  He eventually lost his life and was stuffed in the trunk of a car, as a result of his affiliation with Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan (Jason being a cousin to Justus).  It lacked dignity and was shockingly bad given the history of the Ward family.   The Ward family was part of the extended Quartermaine family but respected in their own right before the Q connection.  Prior to the writers’ belief that “mob magic” was so potent that fans would root for almost all characters to fall under the spell of Sonny and the various mob kingpins, I had hope that Justus, as the remaining onscreen Ward family member, would be spared.

The ultimate betrayal of fan trust came, for me, when Jasper “Jax” Jacks was deconstructed, transitioning from an educated ruthless billionaire corporate raider, to a man on the run from both Sonny’s empire of aggression and from the law for daring to protect his and Carly’s duaghter, Josslyn.  From what you ask?  From living her life in the path of a stray bullet that was almost as likely to take her life, as the bullet that put big brother Michael Corinthos in a coma – stealing his childhood and most of his adolescence. Michael spent years, after waking up, dealing with recovering from that stray bullet.  The bullet and resulting coma pushed his childhood kidnapping out of contention as the worst thing to ever happen to him.  Damn that Jasper Jacks for not realizing that kidnapping and bullets to the head can be character builders for children, not just childhood trauma!

Now? That sort of storytelling appears to be long gone!  Even the introduction of Parry Shen’s “Brad” is not a celebration of mob life.  Brad Cooper is the son, and grandson, of 80’s Asian Quarter mob kingpins.  Brad enters as a (mostly) upstanding citizen, barely shadier than the rest of Port Chuckles’ residents.  For now he has sworn off his mob family history and is a GH physician.  It was touch and go at the beginning of his introduction, but he is currently in the same hot mess so many of our PC citizens find themselves in.  Instead of mob molls and mob affiliated characters, we’re back to honest business leaders, police officers who aren’t on the take, as well as (and this will surprise you) drama at General Hospital that is about the hospital, nurses, and the doctors! Shocking, I know.

Even more shocking? I find myself liking Sonny, more, now that the GH universe is no longer centered around canonizing GH’s resident mob boss.  There are many stories to be told in Port Charles and the writers are making sure they tell as many of them as they can.

F’Love

2.  Diversity is a real thing on GH and not just something the cool kids are trying.

From the Asian Quarter, to Tom and Simone Hardy, to the introduction of the Ward family followed by Miguel/Lily/Sonny, GH has struggled with integrating diverse characters into the show in a way that is neither stereotypical nor exaggerated.  The Ward family marks, for me, GH’s first real, and nearly successful, attempt at getting it right, including the Jason/Keisha/AJ triangle:

Now?  Diversity on GH is not about check boxes and clunky integration. Diversity just IS on this show, it’s organic. Characters aren’t remarkable/ good/ evil/frontburner, because they can be used to show that daytime is finally catching up with the rest of the world.  Diverse characters and their families on GH aren’t getting airtime for the publicity they bring a show.  They are seamlessly integrated into the show and their time spent on air is character driven, not storyline driven!  Their lives are about the characters themselves and not about the reaction of others around them.

Brad/Felix/Lucas.  Like any triangle, there are winners and losers.  Both Felix and Lucas have been betrayed by Brad, so watching them grow closer feels right.  The writers have handled this one perfectly.  I want Felix and Lucas to become a real couple, but like any couple brought together out of betrayal and hurt feelings, I have to wonder if either (or both) will end up waking up one morning wanting Brad back.  While that would crush my love for Felix and Lucas – which I will survive, I know that I can accept it because it is no different than what takes place with any other triangle.  I am thrilled that their storyline  isn’t about helping any of the three overcome bigotry-inflicted shame, and that it’s not about being closeted and fearful.  There is a time and place for that type of storytelling, but there is also room for the stories of others -those whose sexuality is not about morbid fascination from the outside.  Brad/Felix/Lucas are telling a story about conflict, love, anger and forgiveness. I am impressed.

Jordan/Shawn. I’ll admit it.  I’m on record stating that the glow Jordan gives is not a halo but hellfire.  I thought that Shawn would have been smart to run in the opposite direction whenever he saw Jordan coming.  I was wrong.  I was SO VERY wrong.  What I love most about Jordan and Shawn, is that their storyline is almost 30 years in the making.  Do they remind you of anyone else?  For me Jordan/Shawn/TJ are the 2000s version of Anna/Robert/Robin.  It’s not an exact retelling, but it’s close enough.  I have been longing for a return to the WSB and it’s glory days and GH is giving it to me by the bucket full… it’s just a little more understated.  Jordan/Anna comes to town with a shady past and possibly sketchier future.  Instead Jordan/Anna is DEA/WSB and the other big issue she has on her plate, one that fills her time when she’s not bringing down bad guys, is dealing with a child (TJ/Robin) whose life has been shrouded by a huge secret.

The focus isn’t on what they bring to the table as “people of color”, it’s what they bring to the table as people.  Each individual is layered and nuanced and the minute you think you know any of the members of this family, a new layer is peeled away.  At her introduction, the audience asked:  Was Jordan back to seduce Shawn and force him to take her in as he’d taken in TJ?  Was she back to reclaim her beloved son?  Was she using her son to cover her shady connection to the Jeromes?  Just when we couldn’t figure out her game, she’s revealed as a DEA agent, in town to clean up PC and find the real drug kingpin.  STOP NOW!

If this storyline and this show gets any better, I’ll be looping it all day long and ignoring all other entertainment.  Jordan’s story now makes me question Shawn, in particular, and now I wonder what the rest of his story is.  Jordan, the DEA agent, would surely never have entrusted the care of her beloved son to a man who was a killer.  What does she know about Shawn that either he is hiding or that doesn’t know about himself because someone else is hiding the truth from him?

I can’t wait to find out.

3.  Women as diversity? Yes.  Women who are strong?  Hell yes!

Tracy Q., Carly, and Alexis are, for the moment, in a downward shame spiral, in my opinion.  I can accept that more easily, at this time, because they are the exception, no longer the rule.  The women of GH have become strong, smart, and capable of standing on their own.  Are they perfect?  No, but they’re so far ahead of where the women of this show were just a few short years ago.

They’ve transitioned from being either dedicated mob molls (Carly, Robin, Kate/Connie, Olivia) or paid mob mouthpieces (Alexis, Diane).  In some cases, they were both (again, Alexis and Diane).

No matter which side of morality/decency/the law we find them, I am thrilled to see Anna, Jordan, Ava, Lucy, Felicia, Britt, Obrecht, Lulu, and others being treated as women with hearts AND brains!  There will be a time, I’m sure, when the currently weak GH women, and, yeah – I’m looking at YOU Tracy Quartermaine, will step up to the plate and become strong again, but the balance of women in distress with women taking charge is refreshing.

There have been times when women on GH have felt more like window dressing than people.  This is not one of those times.

4. There are almost no weak links on this show, currently.

I’m just not crazy about Sabrina and Patrick. I can’t see a situation that would cause me to root for them as a couple.  They simply fall flat for me.  Even still, I don’t see them as a “weak link”.  I can see what the show’s fans like about them.  I just don’t feel it.  Sabrina and Carlos, I get.  Sabrina with Patrick feels more ike “Flowers in the Attic’ or “Petals in the Wind” than a romantic couple ,for me.

I truly despise Carly and Franco. I cannot understand the writers’ thinking in trying to reform Franco and in making him a frontburner character.  Somehow, it feels to me as if Franco should still be a character in the shadows or, more importantly, not a viable character at all.  I will accept the very few things I dislike about this show and continue to enjoy those things I love most.  GH is currently the only show on the air that I can say that about – a show whose positives far outweigh its negatives.

If you haven’t been watching GH, you’re missing a lot!  It’s that good.

 

Real Housewives of New York

Countess LuAnn comes through with a date for the very awkward Carole!

The “intervention” is a predictable disaster.

Ramona finds a supportive shoulder to cry on.

Josh is Josh, and Kristen has learned to accept her fate, it seems

Read more about the RHONY’s latest episode (The Ramona Trap) by clicking  HERE

The Nurses Ball 2014 – Continued

GH’s Nurses Ball was so good that I probably won’t have anything critical to say about the show for at least two or three… episodes.  Maybe two.  Maybe.  Look, I’m not making any promises. Here are my highlights:

Magic Milo and his Magic Wands were hot to the point that I just didn’t care about the Yoplait product placement.  What I do care about is that I may have damaged my DVR by constantly rewinding one tiny little section of the NB episode  It’s wrong, I know… no one should be objectified.  That said, all I want for Christmas is a trunk filled with quarters to bounce off of the backsides of Magic Milo and his Magic Wands line up.  BAM!

I thought that Brad was the center of the triangle, but there is something incredibly sweet (and sexy) about Felix and Lucas together.  That’s how I know they won’t end up as a couple.  Both have to be lightening rods for Brad.  Whichever love has him will have to stay up nights wondering if he’s out creeping with the other.  There is something so likable about Lucas and Felix (who move between bromance and romance with ease) that I hope the faux relationship turns into a real one, soon.

Auto-tuned Brad?  I don’t give a crap, I’ll take him!  So cute.  The whole time I waited to see who he was singing to.  (Admittedly, I wanted it to be Felix).  Parry Shen is an ass kicker, and so much fun!  Britt as Brad’s cheering section?  Love that too!  Everybody  needs a “ride-or-die” and Britt is that for Brad and vice versa.

Mac and his dummy? Hilarious!  I DIED when Epiphany stomped that poor dummy and Mac held on to it as if it was taking its last breath.  Milo shaking Epiphany’s (dirty old lady’s) hand for killing off Mac’s “childhood friend” brought me back.  I don’t know, but I think the dummy stomp should have been good for at least one lap dance.  Is anyone else thinking about the fact that Mac was a rogue’s rogue when he was first introduced?  I can’t get over him as a middle class dad with bad jokes and a big heart.  Best daytime transition ever!

Spencer with Britt gave me warm fuzzies.  I want Nikolas and Britt together as the show’s reigning supercouple.  They were able to admit to one another that neither could easily move on with someone new (both are still heartbroken).  So am I… put them back together GH writers!  Nik will have to learn to love someone whose history is checkered, but far less worse than his Cassadine legacy.  What I wouldn’t give the writers to have Helena go after Britt only to have her face off with Obrecht.

The Haunted Starlets? Meh, not my favorite, but still a job well done.

“Luke” learning that he “married the bitch” for nothing because he and Tracy have both been removed from ELQ?  Perfection!   I only wish Ned was appointed CEO rather than Michael.

Eddie Gomez singing “Criminal Love”… Is there a GH couple over the age of 16 for whom that song is not relevant?  Sonny’s reaction to the song is the equivalent of ice cream on a burning hot day!  That hit the spot.  Are we to think that Sonny believed the song was written just for him and his mob moll of the month?

I haven’t been fond of the Spencer/Emma/Cameron storyline.  It’s too cutesy and too much.  That “Spencer” is responsible for bringing Ronn Moss and “Player” to the ball? HA!  I love that bratty kid.  Ronn Moss is damned AGELESS!  I’m hoping someone decides to cast him in a permanent role.  Moss brought his rock god chiseled cheeks, his rock god hair, his rock god body.  Seriously, GH, cast him TODAY.  Leslie is a good friend of “Player”… oh there’s a story there!

Lucy and Scott?  I have been rooting for them since she was married to Alan Q. and cheating with him.  I rooted for them even after she lost their child and told Scotty how much she hated him, breaking open his soul.  I relived that scene, today, watching her treat Scotty as if he, alone, was the cause of the end of her marriage to Kevin.  I will always love Lucy and Scott, even though I know that the two of them being together is an affront to the love and devotion Kevin has (almost) always given Lucy.

To the writer who penned Kevin’s dialogue, you OWNED me for all of the 10 minutes or so that conversation took place.  BEAUTIFUL!  “You had one job, Lucy, and that was to be faithful and loyal – and you failed, miserably!”  Da-YUM!  I felt like I was the one cheating on Kevin.  Shhhhh… I think I might have apologized to him for not loving him enough, I dunno.

I’m devastated for Kevin.  Watching him find out that his wife has been cheating on him for four months was brutal.  That hasn’t dampened my hope that I will finally get to see Lucy and Scott together. Like I said, I have always wanted them to reunite.

Ditto on Ric and Elizabeth.  I have always wanted the two of them back together as well.

Molly and TJ are as cute as buttons.  I need more backstory on Julian/Jordan and Ava.  There is so much more going on there.  I hope TJ is not at the center of the secrets they’re holding.

Obrecht singing for Nathan and Britt?  Almost touching, but then I become afraid when Obrecht gets mushy and soft.  Do we believe that she loves them? Do we believe that she wants her children to love her for the sake of having their love or is there a crazy catch?

For whatever reason, I have never warmed to Sabrina.  I want to connect with the character since I tend to root for the show’s heroines no matter how much I enjoy the villains.  It just never happened with her. Patrick and Sabrina bore me silly. The pregnancy/baby storyline has annoyed me to all hell.

Last blog I commented that the Nurses’ Ball has often been about forgiveness, being rehabilitated, seeking acceptance and the writers didn’t disappoint.  The Nurses’ Ball 2o14 is over, but I’ll be thinking about it for a while longer.

Great job!

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