Bad GH — Bad Bad

What follows is the equivalent of a rolled newspaper (uh, something I’d never use on puppy who piddles on my rug – but writers who piddle on the show’s history are fair game).

Before Laura’s return I was all on board for a Luke and Tracy pairing. More accurately, Luke and Tracy didn’t bother me. They were fun and funny and, quite frankly, birds of a feather. Then three things happened.

First, Laura’s return reminded me of what could have been. Laura is more devoted to her children in the brief time she is around than Luke has been since they were young. What other avenues would/could the writers have taken if she was still around? Would a drug storyline for Lucky, manipulated sex and pregnancy foe LuLu, and mental instability for Nik have been plausible with Laura’s presence? It’s hard to believe the writers could have carried off those fiasco storylines and sold them to Laura’s audience.

Second, this storyline is beginning to make Luke and Tracy seem sillier and weaker. Tracy mopes and whines (mainly about Laura). Luke cires and whines (mainly about Tracy not wanting him because of Laura). In the end it’s all about Laura. Tracy and Luke worked best as kindred spirits playing it for kicks. Something is getting lost in the translation of their ‘romance’.

Besides, while it’s cool to have Laura be an empowered woman off looking for her own cure, it sucks that Luke isn’t with his wife. She risked most of her adult life to help and protect him. He’s off on benders crying over Tracy.

Bring her back – CURED! Let her move on with someone new. It makes Tracy and Luke less inhuman and selfish and veteran viewers at leat have hope of an LnL pairing at some point in the future.

Third, the Scrubs wedding put the nail in the Luke-Tracy coffin for me. Anna and Robert together even for this brief period of time… ah…memories.

Do I NEED LnL together? No. I just want to be able to feel that the writers aren’t piddling on the love I have for the show’s history to make new history.

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How GH (accidentally?) found its way back home.

Well…I’m in awe.  GH managed to pull off one of the most romantic weddings in at least a decade.  With Patrick and Robin’s “scrubs love” wedding:

There were no secrets hanging over their heads.

The couple wasn’t forced to marry to form a life saving alliance – nor one to protect the other from prosecution.

There were no jilted lovers hiding at the back of the church waiting for the chance of stolen lovelorn glances.

No baby’s mama drama.

Nary a gun-totin’, trigger-pullin’ mob boss in the crowd to disrupt the nuptials.

One sweet, but failed, prior attempt and now nuptial bliss.

This wedding was all about the fact that these two people love one another unconditionally and want to be together. Who knew that still happened in daytime?  Who knew that something as ‘basic’ as a wedding between equals could be so exciting?  The audience knew, and the writers have finally listened.

In addition to the fact that the wedding went off without a major hitch, there was something else that made Robin and Patrick’s wedding so special to me.  Daytime is rife with 2 dimensional hotties who literally look great on paper, but can’t convey a meaningful emotion to save their soap lives.  Newbies are hurled at daytime viewing audiences like cheap baubles,  Cracker Jack prizes – if you will.   We are supposed to be too stunned by their beautiful outsides to notice the emotional stunted performances causing our own insides twisting with disgust and annoyance.

They come from no where, are tied to no one, and when they are linked to core families, their characters are changed so drastically that they may as well have been cast as products of completely unknown soap families (ah hem… ATWT… Dani Stewart… uh?  WHO?… Exactly)   I should also add that when they’re tied to core families, their arrival is often a signal that the core characters we care about will be pitifully used to introduce them and are then  shoved into the soap attic while the writers delight in playing with their new toys.

What made the Scrubs wedding extra special is that Robin and Patrick are legacy characters, Robin being a GH regular (more on than off)  since the grand 80s.  Their families have been around forever, even if hottie Dr. Noah Drake hasn’t been on screen consistently, for more than a decade.

There’s something special about the soap children of characters we loved becoming adults and marrying.  There’s something special about the fact that the writers took the time to develop Patrick as a character, and Robin and Patrick as a couple, even if it’s only because the writers were busy focusing on the mob storyline for Sonny and Jason.  If Scrubs was an afterthought, this should be sufficient notice to the writers to consider taking a look back at what other storylines they told in the shadows of the dark opera that plays out front on GH.

Stories like that of Robin and Patrick (LnL2, Lulu and Johnny, and Spinelli and Maxie, Mac and Me… just kidding) don’t ‘detract’ from the writers’ beloved mob storylines, they give weary viewers a place to rest when the mob stuff becomes too much to bear.  I would love to see more of the Scrubs romance, and any of the other couples mentioned above.  In the coming future, I would love to see this show strike the same balance it did this past week.  I would find myself far less resentful of the Sonny and Jason fiasco if there was something more to the show than these two pathological characters and their pathological lives (sugarcoating who they are and what they do doesn’t change anything for me – they kill for a living and then call it self-defense when those they’ve chosen to do business with do the same).

I past all of that.  This past week, I remembered what GH use to be during its heyday.  I thought about Anna and Robert, Tony and Tania, Tony and Bobby, Frisco and Felicia, and yes, Luke and Laura.  I thought about the love/hate relationship between Alan and Monica that was always more about love than hate.  I remembered actually wanting to tune in day after day to see what was going on with GH’s lovers.  Seeing the Scorpios back together, I  thought about other GH families (and poor Maxie, a motherless child, who seemed to have peace for a brief moment in time when she watched her cousin Robin being embraced by her own mother).  Anna back as the Scorpio family matriarch?  What I wouldn’t give!

Robin and Patrick’s wedding gave all of that back to me.  If that’s all I get, what a pity, but I’m happy to have had it.  Tough times are ahead in the land of “scrubs love” but even that has me more intrigued than all of the natural disasters, fire bombings, hotel massacres, and church shoot outs the writers have penned for this soap in the past decade.

If I can’t appeal to writer camp based on their love for the history of GH and the great cast it has at its disposal, how about appealing based on the economics of producing the show?  Any drama is about the humanity of the show’s characters.  It’s about making the emotional connection to the audience.  Developing Scrubs,  “Maxelli”, LnL2, and others is a damned bit cheaper  than paying technicians and pyrotechnics to blow things up and tear things apart.  Think about it.

Double Entendre

I use to write about the ‘cast envy’ some daytime shows seemed to experience. Featuring smaller casts, more of those shows’ characters had to do double duty. The man who was your brother is also your stepdad and at some point in the future, your father-in-law.

With daytime’s reversal of fortune and the decrease in cast sizes, double duty relationships are more prominent, and more distracting, than ever before.

While DAYS’ Chelsea Brady was keeping the peace between Max and Stephanie, I found myself listening only up until the point where she referred to both of them as her best friends. She didn’t want to be put in the middle of their ex-lovers feud. She was additionally angry that Max’s sister implied that there was something going on between her and Max just to make Stephanie jealous.

Does Chelsea know that Max is her uncle and Stephanie’s uncle as well? Are we to assume that the familial bonds of the Brady clan were broken with the brief return of Max’s biological father and the continued presence of his bio sister? Is it now ok for him to continue to date his brother and sister’s children?

The Bold and The Beautiful is the worst ‘double duty’ offender. The situation on DAYS is child’s play by comparison. That Rick Forrester is now involved romantically with the second niece in a twin pair so soon after his first girlfriend/niece has died is especially odious. Rick seemed predatory when he became involved with Phoebe. That her death makes him hot for her twin sister? ICK! Why is it that no one remembers that predatory ‘Uncle Rick’ and his ex-wife use to babysit Phoebe and Steffy?

Why does daytime keep turning dark corners rather than taking the hit and temporarily hiring an actor to play a non-related character for even a brief period of time? Even when the writers correct their errors after not being able to draw viewers into the muck, it’s hard to let go of the storyline induced nausea when the characters remain to remind us of their low points.

Bitch goddery

There’s a quiet revolution taking place in daytime and I love being part of it – if only as a viewer. Daytime writers have been slowly kicking up the bitch goddess factor..

DAYS offers the ever deceptive and self sabotaging Nicole Walker Dimera. You can read more about her in previous S&F blogs.

The YnR offers Phyllis Newman – maneater and also a master of the self-inflicted wound. In her effort to manipulate her husband into staying with her, her attacks on his wronged ex-wife will most likely result in his return to said ex-wife Sharon Newman Abbott.

OLTL’s Tea Delgado just helped free Todd, who recently violated his former rape victim. That storyline I could do without. It’s enough to make me want to revoke her bitch goddess status. She is, however, using that bit of tasteless work as cover for going after a different target – another potentially innocent woman who is the victim of a questionable man. Oh Tea. While I don’t like her behavior, it’s been a while since we’ve seen such a powerful and devious woman in daytime. We typically get one or the other.

ATWT’s Carly Tenney is getting back into fighting form. Instead of crying about Jack Snyder moving on, she’s handing his ass back to him on a platter when he attacks her. Watching her stick it to the self-righteous prig this past week was the best gift the writers could have given Carly fans like myself.

GH’s Natalia Livingston is coming back as an angry maniplator instead of the sainted Emily Quartermaine at a time when GH has lost all of it’s truly bad ‘bad girls’ (and still I cry – Emily always put me in the mood to chew glass.). I reserve the right to believe that NL’s return could be interesting and Emily free.

So far, not a whiner in the bunch: just tough smart and dangerous women. If only we could make them sisters on the same soap, the BnB perhaps…and make Pam Douglas their tough-as-nails mother…you know, since her tumor was removed and she’s no longer psychotic. Sorta’

Nicole Walker: Queen of The Daytime Divas

I’ve been singing Zuker’s praises for months now so this will be of no surprise to anyone when I say this but she’s done it again!

Over the course of several days (no pun intended) Zuker’s Nicole has hit the depths of despair -crying out for divine intervention thinking about her lost child. She’s also reached the height of her insanity – carrying on a fake pregnancy, keeping her husband in the dark. At the same time she’s found a moment of calm and even keel.

Some of the character’s success is in the writing but most of it is in the actor’s delivery. Zuker’s comedic timing is nothing short of brilliant. Only Nicole would bring a peace offering of a box of donuts to the doctor she was so rude to just before.. Only Nicole would add that the sprinkles on top were to make up for the fact that she threatened to murder him if he didn’t keep her secret.

You just can’t get that kind of evil bitchy goodness anywhere else in daytime. Zuker makes daytime in general, DAYS in particular, worth watching. Long live Nicole’s reign as a Dimera. She’s found the place where she belongs.

In your wildest dreams

General Hospital

I couldn’t have dreamed a more touching father and son-in-law scene than the one penned by GH writers for Robert and Patrick. Every word was perfect. The tone of the scene was perfect. The delivery of the dialogue was perfect. It was enough to help me forgive the writers for having Patrick give the first promise to love and protect Robin to her mob-father, Sonny (What was the point of that?).

Double praise to the writers for incorporating Robin’s memories of Stone and her discussion with him of what she wanted on her wedding day. I got a little teary-eyed with the old clip of the young lovers. It was sweet and subtle and unexpected. How lovely that she thought of him – and that the writers thought of the fan’s love for the show’s history.

Triple the praise when you add the heartwarming conversation between the Scoorpio brothers whose love for one another and Robin was evident. The Scorpio-Drake clan adds something magical to this show. If today’s scenes were any indication of what’s to come, I could become a huge GH fan again.

Young and the Restless

Today the YnR writers made it clear that Gloria will never be required to pay for anything she’s done – ever. Most characters skate free but rarely do they thrive to the same extent as Glo..

Even during Michael Baldwin’s ”Wonderful Life” dream the focus was, in part, on poor Gloria and Michael’s anger that she wasn’t being worshipped by Jack Abbott.

Michael was always a sketchy character but at some point I bought into his redemption. With Glo in his life he’s always one step away from sketchy, again. Forgive her? Yes, but his constant defense for the indefensible is problematic for the character.

That one segment told me that hard times were in store for fans who allowed themselves to believe that Gloria was finally going to face the music. She, more than any other soap villain (and I do think of her as a villain), continues to escape justice. Predictable.

Contrition

I’d like to believe that Rick is genuinely sorry for all that’s happened but given his current behavior, I can’t. It’s all about him…everything…even now. Rick continues to manipulate his mother despite the fact that she has always taken his side on almost all matters.

There are three things I hate about Rick’s relationship with his mother:

1 – That there’s more manipulation than love in their relationship, on Rick’s part. If the character was billed as a villain this would makes sense. He’s not and that’s what make it hard to view his actions as love for anyone other than Himself.. As a villain manipulation would be the only way he could understand love. What’s his excuse now?

2 – Brooke puts Rick’s desires before ALL of her other children. It’s left RJ and Hope without a dad at times. Imagine how different things wouls be if Bridget received the level of support Rick has… the next point would be moot:

3 – Rick is the reason Brooke ended up tied to prick marone, through Jack. He encouraged her to run to that fool and do whatever she had to in order to win him back. She banked her eggs to try to win Nick back.

Brooke and Rick’s relationship is the same as Ridge and Steph’s only in reverse. Maybe the writers will have Ridge and Brooke lighbulbs go off and finally see that the people they love most have used them as pawns.

Cut them both loose.

That the next big BnB feud brewing is Rick and Stephanie is NO shock to me. They are peas in a pod.