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.

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GH: Some Days, Watching This Show Is a Little Like THIS (warning: brief nudity)

Yes, yes, and since the nudity involves Paul Bettany – seriously, .. you should thank me!  As for GH  “blame” more than “thank” is the word I’m looking for when thinking about what sort of credit should be given.   What follows is what I LIKE about GH right now and what I hate, though hate me be too strong of a word since it motivated me to find a nude Paul Bettany clip!

What I love!

I love that the writers can make me love (some) couples when I thought that my feelings for them were forever dead.  You know where this is going!  Lucky and Liz.  She has long been, for me, one of the sleaziest most unbearable women in daytime.  With respect to her lovelife, she’s the female Sonny Corinthos.  If there’s a man she’s been involved with that she HASN’T carried a child for, surely he must be sterile.  For a nurse, her knowledge and use of family planning devices carries as stellar a record as Port Chuckle’s cognitively limited Dapper Don.  That Liz and Sonny don’t have a child together amazes me.  Somehow the writers let that one slip by – unless my memory is so shoddy I just don’t remember a Lonny Love Child.  

Everything about Liz makes me cringe, and yet when Liz and Lucky are together, the magic happens!

It’s not just having JJ back in the role of Lucky because honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of that move.  Greg Vaughn’s soulful eyes and hunkalicious abs still haunt me, folks, and I miss him in the role.  I wish both “Luckys” could have survived, in whatever weird storyline plot the writers could come up with – I’m easy like that.  As for Lucky and Liz?  Somehow, the writers have figured out how to use the LL2 family with precision accuracy.  Even with Vaughn in the role, the LL2 writing, as centered around the family, is thoughtful, loving, sweet and tender.  They’re the kind of moments the writers use to give us more of in the glory days of GH.  It was the loving and tender moments that balanced against the occasional dark scenes when darkness on GH meant a huge and adventurous battle between the villains out to destroy Port Charles and the heroic men and women who fought back. 

Now?  The frequent darkness (violent and vile) is balanced against he occasional loving family scene.  When I see them, they breathe new life into the show for me, even if for a limited time.  I can thank the writers for that.  More of THAT, please.

What I still hate!

Real men, like Jax, have to be taken down a peg when they cross paths with the Apple Dumpling Gang (Carly, Sonny, Jason).  Women in Sonny’s life have to proclaim him a hero, no matter how low or how sleazy he gets.  The only time they stand up to him is when the actress in the role is leaving the show.  The idea that Carly gets to put on blinders to sacrifice another man’s child to stay close to Sonny makes me terribly ill.  In Caroline Benson – Carly Corinthos’ world:

  •  being kidnapped by your father’s enemies builds character. 
  • Being photographed “dead” by a loon who fakes your death only toughens you up – besides, isn’t that photo now sitting on her mantle?  Good.Times.
  • getting shot in the head and spending most of your formative years in a coma, shot while someone was aiming for dad?  Well that just gives you one kick ass essay for your college apps (Let little Mr. Kappa Kappa Legacy top that one!). 
  • if your son ends up in prsion because his idiot father makes self defense look like murder in a cover up?  WELL!  The hell he suffers there is just his initiation into how hard life can be at times.  Welcome to the majors, future crime boss! 

DAMN Jax for worring about his little girl ending up with a bullet in her brain – or worse.

DAMN Brenda for not being a woman tough enough to stick out a few hard times, just because she’s already been kidnapped while under Sonny’s protection and her son was threatened.   Weenie.

DAMN the world for thinking that little Corinthos children who plan to kidnap a child to “save” her from the graceful love of her father are somehow wrong and pathological!  Future criminals don’t become desensitized to right and wrong all on their own!

Thank goodness for Sonny and Caroline-Carly, making childhood a little less safe, one tragic event at a time.  Someone should remind Carly of these moments:

Yeah.  Good.Times.

To which I can say that I will not miss Bob Guza when he’s gone.  Not.One.Bit.