GH – Practicing the Dark Arts

I’m trying to get a handle on what’s going on with General Hospital. There are things I like about the show (though nothing I love, right now).

  • I’m THRILLED that Kate is moving on with her life. Her role as Sonny’s avenger was wearing thin. She’s bright, wealthy, beautiful and successful… why would she want to carry water for Sonny? He’s treated her so shabbily since he married Claudia – a woman he couldn’t stand, initially. I like the idea of having a successful woman on the show who worries about her career, and isn’t wasted worrying about dating a man who’ll never be faithful to her. Sonny has the attention span the length of the lifespan of a fruit fly.
  • I thought I wanted Lucky and Liz together, but given her treatment of him in favor of Jason, I don’t think it should happen right away (if it ever happens at all given every onscreen indication that Liz will become involved with Patrick). I’m not crazy about Rebecca and would love to see her GO… away, FAR FAR away… but if that won’t happen, she’s not so bad with Lucky, for now.
  • It’s great seeing Carly and Jax work out their marriage. It’s time for a adult up move between two married people on this show. It’s far too easy to split a couple up to create a new set of pairings. I think it takes more talent to put a couple together and make them interesting from inside the relationship.
  • Agent Rayner makes me want to chew glass, at times. The writers are too heavy handed in making him the chief foe of the Port Chuckles mob kingpins. I think we’re supposed to hate him and root for the mob-boys… NOT SO! I can multi-task, no problem. I am annoyed by BOTH of them, less so with Rayner. That said, I like the thought of an Alexis/Rayner pairing, though who knows how he’d react to having to deal with Sonny should he become Christina’s new step-pappa.  Would he want to jeopardize his career by sharing a child with a mob boss?  Could he handle having Sonny THAT involved in his life?
  • It’s wrong, it’s SO WRONG, but I like Sonny and Claudia. I learned to like Sonny and Carly eventually (when Sarah Brown was in the role) though it broke my heart for Carly to hurt Jason. I wanted Jason and Carly more than anything. There must be some carryover from the Sonny-SB/Carly days. I don’t care what it is, I like them. They’re dark, mean, and clearly pretty good at gaming one another. Sonny has met his psychotic soul mate. What more could you ask for?

The question was rhetorical, I can tell you what more to ask for:

Writers, LEAVE SCRUBS ALONE! For as much as I like the thought of keeping Sonny and Carly Claudia together, it dawns on me that the writers are treating them as the ‘Dark Arts’ version of Scrubs. They’re playful and passionate, and fun to watch when you allow yourself to forget that these are two people who’d just as soon put a bullet in you, as love you.

They are clearly NOT a good trade for the real Scrubs.

I was admittedly excited about the PPD storyline when it was announced. Robin’s history has been that she’s needed to have a sense of control over every aspect of her life. She’d learned to become cautious, possibly overly cautious, after her contracting HIV. She’d lost so much before: Stone, her mother, her father, Jason… order gave Robin a sense of security.

So it makes sense that with her hormones out of wack, a child she wasn’t sure she could care for, and no clear certainty about her future in a career she’d worked so hard to obtain would all lead her to a dark place.

The dark place I thought Robin might go to was leaving home and possibly contemplating divorce, or seeking out support from a psychiatrist and refusing to comply with treatment, or sitting alone in a dark room and refusing to talk with anyone – develping a catatonic state not unlike Laura Spencer’s.  At most I thought that Robin might start drinking or taking drugs. The writers are setting us up for FAR WORSE. Robin sitting alone, drinking in a bar, making up a new identity? Checking into a hotel room all alone? How much longer before she’s sharing that room with another man, who knows her by another name and a different identity?

What next, GH writers? Will this man ‘make a video’? Will he blackmail Robin once he realizes who she is (with or without video)? Will she carry on a longterm affair? Will she leave her family because she’s in love with him?

What the hell is wrong with daytime writers? Why can’t they leave what WORKS alone? Is there an allergy to success in daytime?  I’ve speculated about that before.  I’m sure that there must be, now.  When you have a winning formula, the thing to do is DOUBLE DOWN! Use it to create MORE of the what the audience wants. Don’t destroy one of the best things you have going. Destroying Maximista and Spinelli wasn’t enough (making him her confessor as she talks about her bad behavior with another man)?

The time for experimentation to bring in new viewers was LONG ago in daytime.  Now? The name of the game is survival. Keep the audience you still have left by not insulting us with storylines that we can never, and will never accept.

Much like Carly and Jax, fans can appreciate a couple willing to work out their issues and stay together. Real couples do it every day. There are ways of introducing new couples and new pairings and drawing fans in. Breaking up Scrubs (and that’s where it feels like we’re headed in confirmation of the spoilers out there suggesting it will happen) is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with the ratings.  You not only can’t tolerate success, you want to beat it into the ground and make sure it never comes near you again!

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The way to a girl’s heart… OLTL/ATWT/GH

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The way to this girl’s heart  is through her favorite soap character… or at least through halfway decent writing!  I was THRILLED, today, to hear Clint and Nora mention something they rarely talk about – their familial past.   It was such an organic moment and so perfect, that I watched it twice.  Given the closeness of Bo and Nora, I’ve never been able to really root for Clint and Nora,  but today I ‘got it’.  I realized what made them special.  There’s a realism with Clint and Nora that most other couples lack.

Some couples have to be heavily in love – hot and steaming just to sell themselves (nice try DAYS’ Ej and Sami – no sale).  Others have to be angry and bitterly fighting to prove their passion (yes, I’m talking about YOU GL’s Bill and Lizzie).  Clint and Nora just have to ‘be’.  When Nora asked Clint if he ever thought about why they were together, if they belong, if they were meant to be – his response floored me.  He said that since she is his ex sister-in-law, some would say they didn’t belong together at all.  I love when soaps acknowledge the ookyness that so many of us are feeling when they have siblings (or mothers-daugthers, fathers-sons) swap partners.

Yeah, I cried a little… ok, I would have under other circumstances, but you get the point.  It was such a sweet ‘us against the world’ moment that no matter what happens with Clint and Nora, I’ll always have that one perfect day with them.

Listen carefully, ATWT’s writers.  THAT’S how you write a mature romance.  This whole thing with Blondie/Jack/Janet just makes me want to pluck my eyes out with Katie’s chopsticks, I tell ya’!  In essence, Jack has reduced his ‘special’ time with Carly  to a good roll in the hay, something he can’t get over or stop wanting.  They have a ‘chemical attraction’ says the mighty Jack(ass)   I thought I was being too harsh on Jack, yesterday.  NOW?  I realize that I’ve given him TOO much credit all along. Carly loves that pinhead with her whole heart.  She wants Jack even when she can’t be with him physically.  My entire gripe about Jack  has been that when he’s in pursuit of another woman, he reduces Carly and his time with her to almost nothing.  Today, he’s outdone himself.

Oh, and who didn’t see the mugging coming a mile away?  Guilt guilt guilt…Jack will work even harder to make Janet happy — while sneaking off for ‘chemistry lessons’ with Carly. Janet doesn’t want to be Jack’s consolation prize, but dear writers, I’m starting to feel as if Janet is OUR consolation prize.  I’d rather see more of a focus on CARLY’s happiness and having her finally have a place where she feels she belongs, with someone who finally and truly loves her.  Janet?  Not so much.  I still just don’t care.

You’ve at least made up for shoving Janet at fans by giving us Henry and Vienna, Katie and Brad.  We even got to see Bob and Kim (even if it was under pretty sad circumstances).  Letting Chris Hughes go?  What are you THINKING, PTB? That dude had ‘walking fantasy’ written all over him (at least, that’s what the sash he’s wearing says when he’s in MY dreams).

Speaking of dreams,  GH left me pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t seeing things.  Lainey LIVES!  She’s so rarely seen that I’m always thrilled when there are any Lainey sightings on deck.  I still mourn for the loss of Justice Ward when I see her, and wonder why the writers no only ended his short life the way they did, but then treated his relationship with Lainey as ‘no big thing’.  It was so sad to hear her say that she wasn’t really close to Justice, but that she still felt bad about his death.  OUCH!

Oh, and excuse me, but was that REALLY Maxie showing genuine sympathy towards Lulu, and willing to taking on psychopathic papa Zacchara to help Lulu out?  Not only has Kirsten Storms made Maxie HER character with her interpretation of who Maxie Jones-Scorpio is and should be, she’s given the character such a wonderfully sharp edge.  I don’t mind seeing that edge occasionally softened.  Today, I didn’t know who to feel sorrier for, Lulu or Maxie.  Maxie stopped caring about anyone other than herself long ago.  She seemed almost as lost as Lulu.

To see her give a damn about Lulu’s condition, enough to take on old man Zacchara in order to make sure that Lulu could see Johnny, gave me hope for the character. It gave me hope that the writers would continue down the path of creating a multi-layered ingenue fans would come to appreciate for years to come.  Well done, Kirsten, well done!  Oh, and Maxie’s new look, the mini-Kate Howard look, is working for her.

Katie/Connie is going to need Maxie’s adoration by the time Sonny finds out that she lied about his child and has been keeping Olivia’s secret this entire time.  Someone set up the barware, it’s time for Sonny to start smashing things!

How interesting that Katie/Connie places such a high premium on honesty… and has been able to look Sonny in the eye this entire time, knowing the secret she’s kept from him.  I can’t wait! Should we place bets on whether Carly finds out before anyone else and torments Katie/Connie and Olivia?  Are we taking bets on whether the earlier rumors are true and Spinelli is Sonny’s long lost son, after all?