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!

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GH – Reconciliation

I realize, now, that I was far too dismissive of the big disaster episodes on General Hospital.  While I’m still not crazy about the special effects, or about GH writers ripping themselves off from prior disaster storyline, for as much as scenes like THIS annoyed me:

there were actually quite a few things to like about General Hospital over the last week or two.  When you wipe away the special effects, the mobsters being misplaced,  and take a look at the human interactions, some pretty significant stuff  happened.   (What’s wrong with the above scene? Sonny, standing in the middle of a group of women, all of whom he’s either slept with or impregnated?  Plenty!  I imagine a GH in which two or more women can stand in a room and NEITHER/NONE of them has slept with Sonny -or Jason, for that matter. Eh!  Another time.  That’s not the point of this blog entry).

The good stuff… RECONCILIATION, of sorts:

1.  Tracy and Edward Quartermaine.  I can only guess that their scenes were especially gratifying to veteran GH viewers.  Why?  Edward Quartermaine isn’t exactly what you’d call a warm and loving father. In fact, he’s not exactly the sort of man you’d call ‘father’, if you could help it.  He may be Tracy, Alan,  deceased Bradley Ward, and Jimmy Lee Holt’s  biological father, but that’s been about his only claim to his family. His children and grandchildren have always been property to him, pawns. They were a sign of his great empire, shaped to carry on his legacy, but not  ncessarily people he was capable of showing any sort of measurable love and affection toward.  Even more?

Tracy’s conflicts with Edward have been even more difficult than most father-daughter relationships in daytime.  A father may deny the paternity of his child, in daytime. He may even live his life without knowing he’s had children.  Daughter’s may grow up calling the wrong man papa, but rarely do they attemp to kill their fathers, biological or otherwise.  Tracy has.  She allowed Edward to suffer a heart attack, and as he lay dying – begging her to get his medication, she ignored his pleas.  Luckily, Edward faked the heart attack and was just testing Tracy.  Unlucky for her, she failed.

Sure, they’ve have warm moments since that time:

but nothing comes close to the scenes between the two we’ve witnessed this past week.  Tracy is Edward’s last livng link to his beloved Lila.  Despite everything they’ve been through, they are the last of the Q family in many ways.  Lila is long gone.  Granddaughter Emily passed away shortly after his son, Alan. Bradley is deceased.  Jimmy Lee Holt has moved on.  Grandsons Ned and Dillon are off in the winds, making their fortunes, and living non-Q lives.  What remains is Edward, Tracy, and daughter-in-law Monica.  It’s good to know that when push comes to shove, Edward will stand by his children, and his grandchildren, and all those he loves.  It was touching scene to watch, Edward wanting the daughter who was willing to take his life to survive.

2.  Edward and Carly being civil… another set of touching scenes and quite poignant when you think about their history.

Carly was always certain that the Qs, Edward most especially, were a threat to her son Michael.  She spent every waking moment thinking of how to keep Michael safe from Edward’s clutches and to prevent him from being turned into a Q/Eddie clone as his biological father AJ had willingingly become.

 It’s ironic when you think about it.  Even if he was an Eddie Q clone, he wouldn’t be in a coma, right now, most likely.  He would be safe.  Carly first embraced Edward and welcomed his presence at Michael’s fundraiser.  She later showed him sympathy and concern as he worried and waited to learn the fate of his daughter and his daughter-in-law.

You have to wonder if the writers will ever allow Carly to spend time openly reflecting on how much better off Michael would have been had he been raised by the Qs.  Could she ever become part of their family again?  If AJ returned, in the midst of the hell Carly’s life has become dealing with Sonny and Jason and the dark drama that follows them both, would she be happy to see him?  Is there some part of her that would feel guilty that she hadn’t let him be a bigger part of Michael’s life?  It makes you wonder her unspoken regrets are the reason she’s been so determined to stay with Jax and to have Jax be Morgan’s father/father figure. 

3.  Liz and Lucky.  While Liz and Lucky aren’t officially together, surely they’ll realize that no matter how much has happened between them, they have far too much history to be able to love anyone else as much as they love one another.  What’s always been true about this couple appears to be true, once again They’ve always been able to rely on one another more than they could anyone else – prior to Lucky’s addiction.

For the record, I’ve always liked Lucky and Sam. She gave him back his dignity, to some degree. Sam was able to see him in a way that Liz couldn’t after she’d talked herself into believing that Jason was the immoral (uh moral) majority and a good man who would never harm anyone, herself included, as Lucky had hurt her.  She’s right, Jason is not the unfaithful kind, just murderous and unrepentant – but that’s another story.  If Lucky and Sam were built on something more than rebounding, I’d  want them together for a very long time.  Lucky did as much for Sam as she’s done for him.  They were both able to see the good in one another that their respective partners wrote off. 

Each has sought forgiveness for their betrayals of others.  Each has been horribly judged by those who have no right to judge them (something about glass houses, being without sin, casting first stones, and all that jazz).  Knowing that about  Sam and Lucky makes me wonder why I even want Lucky and Liz to get back together – other than the fact that the heart wants what it wants, and my heart wants the love and history that comes with this couple.  They make me remember a GH I use to enjoy, and it would be great to have a couple together without the mob worship that takes place on this show far too often. Liz and Lucky are ‘family’.  They always have been.

Now, if the writers would only do something about Jake’s paternity.  That kid just CAN’T be Jason’s… Let’s reconcile THAT issue, next.

4.  Luke with his past.  Something about Ethan tells me that Luke will have to face what kind of man he is, and was in his youth, yet again.  At least I hope that’s true, and this time  I want it to be an eye opening day of reckoning.    Ethan is a slick operator, as Luke once was.   I have to wonder how much longer Luke will find Ethan’s antics funny.  Ethan is clearly a liar, manipulator and user.  Like Edward Q, Luke has become a father in name only – which saddens me when you think of the life Luke and Laura created for Lulu and the ‘cowboy’. 

Luke seems to be gravitating toward the young man who reminds him far too much of himself in his younger days.  I would have added his youner and more ‘reckless days’, but he’s still living the reckless part.  While his children were back in PC dealing with the toxic gas scare, where was Luke?  Having only just met Ethan, Luke has already found another reason to ignore the children who needed him, as well as not being there for Tracy.

There’s a part of me that wants Luke to learn the hard way what it’s like to love and trust a man like the self-indulgent Luke Spencer.  I want him to open his heart to his new “son” (symbolic? actual?) only to find himself being tossed aside, used, lied to, and generally ignored.  It would finally give him some idea of the lives his children and the women who’ve loved him  have led.

Scrubs – Warm Fuzzies

Now that’s how you write for a cornerstone couple you can build the show’s future around. While Robin and Patrick are FAR too young to become the show’s matriarch and patriarch (as Lila and Edward once were), they do feel like a matriarch and patriarch in training.

They’re fun and playful and their loving moments are real and honest. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their playful banter about Patrick’s commitment phobic – skirt chasing days.

Score one for Robin, by the way, for seeing what Matt is all about and warning him to back off of Maxie. Matt is a less entertaining version of hottie Patrick – I’m not interested in watching his pale imitation of Patrick.

Robin handled the situation between Matt and Maxie with Lila’s grace – something sorely lacking on GH. I’d hoped that Laura would finally be allowed to come back and serve as Lila’s spiritual heir, but no. While I don’t mind Robin and Patrick temporarily filling the matriarch and patriarch roles, it would be a mistake for the writers to steal their youth and make them old before their time.

Keep them as they are – for a while longer. Watching them today only steels my resolve to see Carly and Robin bury the hatchet (see the blog below regarding the link between these two women). Watching them today made me love Scrubs even more.

Well… it’s MLK Day and while the soaps have largely ignored the day, I’m off to a celebration and to do work that will hopefully make a difference!

Godspeed!