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.

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On the Move in Daytime – Comings and Goings

  • Sarah Joy Brown is on the move and I can’t friggin’ wait, though I wouldn’t mind seeing SB play something other than batshit crazy in daytime:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sarah Brown will be checking out of ABC’s “General Hospital” and into CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and she won’t get a moment’s rest in between.

The actress’s last appearance on the ABC daytime soap as Claudia Zacchara, the sexy daughter of a mobster, is set for Nov. 5. The next day, she’s to be introduced as goodhearted newcomer Sandy Sommers on “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

Read the rest HERE

  • GH is really shaking things up.  Greg Vaughn is leaving (no comment on what his next move is).  Jonathan Jackson returns in the role of Lucky Spencer.  Let the flaming begin, but this one worries me.  I loved JJ as teen Lucky, and for my money, he still looks too much like” teen Lucky”.   I have to wonder if it’s not a signal from TPTB.  A signal for?  I dunno.  If JJ’s Lucky continues to read as Nik’s baby brother, I see Nik and Liz long term.  If they’re trying to play off of the amazingchemistry  young Liz and young Lucky shared, Nik is probably a goner.  Either way, I’m loking forward to seeing JJ and AG’s “Luke” onscreen  together again.  They were often the best part of GH for me for quite a long time.  Hopefully the era of wunderkinder Ethan is over.  The writers never committed to Luke and the ‘cowboy’ with Vaughn in the role.  Maybe they’ll fnally remember that Lucky is Luke’s son… or at least change his damned name.  It’s cruel to keep referring to that guy as ‘Lucky’.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful’s Ashley Jones will appear in an upcoming episode of ‘The Mentalist’.  Details to follow (Thanks for the tip, Ann!)  As for her BnB character “Bridget Forrester Marone “…. our Budge is on a crash course with Sarah Brown’s upcoming character, Sandra… BRING IT, Baby!  Bridget has had to fight for love her entire life, Sandra the psychotic might just be in for a shock!  Might we eventually see a Sandra /Whip (Rick Hearst) pairing?
  • I still can’t speak on the YnR’ s hardball tactics with Eric Braeden.  Who’s going to fill his awfully big shoes if they can’t lure EB back and bring Victor back to screen?  LILY?  Amber?  Kevin?  Jack?  Pffft.    I will not speack of EB’s departure.  Can’t.  Too stunned/disgusted/shocked/ready to move on from the YnR.

GH Characters and Couples I’m learning to love again!

Carly Corinthos Jacks.  The moment Sarah Joy Brown stepped foot on stage, I became a Caroline “Carly” Benson-Roberts (…Quartermaine Corinthos Jacks)”  fan.  Carly is a character who is so good, she practically writes herself – and by “good” I mean good at driving people crazy with her half-baked schemes. 

I absolutely adore Laura Wright in the role and not just because I would crawl into a deathmatch cage to have hair as gorgeous  as hers.  I’ve been madly impressed with her interpretation of Carly.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been as happy with the writers’ re-invention of the character since Wright took the role.  It started off well enough, but then the writers transformed a relatively self-reliant, strong, vibrant character and into a highly co-dependent, whining, meddling pain in the ass.  HEARTBREAK!  So what’s to like?

The writers are reinventing Carly once again – for the better.  She’s taken a huge step forward and has decided to put her marriage before the mob.  Jax’s quixotic attempts to rescue princesses who aren’t exactly looking to escape from the clapsed arms of Port Chuckles’ dark knights has been painful to watch. I’d given up hope that the man could ever find true love.   To have Carly choose him gave me  a glimpse of the old Carly.  It’s about time some woman realized that Jax was the much better alternative to a life of gunshots and death threats – hard to believe it’s taken so long. 

Choosing Jax hasn’t been her only shining moment.  To have her reach out to Robin shows both Carly’s depth and vulnerability, traits the writers have ignored for far too long.  Wright and McCullough were amazing, bringing great sensitivity and a delightful sense of history to their scenes, addressing Robin’s post partum depression.  (Click HERE and you’ll see why I think it makes perfect sense that these two women can now become friends).  Theirs will be an uneasy truce, if the writers bother to take them that far.  Can’t you see Carly and Robin as great ‘frenemies’?  Imagine them as daytime’s  answer to Ouiser and Clariee!

Jason Morgan.  I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ to describe what I feel for him.  I do find Jason a TAD more watchable right now.  We’ve seen Jason sacrifice himself for the women he loves – but only when he’s personally involved and presumably getting something out of the deal.  His willingness to fight for Spinelli’s freedom is impressive.  The writers created a character so stoic and removed from any emotional response that he was transformed from the living-giving Jason Quartermaine, to the life-taking Jason M. 

What’s next?  Who the hell knows?  This is GH!  What I would like to see, besides getting Jason away from Liz and finding out that the Jake isn’t his, is to have Jason Q. return.  Jsaon Quartermaine, in the realm of daytime at least, could have a medical breakthrough.  He could wake up one day, reliving every kill Jason Morgan ever made.  Since Jason Quartermaine never indulged the same, weak, moral equivalencies that Jason Morgan does, he wouldn’t view JM’s kills as ‘righteous’.  After a brief psychological breakdown, Jason Quartermaine could walk back into his family’s home, pick up where he left off, and become a new man again. He could return to the hospital, post medical school, and join the medical staff at GH.  That would be a far better tribute to Alan than having his ghost show up every other month.  Another option is having him put his new business skills to use at thelegitimate though sometimes shady at ELQ.

By the way, I was wrong, I said that I couldn’t get worked up over yet another GH disaster storyline.  The commercials have me hooked.  Of course, it was disappointing to see Jason MORGAN there, calling shots and taking control yet again.  BASTA!  Enough already.  Let’s hope the doctors are the centerpiece heroes in this storyline about a MEDICAL crisis.

Johnny Zacchara.  For the son of a psychotic mob boss, and a man who was anxious to take the reigns of power from his father, Johnny is an OK guy!   I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Johnny/Lulu relationship – though I did enjoy the care he gave Lulu when they were on the run for Logan’s murder.  Brandon Barash (Johnny’s portrayer) has it all but the writers have made little use of it. 

Johnny has spent most of his tenure on GH playing a stoic, stale version of Jason Morgan.  He’s so much better than that!  Watching the guy remake himself has been provided fans with  a fascinating character study.  Johnny, as he’s written, has never had to think about what he would or could become.  There was never a choice.  Yet, he has become the hope of that  segment of the audience that has always wanted to see Sonny and Jason walk away from mob life for good and figure out what kind of people they are.  Johnny has shown a grit and the courage that the scary big bads haven’t shown so far.  He’d rather mop floors than run drugs?  He’d rather clean tables than prostitute women or kill rivals?  FINALLY!

If we’re lucky the writers are treating him as someone who wants this change for his own sake and not just for Lulu.  Johnny has to be the mob-boy-turned-human-being who makes it.  I’m rooting for him (and for the writers to continue to make him a unique character. 

Liz and Lucky

Fine, that’s not a picture of Liz and Lucky, it’s a gratuitious shot of Maxie and Spinelli (Maxelli).  GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to it’s younger couples. Couples at midlife? Not so lucky. In GH’s younger set there’s Robin and Patrick, Sonny and Claudia (for now), Jax and Carly (for now), Lulu and Johnny (for now), Jason longing for Liz and vice versa (for now), Lucky and Sam (for now), Maxie and Spinelli (sorta’).

Clearly, the only confidence I have is in the Scrubs pairing. Sonny and Claudia’s marriage is running on borrowed time, as are Lulu and Johnny given his connection to Claudia’s soon to be ill fortune!  Rumors/Spoilers suggest that Kate Howard will get to have the last laugh and find one of Jerry Jax’s magical DVDs.  Once Claudia falls, Johnny can’t be far behind – hopefully this won’t be the end of the Zacharra sibs.  I have a feeling they’ll find out that their hired gun wasn’t responsible for Michael’s shooting after all, but that their father sent someone who was responsible.

Of the above mentioned couples, the couples that are seemingly headed for the land of ‘couple swapping’ is that of  Liason (Liz and Jason) and LuSam (Lucky and Sam).  They’re headed back to their original pairings as it SHOULD be.

Lucky and Liz  together bring out the best in each other, when they’re good. Jason and Liz together bring out the worst in one another.  They also bring out the worst in those around them. To make Jason and Liz work the people around them have to be trashed to hell.  It appears to be the writers’ only trick to make Liz sympathetic (instead of desperate, clingy, and careless with her children’s lives) or to make Jason seem a better man when with her – when in reality nothing ‘s changed about him..

–Carly had to betray Jason and sleep with Sonny – something she would NEVER have done, just to give Jason cause to turn to Liz.   Carly’s love (or obsession, you choose) for Jason was so great that she risked jail time and death just to be near him.  No matter how much she loved Sonny later, it was easy to see that Carly still regretted that the one thing she couldn’t give her son, Michael, was Jason’s DNA.  Her great regret was that his brother A.J. was his father.   Sex with Sonny?  Completely out of character for Carly.  It was, however, the beginning of his turning to Liz for help during his dark times.  It was also the beginning of the writers stealing back Lucky’s hard earned place as a true GH hero.

— Heroic Lucky had to become a drug user and cheat (discussed HERE). Out of character for Lucky who was one of the truest of true hearts this show’s ever produced.

— Sam developed a vicious form of babymania and had Liz’s child kidnapped just to hurt her.  Given the scenes of Sam with her own brother before he died, and her feelings about her own pregnancy, family was always her first priority.  It was simply by watching the ‘great love’ of  Jason and Liz that she quickly become capable of risking harm to a child.  Sure.  Anything to make Liason more sympathetic… only NOT.

When you have to work that hard to put a couple together:

1 – you’re tearing apart a great cast, dumping on your show’s history, and chasing off viewers.

2 – there’s nothing worth having with the couple you’re foisting on the audience. There’s a reason there was such a negative reaction to Jason and Liz.  There’s just far too much emotional manipulation of the audience rather than an emotional connection between the characters.  I will be more than happy to see Liason go.

I’d like the writers to restore the LnL2 history.  I’d like to see Liz try to figure out what her attraction to Jason has been when he’s so unlike anything she’s ever wanted for herself and her children – yes, despite the fact that both of her sons have biological fathers with criminal histories. 

I don’t want to see Lucky beg for her love or try to win her back.  If she can forgive Jason’s murderous tendencies, she owed Lucky more than walking away from their marriage when he was ill.  The writers need to take Liz on a journey of deep exploration, and let her try to win HIS love and trust back.  St. Liz passed another man’s child off as his when he was ill, she really doesn’t have a lot of room to judge the man for his past.

Contracts: Read the fine print.

Guiding Light

Is there some secret clause in Gina Tognoni’s contract that requires her character to be paired with every angry young male character in Peapack-Springfield?

If there is, maybe her agent will fine tooth comb the next contract and take that sucker out.

A close friendship with Remy, lust with Jon Randall, lust (causing a sense of disgust and revulsion from fans) when paired with Grady Foley, and now Shayne Lewis.  Me thinks this is a variation on a theme… STOP… stop now!  It’s only a shock to me that she hasn’t been paired with Alan – the ‘mature’ version of her crush on pathologically bad boys (excluding Remy from that group).

What does this mean for Shayne?  If he’s paired with Dinah, the writers are setting the guy up to head down a dark dark path.  If that’s the case, let’s hope the ride there is fun.  It would be a pity because Shayne came back a heroic figure.  I’d hate to see him dragged down a dark path for Dinah’s sake.

With Tognoni’s bankable ability to play a romantic lead, I’m hoping it’s more the case that Shayne is back to pull Dinah out of the dark abyss she’s fallen into since Bill has rejected her attempts to make him the center of her universe.  I’d love to see a romantic pairing that has nothing to do with anger or pathology.  Shayne hasn’t turned Dinah in, yet.  Maybe he’s still in ‘hero’ mode and wants to save her – mostly from herself.
General Hospital

Marriage is a contract and, sadly, bumbling villain Claudia Zacchara hasn’t read the fine print on her contract, either – forced marriage or not.   OH, so close – Claudia, you were SO CLOSE to holding your own!  What can you expect, she did marry Sonny Corinthos and under the stewardship of the current writing team, no woman can be smart, for long – most especially no woman who is involved with Sonny.  She immediately realized that the man was using her, with his false and sudden displays  of affection.  She voiced her concerns.  She reasoned out the source of him new found love for her.  She knew something was wrong… and then she caved.  Oh well.  It was fun to see a smart woman on screen,  the five minutes it lasted!

I will give the other mob moll, Elizabeth Webber, credit for joining the ‘wake up and get a clue’ club – at least for now.  Some time ago I posted that I doubted that Liz would put the safety of her children before her ‘love’ for Jason.  We’d been down that road with her before when she told Jason the safety of her children would always come first and that she had to protect them – only to have her back off of that pledge in order to run wild with mobster boy.

I was touched by Lucky’s generosity, rather than anger, toward her.   There’s a part of me that wants L&L back together.  If it happens, there is almost certainly going to be a host of scenes and dialogue that will always make it clear that Lucky is only a substitute for Elizabeth’s true love.  That would annoy me beyond measure.  Lucky, son of Luke, deserves better.

It was torturous to watch him play second fiddle while the writers destroyed him in every way possible to make Jason look like more of a hero than Lucky could ever hope to imagine.  They used every ham-fisted trick in the book:  Lucky developed a drug problem – Jason was excused from doing business with drug dealers, Lucky had an affair – Jason was the pristine celibate mobster-monk, Lucky couldn’t shoot straight to kill a mobster 2 feet in front of him – Jason was there to save the day, Lucky was just a ‘cop’ – Mobster boy was the town’s secret superhero… thanks for nothing, writers.  Sell it somewhere else.

GH is in sore need of TRUE heroes, like Lucky Spencer, Anna Devane, Robert Scorpio, and Mac Scorpio, again.  They need to untie the hands of anti-hero Luke Spencer.  The writers also need to relegate the dark forces back into the shadows where they belong.  GH reached it’s hey days without the dark knights, they can do it again.  We have the hall of injustice:  The “Russian mob”, Jason, Sonny and the Zacharras… where is the league of superheroes, GH?  You’re in sore need of balance!