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!

Are soap fans the ultimate ungrateful whiners?

A number of past interviews by daytime writers, producers, and directors  (industry wide) seem to indicate that we are.  We are but swine, refusing to accept the pearls of wisdom laid before us.  Our creed knows nothing of fine art, entertainment, great writing and producing.  We are hopeless.  Since they’ve repeatedly raised the issue, I have to wonder, ARE soap fans the ultimate ungrateful whiners?

Let’s take a look at GH:

Sonny’s ‘Hot Mafia Don’ act wore off on me long ago. Imagine that the GH brass gave us the Sonny Corinthos that so many of us have longed for.    Imagine Sonny Corinthos as an upstanding citizen and pillar of his community after the mob has been disbanded and run from Port Chuckles.  (I know, some GH fans have suggested a painless, or even painful, death for the character as an out of the mob mess.  Others have suggested that Sonny leave all together, to never return.  How can you reform a man who so callously orders the death of other poeple?)

Despite my unease with Sonny, Maurice Bernard is an enormously talented actor so it’s easy for me to understand why the GH brass has a hard time letting him go. I’m in awe enough of his talent to consider what Bernard could do with the character after Sonny’s transformation. I think it would be the acting challenge of a lifetime for him.

What work would Sonny do?

Who would he interact with, post mob?

What love interests would now be suitable for Sonny?

Work?  I dunno.  I can’t see Sonny as an accountant.  Lawyer?  Would he be eligible to take the bar?  He’s never been convicted of a crime so far, none that we know of that is – so it seems that he could.   If he did take the bar, I couldn’t see him being hired, convincingly, as a prosecutor.  He could serve as a defense attorney – but who would he defend?  Other criminals?  No one wants to see that. 

He’d have to work in corporate law.  It would allow Sonny to get as far away from his image as a mobster as possible, but still give him room to make use of his skills as a cutthroat – in a socially acceptable profession.  He wouldn’t even have to get rid of the dark suits!  He and Jax  would become competitors in each trying another takeover of ELQ.  Their attempts could bring back Dillon and Ned (though sadly Wally Kurth is being wasted on DAYS, and Scott Clifton is far to brilliant on OLTL to bring back to GH).  Tracy and her sons would band together along with their new wives and Edward, and Monica,  in fending off the family fortune.  We could get rid of Remily Shaw and focus on a new generation of Quartermaines.  I’d love Sonny forever for that alone! 

Sonny’s new peer group could now become Jax, the newly rebuilt Quartermaines, Nik Cassadine, and the occasional random character thrown in.  Could he take Jason with him? I’d hate to see that.  The bromance needs to end.  Jason needs to go his own way.  Having taken so many lives, I wouldn’t want to see him go back into medicine, as Jason Q once wanted.  The hypocrisy would kill us all, unless there was an epiphany taking place and Jason finally realized the magnitude of his actions.   If he went into medicine, he’d have to work in a clinic setting that treats the poor, not at GH.  It would open new storylines for both the show and the character.  It’s possible that Jason could end up working in a group home, something that would allow him to turn young lives around.  If Jason and Sonny worked together, we could never get the image of their psychopathic former lives out of our heads.

Away from the mob, all romance makes sense for these two.   You wouldn’t have to wonder what woman was willing to sell herself short, damn her integrity, or put her children at risk, to be with either man.  (Let’s hope that NEITHER becomes involved with Elizabeth Webber – whose position as the “betraying healer” is about to be cemented in her ‘forbidden love story” with yet another man Lucky trusts – his own brother)…  GAH, writers!

I don’t think fans are the ultimate ungrateful writers.  We may not always know what we want, but we do know that we deserve better than the writers typically give us.

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.

GH – Robin Scorpio, Welcome Home

What’s that, you say?  Robin has been home for years now?  No, dear readers, only Robin’s body has been showing up on screen every day.  The REAL Robin Scorprio is finally back home and she’s now part of ABC’s bid to become the Anti-SoapFather network.  OLTL’s Starr Manning has told her ‘baby’s daddy’ that he’s treating her fetus as if it’s HIS family.  Now GH’s Robin is actively fighting to take away Patrick’s right to see his child because he was unsure of being a father in the first place, something he told her he wasn’t ready for, long before she became pregnant.

The Robin who’s given Patrick hell over seeing his child?  THAT’S the real Robin, as far as I’m concerned.  Is Robin treating Patrick’s fears about becoming a father as a personal rejection?  Most likely.  It’s in Robin’s history, and her nature, to do so.  Robin has a sordid history when it comes to infants and their fathers.

Some of you may recall that Robin revealed the truth about Michael Corinthos’ paternity when he was just an infant.  Why?  According to Robin, it’s because she felt that AJ had the right to know that HE, not his brother Jason, was Michael’s biological father.  That would have made sense and not seemed so self-deluding if the scenes just before Robin’s ‘attack of conscience’ weren’t of her and Carly arguing about who should raise Michael.  Robin felt that she and Jason were best suited to care for him, since they were a couple and weren’t as ammoral as Carly – yes, despite Jason’s role as a mob hitman.

Carly, being Carly, scoffed at the idea and taunted Robin by telling her that Jason would also be bonded to the two of them (Carly and Michael) and that there was nothing she could do about it.   Carly was wrong, Robin’s next move was to call Aj.  She effectively made sure that Jason could not and would not be Michael’s father.  If she couldn’t have Jason and Michael to herself, there would be no need for Jason to raise that child.

That was the day I began to despise Robin and didn’t care if she ever graced the screen again, until Patrick!  For me, Robin hadn’t redeemed herself, Patrick made her tolerable.  That poor, dumb, hot-as-hell, bastard!  If only he’d known about Robin’s past – or at least known the full story.   I know that many GH fans have fond memories of Robin as a child, but she lost her ‘cute quotient’ for me shortly after she began dating Jason.  The shrill, self-righteous, moralizing woman some of you see now, as she attempts to cut Patrick out of his child’s life, is the Robin I’ve been annoyed by for years to come.

Believe it or not, I’m glad the issue was resolved without a court ruling,  and that Patrick and Robin found their way back to one another.  I like Patrick, and not just because he has abs you can eat off of, but because he’s honest -even if you don’t like hearing what he has to say.  What a rarity for daytime males.  I also like Patrick because he’s not afraid of saying to Robin what others have been either too afraid to say or too reverent and all-worshipping to say to her – she’s a pain in the ass who sits in judgment of others far too often!  I like Patrick because as much as I don’t want to, he gives me a reason to want to like Robin again.  Well done, Patrick, well done.