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: May 27, 2014

My thoughts on today’s show?

  • Sabrina… I just can’t.  I want to be empathetic, and yet I just keep hoping there aren’t too many Sabrina/Patrick scenes to fast foward.
  • Elizabeth and Ric?  Sweet, Subtle, feels so real.  I love them.  Given the way Ric left the show with each exit, it’s sometimes difficult to remember how sweet and kind he’s capable of being.  Ric is Mr. Right Now, Mr. Right Tomorrow, and Mr. Right Whenever-Wherever – as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve always loved Rick Hearst best when he was playing a romantic lead (GH’s Ric Lansing, GL’s Alan Michael Spaulding, BnB’s Whipple Jones).
  • Lulu/Dante./Rocco- Big Ben? Ditto.  Sweet, Subtle, Real.  Given his pedigree, I love that Dante is so protective of Ben that he doesn’t want to talk about the worst of the worst aspects of his job. He has to spell out D-E-A-D because he doesn’t want Rocco to hear the word. Keep that baby away from your father and bar ware, Dom.
  • F’luke and his disregard for forensic evidence is astounding.  He never wears gloves.  He never does anything in hiding.  Unless he planned on killing Bobbie and the cutie pants officer guarding Lucas’ door,  what was the point of attempting to kill Lucas while being the last person in the room?  Add that the fact that his hand and finger prints are all over Lucas’ breathing tube – as his prints are all over the gun that was used to shoot Lucas and kill the hitman.  F’luke’s crime spree is getting stranger and and stranger, and I hope that’s intentional – serving as an indicator that he’s on a rampage and will soon be caught.
  • Ava.. F’LOVE… I effin’ love Ava and the writing for her!  She utters the words, “Mr. Corinthos is sending someone for me” to her server at about the time Carly is going to play audio evidence of her guilt in Connie/Kate’s murder?  Methinks she’ll see Sonny,  in person.
  • Carly has never had a respect for the law, decency, morality or ethics, but it shocks me that she would steal AJ’s phone (yeah, it still shocks me) and give Sonny the info, rather turn the recording over to the police.  Sonny is going to end up in prison one way or another.  He’s either going for killing AJ or for killing Ava.  Carly doesn’t always know what crimes Sonny has committed, but she’s been in his life long enough to know that he’s almost never innocent.  Her involvement in pointing Sonny in Ava’s direction is reckless, no matter what.
  • Ava is a beast… she’s reading “Crimson Magazine”? She is a beast (and I’m not quite sure how I mean that.  It’s both good and bad.)  She must really like dancing on Connie’s grave!  This is Maura West as ATWT’s Carly Tenney, defiling the sacred Snyder pond by flicking a cigarette into it.  What is it about MW’s bad girl characters, who seem to like sticking it to the people she hurts.  No cardboard cut out of Connie for target practice?  Ava is showing some restraint.
  • I get it… my beloved Scotty Baldwin is the AJ Quartermaine of the Baldwin family.  He’s a perennial screw up, but even he should have held his ground and been willing to call Julian’s bluff rather than had him set free.  Scotty is capable of being a bad ass, when he wants (that is, when the writers let him). I wish this was one of those times.  How much has Julian changed when he’s willing to pull a gut punch like this one?  I realize that he was desperate to get to Lucas and saved him from Fluke, but had he told the truth, he could have done more for his family.  His behavior makes me question Alexis’ judgement even more – both as a mother and as a woman.  For all of her warnings to Molly about being smart, making good choices, putting her future first, Alexis does none of these things when she’s in love with her latest mob kingpin boyfriend.   What can Molly learn from her?  It also doesn’t make sense that Shawn was irredeemable for not being able to leave Sonny’s organization and yet Julian is far worse.

 

 

  • More Sabrina/Patrick/Emma/baby Drake? Still can’t.
  • Ava trying to convince anyone, most especially her own daughter, of her innocence is hilarious!  Kiki chastising Ava for sleeping with her boyfriend’s father is even funnier!  Adding Ilene Kristen as Ava’s mother to this pair?  That is a stroke of genius.
  • HA, that Carly finally notes that A.J. is not AJ Quartermaine but Ava Jerome.  Sonny realizes that AJ was pleading for his life and that he’s killed an innocent man.  How will the writers redeem him?  Can Sonny be redeemed after this?  My guess is that we will find out that Sonny didn’t deliver the final blow. It’s another Fluke murder (again taking place in the hospital) or someone else has taken A.J.’s life when he should have been on the mend.  The problem is that A.J. would never have been in the hospital to be murdered if it weren’t for Sonny.  The additional step they’ll have to take is to convince the audience that A.J. was slated for death no matter where he was found.  Will it work, or is it possible that the writers have gone too far, this time?   A.J. has rarely been a chaacter i liked or loved (I couldn’t stomach Billy Warlock’s portrayal of the character) BUT he was a legacy character and I wish he’d survived this ugly attack.
  • Even when Sonny is dead wrong, Carly tells him to stop blaming himself.  Is this goober serious?  She’s angrier at Ava for upsetting Sonny than she is at Sonny for killing an innocent AJ?  Michael should stop sending Mother’s Day cards. No phone calls, no Mother’s Day luncheons.  Carly is more of a partner to Sonny, even separated, than she has ever been a mother to any of her children.
  • Geez, it seems like such a small issue – Lulu wanting to carry her own child, but it is potentially,  so big.  Lulu is willing to risk losing the only shot (for now) she and Dante have at having another child, because she wants to carry the child herself, knowing the risk for miscarriage.  Is it simply natural to want to carry a child at any cost or is it selfish?  It’s a question for this couple to answer, but I have to wonder, given Dante’s lean toward surrogacy, if this is an issue that will come between them, later.
  • Fluke, threatening babies.  PLEASE let that bastard be caught soon.  Sure, go after Ava, but the threats against children make me want to see this guy get his!  The writers were brilliant to have Fluke play on Julian’s insecurities (most notably, the fear that Anna hates “Jules” and wants to bring him down so badly that he shouldn’t count on her for help.  There’s no way Anna would allow Fluke, or anyone else, to kill Julian while he’s in her care, but he doesn’t know that.
  • Elizabeth and Ric are my shelter from the storm of crazy that is GH.  Just watching them joke and plan for a dinner feels like a romantic getaway.  I know there will have to be some sort of conflict, soon, such as Liz wanting Nik back the minute he’s together with Britt again, happy and probably planning a family.  For now, I’ll take what I can get.
  • Ok, the only interesting thing about Sabrina and Patrick is that Drake becomes her son’s middle name?  Is that a subtle tell that he is Patrick’s son?  Is baby Gabriel going to make it?  Gabriel Drake Drake?  I dunno.
  • Ava thinks that she and Sonny are on decent terms.  I can’t wait to see her run into Sonny’s arms, thinking he’s there to rescue her.  Carly asking Sonny what he’s going to do is as maze dull as anyone could be.   She gave her “snitches get stitches” speech to Sonny when explaining why she would never go to the police.  What was the point of her asking Sonny what he was going to do. Of COURSE he is going to kill Ava.  Is there any doubt about that?  Isn’t that why he killed AJ?  His belief that AJ killed Connie?   Carly and Sonny have played this game for too long!

Like many of you, my feed was disrupted by the President’s comments and ending the war in Afghanistan – so we end, here, and move on to other important news.  I will see you again, soon.

OLTL, the good, the bad, and the WTF!?!?!

The Good: Thank you writers for finally wrapping up the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline.   It’s been a long time in coming and I was getting sick of it!

The Bad: (With sarcasm):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.

The WTF: (with incredulity and a tad bit of disgust):  Thank you writers for the ‘Baby Chloe -Hope’ storyline.  Of all of the storylines you COULD have told, this is what you saddle us with?

There are some legitimately wonderful reasons to love OLTL, in my book:

1.  It’s not All My Children.  Need I say more?

2. None of the characters are named Michael Corinthos Jr.  How is it is that General Hospital writers have a knack for taking an event that should be considered a blessing and turn it into such an awful AWFUL thing?  Little Michael Corinthos’ awakening was something I felt myself regretting about 10 minutes after the kid opened his eyes.  To the credit of OLTL’s writers, they haven’t managed to make me wish that any of their teen characters would lapse into a coma!  ALTHOUGH… I wouldn’t mind seeing LESS of all of them.

3.  Viki Lord.  Period.  What would this show do without Erika Slezak?  I don’t even want to know!

4.  The triangle between Clint/Nora/Bo will be heating up soon into a quadrangle with mixed partners Clint/Nora/Bo/Lindsey.  I’ve never been a big Bo/Nora fan – primarily because I’m not a Nora fan. I say that knowing that MANY OLTL fans are Bo/Nora fans and for their sake, I sure hope that the show’s writers honors its history and gives the couple back to the audience who loves them.  The question is… what happens to Clint?

Clint/Lindsey? (Can you imagine their couples name?  Clindsey?  Lint?  FUN!)  Since it seems that CH’s Lindsey’s stay is temporary, I have  doubt as to whether the writers would move in that direction.  Too bad, Lindsey was fabulous with both Clint and Bo in the past.  I would be interested in the chemistry between JVD’s Clint and CH’s Lindsey.

Clint, on his own? Angry?  Scheming to break up Bo and Nora?  Where’s the fun in that?  I’d rather see Clint go back to London before having him take on his own brother over a woman he shouldn’t have been with in the first place.  I had a preference for Clint and Nora over Bo and Nora, but to have Clint becoming involved with the love of his brother’s life was a bit much for most of you and in moments of objectivity, I agree.

Clint and Viki?  If you’re going to make me suffer through Bo and Nora, writers, I’ll take Clint and Viki (no worries, anti-Clint/Viki fans… I never get the pairings I like).  I think Clint and Viki/ Bo and Nora have the potential to take fans back to some of the glory days of  OLTL. I have to admit that I’m concerned about the initial awkwardness of the two couples getting together in light of Nora and Clint’s relationship… eh,there’s been worse on this show.

5.  Believe it or not, I think that John and Marty (or the prospect of John and Marty) would be far more interesting than Blair and John – who’ve only managed to put me to sleep.

6.  Jessica and Brody.  Even now, I’m still disappointed that Nash is gone and that Jared survives in his place, BUT, at least TPTB have come as close as they possibly could to Nash, without trying to replace him with a ‘Nash Clone’.  Brody has ‘Nash like’ qualities (hot as sin, a beautiful body, thoughtful, kind, and loving), but have given him a unique personality and core.

So… setting aside that things I actually like, I have to say that the ‘Baby Chloe- Hope’ storyline has the potential to keep me tuning out OLTL (or at least FFing most of whatever episodes I bother recording.

I think the teen pregnancy storyline was the biggest mistake the writers have made so far.  I’m not against the idea of a teen pregnancy storyline.  I’m simply against the teen pregnancy storyline for the chosen characters.  Why?:

  • I hate the back door approach to keeping Todd and Marty connected given their history.  It’s bad enough that he’s violated her twice in a lifetime, but now they’re connected because their children are ‘in love’ and are now parents together.  BULLOX!
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  This is NOT a storyline that plays to Kristen Alderson’s strengths.  She has become the weak link in this storyline. I find KA’s emotional responses to be stilted and unbelievable.
  • Adding the teen pregnancy storyline on top of the drug addiction storyline was a bit much.  The writers have seemingly decided that the juiciest storylines should go to the youngest actors and that the veterans should be stuck with trivial, pointless, boring storylines.  It’s another storyline for which Kristen Alderson seemed completely unprepared and didn’t connect as an actress, in my opinion.  She uttered the dialogue  well enough, but her performances felt like a ‘script reading’ rather than watching someone who was emotionally impacted by a loved one’s drug abuse.
  • Oddly enough, Brandon Buddy has done as well as any actor with significantly more experience.  He’s been a marvel.  The only problem with having handed him this storyline is that he seems far too mature an actor for the role he now plays.  It’s time to SORAS Cole to 18 and find him a cougar (no older than 25, please, not someone too much older).  “Starr and Cole” now feel like little Starr and her much older brother – ICK!!!!!!!!!  By the way, Brandon should be nominated, next year, for the addiction storyline.

KA fans I’m not completely ‘Anti-Starr’.  I think there are a  number of storylines that would be great for the character and would showcase the actress’ abilities well.  The Baby Chloe-Hope storyline just isn’t one of them.

(OLTL) Shut your pie hole!

While all of daytime has me rolling my eyes lately, OLTL – in particular wins the ‘shut your pie hole’ awards.

Jared wants to tell the truth because it’s the right thing to do?  While I can appreciate the fact that even JARED sees the irony in his statement about what’s morally appropriate, it still galls me that he’s shown little concern for how the news of the real Chloe’s death will impact Jessica.   Nat wants to protect  Jess and now feels sorry for her?   Both of you,  SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!  This whole mess got started because Nat wanted to stick it Jess and Jared wanted to help her.  I’m sickened at the thought that Jess will lose Chloe after losing Nash  – both lost because of Jared and Natalie. IF ONLY there was some way to make that child hers.  If not? It’s time to bring Tess back and let her finish what she started!  It’s time for Jared and Natalie to go.

As if causing Jess even MORE grief wasn’t bad enough, what about the pain Jared and Natalie are causing ME!??!  I’ve struggled hard to accept the new ‘grown up’ role for Starr Manning – I have.  The problem is that it’s just not working for me.  I don’t know how you feel, OLTL fans, but this new set of storylines does NOT play to Kristen Anderson’s strengths.  I think the writers moved Starr into pseudo-adulthood too soon.  The emotional scenes appear forced and far too artificial for me to connect to.  Starr’s scenes with ‘Chloe’ make me cringe.  The thought of more scenes of “Starr” and whining Marcee McBain locked in a custody battle over Hope (we’ve lost Hope, we need Hope, our Hope is gone – UGH)  makes me want to set my television on fire.   Damn you, Jared and Natalie, damn you!

Nora vowing to take down Cole?   I’ve officially had my fill of Nora “the ethically flexible D.A.”  The truth is that I was done with her years ago, during the fights with Lindsey and the affair with Sam when she passed ‘Sam’s child’ off as Bo’s.  (Apparently no one knows how to perform in vitro in Llanview.  They’re GREAT at trauma medicine since it’s the only thing docs in Llanview ever practice.)   Had it been someone else’s child, Nora would have most likely been fighting to get Cole into drug and alcohol treatment, family counseling to reunite him with his mother,  and had him doing community service by  talking to high school kids about drug use.  She’d have railed at the system for letting a villain like Todd go free while a young man who made a horrible mistake is being severely punished.  She MIGHT have even quit her job in protest and defended Cole, herself, if the D.A.’s office chose to press charges. 

She’s always been ‘flexible’ when it comes to helping her pals and granting them the grace and mercy of the courts.  Intimidating a teenage boy and making him feel as if he should be buried UNDER the prison for his actions?  Bite me.  Does Cole deserve jail time?  Sure.  He chose to take drugs and get behind the wheel of a car disregarding the possible harm to others.  Does he deserve Nora’s disdain?  Sure!  But just ONCE I’d like to see the self-righteous Nora Buchanan choose to exercise discretion and say nothing.  Nora?  SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!

BTW, SoapNet is linking to this appearance by Kristen Alderson and Brandon  Buddy on the Tyra Banks show.  The OLTL  actors demonstrate different aspects of teen dating violence:

Ray Montez now faults Todd because Tea didn’t work fast enough to get him out of prison… REALLY?  REALLY?  Buddy, SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!   Is there some right of passage for Llanview residents that states that they MUST have conflict with Todd, of any sort regardless of how ridiculous it is, before the other Llanview citizens will play nice with them?  Ray could have hired another attorney.  He could be angry at Tea, alone. OR he could have realized that Tea wasn’t capable of moving any faster because his daughter didn’t know her well enough to open up to her.  The idea that Ray now hates Todd inspires me… to YAWN.  There’s far too much for this guy to do onscreen instead of going after Todd Manning over something so trivial.

Stacy Morasco, a potentially fabulous character and a throwback to what a TRUE bad girl should be… so I guess it makes sense that the writers made her a cartoon villain in record time.  WHO takes a completely fabulous gift like Crystal Hunt, sees the awesome mess she’s able create onscreen through Stacy, and turns her into one of the most unlikable characters in daytime? 

Stacy tells Gigi that she deserves to have Rex because she’s a million times hotter/way hotter?  Juvenile, but HILARIOUS that it’s her meter for determing what ‘love’ is.  God bless gorgeous Farah Fath for not slapping the writers when she read that script.  If the writer who added that line isn’t on crack,  I don’t know how else to explain that comment.  With true ABC sensitivity to women, I thought the line might be followed up with “and I’m the REAL Gigi”.   It was an awful thing to do to Fath. 

As for Stacy, there’s no ‘love to hate’ left for a character who tells her grieving sister that she either has to give up the man she loves, the father of  her child, or watch her child succumb to leukemia… SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE, Stacy, you whack job.  What could have beeen ‘love to hate’ has just turned into utter disgust.  What were the writers THINKING?  If Crystal Hunt can pull the writers’ fat out of the fire after this blackmail plot, it will be a miracle.  The whole scene was ugly from start to finish!