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!

Advertisements

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.