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.

Why you should be watching General Hospital

…if you’re not already a fan!  If you think this blog reads like a love letter to #GH, you’re damned right it is!  This show is not just good, it is the best it has been in a very long time!  Why should you watch?  I could give you as many reasons as there are cast members, but here are my big four:

1 – Balance, balance, and more balance.  

When I last walked away from General Hospital as a consistent viewer, lead and supporting characters were one of three types: Mobsters, Mob Molls, or Mob affiliated. Having more than 35 years invested in this soap, I can remember when the show was about family drama and intrigue, romance and mystery.  I see so much more of that now than before the mob takeover.  Ric Lansing is back and he’s sworn off his former mob ties.  At least for now, the story is that he has come back  to reconnect with the only woman who ever truly loved him and who wasn’t looking for a life on the edge.  Hell, he WAS the edge the last time he and Elizabeth were together.  In scenes that I love like sunshine, we also see him back and reconnecting with his daughter Molly, whose only father figure has been  her uncle and Ric’s brother, Sonny Corinthos.  Keep in mind that Sonny was also her mother’s former lover, the father of one of her sisters, and the former lover of another sister.  The mob was so well integrated into the show that even family members were sleeping with and having children with the same mob boss (yeah, yeah, Sam didn’t know that Alexis was her mother, at the time).  Bigger twist?  Sam’s  child with Sonny is delivered stillborn and provides the stem cells that Kristina, his daughter with Alexis, needs to survive.

You need a truckload of Advil and at least 12 of your 14 vacation days to pull apart the twisted family tree GH writers created in order to sell the mob storyline.

The mob had become so important that even Justus Ward, whose family was made up of  prominent social activists in the Port Chuckles community, became another mob mouthpiece.  He eventually lost his life and was stuffed in the trunk of a car, as a result of his affiliation with Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan (Jason being a cousin to Justus).  It lacked dignity and was shockingly bad given the history of the Ward family.   The Ward family was part of the extended Quartermaine family but respected in their own right before the Q connection.  Prior to the writers’ belief that “mob magic” was so potent that fans would root for almost all characters to fall under the spell of Sonny and the various mob kingpins, I had hope that Justus, as the remaining onscreen Ward family member, would be spared.

The ultimate betrayal of fan trust came, for me, when Jasper “Jax” Jacks was deconstructed, transitioning from an educated ruthless billionaire corporate raider, to a man on the run from both Sonny’s empire of aggression and from the law for daring to protect his and Carly’s duaghter, Josslyn.  From what you ask?  From living her life in the path of a stray bullet that was almost as likely to take her life, as the bullet that put big brother Michael Corinthos in a coma – stealing his childhood and most of his adolescence. Michael spent years, after waking up, dealing with recovering from that stray bullet.  The bullet and resulting coma pushed his childhood kidnapping out of contention as the worst thing to ever happen to him.  Damn that Jasper Jacks for not realizing that kidnapping and bullets to the head can be character builders for children, not just childhood trauma!

Now? That sort of storytelling appears to be long gone!  Even the introduction of Parry Shen’s “Brad” is not a celebration of mob life.  Brad Cooper is the son, and grandson, of 80’s Asian Quarter mob kingpins.  Brad enters as a (mostly) upstanding citizen, barely shadier than the rest of Port Chuckles’ residents.  For now he has sworn off his mob family history and is a GH physician.  It was touch and go at the beginning of his introduction, but he is currently in the same hot mess so many of our PC citizens find themselves in.  Instead of mob molls and mob affiliated characters, we’re back to honest business leaders, police officers who aren’t on the take, as well as (and this will surprise you) drama at General Hospital that is about the hospital, nurses, and the doctors! Shocking, I know.

Even more shocking? I find myself liking Sonny, more, now that the GH universe is no longer centered around canonizing GH’s resident mob boss.  There are many stories to be told in Port Charles and the writers are making sure they tell as many of them as they can.

F’Love

2.  Diversity is a real thing on GH and not just something the cool kids are trying.

From the Asian Quarter, to Tom and Simone Hardy, to the introduction of the Ward family followed by Miguel/Lily/Sonny, GH has struggled with integrating diverse characters into the show in a way that is neither stereotypical nor exaggerated.  The Ward family marks, for me, GH’s first real, and nearly successful, attempt at getting it right, including the Jason/Keisha/AJ triangle:

Now?  Diversity on GH is not about check boxes and clunky integration. Diversity just IS on this show, it’s organic. Characters aren’t remarkable/ good/ evil/frontburner, because they can be used to show that daytime is finally catching up with the rest of the world.  Diverse characters and their families on GH aren’t getting airtime for the publicity they bring a show.  They are seamlessly integrated into the show and their time spent on air is character driven, not storyline driven!  Their lives are about the characters themselves and not about the reaction of others around them.

Brad/Felix/Lucas.  Like any triangle, there are winners and losers.  Both Felix and Lucas have been betrayed by Brad, so watching them grow closer feels right.  The writers have handled this one perfectly.  I want Felix and Lucas to become a real couple, but like any couple brought together out of betrayal and hurt feelings, I have to wonder if either (or both) will end up waking up one morning wanting Brad back.  While that would crush my love for Felix and Lucas – which I will survive, I know that I can accept it because it is no different than what takes place with any other triangle.  I am thrilled that their storyline  isn’t about helping any of the three overcome bigotry-inflicted shame, and that it’s not about being closeted and fearful.  There is a time and place for that type of storytelling, but there is also room for the stories of others -those whose sexuality is not about morbid fascination from the outside.  Brad/Felix/Lucas are telling a story about conflict, love, anger and forgiveness. I am impressed.

Jordan/Shawn. I’ll admit it.  I’m on record stating that the glow Jordan gives is not a halo but hellfire.  I thought that Shawn would have been smart to run in the opposite direction whenever he saw Jordan coming.  I was wrong.  I was SO VERY wrong.  What I love most about Jordan and Shawn, is that their storyline is almost 30 years in the making.  Do they remind you of anyone else?  For me Jordan/Shawn/TJ are the 2000s version of Anna/Robert/Robin.  It’s not an exact retelling, but it’s close enough.  I have been longing for a return to the WSB and it’s glory days and GH is giving it to me by the bucket full… it’s just a little more understated.  Jordan/Anna comes to town with a shady past and possibly sketchier future.  Instead Jordan/Anna is DEA/WSB and the other big issue she has on her plate, one that fills her time when she’s not bringing down bad guys, is dealing with a child (TJ/Robin) whose life has been shrouded by a huge secret.

The focus isn’t on what they bring to the table as “people of color”, it’s what they bring to the table as people.  Each individual is layered and nuanced and the minute you think you know any of the members of this family, a new layer is peeled away.  At her introduction, the audience asked:  Was Jordan back to seduce Shawn and force him to take her in as he’d taken in TJ?  Was she back to reclaim her beloved son?  Was she using her son to cover her shady connection to the Jeromes?  Just when we couldn’t figure out her game, she’s revealed as a DEA agent, in town to clean up PC and find the real drug kingpin.  STOP NOW!

If this storyline and this show gets any better, I’ll be looping it all day long and ignoring all other entertainment.  Jordan’s story now makes me question Shawn, in particular, and now I wonder what the rest of his story is.  Jordan, the DEA agent, would surely never have entrusted the care of her beloved son to a man who was a killer.  What does she know about Shawn that either he is hiding or that doesn’t know about himself because someone else is hiding the truth from him?

I can’t wait to find out.

3.  Women as diversity? Yes.  Women who are strong?  Hell yes!

Tracy Q., Carly, and Alexis are, for the moment, in a downward shame spiral, in my opinion.  I can accept that more easily, at this time, because they are the exception, no longer the rule.  The women of GH have become strong, smart, and capable of standing on their own.  Are they perfect?  No, but they’re so far ahead of where the women of this show were just a few short years ago.

They’ve transitioned from being either dedicated mob molls (Carly, Robin, Kate/Connie, Olivia) or paid mob mouthpieces (Alexis, Diane).  In some cases, they were both (again, Alexis and Diane).

No matter which side of morality/decency/the law we find them, I am thrilled to see Anna, Jordan, Ava, Lucy, Felicia, Britt, Obrecht, Lulu, and others being treated as women with hearts AND brains!  There will be a time, I’m sure, when the currently weak GH women, and, yeah – I’m looking at YOU Tracy Quartermaine, will step up to the plate and become strong again, but the balance of women in distress with women taking charge is refreshing.

There have been times when women on GH have felt more like window dressing than people.  This is not one of those times.

4. There are almost no weak links on this show, currently.

I’m just not crazy about Sabrina and Patrick. I can’t see a situation that would cause me to root for them as a couple.  They simply fall flat for me.  Even still, I don’t see them as a “weak link”.  I can see what the show’s fans like about them.  I just don’t feel it.  Sabrina and Carlos, I get.  Sabrina with Patrick feels more ike “Flowers in the Attic’ or “Petals in the Wind” than a romantic couple ,for me.

I truly despise Carly and Franco. I cannot understand the writers’ thinking in trying to reform Franco and in making him a frontburner character.  Somehow, it feels to me as if Franco should still be a character in the shadows or, more importantly, not a viable character at all.  I will accept the very few things I dislike about this show and continue to enjoy those things I love most.  GH is currently the only show on the air that I can say that about – a show whose positives far outweigh its negatives.

If you haven’t been watching GH, you’re missing a lot!  It’s that good.

 

The Nurses Ball 2014 – Continued

GH’s Nurses Ball was so good that I probably won’t have anything critical to say about the show for at least two or three… episodes.  Maybe two.  Maybe.  Look, I’m not making any promises. Here are my highlights:

Magic Milo and his Magic Wands were hot to the point that I just didn’t care about the Yoplait product placement.  What I do care about is that I may have damaged my DVR by constantly rewinding one tiny little section of the NB episode  It’s wrong, I know… no one should be objectified.  That said, all I want for Christmas is a trunk filled with quarters to bounce off of the backsides of Magic Milo and his Magic Wands line up.  BAM!

I thought that Brad was the center of the triangle, but there is something incredibly sweet (and sexy) about Felix and Lucas together.  That’s how I know they won’t end up as a couple.  Both have to be lightening rods for Brad.  Whichever love has him will have to stay up nights wondering if he’s out creeping with the other.  There is something so likable about Lucas and Felix (who move between bromance and romance with ease) that I hope the faux relationship turns into a real one, soon.

Auto-tuned Brad?  I don’t give a crap, I’ll take him!  So cute.  The whole time I waited to see who he was singing to.  (Admittedly, I wanted it to be Felix).  Parry Shen is an ass kicker, and so much fun!  Britt as Brad’s cheering section?  Love that too!  Everybody  needs a “ride-or-die” and Britt is that for Brad and vice versa.

Mac and his dummy? Hilarious!  I DIED when Epiphany stomped that poor dummy and Mac held on to it as if it was taking its last breath.  Milo shaking Epiphany’s (dirty old lady’s) hand for killing off Mac’s “childhood friend” brought me back.  I don’t know, but I think the dummy stomp should have been good for at least one lap dance.  Is anyone else thinking about the fact that Mac was a rogue’s rogue when he was first introduced?  I can’t get over him as a middle class dad with bad jokes and a big heart.  Best daytime transition ever!

Spencer with Britt gave me warm fuzzies.  I want Nikolas and Britt together as the show’s reigning supercouple.  They were able to admit to one another that neither could easily move on with someone new (both are still heartbroken).  So am I… put them back together GH writers!  Nik will have to learn to love someone whose history is checkered, but far less worse than his Cassadine legacy.  What I wouldn’t give the writers to have Helena go after Britt only to have her face off with Obrecht.

The Haunted Starlets? Meh, not my favorite, but still a job well done.

“Luke” learning that he “married the bitch” for nothing because he and Tracy have both been removed from ELQ?  Perfection!   I only wish Ned was appointed CEO rather than Michael.

Eddie Gomez singing “Criminal Love”… Is there a GH couple over the age of 16 for whom that song is not relevant?  Sonny’s reaction to the song is the equivalent of ice cream on a burning hot day!  That hit the spot.  Are we to think that Sonny believed the song was written just for him and his mob moll of the month?

I haven’t been fond of the Spencer/Emma/Cameron storyline.  It’s too cutesy and too much.  That “Spencer” is responsible for bringing Ronn Moss and “Player” to the ball? HA!  I love that bratty kid.  Ronn Moss is damned AGELESS!  I’m hoping someone decides to cast him in a permanent role.  Moss brought his rock god chiseled cheeks, his rock god hair, his rock god body.  Seriously, GH, cast him TODAY.  Leslie is a good friend of “Player”… oh there’s a story there!

Lucy and Scott?  I have been rooting for them since she was married to Alan Q. and cheating with him.  I rooted for them even after she lost their child and told Scotty how much she hated him, breaking open his soul.  I relived that scene, today, watching her treat Scotty as if he, alone, was the cause of the end of her marriage to Kevin.  I will always love Lucy and Scott, even though I know that the two of them being together is an affront to the love and devotion Kevin has (almost) always given Lucy.

To the writer who penned Kevin’s dialogue, you OWNED me for all of the 10 minutes or so that conversation took place.  BEAUTIFUL!  “You had one job, Lucy, and that was to be faithful and loyal – and you failed, miserably!”  Da-YUM!  I felt like I was the one cheating on Kevin.  Shhhhh… I think I might have apologized to him for not loving him enough, I dunno.

I’m devastated for Kevin.  Watching him find out that his wife has been cheating on him for four months was brutal.  That hasn’t dampened my hope that I will finally get to see Lucy and Scott together. Like I said, I have always wanted them to reunite.

Ditto on Ric and Elizabeth.  I have always wanted the two of them back together as well.

Molly and TJ are as cute as buttons.  I need more backstory on Julian/Jordan and Ava.  There is so much more going on there.  I hope TJ is not at the center of the secrets they’re holding.

Obrecht singing for Nathan and Britt?  Almost touching, but then I become afraid when Obrecht gets mushy and soft.  Do we believe that she loves them? Do we believe that she wants her children to love her for the sake of having their love or is there a crazy catch?

For whatever reason, I have never warmed to Sabrina.  I want to connect with the character since I tend to root for the show’s heroines no matter how much I enjoy the villains.  It just never happened with her. Patrick and Sabrina bore me silly. The pregnancy/baby storyline has annoyed me to all hell.

Last blog I commented that the Nurses’ Ball has often been about forgiveness, being rehabilitated, seeking acceptance and the writers didn’t disappoint.  The Nurses’ Ball 2o14 is over, but I’ll be thinking about it for a while longer.

Great job!

Why GH’s Nurses’ Ball Matters

GH Port Charles EveningSomeone, soapgod love ’em, FINALLY remembered what the Nurses’ Ball was meant to be.   Manifest?  On the surface it was the chance for the citizens of Port Chuckles to come together  and let their hair down.  They would sing, dance, project an air of happiness and togetherness, if only for one night.  Was every NB about hand holding and singing love songs with mortal enemies? No, not a one of them!  There was always tension balanced against wanted and unwanted surprises.  Relationships were made and relationships were broken.  There were  the moments that lulled you into believing nothing bad could ever happen, just before you were hit between the eyes.  Murder!  Arrests! Affairs revealed!

The Ball has always been about more than Host Lucy Coe’s fantastic wardrobe changes.  There was the latent content as well, the storyline below the surface, a storyline we did not know we were applauding.  The Nurses’ Ball is also about hope, rehabilitation, renewal, and acceptance.  Who could forget the first Nurse’s Ball following Stone’s death, with Robin’s public revelation that she is HIV positive? Keep in mind that Stone and Robin performed at the first ball just a couple of years prior!

Robin heard from AJ Quartermaine and others about the horrors of HIV, the terrible fears they had being in the same room as a person with the disease.  She watched as Stone dealt with love and acceptance countered by fear and rejection, and without him, her time had come.  Every Nurses’ Ball seemed to have at least one citizen of Port Chuckles using the ball to make a direct, or indirect, plea for acceptance.

I saw all of the above, and more, at this year ball.

Manifest

The musical numbers were all perfect. Fun, light, fantastic!  Rebecca Herst?  So amazing.  I was shocked that her character “Liz” was thrown in  with the young adult crowd, and then I looked at her, closely.  No one would know that she was older than anyone in that group, and that she’d participated in the earlier Nurses? Ball.  I’m not much of an Elizabeth fan, I haven’t been since the end of LL2 (Liz and Lucky) but Rebecca Herbst?  She gets better with time!  (Oh, and way to go making me miss Real Andrews, whose Det. Taggart would have been a perfect complement to Det. West.)

I was glad to see Liz and Ric at the ball.  I have always enjoyed Elizabeth with Ric more than any other of her not-Lucky loves.  There is something more real and less seedy about them than anyone else she’s ever been with and if she could just get beyond him holding Carly hostage in a panic room in their home, with the intent on stealing her child to give to Liz and then killing Carly, well.. .they could be very happy together. Right?  Sadly, in daytime, that’s not even the WORST sentence you could write about a soap character.  Still, Ric Lansing  a damned bit better than a fair number of his GH colleagues, including brother Sonny.

Detective Sexypants?  I refuse to be convinced that Nathan West (Ryan Paevey) is anything other than computer generated.  He must be!  How else can you explain how ridiculously good looking he is – no real person should be that gorgeous – ever!  That RP happens to also be an engaging actor makes you wonder who, in casting, is not being paid enough after finding this guy.  If Paevey doesn’t hit your “yum button”, no matter who you are, I think you should check your pulse.  You may not have one.

My only complaint is that I’m a little upset with the writers for making me feel sorry for Brad (assuming it was their intent).  Felix always deserved better than the treatment he received from his manchild boyfriend, but to have Felix and Lucas get close like that with Brad on the outside? Wow. I loved it, and still felt bad for the guy. There are no bad guys, ultimately, in this “brad centered triangle”.  It has to end eventually and I will feel awful for the person who eventually has to bow out.  Well done, writers!   You’ve created the perfect triangle – one moving me to root for all involved, at least for now.

Latent

Maxie’s relationship with  (what’s his name?) seems to be all about punishing herself for not being the person she thinks she should be,  instead of accepting herself as she is.  I can’t wait for Maxie to forgive herself and move forward.  That guy is driving me nuts.  It feels as if Maxie is living her own version of what hell must be like.  He’s not a bad guy, just not the guy for Maxie.

Luke’s selection?  “I am What I am” from La Cage Aux Folles.  Pitch perfect selection, since we all know that this is not Luke Spencer!   Tony Geary is so masterful that his eye movements in those scenes are Emmy worthy.   Here is the question, GH fans:  who DO we enjoy more?  Real Luke or Faux Luke? Our Anti-hero has walked that dark line for so long that having him cross over didn’t change much, did it?  I think Luke’s storyline is as much a Rorschach test for the audience as it is a reflection of Luke’s past – one filled with doing and being damaged to the point that no one misses the real Luke when he’s gone.  There will never be another Tony Geary, folks.  I can’t see this storyline working in anyone else’s hands.

We got to see that Obrecht really is the tree from which Britt’s apple fell.  Obrecht may have a hard outer shell, but her repeated attempts to be accepted by the citizens of Port Chuckles suggests that she still wants more.  She wants legitimacy if she can earn or steal it, but will live with having the town fearing and loathing her if it’s all she has.  She is begging for Nathan’s affections, now. I have to wonder what will happen (to him) once she’s tired of begging and decides that he is not worth the trouble of trying to get him to love and accept her.

Thank you, GH, for a show so fantastic that I was inspired to blog, again.

Next stop? A review of Ronn Moss’ GH debut.  I can only imagine he’s involved in exposing Faux Luke!  Tune in, GH / Ronn Moss fans.

Nurses’ Ball highlights can be see by clicking HERE… including the MAGIC MILO group… and believe me, you don’t want to miss them.

DAYS: Chock full of surprises…

Maggie and Melanie… It’s no secret that I’m a Melanie Layton/Molly Burnett fan.  MB brings back some of the best moments of daytime for me.  I think of her portrayal of Melanie as a cross between Lynn Herring’s wicked bad girl Lucy Coe and Jackie Zeman’s vulnerable bad girl Bobbie Spencer.  There’s something fun and light-hearted about MB’s approach to ‘Melanie’ and having removed the dead weight of big brother ‘Max’ makes her even more fun to watch.

As  a BnB viewer… yeah, yeah, it’s back on my playlist, I’m use to a very typical, but sadly misogynistic relationship between older women and younger women in daytime.  Older women in daytime, despite their own questionable histories, become renewed virgins and unreproachable paragons of virtue.  Stephanie Forrester (who in her youth slept with two men in a matter of weeks, lied about it, and passed one man’s child off as another’s) routinely  refers to young women she dislikes as ‘whores’ and ‘sluts’ even if they have a SINGLE partner – men they’re married to or dating.  She gives a ‘pass’ to younger women she likes and whose histories may be equally questionable to if not worse than her own.

On each soap you can name a woman who should be a mentor to women of the younger generation and who, instead, belittles and demeans them.  Not our Maggie.  Maggie knows what it means to be unfaithful to a good man who loves you and to find yourself caught up in a major scandal.  Of course, there were no sex tapes to be distributed on the internet as evidence in her time, but that’s neither here nor there.  Maggie embraced Melanie earlier  on and continues to embrace her.

She’s not concerned that Melanie isn’t good enough for her grandson.  She’s concerned that Melanie doesn’t realize her own value and will end up being hurt by a man unworthy of her love – with Phllip Kiriakis being exactly the sort of trouble Maggie described to Melanie… oh how I thought I’d lose my lunch during his speech about knowing a woman who accepts him for who he is and who isn’t out to change him… Let’s face it, there’s a lot about Phillip that REQUIRES changing.  Now that he’s moving in on Melanie like a heat seeking missile, both Maggie and Nate have their work cut out for them, stopping Melanie from becoming her own worst enemy and giving in to Phillip.  Phillip will no doubt continue to toy with Melanie’s feelings while bouncing back between her and Stephanie.  Let’s hope that Melanie will take Maggie’s counsel to heart.   I love the relationship that’s developed between the inexperienced but headstrong Melanie, and her generous and loving mentor.  Who’d a thunk it?  Women don’t actually hate each other!

Brady/Nicole/EJ. How amazing are Brady and Nicole on screen together?  EM’s use of subtle cues to lead us to realize that there’s still something very real between the pair makes every scene worth watching.  I keep waiting for the next ‘cue’.    While Nicole was crying and begging Brady to be the good friend she’s needed, to help her keep the daughter and husband she loves more than her own life – I thought it was Brady who would collapse into Nicole’s arms.   He seemed to feel every bit of her pain.  Notice how he held her just a little too long as she thanked him for saving her family?   Brady would do anything for Nicole.  When it comes to this woman, clearly his heart allows him to betray his head as long as she needs him.

The big shocker was having EJ tape Nicole’s conversations and learn about the miscarriage through her.  I was prepared for Kate’s move into the mansion to be the catalyst for having Nicole and EJ’s marriage destroyed by Kate…Kate would overhear Nicole and Mia, blackmail Nicole, EJ would catch them.. that’ s par for the course in daytime, but not this time.  Nicole’s own need to confess all to Brady and to keep him involved in her whacked out plan to save her marriage did her in.  Oh the irony!

I would love for EJ, for ONCE, to be a real man –  THAT would be  a welcomed surprise.  I would love for him to love Nicole and Sydney as he should, as much as they love him… but he won’t.  He’s not capable of it.  H won’t care that Nicole, as misguided as her actions were, took Sydney in to protect him, to stop his heart from breaking as hers had.  He won’t care that she wanted to prevent him from losing a child he knew nothing about to complete strangers – given Sami’s  original plan to have Grace adopted.  Sooner or later EJ will try to make his way back to his rape victim, Sami, I’m sure.  He’ll tell her it’s a miracle that their child is alive and that they belong together as a family.  Nicole, the woman who truly loved him, will be devastated – but hopefully not for too long.  Brady is much hotter… and he’s not a in love with the idea of victimizing the woman he claimes to ‘love’ and raising a family with her.

Stefano/Kate... I’ll say it once and then I’ll avoid ever saying it again if I can help it because it creeps me out…I like them together.  I didn’t think I would, especially since Kate was blackmailed into marrying Stefano.  Then again, it’s not like she’s had much luck in love!

Daniel was a lying cheat.  Victor ws just freakin’ cruel. A relationship with Roman could never work because Kate could never stop hating Sami (who might have ended up in that hospital bed instead of Chloe, under different circumstances), and nothing else has panned out.  What does she have to lose at this point?  Neither Kate nor Stefano make apologies for who they are and I like that about them, to some degree.  Stefano has been a part of so many quirky, unrealistic, and embarrassing supernatural storylines that I’d lost the ability to think of him as a romantic lead… I’m starting to see that it’s possible that they could be a real couple, and  I can only imagine the fresh hell they’ll unleash in Salem… as a matter of fact,  I’m looking forward to it… the added bonus of the tension between Kate and EJ and Kate and Alexandra?  PRICELESS!

Pass the Dutchie from the left hand side…

This generation

Rules the nation

With version

Music happen to be the food of love

Sounds to really make you rub and scrub

Chorus:

I say

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

It a gonna burn, give me music make me jump and prance

It a go done, give me the music make me rock in the dance

It was a cool and lovely breezy afternoon

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

You could feel it ’cause it was the month of June

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

So I left my gate and went out for a walk

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

As I pass the dreadlocks’ camp I heard them say

(How does it feel when you’ve got no food ?)

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side

Musical Youth

As The World Turns

When it rains, it POURS!  If you’ve been reading me long enough, you know that I’ve been whining about OLTL’s decision to kill off the fabulous Nash Brennan (played by the even MORE fabulous Forbes March).   I’ll whine no more… I’ll just be spending more time watching As The World Turns since TPTB there have had the good graces to cast Forbes in a new role!  YAY!  He’ll play Luke and Noah’s college professor who happens to also be openly gay.  As if it was my birthday, the soapgods of ATWT have also cast Lynn Herring (GH, ex-Lucy Coe) as Henry Coleman’s  mother… DOUBLE YAY!  If she’s anything like Henry before his transformation, or the rest of his family, someone will need to say a prayer for Vienna!  There’s fresh hell headed her way and she’s never experienced anything like it.

Days of Our Lives

Sami/EJ… can’t speak.  Sickened.

Hate.This.Storyline.  Hate Ejami…

One Life to Live

I just saw the most incredible commercial for ABC soaps… it’s an ad for ‘2 Young Mothers’  AMC’s Amanda – a woman in her mid to late 20s, and OLTL’s Starr Manning (Roughly 16 – 17 years old).  Both storylines are about mothers who were supposed to give their children up for adoption.  Both mothers have changed their minds.  They want to keep their babies.

What happens in the upper suites over at ABC?  Does anyone with more authority than deciding who to hire in the mail room get to see the ads for ABC daytime before they air?  Given the fact that ABC had an astoundingly bad week, during the last ratings period:

Bad Week for ABC (originally posted at S.O.N.)

Ratings for the week of May 25-29, 2009

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,994,000 (+120,000/+48,000)
2. B&B 3,366,000 (-3,000/-341,000)
3. DAYS 2,663,000 (+136,000/-4,000)
4. ATWT 2,480,000 (+86,000/-126,000)
5. GH 2,454,000 (-96,000/-330,000)
6. AMC 2,430,000 (-88,000/-283,000)
7. OLTL 2,402,000 (-158,000/-299,000)
8. GL 2,022,000 (+71,000/-271,000)

HH
1. Y&R 3.6/12 (+.1/same)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (-.1/-.3) <——- ties low rating
3. DAYS 2.0/7 (+.1/same)
4. ATWT 1.9/6 (+.1/same)
4. AMC 1.9/6 (same/-.2)
4. GH 1.9/6 (-.1/-.3)
7. OLTL 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3) <—— ties low rating
8. GL 1.5/5 (same/-.1)

what would make ANYONE think that a commercial featuring Amanda and Starr would excite soap fans who aren’t currently watching?  Amanda?  Eh… I’ll admit, I have SOME interest in what will happen if she keeps her baby and nutty Dr. Dave decides that he should be allowed to raise at least ONE of his children from infancy.  I just have ZERO interest in Starr and Cole (who are, as we’re told “STARR AND COLE” – as if that has meaning.  When I see ‘Starr and Cole’, I see a ruined Todd Manning who was destroyed to pimp a crap teen summer romance).    I don’t care to see Starr raising a baby. I don’t care to see Starr and Cole reunite.  I don’t care to see them struggle with the difficulty of being teen parents.    For goodness sake’s folks, if you’re going to go forward on this storyline, don’t flippin’ advertise it.

Guiding Light

I understand that Rafe has to adjust to life outside of prison, but YEOW!   Rafe is not only having a hard time adjusting, he’s actually beginning to behave almost as if he’d rather return to prison.   With so little time left for GL (Sept. 18 is the final ep), it’s hard to believe that the writers are looking at spending that much more time on Rafe’s return in order to create unnecessary drama for Otalia.

I’m torn between: 1 – appreciating the grittiness of the prison release storyline, 2 – being annoyed that Rafe won’t get the typical ‘Spaulding’ treatment after creating a crime; in what world would Alan actually listen to Natalia when she tells him that she doesn’t want him helping Rafe?  He doesn’t listen to Phillip or Beth! Why would her give a damn that Natalia wants him out of Rafe’s life!??!; 3 -feeling  disturbed by the fact that the Rafe storyline is getting more attention than the Otalia love story.  Wouldn’t it be better to have Otalia together, living as a family and working to save Rafe from himself and from Alan?  So little time writers… GET A FREAKIN’ MOVE ON!

General Hospital

Shhhhhhh… no one tell the GH writers.  SOMEONE slipped up and the writers are starting to inadvertently focus on romance.  Can you believe it?  That Patrick is so understanding of Robin’s PPD and that he’s supporting her should warm my heart but it doesn’t.  OK, it does, but not the way you think.  It’s to be expected, right?  You have your husband’s baby and he realizes the sacrifice you made for him, for yourself, for your family.  I’m just grateful that the writers veered away from Liz and Patrick flirtation and realized that there are many people out there who love and support their spouses in their worst moments without turning to someone else.

I love that Patrick is a good husband.

Do you know what I love MOST about this reunion?  It’s that Patrick doesn’t think that it’s his role to ‘forgive’ Robin.  I love that he stands back and watches Robin undergo a this period of self-exploration.  He watches as Robin finally realizes what everyone else has been telling her all along.  She’s been so driven, and so obsessed with perfection that it fed her inability to bond with Emma when Emma needed her so desperately.  Robin would rather have not tried, than to have tried with Emma and failed.  I love that Patrick and Robin don’t feel the need to ‘shape’ the other into a better person. They’ve learned to love one another as they are.

Patrick has accepted Robin as is and when she was ready to change, he was still there.  She allowed him to be who he was, when he was a playboy on the loose.  She realized that she couldn’t change him and accepted him as he was.  She was still there, ready to be with him, when he decided to change of his own accord.  She waited for him to become the man he needed to be.

Then there’s Carly and Jax.  They’re the Ken and Barbie version of Patrick and Robin.  There’s been a little more arm-twisting and ‘molding/shaping’ with CarJax than there has been with Scrubs, but it’s all worked somehow.  I love that Jax accepts about Carly what drives others crazy about her;  she has a tendency to obsess on those she loves and cares for.  They become the center of her focus.  Jax realizes that she’ll fight as hard for their family as she has for anyone else.  He finally gets that about her.  Jax is such a patient, kind, and loving man that he and Patrick  stand out as Princes among the daytime frogs!  Robin and Carly are lucky women.  Patrick and Jax are even luckier men.

Add Elizabeth’s fighting Luke for Lucky’s sake, and I’m in GH fan heaven!  THREE good men, Three good women, THREE great relationships… and this is GH!?!??

Pass the  Dutchie, baby!

Where does that phrase come from?  Some of you may remember the UK youth group that sang the song.  The origin of the title was always in question.  Some believed it was a reference to what is the equivalent of a ‘bong party’ (which makes sense of its use for AMC/OLTL/GL… but later it was determined that the origins linked to the notion of a communal experience (passing a dish, eating together as a group/a family)… as in the case of ATWT/GL…