Sympathy Depleted…Michael Corinthos Jr: Jailbird

I know that scenes like the one below are supposed to make me feel sorry for Michael, and are supposed to lead me to want to see Dante and Lucky do everything they can to free him, but they DON’T.   I’ll tell you why after you watch the clip, if you haven’t already watched the show:

  • Do I think Michael belongs in prison for trying to stop Claudia from running off with his minutes old infant sister after she’d kidnapped his pregnant mother?  No.
  • Do I think he belongs there because he let his father cover up an act of “self-defense”?  No.
  • Do I want him there because his pinhead father told him that he was ‘proud of him’ for taking Claudia’s life?  Would sending Michael to prison be a great way to teach Sonny a lesson? No.  Michael should not be used as a pawn to teach his father a lesson.  In fact, Sonny and Jason should be in prison for obstruction of justice (they burned down a freakin’ cabin and hid Claudia’s body over something that wasn’t even a crime).  While we’re at it, Carly should be in prison with them so that Jax can save that sweet child of his from her mother.

So why the lack of sympathy?  Because in the end, it’s most likely the case that the writers will have Michael learn absolutely ZERO from his prison stint.  This is the kid who wanted to take his father’s place as mob kingpin (as though he would never have to face justice and the possibility of prison at some point in the future).  Michael was so mean and spiteful when thinking that he could be passed over as top boss that the character was insufferable.  His behavior included wanting to see his father kill Dante because Dante was <GASP> an undercover cop and a ‘rat’ who infiltrated his father’s organization.  Even after he found out that Dante was his brother, he lacked sympathy and compassion  for his brother.  He felt that the bullet to his chest, courtesy of their father, was well deserved.

Now he’s in prison with the sort of men his brother works hard to put away to keep society safe. He’s in prison with the sort of people The Quartermaines, and Jax, wanted to protect him from.   They are the sort of men his father does business with on a regular basis.   Welcome to the real (soap) world, Michael Corinthos Jr.  It’s tougher than you thought.

I don’t believe he belongs in prison, but at the same time  I just don’t have any sympathy for him.  If the GH pattern holds, there will be no redemption.  The only thing Michael will learn is to not go to prison unless he takes his fathers’ chief enforcer with him.

I’m resentful that characters who have always  shown a clear preference for truth, honesty, and justice are now just mob puppets.  I’m bored by Michaels’ ‘scared straight‘ prison moments that will lead no where.

Ending on a high note

WTF!?!?!?  Someone remembered the show’s history and is using an old plot point to tell a new story.  Lulu must be far more serious about Dante than she was about Johnny.  I don’t recall Lu ever caring if Johnny knew about her abortion.  I don’t think it even came up, but that was so long ago, I can’t remember.

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ABC – A Tale of Two Soaps

ABC presents the epic “mother of all daytime soap battles”.  It’s General Hospital vs. General Hospital!  I regret to inform you that at this moment,  General Hospital  is losing!  As with Dickens’  A Tale of Two Cities, when it comes to GH:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

Melodramatic much? On occasion, yes. Yes I am.  Best of times?  When?  Where?

I get where you’re coming from, but bear with me, please.

The best of times, unfortunately, comes in infinitesimally smaller doses than do the worst of times.  The dark mostly swallows the light, and despair too often triumphs over hope… but still, there are moments like these that remind me of the best of GH as it is now, without having to dig into the archives of the GH of the 80s and 90s:

Robin and Patrick’s participation in Karaoke Night was especially poignant for me  because 1 – Even if only for a short time, our SCRUBS get to be the example of a couple that is as close to perfect as any (non mob-related) GH couple can be. I’m sure they’ll have stiff competition when Mac and Alexis finally make it off the ground and when Maxie and Spinelli finally get it right, but right now they add a pretty  glorious shine to this show ; 2 – I miss the Nurses’ Ball and I think this is a small scale way of giving us what the Nurses’ Ball did.  It lets the audience get closer to the show’s  characters.  The karaoke scenes humanize the characters and reminds us that they do more than sneak around with one another’s husbands and wives.  It’s a great compromise almost making up for the absence of the Nurses Ball -very clever; 3 – These sort of scenes give fans the opportunity to appreciate the additional  talents of the show’s actors.  I also appreciate the courage it takes for each of them to step out of their traditional roles.  No criticisms from me!  I thought they were all magnificent.; 4 –  They’re just FUN!  There are so few GH scenes that are FUN.  Most of them are about death, betrayal, hatred, jealousy, adultery, and many other vices.   It’s nice to watch GH and just smile on occasion.

How adorable were Morgan and Molly?  How funny is it  that in that room full of women,  of those who weren’t his children – at least half of them has been in bed with and/or impregnated by Sonny Corinthos?… and by funny I mean ‘pathetic’… That brings us to:

The Worst of Times

Forgive my  opining (nay whining) over the current state of General Hospital, but  I’ve experienced my first true soap heartbreak – one that had nothing to do with the cancellation of a beloved show, that is.   I’ve said, previously, that I’m done with GH, DONE!  KAPUT!  FINISHED!  FINITO!  For the most part that’s been true.  I did watch Liz run to Luke’s to beg Lucky to return to her.  I watched Ethan and Lucky chatting about Liz and enjoyed the flashbacks of a young LL2, even if I did feel as if I’d been kicked in the soft tissue watching the clips of a very young Liz and Lucky declaring their love.   I miss who they were to each other.  I got the writers message to the fans, via Lucky’s dialogue, about seeing people as they are now and not how you use to know them.  Bite me.  I’ll never see LL2 as having ‘moved on’.  They’ll forever be viewed by me as having been destroyed by the writers’ reckless impulses and self-indulgent excesses.

I was annoyed by  the writers use of  Liz’s rape as part of the casual conversation between Lucky and Ethan – the brother Lucky barely knows.  It was both a sacred moment  (to LL2) and profane  moment (on the part of Liz’s attacker) that began their relationship.  It was all reduced to drunken banter and  gossip by two people who could have just as easily been strangers.

Outside of those scenes, I know that I’m not missing much.  Basic daytime storylines in daytime haven’t changed – just the players and the severity of characters’ reactions to events in their lives.  There’s clearly no possibility of missing anything ‘big’ by largely tuning out this show or any other daytime program.  It’s not like there will be major revolutions in daytime storytelling any time soon!  (Get it?  Dickens?  Tale of Two Cities? Revolutions?)

Finally: Belief vs. Incredulity

I thought back to the situation that caused me to want to fully walk away from both General Hospital and the entire genre of daytime.  When Dante refused to tell the police that Sonny shot him, I was stunned.  In that one moment, the writers’ deconstructed a potentially marvelous character and destroyed the beautiful and inspiring backstory they’d created for him. This past year we had a reason to believe that it just might be possible that the writers would bring a true hero back to GH, one in the same vein of Mac Scorpio, Anna Devane, Robert Scorpio, Sean Donnelly, Frisco and Felicia Jones, the entirety of the WSB).  That’s now gone.   I never expected Dante to send Sonny to prison – no one ever has no matter how guilty he was.  I just never expected him to cave to the magic of Sonny’s mojo so quickly.  With a different set of paternal DNA and a uterus, Dante would  have borne Sonny another child by now.

As if ignoring the ‘attempted cop killer’ charge wasn’t enough, Dante commented that he thought Olivia, who’d become pregnant at 15 (rewrite?), slept around so much that she didn’t know WHO his father was. <gasp>  That line left me feeling utter revulsion for the character.  Whatever the case, he was angry at her for not telling him sooner that Sonny was his father.  Sonny “attempted cop killer” Corinthos was also angry at her and blamed Dante’s near death on her decades long lie.

“W-T-F”, I thought.  I’m sure the writers, who must be bored writing the bi-annual “Who’s the Daddy?”) storyline for Sonny and his small village filled with offspring, must have thought they were writing a unique twist on yet another telling of that storyline.  That ‘twist’ reads more like ‘twisted’ and this storyline deserves comparison to other Who’s the Daddy? storylines, when the good guys really were good.

I thought about the clip I’d posted of Robert, Robin, and Anna, in a prior blog:

I know that there are significant differences:

1.  Robin was an adorable child.  Dante is an “angry” adult male (even if his anger truly is righteous).

2. Robert knew early on that Robin was his child.  Sonny didn’t find out until it was ‘too late’.

3.  Robin wasn’t sent to try to destroy Robert.  Dante was.  For whatever reason, some see justifiable anger in Sonny’s attempt to kill Dante, the cop, for doing his job.  It seems plausible to accept the argument that Sonny would never have tried to kill Dante if he’d known that Dante was his son.

If the writers are consistent, I can’t say that I believe that the above assertion is true.  Sonny was more than willing to hurt his own brother when he thought he could justify it, or if he felt the need to save himself over Ric.   Sonny never gave a damn for Ric, the person who shared his DNA.  I can only believe that the writers would have been consistent and gone the ‘Lansing Route’ had they decided to have Dante found out without having Sonny shoot him.  We would have then been treated to ‘dead to me’ scenes between the father and son, with  Dante working like a mad dog to make amends for having the audacity to hate crime and criminals now that he knows he’s genetically linked to a mob boss.

In the end, the issue isn’t really about the difference between Robin and Dante as the long lost children of high profile Port Chuckles citizens.  It’s about the differences between writing teams, and the radically different approaches they’ve taken to trying to get the audience to buy into newly developed families. The GH writing team of the 80s wrote for a real hero and wrote for real emotions.  I can’t tell you what the current writing team writes for.  For it it feels as if they’re writing for a hopelessly lost villain that they continue to want to sell as a hero and writing cheap ploys masquerading as real emotions.  The legacy of the introduction of characters like Anna, Robert, and Robin is that fans still want MORE of their story.  There’s are still stories to be told that have the ability to help fans recall the old GH – when light pushed back the darkness, hope triumphed over despair, and we had everything before us.  I don’t think we can say the same for current storylines.

Points to ponder – All Soaps

*YnR’s NuMalcolm?  Not workin’.  I’m trying, folks, I really am, but as good as it is to see Darius McCrary on screen again, this was just the wrong role to cast him in. Though… given the choice between keeping him as Malcolm and keeping KC’s Lily, he wins hands down!  Malcolm Winters was an iconic character and unfortunately, McCrary’s interpretation falls flat.  I’ve seen McCrary’s work in other projects (including CBS’s Cold Case) and he’s been very good.  Something about this role just doesn’t seem to translate well for the actor.

* If GH’s “Franco” came to town because he’s totally obsessed with Jason:

1.  Why was it necessary to have Maxie pimped out and risk her relationship with Spinelli?  His focus has been Jason the entire time.  The side story involving Maxie just doesn’t make sense and seems to be an awful waste of a couple (Maxelli) and a character (Franco).  It served no purpose.

2.  How can Jason be considered a ‘good guy’ when his actions capture  the imagination of a ‘psychotic’ killer?  Jason’s murderous exploits have made him an international icon for blood thirsty criminals?  Some hero!

3.  Why didn’t TPTB just name him Franco Guza?  It would make sense of Franco’s obsession with Jason and the Suckpranos.  It would have felt more honest.  It’s art, seemingly, imitating life.

* Why aren’t the BnB”s Logan women allowed to confront sister Katie with her penchant for betraying her family for the love of  her latest squeeze?  Katie is 2 for 2, right now, and I’m getting tired of her whining and moaning about how SHE’S been betrayed.  Put that attitude away Katie, and if you need help figuring out where to put it, just ask!

*  Does anyone else think that ATWT’s Simon and Henry would make a far hotter couple than Luke and Noah?   I’m so tired of the on-again-off-again nature of the Nuke relationship that I’m ready to see ATWT’s PTB replace them, NOW.  Pay attention ATWT’s writers.  OLTL’s writers are separating the men from the boys and writing a real relationship between two characters – who just happen to be gay. Watch and learn… Speaking of OLTL:

* Why the hell did OLTL’s Bo hand Dorian back the only piece of evidence that could convict his niece of stabbing Mitch Laurence?  Was that supposed to be a sign of his honesty and integrity?  It felt more like evidence of his sheer stupidity,  especially since it’s becoming painfully clear to others that Dorian is Mitch’s puppet.

As for Dorian Lord, she is nothing if not devious.  I’m not too thrilled with the image of a helpless Dorian Lord constantly caving in to Mitch’s demands.  At what point does she put her years of mischief-making to use and takes Mitch down?  I’m shocked by the fact that I like seeing Dorian on top, Mayor and chief power broker in Llanview, but I do.  Why have that ruined by having her behave like a skittish child, jumping at the sight of her own shadow?  MORE kick-ass Dorian, LESS kiss-ass Dorian, please.

* Doesn’t anyone else  ever get tired of hearing the BnB’s taylor whine about how Brooke stole her life, and made her miserable?  Even I can agree with her that that situation with Jack was traumatic.  I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to give birth to the biological child of a woman I hated.    Taylor didn’t sign on to be a surrogate.  She had in vitro in order to have a family with Nick.  The child she carried was supposed to be HER child.  I get it, but the problem with her whining is that Brooke didn’t cause taylor to ‘lose’ her son.  Taylor chose to give him away.  She also chose to continue to try to compete with Brooke for Ridge – even when Ridge  made it CLEAR that it was Brooke he loved.  You can’t ask the woman to stay out of your life, and then constantly throw yourself in the middle of her life and call yourself a victim.

* Why do DAYS writers continue to make my skin crawl by having EJ touch Sami?  Yes, yes… he was only comforting her after she received a call from Sydney’s kidnapper…. it’s just that every time he goes near her, I see him holding her at gunpoint.   I hear him  telling her that the only way to save  Lucas is to let him violate her.  Every touch makes my skin crawl.  Has Sami forgotten how she ended up pregnant with  EJ’s spawn (cutie that she is) and the one before her?  C’mon writers,  give Sami her dignity back and have her tell EJ to keep his gun-toting rapist paws off of her.  Her confused ‘feelings’ are degrading and humiliating to watch, speaking as a woman.

Hey, if the actor involved can admit it was rape (comment below from a James Scott interview),

I would be lying if I said I didn’t worry about my future on the soap. I don’t think they handled the rape very well, and I’ll tell you why. EJ raped Sami, and then afterwards, he’s hanging out in her house — alone with her. It’s irresponsible on so many levels. However, had it been handled well, I think it would have been an interesting story choice. Now the story focus has shifted to her pregnancy and the classic soap story of paternity. Having said that, I chose to believe that EJ is in love with Samantha — he just can’t communicate it.

and TPTB can admit it was rape, it was RAPE.  He forced her to have sex with him to save the life of the man she loved. You can read a decidedly pro EJami Wikipedia entry with Scott’s comments HERE (that is until someone decides to try to delete the comment).

As for DAYS increasingly dwindling ratings fortunes, is it any wonder that the new  focus on Sami and EJ is linked to a rather rapid ratings slide for the show? Good luck selling Ej and Sami as anything other than what they really are:  a victim and her obsessive, stalking, rapist.

* For most of the year (plus), All My Children has been largely unwatchable.   Color me surprised when I got gooey and nostalgic for Hayley and Mateo’s return (more Hayley than Mateo).  Watching Adam soften while talking with Hayley and joke about knowing something about raising  ‘difficult children’ was the most priceless moment of that episode for me – Hayley of the dyed dark punk rock hair, now a mother with a wild child of her own.  I thought about Brian Bodine,  Uncle Pork Chop (Trevor), Natalie down the well, Janet from another Planet, Adam’s dark dark days (which really were different from just his ‘dark’ days), Stuart and Cindy, scheming Arlene Vaughn, the Santos family – even preachy mom and dad, Edmund and Maria, Erica and Dimitri, Bad girl Kendall and sweetheart Del Cooney, The Martin clan, Jeremy, Laurel and her brother Michael, Cliff and Nina,  Palmer and Daisy, The Montgomery Brothers and their feud, Brooke English, Phoebe and  Langley, Chuck and Tara,  Beloved Mona and Myrtle, Ellen and Devon, Mark Dalton, Tom and Sean Cudahy, and so much more… sheesh).  I know that not all of the above mentioned characters were on screen at the same time but just those few moments with Adam and Hayley opened a stream of AMC consciousness  and I felt warm all over.   I miss All my Children – the real All my Children.

* At some point, BnB’s Brooke Logan’s children are going to have to acknowledge (or learn) that there was NO WAR between their mother and Stephanie Douglas.  Stephanie has been on the attack against Brooke almost from the moment she met her.  Brooke has tried in vain to make peace and keep peace.  Brooke does not seek Stephanie out to hurt her or make her miserable as Stephanie has done with her.  Brooke hasn’t made a point of trying t0  publicly expose Stephanie for whatever her wrongdoings are – and there are many.  Brooke hasn’t tried to turn Stephanie’s children against her, as Stephanie has tried to do with Brooke’s children.

To allow Brooke’s children to continue to think of Stephanie as ‘human’ feels like one of the daytime’s biggest lies.  Theirs has been daytime’s biggest farce of a rivalry.  A rivalry would require TWO participants.  It would require balance.  It has neither.  In any other galaxy, Stephanie would be acknowledged as the psychotic villainess -bully she’s always been.  Calling Stephanie a victim of Brooke’s would be the same as calling GH’s Helena Cassadine a victim of Alexis Davis… Hels only slit Alexis’ mother’s throat in front of her when she was a child and threatened her life every single day from that moment on.  The warm and toasty moments between Brooke’s children and the dragon lady leaves me switching channels.  When a crazed bee-yotch hands your mother an unregisted gun, while wearing white gloves, and tries to get her to take her life, she’s not your friend.  She’s not like a mother to you, she’s not human.  When that same woman facilitates your mother’s rape, you’re not suposed to ask her to be a part of your children’s lives.  Come on BnB writers, get a grip.

GH: What Mac Scorpio Should Do Now…

I could tell you how much I hate the mob storylines – again… but you know that if you’ve read this blog even once… OR, I could tell you about a storyline I’d  love to see happen for our dear Mac Scorpio – who has to face yet another daughter marrying into/getting involved with the mob circle.

My dream storyline would have to be, of course, something that takes us far outside of the mob boy’s storyline, while still feeding TPTB’s apparent need for vice.  Any viewer watching for longer than a decade remembers that the great Mac Scorpio was once a mercenary.  His past actions in the political world were as shady and low as his actions with other men’s wives (by his account and that of his brother, Robert).   He’s done a lot of bad things, we were just never told what those bad things were.  Mac is now a decorated hero, pillar of his community, loving father/father-uncle, and the chief peace officer in Port Chuckles.  Surely that’s not sitting well with someone, somewhere.  Surely he’s responsible for someone’s untimely death, or for having callously turned over an innocent man (maybe a celebrated freedom fighter)  he tracked down on behalf of some vicious despot.  Surely this man has a son or daughter, seeking revenge, angry that Mac’s life has gone on brilliantly and that he lives among ‘decent people’ while he/she still suffers from loss of a parent.

Let’s make the vengeance-seeker a woman – ah…so you know where this is going!  What if she slowly wormed her way into Mac’s life?  She could share her sob story with him: orphaned as a young adult, left alone to fend for herself in the world… surviving but desperate, doing some unsavory things to survive and often finding herself in unhelpful situations.  The only thing she won’t share with him is his role in her misery.  Outside of her unbridled rage, something  neither Mac nor the audience would know about her as we first meet her, she would be the very definition of goodness and light.  She would seem to have only Mac’s best interest at heart at all times.  We wouldn’t realize, initially, that she was  alienating him from the people he loved most.   She’d start with Maxie.  Why?  Because Maxie is hooked up with the mob boys through her love for Spinelli, which makes her an easy target – low hanging fruit, if you will.

Copyright ABC Daytime

We wouldn’t know she was out to hurt Mac so we, the audience, would applaud her.    Someone other than Mac  is finally telling Maxie and Spinelli there’s a choice to be made and that the options  aren’t even close to being ‘similar’.  They’re very different choices (Mac or the Mob) and that either could alter the course of the young couple’s future.   Ellenna, we’ll call her, would remind Maxie of how important her career at Crimson is to her, of how hard she’s worked to be taken seriously. She would remind Maxie that her father is the same way.  He cares deeply about his work, he cares that he does well, but he also cares to be taken seriously and can’t be, as long as she and Spinelli have chosen Jason and Sonny.  What message does that send to the people of Port Charles?  How much longer is Mac supposed to defend is personal integrity because of their actions and their associations with Sonny and Jason?

Maxie, in her typically obstinate manner, would chose the mob boys (she always does).  They ‘accept’ her as she is. They don’t make demands on her.  They aren’ t out to change her. We’ve heard it all before (and we’ll hear it, or some variation of it, again this week)  Maxie will argue that Mac claims to love her, but only loves her as long as she is the person he wants her to be.   She’ll deliver the ultimate low blow as she tell him that his demands for perfection even drove her mother away and left Georgie vulnerable.  Having ‘been there-done that’ too many times before with Maxie, Mac does cut her out of his life this time.  Maxie is devastated.  Mac is devastated.  Ellenna (‘Elle’)  is secretly elated.

Robin is next.  How does Elle alienate Robin?  This one is more difficult because Robin has been the model daughter-niece.  She has to be more clever with Robin:  ‘unintentionally’ picking fights with her, setting Robin up so that Mac catches her unloading on a seemingly innocent Elle, making Robin uncomfortable with the way she holds Emma – think ‘Hand That Rocks The Cradle’ crazy.  Robin’s inability to accept Elle after everything Mac has done for her and the fact that he’s loved her unconditionally is the final straw.  Mac has  supported Robin in her happiness no matter where she found it and he wants nothing to do with her if she can’t do the same for him.

He’s been on his own for so long that it feels good to finally have someone who is willing and able to put him first.  He confides in Elle that he wasn’t always a good man who cared whether he was loved and needed.  He confides that he’s haunted by the man he use to be, and that it’s why it’s so important for him to be a better man.  He confides that he’s always felt that he was unworthy of happiness, but that he’s been grateful for every moment of it he’s ever had.  He prays that he can have happiness one last time  before he dies, and then has to face whatever ‘punishment’ there is for his past life.  He asks Elle to marry him and they begin  planning their family and their future together… but not so fast!  After comparing notes, Robin and Maxie realize three things:

1- Mac has been strong for everyone else.  He’s been so strong that no one put the pieces together – he’s been slowly falling apart.  Mac has been  suffering from depression since the day he lost Georgie – another reason is was so important to him to help Robin w ith Emma during her PPD.  It gave him meaning and he could connect with Robin without having to share his ‘secret’ his ‘shame’.  He’s been alone in the same house Georgie lived until she died.  He’s alone with the memories of a wife who deserted their family, and a dead daughter.  They start to learn things they didn’t know about Mac – that he secretly drinks at night, for example.  Coleman has seen him there several nights a week passing by a neighboring bar.  It’s where Mac met Elle.

2 – that they’ve both been set up… they realize that Elle wanted them both out of Mac’s life.  They’re not sure why, but they know it’s not for love.

3 – Mac’s depression and that they’ve ignored him other than to lean on him when they needed him made it easy for Elle to set them up and isolate Mac.

They know that talking with Mac is useless because he doesn’t want to go back to his old life of picking up the pieces for everyone else.  He’s happy again and his happiness is like a drug that leaves him wanting more.  What Mac doesn’t realize is that his drug state is both literal and figurative.  Elle’s original plan was to slowly drug Mac, eventually killing him – until she learned about Robin and Patrick and knew they would investigate his death.  She then begins working on ‘plan b’… setting Mac up for murder.  If he can’t be made to pay for her father’s murder, he should be made to pay for someone else’s.  She realizes the irony of taking a life to make Mac pay for the life he took, but she rationalizes her actions by planning to take the life of someone who ‘deserves’ it -unlike her heroic father.

Unaware of Elle’s actions or plans, Robin, Patrick, and Maxie begin investigating her (better than getting them involved in every half-wit unrelated plot on this show).  They  rely on the help of Alexis Davis when they run across red tape in the European nation Elle claims she’s from. Alexis has a history with the European courts, both personally and professionally. Alexis helps them find out that the woman whose name is being used died over two decades before Elle began using it.  They decide that it’s of little use to share this information with Mac.  He would only rationalize their findings as ‘mixed up paper work’, or that she used the name to escape an oppressive life.  They need more proof in finding out who this woman is.  After weeks of searching, the trail grows cold.   They need more help.  While Robin calls her father to ask for help in picking up a warm lead,  Alexis decides to get close to Mac in order to get closer to Elle.  Now that she’s in private practice and he’s on leave from the PCPD for health reasons, she begins showing up at Mac’s to talk to him about several cases she’s working on, seeking input from him.  Watching the dynamic between the couple, discomforted by Elle’s evasive manner whenever she’s asked about ‘home’ or her family leads Alexis to believe that Elle is a bigger threat to Mac than anyone believed.

After the full group gets together, they begin to wonder why they hadn’t thought to investigate the real ‘Elle’.  Why did this woman taking control of Mac’s life, whoever she is, choose that name?   They find out that the woman whose name she uses was her mother’s, which uncovers the sordid history of her father’s death and Mac’s role in it.  By the time they realize what’s going on, it’s too late.  Elle has chosen her victim and set her plan in motion.

In the best possible soap world outcomes, Remily (Rebecca Shaw to most fans!) would be the intended victim.  Catching Ethan and Rebecca on the docks, she realizes what a horrible person Rebecca is to take advantage of Nik’s grief.  Identifying with Nik, who has also lost as love one, she decides to ‘protects’ Nik by getting rid of Rebecca.   She realizes that setting Mac up for murder would be difficult – he has no reason to hate Rebecca (hard to imagine, I know!  Do you need a real reason to hate this character? The fact that she exists makes her cringe-worthy in my book).  She decides to ‘break up’ with Mac, citing his family and their constant attacks against her as the reason.

The break up triggers Mac’s drinking, the drinking leads to a fatal accident, the accident leads to Mac being arrested, tried, and convicted of manslaughter.   Wracked with guilt, he accepts his fate.  It’s only after the fog clears, as he relives the episode, that he begins remembering small details, one of which is the key to unraveling what happened.  He remembers Rebecca being pushed and the car not being able to stop in time.  He starts to remember viewing the accident from the passenger side, it occured just as he was waking up.  His memory triggers a further investigation:  Robert, Anna (who returns when Robert puts out the call about a woman named ‘Ellenna’ – there’s more to her back history than even Elle knows), Robin, Patrick, Alexis, Maxie and Spinelli (who’ve given up the mob boys and are married and in the Scorpio-Drake-Spinelli clan), band together to prove Mac’s innocence.

The prove that Rebecca was pushed in front of Mac’s care… but if Elle was driving the car, who pushed Rebecca… or who drove the car as Elle pushed Rebecca… There’s more…

This storyline pulls several past storylines together:  Georgie’s death, Mac and Felicia’s unresolved failed marriage, Mac’s history as a smiling, but dangerous, playboy, and the Robert-Mac history.  Anna and Robert are back at the WSB – there can still be vice on the show without the lollipop mob.  The difference?  The bad guys aren’t the ‘heroes’.  Spinelli and Maxie follow the family tradition and actually put bad guys AWAY, not save them.

Future directions:  Obviously romance between Mac and Alexis once he’s cleared, conflict between Alexis and Nik – who refuses to listen to Alexis’ pleas to trust in Mac’s innocence – until later, the person who helps Elle could be Ethan – if you’d like and we could get rid of him,  Robin begins to have a relationship with her parents and they begin to clear the air on past events that even the audience isn’t aware of – yet, An unknown connection between Ellenna’s family and members of Port Charles…. so many future directions.

In the end… I know I won’t get any of it… but a girl can dream!

 

* Copyright to all images retained by ABC Daytime.

Defending My Maxelli love

I’m stunned (STUNNED I TELL YA’) when I read that there are fans who don’t like Maxelli (Maxie and Spinelli).  I’m not so shocked about fans not liking Spinelli, alone, I think he’s been too closely linked to the mob boys and they breed contempt in many a GH fan.  Winifred would never have lasted for the same reason – being too closely linked to Sonny and Jason. (Honestly, how could the writers have believed that fans would applaud a character who begins as an honest federal agent, but begins viewing her own government as “the evil” enemy because of  a fascination with Spinelli that also made her prey to Sonny’s magical impregnating dimples, or Jason’s icy-but-honest–except-when-he’s-taking-a-life blank stares?  I pretty much wanted her dead about a day after she arrived – figuratively speaking, of course.

What makes Maxelli so worthwhile as a couple is that they are the unexpected.  GH writers have lost their ability to tell the unexpected storyline and I can only believe that Maxelli works by not by design, but by accident.  I can only imagine that the positive fan response to Maxelli caught TPTB offguard or they would still be pushing a Maxie and Johnny.   Matt and Maxi wouldn’t work for the same reason – too predictable.  QUICK, which GH storyline below did you NOT see coming:

  • Carly’s pregnancy with Jax is high risk.  Can the man just have a child?  Sonny’s impregnated half the town, mothers living or dead.
  • Kristina is a terror, and Alexis is clueless.  It’s been so long since the writers have allowed Alexis to have a clue.
  • Michael is a sociopath in the making and wants to follow in Sonny and Jason’s footsteps.  Yeah, yeah, Sonny’s comeuppance for taking advantage of vulnerable Jason… how about jail time as comeuppance, and not the innocence of the Quartermaine heir? 
  • Jason has been involved in a shoot out.  Anyone keeping track of how many shootouts he’s been in?  Aren’t we averaging at least two a year onscreen?
  • Sonny is seemingly torn between two women (though he’d never seem to give Olivia much of a second thought before, now that she’s with Johnny Sonny is jealous.  Maybe the unexpected is that there aren’t THREE women fighting over him? 
  • Nik is as dumb as a post and has fallen in love at the drop of a hat.  He doesn’t realize that Remily is running a game.  I remember a time when Nik wasn’t as dumb as a post.  <sigh>  We need more Nik-Alexis scenes in which they keep each other clued in to the lives around them.  Nik has ignored Alexis’ warnings, DeadEm’s warnings, etc, etc, etc… Nik should start to realize that it’s only because of Alexis, and originally Helena, that he managed to not be taken for every penny he’s worth.
  • Ethan and Remily are connected.  Two cons who show up in PC at about the same time it Traci was the only truly suspicious one?  Two ‘long losts’?  What’s happened to the smart characters?  What’s happened to writers who respected smart viewers?

I don’t just like/love Maxelli, I NEED them.  Otherwise, GH is just more of the same crap, different year.  Maxelli is not.  This is another GH couple in which the weaknesses of one character is compensated for  by the strengths of the other (GH’s Scrubs being the other).  Spinelli is probably the most life-experience challenged character GH has ever created.   He’s clueless about anything without a mother board or internet connection

[at the wedding of Lucky Spencer and Elizabeth Webber, March 23, 2007]
Priest: Why do you think these two should not be joined?
[Seeing that Lulu is about to object to the marriage, Spinelli quickly jumps in.]
Spinelli [stumbling] : Marriage is out-dated. It’s a primitive remnant of a pre-computer age. Y’know, like, ‘With this ring until death do us part’? I mean, they’re arcane, archaic phrases with no real meaning. I mean, are they internet-compatible? I mean, y’know you could still be using dial-up, and she could be a high-speed chick. Are their servers in-synch??
Lesley Webber: Who are you?
Lulu Spencer [reluctantly] : He’s my boyfriend.
Spinelli [plesantly surprised] : Really?
Lucky Spencer: Grandma, what’d you put in the punch?

 

Doesn't this picture just say it all? The only thing missing is Sonny's halo and the rest of the angels bowing before him. - All images are courtesy of ABC Daytime

He trusts far too easily and is prey to his fantasies about the lives of others; which then makes sense of his over-the-top hero worship of the likes of Sonny and Jason.   He identifies with them and their cohorts in the way a child identifies with outlandish childhood creatures, images from mythology… c’mon Carly ‘the Valkyrie’?  Stone Cold?  The Blonde one?  Unhinged one?  Sir?  His nicknames for Port Chuckles citizens reads like a comic book.

What Maxie gives to Spinelli is the benefit of her edginess.  She’s jaded and as such she helps Spinelli see the world through more skeptical eyes.  Maxie’s job isn’t to remove his innocent wonder, it’s to allow him to continue to express it, and to learn how to protect himself against the world.  Spinelli’s role is to make the world a less threatening place for Maxie.  She doesn’t have to plot and scheme to protect herself from those ‘out to get her’.  Spinelli allows Maxie to take a step down from her delusions and fears.  He makes her happy without asking her to ‘prove’ her joy through sex, or complete adoration.  That makes him different from any other man she’s known.  He just wants her to be who she is without the fear and anxiety dragging her down.

What about GH’s other couples?

While I’m not happy that SCRUBS is wasted on Matt Hunter, who I have ZERO interest in, their current storyline makes a hell of a lot more sense and is far easier to watch than the PPD storyline.  Oddly enough, the writers are allowing GH’s gold standard couple to become involved in storylines that require INTELLECT… In the case of “The Death of the Mayor’s Mistress”, two highly educated people who care about something other than what happens to the lollipop mob?  Count me IN!  This feels like ‘old GH’, with a good bit of intrigue and possible danger.  The Scrubs are splitting their time between home with Emma, work at GH, and solving this case to protect Matt.   The writers totally screwed the audience on the PPD storyline.  This is a nice start in making it up to fans.  It’s the storyline they should have told after the Scrubs honeymoon, a storyline that continued to play off their wit, charm, intellect, and sexiness as a couple.

Johnny and Olivia?  So far, there’s no depth, but that’s not what the couple is about.  They’re a guilty pleasure and I accept them as such.

Diane and Max?  Ditto. 

Carly and Jax?  Some days I believe that the writers intend for them to make it.  Other times it feels as if the writers intend for Jax to be Sonny’s ‘placeholder’.  I’m dying to see more scenes of this couple that don’t including Michael, Sonny, or Jason, and not even the mention of them.  When the hell will Jax get back to being a corporate raider with his new partner, his wife.

Rebecca and Nik?  I can’t tune them out fast enough.  I’m waiting for technology that allows you to not only skip commercials, but skip scenes featuring specific characters.  In my world, it’s as if they never existed.   My world is a happy place.

If Robin Scorpio-Drake’s Life is so Perfect…

why is she so unhappy? Because the writers are still paying attention to detail and hitting all the right notes with Scrubs. Not only does Robin’s post-partum depression make sense, it’s a storyline with the potential to pull in our veteran faves and create a hell of a lot of ‘reckoning’ and healing.

Setting aside the part of her disorder that’s chemical and uncontrollable without treatment, what about the part of her illness that will be fed by her insecurities and fears? What about that part of her illness that’s fed by her general unhappiness?

What does she have to be unhappy about, you ask? Parents who adore her, the love and adoration of Mac and Maxie, a beautiful baby, and a loving husband who just happens to also be as hot as sin… exactly… it’s everything to be grateful for and everything to fear losing in a young life plagued by loss (Stone, contracting HIV, Jason – her second love, her parents – who both turn up alive later, Georgie – who won’t, etc..)

How could her past NOT make dealing with a medical illness like PPD more difficult? How could she not fear her daughter and the damage she feels she may do when she’s never had a parent’s guidance for long during her own life? Mac provided the only stability she’s ever known.

The earlier peace Robin struck with her parents was quick and superficial. While I don’t want Robin at odds with her parents long term, I do want some realistic conflict. Does she feel her life would be different had they not left her,or put her life in jeopardy (imagine the flashback footage – funerals and Faison, Duke, Duke’s death and so much more)

Robert and Anna will wonder if they took the time to save the world and lost Robin in the process. Patrick will need to turn to his own family for support while the Devane-Scorpio drama plays out.

In the end, Robin will heal, her relationship with her parents will be stronger, The Drakes will fully reconcile, and fans will get the best of both worlds ; the old and the new.

How GH (accidentally?) found its way back home.

Well…I’m in awe.  GH managed to pull off one of the most romantic weddings in at least a decade.  With Patrick and Robin’s “scrubs love” wedding:

There were no secrets hanging over their heads.

The couple wasn’t forced to marry to form a life saving alliance – nor one to protect the other from prosecution.

There were no jilted lovers hiding at the back of the church waiting for the chance of stolen lovelorn glances.

No baby’s mama drama.

Nary a gun-totin’, trigger-pullin’ mob boss in the crowd to disrupt the nuptials.

One sweet, but failed, prior attempt and now nuptial bliss.

This wedding was all about the fact that these two people love one another unconditionally and want to be together. Who knew that still happened in daytime?  Who knew that something as ‘basic’ as a wedding between equals could be so exciting?  The audience knew, and the writers have finally listened.

In addition to the fact that the wedding went off without a major hitch, there was something else that made Robin and Patrick’s wedding so special to me.  Daytime is rife with 2 dimensional hotties who literally look great on paper, but can’t convey a meaningful emotion to save their soap lives.  Newbies are hurled at daytime viewing audiences like cheap baubles,  Cracker Jack prizes – if you will.   We are supposed to be too stunned by their beautiful outsides to notice the emotional stunted performances causing our own insides twisting with disgust and annoyance.

They come from no where, are tied to no one, and when they are linked to core families, their characters are changed so drastically that they may as well have been cast as products of completely unknown soap families (ah hem… ATWT… Dani Stewart… uh?  WHO?… Exactly)   I should also add that when they’re tied to core families, their arrival is often a signal that the core characters we care about will be pitifully used to introduce them and are then  shoved into the soap attic while the writers delight in playing with their new toys.

What made the Scrubs wedding extra special is that Robin and Patrick are legacy characters, Robin being a GH regular (more on than off)  since the grand 80s.  Their families have been around forever, even if hottie Dr. Noah Drake hasn’t been on screen consistently, for more than a decade.

There’s something special about the soap children of characters we loved becoming adults and marrying.  There’s something special about the fact that the writers took the time to develop Patrick as a character, and Robin and Patrick as a couple, even if it’s only because the writers were busy focusing on the mob storyline for Sonny and Jason.  If Scrubs was an afterthought, this should be sufficient notice to the writers to consider taking a look back at what other storylines they told in the shadows of the dark opera that plays out front on GH.

Stories like that of Robin and Patrick (LnL2, Lulu and Johnny, and Spinelli and Maxie, Mac and Me… just kidding) don’t ‘detract’ from the writers’ beloved mob storylines, they give weary viewers a place to rest when the mob stuff becomes too much to bear.  I would love to see more of the Scrubs romance, and any of the other couples mentioned above.  In the coming future, I would love to see this show strike the same balance it did this past week.  I would find myself far less resentful of the Sonny and Jason fiasco if there was something more to the show than these two pathological characters and their pathological lives (sugarcoating who they are and what they do doesn’t change anything for me – they kill for a living and then call it self-defense when those they’ve chosen to do business with do the same).

I past all of that.  This past week, I remembered what GH use to be during its heyday.  I thought about Anna and Robert, Tony and Tania, Tony and Bobby, Frisco and Felicia, and yes, Luke and Laura.  I thought about the love/hate relationship between Alan and Monica that was always more about love than hate.  I remembered actually wanting to tune in day after day to see what was going on with GH’s lovers.  Seeing the Scorpios back together, I  thought about other GH families (and poor Maxie, a motherless child, who seemed to have peace for a brief moment in time when she watched her cousin Robin being embraced by her own mother).  Anna back as the Scorpio family matriarch?  What I wouldn’t give!

Robin and Patrick’s wedding gave all of that back to me.  If that’s all I get, what a pity, but I’m happy to have had it.  Tough times are ahead in the land of “scrubs love” but even that has me more intrigued than all of the natural disasters, fire bombings, hotel massacres, and church shoot outs the writers have penned for this soap in the past decade.

If I can’t appeal to writer camp based on their love for the history of GH and the great cast it has at its disposal, how about appealing based on the economics of producing the show?  Any drama is about the humanity of the show’s characters.  It’s about making the emotional connection to the audience.  Developing Scrubs,  “Maxelli”, LnL2, and others is a damned bit cheaper  than paying technicians and pyrotechnics to blow things up and tear things apart.  Think about it.