We are family… I got all my sisters with me…

only, in daytime, if you have all of your sisters with you it could get pretty crowded since daytime males procreate at the same rate that the national debt grows.  It could also get crowded if you had to accommodate your sister’s dual relationship to you:  sister-stepmother, sister-cousin, sister – biological mother, sister – aunt, sister -husband’s ex-wife, sister – father’s ex-wife.  OY!  In spite of twisted, tangled and mangled family trees, and mixed up family relationships, there  has been quite a dramatic change in the focus of daytime writers across the board.  Writers are now telling the story of families, not just individual characters. The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live have been leading the way.  All I can say is ‘more please’.

General Hospital

Soapgod bless Lulu Spencer.  First she rips  Liz a new one to defend Lucky,  and then rips into Sonny for shooting Dominic/Dante in the same ONE WEEK time frame!  What the hell?  Don’t you people know Christmas is over?  Nevermind.  Keep writing the show like you’ve just seen your first snow of the season.  It’s working for you.

I’m even going to forgive you for being silly enough to think that having women call one another whores takes the sting out of the fact that you’re still writing those lines.  For now.  I get it… it’s not as bad as having the men do it?  Wrong, but we’ll save that for another time.  For the record, I remember Lulu’s flaws.  I remember that she’s made a mess of her own life, and Georgie’s in the past, but what sister – no matter her mistakes, wouldn’t be as angry at Liz and Nikolas as she was?  It’s only too bad that Lulu spared Nikolas as much as she has.

Lulu said pretty much what I wanted her to say to Elizabeth, however.  Saint Elizabeth, the preachy, has betrayed her fiance (the man who has loved her with his whole heart from the time they were teens) and the family they created -with the children he’s loved as his own.  For what?  A man who thinks she’s so dirty that he’ll sleep with her any where, any time, but won’t respect her or his own brother enough to wait for her to walk away freely and cleanly?  S-T-U-P-I-D.  Nikolas treats her like he paid for her (er, and not in that ‘off the corner’ kinda’ way… more in the ‘off the shelf – she’s nothing but a toy’ kinda’ way).

The only sympathy I’ve had for Liz is in hearing Carly try to convince Saint Jaysus that Jake now belongs with him.   Jaysus kills people whose loved ones come gunning for him – or gunning for those he loves.  Liz lies and sleeps around, and destroys the only real family the boys have known.  Yeah, that sucks, but with Liz the kids will stay alive. Are we to believe that Carly TRULY believes that Liz is an unfit mother or does misery just loves company?   The writers should explore whether or not Carly finally realizes that she would feel less guilty if other women were in her shoes, putting their children’s lives at risk by handing them over on a silver platter to the mob boys.  It’s the only thing that makes sense of her dialogue.

BRAVA/O to the writers for giving Kristina  enough intellect for herself and for big brother Michael – she is definitely her mother’s daughter.  The writers are overdoing it on the ‘brain injury’ excuse with the Jr. Suckprano.  Yes, Michael is impulsive and has an explosive anger, but STUPID!?!?  He thinks his father was justified in shooting  a police officer for investigating his illegal behavior?  Only Sonny’s children who’ve spent less time with him have seen the light?  They see their father for the criminal he is?  Why won’t the writers allow the rest of the town to open their eyes – Steven Webber who should have slapped Sonny when he threatened his life if Steven didn’t repair the gaping hole Sonny shot into Dom’s chest, or Olivia and Robin who agreed that it wouldn’t have happened had Olivia told him all along that Dominic was his — you know, because then he wouldn’t have shot Dom at close range and would only have tried to kill someone else’s child, not his own.

How about the sympathy everyone is feeling for Sonny?  If Dominic/Dante wakes up forgiving Sonny and hating his mother, or forgiving Sonny and forgiving his mother – as if she needs it, or forgiving Sonny and wanting his parents together, I’m officially DONE and no amount of SCRUBS love or Mac and Alexis will bring me back, folks.  I’ll become a strictly ‘read and shrug’ GHer.

The Bold and The Beautiful

I’m typically never happy when writers SORAS child characters.  It’s almost always for a pointless storyline that would have been better served with a new, adult, character in a separate role.  I’m still bummed about GL replacing the beloved Rachel Miner with Rebecca Budig’s “Michelle Bauer”.  Michelle was transformed from a sweet and adorable child to a teen who couldn’t wait to lose her virginity.  Michelle’s catchphrase became ‘make love to me <insert the name of the new male lead>”  I can’t say that the same is true for the BnB’s Hope Logan. The transition from child to teen character has been flawless.   The writers are milking this one for what it’s worth and working as many angles on it as they can.

Long term viewers will remember that when taylor returned from the dead… AGAIN… Thomas, Phoebe and Steffy were torn. They loved their stepmother, Brooke, and their younger siblings Hope and RJ.  While all three were saddened at losing their family, Thomas in particular vowed to remain a good big brother.  Ridge, devastated by his choice to give up his family  daydreamed of Hope and RJ calling out for their ‘daddy’ in the home they shared.  Hope, who is Ridge’s daughter by choice and love, though not by blood, has added an interesting dynamic.

Ridge is the only father Hope has ever known. Other than ONCE  (and only ONCE) calling ‘Uncle Nick’ daddy, that name has been almost exclusively reserved for Ridge.  Unfortunately for Hope, she’s also been calling Stephanie ‘Grandma’ since she was a toddler.  Hope has never known her biological father, Deacon Sharpe.   So what does it mean, for Hope, when her daddy is torn between his two daughters?  What does it mean when he doesn’t want to take sides, despite the fact that his daughter Steffy is clearly out of control?

The writers were initially all over the place with this storyline – as if they hadn’t made up their mind about which choices Ridge would make.  While Hope was still calling him ‘daddy’, he’d at one point  referred to her as ‘Brooke’s daughter’ – an awful betrayal of fans who’d watched Ridge embrace Hope as his child and even watched him fight for custody of her when he felt that she was at risk living in Brooke’s home.  We watched Ridge put his mother in her place when she tried to use his children with Brooke to destroy her.  He made sure Brooke could see the children as often as she liked.

Betrayal over (for now, anyway).  All that crap about Hope being Brooke’s daughter is gone.  We see Ridge fight for his girl, work hard to protect her, and remind the world that his family is off limits.  Any attack on them is an attack on him.  The scene of Brooke and Ridge each on cell phones calling all of Hope’s friends while looking for her painted the picture of a mother and father who knows their daughter well, and is close enough with her to know how to track her down if they need her.  I did choke a little when Brooke credited Nick for saving Hope (again).  Doesn’t she remember that Hope nearly died, TWICE thanks to Nick’s neglect?  Don’t worry, writers, we’ll remember for you.  You can’t give a man credit for saving the girl when she nearly drowned because he turned his back on her to fight with another man over Bridget.

Also, bonus points for allowing Steffy to semi- escape the poisoned well her mother created, pitting her at odds with the younger sister she’s always known and loved.  Steffy is  still a loser, having her loserdom encoded in her mitochondrial DNA no less, but she’s learning. I do think it’s odd that the soap fashion press would glom on to Hope’s history and her paternal DNA (despite the fact that it’s been no real secret since she was a child.  Ridge was going to take Deacon’s document signing away his paternity rights to court with him some years ago).

Teen Hope matters that much, but the soap fashion press ignores Steffy dating the man who was her uncle most of her life, after he dated her now  deceased sister and after he bedded her mother who was engaged to him?  Those Hayes women have no luck at all.  Nothing they do, no matter how salacious, gets them any attention.  The story of their lives.  Will steffy and taylor ever have scenes that show them bonding over something other than their obsession with the Logans?????

Days of Our Lives

In no particular order:

EJ sucks for continuing to let little Syd cry in agony, without her mother’s touch.  I can’t believe the writers are dragging this kidnapping (called the ‘Sydnapping’ storyline by fans)  go on for so long.  Each day makes EJ seem move inhuman.

Bo sucks for never being able to move on as a SINGLE man not just a separated man.  What is it about divorce ink that Bo is so deathly afraid of?  Would it really hurt the guy to not have a wife and a girlfriend at the same time?

Lucas always rocks – on screen, off screen, in Salem, far away… it sucks that the writers are taking him from us.

Maggie and Melanie rock and I’m almost saddened by the news that Carly is Mel’s mom.  I’d hate to see the writers push Maggie into the shadows to develop the Mel-Carly relationship.  The only thing I am enjoying about the story, rightnow, is how quickly Viv caught on to the fact that Carly had a secret child and that Viv is such a schemer.    I have to wonder if it’s not Vivian who has something to worry, not Melanie.  I think she may be expecting a kinder-gentler version of Carly in Melanie.  That would be a mistake.  BTW, is it me or is it just a little scary that Viv smiles so gleefully when she remember burying Carly and thinks of it as just reliving  ‘good times’?  Egads.

Daniel and Carly or Daniel and Chloe?   Chloe/Daniel/Carly?  If he ends up with Carly, she’d better watch out, I could see the writers having Daniel repeat the Kate-Chloe fiasco – of sorts and Daniel could end up with Melanie, next.  I can’t imagine which scenario Victor would hate worse.  On second thought?  Bring it on!

One Life to Live

Two words:  JUST WATCH.  There’s not one family angle OLTL doesn’t cover.

Couples in love.  Couples in lust.  Couples in trouble.

Brothers fighting over the same woman.  One of them turning to a woman who is surely bad news – just to ease his pain.

Sisters fighting over the same man. One sister lying about the paternity of her unborn child to hang on to that man.

Sisters united by the father they despise who wants to control them.

A long lost (of sorts) brother and sister united by the unstable, psychologically deranged father who wants to own them.

Husbands and wives separated by addiction.

This show is everything a soap was meant to be in the best soap tradition.  Even when OLTL walks up to the edge and risks going too far, it’s the one soap in daytime that knows how to talk itself back down.

It’s the show with something for everyone.

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Whores of the world, UNITE! Women in Daytime, Vol. 2

Women in daytime = whores.  At least, I think they’re the same.  I dunno.  It’s hard for me to figure it all out since I’m just a woman.    Either I’ve been watching too much daytime or it’s the peyote… (just kidding on the last part, though given what some shows are doing to daytime women and viewers as a consequence, a little peyote might make daytime shows go down a little easier).

General Hospital

I’m all about the ‘I told you so’ lately and I want to hand one out to the writers of GH.  I’ve never been impressed with the casting of James Franco in the role of ‘Franco’  and have been horrified by the drooling and self-congratulating  linked to the casting of JF in the role.  The fact that the character was named  Franco was enough to tell me about the lack of creativity  attached his development.  It seemed to be all about stunt casting and the hope that a primetime/big screen actor could save GH from falling ratings.

It feels as if  GH’s PTB were so convinced that negative stereotypes about daytime viewers were real, the stereotype that we’re just a bunch of sex-starved panty-clinching rubes, who lick our screens whenever a hot male actor is featured, that casting JF as ‘Franco’ made sense!  As if we don’t already have enough testosterone filled doom and gloom on screen! (As for that screen licking part, I freely admit that I do think about licking the screen when Jason Thompson’s Patrick is on, but hell, who doesn’t?) The idea that “Franco” would cause us to swoon was as big a fallacy as almost everything else the GH writers have offered us by way of propping the Suckpranos storyline.   I don’t want to see one more character, stunt casting or otherwise, sacrificed on the altar of the mob boys.

  • Give Olivia her brain back.   She was such a strong vibrant character for so long and now she’s a walking-talking mess.   All the daydreaming about Sonny  makes me ill.  If I had to worry about Sonny putting a bullet in my kid’s head because my kid was a cop working to make the world safe?  I wouldn’t be able to daydream about having sex with the guy or daydream about him holding my hand. I wouldn’t even daydream about spitting on the guy if he was on fire!  What’s wrong with this woman?  What’s with her libido?  Sonny rocked her world over two decades ago, bedded and nearly wedded her cousin – swore his eternal love for Kate before the world while barely noticing or remembering Olivia, and she’s still lusting for him?  STOP! IT!
  • Quit making Carly an idiot who treats Jax’s child as Sonny’s future ‘kidnapped bait’ child.  It’s disgusting.  Notice that when Carly was listing off the children who were protected by Sonny’s grace, she included Josslyn, and not Molly?  STOP IT!
  • STOP making Lulu fall for the mob boys and/or supporting them to the point of even trying to convince the police that they really deserve to be set free instead of in prison where they belong.  Stop making her fall for anyone connected, even tangentially, to the mob boys.   Whatever those mob boys have going on below the belt must be some powerful mojo!  And it’s demeaning to us all.
  • Quit making me feel sorry for Rebecca “NotEmily” Shaw by having her actually be the voice of logic and reason before you ship her off.  I really resent you for this one, GH writers.  I’m an avowed ‘Remily’ hater and to leave me cheering for her is one of your worse offenses, yet.  Even still, I grew tired of the “Liz is a slut’ mantra she had going – not that I disagree with the sentiment, just the constant expression of it.  I did enjoy the fact that she continued to remind Liz that her house of cards would soon fold.  The sendoff for Rebecca, the Emily- clone was perfect, by having her make friends with a Zander clone… Chad Brannon was pretty darned delicious looking.  When his clone character drops  Rebecca off in Paris, have him come back!   Patrick’s stalker ex could use a good hook up – then again, so could Matt Drake, who spends far too much time trying to convince Robin that her marriage is in trouble!
  • Maxie, Maxie, Maxie… REALLY?  She’s gives herself to Franco for the sake of getting him to agree to help her out professionally?  Then she tries to pimp out Spinelli to make herself feel better?  She gives relationship advice to Max and Diane about ‘balanced cheating’?    Maxelli, Scrubs Love, and Jax and Carly were the only interesting things GH had going in its favor and the writers are slowly dismantling all three.  Speaking of…
  • For the love of all that’s soap-holy… give me a Scrubs storyline that has nothing to do with old girlfriends crawling out of the woodwork!  Yeah, yeah… Patrick puts it on ’em… they can’t get enough… once you go Patrick, you never go back… Even though I can believe that his arrogant aloof treatment of women made them want him more, I’m getting tired of women who are attracted to him on that basis.  The writers made the courageous decision to make him a happy family man, now I wish they’d make the courageous decision to create family driven storytelling around the Scorpio-Drake clan.  What makes Patrick attractive is that he’s a man who loves his wife and child.  Having him betray them would destroy that.  Leave something that’s still a little pure and  just for us.

I’d love it if the GH powers that be would stop treating women (onscreen) like a bunch of ‘spare parts’ waiting to be traded by GH males, as they’re needed.  Bringing on stellar actors like James Franco can’t  cover the holes in plots, the obsession with the dark  arts of the mob boys, or the weak female characters who aren’t just damaged- they’re damned deranged.  Treating your viewers like sex-starved fiends who’ll gladly buy what you’re selling won’t help either.  I know it’s not just my perspective that GH has lost what made it great… I’ve seen the ratings.  GH is hemorrhaging viewers and the great ‘Franco’ (onscreen Franco) doesn’t deliver a big enough draw to stop it:

Ratings for the week December 7-11, 2009 (when the character Franco’s arrival and work should have made a difference)
HH
1. Y&R 3.7/12 (+.2/same)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (+.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.2/7 (+.2/+.1)
4. AMC 2.0/6 (+.1/same)
5. ATWT 1.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
7. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/ -.2)

Week of December 14 – 18th)

HH
1. Y&R 3.5/12 (-.2/-.3)
2. B&B 2.3/8 (-.1/-.4)
3. DAYS 2.1/7 (-.1/same)
4. AMC 2.0/7 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.9/6 (same/-.3)
6. ATWT 1.8/6 (-.1/-.3)
6. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.3)

Week of December 21 – 25
HH
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (same/-.2)
2. B&B 2.3/7 (same/-.3)
3. DAYS 2.0/6 (-.1/-.1)
3. AMC 2.0/6 (same/same)
5. ATWT 1.8/5 (same/-.1)
5. GH 1.8/5 (-.1/-.4)
7. OLTL 1.7/5 (-.1/-.3) <—— ties low rating (Last time: August 31 – September 4, 2009)

Ratings courtesy of Soap Opera Network:  SON

So why am I still watching? I don’t think soap fans like me want too much.  We just want a balance.  How about  2  smart women for every woman who is lobotomized for the sake of the dark storylines?  I’m hoping Scrubs will survive and find a real storyline and that the writers will give us a storyline about them that will engage the audience without either of them cheating, I’ve FINALLY gotten the Mac and Alexis pairing I’ve been pimping for, through 2009  (don’t think I’m not grateful, just realize I’m not fully satisfied.  They’re off to a great start, and I need MORE).  Dare I hope that Mac/Alexis/Robert/Anna/Robin/Patrick  would be able to restore law and order to PC and that they turn the town around and take down the real bad guys?  I’m hoping that smart, funny, and strong-if-not-neurotic, women like Robin and Alexis (and yes, even Diane) will be allowed to lead the way.

One Life to Live

Nora Buchanan.   Nora is the woman who slept with her ex, Sam Rappaport, and passed his child off as her husband Bo’s child.  Even better is the fact that she did it for Bo– whose son was recently killed.  That was the rationalization she gave for betraying her husband, she most saintedly did it FOR his sake – all the while knowing that Sam was deeply in love with her and knowing what the emotionally fallout might be.   Fortunately (or unfortunately)  for all involved, after Bo and Sam’s deep pain, it turns out that Matthew was Bo’s son after all.  Now we have Nora, who’d been warned/pleaded with/begged not to marry Clint because she didn’t really love him, has now left Clint to be with Bo – during a dark time in Clint’s life.

Once again, another ABC male refers to the cheating lying woman who betrayed him as a whore – I can understand Clint’s rage and his willingness to throw Nora’s past in her face.. I just wish I hadn’t already been overwhelmed with the use of the word ‘whore’ from almost every other ABC male before that.  Nora’s reaction was still priceless.  She’s rude and judgmental and has made a habit of telling others why they’re so unworthy of being loved or trusted.   She was stunned that anyone would dare give her the same treatment.  I wasn’t crazy about Clint’s choice of words, but I’m glad that the writers finally allowed someone to point out to Nora what a hypocrite she is.

True to form, Nora didn’t let a little thing like the truth stop her from being who she is.  A full scene later, SHE referred to Kim as ‘that slut’, the ‘whore in her husband’s bed’, a ‘tramp’… uh huh… Sweet irony!  She was talking to Bo, Clint’s brother, the man she’d been having an emotional (almost sexual) relationship with and lying to Clint about it when she said it… YIKES!  Something about the way Bo and Nora are getting together and the pain it’s causing Clint that’s causing me to want to root for Clint and Kim (a couple I’d previously referred to as the reincarnation of Asa and Blair).

Somehow, the writers managed to give Clint and Kim depth.  Kim was fixated on her ‘plan’ to get Clint into bed to help him forget Nora.  She’d treated Clint like a feeble and emotionally dependent ‘old man’ who would be felled by a little bit of a wiggle and giggle.   Kim would have loved Asa – being felled by a wiggle and giggle was more his speed.  Clint had already had her investigated.  He knew about her stripper past, and didn’t care.  He also knew that she thought she was gaming him, and he didn’t care.  He knew that her plan to ‘drink him under the table’ was about taking advantage of him… and he didn’t care because he also knew three other things:

1 – He had the truth on his side and still had the upper hand.

2 – That being involved with the town’s  ‘sainted woman’  isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with an honest woman who’ll treat you well.

3 – That Kim isn’t all bad.   Her bark is worse than her bite.  Despite the fact that there is a risk of turning Kim into a ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ stereotype, the writers have so far avoided taking her quite that far.

The storyline seems to be shaping up into one in which the person in need of rescue may be KIM, not Clint.  He’s as intent on using her as she was on using him.   I hope that doesn’t happen, because despite my exhaustion with female-male May-December romances, there’s something about this pairing that I like. Nice touch, writers, on having Kim’s plan fail when she underestimated his ability to hold his liquor.  BRAVO for letting Clint walk away despite Kim’s offer to let him spend the night and having him warn her to quit while she was ahead.  I could root for them as a couple – with Melissa Archer’s Natalie fighting with Kim and making her work to prove her love for Clint.  I could <gulp> just as easily  root for them developing a strong father-daughter relationship (Oedipal, I know) or have them remain as good friends.  Either way, I’m hoping to see far more of Clint and Kim than Bo and Nora.  SON’s  CarlID offered this observation:

It’s interesting to see the fallout of the Bo and Nora reunion. They were a beloved couple many years ago but not only have times changed, many of the people who were in their lives at that time have changed. It’s like, what if you reunite a supercopule and no one cheered? I don’t mean the fans, I mean the characters in their lives. You don’t have a lot of people endlessly going, “You’re fated to be together,” as you do with many other couples on the show. I also think it would be an interesting writing choice if Matthew wasn’t thrilled they were back together and preferred them apart.

I’ll add one other observation about this storyline.  I found Nora’s reaction to seeing Clint with Kim unusual.  Kim was the whore in her husband’s bed?  Why did she care, she was dumping him!?!?! You’d think she’d want Clint to find someone, ANYONE to take the heat off of her betrayal of Clint.  Is it possible that Nora will wake up and realize that her rekindled love for Bo was based on their mutual concern for Matthew and his health issues?  Could Nora wake up and realize that she was happier with Clint than she imagined?  What happens then?  Where does she turn?  Does anyone care?

BTW, folks, is it just me, or did Jerry Ver Dorn make Clint his own with this bend in the storyline?  JVD’s left me breathless!

Tea Delgado/Blair Manning… not whores, they’re just written to allow Todd Manning to treat them as if they are.

Days of Our Lives

Two words:  Carly Manning.  Two more words:  EPIC FAIL.  There are some soap staples I can’t get enough of:  scheming liars who are eventually figuratively  beaten down and forced to eat their own misery.  Bad boys who are only clever by half and outwitted by their victims, victims they eventually fall in love with.  Anything to do with corporate intrigue.  Good old-fashioned romance.  Deep dark family secrets – that have nothing to do with long lost children.

The one plot I’m pretty freaking tired of is the damsel in distress who can’t get enough of the man she left behind and (oh gosh) if only he’d choose her over his wife and family.  He (being the real ‘whore’ in this scenario) decides that he can’t leave her to her own fate and risks losing his wife and child/children, while keeping secrets with the damsel in distress.  It’s not a stretch to believe that daytime writers typically set this storyline up to do one of two things:  try to make us root for our damsel in distress and if that fails, we’re to hate her as a home-wrecking ‘whore’ who broke up a perfectly happy and  loving family.

You’d think that watching her ‘get hers’ would be satisfying – assuming that the lunkhead goes back to his family and treats his wife as his equal partner, and not his potential mistress.   It’s not.   In reality, for fans like me, it only causes us to dislike BOTH partners – the cheating spouse and the idiotic woman who finds his willingness to betray his family a ‘thrill’ and further evidence that she is the object of his desire, not his wife and family. She’s only the next woman to be betrayed when his former victim/spouse becomes the damsel in distress. It’s all less satisfying because he’ll never ‘get his’.  He’ll just become the object of desire for two women – who’ll continue to fight over him until one of them is exhausted or dead.

Isn’t it time for daytime writers to leave iconic couples alone and find new ways to make them relevant to the audience?  Haven’t we seen these storylines play out a million times before?  Viewers exiting daytime in droves isn’t enough evidence that we want something more?  When did daytime become a genre about deconstructing and destroying rather than building something new or building better and higher on the strong foundation already in place?  Where are the powerful female characters who leave us feeling unashamed of being daytime viewers?

If you’ve made it this fair, I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve left poor embattled CBS off the list.  Am I sympathetic to the network that’s lost two soaps in two years?  Nope.  I just don’t have the room to continue with CBS’ list of maltreated women in daytime.  This blog would have to be at least three times as long as it is now.  I’m saving that one for a later date.

Suffice it to say, if daytime really is dead -running on fumes,  kicking the bucket, headed for the big one, living on borrowed time… I’d greatly enjoy being able to celebrate women in daytime before it goes.  What do daytime writers have to lose?

General Hospital: It’s just a damned soap!

Get over it. or how about?

You know it’s not real, right? or

How can you take something that’s not real so seriously?

Those are the obnoxious comments non soap fans usually throw at soap fans when they show up on message boards to taunt us about our silly love for “dumb assed’ soaps… Then they run back to their favorite gamer/fan boi/fan gurl boards and battle over their fave fictional characters.  It’s also a charge some soap fans use on other soapers to prove that THEY are the ones who watch for enjoyment, while other soap fans are just cracked.

Well, I could have used one of those pseudo-superior pains in the ass yesterday.  I would have been too busy arguing with one of them to watch GH.  And then I wouldn’t have had to question my sanity.  Am I taking this all too seriously?  Is there anything enjoyable about GH’s  ‘Suckpranos’  any more?  If Claudia’s death scenes were supposed to create an atmosphere of  edge-of-your-seat drama?  They were an epic FAIL!  If they were supposed to make me despise Sonny, Carly, Jason, Sam and the rebirth of Michael “MyKill” Corinthos?  They were an epic SUCCESS!

I feel dirty having watched those scenes

I felt dirty watching Carly cuddle with sweet little Josslyn, while MyKill was staring at his hands, stained with Claudia’s blood.  The look he gave her while she did it chilled me.  Did he feel abandoned?  Was  he angry with her?  Did he feel he’d sold his soul for her and ‘Jax’s baby’?

I felt dirty watching everyone treat Jax as if he really was sacrificing Michael to protect his child.  Jax is ALONE.  Even Carly puts his child’s health at risk for the sake of her other children.  Jax isn’t sacrificing Michael, he’s protecting his child – Michael has a city full of mobsters and two highly enmeshed parents to protect him.

I felt dirty watching Jason and Sam talk about covering up Claudia’s death when Michael was clearly  trying to protect his mother against a violent woman and should not have to stand trail for that.  I would rather the writers had taken that route and let Michael deal with his own guilt at having taken a life.

I felt DIRTIEST watching psychotic Sonny tell Michael he ‘did a good thing’ (or words to that effect) by taking Claudia out.  I can’t say that it’s the exact quote, but close enough.  I’m a still a little woozy from scrubbing my brain every time I think of that scene.   A GOOD thing?  So Sonny is now the Martha Stewart of the mob set?  No, it wasn’t a GOOD THING, it’s what Michael felt he had to do to protect his mother from her abductor, and his sister from growing up a captive.  Nothing about it made it a ‘good thing’, since it was Sonny who brought Claudia into his children’s lives.

I felt dirty watching Sonny tell Jason to bury Claudia as close to hell as he could – considering the fact that everyone keeps talking about what a great man and great father he is ( most especially from the mouth of NuLois/Olivia Falconeri, who didn’t bother to let him help her raise her son.  It’s on coincidence that Dante/Dominic is the only one of Sonny’s adult/near-adult children who isn’t a wreck of a person).  His statement was also mind-blowing given the fact that Sonny spoke those words as if he and Jason wouldn’t soon see Claudia in hell.  Wait, I forgot, they’re the good mobsters.

I felt dirty, and angry, watching Max and Milo argue with Jason about whether it was smart to burn the cabin once they disposed of the body.  Milo and Max use to be the comic relief of the show and fans could imagine that they never really got their hands dirty.  Now we know they do, we’re seeing it, and they’re strategizing about which is the best way to dispose of a human being.

I felt dirty watching Carly hold that sweet child, and smile at Jax, as if nothing had happened, as if his newborn child wasn’t just involved in yet another of Sonny’s fiasco-filled escapades.  While I once loved Jax and Carly, I now know that I wouldn’t mind if he took custody of that child and kept Carly away.

I felt dirty remembering rooting against AJ, hoping he NEVER got his hands on Carly and Jason’s (and then Sonny’s) kid.  I remember the sweet cherub Michael had once been, and felt sick believing that the writers felt that there was no choice but to make Michael as screwed up as the people around him, the people who defended all of his actions and wanted others to apologize to the dark Prince Michael.  What was worse is that they’re right!  How many kids like Michael can escape the dark future ahead of them with parents who pave the way and keep the roads clear of stumbling blocks (you know, like morals, decency, integrity, a sense of right and wrong)?

If I’m spinning this into a positive, the writers have also proven that Alexis is right, FINALLY (even if unintentionally).   Kristina and Michael are siblings, but they’re very different people.  Kristina has a chance, if she stays away from her father.  She has a mother who doesn’t believe that sunshine shoots out of Sonny’s private parts.  Her mother doesn’t think the mob life is glamorous, despite the stupidity of having slept with Sonny in the past.  She wants better for her daughter.  I hope the writers allow her to remain consistent in giving her daughter a fighting chance.

If soaps are around in a decade (maybe less), I could imagine Kristina as Port Chuckle’s new D.A.  Having lived with her mother, and stepfather Mac Scorpio,  she’ll have a different view of crime.  She’ll love her brother Michael, but she’ll end up putting him in prison with their father, Sonny and Uncle Jason – as her brother Dominic did years earlier.

Having read that last paragraph, I’ll bet you’re questioning my sanity too, right?  Well, at least I now have company!  I know, I know… it’s just a soap.

GH – Reconciliation

I realize, now, that I was far too dismissive of the big disaster episodes on General Hospital.  While I’m still not crazy about the special effects, or about GH writers ripping themselves off from prior disaster storyline, for as much as scenes like THIS annoyed me:

there were actually quite a few things to like about General Hospital over the last week or two.  When you wipe away the special effects, the mobsters being misplaced,  and take a look at the human interactions, some pretty significant stuff  happened.   (What’s wrong with the above scene? Sonny, standing in the middle of a group of women, all of whom he’s either slept with or impregnated?  Plenty!  I imagine a GH in which two or more women can stand in a room and NEITHER/NONE of them has slept with Sonny -or Jason, for that matter. Eh!  Another time.  That’s not the point of this blog entry).

The good stuff… RECONCILIATION, of sorts:

1.  Tracy and Edward Quartermaine.  I can only guess that their scenes were especially gratifying to veteran GH viewers.  Why?  Edward Quartermaine isn’t exactly what you’d call a warm and loving father. In fact, he’s not exactly the sort of man you’d call ‘father’, if you could help it.  He may be Tracy, Alan,  deceased Bradley Ward, and Jimmy Lee Holt’s  biological father, but that’s been about his only claim to his family. His children and grandchildren have always been property to him, pawns. They were a sign of his great empire, shaped to carry on his legacy, but not  ncessarily people he was capable of showing any sort of measurable love and affection toward.  Even more?

Tracy’s conflicts with Edward have been even more difficult than most father-daughter relationships in daytime.  A father may deny the paternity of his child, in daytime. He may even live his life without knowing he’s had children.  Daughter’s may grow up calling the wrong man papa, but rarely do they attemp to kill their fathers, biological or otherwise.  Tracy has.  She allowed Edward to suffer a heart attack, and as he lay dying – begging her to get his medication, she ignored his pleas.  Luckily, Edward faked the heart attack and was just testing Tracy.  Unlucky for her, she failed.

Sure, they’ve have warm moments since that time:

but nothing comes close to the scenes between the two we’ve witnessed this past week.  Tracy is Edward’s last livng link to his beloved Lila.  Despite everything they’ve been through, they are the last of the Q family in many ways.  Lila is long gone.  Granddaughter Emily passed away shortly after his son, Alan. Bradley is deceased.  Jimmy Lee Holt has moved on.  Grandsons Ned and Dillon are off in the winds, making their fortunes, and living non-Q lives.  What remains is Edward, Tracy, and daughter-in-law Monica.  It’s good to know that when push comes to shove, Edward will stand by his children, and his grandchildren, and all those he loves.  It was touching scene to watch, Edward wanting the daughter who was willing to take his life to survive.

2.  Edward and Carly being civil… another set of touching scenes and quite poignant when you think about their history.

Carly was always certain that the Qs, Edward most especially, were a threat to her son Michael.  She spent every waking moment thinking of how to keep Michael safe from Edward’s clutches and to prevent him from being turned into a Q/Eddie clone as his biological father AJ had willingingly become.

 It’s ironic when you think about it.  Even if he was an Eddie Q clone, he wouldn’t be in a coma, right now, most likely.  He would be safe.  Carly first embraced Edward and welcomed his presence at Michael’s fundraiser.  She later showed him sympathy and concern as he worried and waited to learn the fate of his daughter and his daughter-in-law.

You have to wonder if the writers will ever allow Carly to spend time openly reflecting on how much better off Michael would have been had he been raised by the Qs.  Could she ever become part of their family again?  If AJ returned, in the midst of the hell Carly’s life has become dealing with Sonny and Jason and the dark drama that follows them both, would she be happy to see him?  Is there some part of her that would feel guilty that she hadn’t let him be a bigger part of Michael’s life?  It makes you wonder her unspoken regrets are the reason she’s been so determined to stay with Jax and to have Jax be Morgan’s father/father figure. 

3.  Liz and Lucky.  While Liz and Lucky aren’t officially together, surely they’ll realize that no matter how much has happened between them, they have far too much history to be able to love anyone else as much as they love one another.  What’s always been true about this couple appears to be true, once again They’ve always been able to rely on one another more than they could anyone else – prior to Lucky’s addiction.

For the record, I’ve always liked Lucky and Sam. She gave him back his dignity, to some degree. Sam was able to see him in a way that Liz couldn’t after she’d talked herself into believing that Jason was the immoral (uh moral) majority and a good man who would never harm anyone, herself included, as Lucky had hurt her.  She’s right, Jason is not the unfaithful kind, just murderous and unrepentant – but that’s another story.  If Lucky and Sam were built on something more than rebounding, I’d  want them together for a very long time.  Lucky did as much for Sam as she’s done for him.  They were both able to see the good in one another that their respective partners wrote off. 

Each has sought forgiveness for their betrayals of others.  Each has been horribly judged by those who have no right to judge them (something about glass houses, being without sin, casting first stones, and all that jazz).  Knowing that about  Sam and Lucky makes me wonder why I even want Lucky and Liz to get back together – other than the fact that the heart wants what it wants, and my heart wants the love and history that comes with this couple.  They make me remember a GH I use to enjoy, and it would be great to have a couple together without the mob worship that takes place on this show far too often. Liz and Lucky are ‘family’.  They always have been.

Now, if the writers would only do something about Jake’s paternity.  That kid just CAN’T be Jason’s… Let’s reconcile THAT issue, next.

4.  Luke with his past.  Something about Ethan tells me that Luke will have to face what kind of man he is, and was in his youth, yet again.  At least I hope that’s true, and this time  I want it to be an eye opening day of reckoning.    Ethan is a slick operator, as Luke once was.   I have to wonder how much longer Luke will find Ethan’s antics funny.  Ethan is clearly a liar, manipulator and user.  Like Edward Q, Luke has become a father in name only – which saddens me when you think of the life Luke and Laura created for Lulu and the ‘cowboy’. 

Luke seems to be gravitating toward the young man who reminds him far too much of himself in his younger days.  I would have added his youner and more ‘reckless days’, but he’s still living the reckless part.  While his children were back in PC dealing with the toxic gas scare, where was Luke?  Having only just met Ethan, Luke has already found another reason to ignore the children who needed him, as well as not being there for Tracy.

There’s a part of me that wants Luke to learn the hard way what it’s like to love and trust a man like the self-indulgent Luke Spencer.  I want him to open his heart to his new “son” (symbolic? actual?) only to find himself being tossed aside, used, lied to, and generally ignored.  It would finally give him some idea of the lives his children and the women who’ve loved him  have led.