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.

 

GH: What reaction should Lucky have to the ultimate betrayal?

Do you know what I remember most about young Elizabeth Webber?  I remember two things.

1.  I remember what a hellion she was when she first arrived.  Like so many of daytime’s bad girls, Liz’s bark was far worse than her bite.  For her rough exterior, she was just one more sad and lonely kid who desperately wanted to fit in, but had no idea how to do it.   It’s what made her so likable and worth rooting for.   Despite her awful behavior – it was hard to avoid rooting for her happiness.  If anyone deserved happiness, she did.   Enter, Lucky Spencer.

Lucky was smitten with Liz’s sister, Sarah Webber, and didn’t know that Liz,  who was equally smitten with him, was alive.  He couldn’t see past Sarah’s bright and shiny  face.  Sarah was the image of perfection.  Elizabeth grew tired of being considered the Webber sister in need of perfecting.   It made sense that she would want Lucky, who was as sad and lonely and as imperfect as she was.

2.  I also remember Liz and Lucky after her rape.  I know that for some fans  the rape scene was Liz’s defining moment, but not for me.  Having never been a fan of storylines in which bad girls are raped and then ‘go good’,  I hated this one even more because clearly Rebecca Herbst had the range to transform Liz to an openly likable character without the manipulation of using  sexual violence against the character to bring fans to her side.  Liz and Lucky, after the rape, were about as endearing as any soap couple has ever been.  Lucky  was there to stand WITH (not just ‘by’) her as she figured out who she wanted to become, and what her life would mean to her after the assault.  They defied anyone who would try to tear them apart, and they stood against the world together.   It was one of the few teen storylines I’ve ever been able to watch or enjoy.

I remember Eilzabeth Webber as a far more complete character THEN, than the character she’s become now.   For whatever reason, almost from the day Liz found Jason bleeding in the boxcar (post his finding Sonny and his beloved Carly together), the writers have decided that Liz would become that self-destructive teen again.  This time they created a more subtle version of “teen Liz”, but this one is far more self-destructive and is taking everything and everyone around her down with her.  She has repeatedly turned her world upside down, trying to find happiness where there isn’t necessarily any happiness to be had.

The irony is that during Lucky’ s addiction storyline, we learned that Liz felt betrayed by his addiction to painkillers.  It felt, to her,  like a rejection of their lives and their love together.

The soap reality is that Liz has been nursing a looming addiction of her own, one that keeps tearing her family apart and hurting everyone who dares to love or trust her.  Elizabeth’s addiction is to impossible love affairs.  Zander Smith.  Ric Lansing.  Jason Morgan. And now her obsession turns to Prince Nikolas Cassadine – her fiance’s brother.  Why is she with Nik?  Because as much as she ‘loves’ Lucky, she believes that she’s ‘in love’ with Nik.   For now, given the fact that we get little more than ‘happy happy hump hump’ scenes from them, it feels more as if Liz is in LUST with Nik.  Short of him leaving money on the table for her, or her leaving money on the table for him, it’s hard to tell their relationship apart from any other ‘transaction’.  It’s just one more opportunity for Liz to hurt Lucky, and to remind him that he’ll never be enough for her.  No one will.

If she was really looking for love, she’d look for someone whose life wouldn’t put her and her children’s lives at risk.  (Isn’t ti time to cue Helena Cassadine?)  She wouldn’t keep falling for men who encourage her penchant for infidelity and who treat her as if she’s only as good as the sex she gives them.   They’d respect her and her conflicted feelings more than that.  If she truly loved Lucky, she wouldn’t ask him to continue to sit back and watch her self-destruct when she clearly has no intention of changing her behavior.    Liz’s idea of love is the equivalent of an extended hand over an open flame – unlike teen Liz, adult Liz keeps asking Lucky to put his hand in the flame with hers.

Many fans, myself included, want to see Lucky confront Liz, and tell her where to stick her ‘love’.   Each new self-destructive relationship steals away more and more of what was once likable about this character – in part because she continues to steal a bit of Lucky’s soul along the way.  ALL characters enter into relationships that exist on borrowed time.  She’s hardly new at it.  Liz just happens to be among the worst of GH characters who not only makes the jump  to ‘new love’ more frequently than others, but she just can’t seem to end her former relationship before starting a new one.  She’s one of the few GH characters who drags the victim of the former relationship (typically Lucky Spencer) kicking and screaming into the new one.

This time, Lucky was willing to walk away and leave her to find her ‘happiness’.  Liz wouldn’t let him.  She decided that she had to propose and lead him to believe that she wanted to share the rest of her life with him.  For fans like me?  We’ve had it to HERE with her constant justifications and rationalizations for her behavior.   Is Liz worse than any other woman (or man)  on this show?  YES!  Not because of her actions – because her actions are somewhat the same as others.  What makes her worse is her inability to enage in serial monogamy and because of the lies she tells to cover her behavior.

There was a ‘good enough’ lie for each of her paternity ‘mishaps’.

There was a ‘good enough’ lie for her affair with Zander.

There was a ‘good enough’ lie for the first affair with Jason.

There is now a ‘good enough’ lie for sleeping around with Nik.

She’s doing this FOR Lucky, don’t you know?

She owes him!  (Apparenly she owes him everything but the truth about not loving him.)

She wants to give him the family he never had.  (Not realizing that she’s treating him as bad as his father has treated both him and his mother over the last several years).  I’ve made that point earlier HERE.

She wants to make him happy.  (Sleeping with your fiance’s brother brings him all kinds of kicks and giggles.  She’s so right).

I remember the Elizabeth Spencer who couldn’t stop herself from telling Carly Corinthos what a bad mother she was to date a man who could put her children in danger, as well as telling Carly what a horrible human being she is.   Liz is quickly headed into Carly Corinthos Jacks territory… and at this rate, the writers may end up offereing us Carly 2.0 mothering  a teenaged Cam or Jake rebelling against the latest family upheaval, the newest stepdad, and the mom whose love life wrecks every bit of stability they’ve ever known.  Liz is starting to make Carly, and every other woman she’s ever condemned,  look a hell of a lot better.

GH Characters and Couples I’m learning to love again!

Carly Corinthos Jacks.  The moment Sarah Joy Brown stepped foot on stage, I became a Caroline “Carly” Benson-Roberts (…Quartermaine Corinthos Jacks)”  fan.  Carly is a character who is so good, she practically writes herself – and by “good” I mean good at driving people crazy with her half-baked schemes. 

I absolutely adore Laura Wright in the role and not just because I would crawl into a deathmatch cage to have hair as gorgeous  as hers.  I’ve been madly impressed with her interpretation of Carly.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been as happy with the writers’ re-invention of the character since Wright took the role.  It started off well enough, but then the writers transformed a relatively self-reliant, strong, vibrant character and into a highly co-dependent, whining, meddling pain in the ass.  HEARTBREAK!  So what’s to like?

The writers are reinventing Carly once again – for the better.  She’s taken a huge step forward and has decided to put her marriage before the mob.  Jax’s quixotic attempts to rescue princesses who aren’t exactly looking to escape from the clapsed arms of Port Chuckles’ dark knights has been painful to watch. I’d given up hope that the man could ever find true love.   To have Carly choose him gave me  a glimpse of the old Carly.  It’s about time some woman realized that Jax was the much better alternative to a life of gunshots and death threats – hard to believe it’s taken so long. 

Choosing Jax hasn’t been her only shining moment.  To have her reach out to Robin shows both Carly’s depth and vulnerability, traits the writers have ignored for far too long.  Wright and McCullough were amazing, bringing great sensitivity and a delightful sense of history to their scenes, addressing Robin’s post partum depression.  (Click HERE and you’ll see why I think it makes perfect sense that these two women can now become friends).  Theirs will be an uneasy truce, if the writers bother to take them that far.  Can’t you see Carly and Robin as great ‘frenemies’?  Imagine them as daytime’s  answer to Ouiser and Clariee!

Jason Morgan.  I wouldn’t use the word ‘love’ to describe what I feel for him.  I do find Jason a TAD more watchable right now.  We’ve seen Jason sacrifice himself for the women he loves – but only when he’s personally involved and presumably getting something out of the deal.  His willingness to fight for Spinelli’s freedom is impressive.  The writers created a character so stoic and removed from any emotional response that he was transformed from the living-giving Jason Quartermaine, to the life-taking Jason M. 

What’s next?  Who the hell knows?  This is GH!  What I would like to see, besides getting Jason away from Liz and finding out that the Jake isn’t his, is to have Jason Q. return.  Jsaon Quartermaine, in the realm of daytime at least, could have a medical breakthrough.  He could wake up one day, reliving every kill Jason Morgan ever made.  Since Jason Quartermaine never indulged the same, weak, moral equivalencies that Jason Morgan does, he wouldn’t view JM’s kills as ‘righteous’.  After a brief psychological breakdown, Jason Quartermaine could walk back into his family’s home, pick up where he left off, and become a new man again. He could return to the hospital, post medical school, and join the medical staff at GH.  That would be a far better tribute to Alan than having his ghost show up every other month.  Another option is having him put his new business skills to use at thelegitimate though sometimes shady at ELQ.

By the way, I was wrong, I said that I couldn’t get worked up over yet another GH disaster storyline.  The commercials have me hooked.  Of course, it was disappointing to see Jason MORGAN there, calling shots and taking control yet again.  BASTA!  Enough already.  Let’s hope the doctors are the centerpiece heroes in this storyline about a MEDICAL crisis.

Johnny Zacchara.  For the son of a psychotic mob boss, and a man who was anxious to take the reigns of power from his father, Johnny is an OK guy!   I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Johnny/Lulu relationship – though I did enjoy the care he gave Lulu when they were on the run for Logan’s murder.  Brandon Barash (Johnny’s portrayer) has it all but the writers have made little use of it. 

Johnny has spent most of his tenure on GH playing a stoic, stale version of Jason Morgan.  He’s so much better than that!  Watching the guy remake himself has been provided fans with  a fascinating character study.  Johnny, as he’s written, has never had to think about what he would or could become.  There was never a choice.  Yet, he has become the hope of that  segment of the audience that has always wanted to see Sonny and Jason walk away from mob life for good and figure out what kind of people they are.  Johnny has shown a grit and the courage that the scary big bads haven’t shown so far.  He’d rather mop floors than run drugs?  He’d rather clean tables than prostitute women or kill rivals?  FINALLY!

If we’re lucky the writers are treating him as someone who wants this change for his own sake and not just for Lulu.  Johnny has to be the mob-boy-turned-human-being who makes it.  I’m rooting for him (and for the writers to continue to make him a unique character. 

Liz and Lucky

Fine, that’s not a picture of Liz and Lucky, it’s a gratuitious shot of Maxie and Spinelli (Maxelli).  GH has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to it’s younger couples. Couples at midlife? Not so lucky. In GH’s younger set there’s Robin and Patrick, Sonny and Claudia (for now), Jax and Carly (for now), Lulu and Johnny (for now), Jason longing for Liz and vice versa (for now), Lucky and Sam (for now), Maxie and Spinelli (sorta’).

Clearly, the only confidence I have is in the Scrubs pairing. Sonny and Claudia’s marriage is running on borrowed time, as are Lulu and Johnny given his connection to Claudia’s soon to be ill fortune!  Rumors/Spoilers suggest that Kate Howard will get to have the last laugh and find one of Jerry Jax’s magical DVDs.  Once Claudia falls, Johnny can’t be far behind – hopefully this won’t be the end of the Zacharra sibs.  I have a feeling they’ll find out that their hired gun wasn’t responsible for Michael’s shooting after all, but that their father sent someone who was responsible.

Of the above mentioned couples, the couples that are seemingly headed for the land of ‘couple swapping’ is that of  Liason (Liz and Jason) and LuSam (Lucky and Sam).  They’re headed back to their original pairings as it SHOULD be.

Lucky and Liz  together bring out the best in each other, when they’re good. Jason and Liz together bring out the worst in one another.  They also bring out the worst in those around them. To make Jason and Liz work the people around them have to be trashed to hell.  It appears to be the writers’ only trick to make Liz sympathetic (instead of desperate, clingy, and careless with her children’s lives) or to make Jason seem a better man when with her – when in reality nothing ‘s changed about him..

–Carly had to betray Jason and sleep with Sonny – something she would NEVER have done, just to give Jason cause to turn to Liz.   Carly’s love (or obsession, you choose) for Jason was so great that she risked jail time and death just to be near him.  No matter how much she loved Sonny later, it was easy to see that Carly still regretted that the one thing she couldn’t give her son, Michael, was Jason’s DNA.  Her great regret was that his brother A.J. was his father.   Sex with Sonny?  Completely out of character for Carly.  It was, however, the beginning of his turning to Liz for help during his dark times.  It was also the beginning of the writers stealing back Lucky’s hard earned place as a true GH hero.

— Heroic Lucky had to become a drug user and cheat (discussed HERE). Out of character for Lucky who was one of the truest of true hearts this show’s ever produced.

— Sam developed a vicious form of babymania and had Liz’s child kidnapped just to hurt her.  Given the scenes of Sam with her own brother before he died, and her feelings about her own pregnancy, family was always her first priority.  It was simply by watching the ‘great love’ of  Jason and Liz that she quickly become capable of risking harm to a child.  Sure.  Anything to make Liason more sympathetic… only NOT.

When you have to work that hard to put a couple together:

1 – you’re tearing apart a great cast, dumping on your show’s history, and chasing off viewers.

2 – there’s nothing worth having with the couple you’re foisting on the audience. There’s a reason there was such a negative reaction to Jason and Liz.  There’s just far too much emotional manipulation of the audience rather than an emotional connection between the characters.  I will be more than happy to see Liason go.

I’d like the writers to restore the LnL2 history.  I’d like to see Liz try to figure out what her attraction to Jason has been when he’s so unlike anything she’s ever wanted for herself and her children – yes, despite the fact that both of her sons have biological fathers with criminal histories. 

I don’t want to see Lucky beg for her love or try to win her back.  If she can forgive Jason’s murderous tendencies, she owed Lucky more than walking away from their marriage when he was ill.  The writers need to take Liz on a journey of deep exploration, and let her try to win HIS love and trust back.  St. Liz passed another man’s child off as his when he was ill, she really doesn’t have a lot of room to judge the man for his past.