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: Yeah, because he’s all good… and stuff

First, let me salute GH’s real fathers and all around great men:

Mac Scorpio, who never asked for more than he gave.  In fact, Mac never asked for anything.  It was his great joy to raise three “daughters” to whom he had no legal responsibility.  He didn’t need it.  He was bound by love.  Georgie, Maxie, and Robin would have known a very different (colder and crueler) world without him.  Remember, Mac is an ‘old school’ reformed bad boy.  He only had two things on his mind when he arrived in PC, making money and making mischief – and that usually involved someone’s wife/girlfriend/etc.   Not every character has to be a Mac Scorpio, but it sure would be nice if there were more of them.

Jasper Jacks, see Mac.  Jax’s ‘crime’?  He actually believes that children should grow up in a loving environment with parents they can look up to (or make that SHOULD look up to).   What’s wrong with this guy, right?  He thinks that children raised in a violent world could, at worst, lose their lives, or at least lose the ability to make good choices toward becoming healthy and loving adults.   Our poor Jax wants to give Michael and Morgan the life that neither of their parents is smart enough to want for them.  Jax isn’t an angry or preachy guy.  He’s just a guy who uses commonsense, but whose statements are treated as if they’re irrational.  I don’t want to see Jax changed.  I’d rather the writers realized that he should be the agent for change for characters they’ve relegated to the status of one-note harridans…. Carly.

Lucky Spencer, again, see Mac.  Lucky is another one of those ‘annoying do-gooders’ GH writers create and then punish.  His worst mistake was getting hooked on painkillers, but beyond that Lucky has been a remarkably good guy.  He’s loved and forgiven his ‘soul mate’,  Elizabeth Webber, for lying and cheating and passing off another man’s child as his while she secretly gave ‘their’ son his biological father’s initials.   I know, Lucky cheated with Maxie Jones.  Drug addicted Lucky cheated with Maxie – it was the only way she’d give him the pills she’d stolen for him.  It doesn’t absolve him of being a complete ass, but when I compare that to sober Liz cheated on Lucky, repeatedly, I’m not so angry at the guy.  Through it all, Lucky loved both of Elizabeth’s children as his own and despite the fact that he believes her to be pregnant with his brother’s child, he has not abandoned his children and technically, he hasn’t abandoned her, either.

Dante Falconeri, not much to say, but I’m adding him to the list any way. He has integrity, believes in his life as a law enforcement official, and for now he’s open and honest, and doesn’t cheat.  Now that Brenda (Brender, to some of you) is back, my biggest fear is that a father-son-Brenda triangle will begin marking the end of my viewership of this show.  I’ll enjoy Dante while I can.  As the mother of an adult son, I have to admit that what I love most about him is that he’s a mama’s boy (in the most positive sense of the word).

And then there’s:

Sonny Corinthos That’s it?  Sonny takes away Kristina’s credit cards and that’s all it takes to make her behave and forgive her father for abusing women and making her feel worthless?   Gorgeous life lesson there!   Does this now make Sonny the father of the year?  He nearly blows his psychologically fragile daughter to hell and back, lies about it, and all he has to do is make her live a  month without credit cards and yell at her to make her feel as if SHE is the problem in their relationship.  Tale tucked between her legs, eyes cast downward, (and I think she piddled the floor)  Kristina realizes that she is in fact just a naughty girl who has been disrespectful of her loving father.

You take a kid’s credit cards away if they overspend, or if they are a little mouthy.   Kristina has now nearly cost two separate young men their lives (Ethan and Johnny) by playing games.  She has a habit of falling for older men – whether they want her or not.  She’s dated a young man who was horribly abusive to her and she protected him.  Shouldn’t she be in therapy – where almost every GH woman has been?  Oh, don’t worry, GH males don’t typically need help, they’re good to go.  The one person who really does belong on a therapist’s couch won’t have to go… she’s been cured with a little retail therapy.   Once she gets her credit cards back, she’ll spend her way into happiness.  Besides, in therapy she’ll only learn to blame her father for his anger and aggression toward women and we can’t have that.

Patrick Drake Mancini: Writers, you blew it!  Seriously!  I’m not just making it up as I go along – I leave that to you!   I wanted to feel sorry for the guy, but HOW????  He’s just had sex with his wife… who is HIV positive… after having sex with another woman and not telling her, not giving HER the choice of saying ‘no’ and walking away.   He is, after all, the wronged party, right?  He shouldn’t have to pay for his infidelity because  he was drunk.

Besides, he’s really really sorry, and he loves his life with Robin.. again.  I know, because he said so.  Of course, that’s in stark contrast to his whining and moaning a couple of weeks ago about having his ‘ex girlfriend’ stolen, that the ex didn’t support him by standing with him against Steve Webber, that his life has changed and he doesn’t know how he became the ‘good guy’ – clearly overstating the case.  The fun begins 3:07 in…

Some of you got the Michael Mancini comparison and loved it, others of you thought it was too extreme.  Michael Mancini, from what I can piece together of MP history, didn’t become a major d-bag all at once (and my apologies to d-bags which are actually useful, Patrick is not).  Michael  slowly evolved – primarily putting his own needs first and finding more and more ways to rationalize and justify his betrayals and misdeeds.  Was he ever truly sorry for cheating on his wife with her sister?  Someone who did watch the show long term can tell me.  I wondered about that when watching Patrick and Robin together as Patrick expressed a coded statement of remorse to a clueless Robin.   As  with Lucky and Liz, Patrick stood by Robin when she was ill, I agree… but she was ill… his asshat behavior is all about who Patrick is at his core (the man who loves his life with Robin, no hates it – he’s too confined, no <sigh> loves it now that he realizes he could lose it).  We all know where this is going.  It will be ‘that crazy bitch’s’ fault that he cheated, ultimately.

Patrick Drake Mancini will threaten, and shove, and push, and snarl, and whine… and we are to forgive him, because he didn’t mean to fault his wife for running off to save lives in Africa for a few months, after he dared to give up his beautiful life to  ‘settle’ for her.  It’s not his fault that ‘that crazy bitch’ believed him when he flirted with her about the marvelous sex they once had.  It’s not his fault that he hates Steven Webber for ‘stealing his ex-crazy bitch- girlfriend even as  he has a loving wife and adorable child at home.  On GH, it’s always some ‘crazy bitch’s fault’.

Someone at GH clearly has an English-to-Misogyny-dictionary/playbook and I wish they’d burn that bastard.

Daytime Traditions I Miss

Guiding Light:  The Bauer 4th of July celebrations.   There was always some secret on the verge of being told to the Bauer and friends crowd – which was typically all of Springfield.  There were always two characters trying to avoid making eye contact so that no ohine would know they’d been together. Someone hiding behind the covered trellises hiding from or spying on someone in the crowd.  There was the salacious part of the 4th celebrations, but even MORE than that, there were the Bauers and the people who loved them.  Springfield seemed peaceful, and lovingly ‘normal’, despite the secrets, if only for a day.  Fans still miss Maureen, but to have Papa “Doc” Ed, Michelle, Rick, and their respective spouses and children back for this one last July 4th celebration would be wonderful.

As The World Turns:  The Memorial Day picnics.  See ‘Bauer 4th of July’ celebration and read Lynn Liccardo’s treatment of the topic by clicking HERE

The Bold and the Beautiful:  I miss the rival fashion shows.  Forrester had a show and Spectra countered. Spectra held a show and Forrester countered.  Now?  There’s JackieM’s (whose success is in large part due to stolen designs from Forrester) and ????….NOTHING.  Rather than a lot of scandalous pseudo-incestuous lovin’ and some great fun thanks to fashion showdowns, we’re stuck with just a lot of pseudo incestuous lovin’.

General Hospital:  The Nurses Ball.  Given the way the ball started -with Stone’s death and Robin revealing her HIV status, what a wonderful tribute it would be to those who are living with AIDS/HIV to have Robin come back as MC as a symbol of someone with the disease living an enriched life.  Hope is NOT lost!  Robin was a teen when she contracted the disease.  Today, she’s a physician, a loving mother and wife, and a pillar of her community. 

     I also loved that in the past, the cast came together and the actors we loved were allowed to step out of the comfort zone of the characters they played to give us just a bit of themselves, as well.  (Shallow alert:  WHAT could top the Lucy Coe costume changes as entertainment? Terrific.)

Days of Our Lives:  Sean and Caroline, Marlena and John.  I don’t care what the holiday/event is, something seems to be ‘missing’ with DOOL.   As long as Sean and Caroline/Marlena and John are gone, it’s not the real DAYS.

Why writers? WHY!?!?! GH – ATWT

General Hospital

For a number of reasons, I haven’t been watching much GH (yeah, even if you set aside the writers destroying Carly and Jax, the continued obsession with Sonny and Jason, the putridness of Jason and Liz – I just haven’t had as much interest in GH. Now… if only I could break the habit of watching even occasionally! ) I’m still wondering how the show managed to trick me into actually liking Robin – a character I’ve disliked for so long!  I’m also trying to figure out why Spinelli drives me “less crazy” and why I’m rooting for Spinelli and Maxie.  I love them.

I’ve tuned in enough to wonder what General Hospital writers plans are for Laura’s eventual disappearance.  It seems too easy to simply send her back into a comatose state.  It also seems a bit cruel to do that to fans who love Laura and don’t want to see her go back to that state.  I’ve tried to buy into Laura’s desire to not see her sons because she doesn’t want them to get their hopes up that this time she’s ‘cured’ and that she’ll be home for good. Something just feels false about it. Why wouldn’t Laura want Lulu to have her brothers to comfort and support her if/when she (Laura) goes back under?  Given Lulu’s own fragile mental health, why would she want her to be alone if things go bad, again?

Does anyone else wonder if Laura being awake is a figment of Lulu’s imagination? Considering the fact that the hospital staff is on Nikolas’ payroll, why wouldn’t anyone contact him to let him know that Laura is awake?  Wouldn’t obsessed Scotty make sure the staff notified him of any change?  Do the members of the hospital staff actually ‘see’ Laura or pretend to do so, for Lulu’s sake?  Is that why Laura conveniently disappears whenever someone the family knows shows up (Nikolas, Tracy Q, etc)?   Imaginary Laura would mean that once Lulu is completely well, it won’t be so cruel for her to lose her mother, because she was never truly back.  It was the spirit of Laura Spencer that showed up to support Lulu, and that’s something Lulu could handle.

BTW, Genie Francis, no matter how brief her return, makes it evident that GH can never be the same without her.  Why TPTB are so content to keep letting her go is a mystery to me.  Laura anchors the old GH, the GH fans loved heart and soul, to the new GH.  I’d love for the writers to use the option of having Laura decide to go off on her own adventures for a while, maybe with a plan to track down a permanent cure for her illness – with her family’s blessing and her mother at her side.  They’d stay in touch with her, monitoring her progress and talking with her daily-  in case she needs help.   It’s not ideal, I know, but it’s a darned bit better than letting Luke travel the world and finding love again, while Laura remains tied to a chair, staring off into space for years at a time.  The thought of Laura ‘out there’, happy, living life, serving some greater purpose is far more meaningful to, and respectful of, the love fans have for maintained for the character and Laura’s portrayer, Genie Francis.  When Lulu loses Laura again it will feel as if we’re all losing her.

ATWT

You REALLY don’t have to work that hard to get the audience to dislike certain characters, daytime writers.  Some of you take the line and push it as far as you can take it!  You don’t have to do anything at all to get me to dislike ATWT’s Lily Walsh.  I haven’t liked her since she was a teenaged girl, with few exceptions.

Heather Rattray wasn’t the most popular recast for the character, but I loved her.  Lily had been a whining, sniveling, mewling character before Heather came along – Martha Byrne played her as the spoiled heiress she was.  Heather gave adult Lily an edge.  She was an unapologetic bitch goddess who REFUSED to feel bad for taking what she wanted.  HR gave her the ‘Walsh’ edge.  It was the one and only time I could believe that a whiner like Lily was raised by a cutthroat businessperson like Lucy Walsh.  Sadly, it didn’t last long after the actress left the role.  The writers preferred the ‘spoiled heiress’ approach (and even I missed seeing MB’s face in the role even if I didn’t care for her version of Lily!)

The only other time Lily was even slightly interesting to me was when she married Damian Godofallmen Grimaldi.  True to form, the writers ruined that too.  Lily cheated on Damian with Holden… cheated in the belltower of a CHURCH, no less.  Damian forgave her and Lily and Damian went on to create some of the hottest scenes in ATWT history – during the period of Damian’s recovery.  Sex scenes?  No, Lily and Damian never needed them.  They had a smoldering passion that would have made a sex scene anti-climactic, literally and figuratively.  Slight touches and shared glances were enough to communicate more about the passion they felt, than all of the Holden/Lily sex scenes, combined.

So, what have the writers done to reaffirm anti-Lily fans’ beliefs that the character is more often a waste of space than not? They shove Lily back into ‘revenge sex’ mode.  That woman has had more ‘revenge sex’ than any other daytime (or prime time) character I know.  It’s how she lost her virginity for crying out loud!  She slept with Dusty to teach Holden a lesson.

Imagine that.  Lily has revenge sex for decades, her son can’t get laid by the man he loves.  What a wacked out set of priorities ATWT’s writers have when it comes to telling love stories (Nuke) and lust stories (Holden/Lily/any third partner). 

As much as the character has always annoyed me, it annoys me MORE that viewers are put in the position of faulting Lily for being a careless mother in order to have revenge sex with Mike, after believing that Holden was about to get close with Carly, again.  Seriously, writers?  Incredibly rich women like Lily would  have a staff of nannies on call 24/7.  She wouldn’t have to run off to meet her lover ‘assuming’ someone would show up to take care of them. 

She was so eager to have sex that she was willing to leave a child she nearly lost in the care of a child who’s had a history of emotional difficulties, without knowing that an adult was supervising them until their father arrived?  BULL!  Ethan falling down a hole is just punishment for Lily’s actions?  BULLCRAP! You’re also asking the audience to accept Ethan’s pain as part of Lily’s consequences.

Children are plot devices to YOU, writers, not to the audience – fictional or not.  Yes, yes, Lily’s at fault, and this storyline is awful no matter what the outcome is supposed to be.  Possible outcomes:  A Lilden reunion?  Holden fighting for custody?  Jack, done with Janet AND Carly, running to Lily’s rescue?  Faith going off the deep end?  Lucinda fighting her daughter for custody?  Mike, leaving town out of a sense of guilt?  Whatever the outcome, it wasn’t worth the tactic taken to advance the storyline.  Shame on you, writers.. SHAME!

The other character making the top of my ‘most annoying list’?  Jack Snyder! The devolution of my feelings for Jack moved from: loving the guy, to feeling sorry for him for always throwing love away to save his pride, to becoming tired of his self-righteous prig attitude, and now I’m at the point of simply despising the man most days.  Jack, for all of his talk of honesty and loyalty, has YET to be faithful to any woman he’s loved.  He’s cheated on every woman he’s dated or married.  With Julia1 it was Carly.  With Carly it was Julia2, until he ‘betrayed’ Julia2 and went back to Carly.  With Katie it was Carly.  With Janet, it’s Carly again.  Jack kissing Carly, behind Janet’s back?  No skin off my nose, but there he is sandwiched between Janet and Carly, telling Carly that she was right about him all along.

Jack’s life is so charmed.  Even when he makes mistakes, good things happen to him.  I could only take his position, sitting between the two women, as evidence that soon Carly and Janet would end up in some deathmatch cage – beating the unholy hell out of one another with each believing that SHE was the better woman for Jack.  Jack would sit back, smiling on the inside/feigning outrage on the outside – and telling the world that he was ‘torn’ between the two women.  He always is.  Whenever he cheats, it’s noble.  He’s torn between two women he “loves”.  Any woman who cheats on him?  She’s just loose and/or cheap.  It must be nice to be Jack Snyder.

Even still, it’s time for the writers to beat back Jack’s cartoonish nature and make him a real man, again.  I can only imagine what a relief it would be to see Jack behave like a romantic lead, once more.  If I never hear Jack screaming at a woman, see him scowling at her, watch him tear a woman down into nothingness… it will be too soon.