General Hospital: What’s not to love about this show?

MichaelQ Sonny CarlyClearly, becoming a Quartermaine has made Michael SMARTER!  He has seen through Lord Larry in record time, dumped his duplicitous parents, and stopped accepting excuses from everyone who keeps claiming they want to love and protect him – while plotting to keep him in the dark about the “fundamental truth of his life”.  Sonny killed his father and was aided and abetted by  his mother. Taking a life is such an inhuman act, even on soaps.  To have it treated as a minor altercation was mind blowing, so I’m glad that the writers have finally stopped treating the violence on the show as commonplace and trivial.  Watching Michael turn his back on his parents was a thing of beauty (and I say this as someone who LONG ago supported Sonny and Carly protecting Michael from AJ).  Sonny and Carly were never innocents, and AJ was never all bad, but there was a point at which they were able to be parents and deserved to love Michael without the constant threat of losing him… then came the kidnappings, and presumed deaths, and the violence that was so outrageous it lead to Michael falling into a coma after a bullet meant for Sonny landed in his brain. That was followed up by Michael’s enforcer dreams, Michael taking a life, a prison sentence,  and sexual violation.  It became impossible for me to see how they could ever be considered anything other than an unmitigated disaster in that kid’s life.

If we were having this conversation out loud, you might be tempted to tell me that:  Franco was responsible for Michael’s rape (or more like Franco’s associate).  Faith Rosco kidnapped Michael.  Claudia was responsible for Michael’s coma and for the fact that he ended up taking her life.  Yeah, got all of that… and yet all of it is tied to the fact that these were people gunning for his father, aimed at hurting his father and mother, and Michael became “collateral damage” along the way.  At no point was Sonny ever allowed by the writers to show growth and put his family before lifestyle… yes, he tried to break free and couldn’t because of the power vacuum it created and the additional risk to his children… got it… the writers could have had Sonny leave his family and watch over them from a distance.  They didn’t.  In Sonny Corinthos they created a character who is loathsome, selfish, vain, and hateful despite his dimples (shame on Lucy and FCarly Is Arrestedelicia).  By the time he got around to daily threatening to kill a pregnant Ava once her child was born, he was done, in my book.

It felt good to watch AJ ‘s son walk away from the dark, unsalvageable, things his parents became. Carly faulted Franco for Michael’s rape… and then fell in love with him… and then threw the rape of her son in his face when he exposed her as a cheat and liar.  Was Michael’s pain never in her mind before that?  Every time that man touched her did she not feel sick thinking of what happened to her son?  Was Michael’s rape a weapon she was waiting to use any time they had a disagreement?  Franco becomes angry that she didn’t do the dishes so she tells him she’s still mad he was responsible for her son’s rape?  I’m guessing it would have also been a useful argument in getting him to mow the lawn, take down the Christmas tree, do laundry, etc.

Michael’s emotional upset at watching her get close to Franco was never the tipping point?  Carly’s “love” for Franco, and willingness to marry him, was more about protecting Sonny than making sure Michael did not have to re-live one of the worst times in his short life – and there have been so many awful times for that child.  She even allowed her son to be the best man at their failed wedding.  What kind of mother does that?  She continues to say that Franco blew her family apart, not Sonny’s depraved act of killing AJ.  It was Franco, not the fact that she lied and put herself between her son and the truth for Sonny’s sake.  Nope.  It’s all Franco.  Useless.  Carly’s lack of insight into the damage she’s caused to others is frightening.  It was entertaining when she was young.  It’s migraine inducing as she ages.  Ages is supposed to bring wisdom.  Instead, it only seems to bring gag inducing helpings of stupidity and cruelty for Carly.  She becomes more selfish in time, not less.

In a soap-to-soap mashup?  I would expect a “worst mother/daughter/sister” of the year face off between GH’s Carly, BnB’s Brooke Logan, and DAYS’ Sami Brady.  I think the title would be a fight to the finish between Brooke and Carly, or at least a tie.

Sonny is BookedOddly enough, only Sonny seems to be experiencing any true remorse.  Carly is still raging at the world and trying to force her son to love her and respect her again (a right I think she’s given up by protecting Sonny when even she should have been disgusted with him).  Sonny is willing to suffer the consequences of his betrayal of AJ’s son, the child he made a promise to love and protect, long ago, finally realizing that he allowed his hatred for AJ, disguised as love for Connie, mattered more than every day he ever spent raising and nurturing Michael.  At least the writers have allowed Sonny to show some insight into his behavior.  I don’t think they will ever allow Carly to grow up and learn that her actions have consequences.  I no longer care if they do.  I will simply cherish the moments of seeing handcuffs slapped on Carly and having her spend some time behind bars.  While I see zero hope for Carly, I do see hope for Sonny (if the constantly swirling rumors of Maurice Benard’s leaving aren’t true).  I don’t want Sonny in Michael’s life again, but I would love for the writers to take this opportunity to reinvent Sonny.  Let him be someone completely different from the man he has been all these years.  Benard is such a gifted actor with so many more stories he could help tell, I hope that happens, for the sake of the show and its fans.

What I love most?

There is one more Quartermaine in the world of Port Chuckles, and after losing Alan, Lila, Edward, and Tracy, I am happy to see Michael back in the fold.  What’s that?  Tracy hasn’t passed away?  She may as well be gone, given her repeated betrayal of her family and her willingness to put them all at risk for the sake of “love” for a man she clearly doesn’t know well enough to realize that something is wrong and that the man she married couldn’t stand her touch.  Even Liz and Sam are picking up the “NuJase is OldJase” vibes.  Eh, I’ll save all of that for another blog, another time.  Maybe I’ll be able to soon blog about the return of Jason Quartermaine, one day soon!

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What has happened to controversy in daytime?

I began thinking, about whether there are any truly unique storylines in daytime.  Every storyline billed as “Never Before Done” has been a bitter disappointment. They were either storylines in which writers ripped off their own work – playing out earlier told storylines with different characters,  storylines that truly were unique but never have been attempted (all of #Passions, or #GL’s Clone Reva), or storylines that offered some other thinly veiled variation on a theme.

The only storyline I could think of that is unique (and not one that I’m applauding) is the storyline involving the #boldandbeautiful’s Brooke.  She has had affairs with two sons-in-law and a brother-in-law, having children with all three men: with Son-in-law Nick there was a child inadvertently carried by Taylor Hayes – who was married to Nick and accidentally artificially inseminated using Brooke’s egg; an egg that was supposed to be donated to science.  The son-in-law Deacon affair produced Hope Logan, while Deacon was still married to Brooke’s rarely mentioned daughter, Bridget.  The affair with brother-in-law ¢Bill Spencer – who was married to her sister, Katie, resulted in a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage.   The writers appear to be gearing up for a storyline in which Brooke’s former son-in-law, Deacon Sharpe, finds himself competing against her former brother-in-law, ¢Bill Spencer, for her affections. The only truly original plot in daytime  is also one of its seediest… pun intended.

I prefer to think of it as the lust triangle from soap hell. Thanks to the ever wonderful Katie Logan (portrayed by Heather Tom) and Ridge Forrester (now played by Thorsten Kaye) working together to expose  the perennially sleazy ¢Bill Spencer for the lying fraud he is, I realize how much I miss REAL controversy in daytime.   Whatever happened to the days when scandalous storylines weren’t always about sexual impropriety?  I’ve had enough of #BoldandBeautiful’s Brooke and her various in-law affairs.  I was never able to tolerate #Days Sami cheating with Ej – the man the writers admitted was her rapist.  Their relationship is a sadly outmoded “victim-perp” romance and #Days writers should have none better.   As brilliant as #GH’s Maura West is in the role of Ava, I am exhausted by storylines about women who are unsure of the paternity of  their children, most especially when those men are related.  I have had it with men like #GH’s Sonny, or now defunct #SunsetBeach’s Cole who have slept with and/or impregnated mothers and daughters, as well as half the town around them.

Do you know what kinds of controversial and awe producing storylines I miss?

  • Realistic and useful return from dead plots – #AllMyChildren’s Nina Cortlandt was led to believe her mother  died in childbirth.  Yet, years later, Daisy Cortlandt shows up, reclaims her family, and becomes a pillar of the community despite her reportedly scandalous past.  What a joy it was to watch Daisy operate in stealth mode, trying to figure out if she was friend or foe, as she reconnected with Nina while avoiding the watchful Sauronesque angry eye of Palmer Cortlandt, Nina’s father.
  • Shady corporate take overs were some of my favorites (and not those that are resolved with fashion show takedowns, #BoldandBeautiful).  Remember when Lucinda welcomed Connor and Evan into the fold, not knowing who they really were, at first, and having no clue that they were back to reclaim the Walsh family fortune?  HA!  What about Lucy “helping” Barbara Ryan by buying the “Simply Barbara” clothing line, to have money for Paul as Babs went on trial for the murder (HA!) of James Stenbeck?  Barbara is cleared, later, and has to start a new fashion label when her “friend” Lucinda refuses to sell back the company.  No annual competing fashion shows.
  • Remember #AnotherWorld’s Mac Cory fighting for his corporate life, only to find out that the mastermind behind the attempted takeover of his empire was his own daughter, Iris?  Heartbreak as it was the end of her relationship with her father.  Mac Cory, due to Douglass Watson’s death, was soon gone on screen as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLNnnCgPhm0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UkgaeETUPs

  • If you’ve forgotten that #AsTheWorldTurns’ Kim Hughes was once terrorized by an unknown stalker, how can you call yourself a soap fan?  The greatest twist ever?  The stalker was seemingly innocent, highly successful and beloved  Douglas Cummings, fiance of her stepdaughter, Frannie Hughes.  Even now, when I hear “Someone to Watch Over Me”, a part of me begins thinking about this storyline.
  • #GuidingLight’s Sonni/Solita/Sonni storyline.  Sonni Carrera, a brilliant psychiatrist meets and falls in love with Josh Lewis (and who didn’t fall for Josh?).  Sadly, it was a ruse.  She and lover Will Jeffries were plotting to steal the Lewis fortune.  The twist?  Sonni was not Sonni, but her “evil”, wild child twin sister, Solita.   Solita was Will’s mistress and muse.  Solita had long been buried when Solita stole her identity.  Double twist?  Solita wasn’t Solita after all. She was the real Sonni Carrera, who had a psychotic break after her sister’s death and created a Solita persona.  I could have died for soap joy.

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Guiding Light writers were chock full of twist heavy, jaw dropping, edge of your seat storylines – ones that weren’t purely about sexual scandal: — Annie, in her desperation to hang on to husband Josh Lewis, carried a dead fetus, until she could set Reva Shayne Lewis up for pushing her down the stairs “killing” their baby. — Beth revealing she had been the victim of sexual abuse by Bradley Raines and her fight to become strong enough to turn him in and reclaim her sense of safety. You’re beginning to get my point, right?  Someone (or a group of people) in daytime have decided that not only does “sex sells” but that sexual impropriety is all daytime has to offer, any more. I want more.  I want those cleverly drawn, nearly impossible to think of on you own, scandals that daytime once offered.  I want family betrayals that take place with clothes on, both feet on the floor – no bumping uglies, folks. I want to look at new characters and wonder if they are friend or foe, and if my fave characters have something to worry about. I want daytime writers to give me romance and intrigue, and stop making sex feel like a weapon. I miss daytime for what it was.  I’m not willing to accept it for the limited thing is has become.

Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: GH Sonny’s transformation

Finally!  FINALLY!  Someone gets to have a grown up conversation with Sonny Corinthos about why his “shoot first and ask questions later” policy is just a tad bit dangerous (like the plague, diving without a parachute, and flying a plane without refueling).   You’d think that shooting his pregnant wife in the head while she was  delivering their child would be a bit of motivation to become a little more reflective and not so blantantly self-indulgent in his rage.  That would mean that you a – live in known universe and adhere to the laws of phyics and reason, and b – you haven’t imagined Sonny as a living person who is totally so cool, and that he would totally be your best friend and play Xbox and Dungeons and Dragons with you  if he knew you.  I’m not sure the GH writers could claim either of the above.

While I expect to hate any moment that gives Patrick the right to utter the big, “I told you so” moment to Robin, I did savor this one just a bit!  I didn’t enjoy seeing Robin shot, it was awful.  I did enjoy the fallout once she was ok.  Patrick fearlessly snarling at Sonny to get out?  Thank you, writers.  Robin telling Sonny that he should have been more concerned for Emma’s emotional well being?  Awesome!  For little Emma to have to say to her father that “Mommy was shot” was excruciating.  What child should ever witness the violation of a parent or any loved one?  The short answer is none, but when Sonny is a part of your life, it’s evident that at some point your children will experience an event that most children won’t ever witness – and that’s scary when you realize that fact includes soap children was well.  Most soap children have never seen their parents shot in their own home:

That scene is devastating.  (And P.S. LOVE new little Emma. She could teach a few of her older colleagues in daytime how to convey emotion).  What that scene also tells us is that:

1.  Sonny’s disregard for Emma’s psychological pain is an indication of his inability to consider his own children’s psychological pain – given that he loves Robin as if she’s family.  His own expectations of becoming a victim of his lifestyle seems, as the writers convey it,  to mean that his stubborn and irascible egocentrism allows him to believe that everyone, children included, should be able to accept death, and anything that falls shorts of that is… WINNING!… Loser.  He is only lucky that the gun wasn’t aimed in Emma’s direction when Robin fought to stop him from killing Jax.  No one knew the child was in the room.  She could have just as easily been a victim of a stray bullet.  Just as he expects his children to recover from kidnapping, assault, and the constant threat of becoming victims of his enemies, he expects children who don’t live with daily violence to live happily with the consequences of violent outburts.

Further consider the Doomsday Don’s treatment of his firstborn, Dante (another shoot first/ask questions later victim) .  Sonny spents months on end trying to convince everyone of his great love for his son.  Then he assaults Dante in order to be able to get to Jax.  Killing Jax was more important to Sonny than the already fragile relationship he has with his first born.

His children, other people’s children, they’re all for show, and how little they count when they’re in the way of what Sonny wants.

2.  Sonny is blinded by his hatred.  DUH, right?   It’s not just the obvious things (like the fact that he DRIVES people away, not that they leave because they’ve been tricked by others or that they’ve misunderstood)… it’s the little things, too.  How was Robin supposed to live in that house, with her family, if Jax’s blood was spilled in her home?  For Sonny, replacing the carpets, drapes, and cleaning the walls would have been sufficient, for people who’ve chosen to save lives – not take them, it’s not that easy.  They wouldn’t find comfort in new drapes knowing that unseen traces of a good man’s life were left in their hardwood floors, the pores of their walls, and  in their memories.  They would remember Jax in that room and  remember what Sonny did to him. 

While Jax’s death would haunt the Scorpio-Drakes, it would have given Sonny endless satisfaction.  As Carly pointed out, Sonny does not care that he killed her father and has taken every possible father-daughter moment away from her.  Yeah, Carly, who cheered Sonny on when he set Jax up to lose custody.  At least there is some point at which she says NO… too bad that point is death (or least death as far as they know it).

There is WAY more yum where that came from:

3.  It’s likely that in the take down of Sonny Corinthos, this one vile act that FINALLY turns everyone against Sonny may also be connected to Jason’s storyline and may be the final nail in the coffin.  Everyone hating Sonny so quickly makes me wonder if these scenes are re-shoots and are tied into Jason’s eventual recovery.  IF Jason wakes up and becomes a new person, as has been hinted in GH promos, what will he become? WHO will he become?  Assuming he has no memory of being Jason Morgan, he can become anything and anyone he wants to.  Let’s assume he wakes up remembering what he’s done, but it’s as if someone else commited those acts.  He dissociates, disgusted by the acts committed by the man with face.  After a period of self-loathing, he moves away from the mob life and rejoins the Qs (rebuilding the family).

Suddenly, Sonny is totally and utterly alone. The only true friend he’s every had is gone.  Carly finally sees Sonny for what he is and she’s done with him (whoda thunk that would ever happen!?!)  Brenda has escaped his clutches.  His children are angry at him.  Robin won’t speak to him.  His world is shattered.  Given the sudden onset of the Sonny disgust, I’m not sure if the storyline is meant to garner sympathy for the character or serve as the lead in to character growth:

  • Will Sonny change and permanently put the mob behind him, becoming a legitimate business leader?  If so, that new role should come  with a less Valdermort worthy wardrobe.  There’s no shade of black and gray the lollipop mob boss hasn’t worn.  It’s time to let it go.
  • Will he be “redeemed”, GH style, when it’s revealed that Anthony Zacharra really is a bigger monster than Sonny?  That Anthony has successfully killed before our eyes, and that Sonny’s kills are offscreen is not redepemtion.  The writers should know that.
  • Will he assume that saying he’s sorry is enough, or will we see true remorse from Sonny who works to make amends with those he’s wronged?  Sonny will eventually be forgiven, I have no doubt about that, but it’s a process that should take time, and maybe not have forgiveness be given from everyone.  Robin will forgive, of course.  Even after her shot her in front of her daughter, she didn’t want to have the police called.  She put her license on the line, and that of her husband’s, by treating a gun shot wound without reporting it.

What can’t happen is having the writers “save” Sonny by having him fall into a bout of depression and blame his recent actions on his bipolar condition (they’ve gone to that well far too many times).   It works about as well as having him continue to fault his stepfather for the fact that he continues to kill others for a living and puts his children at risk.

What also won’t work is for Sonny to become all goodness and light.  Who would buy it?

What would/might work is making Sonny the new Luke in the sense that he becomes the show’s new anti-hero, the anti-hero Luke once was, at least.  Sonny could spend his days not worrying about other people’s problems (like now) but get involved when he has to protect those he loves, or others, from bad guys by working with Dante to bring them down.  Luke Spencer and Robert Scorpio become Sonny Corinthos and Dante Falconeri. Luke and Lucky become Sonny and Dante.  It takes a while to get use to the thought of it, I know, but give it some time.  Wouldn’t anything be better than the doom and gloom Sonny brings to the show, now?

GH: Some Days, Watching This Show Is a Little Like THIS (warning: brief nudity)

Yes, yes, and since the nudity involves Paul Bettany – seriously, .. you should thank me!  As for GH  “blame” more than “thank” is the word I’m looking for when thinking about what sort of credit should be given.   What follows is what I LIKE about GH right now and what I hate, though hate me be too strong of a word since it motivated me to find a nude Paul Bettany clip!

What I love!

I love that the writers can make me love (some) couples when I thought that my feelings for them were forever dead.  You know where this is going!  Lucky and Liz.  She has long been, for me, one of the sleaziest most unbearable women in daytime.  With respect to her lovelife, she’s the female Sonny Corinthos.  If there’s a man she’s been involved with that she HASN’T carried a child for, surely he must be sterile.  For a nurse, her knowledge and use of family planning devices carries as stellar a record as Port Chuckle’s cognitively limited Dapper Don.  That Liz and Sonny don’t have a child together amazes me.  Somehow the writers let that one slip by – unless my memory is so shoddy I just don’t remember a Lonny Love Child.  

Everything about Liz makes me cringe, and yet when Liz and Lucky are together, the magic happens!

It’s not just having JJ back in the role of Lucky because honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of that move.  Greg Vaughn’s soulful eyes and hunkalicious abs still haunt me, folks, and I miss him in the role.  I wish both “Luckys” could have survived, in whatever weird storyline plot the writers could come up with – I’m easy like that.  As for Lucky and Liz?  Somehow, the writers have figured out how to use the LL2 family with precision accuracy.  Even with Vaughn in the role, the LL2 writing, as centered around the family, is thoughtful, loving, sweet and tender.  They’re the kind of moments the writers use to give us more of in the glory days of GH.  It was the loving and tender moments that balanced against the occasional dark scenes when darkness on GH meant a huge and adventurous battle between the villains out to destroy Port Charles and the heroic men and women who fought back. 

Now?  The frequent darkness (violent and vile) is balanced against he occasional loving family scene.  When I see them, they breathe new life into the show for me, even if for a limited time.  I can thank the writers for that.  More of THAT, please.

What I still hate!

Real men, like Jax, have to be taken down a peg when they cross paths with the Apple Dumpling Gang (Carly, Sonny, Jason).  Women in Sonny’s life have to proclaim him a hero, no matter how low or how sleazy he gets.  The only time they stand up to him is when the actress in the role is leaving the show.  The idea that Carly gets to put on blinders to sacrifice another man’s child to stay close to Sonny makes me terribly ill.  In Caroline Benson – Carly Corinthos’ world:

  •  being kidnapped by your father’s enemies builds character. 
  • Being photographed “dead” by a loon who fakes your death only toughens you up – besides, isn’t that photo now sitting on her mantle?  Good.Times.
  • getting shot in the head and spending most of your formative years in a coma, shot while someone was aiming for dad?  Well that just gives you one kick ass essay for your college apps (Let little Mr. Kappa Kappa Legacy top that one!). 
  • if your son ends up in prsion because his idiot father makes self defense look like murder in a cover up?  WELL!  The hell he suffers there is just his initiation into how hard life can be at times.  Welcome to the majors, future crime boss! 

DAMN Jax for worring about his little girl ending up with a bullet in her brain – or worse.

DAMN Brenda for not being a woman tough enough to stick out a few hard times, just because she’s already been kidnapped while under Sonny’s protection and her son was threatened.   Weenie.

DAMN the world for thinking that little Corinthos children who plan to kidnap a child to “save” her from the graceful love of her father are somehow wrong and pathological!  Future criminals don’t become desensitized to right and wrong all on their own!

Thank goodness for Sonny and Caroline-Carly, making childhood a little less safe, one tragic event at a time.  Someone should remind Carly of these moments:

Yeah.  Good.Times.

To which I can say that I will not miss Bob Guza when he’s gone.  Not.One.Bit.

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.

Are ABC’s low ratings well deserved?

Thanks to the folks at SON for posting the ratings, please visit SON for the full ratings report so that you can see where your favorite soaps landed this week and check the daily ratings:

Week of June 14 – 18, 2010.

HH
1. Y&R 3.5/11 (-.1/+.1)
2. B&B 2.2/7 (-.1/-.1)
3. DAYS 1.9/6 (same/-.1)
4. AMC 1.8/6 (same/same)
4. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/same)
6. GH 1.7/5 (-.1/-.1) <- ties low (Last time: July 6-10, 2009)
7. ATWT 1.6/5 (-.1/same) <- ties low (Last time: May 31 – June 4, 2010)

Women 18-49 Rating
1. Y&R 1.6/10 (same/+.1)
2. GH 1.1/7 (-.1/same) <- ties low (Last time: May 24-28, 2010)
3. DAYS 1.0/7 (same/-.1)
3. OLTL 1.0/6 (same/-.1)
5. AMC 0.9/6 (same/-.1)
5. B&B 0.9/6 (same/-.1) <- ties low (Last time: June 7-11, 2010)
7. ATWT 0.7/5 (same/-.1) <- ties low (Last time: June 7-11, 2010)

Are ABC’s low ratings well deserved?

For AMC?  A teeny bit.  It’s rebounding from a long and painful period in its history.  Given the three ABC soaps,  AMC has the most potential for a return to creative grandeur.  The show has done a much better job of focusing on legacy character and its core (although that’s easier to do when your core is smaller than in the past).   The pacing is good, the storyline telling is stronger, and the show has been more visually appealing lately.  I’m rooting for this show.

For OLTL?  OH HELL YES!  Here’s a word of advice, writers.  I don’t know if you feel that you’ve been sold out by the  ‘house of mouse’ knowing that feeder network Soapnet is going to be shuttered for a ‘Disney Jr.’ channel, but come on!  I can’t tell if your  current storylines are a reaction meant to  save OLTL by creating a new ‘DeGrassi’  (and a far less interesting version at that) to shift over to teen Disney or if you want to thumb your noses at your bosses by mocking their youth entertainment obsession.  If I see Starr, the two new guys that I can’t tell apart unless they’re in scene with their respective Manning sister, Cole, Matthew, Hannah, and anyone else under the age of 21, I’m going to need a bag to catch my lunch on its way back out — sorry, the reference clearly shows that I’m regressing in maturity along with the storylines on OLTL.

GH? Hell yes, and OH HELL YES those ratings are deserved.  Is there anything on GH that isn’t tied to the mob storyline any more?  I roll my eyes so much on the rare occasions I watch that I can’t tell.   Dante has to ‘pay’ for being a good cop and doing the right thing.  Tough as nails Claire is now a mob apologist who sees the difference between criminals like Franco and criminals like Jason/Sonny.   Nikolas is creepy, stalkerish, and trying to force a pregnant Liz to accept his lust-called-love for her.  Every other chance at romance on this show is shuttered in favor or more whining by pampered ill tempered mobsters and the children they’ve ruined.  The one potential for growth and the writers have ruined even that:

Speaking of ruined, I’ve defended Patrick in the past.  He’s the motherless son of an alcoholic father who watched his family slowly fall apart.  To say he has issues is an understatement.  The problem is that Patrick’s ‘jealousy’ over Lisa and Steven, and his constant whining about Robin’s need for helping others is just wearing thin.  Have I lost my passion for Scrubs?  No, I’ve lost my passion for GH because of their treatment of Scrubs.  With clever writing, Lisa could be an interesting double crossing villain, the actress could easily carry it off, and I would have loved watching Robin rip her a new one.  Without clever writing, the character is just annoying.  The idea that Patrick, who has spent every day before Lisa’s arrival telling Robin how much he loves his life and that he wouldn’t trade it for the world, now cries (boo friggin’ hoo) over driving a mini van and being home at night.  He cries to Luke of all people — the man who has betrayed every moment he’s ever spent with a family who loved and idolized him (when GH writers destroy fans’ fond memories of GH couples, they go big!  I feel for you Luke and Laura fans.)

REALLY writers?  REALLY?  We’re supposed to want to see Patrick moon over a woman who feeds him what he wants to hear and sticks a knife in his back when he turns around? We’re supposed to feel for him because his wife and child just aren’t enough?   GH has missed it’s calling.  If the mouse network decides to finally pull the plug and put all of us out of our misery, they could consider shopping this show over at Spike TV – “the network for men”.  This show is such a rancid male fantasy that I can’t believe that women on the show are actually permitted to wear clothing.

The only surprise in GH’s ratings, for me,  is that they’re not lower.

General Hospital: Dialogue vs. Plot

It’s not mystery that I’m no fan of GH’s Scooby Doo gang:  Sonny, Jason, Carly, and their hangers on.  Let’s not forget the air-head apparent, Michael Corinthos.  While the plots are lousy, the dialogue has been as rich as Creosus!

Lucky to Nikolas (adding such a new complex layer to the stench of the relationship between the brothers, and between Lucky and Liz.  Their betrayal of Lucky was about so much more than the sex):

Lucky: Take a look around, Nikolas. This is an underground dungeon. Your grandmother grabbed my dad and Tracy and tossed them down here like bags of garbage. Who the hell does that? Do you have any idea how sick and insane this is?

Nikolas: Yes, of course I do. But Helena’s not playing this game by herself. Luke’s playing right along. Come on, you know, they get off on this madness.

Lucky: Well, I didn’t. I was just going about my life. It was a good life, by the way. Then Helena took me out of it one day and made everyone think I was dead. She locked me up and messed with my head and my soul. She tried to break me down into something that she could control and then she sent me back to the people who loved me the most like a ticking time bomb.

Nikolas: I know that.

Lucky: There are pieces of me I never got back. And all this time, since your affair with Elizabeth blew up in our faces, did you ever ask yourself why I held on to her so tightly? Why I tried so hard to recreate a time when the love that we shared was real and pure, unmauled by someone who’s as cruel and sadistic as Helena? It’s because Elizabeth represented everything that was taken from me. And our past was the only thing that kept me grounded in our present. And then you came along… and you ruined it without a thought, other than your own self-gratification. So tell me, how can I look at you, knowing all of that… and not see an enemy?

Alexis to Sonny (note that Sonny is completely unaware, as usual.  He’s heard this song before, he just keeps blocking it out… he’s suddenly clueless that he’s emotionally abusive):

Alexis: Okay, here we go. See, that’s kind of what I was talking about yesterday, that we need to keep the focus on Kristina, and it might be counterproductive if you get angry and defensive and make it about you.

Sonny: I’m going to this therapy session to support Kristina.

Alexis: Good. Thank you. And I am very sensitive to the fact that this abuse issue is a hot-button issue.

Sonny: And you know that, you know, my mother and I were, you know, abused, and that’s why I know a little bit of what Kristina’s goin’ through.

Alexis: Right. And you know we have to figure out why Kristina stayed in an abusive relationship, and, you know, through that process, you might hear some things about yourself that–

Sonny: No. No, no. No. Listen. Johnny lied on the stand. Kristina believed him. So that’s what we’re gonna work through.

Alexis: Well, actually no one really cares what Johnny said or didn’t say. I think what you might work through is that she’s seen your temper, and it’s been very disturbing.

Sonny: Do I have to tell you again that I don’t hit women?

Alexis: Well, but you do call them bitches and whores, and that kind of verbal abuse might–

Sonny: You’re either physically violent, or you’re not.

Alexis: Really? See, this is why it’s a good idea that you work this out with her in therapy.

Sonny: No, you know what needs to be done here? No, I don’t– all I know is that I’ve never abused a woman. We don’t have to talk about that anymore.

Alexis: Okay, let’s not.

Carly to Sonny: This one shocks me! Carly’s history has been bowing before Sonny’s imagined greatness and accepting responsibility for everything that’s gone wrong in their lives together.  She seems to have remembered those things the rest of us remembered:

Carly: We are so much alike. I guess that’s what attracted us to each other. We’re impulsive, you know? We don’t realize the damage we’ve caused till it’s already done.

Sonny: You’re dodging the question. Do you honestly think that I abused you?

Carly: Kristina asked me that question.

Sonny: What do you mean Kristina? When?

Carly: After your outburst in court.

Sonny: What’d you say?

Carly: I told her the technical truth.

Sonny: I’m afraid to hear what that means.

Carly: I was as honest with Kristina as I felt was appropriate, Sonny. I’m not Kristina’s parent. There are questions that only you and Alexis should answer. But I did think she deserved the truth as much as I could give it. So I told her that, you know, our relationship was dysfunctional and volatile, that we genuinely loved each other, but we were toxic together. And that no, you never hit me.

Sonny: Thank God for that.

Carly: I mean, you shot me in the head once, but accidents happen. Can you…can you still hear us? I mean, I can. I can hear the yelling and things breaking. I can hear you calling me a faithless whore. Screaming at the top of your lungs that I’m worthless. I’ve never seen anyone get as angry as you. And your rage, Sonny, your rage is overwhelming. You zero in on what’s weak in someone, and you hammer away. You dismantle it piece by piece. And I look back, and I’m horrified at myself. I’m horrified that I put up with it, that I rationalized it, and I participated in it. But that was my illness. I stayed with you, and I let it happen over and over again. The vicious cycle. And you know what, Sonny? It’s called abuse.

Nah… Sonny’s not abusive… no sirree (at least not in his head)!  Doesn’t every man repeatedly refer to his wife as a whore?

Olivia to Sonny:

Sonny: I kinda expected you to understand the situation a little better, but…

Olivia: I do understand, Sonny. And I’m telling you right now, as someone who’s known you for a very long time, you need to change the way that you deal with women, okay? And there’s no shame in that. Talk to somebody. That’s what therapy’s for!

Sonny: But you’re acting like I’m some kind of animal like Kiefer. Yeah, I got a lot of rage inside of me. But I haven’t been that way with all the women I’ve been with. Just the ones that push me and push me. But I’ve never crossed the line. I love my daughter. I love her with everything I got. And I want to help her through this, but there’s no way that I’m going to say I’m an abuser when I’m not.

Olivia: I’m not saying you’re like Kiefer, Sonny. I know that you would never hit a woman. But there’s a lot of other ways to be abusive. Right?

Sonny: Okay.

Olivia: Okay. See, I know what you want through. I know what Deke did to you and your ma, and I can only imagine the things that you suffered through. And you were a little kid. I get that. But you survived, right?

Sonny: Mm-hmm.

Olivia: And you turned yourself into the kind of man that you wanted to be. You’re powerful, you’re successful, you got kids that mean the world to you. I mean, no one else would look at you and know what’s going on right under the surface.

Sonny: What’s the point?

Olivia: My point is, my point is, don’t believe your own hype. Sonny, okay, you can put one over on the whole rest of the world, but don’t put one over on yourself. Okay, don’t get caught up in believing that, because you made something out of your life, that that abuse didn’t have an effect on every part of you, okay? It directly affects everything, especially the way that you treat other people.

Sonny: You’re talking like I think I’m perfect, and I’m nowhere near perfect.

Olivia: Look, okay, you got Carly claiming that you abused her.

Sonny: Right.

Olivia: Okay, maybe not physically, but in other ways. You’re gonna sit here and you’re gonna tell me that she’s lying, or she’s wrong, or what? What that bastard Deke did to you and your ma had a direct effect on your relationships with women. Okay? You need to admit that, and you need to get help.

Sonny: What Kiefer did to Kristina, I have not done to any woman. It’s not a fair comparison.

Olivia: I agree. I agree. And I know how much it must hurt you to know that your daughter thinks she saw the real you that night that you went off on Claudia. Okay. Or that she would ever compare you to anybody like Kiefer. But, Sonny, Kristina is confused right now. And that’s why you gotta get in there with her right now. You gotta show her that you’re willing to change, and that you can change. You gotta find a way to separate who you really are from all those ugly patterns that you grew up with.

Johnny to Kristina (just as you’re sitting there thinking ‘What kind of low life uses a girl who’s been traumatized by an abusive boyfriend?”… Johnny says THIS):

Kristina: Dad was so horrible brutal to Claudia, he shouldn’t you use me to do the same thing to him? It’s part of justice.

Johnny: Kristina, first of all, the idea of using you in any capacity for anything has no

Kristina: But I’m a willing participant. More than that, it was my idea. Come on, Johnny. The way to make it happen.

Johnny: And er of sonny Corinthos. This playing out, beyond sonny’s pain, of course?

Kristina: Does it matter?

Johnny: It does if I’m dead in the end, yeah.

Kristina: You won’t let my dad kill you, and if he tries, he’ll go to prison like he deserves.

Johnny: Ok. Kristina, I actually know where you’re coming from. I do. I know what it’s like to have a monster as a father. You lay in b late at night thinking of ways to bring the bastard to his knees while you stare at the ceiling. When what you should be doing in actuality is channeling that energy into something positive. I know I’m no shining example as to how that works, believe me, but maybe you can look at me and then use me as an example as to what you should avoid. At the end of the day, Kristina, the answer’s no. As much as I want to bring grief to your father, I’m not about to use you in order to get that.

Johnny: It’s because you’ve been through a very traumatic experience and you need time to heal. See, that–right there is even more of a reason for you not to put yourself in a situation that could backfire or hurt you.

Kristina: But I feel safe with you.

Johnny: Why?

Kristina: I don’t know. I just do. It’s not sexual, please don’t misunderstand.

Johnny: Oh, believe me, there’s no misunderstanding here. Uh, hey…I suppose maybe at the end of the day, we’re kindred spirits. We both have the same immediate goal. But your hatred for sonny is not as black and white as mine. It’s wrapped up in all sorts of shades of gray and emotions of sonny being your father. Your issues with sonny go much deeper than just wanting to see him twist. This is like a bomb waiting to go off, in my face and yours, and I’m not willing to risk that.

Kristina: I figured it out. You’re noble. My father wouldn’t be. If someone went to him with an offer that could destroy you, he’d take it and not think twice. So never say you’re just like sonny. It’s not true. Well, if you change your mind, the offer’s still open.

As much as I hate the plot, the dialogue helped sell it and make sense of it… the children of mob monsters clinging to reclaiming their power by taking away (at least one of) their father’s power.  It’s stupid and careless on their part, but it makes sense.