Surprise. I love the kidnapping story. I love everyone’s performances. I love that many fans are falling for the “Michael got shot dead!” cliffhanger – to be confirmed this week. I especially love my Reese, the smart, sexy right arm of the law.
I just got through nearly pissing my pants in a scene where Jason and Sonny do their jobs (as enforcer and mobster), while Reese doesn’t, all to find a lost little boy, presumed shot by Faith.
For a second/third ranked soap like GH, currently suffering from critical slams on the disgusting way it treats veterans and overplays newbies, the riveting kidnapping story could be just the tonic to help me forget the many past lapses.
From December 26, 2004 to February 23, 2005, I went away on a cross-country trip, part business, part pleasure. And hardly in a position to catch every single excruciating minute of any of my favorite ABC soaps. The rare times I did, was only for that which captured my attention and held it there for longer than one minute.
Of all the February Sweeps stories, the only ones that succeeded in forcing me to stand in front of the tv screen transfixed – whether it was in a hotel room as my husband Eddie rushed me to check-out, or his cousins’ house in between a three-year-old boy’s bedlam – were on AMC (Jonathan’s abuse) and GH, with the kidnapping of three of Sonny’s children.
It’s not all gloom, doom, angst or, as Jason’s Steve Burton told an SPW reporter recently (in a joint interview with Sam’s Kelly Monaco) “torture,” prompting him to half-kid that he’s ready for retirement already. The scenes between his enforcer and beloved bodacious Sam at the New Orleans brothel were priceless, almost, dare I utter the resemblance to another more popular couple in the ‘80s, one that shared the same first letter in their first names?
Jason and Sam decide to go on the case themselves, hunting for leads until one takes them to this brothel. Jason asks Sam to be the lookout while he does the work, she obliges. But then, as most of us GH fans from the ‘80s knew was coming, she returns, to join the trio of blonde prostitutes offering themselves for Jason to try out, Jason having to pretend he’s there as a john. The expression on his face, a mix of surprise, WTF?, and How the heck am I gonna get her out of this mess now?, maybe too, a little lust, balanced the heavy darkness nicely.
And who could blame the man. Sam in a low-cut top and a patch of material serving as the short skirt could turn a straight woman (like me) gay. For a second there, I thought I could feel a dick move.
Then, Jason points to Sam, almost with a child-like glee, momentarily forgetting the angst-ridden reason for the adventure, and says he wants her, turning me straight (and wet) again, for him.
Together, these two know what they’re doing. They’re not goofing around, wasting much time.
But neither is the FBI agent assigned to the case, Reese – as understatedly played by soap newcomer Kari Wuhrer. Forgive my lapse in story lead-up, but I think John Durant had her assigned to the case in the first place (now he’s a strong suspect as kidnapper Faith’s boss), assuming she’d tow the line and be like another Mac Scorpio, bumbling, by the book, basically allowing the bad guys, the mob, to show up law and order once again.
Instead, Reese is her own person, handling the case with an unholy appreciation for any means necessary (as evidenced by Monday, February 28th’s wonderful episode, where she basically told Faith’s flunky that she would let Jason beat the crap out of him until he came up with a name and a place), quietly surprising Sonny, much the same way Ric has been, in letting Sonny in on every bumbling Mac-led police proceeding.
I know usually I’m banging the drum for giving the gonads back to law enforcement in Port Charles, but they’re dealing with children in peril here, and even Robert and Anna Scorpio went above the law sometimes to get their bad guys. It’s about time a representative of the law, even if she’s an outsider (Mac finally remembering his pirate roots to help Sonny would’ve been a welcome twist), did WHATEVER IT TOOK.
I also realize not a lot of fans (or online commentators) like Reese’s interference very much, or her much pre-marketed connection with Sonny. One of my favorite soap columnists, the one I look up to as the barometer of good taste and the one who (little did she know) kept me up to date on GH’s goings-on), SoapTown USA’s Max of “GH Chronicles”, prefers another soap newcomer Amy Grabow as the deliciously evil Rachel better.
Max doesn’t see any chemistry between Reese and Sonny, questions the move by ABC honchos to again promote a couple before the couple can earn its connection on-screen, feels Reese herself is a bit dull and the actress has little presence – not exactly helpful when paired opposite an actor with presence overflowing. Furthermore, Sonny’s Maurice Benard has been taking over the scenes with Reese’s Kari Wuhrer barely able to keep up, clearly in over her head, according to Max.
For once Max and I part opinions. I’m not sure if a lot of it has to do with some oddball loyalty I feel toward Wuhrer from her “Remote Control” days on MTV, whether I’m just plain relieved to see law enforcement doing the right thing for a change, as well as using more than two brain cells to put together a clue left behind by little Michael, or . . . Reese just moves me (I’ve gone against the grain before).
That scene, btw, was my first induction to Ms. Wuhrer’s Reese, and how she dealt with the problem of three missing children and little evidence, save for the paranoid rantings of a bunch of in-bred maniacs. (Let’s face it, Sonny had a million chances to kill Faith, when he wasn’t working with her, and blew it.) I could not believe she pieced nearly nothing together to come up with a piece of paper marked with crayon to spell Louise Anna, two words Michael overheard as the kidnappers were making their way into his room to take him and his little brother. Going into Reese’s head as she thought aloud, into Michael’s head, made me think of those ‘70s murder mysteries on TV and in novels (Poirot, anyone?).
I knew at that point, I wasn’t going to be dealing with a bimbo, and I’m sure Wuhrer is working hard to pull off this thinking woman’s role quite unlike her previous bimbo ones. She recently posted for fans at one of her tribute sites, thanking them for their support, welcoming new soap fans, expressing awe at the difficulty with which soap actors must turn out brilliant performances on a daily basis and hoping she won’t “suck.”
She far from sucks. As I told Max, maybe Grabow’s Rachel fares better because it’s easier to jump into the role of a psychopath, a bad girl, than a law enforcement official trying to do her job, keep a steady head, yet stay under the radar of her by-the-book bosses to get the job done. Reese isn’t supposed to be loud, brash, wacky and slutty; she’s supposed to be in control, a professional, as stifled up in a suit and tie without wearing a straitjacket. The challenge, therefore, is in whether Wuhrer can exude a little more, gradually, as if letting a little of her soul slip up, rather than pouring on the juice right off.
The dull non-presence Max (and fans who agree with her) sees, is – to me – a burning intensity and focus of a woman used to closing her cases, independently, rarely showing her hand, and I also sense, hiding a deeply scarred reason for such total control, perhaps similar in makeup to that of Sonny.
Time will tell.
Until I see worse, I’m loving how this kidnapping has affected those concerned with the three missing children. Every character involved, from Ric and Alexis, to Lorenzo and Carly, to even the unpredictably volatile Faith and Sonny, has stunned me into silence, awaiting their next move.
One of those missing children, Michael, has also turned out to be quite the unexpected little hero, using his evil for good, to protect his siblings and get them out of there. I don’t believe he’s dead. Faith has killed her grandmother, with regret, has shoved a pregnant Elizabeth down the stairs (unborn baby out of sight, out of mind), has tried to blow up Jason and Sonny, numerous crimes against humanity, but I cannot believe she would point a loaded weapon at a defenseless child and pull the trigger, not after the last holiday episode over a year ago where she caved in and gave her truck loads of ill-gotten toys to needy moppets in the town. This is another trick. It HAS to be.
Never have I been so eager to be taken for a fool.
More…to Sam [Beyond Breathy, week of Feb. 14, 2005]?
That's the problem, there isn't more and the idiots who created her or rather failed to create her never had anything layered or of depth down on paper.
By the way, as far as this fan is concerned, kudos to both [Sarah] Brown (ex-Carly) and now my dear [Tamara] Braun [(current soon-to-be-ex-Carly)] for portraying the best character in all daytime. They wrote that role for Brown and whatever the true reasons were for her leaving I just love her, for after 26 years of watching soaps and GH, she gave me my favorite character on soaps of all time, and I have had some favorites in my years of watching.
But there is no character, female or male except for maybe Luke that entertains me like Carly. And for the past three and a half years, Braun has made me want to continue the journey with Carly. And if they would only break the chains that have bound Carly even when Brown was in the role, we Carly fans would be overjoyed. Yes, the chains began, little did we Carly fans see it, they were definitely there as Brown's Carly was also being sent to her room by an oh so loving husband without dessert, just so that asshat could watch his whore of lawyer try to breathe through a paper bag.
Anyway, what Braun has managed to do despite the endless opposition is mature Carly just enough without rocking her impulsive, naughty, yet vulnerable core. However, she's been held hostage by a pairing with an actor who can't seem to hold his own as this started long before Braun took over the role.
Carly remains a character, at least in her fans’ eyes, who can stand on her own. Brown drew me in almost nine years ago and Braun made me want to stay.
For Carly fans, men have been nothing but props in Carly's story I don't care how they try to spin it. Sonny was a character that was never layered the way Carly was, he sings the same song no matter who he's with. He was brought on to support the Karen Wexler child molestation story line and if it was not for Vanessa Marcil, although her line delivery at first needed a lot of work, but if it was not for her and her fan base he would not have lasted this long. Lucky for him he's got those dimples which are something, I'll give him that, but that has long worn thin with me anyway.
I just think that a lot of characters have suffered because of Sonny central, Kelly Monacco actually has better acting chops than Vanessa Marcil, she's got some pretty good acting chops. And her line delivery is dead on when they don't have her whispering like some bimbo idiot, they are really insulting. But they screwed her because they seem to be unable to invest time in any other character than Sonny's. Carly is second on the list in their investment I will admit, but even my dear Carly falls victim to Sonny in that for some reason, they think that we forgot that Carly was ripping through men and PC, she was actually a Rick Lansing without the kidnapping part when she hit town. I mean she drugged AJ and threw him a dirty laundry basket, put him in an alley...I need not go on and all that, did not need a pairing to make me sit on the edge of my seat, I still loved her even more. Of course I don't know what that says about me, but I like what I like, ha.
There was no pairing needed, and never will be to make me sit glued to my screen when Carly is on. Hell Carly was on about two days [the other] week and her scenes with Alan (oh how I love Alan), and JD said volumes more than any of the other crap they keep trying to shove at me.
Although the highlight of the kidnapping story so far is comedic in that Kristina seems to be showing signs of life with her kidnapper, Faith, it is hilarious. She actually spoke words this week. I knew Faith was a great character and would have an impact on the canvas in more ways than one. Actually, Kristina shows signs of life with mostly everyone except her parents, it's hilarious.
And, Jason and Monica's scene had me as well, but I had to keep muting it and turning the channel to get that idiot Sam out of my line of vision so it screwed the whole scene for me. And I have always loved Jason and Monica's scenes because there are so few and it definitely shows the other side to Jason, he does have a mother for goodness sake and she is the head of cardiac surgery. When Lila was alive, rest her soul, in his scenes with her I always got to view the little boy inside of him.
But I guess this is a moot point because it
looks like the geniuses are killling off the Q's one by one, boy they are
soooooooo brilliant. O.K., enough ranting, I could go on and on but I
really need to stop, really I do, and I am sure you would agree, ha.