Comments through Friday, November 12, 2004   

Why do you watch soaps?  I could write several paragraphs explaining why I watch soaps, but why bother?  I watch soaps because of weeks like last week on GH.  Tears, laughter, tenderness, anger, rebuke, regret, bitterness, love - take your pick Ė they reached out from my television screen and grabbed my emotions.  In the end it boils down to entertainment value.  If GH didnít regularly pull me in and involve me with my favorite characters, Iíd have no problem hitting the off switch and filling my time with another activity.  Sweeps raise the bar of intensity, like eating a couple bites of milk chocolate and then taking a bite of dark chocolate - intense, satisfying, almost too much of a great taste.  Iím finding it difficult to write commentary because the adjectives of admiration begin to sound repetitive Where to startÖ. 

So many moments brought me to tears.  Sonny yelling ďNo!Ē when Carly told him that Samís baby died; Jason losing motor skills trying to absorb the loss; Jason in silhouette holding and kissing the baby while Liz looked on with the sympathy pouring out of her; Jason holding Sonny, comforting him in his first agonizing moments of grief; Alexis turning at last to the father of her baby, Sonny, and hugging him; Jason sitting on the floor in the hallway of the hospital comforting Sam.  Talk about what makes GH great!   

She handed up Emmy reel material!  Nancy Lee Grahn had me on the edge of my seat this week both crying with and yelling at her as she fought for the Kristinaís life.  And for the record, I agree, Alexis wouldnít sacrifice one hair on Kristinaís head so her argument to Sam reeked.  She was absolutely horrible bullying Sam and begging Sonny.  She was also absolutely justified as she tried every avenue to save Kristina.  Sonny stated it correctly when he called Alexis a liar for saying that sheíd have induced labor.  Alexisí every action regarding her daughter have demonstrated her inability to share, to think outside the box of safety sheís created for Kristina which is the very trait that makes her both a fierce protective mama and weak with fear unable to cope with issues outside of Kristinaís medical crises.   

Ric showed his true stripes and heís definitely a stripey guy.  He turned into scum again by handing Sonny that restraining order. Good in a couple aspects, Ric is completely without moral constraints in other areas.  Looking out for Alexis, protecting Kristina, I buy that heís not faking the caring.  That being said, all bets are off when it comes to Sonny.  Right and wrong donít compute in him.  I always think that it eats up Ric that Sonny doesnít care about him.  No matter how much he professes to hate his brother a part of him yearns for Sonny to care.  When Sonny shows Ric that he doesnít rate on Sonnyís list of important people, Ric lashes out like a rejected child seeking attention.  One day heís thanking Sonny for signing the papers for the stem cells and the next heís handing him a restraining order.  Why didnít Alexis stand up and say anything?  Like, ďRic, you should have asked me first.Ē  Or tell Sonny she had no part of it.  I was doing a head shake at her wimpy reaction until later when she turned to Sonny and put her arms around him.  Oh my, I was undone. 

Two scenes later the ugly came out again,

But for this one moment they were simply two parents afraid for their daughter. 

Many, many years ago my younger brother died in a car accident.  My mother and father, divorced, hadnít spoken in several years preferring to communicate when absolutely necessary through notes.  The night my brother died, my father arrived at our house and my mother walked into his arms.  Itís a sight that lives in my memory as the most pure and honest moment I ever saw between them even though it was brought about through soul mangling grief.  I glimpsed a similar moment when Alexis turned to Sonny, terrified for her daughter.  The father of her child was the person she needed to connect with on a primal level.   

Alexis gripped me all week until she showed up at Samís doorway.  I told her it wasnít a good idea.  I told her to go back to Kristinaís room but did she listen?  No.  She sat at Samís bedside to thank her.  She meant well, Iíll give her that, but it was selfish and self absorbed of her to shove her gratitude into the face of a mother freshly mourning the loss of her baby.  Especially after ushering Sam into unconsciousness with her guilt inducing bully whip.  Alexis knew that Sam didnít sign the papers to approve using the stem cells since she happened to be unconscious at the time.  Did Alexis think Sam would look at her with understanding and happiness that Kristina would live?  Pfft!   

Likewise, Sonny impressed me throughout the week except when he stood over Kristinaís crib assuring her that he would be taking her home with him.  Did anyone else want to tap him on the forehead and ask if anyone was home in there?  Even Sonny should be able to grasp that it might not be the best plan to assure a toddler, because toddlers make literal translations, sheíll be going home with a stranger and not her Mommy the anchor in her world.    

I liked how Carly stayed in the background.  Unable to tear herself away while Sonnyís world fell apart, she was supportive but not intrusive. 

Right up until they pulled the curtains I was hoping for a miracle for Samís baby.  I didnít want the baby to die!  Tears ran off and on all week but they ran the hardest when Jason held the baby and said good bye while Liz watched his silhouette tenderly kiss the infant.  Words were redundant as Lizís sympathetic expression expressed her caring.  By making the scene less graphic, I felt the emotion more strongly because my attention wasnít pulled away by visual details.  Sadness also overwhelmed me when Jason held Sonny in his first grief stricken moments as he wept for the daughter heíd never see or hold.  Who better to comfort Sonny than the friend he trusts emotionally and who loved Samís baby too?  When men cry, I usually cry too.  The emotions seem bigger since men donít cry as often or as easily as women.  Women cry and occasionally Iíll tear up, men cry and the waterworks begin. 


The reason they are GHís heavy hitters is because they can

pull off scenes like these.

Well done. 

By Thursday I felt emotionally spent and I didnít think Iíd be shedding more tears even though Samís pain as she dealt with losing her baby touched me.  Jason wept with her and by not hiding his grief but not making the scene about him; I felt their connection moving to a deeper level.  I kept my tears in check until Sam painfully made her way to the nursery determined to find her little girl.  She crumpled to the floor as Jason helped her face the awful truth and Jason supported her.  The scene where Jason sat on the floor in the hallway comforting Sam pushed my emotional buttons.  I think Iím ready for another Cataclysmic Event because the tearfest is a rough ride.

Emotional support is a precious and
rare gift.  Iím beginning to root
for Jason and Sam.

Iím glad that Sam didnít wake up perfect and skinny. 

No, that wasnít an earthquake you felt, it was the Journey fans jumping up and down in spasms of ecstasy when Courtney told Jason she loved him and wanted to comfort him while he grieves over Samís baby.  Of course the happy shivers of joy from the Liason fans mingled into the mix as Jasonís women appeared to comfort and support my favorite tough guy on daytime.  

Courtney looked beautiful in her light blue evening gown but my immediate thought when I saw her was, ďGee, you look fantastic, but do you know where Diego is?Ē  After Diego left her in bed with Jax, as far as the storyline goes, she never actually found him hiding behind the wall at Kellyís.  Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.  I say we take up a petition and kick her out of the foster parent system.  This blip of a storyline pushes all my protect-children buttons and I donít mean in a good way.

Hello, Diego?

Are you hiding in the fireplace? 

Last week the mystery question was what prize the grown ups around Kristina were using to make a 2-1/2 year old lay still in a hospital bed.  This week the big mystery concerns Connorís revolving accent.  Itís sorta backwoods, Cajun, New Jerseyish.  Mostly it sounds like heís talking with too much spit in his mouth, inserting ainít several times into his sentences.  If anyone figures it out, please e-mail and let me know. 

When Connor, Nikolas and Emily have a scene I find myself watching camera angles, trying to figure out the taping sequence.  Itís a marvelous ballet.  According to one of the soap magazine (sorry, I donít remember which one) Tyler Christopher tapes his Connor scenes in the morning and his Nikolas scenes in the afternoon.  Sounds sensible, straightforward, but then I began watching the conversations.  Usually Emily stands between Connor and Nikolas turning to face one and then the other.  So Natalia Livingston must tape her scenes twice, with Connor and then with Nikolas, so the amazing techy people can splice together dialogue and camera angles.  Next time you watch a scene notice that when Nikolas delivers a line thereís a stand in actor showing Connorís arm or shoulder facing Nikolas and the same thing when Connor delivers a line.  Meanwhile, Emily turns from one to the other delivering her lines and reacting to both Connor and Nikolas.  The whole premise of one person, two characters boggles my mind with its time consuming complexity.  I may mock some aspects of the storyline, but I definitely admire the actors and crew people who put the scenes together.

But Nikolas, I only let him kiss me because
he kidnapped me. Iím sure you can
understand the undeniable attraction.

My favorite funny line this week came from John Durant telling Carly she couldnít stay with Sonny.  ďI forbid it.Ē  I burst out laughing.  Poor John, he has so far to go with Carly.  Heís in for a rough ride. 

Itís about time Carly refused to accept Michaelís bad behavior.  Itís fine to understand where her son is coming from and why heís lashing out, but that certainly doesnít mean Michael should be allowed to behave disrespectfully.  Michael lives in an extreme world far away from the reality of a normal child so Iím glad that heís not all sweetness and light.  However, one of my personal pet peeves is when a child behaves badly and the parent shrugs and gives that look to whoever sees as if to say, ďWhat can I do?Ē  I always want to march over and tell them what to do.  Donít get me wrong, I donít believe in beatings, but I do believe that the adults must be the figurative wall in front of a child saying, ďthis is right, that is wrongĒ even if the lesson has to be learned 500 times.  And sometimes the lessons do have to be learned over and over and over.  How can a child learn right from wrong if the authority figures donít (lovingly) tell them as many times as necessary important stuff like it is unacceptable to disrespect your mother and father or lie or eavesdrop or run away or chew with his mouth open, etc.  Apparently, Mikey is a 500 time wall hitter.

How many times do I have to
tell you, you are not allowed
 to take Maxís gun and hide it from him.

Heatherís playing Luke and Skye while Luke cons Heather.  Part of me is glad for any storyline that brings Luke and Skye to my screen.  Iím glad that Heatherís story is moving along.  Pretty soon sheíll move right off the canvas which will be fine with me.  Looking at the positive, Heather does make a fine foil for Tracey and the rest of the Qís to practice their barbed comments on. 

It wouldnít be a soap without a couple oddities for pondering: 

-         One Kristina sideline scene threw me and that was Brook Lynnís grand emotion regarding her sick half sister that she never had a scene with before.  Itís not like weíve received any relationship hints for Brook Lynn and Kristina so her broken hearted grief over Kristina and anger at Nedís paternity lies gave me a ďHuh?Ē moment before I moved on to the important stuff. 

-         Youíd think that Lorenzo would get tired of being banished.  Lois demands that he leave her alone (not that she means it), Brook Lynn orders him away from her mother whenever they share a scene, and Carly sent him away when he showed up at her brand new cottage door.  Poor guy. 

-         WHY would Emily have Maryís diary in her cupboard?  A little light bedtime reading studying the psychopathic tendencies of war widows? 

-         Dr. Stephen Webberís body language throws me.  He delivers serious lines but heíll do it with expressions and mannerisms like heís excited.  He issues dire warnings to Durant about hurting Carly but his mannerisms suggest theyíre discussing a recent baseball game.  Itís like heís memorized his lines but heís playing a different story.  I get that heís supposed to be a hotshot doctor willing to color outside the lines.  But even hotshot doctors shouldnít look like an eager puppy wagging its tail in emotionally charged soapy moments.  I donít dislike the character (yet) but Iím wondering if maybe the actorís definition doesnít match the characterís scenes.  Some brash defiance, colored with intensity might make the scenes flow more smoothly. 

Iíve been staying away from spoilers but I peeked this week and a couple made laugh. 

 Heather uses a pillow in an attempt to smother Edward.  (GHFF)

As opposed to what?  A cheese grater?   

Brook goes on the lam with Diego.  (GHFF)

Once a runaway, always a runaway.  Sheís gonna have a seriously hard time if she insists on packing all her jewelry. 

Luke kisses Heather.  (GHFF)

Yuck!  Does he have to? 

I finished a good book last week, and then I sighed with pleasure and put it down knowing that Iíll probably read lots of average books before I find one that really grabs me again.  I also watched an exciting week of ďGeneral HospitalĒ and Iím anticipating another enjoyable week watching GH.  There are days when Iím not thrumming with excitement during GH; however, I know that another day will roll by soon which captivates me.  Itís because with a soap, there may be a couple slow chapters but I always have interesting characters to fall back on.  I love a good story where the characters come alive in my mind.  GH gives me that 5 days a week, 52 weeks of the year and the characters donít last for 300 pages and then disappear from my life.  I dread finishing a good book but I anticipate another week of GH.  Being a soap fan rocks! 

Donít forget to buy your turkey in time to thaw before Thanksgiving if you celebrate with traditional food.  Donít be like me several times in my life where Iím filling the sink with water the night before and soaking the bird frantically wishing that I hadnít forgotten to put the turkey in the frig days before.  Iíll be cooking and thinking happy thankful thoughts, like isnít it wonderful that calories donít count on Thanksgiving or in any Thanksgiving leftovers?  Itís a dietary rule.  I checked.  Have a wonderful week.




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Kathy Hardeman with
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  Thanks to Woman2Woman GH Screencaps II for the screen cap