January 14, 2005
Kiss, cut to commercial, put shirt back on? That’s what I get for investing in a romance? Seriously, I thought for once I had a safe bet here. Jason is almost as front burner as they come. Sam’s tied to Sonny, so she’s important. Because that’s just how it works and I’ve accepted that. So what the heck happened? Two “important” characters actually interested me finally, and I somehow thought that it would be okay to let my guard down a bit and let a little soapy drama wash over me from 3pm to 4pm – a slot recently lacking in entertainment value. The buildup was a bit fast for me, but it made some sense and with the life altering circumstances the characters endured of late, I found it plausible enough. They really had me for a few days there; I leaned forward on occasion and even appreciated the little scene ending cliffhangers. Then…nothing.
I realize I’m probably irrationally irritated by this, but that’s because I *fell* for it, and I’m mostly angry with myself. I should’ve known better. I really did not think we’d get what we got. Pfft. I actually thought that maybe they were interrupted by the baby crying…I wondered, “wow, why didn’t they show the moment of disappointment when the baby wrecked “the moment”? But no, apparently they did the deed but someone thought it should be written in an ambiguous way because yeah, that’s how soaps operate. Two very nice looking main characters finally hit the sheets and we should all wonder what we missed I guess.
It’s not like I need or want long drawn out scenes, but in a case like this, there should be no doubt whether something happened or not. Every time Nikolas and Emily decide to throw down, we get a twenty-minute slow motion ick-fest and now, NOW the powers that be decide to give us the quickie version? I’ll be honest and say I have a pretty good idea of exactly why we got absolutely nothing out of the Jason/Sam culmination, and I think it sucks outright. It’s not that I care that much about watching two actors roll around on a bed, it’s the fact that I suspect the way the scenes played had little to do with the story. And that is just so wrong. That’s all I’m going to say about that. No wait, I’m going to make one other blanket statement on the issue: What is ruining this show is the fact that those in charge have lost sight of the fact that NO ONE is irreplaceable. There are several actors on GH that I have very high regard for and would feel rather bereft (in my TV viewing world anyway) about if they left, but I do not want any of them controlling story on a soap since they would inevitably be controlling it from a very narrow viewpoint. One person, playing one character, can probably not see past his or her own wishes and therefore cannot call the shots. It’s human nature for an actor to try, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but there has to be someone in charge that knows when enough is enough. And enough IS enough already.
The more I watch this show, the more I believe that the demands of a few are driving 75% of what I see on my screen. It certainly plays out that way, what with the constant cockiness and privilege displayed by actors through their characters. These characters *know* they’ll never suffer a bit. The actors are never forced to add a layer or two in case their character needs to reflect back. The direction is clear to all. And until we get head writers and producers that have a backbone and are willing to stand up for the *show* over individual characters, it will not change. It just won’t.
Now that I’ve talked about that for about two paragraphs longer than I said I would, I should add that none of this means that we aren’t graced with actors who are capable of doing exactly what I’m asking for. What started out as a very trite scene between Luke and Skye, actually brought up an interesting point or two. I’m a bit slow, but it just occurred to me that Luke is about the worst person for Skye to spend time with, since he most probably has an alcohol problem. The man goes on drunken binges several times a year, and then runs off to parts unknown rather than dealing with the fallout. I liked it when she walked away from his misery. I wasn’t sure I liked it when she walked back in, but it felt real. I enjoy their frank discussion of his history, which is also integral show history. I appreciated the naked emotion that was swinging back and forth in the room, starting with their seemingly light little dance and turning quickly into something rather dark for a few minutes there.
I also very much enjoyed Ric and Alexis’ breakup. Which seems odd since I like them together and mostly am rooting for them to make something of their messed up little co-existence. The thing is, for once, there were two sides to the story and neither was invalid. I honestly think that is the one thing I miss most about good soap viewing. I love it when I can watch a story unfold and see where a viewer could take either character’s side without feeling as though they have to ignore big neon signs over the characters heads that say “right” or “wrong” in order to do it. Ric was absolutely wrong to lie about his knowledge of Kristina’s parentage, particularly knowing how far out on a limb Alexis had already gone to trust that he was with her for the right reasons. He was also absolutely right about the fact that Alexis was looking for a way out and would’ve found one anyway, it just *is* what she does. Alexis had every right to throw him out, to assume that she’s a means to a Sonny end. It was obvious that she also has accepted the truth of what she does in relationships and maybe for the first time seemed to really regret that she does it. There was a moment where I could buy she was finally truly frightened by the idea that she will always want a way out of everything. There was also a moment where I bought that Ric saw himself and his actions from her view and hated what he saw. When things were happening with Liz, I never felt he “got” it – at least not until much later.
It’s really not that fun to be the person who always wants out before they get hurt, and this time it played that way. No runaway bride, no paper bags…just quiet devastating acceptance. It’s interesting to me that Ric recognizes exactly what Alexis is about…one could argue that he’s been doing the same thing in the relationships we’ve witnessed him in so far, though his execution is more extravagant. I really hope this story continues in a way that respects the characters involved and respects the viewer’s investment in them. That would be a very nice surprise.
Now I’m going to go contemplate how much fun it would’ve been if the prison guard had interrupted the conjugal visit to tell Natalia Livingston’s Emily that her fifteen minutes were up.
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