a Wonderful Show… Isn’t It?
I love this time of year, and as I get older it becomes increasingly easier to see the good in things, and to be grateful for what I have. Of course, that also makes the things that really suck, well, really suck; because when you’re surrounded by good, the bad can stand out.
The other night, I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite movies, It’s a Wonderful Life, on the big screen. I have seen that movie 50,000 times. In fact, if you have never seen it, give me a call, and I’ll come over to your house and perform it for you. No need to offer me anything but egg nog in return (heavy on the nog, if you don’t mind), and maybe a cookie or two.
For those of you who haven’t seen this movie, doubtless you have seen the story on one of your favorite TV sitcoms, dramas, novels, short stories, or re-made-for-TV movies: Down-on-his-luck average guy George Bailey hits the low point of his life on Christmas Eve, and feeling like he’s failed everyone in his life, he considers suicide. His guardian angel, Clarence, appears, and grants George’s wish that he was never born. George is allowed to see how HE has affected everyone in his life. The town, Bedford Falls, without George Bailey and his interceding on behalf of the citizens, was turned into a hell pit called Pottersville, by the richest, meanest, evilest, awfulest, dirtiest, slimiest, yickiest man in town, Henry Potter.
As I was peeking at the soap mags later that night, trying to figure out the status and the state of affairs on my beloved GH (which replaced my beloved AW for me, but that is another essay), I realized that we have an evil monster turning our show into a virtual Pottersville. Several monsters, which will be lumped into one for the sake of this essay: A Pratt. A Guza. A Phelps. A Frons. We shall call this monster, in traditional Suessian scientific terms, Pruzaphelpons.
Pruzaphelpons doesn’t care about the little guy – the viewer. It is shaping the town of GH (and all its characters and actors) into a ghastly ghost town hell pit just so it can make more money and have more power (for the sake of this essay, anyway – because Clarence only knows why Pruzahelpons does what it does). At any rate, the viewers are suffering the consequences and are reduced to begging for scraps of their favorite show.
And as angry as I am – I don’t suffer even half the turmoil some of the other fans, for I have only been watching but a matter of years. I cannot imagine the pain, agony, and turmoil of someone that’s been a fan since Day 1, for this poor individual has been stomped, on, chewed up, spit out, stomped on again, and then laughed at maniacally by the Pruzaphelpons. This is a process of insulting, you, the viewer, that goes back years and years in development.
It is called The Vicky/Marley Factor. This was the earliest evidence recorded (although, probably not the first) of one of the Pruzaphelpons core evil attributes, also known as JFP:
Under JFP’s reign at Another World, the viewer was given the ultimate insult. The viewer was asked to believe that one identical twin could be injured in a fire, and “plastic surgery” would render one twin four inches taller and with a different eye color and bone structure than the other “identical” twin. You are stupid, viewer, this said to us. We don’t care what you think, viewer. We are only in it for the money and POWAHHHHHH……!!!
And so today, we are being asked to believe by later, more evolved generations of what is now the Pruzaphelpons to believe:
§ That characters the viewer has loved for years simply vanish in thin air.
§ That teenagers really dress in tank tops when its 20 below in New York and then squeal, giggling, “I’m freeeezing!”
§ That little blondes with hardly any weight on them are able to fell tough guys with a single karate chop.
§ That women go around randomly slapping each other.
§ That teenagers should have unprotected sex with people they not only do not love, but don’t even like.
§ That people who are mobsters are the good guys, who normally accidentally shoot their wives in the heads and invite their wives potential paramours into their penthouses as soon as they are done having sex: Um…ew?
Actually, the mobster aspect doesn’t bother me that much, because given the crap they have to work with, the actors are mesmerizing. I can stand three of the Fab Four. The fourth can be run out of Pottersville on a rail for all I care (of course she’d probably beat anyone up who tried to run her out of town, but I won’t mention any names, Courtney).
I know that a lot of fans who have been with the show years longer than I are insulted that the show is basically about the mob. I’m not insulted by that, though – I’m amused that it has been allowed to go that far. What I am insulted by, though, is that what I did believe to be the core of GH is being destroyed.
Here are recent years of firings and screw-you-GH’s brought on by the Pruzaphelpons:
§ First, Laura leaves – she was never one of my favorite characters, but when one half of the most ultimate love story in the entire world leaves – you’ve got issues, man.
§ The “I’m Walking, Yes Indeed” exits of Felicia, Roy, Stefan (twice?), Brenda (maybe that doesn’t count?), Taggart, and others.
§ The why’d-ya-bother hirings and firings of NuMaxie, NuSarah, Kristina the Mouth, etc.
§ The waste of potential with Cameron, Sonny’s hottie bodyguards, and Coleman.
§ The “I’ve had enough” exit of the fabulous Billy Warlock (you can do way better, Billy).
§ The exit of GH’s sacrificial lamb, Zander Smith.
§ The excessive use of Carly As Victim.
§ The ridiculously common use of Elizabeth As Victim (she’s second choice for Sacrificial Lamb, although she is kinda stupid).
§ The destruction of the potential of the character of Ric Lansing, who is so good at being evil that people forget the actor is actually a nice guy – I would look for the AJ Quartermaine syndrome to affect Ol’ Ric at some point.
§ The insulting “relegated to background” status of Bobbie, Audrey, Tony, etc.
§ The even more insulting dismissal complete with fade to background of Scotty, the most misused character of the year (look out, Ric Lansing, if the AJ syndrome doesn’t get you, the Scotty syndrome will).
And, I could go on and on and on. You see? Pruzaphelpons DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU! This town needs this building and loan if only to have a place for people to go without crawling to Potter… Oh, I’m sorry, I got swept away to Bedford Falls.
How to deal with this? Frankly, I am afraid to like GH now – I know that whatever I like will just be taken away from me. It is like when you are window shopping; you see something that you simply must have; then you look at the price and know you can’t, or someone else buys it, or burns it, or whatever – we are not to enjoy GH as long as the Pruzaphelpons is in power.
In conclusion, my list of Do’s and Don’t’s to survive the Pruzaphelpons’ Reign of Terror:
§ Don’t send them letters – they don’t care. Send them to someone who does care. Do what Sage and Katrina say to do. Something has got to give, right?
§ Don’t wait for things to get better – they may not.
§ Do come to accept that if you choose to be a viewer, you will have to accept this as the best possible outcome for now. Take it one episode at a time.
§ Do remember that the show WAS good; remember all your favorite parts, and enjoy it when the Pruzaphelpons throws you a “remember when…” Rise above the anger if possible, and love the show again in spite of the monster.
§ Do get angry at the Pruzaphelpons, and remember that you can change the channel. They won’t know or care that your changing the channel, but you can change the channel.
§ Do also remember that the show could be canceled. I quickly found out after AW’s cancellation that an AW that treated me like an idiot was better than no AW at all (thank you, Soap Net, I love you). If you decide not to watch anymore, just remember that it could be gone all together one day. That may make the pain more bearable.
And so we have the true meaning of the holidays – when something sucks, love it anyway. Pruzaphelpons aside, the show is there for us, and we can still love parts of it, even if Pruzaphelpons is hell bent on destroying it. This is, I suppose, the most “George Bailey” we can get. We can be a George Bailey to ourselves, if you will.
We can remember the good times: The Luke and Laura-ness, the Bobbie and Scotty relationship potential, the scenes with Mike in them, the GOOD writing and dialogue, the original Lucky and the FINE-ness of the current one, and we can find even more things to love about it, like the looks of Sonny and Jason, the potential of Luke and Skye, the incredibly funny and adorable Dillon, and we can remember the pre-long hair days of hunky Ted King.
“To my brother, George Bailey – the richest man in town!”
“For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
For Auld Lang Syne,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne…”
The Muse Archives