The Wind Beneath Their Wings
By Robin Vaicius 

As I sat down in front of my computer a few days ago, wine jug an arm’s length away, taped GH eppies playing in front of me, I began a comprehensive, awe-inspiring journalistic piece regarding the supporting cast members, mainly Bobbie, Monica, Alan, and Tony, and why I didn’t feel the need for their unnecessary presence onscreen.  I prepared this article well, put it into format, and was almost set to send it away.  Only a few minor adjustments were needed, and then it would be in Sage’s inbox.   

However, as I watched recent episodes where all characters came together in the tragic wake of the Carly/Alkie shooting, I began to recognize the importance of these characters, for the one thing that I’d thought was dominant in General Hospital:  continuity.  Of course, all you smarties out there already knew what I’d failed to recognize.  These characters are an essential part of the tale, and I suppose I didn’t miss them because they’d been off-screen for so long that it just seemed natural to me that they NOT be there.  Watching for the past few days, and really taking in some powerful scenes between Alkie, Carly, Jason, Sonny, and Courtney, I also became quite aware of the missing links that I didn’t know were missing.  As Bobbie berated Sonny for ruining her daughter’s life, as Tony held up the X-rays and delivered Sonny the devastating catch-22, as Monica assisted in removing the bullet from poor Carly’s brain, I realized that the storylines are superbly enhanced with those archetypes present in the scenes.   

I suppose my main argument was that these characters had their front-burners, and now they were what they were:  a supporting cast.  However, in writing the article, and watching their powerful performances as the support team, I recognized the exact point that all you GH freaks were trying to portray to lost souls like myself.  They weren’t even receiving adequate supporting cast air.  They got nothing.             

I can concede gracefully.   

I was wary of plots that involved Bobbie in yet another tragic love story.  I didn’t want an Alan’s addiction redux, or Monica screeching “It’s my house” as if our dead horse wasn’t beaten, stabbed, set on fire and then shot.  It didn’t even occur to me that Monica’s subtle presence by Emily’s side was deafening.   

I am truly dumbfounded by my new discovery.  So yes, I can now look forward to hopefully smart writing toward a stellar supporting cast.   

Having this week’s journalistic masterpiece crash and burn, I needed new direction.  I decided to focus on a negative thought, on something that really fires me up about GH, and to really rip about what I deem as devastating character destruction, instead of writing some flowery beautiful bullshit about the wonders of newfound love and premarital sex.  Without any further ado, let’s discuss Alexis.   

Once again, a quick recap of my GH viewing history, I began watching in 1999, the day of Brenda’s famed death.  At that time, Alexis and Ned were a huge item, and suffice to say, I fell for them just as most fans did.  They were the gatekeepers, the peacemakers, and the lovemakers all in one fell swoop, and they were giddy, lovely, and inspiring.  When they were ripped apart by bad writing, I was more than agonized, I was enraged.  I know that all good couples must come to an end in soap land, but hell, couldn’t there be a better ending than a runaway bride ripoff?   

Seeing her transformed from a strong, sensual, neurotic and extremely formidable woman into a psychotic, trembling, fearful shadow of what she’d once been was heartbreaking.  Seeing her slapped around by random power chicks, watching her prance around as Dobson (despite the fact that her performance was intensely comedic), observing her sink into a shell of despair over the loss of her sister, her daughter, AND her brother, I realized one truism in this complete annihilation of her character.  I discovered that Nancy Lee Grahn deserves an Emmy, an Oscar…hell, give the gal a Grammy…because no matter what shit story she got, she acted the living hell out of it.   

This, of course, is where the problem lies.  I care so much about the actress behind the character that I am utterly irked by the tales they weave for the Alexis I grew to love.  She’s far too clever for the likes of sleazy (but still likeable) Scotty, she’s far too independent and unemotional for Sonny’s insulting condescension, she’s far too intelligent and cool to be upstaged by Ric’s new hotshot lawyer routine, and she’s far too witty for Skye’s desperate wannabe mommy act.  Yes, I am disappointed.  Alexis was the one character that I thought was portrayed realistically.  Calmly.  Coolly.  She was smooth as chocolate puddin’ and frigid as ice.   

What happened to her?  Manipulated by Stefan’s scheme?  Ripped from her daughter?  Demeaned by Sonny?  Humiliated by everyone in town that came into contact with her?  Where’s the goddamn justice?  I’ve read the assertions that she pissed someone important off.  I honestly don’t care why they f*cked her up, I just want them to fix her.  NOW.   

She became the hero for most women.  She was the person that, like Sonny, couldn’t be touched.  She threatened with truth, justice, the American way, and a bit of legal twisting.  People feared her presence in the courtroom.  They feared her intellectual prowess.  Her cool demeanor, her strong posture, her steely gaze.  I liked that they humanized her a bit with the Sonny affair, even if I was a Carly/Sonny fan.  I liked that they made her face her neurosis, but I would’ve loved to see her bounce back, I would’ve loved to see her become more unemotional.  I would’ve loved to see her slap the living shit out of anyone that dared to lay a hand on her.  I would’ve loved for her to not only let Sonny know he was the father, but legally tie him up so that he couldn’t possibly get custody.  I would’ve loved to see her as the field mouse in jackal’s fur.    

Did you ever notice that Alexis could get Sonny out of anything, but now her legal arguments mean jack shit?  Random thought…I apologize and digress…. 

In closing, I would like to first thank y’all for dealing with my unstructured diatribe about supporting casts and the demoralization of Alexis.  I would love for Alexis and Ric to go head-to-head in a high profile case (the state vs Luke Spencer????) and for Ms. Natasha to wipe the floor with his incompetent yellow-belly practices.   

And for next week….I have no clue.  I am too pissed off about the blackballing of Nancy Lee Grahn, and how if they would just throw her a crumb, she could turn it into a seven-tiered cake.  See ya next week…

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