Time for a "check up" on
ABC's Daytime Drama and
Just a little note
about today’s GH…
Finally, my prayers to the Gods of All Things Soapy have been answered: THIS is what we watch soap operas for. Today’s eppy----awesome, purely awesome. The flashbacks of Anna Lee with the various actors/actresses were classy and showed the character of Lila at her best---dispensing love, hope, and wisdom to those she loved. This was the BEST, most emotionally gripping General Hospital episode that I have seen in years, hands down---and this is only Day One of this storyline! I willingly admit that I bawled like a baby for the entire episode---and not just little sniffles. We are talking non-stop tears running down my face and neck, wringing my hands, a little snot run-off, my 4-year-old daughter asking me why I was crying and who hurt me, and my husband thinking I’m entirely nuts for being so broken-up over the death of a fictional character…Pfft! What do men really know about the world of soaps anyway? As it has been wisely said before, “Men simply do NOT belong in the soap world--except Sage.”…But what people like my clueless husband don’t realize is that we weren’t just broken up over the loss of Lila; we were feeling the sorrow of those left behind. The actors/actresses reactions to the news of Lila’s death were honest, keeping with character, and simply heartbreaking, in most cases.
Jane Elliot’s portrayal of Tracy’s grief today wowed me. Here she was, her usual bitchy self, going off on Justus and Edward, when she finally noticed that daddy wasn’t rising to the fight, for once. She looked at Edward, and kept saying “Daddy, what is it?”, but you could already tell that she knew from Edward‘s dire expression, and her voice started faltering, the color draining from her face…
In this scene, as they looked at a picture of Lila that had been placed on the coffee table in front of the two, you got the feeling that Tracy and Edward were like any other normal, loving father and daughter duo, mourning the loss of a loved one. Edward stroked her hair lovingly, put his hand on her shoulder, trying to give his daughter comfort, even while fighting his own apparent grief…
…speaking of Edward…
Say what you’d like about nuEdward, and I’ll more than likely agree with you, but for only sharing a short, couple scenes with Anna Lee before her passing, I think Jed Allan did an okay job of portraying Edward’s grief. I think if John Ingle had still been in the role, things would have been much more heartbreaking, as he had worked with Anna Lee for years, and would have had more personal grief over her passing to have drawn his performance from. But, he’s not, and while we could sit around wishing it, it’s not going to change it. Things are as they are. While not being as emotionally deep or poignant as Jane‘s or Stuart‘s (Alan), Jed Allan did his grief scenes justice today.
Now, back to Tracy. I was pleasantly, and happily, surprised that TSAW---“Sarahspeak” for The Stupid Ass Writers---kept true to the character. Tracy’s turbulent emotions ran the gamut today---defiant, angry, scared, shocked, resigned, and grief-stricken---and Jane Elliott portrayed each facet flawlessly. For Tracy, in her grief, to yell at Lois to shut up, and for her to go off on the family finally being gathered together because her mother was dead, was so true to character. PURELY Tracy.
And for her to finally break down and pleadingly, miserably, and horrifically call out, “I want my mommy! I want my mommy!“, was also very true to her character. Tracy might have be a lot of things, but first and foremost, she was her mama’s little girl. The one person she counted on for hope and love in this world was suddenly gone, and a watching a bereft, bewildered Tracy screaming for her mommy was heart-wrenching.
If we had just seen Tracy cry today, and mumble a few things here and there, I would have been sadly disappointed. KUDOS to the team that wrote these scenes. They were phenomenal.
I also have to give BIG thumbs up to the scenes of Jason’s reaction to the news. Again, keeping with character, we didn’t see a grief stricken Jason prostrating himself to the family and begging for Edward’s love and/or forgiveness, but we didn’t see the usual Jas-Bot either, merely blinking an eye in acknowledgement of his grandmother’s passing.
We saw Jason talking to Emily about how she had spent so much time doing things with Lila, and Jason looking sad and almost regretful that he hadn’t. We saw his eyes tearing up as he recalled sharing those peppermint candies with her.
We saw him enter the Q household, looking for the entire world that he was uncomfortable being there, but at the same time, as though there was no where else he would want to be at a time like that. We saw him give his support to both Monica and Alan.
But perhaps most tellingly, we saw Jason go to leave, and instead, turn around and squat in front of Edward, and saying NOTHING at all. Such a huge moment hidden as a simple, heartbreaking gesture, as if Jason were so entirely lost as to what he could ever say to ease the pain of this man who’d just lost the love of his life, and as if Jason himself could find no words to tell Edward just how much he loved his grandmother, and how sorry he was that he didn’t spend as much time with her as he should have. In that moment, Jason at Edward’s knee, he was speechless with grief.
But, OH how my heart broke when Edward, usually gruff with Jason, reached out almost lovingly to him, and gently told him that out of all the Q’s, Jason was most like Lila herself. The twist of the knife came when Edward said “You have her eyes.” and stroked Jason’s cheek with a very soft, grandfatherly touch. How SB could NOT have broke down bawling while filming this one scene, I will never know. Out of any scene aired today, that and “I want my mommy!” were the most damningly heartbreaking and sorrowful in my opinion.
Other observations of today’s eppy:
As Alan cried and clutched at his heart as it broke today in the hospital, I was clutching my own. Stuart Damon did a very wonderful job of using his own shock and grief over Anna Lee‘s death for his performance today.
Like the character of Edward, this is another situation where a lot of us may have been wishing that the predecessor of the role were still portraying the character. But, again, things are as they are, and we can’t altar them. I don’t think Natalia did an outright horrible job, but she wasn’t able to draw me in either. She didn’t make me feel that the character was truly grief-stricken. When she told Lucky and Nik about Lila’s passing, and later, as she was talking with Jason about Lila, one got the impression that Emily wasn’t portrayed as sorrowful or bereft as the character should have been. Natalia’s semi-whimpering and borderline emotionless expression left me with the distinct impression that Emily looked upon Lila’s passing with as much emotion as she would have on a bad hair day.
While Tracy is definitely not a candidate for a “Mother of the Year” award, I couldn’t help but notice how both Dillon and Ned were right by their mom‘s side. How sweet, and entirely unexpected, was that?
I really liked how Felicia shared with the Georgie how Lila was not only wise and wonderful, but infinitely made of strong stock. If anyone ruled the Q’s, it was Lila---with gentle hands, soft spoken words, and a spine of forged steel. The respect that these three young actresses and John J. York had for Anna Lee was very evident in their eyes, as they toasted Lila with strawberry ice cream---her favorite.
In closing, there is one other item I would like to share, and that is: I am a believer.
Yes---the Brooklyn accent comes and goes in spurts, and the majority of the time, the character sounds like a cheap 1930’s moll from some cheap B-movie Yes---Lois was never a character that would have ever have forced anyone to do something they didn’t really have their heart in, most especially her own daughter. Yes---the pointy-finger thing is absolutely annoying, and I know more than one of us has shouted at the TV just where she can stick it. Yes---Lesli Kay’s portrayal of Lois is almost entirely different than what Rena Sofer’s was.
But, different doesn’t always mean bad. I loved Rena in the role, but I also was liking Lesli’s attempts at making the role her own---and I figured the finger pointing thing will eventually go the same way as Natalia’s blinking-every-two-seconds phase, and will disappear in a couple of months or so.
However, what I saw today sealed my impression of Lesli Kay and of her in the role of Lois. By gum, people, she did a stellar job today.
In my entire daytime viewership, never before had I seen a newcomer to a soap opera perform a scene such as this---where their character loses somebody who was very special to them---SO entirely convincingly! Watching Lois mourn the death of the ONLY Quartermaine that ever made sense to her, and hearing her regret that she kept Brook Lynn from really knowing Lila, it was almost as if Lesli had been Lois from the beginning. This one thing about the character of Lois, the special friendship she had with Lila, was kept true. I’d heard from fans of “As the World Turns” that she as a good actress, and it was very wonderfully evident today in her stunning performance.
Day 2 and 3 are shaping up to be just as awesomely amazing, and as my readers know, for me to describe General Hospital in such glowing terms, it must be really, REALLY good…or I’m really, REALLY wasted on his Highness, Lord Calvert. Be that as it may, do yourselves a favor: Watch, tape, or listen to GH the next couple days if you haven’t tuned in yet. You, too, will remember that stuff like this is what we watch soap operas for.
Many thanks to http://groups.msn.com/GHWorld5/ for the use of their wonderful screen caps!