February 1, 2004 

The last two weeks of General Hospital have left me oddly depressed.  GH is often depressing, but the odd part comes in when you consider that the last two weeks were all about Sonny and Carly breaking up.  Finally, after years of complaining about that marriage, I知 getting exactly what I want!  So why am I feeling down about it?   

I知 not actually feeling bad about the breakup, it has been long overdue and seems rather fitting.  I知 not feeling bad for either Sonny or Carly, for the most part, because they both deserve pretty much what they池e getting.  The only explanation I can come up with that explains my general malaise about the whole thing is that with nothing to balance out all the screaming, yelling, crying and posturing, I知 just left to feel worn out after I watch.  Frankly, I知 ticked about it too because this should be quite rejuvenating to the show.  This should be great drama.  Unfortunately, GH chose to backdrop it against Courtney (the one member of the 殿irtime to spare troupe that actually seemed to have potential as a thinking, breathing, real-live individual for like five minutes) shooting a police officer on duty.   This 登n duty thing is apparently a very confusing premise to herno surprise I guess given that she still thinks she can just walk out on her tables at Kelly痴 anytime she gets a lead on some stupid policeman trying to bust her gangster husband, the bastards!  How could they?  I mean Jason was just doing his job loading up real coffee after being smart enough to switch the 都hipment (Should we bother to speak again about exactly what these illegal but absolutely NON-drug related shipments actually are?) upon hearing that a rival mobster had sniffed out whatever illegalities he was shipping and wanted to do a quick turnaround on the 杜erchandise?  It痴 interesting that all these other mobsters are constantly trying to get Sonny to move drugs through his territory which Sonny refuses because 塗ey, it may be profitable but it痴 just wrong! but the second Sonny moves one of his extra special non-drug type shipments all those same rivals come streaming out of the woodwork to hijack those less-profitable shipments for themselves.   Sooner or later, these other mobsters will have to come to the conclusion that it痴 smart to go ahead and move whatever technically illegal but morally upstanding (because if it lets you give money regularly to those homeless people and the occasional priest, then it must be okay!) product Sonny痴 moving and what then?  How will we get our shootouts then?  Wait, I just realized I知 completely off track from where I was intending to gohmm, let痴 go back to the error in backdrop, shall we?   

GH chose to backdrop this nasty breakup and the obviously to ensue nasty custody battle, with Courtney changing her little mind about staying out of the business by shooting a cop who was SO obviously going to kill Jason.  You saw it folks, Brian pointed his gun right at Jason and either said Jason痴 name or 泥rop it knowing full well that Jason knows he痴 a cop.  Is that not asking to be shot in the back?  Let痴 be fair, if Brian really wanted to arrest Jason in the middle of a shootout, should he really have shown up armed?  Jason痴 right, Brian knew the risk he was taking going to work that day cop or not, you go up against a mobster who is firing a gun and you deserve what you get.  Brian had options, he didn稚 have to be waving his gun around like thatnext time maybe he値l think twice and set a live trap baited with Sonny痴 balls.  We know Jason would march right in there to retrieve them, no questions asked.  Then SLAM, the door shuts and the little rat is caught.  Nice and simple, none of that 土ou池e under arrest so drop your weapon you fricken criminal stuff required.  (And yes, I realize I did it againit appears this column might be a bit like this all the way through and I only have a couple hours of peace and quiet before the chaos, I mean kids, return, so if this is completely driving you insane already then my advice would be to try again next week.  It痴 always possible my mind will return to normal by then!)   ANYway, I壇 tell you what the other backdrops were to the S&C breakup (because we all know soaps have several stories going at once. right?) but it seems I can稚 recall any. There were other fragmented scenes that involved other people, but they mostly just confused me because most of them seemed a bit out of sequence and appeared to skip over important events like how Nik and Em got from sending Helena to her room to reporting her missing to Lucky.  All of the sudden, Luke was back which apparently meant that the all the Q痴, Alexis, and Cameron had to take most of the week off probably budgetary issues.   We should count ourselves very lucky to have witnessed that Luke/Helena scene, though notice that they weren稚 actually in the room together, so maybe they were able to spread those scenes out over a couple weeks of filming so as not to have to pay two over 40 actors in the same week.  I知 supposing that痴 why the scenes involving the 登lder set seem to go nowhere, fast.   

I致e taken the longest possible way to get there, but my point is that there isn稚 anything fun or even interesting going on elsewhere to counteract the breakup and fallout.  Georgie and Dillon, who should be light and fun, are basically boring and obviously not headed for anything that we can稚 see coming a mile away.  The Maxie/Zander stuff was interesting (and kudos to both actors) and should be worthwhile but given what the little spoiler birdies are telling us it痴 not all that worth investing in.  Maxie should have a story though, and I think I almost could have bought a Maxie/Zander story of sorts; it could have been worth telling, on another show.  Nikolas and Emilyoh gosh, I still really don稚 care a bit about them.  Although, I will say that their scenes on Friday were almost compelling (almost).  For the first time in awhile I was reminded that Tyler Christopher has a lot to offer as the brooding prince.  As Emily痴 撤in the Patch on the Pirate game toy though, he痴 wasted.  Nikolas and Emily *should* be fighting over Zander, so that was nice for a change though it did nothing to alleviate the already full quotient of yelling and pointing fingers for the week.  If we just had something, anything, that was the slightest bit romantic and light, I think I壇 be able to really take in the full benefit of the S&C breakup.  Alas, GH managed to ruin even this for me though, and I really don稚 appreciate it.   

As for the breakup itself and all the taking sides going on, I知 fairly ambivalent at the moment.  They池e both wrong, they池e both righteh, whatever.  There痴 no one to root for, they couldn稚 even leave Lorenzo as a decent guy so that we could want him to be happy but be worried that it be with Carly of all people.  Nope, instead they池e all convoluted.  Sonny痴 a total idiot for making statements like 的 walked in on them, I can稚 just wipe away that image (hello, Brenda!), and I really hope at some point that they will make it a point for Sonny to realize he did the actual deed first.  Carly痴 obviously dumb though for insisting that she was going to make it work with Sonnythere were obviously problems there and by going back to say goodbye to Alcazar after just returning from leaving Alcazar, she pretty much proved that the bullet took out more than the horny part of her brain.  Truthfully, it bothers me to watch the parts with the kids probably because I知 so fed up with GH and their consistently terrible performance at lending any sort of realistic aspect to the mob story.  All of the characters involved are so completely hateful most days (Carly might have more of my sympathy if not for her horrendous explanations to Courtney about why she really had to shoot Brianwtf?), with almost no redeeming qualities, that I just cannot bring myself to bother to care very much what happens to them.  Neither of the outside partners is working for me either.  Lorenzo and Carly make a small amount of sense, given that Carly absolutely needs a man to take care of her and she always seems to run from one to the next, convincing said 渡ext to get her kids from whoever she痴 done with and make sure that yesterday痴 trash doesn稚 ever get to see them again.  In this case though, she痴 been rather driven to it by Sonny who is making little to no sense and has become very unlikable in every way.  Honestly, I知 surprised by how poorly they are painting Sonny at the moment.  

It痴 pretty obvious that keeping the children from Carly is purely about revenge against her.  Keep them from Lorenzo and I might get it, but keep them from their mother for no good reason and you just look spiteful.  Not to say that this doesn稚 happen in real life, I知 just surprised they池e allowing Sonny to show such an obvious weakness.  I don稚 buy Sonny痴 motivations for being with Sam and from my viewpoint that also looks like complete revenge.  That痴 okay by me I suppose, but his attempts to keep her and his concerns that she may bolt as a result of Carly痴 釘renda Chat (which btw, was actually quite well written) seem out of place.  I think I壇 have rather watched Sonny start squiring all sort of women around town (the type that are obviously there for one reason), than I would see this weird supposed need for Sam.  It doesn稚 add up to me.  Sonny is more convincing and compelling when he disregards than when he needs.  He appears too needy around Sam and it bothers me a lot.  I知 still contemplating exactly why.  

Jason and Courtney had a few interesting moments and they are the best example I have of what this show *should* be as opposed to what it is.  Alicia Leigh Willis was very, very good in certain moments when Courtney was finally given the right to call Jason on his utter hypocrisy.  Her speech about the lines between right and wrong being constantly on the move allowed that character to say all the things that most GH viewers are muttering to themselves as they listen to Jason say things like 添ou were the only innocent one there, etc.  I can accept that mobsters can feasibly view police officers as the enemy and be convinced that they 徒now what they池e getting into when he pulled the gun on me and choose to uphold the law, but if GH is going to continue to slant everything toward the dark side being efficient, intelligent and productive while the right side of the law is inept, unproductive and ultimately and inevitably crooked, it will only result in my resenting everything Jason and Sonny do and say.  That cannot be the goal, so I must admit; I知 at a loss to explain the choices made for the continued direction of these characters.  It was wonderful to see Courtney call him on it, and it was fitting for the character to appear totally confused by such logicality.  Truthfully, when I see moments like that I realize that it痴 not impossible to show both sides of this story, but you have to be willing to allow Jason and Sonny to have flaws that actually come back around with consequences.  But then in the next moment, Courtney is inexplicably channeling Carly and snarking at her victim while he痴 in his hospital bed and I知 again reminded that GH doesn稚 have the first clue about consistency.  Is she torn and afraid or is she ticked that he managed to inconveniently get himself in front of her gun of justice?   

Viewers who watched the beginning of Sonny and Carly saw the thin line between love and hate, and now it appears it has wrapped itself around both their necks like a noose.  The hate is back, and that痴 fitting.  Sonny痴 making it obvious that he痴 doing everything he痴 doing out of revenge, and he痴 going to have to accept that by doing so he triggered Carly痴 hellcat button.  He also may need to face the fact that she痴 probably better at it than he is.  Carly rarely leaves a situation hanging that she feels calls for some sort of revenge attention, unlike Sonny who has a list a mile long of people he痴 threatened it against without ever actually accomplishing it.   

Random Observations 

I値l bet some of you newer viewers didn稚 even know there was a Port Charles Hotel, did you?  Suddenly teens are dancing there (though we weren稚 lucky enough to enter the actual dance, too many extra痴 in expensive wardrobe required for that I guesswe just get to watch them come back to the lobby to rest between sets, lol), a husband is calling his screaming wife a slut while the other man tries to keep her from beating her husband upside the head with his own leather gloves (seeI知 telling ya, this *should* be good stuffit痴 very, very soapy!), and the other woman is waiting upstairs for another go-round with a married man!  Suddenly, the PC Hotel is returned to its former glory.  Enjoy it while it lasts.   

How fitting was it that Lorenzo caved in to his inner-Sonny and smashed a few things in his room, then turned to find Carly had answered the magic mating call and appeared miraculously at his door?  It痴 so good to know that all her experience at cleaning up broken glass will not be wasted even though she痴 left Sonny.   

Max finally actually searches a visitor before allowing entry and the visitor is Carly?  Hamethinks Max just wanted to cop a feel.  I知 not really sure why Max can search anyone who wants to go past the lobby of the PC Hotel, but whatever. 

Why did TPTB go to so much trouble to make it obvious that it would have been nearly impossible for Brian to see Courtney, yet somehow he did?  He was shot in the back, she was behind himapparently he managed to fall somewhat sideways and lift his head high enough to see over his own shoulder without Courtney seeing him do it while she stared at him in shock?  Dumb.  What痴 dumber though is that directly following the shooting Jason ran to Courtney and said 鼎知on let痴 go!  Courtney, let痴 go! so why didn稚 they just have Brian remember hearing that and surmise that Courtney did it, but not be sure?  It would have made a lot more sense.  I知 also completely irritated that Brian is now a dirty cop, but that痴 another rant and one that I知 not at all surprised that I値l have to make at some point.  

Oh, I know this is a little old, but I enjoyed Faith in the nuthouse.  Pretty funny to have her have the staff at her beck and call and having the time of her life!  Her little performance for Justice痴 sake was entertaining as well.  I壇 been feeling a bit soured on Faith due to some very strange writing but CP has managed to pique my interest again.  Brava! 

Who wrote that 都ucking face line that Sonny uttered?  No seriously, who wrote it?  Turn in your pen and no one will get hurt!  At least not as long as you run fast enough, that is.  

What I said a few weeks ago about Emily not being allowed scenes with Tracy?  One would think it would be obvious that it would also apply to Helena scenes, but apparently I should have been more specific.  Please, stop the torture already. 

In closing, some suggestions of where things are going wrong and some reminders of where they池e going right: 

The teens are going in both directions, confusingly enough.  Georgie and Dillon (even with the breakup) are right, and I値l accept their stupidity because I was young and stupid once too.  Sure Georgie is acting like a child about this, why shouldn稚 she be?  This whole making up a boyfriend thing is far fetched but Dillon has no friends so that negates the tried and true 菟retend to fall for his best friend thing.  If TPTB would add a bit more flavor and let us enjoy the kids instead of using them as filler without following through, it could be a good teen story.   

The families are still non-existent.  Carly is losing her whole life and Bobbie is nowhere to be found, ditto Sonny  and Mike.  The Q痴 have disappeared again.  Alexis hasn稚 been spotted with her child in much too long.  Ric and Sonny may as well not be related at all, what was the point of all that?  In fact, Lorenzo and Sage appear to have the best family relationship of the moment, how scary is that? 

Zander has been misused to prop up a story that has shown itself to be unworthy.  Nikolas and Emily would seem like a good idea on paper, but in reality they just have no sizzle.  I知 most definitely not a Zander fan to be honest.  I  like Chad Brannon and I think he痴 talented, but I致e only occasionally been bowled over by Zander.  There was potential though, and he痴 been around long enough to develop interesting ties (as shown by his discussions with Alexis recently) with a variety of characters.  Turning him into a murderer / pseudo mobster in order to make it good that Emily flew the coop and ran to Nikolas while still married to Zander is just a waste of time and the talent of more than one performer.  

Helena痴 return is a fabulous thing.  I don稚 even care that it痴 related to this stupid treasure.  I知 thrilled Luke is back to join in the mix.  Throw in a little Skye and you致e got yourself something worth viewing.  Hopefully this silly premise    for her return will morph into something much more interesting and long-standing. 

As mentioned above, the whole breakup thing has gone slightly awry.  If only we could have gotten someone to root for in this whole mess.  At least Lorenzo is less demanding and ignorant than Sonny is, but he痴 still under the shadow of  some pretty despicable things.  All of our supposed romantic heroes appear to be too stupid to know the difference between right and wrong, and the women who love them only remember the difference on rare occasions which may be worse yet for a genre that depends on its female viewers.  I, for one, do not enjoy watching female characters that are all so obviously stupid.  Brave and strong may be thrown around on GH like penny candy at a parade, but there is not one female character that is featured regularly that qualifies in the least.  They池e all weak and insipid.  The ones that aren稚 constantly touting the righteousness of the town mobsters are either missing or mostly portrayed as clueless.   Liz, for example, I like her lately and there is great potential for her to be something betterbut for now, she痴 just walking around carrying story threads from one man to the next.  Hey Liz, why don稚 you suddenly realize that Ric is being blackmailed and take that information straight to Nikolas so that we can get him in on the deal?  Then you can go ahead and disappear again, 遡ay?  Ugh.  I can take silly clueless women once a week for entertainment purposes, but I cannot watch them everyday.  Same goes for senseless violence and treasure hunting plots.  I could write rave reviews about Alias most weeks (though I壇 have to allow for a little snark about those exterior 吐lying airplane in distress shots, lol) but that痴 because I don稚 have to watch it every single day.  

It just amazes me that soaps have lasted this long, shows that are above GH in the ratings are sticking closer to past form (or so I hear) and GH still insists on thinking it will somehow revolutionize the genre and turn us all into pod people that will suddenly love watching shootouts, extra special violence sequences, as many women acting like whores as possible, and maybe the absolute worst offense women with dark roots that have grown down to their earlobes.  Somebody please, inform 鍍he boys that we want these women to look goodI don稚 want to have to stop and wonder why the hair department is apparently punishing Tamara Braun!  Good grief, I知 beginning to think GH fired hair and makeup and no one has informed us yet.  Frankly, wardrobe isn稚 much better either.  It shouldn稚 be a monumental day when someone appears onscreen looking well groomed and snappily dressed they should ALL look like that almost every day.  Unless, of course, they致e just been shot or are tied to a chairthen we must accept the rumpled victim look.  Maybe that痴 it, maybe hair and makeup have given up since they know that two scenes from now their beautifully coiffed actress will be the victim of yet another hit and runso why bother? 

I guess overall, it is just harder when you see moments of good soap and realize just how fleeting (and wasted amid the rest) they really are.  We are at a turning point though, we致e either broken up the 擢ab Four (I HATE that nickname) or we致e just added two more characters to the invasive beast, in true 澱e careful what you wish for fashion.  Personally, I知 hoping for them to scatter to opposite corners of Port Chuck, where they can snarl at each other occasionally while making room for other characters to return to the spotlight.  Just anything to shake this stuff up and make it fall into a more appealing, and less depressing, picture.    

You値l hear from me again soon.  I actually had something else I wanted to talk about today but apparently I needed to get this stuff out first or something.  Let痴 all hope that sweeps provides us with reason to believe change might come sooner than we think.  You just never knowa month from now we could have a completely different outlook.  That痴 both the trouble with and the beauty of, life!



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