July 28, 2003
The RH Factor

As I was watching “General Hospital” on Monday, July 21st, I found a saving grace in this show.  Among the drab and dire storylines, which mostly make no sense and through which most performers are methodically sleepwalking, I have found something to look forward to:  The “RH Factor.” 

Let me explain as I take a look at Monday’s show and things in general.  (In other words, let me bitch incessantly first.) 

The Dobson story was wrapping up and even though I was joyous that this would end Alexis’s charade as a male butler, I found the end to be even more excruciating than anything else she’s done since Luis Alcazar took a header from the hotel balcony and she started lurking about in a red wig.  I didn’t think that this could get any worse.  As usual, I wonder more and more about the collective state of mind of this show’s writers. 

The whole time I watched “The Humiliation Of Alexis” that day, I kept talking back to all the characters in my mind.  More accurately, I was back talking the writers who came up with this shame. 

First there’s Scott, who keeps carrying on about how crazy it is for Alexis to dress in drag.  My response:  Go sing it to Mac, the police commissioner.  He’s done a turn in drag himself and no one called him crazy. 

Scott made all his usual threats to Alexis about how he’s going to lock her up forever, blah, blah, blah.  Then here comes Ned to save the day because he has some cancelled check to hang over Scott’s head for his double-dealings.  Well, whoopdee-damn-doo-dah.  What the hell happened to the skull of Teresa Carter that was buried in the Webber’s former backyard by Scotty himself?  Why can’t Alexis yank that out of a duffle bag?  She’s done it before to keep Scotty at bay.  If there really ever were a good time to wave a skull in someone’s face and threaten them with blackmail, I’d say this is it. 

Also, I couldn’t help but feel that Scotty is just evil now.  That’s a shame because I used to like him.  He’s always been devious and more than a little self-serving, but now I think he’s just supposed to be a true spawn of Satan.  I mean here the guy is, exhibiting actual bliss at telling Alexis she will lose full custody of her daughter and it’s what, a mere two weeks or so since his own daughter, Karen, was killed on “Port Charles.”  Knowing that just made every word out of his mouth sound vile. 

And for the life of me, I still don’t get why Scotty could be influenced with a bribe from anyone since he is supposed to be filthy rich with all that money he inherited when his gazillionairess wife, Dominique, kicked the bucked several years back.  So I’m to believe he’s being corrupt just for laughs?  Whatever. 

Then there is Skye, whom I love, being so repulsive I can barely watch her anymore.  It’s bad enough that our resident White Knight, Jasper Jax, has been so completely trashed that according to Internet rumor, his portrayer, Ingo Rademacher, has been sent away on an extended vacation so that viewers will forget what a complete jerk Jax has been turned into.  Even if that rumor is not true, it’s very telling that so many viewers seem to find it possible.   

If true, I guess the writers still haven’t learned from that experience.  They are totally trashing Skye, too, and knowing how sexist “The Powers That Be” are, I’m sure they won’t give Robin Christopher (Skye) anything close to equal time when it comes to a vacation for her.  They won’t care if she’s ruined for the viewers or not.  If anyone doubts that, just remember two words:  “Genie Francis.” 

You see, Genie has a vagina and so does Robin, so they don’t get diddley-squat. 

I think that’s the criteria for the head writer, Bob Guza.  Probably like, once a week from the looks of it, he calls a writer’s meeting and says, “I’m bored.  Let’s trash a character just because we can.  So what’s going on with the show that people are enjoying now? [Some intern probably has to tell him this info because Bob obviously has no clue.] 

“Well,” says the young, gorgeous, male intern, “many viewers enjoy Alexis.  She’s a strong, independent, intelligent woman and they like that.” 

“Hmmm,” says Bob, “that’s not really good because, you know, she has a vagina.”  He strokes his fingers thoughtfully across the plush, velvet lapels of his lavender brocade smoking jacket. 

The young, gorgeous, male intern crosses the room toward Bob, his hand shaking as he places Bob’s Frou-Frou Double Latte Mocha Cappuccino on the desk in front of him.  Nervously he responds, “Most of the women watching the show probably have, uh, those, too.  Vaginas.” 

A cold silence fills the room.  The other writers and interns present at the meeting lift their pens from the papers they’d been scratching notes across a moment before, their breaths held in dreaded anticipation.  The only sound is the rubbery squeak of the young, gorgeous, male intern’s ass-clenching, black leather pants as he nervously shifts his weight from one foot to the other. 

Bob removes his purple-tinted, rhinestone-rimmed, Elton John sunglasses and casts his steely eyes in the intern’s direction. 

“Are you questioning my directive?” 

“Uh, no, certainly not,” says the intern.  He feels his heart began to race as his legs start to sweat beneath his ass-clenching, black leather pants.  He used to think he was so lucky that Mr. Guza had issued a special “wear leather always” dress code order just for him, but now he wasn’t feeling too special.  It usually wasn’t a chopping block that his head was stuck in. 

“Good.  Of course you weren’t, Maurice.” 

“Mr. Guza?  Uh, Bob, sir, my name is Fred.” 

Bob puts his sparkly sunglasses back on and leans back in his chair.  He nods with a faint, eerie smile. 

“Yes, of course it is.”  Bob tosses a pencil on the floor in front of his desk.  “Now turn away from me, Maurice, and pick that pencil up.  If you do it real slow, I’ll let you wear a shirt tomorrow.” 

Bob leans forward and, with eyes on leather, addresses the room, “Now, as I was saying, all characters with vaginas must be destroyed…”


I can’t help it.  As I watch GH, I am constantly wondering, “What was Bob Guza thinking when he wrote this or put his seal of approval on it?”  No matter how silly, there could be a grain of truth in my insults.  I have to say, I do believe Guza is a total “ass” man.  How else would you explain most of the male GH characters being total asses?  It’s ass fixation, baby and not in the way I implied.  Bob Guza is a Total Ass, he is “God” of the GH realm and so he is probably making all male characters into his own image. 

And on the first day, Guza said, “Let there be crap.”   

I have come up with many different scenarios, the most likely of which is that Mr. Guza is just a boring, clueless, self-centered man.  I prefer the more ludicrous and personally insulting theories though, because, as a long-time GH fan, I feel more personally insulted every day as the show becomes more ludicrous from one story to the next. 

So, where were we before I descended into my intense, yet vivid, dislike of Robert Guza, Jr.?  Oh, yeah.  Alexis is toast.  Skye is toast.  Two vaginas tossed upon the trash heap. 

I did have a good laugh after Alexis’s “outing,” when Edward kept carrying on about how Alexis/Dobson had seen him in the tub and in his underwear.  But that was it for my enjoyment at the Q household.  Ned was on his way to being slightly redeemed when he blackmailed Scotty on Alexis’s behalf, but after that one step forward he took about 20 steps back when he told Alexis he supported her NOT having any visitation with her own daughter. 

Ned = Total Ass. 

Then Lucky and NuLydia totally grossed me out.  I didn’t mind watching him kiss OldLydia, but this new chick, yuck!  There is a major ick factor there for me, not because she’s ugly or anything, but because NuLydia’s personality doesn’t mesh with Lucky at all now, even with him acting all sleazy and gropey.  I hope and pray that either OldLydia returns or NuLydia does some “Summer style” cliff diving of her own very soon.  I wish the actress well, but personally, I just don’t think this part is for her.  I hope she finds another part, on another soap, that her personality and acting style translates better to. 

After Nikolas saw Lucky and NuLydia making out, I was amazed at the absolutely stupid explanation that Lucky gave for his behavior towards Nik’s fiancée.  He said something about just trying to prove to Nikolas what a schemer Lydia is.  Well, double-duh.  I didn’t realize that Nik was in the dark about that.  Hasn’t he pretty much had Lydia’s number since day one? 

Lucky = Total Ass.  He is just such a skanky horn dog now.  I should volunteer, as a long time soap fan, to be a “Character Redemption Consultant” for Lucky.  He could come to my house where I could teach him a lesson.  In private.  Because he’s been a bad, bad boy. 

I just love Nikolas’s cool demeanor.  That is the only thing worthwhile right now on the Cassadine Front.  I’d like to say that it’s Stefan, but he barely shows up to do anything, so I’ve been enjoying the way Nik always looks at everyone like they are a bunch of boring idiots. 

What else was on that show?  Oh, right, Carly-And-The-Baby on the plane with Lorenzo.  Yep.  Good ole Carly-And-The-Baby.  We’ve sure come a long way from “CarlyBabes” haven’t we?  I will comment on that no further for it is a mixed bag of good, bad and all things volatile.  I just don’t have the time or energy at the moment. 

I like Lorenzo Alcazar.  He is so laid back about absolutely everything.  Ted King has done a good job of making “Alcazar, Part Two” seem totally different from the very high-strung original. 

We got a Dr. Tony sighting.  We got to see Dillon, too.  That’s a contrast of “before and after” in immense proportions.  Believe it or not Soap Newbies, but Tony actually used to be somebody on this show.  He would have many lines to speak and he appeared often.  He actually had interesting material past the age of 40.  Nowadays, he has yet to have a scene with his rapidly aged and recast son, Lucas.  If GH can survive for another twenty years, I guess we’ll get to see Dillon popping in to say a few words once every couple of months. 

I just don’t know what happened to Tony.  Why can’t the writers write for him?  He doesn’t even have a vagina.   

Speaking of vaginas again, we had mob moll, Stepford-Wife-To-Be Courtney talking to little Michael “let’s kill Ric” Corinthos.  I didn’t pay much attention to what they said.  I already think Michael is smarter than all the adults around him, so I don’t need my time wasted with further proof of that.   

We also had Georgie eavesdropping on Sonny and Jason by glaring at them intently, and openly, across the hospital nurses station.  Doesn’t she know that on a soap opera you have to stand behind some sort of plant or around a corner for optimum audio clarity?  The only character who has ever mastered the art of listening to private conversations from the busy nurse’s station was Amy Vining and she’s long gone I guess.  You know….over 40….vagina…..etc. 

I just love Georgie and Dillon.  They are so incredibly cute together and have genuine chemistry.  That’s really a shame because that means they’re destined to be ripped apart in favor of different pairings in which they’ll have no chemistry whatsoever.  Eventually Dillon will be another Total Ass in a great long line of GH Total Asses and well, Georgie has a vagina so nothing about her future looks bright.  Also, I can’t see the outline of her ribs through her clothing, so I’m sure she’ll either be canned soon for being “fat,” be shamed into an eating disorder so she can keep her job, or she’ll be hailed as one of the diverse, “non-beautiful,” fat women of ABC.  (And just so it’s clear, I was being sarcastic and I do NOT think Georgie is fat.) 

All seemed so bleak on Monday, as it does on most days.  

Then, there was the blessed “RH Factor.”  Thank God.  (That’s “God,” spelled G-O-D as opposed to G-U-Z-A.) 

As many of you have probably realized by now, the “RH Factor” I am referring to are Rebecca Herbst (Liz) and Rick Hearst (Ric).  They have been absolutely mesmerizing to me in their performances throughout this Panic Room fiasco.  Liz’s shock in the hospital, as she realized the atrocities committed by her husband, was so genuine, so well acted that I actually felt her pain and forgot all about the writers.  She just seemed so completely devastated and heartbroken while, at the same time, expressing the image and emotions of a woman who is still very much in love with her husband.  Rebecca has done a wonderful job of maintaining that balance of horror and love, aimed at the same person, without chewing the scenery up.  I am impressed.   

Rick Hearst is doing wonders with his material, too.  He plays insane well and doesn’t have to resort to breaking glassware or just not shaving.  If he’s reading a teleprompter for his lines, then at least he isn’t being obvious about it, which is something I wish I could say about another actor in particular.  I’m sure some of you know whom I mean.  

I’m happy that we’re not being beaten over the head with the idea that there is something very bad in Ric’s past that has caused him to be the way he is now.  Rick Hearst has been able to put that idea forward in his acting and, for once, the writers have only given very subtle hints.  I also get the feeling that the actor will play out whatever revelations are to come as reasons for his character’s current behavior, not excuses (there’s a difference), though I’m sure the character of “Ric” will grasp at any excuses he can find, weasel that he is. 

So there it is, the “RH Factor.”  Without it, this show would have no emotional involvement for me in any of the current stories.  I would still be emotionally invested in the show because I have watched it for over 20 years and I am bound and determined to outlast the current “Powers That Be” so I can be around when things get good again (Maybe?  Someday?).  Yes, I enjoy looking at the good looking men, there are wonderful “moments” that occur every so often and some days the dialogue is really poppin,’ but when it comes to stories, characters AND acting, it’s the “RH’s” who are driving it home every time they appear. 

I guess this means they are doomed as a couple.  Too much actual chemistry (and talent), as opposed to the virtual chemistry the writers seem to prefer as they continue their journey (*cough*) towards their ultimate goal of pissing off as many fans (customers) as possible.   

I figure everyone has a character or couple right now who are “saving” the show for them in these dismal times.  If you do, you’d better enjoy them because I’m sure they won’t last if they are really that good.  It won’t be long before the vagina half of your favorite duo is made to be completely insane, idiotic or obnoxious and her male co-star will become a Total Ass.  Assuming that they haven’t become these things already. 

When will things get better?  I keep hearing rumors that the Executive Producer, Jill Farren Phelps, is going to be leaving, so I’m hoping where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  I hold little hope for Bob Guza leaving any day soon.  He seems to be having too much fun tormenting us and none of the bigwigs at ABC seem to think he’s doing anything wrong.  I’m afraid we’ll be suffering through his machismo-style writing for quite some time.  If he did leave the show for greener pastures, he could risk becoming a mere minion of a staff writer as opposed to the great god of a “head writer” he is now.  Really, I can understand him not wanting to leave. 

Why serve in heaven when you can rule in hell?