“Like Bullets Through A Windshield…”
"As The Sonny Turns"
"All My Mobsters"
"The Sonny and Jason Power Hour"
"Sonny Corinthos: Master Of The Universe"
“Touched By A Mobster”
"Little Penthouse On The Prairie"
“All In The Crime Family”
"The Corinthos Clan"
“Who’s The Mob Boss?”
“It’s The Great Sonny Corinthos, Charlie Brown!”
“Mob, Good; Police, Bad! – An ABC Afterschool Special”
“I Dream Of Sonny”
"Blondes And Bullets"
"Mighty Morphin’ Mobsters"
"Mars Needs Mobsters"
"Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Mobster"
Like bullets through a windshield, so are "The Days Of Our Mob."
And “General Hospital” truly is “The Days Of Our Mob,” because it just seems to be “the Mob” day after freakin’ day. Specifically it’s about the mob. There’s nothing “General” about it. And forget the “Hospital” part of it. No true drama plays out there. Gunshot victims pass through the once exciting halls of the hospital, lingering on the verge of death one day and bounding back home the next. Paralysis, cancer and other normally serious maladies, are but a scratch on GH. The relatives we know these characters have are usually not seen when their loved ones are pushed down stairs, hit by cars or shot in the ass. The emergency room and ICU of General Hospital are the medical equivalent to the “10 Items Or Less” lane at the grocery store. The hospital staff is now the equivalent of a “greeter” at the local Wal-Mart. They’re there to put in a quick appearance when a patient first arrives, get them a cart, say “STAT” a few times, then that’s it. Hell, sometimes they don’t even get to do that much.
I found the whole mob aspect of the show to be pretty clever when it first started, what, nine or ten years ago? Having a mobster on a soap opera provides the perfect catalyst for gunplay, kidnappings, betrayal, revenge and crime in general for the local cops to investigate, etc. Many soap operas have had mafia storylines from time to time and GH is no exception. There was mafia chieftain Frank Smith all those many years ago when Luke and Laura were first on the run and the show’s ratings were on the rise, reviving the genre of soap operas on all the networks by introducing a new sense of adventure, romance and excitement. There was the Jerome crime family about twelve years ago (give or take). Julian Jerome was a babe and I enjoyed his insane villainy. I also loved his sister, Olivia Jerome. She was even a bigger nut; much like Faith is now. I was kind of dismayed to see the saga of the Jerome crime family end because it just seemed like there was so much left those characters could have done.
With our current mobster, Sonny Corinthos, at least he’s been around long enough to have actual stories. For most of his tenure on the show, I have enjoyed him. It’s been the last two years or so that his character has seemed to grow stale and predictable. The problem is, he lives out the same stories without end.
The manic depression storyline the show starts with him every year always seems promising, but the writers never end it. Sonny never gets diagnosed or treated and the next year, here we go again. Boring. “The Darkness, Part 10.”
Two or three times a year, a rival Mafioso comes to town and tries to take over Sonny’s “territory,” also known as Port Charles. The rival does horrible things to Sonny and to Sonny’s loved ones. There are hit and runs, kidnappings, threats, attempted murder and so on, but Sonny usually doesn’t do anything to these people. He talks about how his latest enemy needs to be “taken care of,” but when they finally are, it’s some big dud of a murder mystery and we find out that, guess what? Sonny didn’t have anything to do with it. More than anything else, this inability to dispatch his foes to the hereafter makes Sonny look like the lamest mobster of all time. You only have to look around to see Faith, Ric and Lorenzo Alcazar all still suckin’ in breath to know that’s true.
Every so often, we are thrown a bone and Sonny has Jason “whack” some minion or thug so that we can see that they can walk the walk. I don’t care. Big woo. I’m ready to move to something I mentioned in my column last week. It’s called “anything new and different.” Sonny, Jason, Carly and Courtney (“The Fab Four”) need a big dose of “new and different.”
When I complain about the Fab Four, this is what it’s mostly about: redundancy. Also, they take up about 80 percent of the show, if not more. We’ve gotten to see a little more of the other characters lately, but with the exception of the “Dead Man’s Hand” story that just started, every other story going on is somehow connected back to these four characters and ends up being about what they want or what they feel or what they will do. Then all the things they want, feel and do either never make sense or never evolve the characters at all. They are a stagnant, stinky pond when they could be a roaring waterfall.
I don’t want any of these characters to leave the show, so when you see me complain, please don’t assume that’s what I mean. All four of these characters have ties and histories with other characters on the show and I would like to see them all stay. I definitely wouldn’t want to replace any of them with new characters that we have to learn all about. An influx of “Newbies” on a show is always difficult and I think a show should avoid that when there are solid characters to still work with. The Fab Four are definitely solid characters.
What I do want to see is, like I said, “anything new and different.” First of all, I want to see Sonny and Jason leave the mob. It is way overdue. Is the mob exciting? It can be, yes. Does it create natural stories that involve violence, adventure, romance and suspense? Yes it does. But let’s be real. “The Godfather” trilogy was good, but it ended. I watched a good mob-related movie the other night on HBO, “The Road To Perdition” with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. It was great and after two hours, it also ended.
It is time for Sonny and Jason in the mob to E-N-D.
This does not mean that there will be no mob presence in Port Charles. Alcazar would still be around and there could still be the occasional, former “mob rival” with a grudge who could roll into town and go after Sonny or Jason. The mob could still be there and Sonny and Jason could still be involved in some mob stories. It just doesn’t need to be there, front and center, hogging everything all the time. It doesn’t need to be who they are when they could be so much more.
I think it would be intensely fascinating to see Sonny leave the mob and take over ELQ or start some rival corporation. Man, Edward would have a cow! So would Jax and just about everybody else. Meanwhile, Alcazar is still after Sonny. Alcazar would have the advantage of “anything goes” since he’s still walking on the criminal side of the street. Sonny would have to be extremely devious in protecting himself and bringing down his opponents because he would be walking the straight and narrow for the first time in his life. No sending Jason to “whack” anyone or threaten them with physical danger. No secret deals and handshakes in empty warehouses on the pier. I think it would be great to watch Sonny evolve into a man who doesn’t need a gun or a henchman to have money and power. I also believe Sonny’s portrayer, Maurice Benard, could play this to the hilt and so could Steve Burton (Jason).
As for Carly and Courtney, seriously, they need to leave their men if their men won’t leave the mob. The fact that they make no demands in this area for their own safety makes them look like two of the biggest ninnies on daytime ever, and that’s saying something.
Letting someone you love endanger you time after time when it doesn’t have to be that way is a serious lack of self-respect. It definitely doesn’t ring of “true love.” But that’s a whole other column (and you’d better believe I’m writing it, too).
Courtney needs to get a life. What does she do anyway? What does she aspire to? Many would say “motherhood,” and if you are apt to say that, then please go read the last two paragraphs again and see why I’m not impressed with that as one of Courtney’s “aspirations.” What? She wants to have a kid so he can be in danger of being shot or blown up, too? Aww, shucks! How sweet and maternal of her.
Carly already has a child and another one on the way at just about any moment now. Hasn’t she ever objected to this dangerous lifestyle? Does she have a brain? Doesn’t she want her children to be safe?
Apparently the answer is “no” to all three of those questions.
The females of the Fab Four definitely need to turn their lives around. Maybe Courtney could go to college. As she’s meeting new people and becoming better educated, that could make things very interesting between her and Jason. He might start to feel intimidated by the new, better educated, getting-out-of-the-house Courtney and he could start to feel a little insecure in the relationship. That could be good and, hell, even if it’s not, I’m sure the writers could come up with some reason for Courtney to be kidnapped or hit by a car occasionally to keep things lively. Carly, too. Who knows how many panic rooms there really are in Port Charles with a reserved cot just for her?
“Come on over, Carly. We’ll leave the light on for ya!”
Bottom line for me is that Sonny and the mob have become boring and the lack of character development and character common sense makes them all look stupid.
They are needlessly vapid since all it would take is some good writing to fix this. Nobody has to leave town or die. That’s the easy way out. Even so, if Sonny were to leave town, or not, would it really matter? “General Hospital” was cruising along for thirty years before he showed up and if those writers can get their heads out of each other’s asses before it’s too late, the show could cruise along for another thirty years, with or without Sonny or the mob.
Can you imagine if it’s with Sonny? Just think, in twenty years, new viewers will be saying, “Sonny who?”
“Oh, yeah. That old guy we see twice a year!”
Because “The Road To Perdition” ended; the “Godfather” trilogy ended; the Smith crime family and the Jerome crime family of Port Charles ended.
So too shall this end.