“A Little Fab Will Do Ya”
There once was Four who were Fab,
But about the same things they did blab.
They’re on every damned day,
And they won’t go away,
Now many just think they are Drab.
There’s a rumor going around. Supposedly, there is going to be a “New General Hospital” on the horizon. This “New GH” is supposed to have a better balance of characters, better storylines and less of the mob stuff (i.e., Sonny, Jason, Carly and Courtney).
You know what? I can’t let myself believe it. I’ve heard this rumor before. Back in March or April we were supposed to be getting a “New GH” then, too. The Internet was buzzing with hope just like it is now. What’d we get? Diddlysquat. Back about a year ago we were supposed to get a “New GH.” Diddlysquat showed up instead.
You know what else? I don’t care. Make it “New” or make it the same old diddlysquat and I’m still going to keep watching. If it’s horrible, as in “New” horrible or “Old” horrible, then I’ll just enjoy watching my favorite actors and I’ll enjoy making fun of the show for being so horrendous. If it’s good, then I’ll enjoy the actors, the characters, the stories and, it being a soap opera, there will probably still be something to laugh about and poke gentle fun at. It’s a win-win situation for me, a viewer.
“GH writers and assorted ‘Powers That Be,’ I am officially flipping you the Bird Of Indifference. Do what you will. I’m going to have fun anyway.”
Last week was an odd week on GH. I really don’t remember much about Monday and Tuesday. I know I watched them, but I’m not recalling anything specific to talk about. I taped Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and had almost decided not to watch them when I noticed so much positive feedback about them on soap message boards. I didn’t spoil them by reading the actual posts, but the subject lines were definitely enticing. They looked something like this:
“OMG! Today’s show was great!”
“Today’s GH-What great acting!”
And on and on like that. My curiosity was definitely aroused. On Saturday morning, I watched my tape. It was definitely a different show than what we’ve been seeing. For starters, Tony Geary (Luke) was back from his summer long vacation. Things always perk up a little when Luke gets back, but this time, I was actually kind of dreading his return. Luke has been turned into such a lunatic since Laura was, well, also made into a lunatic, that it saddens me to watch him. All he did from the time Laura was committed to an insane asylum last year was get drunk, rant and rave, set fire to stuff, rant and rave some more, get drunk some more and just make a total, stupid ass out of himself every time he opened his mouth. I was actually embarrassed for Tony Geary to have to play Luke in such a pitiful way. Luke has always been a schemer and a little bit nuts, but he’s never been an actual idiot. I was bracing myself for which Luke would return, the fake, stupid, off-the-deep-end Luke or the real, brilliant, smart, funny, thinking-outside-of-the-box Luke. So far, it’s been that second one and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I don’t care how silly it might be that he hijacked the television airwaves of Port Charles for Stefan’s “trial” using what looked like a Direct TV satellite dish. I don’t care. Luke was too damned great for it to matter. And he wasn’t the only one.
Stephen Nichols as “Stefan Cassadine” was absolutely brilliant throughout the “trial” arranged by his arch nemesis, Luke Spencer. When Stefan broke down while being interrogated about why he would try to kill Emily Quartermaine, I almost lost it, too. The man did a fabulous job and proved in a moment what Stephen Nichols fans have known all summer; that his talent as an actor has been completely wasted during his brief return in one of the best roles ever on GH. Up until now, Stefan has been in the background, providing angst and obstacles for the blossoming Nikolas/Emily romance when he should have been in the forefront, stirring up trouble in Port Charles as only a Cassadine can. I don’t know what is coming next for Stefan; too many rumors have become entwined with too many spoilers on the Internet in regards to that. I just hope it’s good. And if it isn’t, I just hope it’s bad in such a way that I can get some good laughs when I make fun of it. (I know that sounds weird, but I’m trying a “glass half full” kind of thing.)
Nancy Lee Grahn as “Alexis Davis” was also mesmerizing during Stefan’s mock trial. Her reactions, more than anything else, were just as gut wrenching as anything Stefan did. The pained looks of horror and remorse on her face over what her brother, Stefan, had done and the tears in her eyes were played out perfectly. You can really separate the diamonds from the duds when it comes to emoting silent heartache. When an actor can show you their heart is breaking without looking like they’re constipated or have just sniffed an onion, then you know you’ve got a gem and Nancy Lee Grahn is all gem, baby.
Now I can’t talk about “emoting silent heartache” without mentioning Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine). I’ll bet he didn’t even cry out loud as an infant. He probably just laid there in his crib, turned those beautiful, brown, puppy dog eyes on his parents and…emoted his needs to them, …silently,…deeply… and damned effectively. Even though I no longer want to see “Emily the Wishy Washy Twit” with either Nikolas or Zander, I could still feel Nik’s love for Emily and his deep disappointment and torment at the hands of his Uncle Stefan. And most of the time, Tyler didn’t have to say a word to get those feelings across.
Chad Brannon (Zander) is definitely perfecting the art of silent acting and reacting as witnessed during this past week. Once upon a time, and still on occasion, Chad gets just a tad bit too carried away and nibbles the scenery. At the trial though, he could be seen sitting sullenly and uncomfortably in his chair, with an understandable outburst here and there after Nikolas had professed, for the umpteenth millionth time, his love for Zander’s wife, Emily. I could even see the jawbones in Chad’s face flexing as he jammed and ground his teeth together in frustration, anger and jealously. It was perfect. Not too much, not too little. It was just right. Chad has definitely grown into a fine actor right before my eyes. I just love him (and he has a cute butt).
There were so many “diamonds” at the trial, I could ignore, or forgive, the very few duds and “diamonds in the rough.” Greg Vaughan (Lucky) is a rough diamond at this point. His delivery has gotten much better and so has his silent, emotional delivery. When he stood glaring at Stefan, making the decision to let his father, Luke, continue on with the trial, I could actually see hate and disgust in his eyes. Unfortunately, Greg would probably have improved much more as an actor by now if the writers had been giving him some good material since his arrival last winter. But they haven’t and I don’t know if they will, so it could be a long road ahead to seeing this guy fully shine, and what a handsome, hunky road it is. We definitely need more shirtless Lucky scenes, though.
Natalia Livingston (Emily the Wishy Washy Twit) alternates in my eyes between “dud” and “diamond in the rough.” She seems to have only two expressions: “happy/smiling” and “I hurt for others/I am constipated.” Neither one works for me lately. She did the “I am constipated” look through the whole trial and I’m just tired of seeing it. Emily has totally jacked Zander around and is no longer deserving of him (or Nik). I was really happy with this Emily recast when Natalia first showed up. She seemed so much more grown-up than Amber Tamblyn did in the role, and I never really cared for Amber’s “Emily” anyway. I have to admit, Natalia has improved quite a bit since she first started and I think she will do just fine in the long run, adding many new facial expressions along the way. I just wish I could say the same for the character she’s playing. Natalia may be a “diamond in the rough,” but Emily has become an all out “dud” in my book.
I have absolutely nothing to say that’s good about Lydia. She is a nitwit. She is flighty. She is obnoxious. I see her and think, “Fly away home, Lydia! Fly away!” I have no idea why I think those exact words. It’s just weird. Maybe my subconscious is willing her to fly off the parapet, or a cliff, or some stairs or anything, anything at all that will just send her away. I think the actress herself, J. Robin Miller, has actually relaxed in the role since her very stiff and uneasy beginning. The writers have just given her crap week after week and can’t seem to make their minds up as to what kind of character they want her to be. One week she’s sad, lonely and vulnerable, the next week she’s a mouthy, cold-hearted bitch. Then she’s intelligent; then she’s an idiot.
Somehow, the character of Lydia seemed to be right where she needed to be emotionally during Stefan’s trial. Everything just seemed to “gel” and suddenly make sense about her. Well, okay, not everything. I still don’t get how and when she fell in love with Nikolas. That’s just silly and served no purpose but to make Lydia seem really pathetic. I like the “all for the money” version of Lydia. It’s more realistic. Lydia definitely seemed properly distressed and resentful at Stefan’s trial since she only came to Port Charles for the gold, and got the shaft instead, along with murder threats, blackmail and constant humiliation from her own husband who didn’t exactly have a gun to his head when he married her, knowing full well it was for money only. I’d be indignant, too. The bastards.
Okay. So Lydia was fine for me during the trial. I guess that’s at least something good to say about her after all. But still…
… “Fly away home, Lydia! Fly away!”
I couldn’t believe we actually got to see Bobbie, Mac, Scotty, Liz, Ric and Georgie all reacting to seeing Luke put Stefan on trial. That was great, too. I also loved how Dillon ended up right in the middle of everything as Luke’s cameraman. Dillon maybe needs to think about just spending a few quiet evenings at home every now and then, but wait….he lives at the Quartermaine mansion. What was I thinking? Quiet evenings? As if.
I also enjoyed Ric interacting with people who are not Sonny, Carly, Jason, Courtney, Faith or Liz. In a way it was kind of weird, like seeing a dog dressed as a cat or something (not that I’ve ever actually seen that). I still think he has good chemistry with Liz, but he’s done so many evil things I think he needs to suffer for a while now. Liz could help him get started in the suffering department by whacking him over the head a few times with that walking stick of hers. Maybe she could knock some sense into him or at least scare him off so he gets to hang out with some different people again.
Speaking of different people, we were introduced to “Sam McCall” this past week, played by Kelly Monaco from the very recently cancelled “Port Charles.” I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on the character yet. She is too new, but at least Kelly seems capable of acting. So far, so good.
You only have to read my column from last week to see how I feel, still, about Jax. (Hint: it ain’t good.) Jax’s portrayer, Ingo Rademacher, is F-I-N-E, FINE, so that’s something anyway. I am just tired of Jax constantly having the upper hand over women. He always seems to be in a position of superiority. Sam, stripping for him in preparation of sex so she could get her boat back, was just kind of humiliating for her, in my opinion. Of course, he acted like he wouldn’t actually sink that low and turned her down, giving her the keys to her boat anyway. I guess that was supposed to make him look noble, but if he actually was, he wouldn’t have let her strip in the first place. Also, all I could think of was all those whores he was sexing up at the Port Charles Hotel months ago. So, (insert sarcastic voice here), I am just SO sure he would NEVER sink so low as to screw a woman and pay her with a boat. Pfft! Then I saw briefly today (Monday, Oct. 6th) where they were stranded on some island and Jax, once again, was in control as he seemed to have all the food or something. Whatever. Some chick needs to beat him down, but good. Put him in his place. That would be new and different.
Different is definitely good when it comes to GH and I am open to anything new and different. This past week was actually pretty good by any soap’s standards. Dare I hope there might actually be a new and improved GH on the way? Well, I’m just a daring kind of gal, so I might. Might not. Don’t know yet.
Like Emily, (I sigh deeply, staring off while looking constipated and holding my mouth so that the lighting enhances my glossy lips), I just can’t choose!
I am actually enjoying Faux Lily haunting Sonny. Maurice Benard does personal torment and pain so well, so this has truly been good. It’s also something else different. Maybe not a whole lot different since Alcazar is behind the whole thing, making this story follow the same basic storyline that every other Sonny story has had over the past two years: Enemy comes to town, messes with Sonny and his family, Sonny and Carly have marital problems due to situations and stress caused by The Enemy and must talk it out one thousand times and reaffirm their love, then someone (not Sonny or anyone working for Sonny) kills The Enemy or keys his car or something, blah, blah, blah.
The Faux Lily haunting is different because this touches on the one thing from Sonny’s recent past that has actually haunted him with every breath; the death of his wife, Lily, while she was pregnant with his child. And we, the audience, have been witness to this constant, actual haunting ever since we saw Lily get blown to smithereens in front of Sonny’s eyes several years ago. He talks about what happened to her regularly with much remorse and guilt. He visits her gravesite frequently. He even had a vision of her when he was in the hospital, knocking on heaven’s door himself after having been gunned down in front of the PCPD. Lily has never left this show because she’s never left Sonny’s mind, so seeing him buy into Alcazar’s plan to haunt him and send him over the edge is very believable.
I have also enjoyed Tamara Braun’s unvoiced reactions to Sonny’s talk of seeing dead Lily. You can just see her, as Carly, thinking, “Oh, shit.” Perfect.
Now that I think about it, I can see Sonny’s friend and enforcer, Jason, thinking “Oh, shit,” also. Courtney seems to be thinking, “Oh, shit,” along with Jason and I can NOT tell you how wonderful it is to see these characters all thinking, “Oh, shit” every time Sonny says something these days. Now they know how I feel as I have thought, and said, those exact same words over the past year every time one of them has walked into a room or opened their mouths to start yapping.
Hee-hee. They feel my pain. J
Seriously, all those involved in reacting to Sonny seeing Lily have done a really good job of looking absolutely mortified that first, Sonny could believe it, and second, that it might actually be true.
Wow! I can’t believe it! I have actually enjoyed the “Fab Four” this week. Mostly. See, that’s what some balance does. Monday and Tuesday were a little too “Fab Four” heavy, but the rest of the week was just about right. We got some of them and some of everyone else. I hope we get a lot more of everyone else in the future. If we do, then I could actually be the glorified Sonny fan I once was.
It just goes to show, as the title says: A little Fab will do ya’!