“Stefan Saves The World!”
Okay. What is wrong with everyone and everything on “General Hospital” these days?
I know it would be easier to ask, “What’s right,” but that would only take a couple of sentences and a couple of sentences do NOT a column make, thus, I’m focusing on what’s wrong.
So, what fresh hell is this?
The storylines are bad in a way that they’ve never been before. It’s as if some are just almost good and others are missing the mark completely. Usually the stories under current head writer Bob Guza start off pretty well, then have a tendency to turn rotten half way through, like he gets distracted by a shiny object and just wanders off. Lately, there’s a lot of varying degrees of badness right out of the oven and that troubles me. I want things to be perfect for Stefan Cassadine’s glorious return. I don’t want to see him saddled with a terrible story or an “almost good” plot. I want nothing but the best for my beautiful Stefan.
In my opinion, there are four major components to soap stories; the basic plot, the details of the plot as it plays out each day, the characters themselves and the quality of the writing. Usually, Guza at least has two of the four going pretty well, before he wanders off like I mentioned before, but lately all four components are just not working for me most of the time.
The plots seem almost non-existent in most current stories, or seem to change from day to day to the point that I find myself wondering what’s supposed to be happening. What’s the point? The details of these plots are just horribly messy, don’t make any sense and I find that to be very distracting. The characters aren’t acting like themselves anymore. The stupid are smart, the smart are stupid, the likable are being trashed and the trashy are supposed to be likable. The writing is flashing hot and cold. One day, the dialogue is excellent, dramatic, moving and just all things good, then the next day, the dialogue is completely silly. Like, one day the writers are smoking crack, the next day they’re not. I won’t venture to guess whether or not the good days are “crack” days or “no-crack” days.
Pretty much all four soap story “components” are pretty unstable. Let’s take a look, shall we?
First up is this whole “Lost Cassadine Fortune” storyline. What exactly is going on with this alleged adventure? Is it over now? Was anyone impressed? I wasn’t. I enjoyed watching Luke, but I enjoy him most of the time anyway since his portrayer, Anthony Geary, can deliver the most poorly written dialogue in the most ludicrous circumstances and make it good, so his presence in any story is always fine with me. What I didn’t like about this, besides the fact that I just never really cared about the fortune, is that except for Luke, all the characters involved seem to have had their basic personalities changed while on this “adventure.”
Summer used to be the “hooker with a heart of gold” and was a very sympathetic character. I liked her and when she first appeared, I was positive I would just hate her. She was a constant reminder that the “Real Laura” wasn’t on the show anymore, we’d been screwed out of Luke and Laura getting remarried and TPTB had treated “Real Laura’s” portrayer, Genie Francis, like crap when she wanted time off from the show, insulting her fans in the process. The character of Summer had a lot to overcome as far as I was concerned, but somehow I was won over. I was enjoying her friendship with Luke and her blossoming romance with Lucky when all of a sudden now, she’s just some sleazy, greedy, lying, skanky whore. She comes onto Nikolas constantly and right in front of Lucky, too. I can’t stand her now and I hope she dies or leaves town soon. Good riddance.
Speaking of Lucky, when did he become such a moron? One moment, he seems at least slightly wise, like he’s supposed to be, then the next minute he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. He always defends two-faced Summer and goes on and on about stopping another “Spencer/Cassadine War” from happening. Boring. But at least he’s hot.
Nikolas (also hot) has become just as one-note. Now he’s constantly whining to Lucky about Summer, chanting, “She’s just using you,” “She’s just working you,” “She’s just conning you.” God, shut the hell up already. Also, I think the main reason that I haven’t cared about the “Lost Cassadine Fortune” is because Nik has never seemed too upset about it himself, so why should I be? (Note to Nik: Some emotions, anytime now, would be good. Thanks.) Nik just doesn’t seem passionate about anything except his griping. He’s like a whiny “Spock.”
This whole story seemed to peter out before it even got going and that is bad enough, but what was the deal with that “previously-owned-by-the-Cassadines” castle in Russia they went to that’s a whorehouse now? Is this how TPTB perceive Russians? Are we supposed to believe some rich, Russian pimp bought a castle? Did our adventurers travel back in time when they went to that castle? I’m just wondering because everyone there looked like a bunch of 18th century pirates or something. When Nik and Company finally found the tomb with the “treasure” in it, what did they think they were going to do with it? I know it all turned out to be worthless paper money from the Czarist days of Russia, but there were about ten trunks of that stuff. If it were worth anything there’d have been no way they could have removed the trunks from the castle without being mobbed by the greedy, whore pirates. I am so sure.
Pirate/Whore: “Argh, Mates! What’s that you’re totin’ out of here?”
Nik: “Oh, nothing. Just some trunks full of stuff that, technically, doesn’t belong to me anymore since my family no longer owns this place but, is clearly worth enough that I flew here from another country to trespass on someone else’s property to steal it.”
Pirate/Whore: “Oh, okay. Want me to hold the door for you?”
I can hardly wait for Stefan Cassadine to arrive and save this story. I think that’s what most people are waiting for. Believe me, I am counting the days until Stefan because I have had ENOUGH of Nik, Lucky, Summer and “The Fortune,” or should I say, “Brothers, Jugs and Greed.” It’s just yuck.
At least the “Cassadine Fortune” story hasn’t taken up a lot of airtime, unlike some of the other skunky stories we have to endure. The “Fab Four” of Sonny, Carly, Jason and Courtney comes to mind here. While they haven’t taken up as much time as they usually do, they are still taking too much and their stories stink to high heaven. Sonny isn’t a character I enjoy watching anymore, excluding the “hottie” factor, of course. When he got all high and mighty with Elizabeth because she asked him to guarantee Ric’s safety, the “real” Sonny seemed, finally, to disappear for good. He didn’t have to promise her anything, but he didn’t have to be a total ass, either. Lately, Sonny is just a total ass about everything and so is Jason. He’s another character I can no longer stand, even though he’s still good “eye candy.” His reaction to Sonny’s news that Liz had married Ric just really pissed me off. Jason just shook his head like, “Well, too bad for her,” and went running to Courtney so they could smirk about it together. Liz used to be Jason’s friend and she used to be Sonny’s friend. If they were as noble as some of their fans like to think they are, then they would be concerned for her, not making fun of her.
I’ve seen many Sonny/Jason fans, or more correctly, many “Anti-Liz” fans on Internet message boards saying neither Sonny nor Jason need to help Liz or be nice to her because they don’t owe her anything. That is exactly my point. Used to be, they didn’t have to “owe” anything in order to help, they helped as a matter of principle. I guess those days are gone now leaving these two to be more like Summer; never willing to do something for nothing.
Now back to “Total Ass Sonny” for a moment. First we had “The Darkness,” now we have “The Red Haze?” What the hell? So Liz being pushed down the stairs is going to be all about Sonny? Well, of course it is. Seventy-five percent of what happens on GH is all about him, why should this be any different. The announcer at the end of the Memorial Day episode said something like “Will Sonny finally be pushed to his breaking point?” Like this is a hard thing to do to him? Crap, give me two minutes alone with him and I’ll have him crying for his Mommy. Weenie. When Carly is the “calm one” of this pair, then you know something just ain’t right.
Oddly enough, even though much of the show is about Sonny, I have developed the ability to just kind of ignore him, most of the time, like he’s furniture. He has ceased being a three-dimensional character, so it isn’t difficult. He just says the same dialogue time after time, tweaked a little to fit the situation.
“We’ll wait for him to make the first move.”
“I’ve got to protect my family.”
“Go to your room.”
“Someone wants to bring me down.”
“Do me, Jason.”
Oh, okay, not that last one, but that would sure wake everyone up if he did say that.
So, while I don’t like him anymore, Sonny doesn’t really bother me as much as those three humps on his back: Jason, Carly and Courtney. I have a physical reaction to them. I’m not talking about a good, “Herbal Essences” kind of reaction, either. I’m talking about the type of negative reaction that reaches deep into my past, back to when I was a child. Do you remember when you were a little kid and your parents would take you to a store where they would look at house paint, floor tiles, wallpaper or something “grown-up” like that and it was so excruciatingly boring that you kept laying down on the floor and writhing around while they periodically told you to “get up and behave?” Remember what torture that felt like, as every little second slid slowly by your existence like a razor slashing at your skin? Well, that’s how I feel whenever Carly, Courtney or Jason appears in a scene. Especially since I am having VCR issues and can’t just fast forward. I just want to throw myself on the floor and moan in pain. “Can we go now, Mom? Mom? Mom! Make it stop!”
Did anyone catch that crap last week about Jason being faster than lightning? Than Superman? Than “The Flash” himself? It was when he was on “the island” and the DEA agents showed up at the door of the bungalow just as Jason discovered those bags of cocaine (?) taped to the back of that picture. The agents knocked on the door and yelled and then they kicked it open to find Jason on the couch pretending to be asleep. The drugs were no longer taped to the back of the picture, so the agents were out of luck. Later, Jason told Sonny he had “flushed” the drugs before the agents found them. How did he have enough time to do that?
Well, he didn’t have the time, but I guess we are supposed to pretend we didn’t notice that or we are supposed to think Jason is “Speed Incarnate.” If there’s anything I never thought of Jason as, it’s speedy.
And wasn’t Jason wearing his usual black clothing that day? Hrmph! Anyone who’s ever opened a bag of flour to bake knows there’s no way in hell Jason tore through all those bags of illegal, white, powdery substance without looking a little worse for wear by the time he was finished.
I can’t even get into Carly and Courtney much right now, other than their relationships with their “menfolk.” They are just a couple of nitwits. Here’s Courtney nodding her bobble head as Jason tells her the only life he has to offer her is a dangerous one, like he can’t make the choice to walk away so that, I don’t know, she doesn’t die a horrible, bloody death or something. Some damn hero he is. That’s not love on his part, it’s selfishness and with any luck, it will cost Courtney her life.
I laughed so hard when “Total Ass Jason The Speed Demon” took Courtney riding on his motorcycle and he showed her the special place he goes to so he can “clear his mind.” Oh, man. She was looking at him so blankly at that particular moment, I just know she had to be amazed at the idea of a person going, physically, to a place to clear their head. She’s able to do that just by waking up each day I bet, so the idea of someone actually making an effort probably just left her totally boggled.
It’s the same with Sonny and the Ultimate Nitwit, Carly. She has no right to call anyone stupid, like she called Liz, because if you looked up “obnoxious,” “nasty,” and “moron” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Carly next to all of those words with a little copyright symbol in the corner. Sonny could leave “the life” if he chose to really love and protect his family the way he says he does, but he’s just as selfish as Jason and Carly just rubs his back and tells him what a good man he is. She’s an idiot with absolutely no self-respect.
I was so irked when Sonny yelled at Little Michael because he complained about having to stay inside. This little boy had not only just been rushed off to an island and back again, but he also just saw a limo and a chauffeur get blown up right in front of him, so he’s understandably out-of-sorts. There was no reason for Sonny to raise his voice or send him off to his room. He did though, and whom did Ultimate Nitwit Carly run to comfort? Her own child, who just almost got blown up and struck in the head with the chauffeur’s falling body parts the day before, or her selfish, mobster Total Ass of a Husband?
Unfortunately, I don’t think Stefan’s arrival is going to help Carly, Courtney and Jason (“Mother, Jugs and Speed”) and I know it won’t help Sonny, as he’ll never change and, like I said, he’s furniture now anyway. It would be nice if Stefan could shake up their world and either make them tolerable or “click-boom” them all away; exit stage door left. Buh-bye.
Now if there is any storyline begging for Stefan’s return like Lois Lane shouting out to Superman as she’s plummeting 100 floors to the ground, it’s this “Victor/Victoria” crap that Alexis is up to. I mean, honestly, dressing up like a male butler? What were TPTB thinking/smoking when they came up with this? Do they absolutely hate Alexis’ portrayer, Nancy Lee Grahn or do they really think this is a good story?
Do they think at all, ever?
Well, I think, and I’m thinking Stefan needs to swoop down quickly on this story and just NIP IT IN THE BUD and put us out of our misery. (Please, Stefan! Save us!) What I don’t understand is why a male butler? Why couldn’t the Quartermaine’s have hired a nanny instead? This would have been so much more believable if Alexis could have disguised herself as some kindly, plump, old lady nanny. She could have been like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle or that lady who owns Tweety-Bird. Dobson doesn’t sound at all like a man and Michael Jackson’s facial hair looks more realistic, so that just makes all the characters surrounding her look even dumber than she does, if that’s possible.
I have to say the “Alexis/Dobson” story (“Dexis?” “Dobsis?”) has had it’s funny moments, but most of those moments seem out of context to what is actually the very sad story of a mother yearning to be with her baby daughter. Yeah, “Dobson” sliding down the banister is humorous, but why the hell would she do that? Why would Alexis be in the mood to kick up her heels in such a manner right after Skye has told her she plans on being Kristina’s mother?
Also, what was Alexis grabbing between her legs after she slid down the banister? Does she actually have balls now, too?
I just don’t see how Stefan can’t be absolutely appalled at her ridiculous behavior. I figure the writers will just kind of gloss over his reaction to it all. He’ll probably say something pithy and she’ll say something smartass and they’ll go on like it didn’t happen.
At any rate, I am hoping Stefan’s return will mark the retiring of Dobson’s jock strap.
Then there’s poor, little Emily. I really do feel bad for her and this storyline is actually unfolding slowly, like a real story! I think it may be the only plot that is. I am enjoying the Emily recast, Natalia Livingston, but sometimes she overdoes it. Her voice escalates and her delivery becomes too rhythmic, which seems to negatively affect my spinal cord. I understand that she’s new and will probably improve, but meanwhile, can’t some director just ask her to turn it down a notch or two? There won’t be any believable drama left by the time she gets to the “bald” portion of the story if she lets loose too much now.
Oh, well. I am just happy to see that she has involved Nik in her story. He desperately needs to interact with some people who are NOT Lucky, Summer or Luke and Emily will do until Stefan returns. She may even suffice as good company for Nik after his Uncle hits town.
I wonder what Stefan will do for Emily’s story? Anything? Does it really need anything? Oh, yeah. Maybe Stefan will be the one to finally tell poor Zander what’s really going on. That will be fine with me because Zander being kept out of the loop for his own good is just getting silly. I swear, Chad Brannon (Zander) must spend hours in front of the mirror each day practicing “100 Different Ways To Look Clueless.” Poor guy.
Well, I think my bitchy analysis will stop there. I could go on about Liz/ Ric and “The Teens” and Skye/Ned, but all these stories are merely roads, which eventually just lead back to Sonny in some capacity, and I am just not going to spend that much time right now talking about cartoon furniture.
Meanwhile, I am still waiting for Stefan. I wonder if he knows how important his return is to so many of us? There is a lot resting on this character’s shoulders; the revitalization of misguided characters, the exorcism of bad plotting, the return of chills and suspense. Is it fair to expect so much from one character? Probably not. Stefan should at least be able to share that burden with Helena, Tracy Q and Laura Spencer, but since that’s apparently not going to happen in the near future, I am going to hide the Kryptonite, tuck the crosses away, close the drapes as to block out that nasty sunlight, make some popcorn and keep my fingers crossed that Stefan can save the world.