General Hospital Couple of Weeks in Review
I can't really sum up the past couple of weeks on GH as anything other than my old standby, "meh." Nothing offended me to my soap-watching core or made me want to construct monuments to hatred. That's an improvement. (Though the new mob war is starting -- can I get a collective "YAWN" on that, BTW -- so I'm sure the hate will be back soon.) On the other hand, nothing was fabulous. Kate is quickly being sacrified at the altar of Sonny, the couples I liked broke up, and while it was definitely nice to have a break from Carly's yelling, according to Friday's preview someone may shoot at her on today's episode, which will get her good and riled up.
The few stories I have been enjoying are rushing past at such a pace that I'm quickly losing interest. If there's one theme lately, it's the whiplash-inducing storytelling. In the name of Gloria Monty, SLOW DOWN, YOU IDIOTS. Did nobody tell these people that they're in charge of a soap opera? You know, a serial drama that's on every day, thus affording the writers time to tell a story over months and months in order to draw the audience in and build attachment to characters? What an unfortunate oversight.
I was going to say that have no idea what his purported justification for this continuing hair-don't is
but maybe I haven't given him enough credit and Steve Burton is rebelling against the show's pacing using some kind of reverse psychology involving not getting a haircut: "Oh hey, look how many months I can drag out something that should take ten minutes. Who's brain-damaged now, assholes? By the way, I was on vacation for a week -- is Jason a grandfather yet?"
However noble the reason, I continue to strenuously object
to being visually held hostage by Steve Burton's hair. It's getting to the point where I have to stop and rewind to watch
his scenes, because I get so distracted by his hair and pondering what
bet he must have lost or what possible role he could be doing this to
himself for. And really, this is the final straw for me. Having to
watch Jason rescue a damsel in distress twice, or moon over Liz in front of Lucky twice,
or angrily confront an enemy or his lawyer over something related to
his illegal-DVD empire (seriously, what do he and Sonny do?) twice, or "sexily" point a gun at someone twice is just too much to bear.
There were a few scenes recently where I was able to pay attention. That's because, as Mallory has noted, when he has a scene with Kimberly McCullough, Steve Burton shows up like whoa. I will quote her, because otherwise I'd mostly just be repeating what she said with the words in a different order:
Robin bandages Jason's damaged hands as they talk. Kelly interrupts to see if Stacy was okay, and after she leaves, Robin explains the significance of Stacy's situation to Jason, and he reacts like a normal human being: he actually changes facial expressions and seems to understand what Stacy means to Robin. I am completely weirded out, you guys: Steve Burton has not been engaged in a scene like this in forever. I know that the big wars are between the Jason/Sam camp and the Jason/Liz fans and, again, I have ZERO desire for a Robin/Jason retread, but his chemistry with Kimberly McCullough is simply in a different hemisphere than his chemistry with Kelly Monaco and Becky Herbst. His eyes had actual emotion, he reacted to what she was saying and seemed to enjoy spending time with her. SO WEIRD.
Word. You can even tell just from a screencap, right?
It's craziness. And fortunately, enjoyable Jason/Robin scenes is one of the
things they've decided regular GH and the embarrassment calling itself Night Shift can share. Now I also by
no means want a Jason and Robin repeat, unless it's a year or more down
the road as Jason is struggling to adjust to his past as a hitman while
he fills out his med school application, but I could deal with the two of them as confidantes and good friends.
I readily concede that a lot of credit in those scenes goes to
Kimberly McCullough. She is fantastic with whoever they put her with
-- romantically or otherwise.
But I feel so bad for her, being deprived of Jason Thompson's hotness for the foreseeable future. How will she cope?
Which brings me to the Patrick and Robin break-up. Sigh. Well, at least I can say the GH one was better than the Night Shift one. The GH break-up sucks, but at least it was over a real reason; I think most people of a certain age know at least one couple who has broken up over the babies/no babies issue. The main problem with this particular split to me is that first, the couple still had months if not a year or more of good stuff left in them before the requisite soapy split. "Scrubs" was one of the rare examples of a romance that the writers really took their time with, thereby capitalizing on amazing chemistry between the actors and building audience investment. I am pretty sure the long build-up was because the story was about two doctors who worked in a place called General Hospital, and everyone who wasn't Awesome Writer was so confused by such a concept that they just stalled until they could figure out a way to wrap things up with a bullet to the head like they usually do. But regardless, it was great to see an old-fashioned soap build-up with a modern, witty-banter'd flare. It's just too bad the relationship, once they finally got one, was cut short. And don't even get me started on the plot contrivance calling herself Leyla. Or on how they could not have made a worse choice for The Other Woman if they'd picked her off The Bachelor. Argh.
Anyway, because of the good times he hotly gave us, despite the fact that
he's been a dick way more often than not, particularly in the Night
Shift alternate universe, I will temporarily restore Patrick's
trademark modifier. Despite the break-up being unnecessary and rushed,
at least when he was explaining his total unwillingness to even
consider having a kid he was being hotly honest.
And I don't remember what this actually was, but I'm going to call it hotly remorseful.
I feel bad for "hotly." With Patrick romancing Leyla, it has virtually no shot of seeing the light of day anytime soon. I can only hope the show's trademark pacing kicks in soon so we can bring hotly back (a la Justin Timberlake) by November sweeps.
If anyone ever needed a classic example of how f'ed up the pacing on modern-day General Hospital is, the Logan/Lulu "romance" is it. As Mal noted in our SOD column last month and as we've bitched about here several times, the reveal of Scotty as Logan's father took place over about one one-hundredth the amount of time it should have. But lord knows this writing team doesn't like to learn from mistakes, so why not throw Logan into the fastest romance in the history of soaps?
I have made it clear I'm a Logan fan (or at least, a fan of his
hotness). I am also a Logan/Lulu fan, I guess, although I didn't
really have time to even become a fangirl and already they're broken up.
A recap: About three months ago they began to regularly interact, when he forcibly kissed her. A typical soap bad-boy-pursues-good(ish)-girl beginning. They'd need time to get past that start, right? Well, after an hour or so, they eventually moved past it, and flirted for a while. In soap terms, "a while" should have been a few months, at least. But in this case, "a while" meant "a week or so." They went on their first date about a month and a half ago. Then he almost slept with Maxie. Then he and Lulu had sex for the first time -- less than a month ago. Then Logan cheated on Lulu with Maxie, less than two weeks ago. A few days later, Logan and Lulu moved in together. A couple of days after that, Maxie told Lulu about her hook-up with Logan and The Bet, and Lulu dumped Logan.
That is a year or two worth of story! What the hell, alleged soap opera? This is ridiculous. Everyone knows that soap couples,
with very few exceptions, are at their most uninteresting when they're
together. The build-up, the obstacles, the fights, the break-ups, the
interlopers, the reconciliations -- THAT is what a soap opera IS, for
god's sake! An entire relationship, between two legacy characters (who
should have gotten together differently in the first place),
which could have been milked for every bit of great soap it was worth
instead took place over less than seven weeks! Sure, they'll probably
get back together, but the reason viewers care about whether a couple
reunites is if they had time to get attached to them in the first place. I feel like this is all so basic, there must be a really fascinating, complicated explanation for why the GH writers just don't get it. I hope brainwashing and/or designer drugs is involved.
I'd been liking Emily a lot lately, but damn, I wouldn't ever want her on "my side" during an argument. Encouraging Jason to go after Liz when she knows Liz and Lucky just agreed to try to make their marriage work? Encouraging Liz to leave her husband for Em's hitman brother whom Emily has seen destroy virtually every woman he's ever been involved with?
Emily is being a terrible, terrible friend. She and Lucky have been close since they were kids! And she's basically doing everything she can to ensure his misery. And humiliation. This would have been unthinkable back in the day, when Amber Tamblyn's Emily befriended Jonathan Jackson's Lucky when he came back to Port Charles.
Foster is looking down from doggie heaven, all "I knew a lot of bitches in my day, but damn, Emily."
What the hell happened on the set? Poor Lindze Leatherman had been
reduced to busing tables and tsk-tsking Maxie for like a year and a
half, and then all of a sudden we got about ten substantive Georgie
scenes in a week. I prefer Georgie in the role of Town Truth Teller,
as opposed to Sappy Spinelli Stalker, but I guess I'll take what I can
get. I always thought she was the smart Jones sister, but I'm pretty
perplexed by her sudden desire to hit this
. . .
I hope this become a love triangle soon. Before it does, however, could we do something about Georgie's hair?
If she has a row of Goody elastics down the back, she's 25 years too late to compete with my impressive attempt to duplicate Jo from The Facts of Life's hairstyle. (Yes, Jo, not Blair. I was a tomboy! I'm making up for it with extra girliness in my 30s, as evidenced most recently by my DSW point balance.)
The wardrobe and hairstyles they impose on poor Lindze are truly horrid. She looked fierce at the Emmys, so I refuse to believe she has a hand in this look.
So, remember a few months ago when I was like dude, how hot would Greg Vaughn and Kelly Monaco be together?
But then the writers started putting them together six minutes after
Sam broke up with Jason and while Lucky was still married to Liz, and I
was "eh, not so much with the hotness"? As is almost always the case (I'm blessed this way), I was right the first time.
Damn, the two of them have chemistry to spare. I hate the storyline, because it's so ridiculously rushed (does that sound familiar?), but the combined gorgeousness of Greg Vaughn and Kelly Monaco and their onscreen sparks are really irresistible.
Mallory has already thanked Kelly Monaco for continuing to motivate her to hit the gym, and I must add my gratitude.
I'll be moving into a Pilates studio now. I hope it has wireless internet.
Depending on what day you're watching, Nikolas is a supportive brother and sensitive boyfriend, or a rageaholic. I'm sure this is going someplace great.
And now for my random thoughts about a bunch of things that I'm going to call: Characters I'm Not Enjoying, No Matter How Much You Try To Force Me To, You Miserable Excuse for a Soap Opera, The September 10-21, 2007 Edition
(I am way into pithy titles.)
Port Charles didn't need another bad guy, and it certainly didn't
need one connected to this latest f'ing mob war. The only good thing
about Trevor coming to town is that this insane "Sonny tried to kill
Ric and their mother before Ric was even born" bullshit is hopefully
Sonny: What kind of man holds a grudge against a six-year-old little boy?
I can't even believe I'm typing this, but: Word to the third, Sonny. And good for Ric for finally realizing this too. (Rick Hearst was predictably amazing in those scenes telling off Trevor and then turning his rage to Sonny for everything he's done in just the last few years.)
The usual. Plus now he's ruining Kate. One accurate quote over a ten-day span doesn't get you that far.
On my more paranoid days, I think the GH writers read this blog and have created these two characters just to drive me into the loony bin via a Soap Opera Hate-induced nervous breakdown. If I stay half as long as Tracy did, soaps will be shown solely on mobile phones by the time I get out and am able to criticize again. Pretty sneaky, kids.
Despicable. I don't care how charming the accent is, he needs a redeeming characteristic. And he needs to stay the eff away from Alexis.
Until he leaves Carly, tells Sonny definitively to mind his own bullet-ridden business, AND cuts his hair, Jax is off my list. (Ingo can still call me, though! Well, if he cuts the hair...)
Jax and Alexis are so good together that I almost took him off this Do Not Enjoy list -- their scenes last week were divine. But I decided a couple of snippets of goodness can't balance out forgiving Carly for her past misdeeds, particularly the recent ones.
I'm a Kate fan from the get-go, but as predicted they're just using her as yet another woman who can prove what a good man and knight in shining armor Sonny is. Spare me. Falling for that guy can't be balanced out by any number of great outfits or Fendi bags.
Perhaps in an effort to avoid Alexis' fate of a Sonny one-night-stand that just keeps on giving, Diane recently began dressing as a man in order to make herself as unattractive as possible to the oversexed mumbling mobster she so inexplicably continues to ably and voluntarily represent.
I guess wardrobe was going for Marlene Dietrich,
or Annie Hall? Unfortunately they ended up more with Just One of the Guys: The Middle Aged Years.
I feel like there's some kind of penance that strong female supporting characters have to pay on this show. They exhibit fabulosity, then must be punished with hideous clothes (Diane and Georgie being this week's examples). Except for Alexis, who manages to look fabulous fairly regularly, but must run around referring to Sonny as Father of the Year or pursuing the biggest creep she can find for her next romantic misadventure. Which reminds me, I despise this show. Hey, maybe I was wrong earlier -- I think I could go for a monument of hatred about right now.
Screencaps courtesy of Clarissa.