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« Days of Our Lives Week in Review | Main | They Should Have Gone With Another Rerun »

September 03, 2007

General Hospital Week in Review: Dear Show, I Hate You

Dear General Hospital,

I hate 90% of you right now.  I would not watch you anymore if I didn't have to for my second job.  I say that even though I know it sounds obnoxious, because it is outrageously cool that I get paid to bitch about bad TV.  But I say it in spite of that, to demonstrate the volume and intensity of the hate I have for you.  I used to love getting righteously indignant about the quality of one of my shows and then quitting watching in a huff.  I cannot do that with you, and it pains me.  Like, it is seriously painful for me to watch you.  I hate hate hate almost every part of you.

I am aware, however, that criticism should be constructive and also include specific items that should be addressed.  The constructive aspect of my criticism of you, the show I hate, I sum up thusly:  I suggest that you construct a show that does not suck, that I do not want to construct monuments of hate to, that does not appear to be constructed specifically to drive away viewers in droves.

Some specific things you need to fix include:

This

It's not really fixable.  But try.  Please.

Putting outfits like this on my screen:

Luluawfuloutfit

I think that was created in a laboratory to ensure maximum anti-flatter-ability.

Having Sonny sit in judgment of anyone.  For anything.  Ever.

This kind of thing contributes to the impression that you've made the mafia your moral compass.  Sonny calling Ric angry to Trevor was precious.  Is he also going to criticize Jason throwing that decanter at the fireplace when he was threatening Sam's life?  Will he call out Carly for being self-involved and unable to put anyone's emotional needs ahead of her own?  Because thanks, but I have enough irony in my life.

Introducing new bad guys. 

YOU HAVE ENOUGH BAD GUYS.  You just don't know it, because you think they are the good guys.  Trevor is the latest example, but there are many.   

Having your romantic lead kill people, and in particular having him threaten to kill the woman who was the love of his life up until about three weeks ago.

Soapnetemailjasonkillsam

Oh, and stop sending me emails with a subject line of "Would GH's Jason Really Kill Sam?!" because -- newsflash -- it's disgusting that you even had him threaten to do it.  And now you're marketing it. It's a plot point you're proud of.  You are disturbed.  Twisted.  And generally fucked up.

Introducing annoying new characters to do stuff that existing characters could have done, if you could just figure out how to write properly.

Drford

Listen, I'm so sorry you killed off Alan Quartermaine at the exact moment you decided to do a storyline involving the hospital chief of staff, but Dr. Ford is totally annoying.  He's not an awesome villain, he's not an endearing antagonist, he's just annoying.  If you wanted to write a corporate takeover storyline, what about Emily and Nikolas deciding that the Quartermaines and Cassadines could join together to purchase GH to save it from the MedCam eeevuuul people.  But then some financial catastrophe could happen and the two families' fortunes could be threatened, which would create drama for Nikolas and Emily . . . or something.  Anything.  Anything other than this.

Conceiving of, writing, and having actors participate in scenes like this: 

Spinelliplaymatefantasy

Spinelliplaymatefantasy2

Having two supporting characters provide the most enjoyable scenes out of five episodes.

Max and Diane were the highlight of the week.  (Say that sentence several times in your head and see if it gets sadder with every repetition.)  The two of them playing cards and having two totally separate conversations was highly entertaining.  And then this:

Diane:  How could you do this to me?!  I have bent the law and broken my back defending you and Jason time and time again.  Finally, something good has come of it, and now you want to take it away.
Max:  It’s a dress.
Diane: It’s COUTURE!  Do you have any word that describes that in man speak? Any translation for the yearning of feeling a designer original draped over your body?  I was this close to owning a [some made-up designer]. And now you have to blow it all by breaking up with Kate Howard ahead of schedule.

Hilarious.  But . . . it's Diane.  Who is great, but peripheral.  And Max.  Max was a key player in the week's best scenes.  Go to your room and think about that.

Messing up the one good romantic story you've got going.

I like Maxie with Cooper, and I like Lulu with Logan, but damned if I don't love the Lulu-Logan-Maxie-[Cooper if he were not invisible] infidelity drama!  It's just pure soapiness!  Love it.  Maxie with her bad-girl-ness, Lulu with her baggage, Logan with his brutal hotness.  Love.  But you're already messing it up.  Mostly by making Lulu, the supposed good girl in this scenario, increasingly unlikeable. 

It's bad enough you won't bring back Laura and you frequently re-write Luke as a terrible parent and unfeeling ass.  Please don't compound that by destroying the kids of the most popular couple in the history of soaps.

Lucky is now dumb as a post.  And oh, Lulu.  I liked her so much.  I think Julie Marie Berman is incredibly talented, and I love that Lulu is so connected to so many characters on the canvas.  I loved her vulnerability and insecurities and snarkiness.  But lately, man, what the hell are you doing to her?!  Her family loyalty doesn't compel her to tell Lucky about Liz and Jason's affair, but it does compel her to yell at Jax about leaving Carly behind when he went to help Jerry?  What?  And why, why, why are you trying to turn her into Carly, Jr.?  Current-day Carly is AWFUL.  She is a TERRIBLE PERSON.  I imagine Laura Wright protests on a daily basis having to spout the shitty dialogue you give Carly.

So of all the people Lulu could emulate, you have it be Carly?  And you even have her go to Carly for advice about Logan?  And THIS is the advice Carly gives?

Carly: Okay.  A guy with a rough exterior can have a sensitive soul.  I will give you that.  Because there's Jason.  But he is an exception to the rule.  Most guys who seem damaged, usually are.

He IS damaged!  It's right there in his diagnosis, "brain damaged."  And by the way, he KILLS PEOPLE FOR A LIVING.  If there is a better indication that someone is damaged, I've never heard of it!  I don't even know what to say to you if you can't see that this is totally messed up!

See, I was supposed to be talking about Lulu, but I'm totally falling into your trap of making everything about Sonny, Jason, or Carly.  I hate you.

Letting Awesome Writer only write a scene every third week or so.

This was clearly his handiwork:

Carly: I wasn’t married to you when I slept with Sonny, but you were married to me when you slept with Irina.
Jax:  I already explained what happened.
Carly:  You slept with another woman, multiple times.  I only…it only happened once.
Jax:  And I regret it.  You don’t.  You slept with Sonny because you wanted to.
Carly:  Why are we talking about this?
Jax: You’re trying to accuse me of cheating on you when I was forced into it!  You slept with Sonny because you still had feelings for him, because you wanted to sleep with him.  So if anyone should be called a cheater here, it’s you, not me.

Carlyjaxplane

But the rest of that storyline is a travesty.

Tearing down every single last one of your female characters. 

Carly is unrecognizable, Alexis is invisible, Sam is batshit crazy, Liz is hypocritical and annoying, and now -- in your latest raising of a middle finger to the viewing audience -- you had to go and imply that Kate, the only self-made, professionally successful woman getting any scenes on this damned show, slept her way to the top.  And this week you even fucked up her gorgeous hair.  I hate you. 

Sincerely (and I do mean that),

Becca

P.S.  Logan remains brutally hot.

P.P.S.  I still hate you.

Screencaps courtesy of Clarissa.

Comments

Brutal, Briliant and hilarious as usual. And if there is a soap God the batshit loons running GH will see this and take action.

I bow to your ability to hit the proverbial nail on the also-proverbial head with this post! (Oh...and bless you for your masterpiece on the travesty that is the Jax not!rape storyline...). I sincerely hope that the PFMs at GH read this and know that it is the sentiment of the vast majority of the viewing public right now.
Bravo!

I was laughing my ass off by the Teen Drama thing. When Carly said that whole thing about 'damaged' guys I had the biggest WTF?! look on my face. I also almost couldn't believe my ears when I heard Jax calling Carly a cheater! I truly believe RGJ was sleeping, drugged(by awesome write who, unlike the rest, actually wants to save the show), or just not paying attention in his acoholic state(obviously how he writes the show or it at least appears so...). How much did it suck that Robin and Patrick weren't even on at all this week! They save the show, from time to time, from complete suckiness(Even though God knows its there but Scrubs help me forget from time to time).

Before I jump into good shows like The Office, my Boys, Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, (forever fave) Friends, etc... I'm gonna leave you with my friends advice that I just might take:

F- Why do you watch soaps?! I tried watching GH for you but it sucked!
M- You haven't seen enough! Besides It doesn't always suck...
F- LMAO always... Lets just stick to primetime okay!

Words of a God!

Thank god for you saying it! Last week was so unbearable, but Max and Diane were amazing, amazingly amazing! And also, if the ever unbrutalized Logan's hotness I would be forever saddened. Great review once again!

Thanks, ladies! ann, I do not know what a PFM is, but if they are involved in running GH I can only assume they are very bad indeed.

I'm still trying to get over the fact that Diane and Max were the best things last week. I keep a little running list of good and bad for the week and after Friday's episode I looked at the whole list and it was, like, 179 "bad"s, and then the "good"s were Diane and Max playing poker, Diane's COUTURE comment, and Amelia's hilariously meta comment about recasts usually being horrible, which I couldn't work into this post so is being reserved for another day.

Another excellent blog.

You highlighted a great deal of important points:
1. Having the most entertaining scenes go to blatantly minor characters
2. The bringing in of minor characters to fill roles that could be filled by characters already on the canvas...explaining why Sonny has two computer guys, two useless tit bodyguards, and even a shiny new lawyer, because he made the mistake of sleeping with Diane I, aka Alexis, and lawyer 2 is his vengeful brother. Wonderful planning there.

I'd include Jason as point 3, but it's so all encompassing, it doesn't deserve to be on a list.

I am happy that you can at least enjoy the teen quadrangle of doom, despite the fact that
1. Lulu is as obnoxious as Carly on steroids, and almost as pimped as Jason
2. The little girl with the heart condition that was brought up on our screens is now a 1D vixen without a cause
3. Cooper has the personality of a ficus
4. Logan, seemed to go from unlikeable bully to suddenly in love with Lulu in about .7 seconds.

Maybe the only way to like a storyline is to find one of the characters amazingly hot? No, wait, I find Lucky amazingly hot, and I can't touch his storyline with a 10 foot pole.

That stuff was Lulu to jax was so bizarre. And unnecessary.

As for Max and Diane, they were great, and the fact that everyone is commenting on that as a highlight is, as you say, an indictment of the show in general.

As for Amelia's comment about recasts, I'd forgotten about that, but that was great too. Poor Greg Vaughan.

PFM stands for Poo Flinging Monkey's, the assholes who run the show.

As always, Becca, a great read.

Becca, PFM stands for Poo Flinging Monkeys. You have correctly assumed that PFMs are very bad, indeed. Oh, and a big "Word!" to your entire post.

I love your comments...my sentiments exactly. What the hell have they done with the Qs by the way? Where is Tracy? They could have done so much with her locked up in Shadybrook, but instead Michael, Morgan, Baby Jake and cameron had more episodes this month than the fabulously talented and the best hair on TV Jane Eliot! Now that is just WRONG!!

I still think Diane is a ripoff of Alexis. Alexis should be in those scenes, not another non-contract player. Monica should be the having the scenes Dr. Ford is having.

Sniffles. I miss Cooper and Maxie. What Maxie is doing makes no sense. And the writers suck in writing for Cooper, they could do so much more with his character, and I firmly believe 3M is/was a more popular couple than LnL3. Stupid show.

In real life, I work as a domestic violence counselor. What we tell EVERYONE (male AND female!) is that IF your significant other has threatened to injure, maim and/or kill you - you SHOULD take ALL of those THREATS seriously! In our experience a man (OR woman) who threatens to kill ANYONE is likely to arrive at the conclusion that they MUST carry through on their threat as a way to 'save face.' So, if there are ANY women (OR men!) out there who have been threatened in any way that is similar to the threat which Jason issued to Sam this week, PLEASE, please, please -- contact the National Domestic Violence hotline and discuss the threats with a counselor!

The Web page for the NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE is at:

http://www.ndvh.org/

TELEPHONE NUMBERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

If ANYTHING about your relationship with your partner scares you and you need to talk, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)!!!

Jason and Sonny have been getting away with MURDER for years. I find it highly unlikely that writers who can ALWAYS justify murder would even begin to grasp the reasons why a female audience would be outraged by a storyline which treats the subject of rape in the cavalier manner that Jax's current storyline has been treating the subject. That being said, in the REAL world, I would be inclined to see Jax as being on the receiving end of spousal abuse as well.

However, as for the writing on this show, I would like to point out that I believe that it has been obvious for quite some time that someone somehwere in the upper management of General Hospital - and going back as far as the days of Port Charles - has an SM fetish! If you look at clips of GH from LAST summer - you will discover that LAST summer, the major action featured SAM being tied up and threatened by Manny Ruiz! Sam McCall's initials even turn out to be SM. Was this intentional? I believe that it was. Years ago, when Sam McCall was Livvie Locke on Port Charles, one entire summer consisted of Livvie hanging out in her underwear in a cave with a dirty old man (Caleb Moreley claimed to be HUNDREDS of years old) who had been justifying his right to MURDER people over successive generations. Livvie walked around for an entire summer with a glazed look on her face. A woman with a spaced-out look in her eye, wandering around in her underwear most of the summer, under the 'spell' of a dirty old man WAS the re-enactment of the porn world's equivalent of the 'perfect' woman! ABC and PC touted the relatiionship between glassy-eyed Livvie and dirty old man Caleb as the absolute HEIGHT of true love! There is likewise a MALE SM fantasy which centers around a guy being held captive by a beautiful woman and 'tortured' into satisfying her lustful desires! From where I sit, this summer's story about Jax being tied up and tortured 'into submission' by Irina is equivalent to LAST summer's story about Sam being tied up and 'tortured' by Manny Ruiz. In fact, if you look back over the successive summers, you will discover that. at some point during EACH summer - whoever it is in the GH chain of command who gets their jollies from extolling the virtues of SM - gets their wish fulfilled EVERY summer!

And, let us face facts here - ONCE The Idiots In Charge at GH have successfully TAUGHT their audience to - not only overlook but to actually ENDORSE, applaud and GLORIFY Jason and Sonny's right to FREQUENTLY commit murder without suffering ANY kind of consequences - why would TIIC NOT expect that that same audience would be willing to overlook, endorse, applaud and glorify every OTHER crime in the book - INCLUDING rape?

IF you have a friend, relative or even a neighbor who is involved with any kind of REAL mobster - for God's sake - do WHATEVER you can to get that friend, relative or neighbor AWAY from the mob influence! AND encourage that person to contact the National Domestic Violence hotline. And ESPECIALLY if you - or anyone close to you - has a friend, relative or neighbor who has a boyfriend, significant other or spouse who has made ANY kind of DEATH threats - please, please, please - DO take those threats seriously. In domestic violence, there is NO SUCH THING as an IDLE threat!

Best wishes - stay safe - Deborah

Taht's the thing that kills me about this show. They have probably one of the best - if not the best - stable of actors on daytime (even the actor who plays Spinelli is pretty good; it's just that his character is a horribly written caricature).

It's staggering how badly they're all squandered. Like others have said, half the bit parts on the show could be played by established characters portrayed by the veteran actors fans of the show actually want to see. Why is this an issue?

It really sucks that GH went yet another full week with no Patrick and Robin because I could have used a good rant on whatever the hell they are are doing to them. The one good thing on the show is being shot to hell.

I thought I'd share a comment with you from a "non-viewer" of GH. My neighbor stopped in on Friday...I was watching gh. She sat down for a few minutes, we chatted and I left the tv on..watching, but not really. Then the park scene came on with Jason and Sam...where Sam reiterates that Jason is going to kill her..whatever. My neighbor says to me..."why do you watch this crap"?.."isn't that the couple that only a few months ago were so in love...it was amazing"? I looked at my neighbor and said.."beats me..why I watch this crap". I guess I think that each day it MIGHT change. To be honest, I think it just gets worse each day instead of better..and reading the spoilers only confirms that.

Sigh. I love you both. You hate what I hate. It's comforting to know that I am not alone in thinking such things, however, it also makes me even more pissed off that not one of TIIC is willing to address these issues.

I stopped watching about 4 months ago. Couldn't stomach the fab 4 (Jason, Sonny, Carly, and Sam) in every scene. Don't like any of them. Every so often the tv may be on and GH comes on while I'm working. I lend an ear for 5 minutes and discover it has gotten worse. Why this drivel is forced on us despite criticism from almost everyone without serious writing and executive producer change is beyond me. Why Genie Francis isn't back is beyond me. Where're Ned and the Q's? No one has a storyline except the fab 4 + Liz and Lucky. When did Carly become a "mother" and confident of Lulu? And why? I'm not invested in any of these new characters. Women come and go and all are there to find Sonny irresistible. Why? He is a mobster and killls people.
There's no depth, no character development, no history, no family ties and most of all there is sex and violence but no romance, no fun, no laughter. Think of Luke and Laura, Robert and Holly, Lois and Ned, Alan and Monica. All were fun. There was angst, love, laughter. I knew these characters. There is not one character on this show now I care about or want to watch. Not one. Even Luke has been reduced to an awful father and alcoholic. Can't watch it any more.
The only time I had any depth of emotion was last year's return of Genie Francis. She elevated the performances of Lulu, Nikolas, and Lucky as well as Luke. Good Riddance GH.

Wow. I've been away from tv for 2-1/2 weeks. Thank you, Becca & Mallory, for your rants, which are intelligent, always on the money, and far more entertaining than the piece of crapshit that is GH. I've also hardly been on line, and while I didn't miss GH one bit, I did miss Serial Drama. I only wish those imbeciles at ABC would read your column and get themselves a clue!

Can't they resurrect AJ? He always saw Jason for what he was, and didn't mind pointing out his flaws.

As usual, I agree with every single thing you stated. Which begs the question: "why am I still watching this crapfest?" I guess the only explanation is that I've been watching GH for about thirty years and I refuse to give Guza the satisfaction of driving me away with his mob-centric and misogynistic story lines. There WILL be a new headwriter some day - I just have to hang in - oh, and pass the kool-aid.

By the way, I know you've put out APB's on missing body parts before. Could you please send one out for Jax's balls? Today he was AGAIN apologizing to that shrieking shrew about "cheating" on her and "sleeping" with Irina. However, I don't think we need too look to far - they're probably in Carly's armoire, hidden among all her unused bras.

The first time I seen this site was today, and quite frankly I feel the same way GH, portrays woman like sex objects for Sonny and Jason, time for this to stop. You know something is wrong when people, cheer for the mob. Gloria Monty, god bless her soul must be turning in her grave.

I agree with you 100%!!!! I don't know why Guza, Phelps and Frons continue to want to turn my favourite soap into shit, but it truly seems to be their goal. It's gone from a soap that would have me yelling at the cable man outside my house if they were fiddling with the neighbourhood cable during GH, to me hardly even caring if it's on!

I mean when they killed Alan - I thought, well at least they'll do a battle for Chief of Staff between Monica and this turd Ford - but instead we get a couple of arguments and I blink and he's chief of staff - wth?

I find myself everyday wondering where the Quartermaines are, what the heck happened to Lucky (for the love of God - bring Jonathan Jackson back or at least get someone with a sense of humour - there's no way this cardboard cutout is Luke's son!), where's Alexis and why is she not on my screen more, what happened to the Jones' & Scorpios and hell, why is Tracy still in the looney bin (no way scheming Tracey of Old would still be in there), why haven't I seen her lately and where the heck is Wally Kurth (I want my Nedly!!!!!) and last but certainly not least, why is there no freaking Romance on this Soap?!!!!!!!!!!!! They have screwed up every couple on this show so much - that I don't care about anybody being together anymore!!!!!

I was wondering why they didn't show an older rerun episode of GH on Labour Day other than the Metro Court stuff becuase I thought that would be more fun -- but then I realized they were probably afraid that it would remind people what good General Hospital looked like and how great it used to be!

Maxie's got the snark, Lulu's just a bitch. I hate that Cooper doesn't even seem to exist anymore. I hate that we still don't know whether or not Cooper and Maxie are together.

"Messing up the one good romantic story you've got going."

^^^Yeah, Cooper and Maxie. They were sacrificed for Logan and Lulu. Can't have 3M (Cooper/Maxie) outshining the show's mini Golden Girl and her, new true!love. Heavens, no!

Say what you want about the character of Sam...she's being a real wacko now...I totally agree. However, KM is doing something right to stir up all the fans. She is able to make the fans hate her....and when she is a "normal" person .... everyone will love her. That's KM's job...being a good actress. She's believable...that's why everyone is up in arms about her character. They believe she is a crazed, slut, whatever you want to call her. Go Kelly...do your job...I love it!

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