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:
It's not really fixable. But try. Please.
Putting outfits like this on my screen:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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),
P.S. Logan remains brutally hot.
P.P.S. I still hate you.
Screencaps courtesy of Clarissa.