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« The American Bitchass Company | Main | The People In the Little Box Aren't Real »

December 17, 2007

A Christmas Carol

Bob Guza chews his pencil earnestly and sits behind his large mahogany desk, deep in thought.

"I wonder," he asks aloud, "What the best way to end this scene would be? Should I have Jason say 'I'll take care of it' before zooming to a close up of Steve's chiseled face, or should I have Sonny say 'Jason, I know you'll take care of it', before zooming to a close up of Steve's chiseled face? There's such a subtle distinction between the two, I don't know which would be more powerful".

He stares up at a large, framed photo of Steve Burton for guidance. Studying it intently for a moment, he eventually beams and says, "Steve, I KNEW you'd know what to do! You're so right, it makes sense for Sonny to say the line, because it shows how important Jason is to Sonny and, ergo, ipso facto, the whole show."

Thrilled with a job well done, he excitedly types out the final line of his scene and starts to pack his belongings before he hears a strange noise from under his desk.

"Hello? Is someone there? Is it...did Christmas come early and bring Kelly Monaco under my desk? Heh. Heh. Heheh."

A regal looking woman steps gingerly out from under Guza's desk and imperiously says, "No, you pervert. It's me."

A wave of recognition passes over Guza's face and he groans, "Oh, god, it's you. The ghost of Glory Montana or whatever your name is. Can't you just leave me alone and haunt me when I'm not at work? This is embarrassing".

She rolls her eyes and gestures for someone else to come out from under the desk. A friendly looking man appears and glares at Guza, who reciprocates with a confused stare. "Am I supposed to know you?"

The man, far too politely, extends a hand and says "I'm--or, rather, I was--Doug Marland".

Guza continues to stare blankly.

"I wrote for As the World Turns and Guiding Light, and GH. I actually created the Quartermaines".

Guza shudders. "Ugh, that was you".

He starts to continue, but is interrupted by another person entering the room, this time through his door.

"Bob," the ghost of Gloria Monty says coldly, "I believe you've met Claire Labine".

"You're dead?" he asks.

"No, I only wish I was after seeing what you did to my show," she answers ruefully.

Guza clears his throat. "Um, anyway, I was just getting ready to go--"

Gloria Monty's ghost stares at him and says, "Don't you even want to know why we're here?"

"Not...not really, no".

"We're concerned, Guza," Doug Marland's ghost chimes in. "What you've been doing on the show lately is a bit beyond the pale."

"Doing?" Guza repeats lamely.

"Killing Alan. Killing Emily. And now killing Georgie. It's like you're ruining everything that viewers have come to love about the show".

"Oh, please. I haven't ruined Jason."

The two ghosts and Claire Labine exchange glances. "This," Gloria Monty's ghost says, "is going to be harder than I thought".

"Are you familiar with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol?" Claire Labine asks.

"No, I don't listen to country music".

She pauses for a minute so that the three high functioning people/ghosts in the room could stifle their laughter. "What we're going to do, Bob, is try and show you the error of your ways. We were thinking that if we found out a little bit of your childhood, we'd be able to ascertain why your...thoughts and moral compass are so skewed."

"Well, all right, but I have to be home before the Survivor finale".

Doug Marland's ghost starts the proceedings. "Did you watch a lot of television when you were young, Bob?"

"Not a lot. I was more of a movie buff. I learned a lot from the movies. A lot about family, and romance and how much you can succeed if you try hard."

"Really? What was your favorite inspirational movie?"


The two ghosts and Claire Labine are dumbfounded. "The slasher movie?"


Claire Labine searches for words. "But that's not really inspirational...it's more of a violent film about a psychopath".

"The thing is," Guza reasons, "Michael Meyers really wanted to get revenge on his family for raising that slutty older sister. And he wanted it so badly that he broke out of an asylum to kill babysitters. That's drive, that's passion."

"But it's a movie about murder."

Guza laughs. "It's not like they killed the actresses. They just pretended to, in a really gory way".

Doug Marland's ghost starts to speak but Gloria Monty's ghost cuts him off. "We were going to examine more of your youth and the way it impacted your adult thought but I don't think I could stomach more navel gazing by a sadistic misogynist--"

"Thank you," Guza interjects politely.

"And what we really want to know is, what the hell is wrong with you? What sort of thrill do you get from ruining one of the most revered soap operas in history?"

"I wouldn't say I'm ruining it as much as I am perfecting it".

"How the hell," Claire Labine asks, "is brutally killing Emily and Georgie perfecting the show? Viewers watched them grow up."

"Yeah, the old viewers. We want the hip kids, the young kids. Do you know how much merchandise a 12 year old girl will buy over the course of the year?"

"Do you think it's appropriate for a 12 year old girl to watch two beautiful, smart women be brutally strangled?"

His pointed silence all but confirms that he did, in fact, believe it to be appropriate.

"I created Emily and I was writing when Georgie was born," Labine adds gingerly.

"Ew, that was you? No offense, but the original Emily suuuucked. She was so edgy and sarcastic and she was a druggie. Jason would never have a sister like that!"

"So the daughter of Alan and Monica DESERVED the be brutally murdered," Doug Marland's ghost asks angrily.

"Well, y'know..."

"What about Georgie?" Gloria Monty's ghost snaps. "Frisco and Felicia's daughter! A good, kind character, brutally murdered. And this after months of ignoring poor Lindze Leatherman so much that the poor girl BEGGED to be put in a romance with Spinelli in magazine articles? BEGGED! To be paired with Spinelli, whatever that is".

Guza shrugs.

"What," she continues, "Do you have a no good-girl clause? Is Robin next?"

At the gleam in his eyes, she hurriedly adds, "What on earth is wrong with you? These are two beautiful, kind characters, LEGACY CHARACTERS at that, and you snuff them out in a most violent, despicable manner by a killer who you obviously pulled out of your fiercely stupid ass, during a sweeps period that will go forgotten once January comes around. Come next May will anybody remember that Georgie existed, or will she go the way of Justus and AJ? Once Natalia Livingston's contract runs out and you no longer need her to play a mentally challenged ghost, will Nikolas get a new true love and forget about Emily? You've all but destroyed the Jones family and your decimation of the Quartermaines is nearly complete, and for what? For more focusing on your merry band of mobsters and their molls? You're an evil, woman hater who, and I cannot stress it enough, is a dreadful, dreadul writer who is incapable of crafting a story with a beginning, middle and end without it becoming complete and utter tripe".

To Doug Marland's ghost and Clarie Labine, she says "I simply cannot be in his presence a moment longer." Turning to Guza, she adds, "The very sight of you repulses me. I hope your next writing job involves Two and a Half Men".

At their retreating forms, Guza mutters, "I consider that a compliment". Once he's alone, though, Guza appears to be shell-shocked. He takes a deep breath and picks up the phone. "Steve, hey, it's me. Listen, you would not BELIEVE the night I had. Uh, call me back and I'll fill you in. Laters".

He waits a moment and taps his fingers on his desk, then dials the phone again. "Hey, Steve, it's me again. I just left a message on your cell...and texted you...and IMd you, but you didn't holla back, so I figured I'd call you at home. Uh, gimme a call. I'll be at the office, just chillin'. Bye".

He hangs up and spins his chair around. He glances at the clock and says, "You know what, it's not too late, I should just go over to his house and tell him in person". 

**I'm too depressed about the state of the show today to write my truly angsty, angry rant. Plus, I felt it was unladylike to curse as much as I did in my draft rant post...


Fantastic Mallory! I've pretty much stopped watching GH. I do love reading your blog and hope you and Becca the best Christmas!

I'd love to see Helen's list and I might start watching DooL again if Lindze joins the cast. That's a great idea!

Smirks, I read your entertaining little writing on "How the Guza Stole Christmas." It was great and perfectly whimsical. You are very talented. I'm also a big fan of "Pushing Daisies" (best new show IMO).

"Gloria Montana..." LOL ...just fantastic!

Well, check out the new record low ratings on soapzone message board. GH lowest ever. Imagine that! That's what you get when you destroy couples, characters, kill wonderful characters and put together characters that have no chemistry. This soap stinks.

any chance that since they fired the OLTL head writer, Guza et al could be next?

Now THAT would be a Christams miracle!!

I have watched GH since just after Laura Webber killed David Hamilton, before she even loved Scotty Baldwin. It must have been 1977 or 1978 or so. Obviously I am older than the 18-25 demographic but at 38 I think I might have a couple more years of watching television and buying things advertised on television left in me. I used to LOVE this show. In 7th grade I had a General Hospital FANatic shirt and a GH coffe mug. I followed the summer of Luke and Laura on the run more closely than some people follow their own lives. I have the TV Guide from then with the picture of Genie Francis in her disco waitress dress. I have General Hospi-tale on a CD and it was expensive to get it there. I have several Nurse's Ball t-shirts; remember the Nurse's Ball? I have been to Super Soap Weekend. Everyone who knows me thinks of me as "the girl who ALWAYS watches GH".
I can remember the excitement and the ADVENTURE of this show once upon a time. The love stories that you just couldn't wait to see what happened next. I remember when they actually built up a mystery and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I remember when there was nothing that the good guys couldn't do. When Luke, Laura, Robert, Anna, Frisco, Felicia, Mac and others could actually figure things out and they rushed in to save the day. I remember when the "good characters" weren't just talking and saying the same things over and over. I remember when they had families and friends and people connected. I remember the bond between Ruby, Luke, and Bobby. I remember when most of the stories actually made sense. I remember how when Sonny was first on the show he had some redeeming qualities (didn't they used to say he never had anything to do with drugs and never used violence in "his mob"?) and a super hot romance with super hot Brenda. I remember how interesting it was when Jason first had a personality change but before he became just a "stone cold" hit man. "Bad guys" can have families and interesting stories but THEY CAN'T BE THE GOOD GUYS.
I notice now that the PCPD can't figure out how to brew coffee much less solve any crimes. It used to be so FUN when the heroes solved mysteries and crimes and put the "bad guys" away. During the last two "sweeps crises" Luke Spencer was reduced to a joke (hey, Laura Spencer only gets to be a mop with a bad wig). That's right; the hero of General Hospital/Port Charles is now incapable of saving people. That is Jason's job. How old do they think Luke is; 86?
I can barely stand to think of all the characters from families that have been on this show for 20-30+ years that have died in the last couple of years. How about NO MORE DYING for a year or two? How about when something tragic happens it is for a reason or the story surrounding the tragedy at least makes sense. Maybe when actors don't resign contracts they could go off to "Paris" or dare I say it, the characters could even be recast.
I really love when I see Robin and Lucky connect because it reminds me of their parents. Who will remind me of The Quartermaines in 5 years when Edward, Monica, and Tracy have kicked the bucket (if they even have that long)?
I am sooooooooooooo saddened by the path of this show. It is like an old friend dying a slow and painful death. As a loyal friend you don't want to abandon them but you can barely stand to see what they have become.
Could a woman or a cop or a character that is over 40 on this show be smart or save someone? Could we go a sweeps or two without killing off anyone? Could there be a romance that is like lightning in a bottle (and when it happens could I enjoy it for a week or two before both characters begin to randomly act like assholes, and you all know who I mean)? Could we have some fun or an adventure? I want a mystery that I actually care about the outcome and the mysteriousness of it actually makes sense. Speaking of making sense, could they hire someone who gives a shit about this show to make sure that it actually makes sense? I am sure a fan or two might even volunteer.
A lot of people have said it and I agree; this column is far more entertaining than General Hospital.
I have now worked myself in to a state and will be crying softly in a corner until my husband makes me shake it off...

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