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« General Hospital Week in Review | Main | Squealing Fangirl Alert »

February 19, 2008

Can You Buy Self Awareness on Amazon?

If there is anything, in the world, that is as baffling as the PSA at the end of yesterday's General Hospital, I haven't seen it. And, you know, I watched the entirety of General Hospital: Night Shift and the Melaswen era of Days of Our Lives, so I know from baffling.

But watching Megan Ward valiantly tell us that violence is never the answer while Dylan Cash tried his best to read cue cards about gun violence without messing up, I found myself thinking that there are ways that I can justify the existence of Casey the Alien, or people coming back from the dead but I can't wrap my mind around the ludicrous hypocrisy of the powers-that-be at GH and ABC Daytime for having the audacity to say that violence is bad when they produce a show that is five hours a week of violence and murders being glamorized and deified. That's a lack of self-awareness on an epic scale.

Because WHERE would the audience POSSIBLY get the idea that violence is peachy keen, jellybean?

Could it be the artfully lit shootouts set to romantic ballads?

Could it be that when I google "Sonny orders Jason to kill", I get links to

???

Could it be that when I google "Sonny threatens to kill", I get links to

???

Could it be that when I do a little digging around through the transcripts at TV Megasite, I found Sonny threatening to kill Alexis, the mother-of his child, twice

  • Once, just for being the District Attorney: "You're not going to allow me to do anything because you have no authority over me here, no power over me here! And if you don't keep your mouth shut, stay out of my business, I will treat you like any other D.A.--have you thrown out on your butt, locked up for corruption or even disappear! And I don't want to hear "I'm the mother of your daughter" crap
  • Again, after Sam bumped into her at the opening of the Haunted Star: "Keep your distance from her. You got to respect the fact that [Jason]'s just trying to protect her, right? Sam doesn't like you; you don't like her. Keep your distance, otherwise--hey, whatever Jason does, Jason does".

???

Could it be that the leading men and moral compasses of this show are a life long sadistic criminal and his unrepentant hitman who are unfailingly portrayed as right, just and good people?

Because from where I'm sitting, the only reason why this is classified as a "bad" shooting on this show is that Michael is a kid and also shot Kate completely by accident. If he were a couple of years older and did it on purpose, it would be totally lauded and we'd hear about what a good man Michael is.

THIS SHOW IS SO FUCKED UP.

Comments

The entirety of Lucky's drug addiction, normally a natural for soaps PSAs, garnered not a single one. Nada. Zip. Even when questioned by fans Greg Vaughan had to answer that he had no clue why there wasn't any done and he had been looking forward to do them.

Yet THAT rated one? And that shooting is totally going to be used to justify Sonny ordering Jason to kill Claudia in like three weeks right? When they have TMK going on and every single serious suspect is in the TEEN set or barely out of it?

I need some Baby Jake giving "what you talkin about Willis?" here.

I bow to you Mallory...you expressed my rage ever so much better than I could.

Those scenes yesterday of Emily being repeatedly strangled were so gratuitous and horrible that I fastforwarded them. I'm really starting to hate this show. I had to endure her dying once (and I'm not even an Emily or NL fan) -- I don't want to have to see it over and over. The people who run this show are sadistic sickos.

I seriously think I might have to take a break for awhile. The dialogue has been a little better, I admit, but once Guza comes back just say goodbye. I can't watch fully again until Guza is out. I really think he's the biggest hack and has ruined a show that I loved for so long. I can check back here to get the laughs and maybe watch Maxie, Robin, Alexis, and Diane on youtube.

GH doing any PSA against the use of violence is a joke. The moral center of the show are gangsters and whomever they are schupting at the moment. When they do something violent to someone there is always an excuse for it, such as they were protecting their family or defending themselves [believe me as a Sam fan, I know the excuses]. I get it, I've been watching soaps for almost 30 years, I get the need to have characters of moral ambiguity on the show, I've enjoyed watching many of them, but to make them the moral/ethical center of your show and then do a lame PSA against the use of violence as an answer...is taking the idea of no self-awareness to a new level that hasn't even been invented yet.

As I sit here, typing those words - at this VERY moment - Sonny is telling Jason that, because the Zacchara family is OBVIOUSLY responsible for Kate being shot - naturally - the Zacchara family needs to be wiped out - immediately if not sooner. So much for 'setting a good example.' The most frightening aspect of this, of course, is that TIIC at GH truly believe that Sonny vowing BLOODY revenge against the Zacchara family really IS 'setting a good example!"

I happen to live in Colorado and happen to have had family and friends who were present at Columbine High School during the shooting rampage which claimed so many lives there. Shortly afterward, when General Hospital was awarded an Emmy for that year, during her acceptance speech, Wendy Riche pledged 'programming that will make a difference' in the wake of Columbine. Riche was fired shortly afterward - so we will NEVER know what she meant by 'programming that will make a difference.'

By 2001, following the tragic events of September 11, ALL of the soaps - with the OBVIOUS exception of Young and Restless and Bold and Beautiful - were scrambling like wild men to re-write their bloody fare. The shame-faced bigwigs later went around to the soap press, wringing their hands and promising that they would be producing a 'kinder, gentler' soap product in the wake of that scramble for re-writes. TOTALLY escaping the notice of TIIC was something VERY obvious! The two TOP rated shows were NOT scrambling to re-write embarrassingly bloody fare!

Not long after that, of course, the 'sweeps' story line of General Hospital focused on new-bad-guy-in-town, Luis Alcazar - plummeting to his death from the top of a 'towering' hotel. Naturally, GH kept showing the scene of Luis plunging to his death - over and over. TIIC continued repeating that scene IN SPITE OF the fact that ABC, Disney, GH and Soap Net were receiving letters from people who actually LIVED in New York and were writing to say that they believed that the constant repetition of that scene was too much like the many people who jumped to their deaths from tall buildings in order to escape the flames engulfing the top floors of the World Trade Center on September 11! Again - the most frightening aspect of all of this is that TIIC at GH really and truly DO believe that repetitions of the scene of Luis Alcazar plunging to his death really WAS 'a kinder and gentler' soap product!

NOT content, of course, with the repetitions of Luis Alcazar plunging to his death, by March 25 of 2005, General Hospital was once again in the midst of plotting another blood bath. In this instance, Sonny ordered Jason to wipe out all members of the rival Sandoval family - WHILE the Sandoval family was meeting at the Metro Court Restaurant. Sonny ALSO ordered Jason to ALSO murder any and ALL innocent bystanders who MIGHT be able to give an eye-witness account of the bloodbath to police! That order was changed only AFTER Jason arrived at a memorial event planned for not-really-dead-Michael and discovered that Sonny's sister, COURTNEY, was most likely going to be one of the innocent bystanders who would end up being murdered. Even though Jason RACED to the Metro Court to change the order - the shooting had ALREADY begun by the time that Jason arrived - and Courtney was ALREADY covered with blood! March 25, 2005 was just weeks away from the SIXTH anniversary of the shooting rampage at Columbine! Just FOUR days before ABC, Disney, General Hospital, et. al., aired Sonny and Jason's shooting rampage at the Metro Court - a school shooting in Minnesota had claimed TEN lives! As far as we know - ABC, Disney and GH did not even briefly consider the possibility of dumping the bloodbath scheduled for General Hospital on March 25! Again, the most frightening aspect of all of this is that TIIC at GH do TRULY believe that Sonny and Jason's shooting rampage at the Metro Court really WAS 'programming that will make a difference' in wake of the tragic events at Columbine.

Just as, I suspect by now, that TIIC really and truly believe that, when Sonny pinned Johnny Zacchara to the wall TODAY and muttered: "If anything happens to Kate - you are a dead man!" - TIIC really and truly WERE showing Sonny 'setting a good example.' Just as it says in GH's 'public service announcement.'

Frankly, I can not really remember when the last time was that I thought anyone anywhere should take a public service announcement from General Hospital even remotely seriously. And it does not appear that TIIC plan to tarnish their unblemished record for NOT producing believable PSA's any time soon. And that is SUCH a pity!

Sincerely, Deborah

Amen, my friends. Amen.

What Deborah said? That's what I'm thinkin'.

Mallory and Deborah, you guys ROCK! You took all of my feelings and put them eloquently into words.

Preach it, sisters. That blog was nothing short of sheer brilliance.

GH is ipicac. It induces vomiting. SHAME on them.

I now believe that General Hospital has sunken to such lows that it should be taught in the writing classes of colleges everywhere on how NOT to write a show. Watching a week's worth would give a year's worth of education easily. And it's not the only one (the other one just got canceled) but it's good enough. Every aspect could be covered. This is how you learn to write good stuff-by watching the worst.

Of course, I would have covered the hypocrisy of the violence of the show but Deb and Mallory already did and did it so well. Kudos.

Deborah, that comment was a thing of beauty. Example after merciless example, hammered home and juxtaposed against the real-life carnage that GH glorifies. I wish that comment could be posted on every soap message board, forwarded to every e-mail until finally the outcry could generate enough protestors to end this reign of terror. The barely suppressed rage that underlies every word in that comment is the same rage I felt listening to that PSA.

I honesty don't know what it would take to get through to ABC. Threaten to quit watching? Legions have done so but GH is still ABCD's top rated soap. Write letters? Viewers have deforested a small third world country with protest letters yet nothing changes. Call the ABC comment line? From what I hear, it's regularly swamped with protestors (especially after the Good Friday shootout), still the violence continues. How do we get through to these people?

GH has the youngest audience of any ABCD show -- their audience is the very same generation of kids making national headlines from Columbine, Illinois, Virginia and elsewhere monthly. GH and the like influence these kids daily until they are numbed to violence, or worse, think it's sexy. I truly believe Guza and Frons kneel daily at the feet of Big Tobacco because they have learned their lesson very well: they actively harm the very consumers they solicit. How can we change the hearts of a "family" company so determined to be guided by the skewed "moral" vision of amoral men? Truly, I am at a loss here and don't know whether to feel rage, or despair. Mallory said it best: THIS SHOW IS SO FUCKED UP.

The best part is that Gh demonstrated what a wonderful "strong woman" character what's her name, Sarah Brown's new character, is by having her walk away and leave Kate there to die. That's not quite as "strong woman" as actually killing someone with her bare hands yet, but I'm sure they'll get there. Back in the old days, the weak women used to do things like actually try to save people from getting killed instead of killing them, but that is so over.

The STUNNING hypocrisy of that PSA almost made me vomit. Coming from a show that has a mobster and his sainted Hitman as the romantic leads is just laughable, except not.

On another note, what the hell is up with an HIV+ woman having an "oops" pregnancy and no freaking follow up about the precautions and regimens she should be following? Back in the day of Robin and Stone, this show did a very good job of educating the public, both with the story line and with PSAs. Sadly, those days are long gone.

I hate this how. Both Megan Ward and Dylan Cash looked completely uncomfortable and unconvincing during their PSA. Clearly even they know how hypocritical it was, when the show glorifies violence every day. Yesterday, we watched Emily get strangled repeatedly in flashbacks, and Lulu hit Logan over the head with a wrench as Sonny yelled at Jason to go out and kill the Zaccara's. The writer's even know how ridiculous they are?

THANK YOU for quoting Sonny's multiple threats of death to the mother of his daughter. Alexis is not his sainted Carly when it comes to protecting his family . He only claims to love family. Everything he does proves otherwise.

His proclomations of love for Carly because she is his sons mother is a joke. He shot her while she gave birth to Morgan because he was jealous of Lorenzo. I never bought that "it looked like he was hurting or raping her" excuse. Sonny always has an excuse for his crimes.

He is a psychosexual mysogynistic bipolar predatory freak. He should not be allowed to have a fish as a pet let alone a family.

That PSA enraged and disgusted me.

Amen.

Kazou, the only thing that will work is to quit watching. Threatening to quit doesn't work.

Until the audience actually walks away in large numbers, GH has no incentive to change anything.

I quit watching in late December. I keep up with what is going on through the internet.

Kazou and Becky I wish I could agree. But the audience and ratings for GH have never been lower. The more audience lost, the more violent the show gets. It's been lkike this since Guza returned in 99/2000. They still think it's how to win back ratings and viewers aka advertisers.

Yup wasn't it Mcihelle Val Jean that was fired as headwriter for having a one week low rating of 2.3? And Guza is pulling in 2.0 and there aren't any rumors of it.......The a-hole totally copied his own sweeps stunt nine months later and is STILL WORKING THERE.

And the MetroCourt Massacre that Deborah referred to? Aired on Good Friday.

Well good ol' Guza is renewing his contract as we speak so it doesn't look like we will be rid of him anytime soon. It looks like it's time for me to take a break from GH for awhile. I'll check back in when it stops being the woman hating slasher movie it's become since 2000.

But, Melissa, GH is still in the top 3 or 4 of daytime soap rankings. The ratings for all soaps are down.

My thought is that GH will never make a change as long as GH remains never the top in the soap rankings even if the overall numbers are low. However, if GH drops down into the bottom rankings of soaps, then it is more likely that change would occur. Probably wouldn't, but the chances are better than if GH continues to be the lead ratings getter on ABC.

I'm realistic enough to realize that it won't ever change as long as Guza keeps his job. That's why I quit watching. Now if only millions of other people would joing me!

Wait, so Mykill *accidentally* shooting someone gets a PSA, but did we get anything those other times when he deliberately smothered his biological father with a pillow or ordered a hit on his step-father? Of course not. AJ and Lorenzo were bad men, and Michael was being a mini-hero like his daddy and uncle. So killing people is only bad when you don't mean to do it?

Hee. Yes, Caitlin.

Attempted murder and homicide are fine.

Accidental violence requires a PSA.

This show IS fucked up.

Well, today when Sonny was openly brandishing that gun in the hospital hallway was pretty funn, though. Unintentionally so, but I laughed really hard.

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