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« The Young and the Gloria | Main | Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column »

April 08, 2008

Is He Dumb? Evil? Both?

Let me begin with a few things that I know I have made abundantly clear over the months that I've been writing this blog (and before that, in feverish emails to Becca about the state of GH that included lots of Nancy Kerriganesque "Whyyyyyyy?!"s):

(A) I do not like the character of Michael Corinthos. I feel like he's the symbol of how far off the rails General Hospital has gone in the past twelve years. Carly's pregnancy with Michael was, at the time, entertaining and soapy, but everything from that point forward devolved into a mess of mob worshiping, legacy character trashing lunacy and the epitome of that is the red-headed child whose entire existence is about proving how the mafia is a better place to raise a child than the mansion of a rich, dysfunctional family. Also, he's annoying and, much in the manner of Noah on Y&R, they write him like he's five years old sometimes.

(B) Dylan Cash is most likely a very nice boy. He is very good at corralling the child who plays Morgan. He is not very good at the whole "acting" thing, which is why I was always confused at the fact he is on contract and gets a good deal of screen time and stories centered around him. He also, and I know this is wrong, reminds me of a perfect combination of Isaac and Malachi from Children of the Corn. I get uncomfortable watching movies where kids are evil psychopaths and I have to tell you, it really seemed like Michael was on the edge and could just snap and take people out with a machete. Or, you know, a gun.

(C) The show's longstanding idea that Sonny and Carly are the greatest mother and father to ever parent a child and are so great that their virtues should be heralded by and large by the entire town, whether by song and dance routines or shadow puppets or hushed, reverent soliloquies is, to put it mildly, disgusting, since they are, respectively, a career criminal and a mob moll who knowingly put a child in the middle of a life that includes getting shot at on a regular basis. I have long wanted something to open Sonny and Carly's eyes and make them say, "Wow, I royally screwed this boy's life up".

So I am totally okay with them temporarily writing Michael off.

However.

If I were a soap writer and trying to think of a way to do something regarding the above complaints, the last thing I would do is write a story where a child is shot in the head. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm in my right mind, but my first instinct is never, "You know what we don't see enough of on TV? Kids getting shot. Daytime needs some more of that". Maybe this is why I have a blog and am not in charge of running General Hospital...

But luckily for us, Guza explained it all to Entertainment Weekly. My attempt to understand these words after the jump!

''We've been accused before of glorifying violence,'' Guza says.

Where would anyone possibly get that idea? Maybe from the fact that the show's hitman is always right? Or the repeated "Sonny is a good man" mantra? Or the fact that Sonny and Jason are the undisputed stars of the show? Liz remarking that being a cop is just as dangerous as being a hired killer? The show's heroine, Carly, repeatedly looking down on Liz and Kate because they can't handle the rigors of mafia life? The REPEATED flashbacks of Emily being brutally strangled? Should I keep going?

''But we always try to show the consequences. We do deal with mobsters. We can't just have them importing illegal tchatchkes from the Far East and getting a slap on the wrist. You've got to deal with the fact that they kill people and people are killed all around them.''

Um, up until this point in time, have Jason and Sonny ever faced consequences for anything? Sure, Jason went on trial for a few murders, but he was never convicted. And yeah, he can't go public with the fact that he's Jake's father, but Liz is totally on the case making sure that Jake knows the glory of Jason. And Sonny...has been shot a bunch of times, like he told Michael, but, much like 50 Cent, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

''I like it from an emotional standpoint. I also like it from a responsible standpoint,'' Guza says. ''Twelve-year-olds shouldn't be picking up guns; I don't care if your father is a gangster. And if they do, there's got to be a consequence.''

This man is actually disgusting. Michael was foolish enough to get a gun because he saw Sonny and Jason use violence FOR YEARS in order to "protect their families" and exert their power in town, and because he did that, he deserves to be shot? What the fucking fuck, fucker?

"We make directly culpable the people who love him most"

Look, I'm all for Sonny, Carly and Jason having to deal with enormous guilt for the myriad ways in which they screwed this kid up, but (a)I don't believe for a minute that this will happen in an emotionally satisfying way and (b)did they have to shoot him? Couldn't they have just had him get kidnapped or something? This show's violence is appalling to me.

''It will play out for months. It's a major, major thing. And the ripple effect to the emotional lives of the characters is going to go on for maybe years,'' said Guza. ''You're going to see relationships shatter, new relationships forged out of grief and a need to understand the un-understandable. That's the only way you can justify doing it. The way it would happen in real life, it would have that kind of ripple effect. We tried, in our way, to duplicate it on the show.''

I...I don't even know. Is this going to be like the huge umbrella story dealing with the fallout of Georgie's murder? Or Emily's murder? Well, technically, I guess it will because those, too, eventually became about the mob...you know what, I'm too irritated to even go there.

''We're not going to make them all go in the garment business."

??? How utterly random. Is the only alternative to a life of crime becoming a tailor?

"That is not what this story is about,'' Guza says. ''The show is about romance during wartime..."

THE SHOW IS ABOUT A FUCKING HOSPITAL AND THE PEOPLE IN A SMALL UPSTATE NEW YORK TOWN, YOU FUCKING SADISTIC HACK OF A BASTARD. AND ALSO, HIRED KILLERS ARE NOT THE SAME THING AS SOLDIERS, YOU DUMBASS.

"...we have the highest stakes possible because people can be killed. We're not going to ignore that. We're not going to go away from that. But we're going to make them very, very aware of the consequences and make them try to deal in nonviolent ways.''

Oh, death has "consequences". Like being brought back from the dead to become a serial killer? That kind of consequence? Or like how Emily's death led to Jason leaving the mob in heartbreak feeling guilty over his role in his sister's death, and the murder of the police commissioner's daughter completely changed the way Port Charles operates. EXCEPT THAT NONE OF THAT HAPPENED. Because this show is HORRIFIC.

I feel like crying and going all Vito Corleone, "Look what they did to my show!" How are Guza, Brian Frons and Jill Farren Phelps still employed? Please help me understand.

Comments

I'm so glad you responded to the Ew.com article. I read it today at work and was horrified at the explanation of how Michael was getting what was coming to him. This is truly sad.

Appropriate consequences for illegally obtaining a gun and then accidentally shooting your father's girlfriend? Hmm... facing the victim, apologizing sincerely. Going to the police, admitting what you did, and asking the judge for a fair sentence and then accepting it. Being grounded, to home, except for the time you are out doing your community service (as a Candy Striper, maybe, at GH? They have guy Candy Stripers, too. He could interact with his grandmothers!). Those are consequences. Getting shot in the head in a messed up mob hit? Not so much.

A couple of weeks ago, police found 4 guns in a local high school freshman's locker. We don't know what he planned to do, but I doubt it was good. Because of Barry Loukaitis and Klebold and Harris and every other teenager who's picked up a gun for any reason, we need to be showing that gun violence is not the answer to gun violence. Every kid who's been killed in a drive by or in a school shooting or has been the victim of an accidental shooting did not "deserve" to be shot as a result of some action they took, no matter how bad it might have been.

Add me to the list of people who don't understand how Guza/Frons/Phelps still have jobs. Ratings sink, storylines become more and more contrived and stupid and disgusting and violent, people complain more and more loudly, and NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS!!!! Clearly, it seems, ABCD is looking for a way to get out of the soap business; between GH and AMC, they are really on the way to killing 2 of their 3 entries into the market.
You know, if you make a product... let's say you sell instant gravy. And huge numbers of your customers write to you and say "The gravy is too salty and it doesn't have enough chicken flavor; the guy running the plant changed the formula and it's not good and we won't buy it anymore." Eventually, the gravy mix will get changed or the company will have to deal with shrinking profits and customer dissatisfaction. Proof of this? The New Coke debacle (aka: Goat Sputum in a Can!) of some years ago. People hated it, and Coke changed back. I don't understand how this doesn't happen with GH.

Thank goodness for Serial Drama; if I couldn't make fun of this drivel I'd lose my mind.

Bravo for this post!!! I read the guza article online and i actually thought that someone wrote is at a joke of what Guza would say, but it really was what he said!!! The man is a sadistic pig. JFP is just a puppet from what i hear, she's olny cosmetic and A PR move to show that a woman is giving input on this horror show of a soap. You ever see Frons in an interview the man is a jackass. One can only hope that Maurice and steve decide not to renew their contracts as they are up within the next year and that will put an end to the mob. what am I thinking Guza will just find two new actors to do that. I just wish we could actually start showcasing the real heroes of this show. The doctors like Patrcik and Robin who heal the sick and wounded. Or the people who risk their lives to protect others like officer mac and lucky spencer. How about the attorneys like alexis who try to prosecute these dirt bags. what about decent guys like jax who just want to treat their family's like gold?
What am I thinking that is boring TO the holy trinity of morons that run this show. I hope Liz finally sees what will -not could happen to one of her kids if she shacks up with a hitman.
The only thing that gets me the most is Jason and sonny never ever have any consequences. michael with the bullet in his head, sam who lost her fertility, lily and child blown up in a car emily, george etc etc.
Oh well so long michael you knew u were gonna get urs after all you are really aj's son and we know how much guza hated aj.

I totally disagree. This show has proven time and time again that death has consequences. If you die you can come back as a wise-cracking, track suit wearing ghost or a vapid, giggling, romantic ghost that is just so thrilled to be dead.

Wow...just wow. Is there any way I can nail Guza's testicles to a wall while he's still attached to them? Just the gall of this man...just thinking about that makes me want to punch him in the face.

Other than that, I gave up trying to figure out why they still have jobs. It hurts too much. And GH found a way to top AMC and itself on the shit scale...if this doesn't secure it as Worst Soap Of The Year (and now in the running for Worst Of All Time), nothing will. It all just makes me more and more glad that I stopped watching it every day. It's the best way to give them the finger-super sized.

What the fucking fuck, fucker? Indeed!

And by the way, Mallory, the following is perhaps my favorite thing ever written, and were I not completely afraid of needles, I'd rush down to the tattoo parlor post haste and get it tattooed somewhere prominent: "THE SHOW IS ABOUT A FUCKING HOSPITAL AND THE PEOPLE IN A SMALL UPSTATE NEW YORK TOWN, YOU FUCKING SADISTIC HACK OF A BASTARD. AND ALSO, HIRED KILLERS ARE NOT THE SAME THING AS SOLDIERS, YOU DUMBASS."

Thank you so much for writing that. Seriously.

"THE SHOW IS ABOUT A FUCKING HOSPITAL AND THE PEOPLE IN A SMALL UPSTATE NEW YORK TOWN, YOU FUCKING SADISTIC HACK OF A BASTARD. AND ALSO, HIRED KILLERS ARE NOT THE SAME THING AS SOLDIERS, YOU DUMBASS."

Preach it, my sister Mallory! I love this post so much, I may have to shoot it in the head. (Isn't that what you do when you love things?)

Incredibly written and you are speaking for so many fans who are nauseated by the show masquerading as "General Hospital". Too bad Gloria Monty's ghost can not haunt the Idiots-in-Charge....

Thank you...

There are no words to adequately describe what a vile, disgusting, revolting, sick, pathetic excuse for a human being that he is! But it has been very therapeutic to read the intense anger from other viewers. At least I know that others feel EXACTLY the same way that I do!

I want my show back! The one I used to love! The one that did NOT have non-stop violence and murdering thugs as romantic heros!

I couldn't agree more! *Bows down* Guza needs to get a clue and start writing in the things the fans want! And for goodness' sake, bring back Natalia/Emily!!! This is not the show I started watching when I was a little girl, the same show that had the romance and love to make a viewer in the first place. Because of TIIC and their craptastic writing, I haven't tuned in, in months, since the horrific "Let's kill off one of the most important character's," storyline. What idiots! They could have helped convinced Natalia to stay, or kept Lindze in play. Both ladies were the ONLY truly heartfelt and NORMAL characters alive. Seriously.. what is the point anymore?

I really can't add anything to the other comments, but I will say if you want to feel a little bit better, read the comments under the EW article.

Pure, unadulterated vitrol towards Guza. My kind of peeps.

Just. Frickin. Fire. Them.
the Sicko Triumvirate needs to god damn go.

hope the ratings fall even further.
this crud is warped.

He is dumb and evil. That was confounding. I wish people could wear your quote Mallory on t-shirts to the Emmys.

Vile disgusting hack. Why oh why do the actors on this show put up with this hack. Can't they see the crapfest this show has become. Violence, newbies that suck, core families gone. SUCK SUCK all of them. Frons is the main problem and he needs to go along with his band of merrymen, Guza, Phelps, and B&E at AMC. All worthless morons who promote and repeat the same stories over and over and over and over again. And 2.1 ratings are reason to celebrate, GH now number 4 with DOOL right on their butts. DOOL has rocked of recent and I hope they overrun GH and GH then becomes 5th. Still I am sure no one at ABC will do a damn thing. Sad state of affairs.

Claire Labine, Douglas Marland once wrote for this show and were headwriters on this once great show turned into the biggest piece of trash on daytime. GH already has my vote as the Worst Soap of 2008(they won for 2007). The rest of the shows on daytime could stall of the next 9 months and it would not matter.

And comparing GH to wartime. please don't insult the brave troops who are really serving our great nation. This comment is a disgrace.

Mallory, this post is so awesome I want to take it under the bleachers and make out with it.

Or, in Guza terms, I love it so much I want to shoot it in the head while it's giving birth to my child.

Do the ABC/Disney executives ever look at the ratings and wonder why the ratings for what should be one of their jewels is circling the bowl while Y&R is smoking it year after year after year? Do they ever send minions online (outside of the network's site) and go to web sites and forums that achieve a literacy level beyond "OMG u r so rite sunni and jsaon are teh osum and sofa king hawt!1!!"? Do they read the criticism in the normally lapdog soap media? Do they read e-mails or listen to messages from viewers before OKing another chance for the unholy trinity of Phelps, Frons and Guza to destroy the show?

God, I hope someone is seeing this backlash.

I wish these complaints would go up the chain I mean these comments by Bob Guza about the fact that a kid getting shot is a viable consequence for accidentally shooting someone really need to be taken to the execs at Disney. Does Disney care nothing about their image or quality to allow the violence and hack job being done at GH to continue. And if they only read their own message board where the average age is 12, no wonder they thing their show is great.

When is ABCD and Disney going to get a clue? Why can't the actors band together and do something? They would have the support of all of the fans I am sure. Is ABC really going to allow this show to continue to lose viewers?

WOW. I didn't even finish reading all the comments before I had to jump in with my 2 cents worth. First, Guza actually BLAMES the writing of MICHAEL GETTING A GUN (with all his gansta rap music in the background which I can't even begin to talk about) on the writers strike!?! Like he wasn't going there himself? Like it wasn't fully his idea? I just don't get it. I have watched this show for seriously like 32 years! I have stopped occasionally just because of the shittiness of it but ...come... on.... And that he felt he had to address the unhappiness of the fans blah blah blah blah why even say i? What, was he raised by fFing wolves or three old aunties who never had sex and tied him up and dipped him into hot wax??? What could possibly ever lead him to believe people are enjoying this story line or who has for years?! I did happen to like Carly and Jason in the scenes playing pool and having sex above Jakes (at the time or looking back). And there was Coleman. But I digress. The rest has been CRAP. Sonny (M Bernard should be ASHAMED to even be on this show anymore. All he is doing is replaying old scenes and getting paid. Same with Steve Burton. I am so furious because I am so passionate about my show and what it could get back to. PLEASE, WHO DO WE WRITE TO, WHAT DO WE DO TO GET SOMEONE TO LISTEN??? All it would take is sonny gone (for good....while he used to be a great actor now all his does is say stupid shit and brood and blame Jason for the locusts and everything else. That mob family needs to be upraised and gone. (hear a snap sound) Just like that. Jason can stay and start a bike machine shop and live with ....choke....Liz and the boys. Keep Johhny and Claudia around for colour. Get back to the Hospital. Jax, Robin, have Skye come back, Maxie's fab new job with Kate and her new possible romance with the Jackal......think about all the really awesome actors and/or characters just gone over the last six mob years. It is really sad. I feel like I'm writing my (I know) overlong obiturary. PLEASE, WHAT DO WE DO TO TRY TO GET OUR SHOW BACK ON TRACK. Perhaps put a hit out on Guza...no wait....that wouldn't solve anything. Guns don't solve anything, right BOB!? We truly down to our very souls hate you, Guza.

Writing, calling seem to do nothing. Viewers have been doing this for ages and nothing changes. these hacks don;t care one bit about what the viewers want period. Not one bit. If they did Genie would have been back long ago, the Q's would be front and center, and Sason would be backburner

Ooooh, press comments from both Frons and Guza over the course of a week. Is it my birthday?

I vote dumb. The man is talking out of his ass. Half of what he said doesn't make any sense. The other half is so completely misguided and offensive that I've been rendered nearly speechless. What the hell? These people are insane!

Now that I can actually breathe I will try to be more coherent. The Z family, Johnny, Claudia, Trevor and crazy old man could have worked in a different way. Just that every thing wouldn't be the Corintho's show. Although I take extreme umbrage to the way they are depicting Claudia. Just because her body is to die for hot and I am not a lesbian but I could possibly think of changing only for her. But I digress. They, of course, have to make her out to be the whore. Excuse me, Sonny is the whore. Didn't he just propose to the "woman he loves" and while she was trying to figure out what to do he jumped the hot one. SO, she has brains, she certainly has the bod (and why the hell not use it) and she also has that *****NOW REMEMBER THE TV Show from the 80's called Wiseguys with Ken Wahl.. There was a bother sister insest, really hot thing going on during the whole show} Anyway, to prove a point, there are other mob stories to be told. There are other hospital stories to be told. Can you imagine this last time if Monica started selling drugs from the hospital as opposed to drunk driving. The story lines are there if creative people would just look. LET'S GIVE GUZA A SHOWDOWN: IF HE CAN'T WRITE ANYTHING BETTER THAN THE SHIT HE HAS WRITTEN FOR THE LAST YEAR, WE, THE FANS, WILL COME WRITE SOME SCRIPTS FOR HIM. I AM SERIOUS. I WILL TAKE THE TIME FROM WORK, I WILL EVEN PAY TO GO THERE. MAYBE THEY COULD PAY MY BAR BILL LOL. ANYWAY, COME ON ABC...LET'S RUMBLE!

Yet another brilliant post - I no longer even entertain GH on my television screen, but even reading about this disgusts me. Gone are the morals, the families, the touches of realism to which we as an audience could relate. And as for Guza's line ''The show is about romance during wartime..." There hasn't been romance on GH since TIIC opened the door and escorted Genie Francis out, thereby destroying the best love story ever told in Luke and Laura Spencer. As for the general comment of romance during wartime - I'd like to take that comment to all the men and women who are fighting valiently for our country and see just how much they can appreciate romance at a time like this.

Guza, Frons and especially Phelps need to be escorted to the same door they used to escort Ms. Francis out and with any justice at all, let her hold the key that locks them out!!

he makes me wanna vomit...yes i cant stand michael, but to get him shot cuz he decided to do somethin stupid? jesus! i think guza shud be shot for killing all of our spirits.....who's with me?!?

Will - I will join you. someone needs to stop Guza before GH is cancelled. PLEASE FIRE HIM.

Romance? What happened to the Most Romantic story ever on GH? That layed a big egg with Emily murdered again in a Guza failed TMK and Tumor story, the 2 lamest stories of 2007-2008 next to the Craig poisoning crap. Guza blows crap all the time and the viewers have lost trust and faith in any of them which is why anything less than the holy trinity being fired will not bring viewers back.

Now shooting a kid in the head as an acceptable consequence for the kid accidentally shooting someone else. Guza should be fired for these comments. If anyone in any other business said these things, they would need to issue a stmt of apology at a minimum or they would be demoted or fired.

The favoritism and fangurlism the writers and producers of this show have that goes on is ridiculous, but especially Guza where Mob is a glorified life. Obviously he never watched the Sopranos because they NEVER glorified the lifestyle nor did The Gudfather, Goodfellas, Casino. All had viable consequences which were depcited by intelligent actors and writers. These hacks just write the same old crap year after year, worshipping their vile life choices. A kid being shot is not entertaining nor it is a viable consequence for what he did. Sick Bastards.

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