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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 in too! Fire him! Fire Him!

This sick minded person has to go. And GO NOW.

Idiotic tumor stories, the TMK debacle, Mr. Craig/Jerry Jax, Jax getting raped, the B&W Ball where no under 30 man could stop an overaged lune, legacy characters brutally murdered, fred sanford heart attack impersonations, a stupid baby jake story, now a kid getting shot in the head as well deserved payment for his shooting someone. Where in the world of soaps are these interesting or entertaining stories. Not in the world of soaps as I have ever known them.

Why Bob Guza, Jill Phelps, and Brian Frons are all still employed is a head scratcher. I will never understand how these hacks still have jobs running soaps. JFP and Guza have failed before and why or why are they allowed to ruin this great show who knows. Brian Frons has allowed all of ABCD to lose collectively 1.5 Millions viewers this past year. ALl other soaps viewership is up(some marginally) but all of ABCD is down by LARGE numbers. This defies business logic.

GH is now just a shadow of its former self...a dark, ugly shadow. We have Guza, Phelps and Frons to thank for that. This interview shows just how delusional this head writer is. He thinks the fans want MORE violence? Is he crazy? When are these idiots going to realize that the vision for the show is NOT working. They need to dump the mob and change the focus of this show immediately in order to save it.

I resent the reference to a war time love story. There isn't anything remotely resembling a love story on this show...hasn't been for a long time. Mob greed for turf is not a war. Someone over there should clue in Mr. Guza. The country is at war. Personally, I am outraged that Guza has portrayed veterans so badly on this show. I hate that he has made Monica a hit and run driver and a drunk. I don't like doctors being portrayed as drug smugglers either. He has made the killers into heroes while he makes the police bumbling idiots. In this dark, twisted view of the world, no one is safe from his hatchet job. There is no hope. There is no morality. There is no reason to watch. I hope that the ratings fall enough for ABC to hand this hack his walking papers.


I have suffered watching every intelligent, professional woman fall for Sonny (Reese (dead), Hannah, Alexis, Emily (dead), and Kate) as well as Lily (dead), Carly, Sam. Let's not forget that Karen Wexler in med school stripped at his club. This is disgusting. A once balanced show that featured Luke, Laura, the real Lucky, Nik and the Cassadines also gave us Stone and Robin, Lois and Ned, Monica and Alan with Emily and the breast cancer story. We had the breathless zaniness of Lucy Coe and the Nurses Ball along with her Doc; we had Maxie's heart transplant and BJ's death. We had Justus Ward and Mary Mae Ward and Brenda and Jax. Now we have Sonny, Carly, Jason, and Liz each day, every day. Everyone else is a prop to these 4. Lulu seems closer to Carly than her own father, mother, brother, aunt Bobby, and grandmother, Lesley. Why? When did this closeness happen? Lucky is not a Spencer with his spinelessness. Poor Nik is isolated with his tumor and Ghost Emily. Tracy hasn't a thing to do and when Tony Geary isn't on camera, she is gone. I resent the revision of history--implying Laura was a frumpy, unadventurous dull and eventually crazed woman. By Lulu's age, she had more adventures and experienced a love deeper than Lulu will know in a lifetime! Any suggestions as to what we can do to return our beloved show to a sliver of what it once was? I occasionally watch the show but have no feelings for anyone on the show--total disconnect--even with Tony Geary's Luke because this is not the character I have know for 30 years. Cancellation is looming if Guza, Frons and Phelps continue. Perhaps these comments along with those from other boards should be sent above Frons' head. We've nothing to lose.

Emily and Alan are not ghosts but figments of Nikolas and Tracy's imginations.

I am all for sending coments but nothing seems to matter. Boards all over the web on GH ream this show and nothing changes. People call, write, and what nada.

This show respects nothing. How you can trash the icons of Luke and Laura is beyond me but they have done it, portraying Laura as a boring housewife who held back her husband. I have no faith that any love story, including that the recent Nik and Emily love story written by Guza over the last 5 years will be maintained after they have trashed Luke and Laura. Pathetic.

I miss my show and as long as these 3 craptastic people are in charge there is no hope. I pity any actor on this show. SBu and MB will be gone when their contracts are up so Guza will need to find 2 more puppets for his mob worshipping ass.

JC who really cares about Alan and Emily. Both stories involving these characters were ruined the minute they were killed off and introduced as whatever they are. Emily could actually have been interesting had this show played it right, but the writers again bungled another story and I won't believe for a second it had a damn thing to do with the writers strike. They never knew what to do period with this story and never did because Guza blows smoke all the time. The problem is that no one at GH suffers the consequences including the actors, it is the viewers which is why so many people have and will continue to tune out.

I turned off GH after Emily was killed off and I found out they were killing off Georgie. Won't ever tune back in again or until I know Frons, Phelps, and Guza are gone.

Guza thinks a 12 year old getting shot in the head is justification for playing around with guns. Guza must be one sick and twisted person to think viewers actually want to see this. Most women who watch soaps have children. Do you think they want to watch a show where a child is shot in the head. Even Rick Hearst(an actor on your show) said he will not watch this story. When is someone at disney or abc gonna wake up and stop the violence.

Wow... I actually have no words after reading that. This moron actually exists and has a job.

"Romance during wartime." Did he actually use those words because that is by far the stupidest thing I've ever heard someone say when describing GH. This show has not had romance since Sonny and Co. came to town. Sex, and plenty of it, but not romance. Unless by romance Guza means glorifying the glorious glory of Sonny and Jason through their sexual exploits and turning every woman they come in contact with into a one-dimensional caricature of her former self.

Oh my god, my head might actually explode if I ever read these words again! This man is perhaps the most clueless and vile thing to ever write for a soap. I thought you guys were joking when you did Guza dialogue, but that's what he's like in real life!

I mean, I'm no fan of Michael, but his punishment is to be shot in the head?! His fucking punishment for being raised as a mobster-sociopath by his mobster parents is to be shot in the head?

This man is a sociopath!

Even Rick Hearst(an actor on your show) said he will not watch this story. When is someone at disney or abc gonna wake up and stop the violence.

WOW. When did he say this? I am actually impressed because most of the actors on this show who have PA's aside from Steve Burton are always praising the execs and writers at GH and seem to discount what and how the viewers feel. Bravo to Ric for saying something also. Steve actually said at one of his PA's how wrong he thought killing off Georgie and Emily were and he had no idea what the writers were doing. I commend both these guys for speaking out. I wish more would do so. Since TPTB don;t seem to care about what the viewers want, I would love to see more actors speak up like the actors on OLTL did before their writing team was finally canned.

The whole mgmt team at GH and ABCD are delusional hacks who could care less about their viewers and more about personal agendas and their favs. Pathetic isn't it.

The first memory I have of characters becoming one dimensional was with AJ Quartermaine. I always liked AJ, the black sheep, the ne'er-do-well Quartermaine, always swimming against the tide but compelling as a character of interest. In the past, GH stories were embellished and unfolded with twists and good writing and acting. Characters were complex and stories were told from more than one perspective which enriched the total canvas. This all ended with AJ. Poor AJ, yes, a drunk, but he wasn't a mobster or murderer until Guza sacrificed him. His son was kept from him, denied to him, and given to a mobster! Every character spewed over and over how much better Michael was living with Sonny (in a bullet proof windowed hi-rise condo with guards at the door) and that Michael had bonded with Sonny and biology did not define fatherhood. AJ's own family thought Sonny should have custody of a child stolen from him. From that point on, characters were going to be black or white, the chosen sainted few who always came out on top and everyone else would be expendable and their characters, like AJ, subject to total assassination. Looking back, I didn't realize it then but I had entered into Guza's twisted world.

My head. Just. Exploded.

Now I have not watched the show in quite a while; I quit just about when they turned Sam into a kidnapping accessory.
I even stopped reading the recaps on the ABC websites, and joy of joys! discovered this blog. After reading all that I have 'missed,' I thought surely Guza and goons could not stoop any lower. As we can see, I was wrong.
The script throwdown idea is brilliant--among all of us here on this site and the other horrified former fans elsewhere, there are certainly enough ideas to not only pull the show back out of the cesspool, but to feed complex, human, and satisfying plot lines for years to come.
Please, can't all this be J.R.ed (Who shot J.R. Ewing?) and retconned to within an inch of its life. Can't it all be some character's bad dream? Even if it has to be Sonny's? Please?

::disclosure--I used to love Sonny, when he still seemed halfway redeemable. Not so much now. And they totally wasted the opportunity to address bipolar disorder, for which Benard had pressed for years.::

Maybe if the powers that be won't listen to our letters, maybe the advertisers would. I'd really rather they pull their funding and kill GH quick, than let it die this painful, loathsome, lingering death.

I had hope once--a tiny, flickering glow of a spark. It just died.

And now I'm going to cry.

I tuned out of GH back in Nov when they killed off Emily. Alan was bad enough but then Emily, Georgie murdered and Michael another Q gets shot. I am so glad I tuned out and when I read stuff like this it validates my decision to tune out even more.

I have been watching DOOL since and it has it's peaks and valley's but overall has been great. Tamara Braun, my fav Carly, is on it and she is wacky but good. Stephan Nichols. I would love to see them grab a couple of other former GH'ers and steal more of their audience. Maybe Lindze, Natalia, Stuart. all fan favs. I would love to see this and see GH continue to crash and burn. They deserve it for allowing the 3 amigos to continue their reign of terror on the now biggest piece of trash on daytime TV.

This show lost it's last piece of heart when they killed off Emily and Georgie and most was gone but with these 2 gone, the heart is completely gone. Soaps need strong young legacy characters and Michael could have been one of these. I think it could have been interesting see him turn away from Sonny and Company and gravitate to the Q's and see the conflict.

But I digress, dayplayers replacing legacy characters, women portrayed and mindless twits, baby machines, punching bags, and murder victims is no way to appeal to the primarily female viewing audience. It is no coincidence that this show has not rebounded and shooting a kid and to justify it by saying it was a consequence of him accidently shooting someone is moronic. I cannot even imagine why but Guza is a hack and can only imagine garnering ratings by killing off or shooting people.

A-friggin-Men

JCJC is correct. Emily and Alan weren't ghosts. I guess the real repercussions for dying violently are that you come back as hackneyed, ridiculous plot device and symptom of mental illness.

LMAO Snarkgirl. that says it all.

msjacrowe's second post today just scared the hell out of me-

maybe it's too much GH on the brain and she misrepresented herself? or maybe she was joking?

i found alot of her post disturbing and i disagreed with it strongly and here is why

--she wants to know why the writers made Monica an alcoholic when making her into a drug dealing doctor would be so much better or more entertaining--HUH?-- we survived Dr. Dorman in the late 90's by a thread nearly losing both Monica and Emily and destroying GH and the Q's--and now we have evil Ian--do we really want this tragic depressed once strong beautiful doctor dealing drugs from her workplace that she built w/ her dead husband? i think no fucking way is that a better story--LEAVE THE LIVING FEW Q'S ALONE

--she wants claudia and johnny to hook up becasue she liked a "hot" tv show from the 80's where there was sexy brother'n'sister incest going on--PARDON?--does she really think an incest story betwen claudia and johnny is anything viewers want or would enjoy? let alone find sexy or hot?--PLEASE BE A JOKE

--then she offered to pay her own way to LA and write scripts for GH--HELL NO CRAZY LADY!--the clusterfuck already airing is more punishment than we can handle!

msjacrowe....are you related to or working for the EVIL THREE?

@ginger: I resent the reference to a war time love story. There isn't anything remotely resembling a love story on this show...hasn't been for a long time. Mob greed for turf is not a war. ... Personally, I am outraged that Guza has portrayed veterans so badly on this show.

Thank you for that, Ginger. It's a toss-up as to which Guza quote is more offensive or hypocritical. (Okay, all of them!) But comparing this show to "love in a time of war" is beyond repulsive. Guza has portrayed *every* *single* *soldier* over the past decade as either a murderer, serial killer, rapist or sociopath. Our soldiers who loathe violence but do their duty stoically are spat upon while Guza uses his 32-minute DAILY soapbox to glamorize murderering, misogynistic mobsters as the true "heroes." Guns and shootouts are masturbatory fantasy for ole Bob. (I guess *that's* where his "romance" is -- with a .357.) It sickens me.

Oh and Truefelt, thanks for passing Rick Hearst's and Steve Burton's criticisms along. So many people really villify Burton and claim his ego is the reason for whatever storline they don't like. (Seriously, next I'll hear he's the reason for global warming.) It's nice to hear the truth from people who have actually attended his appearances instead of all these wacky rumors. (Still love the false one about his refusing to take his shirt off because he's a Christian!)

I couldn't possibly hate the people that run this show anymore if I tried!! After reading that I can't even think of anything else coherent to say, it made me so angry!!

Seriously, wtf is with these people? The more interviews I read from these morons at GH - the more I wonder which one is more delusional - Guza, Frons or Phelps?!!!

Glad to know Guza's come out and confirmed everyone's theory that they shot Michael in the head as punishment for accidently shooting Kate - because you know that's the kind of punishment we want to see - not psychological help, community service or maybe having the kid taken away from his delinquint parents - but yes a bullet to the head and a coma!!! God, I hate this show!!!

And with the conversation between Maxie and Spinelli at the hospital about BJ's death, is this show seriously trying to compare the two incidents?!!! Because Guza couldn't write a heart-felt story that encompasses the whole canvas and has long-lasting ripples on the show, like Claire Labine did if his life depended on it!!!

I would help you understand how Guza, Frons, and Phelps (also known as the trifecta of evil) are still employed but that's a question I ask myself on a daily basis. My guess...someone at Disney effed up REALLY bad and owes them big.

"... But we're going to make them very, very aware of the consequences and make them try to deal in nonviolent ways.''

**************************************

HEY I've got a real good "non violent" way to deal with GH............CANCEL this crap show!

Roxie I am in total agreement. This show has been going to the crapper for a long time, but the major downfall started with AJ's murder. Interesting that the next major downfall again is going to involve Michael.

I never liked the kid but since when is a kid getting shot a mamed a viable justification for picking up a gun. I live in NYC and we have shootings here all the time and this is just appauling.

How ABC and Disney condone what this idiot says and does is mind boggling. Frons and Company must really have some serious shit over Iger's head to keep their jobs.

By the way on a side not, I laugh at Frons making GH broadcast in France a big fuckin deal. Y&R, B&B have been broadcast in Europe(not just France) for years.

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