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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

This is the show that turned Mr. Craig into the lovable Jerry Jax after he killed Alan Q, shot Robin, blew up a hotel, poisoned and tortured Nikolas and now Alexis looks like a complete loon for hooking up with this psycho.

It is also a show that thought a man having a tumor getting all pissy and banging a hallucination was a good story

Or the worse WTD story ever on this show(Jake).

Oh and let's not forget the classic, Michael shooting his dad.(which they had to scramble to fix)

So am I surprised that this neonderthal thinks that the punishment for a kid picking up a gun is getting shot himself.

This disgusting pig, idiot, moron, bastard, whore, gun loving SOB should be fired for these comments and for ABC and Disney to continue to allow this sadistic excuse for a human being to spew this shit to the media shows how out of touch and delusional they are.

I blame Iger and Sweeney more than the rest because they continue to excuse the 3 pathetic excuses for daytime execs by continuing to allow Frons, Phelps, and Guza to collect a check. They need to be fired with the accusation of 'Crimes againt the viewing audience' and sentenced to a life term cleaning out bedpans at Bellview. But even that may be too good for them.

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

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


I feel like going outside and picking up some dogshit from my yard and mailing it to him and telling him to eat it. But so much shit comes out of his out, he would not need it.

My son's school had a lockdown 2 weeks ago because there was a fight that carried into the school(40 kids) and one kid had a gun. No one was shot thank goodness, and yes a kid having a guns is bad. But to have the consequence for this having the kid shot is just sick and disgusting. What world do these morons live in. Last time I looked, shooting in retaliation for anything in the US was against the law.

This man needs some really help psychologically. I cannot believe GH is part of the Disney family. This is hideaous.

You know-my 13-year-old daughter talked to a boy on her cell the other day w/out permission. What to do, what to do? I know-I should just sell her into sexual slavery over the internet. That'll teach her! WTF is WRONG W/THESE PEOPLE?! I'm from a small town in South Carolina so I have, on occasion, met people WHO WERE ACTUALLY INBRED, and you know what? THEY HAD BETTER SENSE THAN ANY OF THESE FUCKERS! I just-can they be SERIOUS?! I ask again-do you think it's possible that they have discovered some scheme, ala The Producers, by which they can make more money by getting the show canceled than by actually making it, you know, WORK?! B/c NO ONE, I don't care who, NO ONE can truly be this stupid and obtuse and just COMPLETELY DEVOID OF ANY TYPE OF SELF-AWARENESS, right?! They CAN'T! I refuse to accept that God created anything this stupid and evil, and apparently clueless about the fact that they possess those 2 character traits, much LESS 3 things like that! Unless they broke forth from the very bowels of Hell to torture us all.....

And mrsjacrowe? Um, you scare me-truly.

Marianne right on the money. What world do these people live in and consequences. Have these fuckers ever watched The Sopranos. They never glorified mobsters and there were real consequences and accountability for their actions. People involved became drug addicts, valid psychological problems, struggled with their choices, and yes some of the bad guys and good guys were killed. GH is nothing more than Guza acting on his Don Corleone fantasy. Uh Guza the mob does not exist as it did in 1940 you ass. The mob today ain't even close to how it is portrayed on this trashfest.

I agree with the poster who said the major downslide on this show started in 2005 with AJ's murder and the summer of sleaze and they have never ever recovered. This is the next step. I was HAPPY to see Ric Hearst speak out against this at his PA. I wish more of the actors on this show would do the same and quit endorsing this kind of abusive and lame storytelling.

I hate Bob Guza with a white hot passion and I hate what he's done to this show. Romance in wartime? That movie Harrison Ford did in the 1970's with Leslie Ann Down was a romance in wartime. North and South Book I & II (hi Genie Francis) was romance in wartime, Gone with the Wind is romance in wartime.

What will really piss me off about this is if Monica and Edward don't tear Sonny a new one for putting a Quartermaine heir in jeopardy. God, I was hoping that instead of this we would get a storyline when Monica and Edward would finally fight for custody of Michael and win. Even Monica being an alcoholic who hit Sam would have been a better parent than Carly and Sonny. Leticia and Emily spent more time wtih Carly and Sonny's kids than they did.

The saddest part about all of this to me is that if there is enough of an outcry for Guza to take note, he's going to assume it's all of us wanting "poor" Dylan Cash not to lose his job.

The man is a master at missing the point.

I'll thank you Mallory for the first half of your blog. You are the first person I've read who has admitted to disliking Michael and diplomatically criticizing his portrayer. Honestly, Dylan Cash has always given me the creeps, and I would be perfectly happy with Michael dying or being SOARSed.

At a time when I have to control my outrage at the disenfranchisement of voters by the DNC and self-serving politics, I will enjoy my victories where I can...even if they are not politically correct!

Get these idiots away from our show. We should send this post and all of it's comments (it reads almost like a petition) and send it to ABC Daytime.

I am so glad I quit watching when they killed Emily off.

I hate what Guza has done to my show with a deep purple passion. The man is one sick twisted excuse for a human being and I don't understand how he can keep his job....but then look who he works for- Frons, who has the mentality of a jr high schoolboy.

And JFP? What the hell is her excuse for going along with this violent misogynistic piece of crap formerly known as General Hospital.

Guza's statements alone ( not even taking into account the ratings drop) should be enough to damn him in the eyes of the Disney Corp.....so why hasn't it?? Why are he and Frons still there? What more can we as fans do....I've already quit watching this torture and I'm sure I'm not alone....

SHAME ON YOU ABCD..seems more like it's ABCDFronsGuza

I can't add to what has already been said here except to say that Guza, Frons, and Phelps make my soul cry.

*off to YouTube to re-watch GH's 35th Anniversary special*

Anyone notice how, on Monday's episode, Jason is standing in the background, facing the wall, with his head in his arms?

Ten bucks says he's thinking "WTF am I doing in this story line?"

I haven't been able to read all of these, but here's my $.02:

I started watching the show a few years ago because I saw that Vanessa Marcil was coming back and I liked her on 90210. I asked by friend, a longtime GH fan, what the show was about. "Who are the main families?" "What do people do?"

Her response: There aren't any real families on the show but the Quartermaines, but the real stuff happens with Sonny and Jason.
Me: Who are Sonny and Jason?
Her: They're mobsters.
Me: *confused expression*
Her: No, they're good mobsters.
Me: *even more confused expression*
Her: No, they don't kill any good people only bad people.
Me: Huh?
Her: You just have to watch.

I swear, I watched for a few weeks and never even saw a Quartermaine. I stuck with it because I like Liz and despised Courtney. This was also around the time Carly was pregnant with Morgan and she took over the business for Sonny, which I thought was funny.

Anywho, this show now sucks worse than it did then, and that's saying something. For that hack bastard to imply that actions have consequences for children and not their parents is an insult to everyone's intelligence. I hope the powers that be over ALL of ABC read his comments and kick his ass off the lot.

"Twelve-year-olds shouldn't be picking up guns; I don't care if your father is a gangster."

That should knock some sense into someone. But it probably won't.

If we're sickened by reading Guza's comments,imagine what it must be like to be Burton, Wright and Cash, having to play this shite.

I'd have included Benard, except that I dislike him so much that I don't feel much sympathy for him.

See, the thing is...I can see how a good writer might have Michael shot in the head. No, wait, don't stone me! I said a GOOD writer, which lets Guza out. Let me explain.

If I suddenly developed telepathic powers tomorrow that allowed me to control others' actions and used them to become the new head writer of GH, getting Guza, Phelps, etc. canned, I might well start by getting Michael injured badly as a direct result of Sonny's lifestyle. Not because he "deserves" it (ew ew ew), but because it's a logical consequence of being parented by a violent mobster with a violent lifestyle.

But...I'd then use the violence and the resulting coma to do two things. First, age Michael to be in the 15-17-year-old age range and find a superb actor to play him who looks kinda like a young Alan Quartermaine. Secondly, reverse the Jason Quartermaine/Morgan storyline. Have Michael only remember AJ and Robin as being his parents and show lots of flashbacks of cute baby Michael. Have Monica talk to the comatose boy, and have him come out of his coma with little to no memory of Carly and Sonny, but a desire to live with Monica. Have him stride into the Q living room and tell Edward, "Grandfather, I'm home, and I want wealth and power." Use the "brain damage" to transform a mob-obsessed boy into a Quartermaine who rejects his family. I'd throw in a scene in which Monica convinced Sonny to permit Michael to live with and be reclaimed by the Quartermaines by hissing that he took her son and he OWES HER ONE.

Oh, and I'd also have this all be an occasion for Sonny and Carly to acknowledge and accept how deeply they've screwed up their children's lives. Jason, too. If he had just told AJ the truth about Michael's paternity back in the beginning, none of this would have happened.

If someone on this show had regained sanity, Michael's shooting could be the gateway to the show's recovery. No one there is sane, so this will not happen. The mere fact that they're trying to put the moral culpability on Michael instead of on the mob illustrates this quite well. But the idea of Michael's life being hit hard by violence and Sonny and Carly having to deal with that isn't one to which I inherently object. It's the context in which that event will be permitted. Of course, that could just be a sign of how far down the moral rabbit hole this show has gone. But I really see the decision to turn little Michael Alan Quartermaine into Michael Corinthos III as the point when the show really started to lose touch with its moral and emotional center, and any attempt to fix the show has to reverse that choice, and reverse it HARD.

I don't really care if Eddie Munster - I mean Michael gets shot, cuz I think any distance from his parents will actually help him. If it takes a bullet to get him out of the Sonny/Carly orbit, I say pull the trigger!

Personally I think Guza is a wanna-be mobster, who actually plays out his fantasies on GH. I'm sure there is no shortage of Guza "bathroom breaks" as he writes his titillating mob stories. His right hand must get verry tired.

I am so over Sonny, I absolutely hate Carly, and I feel sorry for the old-Carly-New-Claudia, who reminds me of a transgender with a killer bod, cuz her character could have really been a complicated and interesting one, instead of another one-note mobster-ess.

And what did Guza do with Kate's backbone?

What a shame.

Since I know that commenting to GH will do absolutely nothing, I'm hoping everyone here will just listen to my rant for a minute.

Even though I KNEW what was coming when Michael was shot, I was so effing sick watching it that I was crying. Guza is a sick, twisted mother-effer who should be drop-kicked out of the GH universe and never allowed back. It is beyond disgusting what this man has done.

Well this is the last straw. A kid getting shot is justiable punishment for the kid purchasing a gun. Where do you live Guza the bizzaro world. This is the USA you mother fucking son of a bitch. Move to North Korea or Vietnam you hack.

I can't believe Disney of all companies allows this trash to continue airing on ABC. Frons and Phelps are both as useless as Guza is. Anne Sweeney and Robert Iger are the biggest enablers of idiocy out there.

I for one hope GH crashes and burns. The show I loved is trash and garbage. I would rather scrub toilets than work for these bastards.

Get a life Guza and quit the Corleone wantabee crap and go f*ck yourself.

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. This Tony Soprano wantabee has finally gone off the deep end for good. Shooting a kid in the head you hack of a hack of a hack. Fuck you. Punishment for the kid buying a gun. Fuck you you male whore Where is Osama Bin Laden when we really need him(no offense)?

Guza and hit gun toting, mob whoring, women abusing ideas for a soap needs to be sent to Pakistan so he can be strung up by his *alls for crimes against the viewers. Osama you have our permission

The fact of the matter is that fans have pandered to Guza and the mob for years and this is the result. He believes in his own self-proclaimed supremacy as a soap scribe. While ABC and Disney are responsible for this despicable, irresponsible mishandling of a storyline, the viewers are just as responsible for tuning in. Tuning in keeps it on the air bottom line. You watch for another character and you feed the madness. Turn it off and watch your characters on youtube. They are posted there every night. Turn your TV on CBS soaps instead. Who cares if you watch it, they need to know that unlike Sonny and Jason they will have to pay the price of their actions.

As for Guza's babblings about Michael's lack of responsibility, he's obviously assuming we're all as stupid as all the female characters he writes (currently including Robin who went to Yale and the Sorbonne so she could worship at a hitman's altar with the rest of the twits on there), here are the facts:

Jax kept fighting to have Michael go to the police and own up to what was an accident. Yes, he bought the guns and the bullets because he felt his mom was a target of the TMK who had killed his nanny and his aunt. He'd tried to kill Carly. His "father" was too busy worrying about the Zacchara's to protect them. Michael saw how his father and Jason were so he bought a gun to gun down the killer himself and protect his family. At the last minute he decided to throw the gun away into a dumpster. He accidentally dropped it and it went off, hitting Kate who was looking at a warehouse to rent for her new magazine. Sonny, in typical ignorant and completely childish Sonny fashion, had told Michael if he caught him with a gun he'd better run and keep on running. Michael was terrified of his father's reaction and thought he killed Kate so he ran. Jax justifiably felt that Michael would continue down a bad path if he didn't turn himself in. He knew the courts would not put him in jail for an accident, but he'd at least face the consequences unlike Sonny. Carly, being the supreme dimwit that she is (sorry but there is not one conceivably intelligent thing about this character), sided with Sonny and Jason. Kate had a twinge of conscience then let it go on Sonny's insistence (because she is now pod Kate since the lobotomy she had to be with Sonny).

Michael reacted the way a 12 year old would if he grew up in Guzaland. But because he lives in Guzaland he will never be allowed to grow at all from what happens. What bothers me is that kids watch this show when they get home from school before their parents get home. It's on network TV. Who is going to block ABC from their kids? No kid is capable of dealing with this kind of information on their own. It's reprehensible and if a kid uses a gun as a result, I hope ABC is sued. (And I particularly hope that Disney gets taken down in a big way since they pride themselves on being a family entertainment company. Entertainment Weekly missed the mark when they didn't drive a stake into that.)

Anyway, I highly doubt that even mob fans are going to feel good about Michael being further victimized by Sonny's lifestyle as a way of "making him responsible for what he did." How is that exactly? I don't think I've read a more ignorant statement in my life than this: ''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. We make directly culpable the people who love him most.''

The pathetic part is that Guza probably believes this and Phelps and Frons are so stupid they believe it as well. But no one is more responsible than Iger and Disney. They ultimately hold the bag and unfortunately the fan wrath never gets that high. If the fans were truly outraged, they would boycott everything Disney including SSW, but I don't believe for one moment they are that committed. While I think they will be outraged, they will only tell it to Frons and Phelps and they might as well not even waste their time. GH will go off the air before those two get a clue.

It's just too bad fans don't have what it takes to hit them right where it counts. God knows Disney could use it. They have absolutely no business putting on a show like this at the same time they have children running around their parks. THEY disgust me. THEY should disgust everyone. Guzas come and go, but a family entertainment company should NOT be employing them.

I'm just shocked because I never knew Michael was pregnant with Dr. Devlin's child. Explains all those ice cream cravings, I guess.

(Yeah, I know, but I've been sick all week, and I just don't have enough energy to get a good head of steam going to rant about TAHIC, so I went for the cheap joke instead.)

Almost 100 comments to this blog!

I agree with most of the comments and I especially loved Mallory's insightful commentary on Guza's article in EW. I have nothing else to add. I did like the cheap joke. *heh*

There is no suspense, intrigue or character investment in watching Guza's GH. The whole canvas has gone flat and gray. As much as I blame Guza, Jill Farren Phelps, a woman, is more at fault for the garbage on our screens. She is, at least supposed to be, a woman.
How does she live with herself with the portrayal of women on this show?

OK, I have been reading most of these, and while I know that previous attempts to complain or write have been futile, I really think we all can organize an effort that can be successful in making something change. I thought back to how "Jericho" fans sent peanuts to the network to keep the show alive and it worked. I'm thinking we all send plastic toy guns to ABC and write the word STOP on them or something. Thoughts?

"He thinks the fans want MORE violence?"

Actually, Ginger, the impression I get from his comments is that he KNOWS the fans don't want this...yet he doesn't care. His apparant plan is to continue down this mob-infested road to hell no matter how it affects GH. Honestly, you couldn't convince me that this unholy trio aren't actually TRYING to sink the show.

Mallory and Becca, I effin' LOVE your blog so much that I am unable to stop reading. But I am proud (though saddened) to say that I gave up on this pathetic excuse for a show a couple weeks ago, and I will NOT return until the assholes in charge are gone! It hurts my heart to see the show I've loved for almost 27 years desecrated this way.

Joanne. Ideas to get people involved are welcome. Maybe Serial Drama chicks or Dayttime Confidential could help in organizing something. The madness needs to stop. I am not watching this mess anymore but would particupate in a campaign

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