General Hospital Couple of Weeks in Review
Let's start with the biggest General Hospital news of late, the Daytime Emmy nominations. Mallory covered the high and low points brilliantly already, so I won't take up much of your time with this. (Mostly because knowing our readership, if I spend much space discussing GH being held up as one of the four best soaps on the air, there will be widespread cardiac episodes and rage blackouts. And we need to save those up for when they announce a second season of Night Shift.)
I can actually deal, at least conceptually, with GH being nominated for best show and writing, if they submitted episodes from the Metro Court hostage situation. Granted, I thought 75% of that storyline sucked, but it was better than almost everything else GH put out the rest of the year, and from what other people say it's better than what lots of other shows aired as well. So I can get to an okay place with the nominations. As long as they lose, of course. If they win, I'll go postal. But let's cross that horrifying bridge when we get there (and when we have lots of alcohol).
What really bugs me about the GH nominations is that they give the impression that the cast is the problem. "The show has exceptional writing, directing, and showrunning -- shame about that shitty cast that can't muster more than Tony Geary's [Deserved But Let's Face It Guaranteed Until He Retires Even If He's Onscreen for Ten Minutes a Year] nomination, huh?" Which is unfortunate because I think GH has a great cast, one that frequently makes terribly written material bearable, even entertaining. So to sum up, Daytime Emmy voters are even more inept than the people who run ABC Daytime. Who knew such a thing was possible?
But on with the recappery . . .
Do you think there is some kind of scientific explanation for how Greg Vaughn gets more attractive with each passing week?
Because it seems like an impossibility, when he was already starting off so gorgeous, but yet he keeps kicking it up a notch. Surely if they can cure diseases and send people into space and teach monkeys sign language, they can figure this out.
Speaking of Lucky, I like the relationship that he and Elizabeth
have of late. It seems like one of the few good things that the
regular writing team is carrying over from the replacements. Oh, and I
also like that Becky Herbst's hair is making it's way back to healthy
It was touch and go there for a while.
I don't want Lucky and Liz back together, though. I fear they'd be really boring right now; if they ever do get back together it needs to be way down the road, after they've had a chance to get into soapy predicaments independently. I can't tell if that's where the writers are going, but what else is new.
In terms of the Jason and Elizabeth relationship, it's not really over, is it? Hasn't there been a marriage hinted about for eons? They won't let those two end without some uber-romantic wedding followed by an intensely bitter divorce/bullet-ridden death several months later, will they? I was kind of on board with that couple despite everything (by which I mean the fact that one half of the couple kills people for money), but it's played out so poorly despite the actors' chemistry that I'm fine if they just leave it here and move on. Why let this be the one time the writers get a long-term story arc right?
I'm not sure if this is heresy, but I think they should put Elizabeth with Nikolas. The characters have a long history together, and have been played by the same actors all along (which means one of my favorite soapy elements - flashbacks!) who seem to have great chemistry. There would be tons of angst with Jason dealing with Liz getting involved with a Cassadine but not him, with Nikolas being Lucky's brother, with Liz having been Emily's best friend. Most of all, I really just want the writers to abandon this Nikolas-Nadine pairing. It bores me to tears. They need to give up the ghost on this one. Oh god, I think I just made a pun. Will you look at what this show has driven me to?
Jason Thompson returned! I happily welcome him back, even sporting a Mr. Rogers cardigan and slightly insane hair.
And the first words he got to utter were "I'm not hot for your mother." Thank god. We missed you, Jason.
Almost immediately though, Patrick was hotly in pain, thanks to a swift kick to the kidneys delivered by his ba****ma's mother.
And then the horrible Patrick dialogue that I don't think even Jason Thompson's hotness could save kept coming.
Patrick: You're pregnant, you're not supposed to be hot.
Good lord. At least it led to him hotly backpedaling.
The real fun in that scene was courtesy of Finola Hughes.
Anna: He's going to be a wreck by the time the baby's born. It's fantastic!
Hee! As written, Anna's glee in Patrick's terror at his pending paternity could be horrifying, but instead somehow Finola makes it endearing. Clearly, this is an actress the show should endeavor not to get on contract.
So, just checking in. Wardrobe still hates Julie Berman?
Check. You get past the medium-level assiness of that dress, but then there's that bag, so hideous and so bright and SO HUGE that you just focus on it throughout the scene. Maybe that's the intent -- distract you from how obnoxious the character of Lulu is now. If so, it...didn't work. I like Sonny better than Lulu at this point.
Also checking in on whether Kelly Monaco is still kicking the
puppies and/or children of the people running the hair and wardrobe
I wonder whether super-pretty Kelly Monaco ever sees herself on screen in some of these getups and hairstyles and falls into a deep depression? Maybe that's what led to her getting those highlights. That or drugs. Gasp, Kelly Monaco is on drugs! The poor dear.
I'm simultaneously irritated and bored by everything involving Claudia, Ian, Johnny, Anthony, Sonny, and Jason right now, so to retaliate against these fictional characters, I refuse to blog about them. That'll show them.
On a nonfictional note, though, what is going on with Maurice Benard's line readings lately? During Sonny's break-up (#547) with Kate:
Sonny: Mah life is terribow!
And there was a squeal involved. I don't even know.
Awesome Writer had a few great moments this week.
Luke: Tracy, I've taken risks my whole life. I don't even know how to stop.
Tracy: No matter what the consequences to me or Lulu?
Luke: There's no way that I can keep Lulu from hanging around John Zacchara. She's made that perfectly clear. She's gonna have to learn about consequences all on her own. And as far as you and the Haunted Star go, you don't care about the Zaccharas, or Corinthos. You're only interested in keeping me financially dependent on you.
Tracy: I so resent that. [Jane Elliot's delivery of that line was brill. - Ed.]
Luke: You know what the irony of this whole thing is? You think the only reason I come home to you is to line my pockets, to pour your father's booze, and to take advantage of Cook's blueberry pancakes.
Tracy: You've never once denied that.
Luke: I can live without the pancakes.
Luke: And I don't need your bank account. I've lived in the back of a car, in a tent, under a bridge. I'm very adaptable.
Tracy: So why do you keep showing up on my doorstep? Why can't you just go, and stay gone?
Luke: You really don't know? Tracy, I love you. I. Love. You.
Tracy [on the next episode]: Knowing that you love me, hearing you say it when I know that isn't easy for you...it means more to me than I can possible convey. And I love you back. Luke Spencer, you are my favorite mistake. And honest to god, I try to accept you as you are. I honor our marriage vows...even though I don't know what they are. I could divorce you -- for abandonment, infidelity, fraud -- but I don't, I hang tough. There are those that would say it's because I don't like to be wrong. But you and I know different.
Soapy goodness. Or maybe it's crap that Tony Geary and Jane Elliott spun into gold. Seeing it now in print makes me lean towards the latter. Anyway, for some
reason I feel like Luke and Tracy have said "I love you" plenty before, but at this
point I will take what I can get in terms of decent dialogue. I mean,
it's no "Mah life is terribow!" but it will have to do.
Depsite my best efforts, I think I might be warming up to Spinelli.
I KNOW. It's crazy. But hear me out. I think there are several
reasons for this. 1) Bradford Anderson appears to have gotten a
haircut, or put his foot down about the way the show was styling him.
2) They are starting to write him as a tiny bit less of a caricature,
and some of his more toned-down mannerisms are kind of hilarious.
3) Virtually every other aspect of this show sucks so much that the garden-variety suckiness of an annoyingly OTT geeky character sort of pales by comparison. 4) This speech to Lulu (another Awesome Writer moment):
Spinelli: I'm sorry, the Jackal didn't mean to snap. As you know, he's been in your blond thrall for some time now. In awe of your fierce nature and your wise insight. But the words you just used against Maxie? Not only were they unkind, they were crude and beneath you. The Jackal readily concedes that Maximista's thought patterns are not always linear, and she does have a propensity for making self-destructive choices. But so do you. And while your mistakes do not define who you are, the same goes for Maxie. Who is otherwise intelligent and perceptive, and capable of unwavering loyalty which the Jackal has had the honor of experiencing --
Lulu: Okay, I'm sorry, I can't listen to that anymore.
Maxie: What's the matter, truth hurt?
Lulu: You are in this worse than I thought. So you need to listen to me. You are setting yourself up for heartache worse than you can ever imagine if you think Maxie cares about you. Read my lips: Maxie is using you. It's what she does, it's what she's always done. You're just, you're just Maxie's latest sucker.
Spinelli: You don't think much of me, do you?
Lulu: That is not true. I am just trying to remind you of who we're dealing with here, Spinelli. Remember who supplied my addict brother with drugs? That was Maxie. Um, who broke up Lucky and Elizabeth's marriage and then faked a pregnancy to trap him? That would be Maxie. Anyone who can successfully lie about the existence of a baby could easily manipulate somebody as trusting as you. And I just don't want you to fall for it, Spinelli. Maxie only cares about Maxie.
Maxie: Okay. Now it's time to get off your high horse, because this isn't about protecting Spinelli. It's you taking the latest opportunity to talk garbage about me because, well, you hate me.
How both Spinelli and Maxie managed not to kick Lulu in the shins, I'll never know. Especially the lecturing about breaking up a marriage. Hey Lulu, remember Maxie's dead sister's marriage? That was fun to torpedo, huh?
NO. He needs months of rehabilitation to be a real guy.
In terms of romance for Maxie, I'm intrigued by the news that Jason Cook has been cast as a new doctor at GH. To say I was never a Belle and Shawn fan is an understatement on par with saying the economy is in a tiny bit of a downturn, and truthfully my Days viewing during Kirsten Storms' and Jason Cook's tenure was spotty, but lots of people seem to think those two were great together so maybe they'll spark on GH too. This turned out really well with Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans, right?
Fine, Spinelli and Maxie can get together. In like six months. If
he stops idolizing the mob and takes down the dork-speak by
about 17 notches.
Yet another Awesome Writer moment leads me to type the phrase I would have bet money I never would: Rock on, Max Giambetti.
Max: Come on, Jason, speak up. Tell the boss you need me here, not exiled to Puerto Rico.
Diane: You're not going to Puerto Rico.
Sonny: He damn well is. I'm on the brink of war with the Zaccharas. I need my attorney focused on me. He's a distraction to you.
Diane: Jason, you were there. You were in the courtroom, you saw what happened. Would you tell Sonny, the law is the law and this time it came down squarely on the side of Anthony Zacchara.
Sonny: Come on, Diane, you've bent the law for me plenty of times. You could have done more to keep Anthony Zacchara locked up, if you didn't have images of [Max] dancing naked in your head.
Max: Back off.
Sonny: I'm sorry, what?
Max: You're out of line, Mr. C. You know what, I've been more than loyal to you. I've put my life on the line for you so many times over the past five years, I've lost count. I'd do anything for you and your family, and I have proven that. With all due respect, keep your nose out of my personal life please.
If I had known that Diane and Max getting it on would lead to Sonny getting a verbal asskicking, I would have become a shipper ages ago.
So, Carly was annoying as usual this week.
Oops, that's version 2.0. The original I think might
actually have gone an entire week without making me want to punch my TV
screen, which has got to be some kind of record. She even had a truly
decent moment! Awesome Writer was working overtime this week. If only
s/he got some say on story arcs instead of dialogue, we might have a
fully watchable show on our hands.
Carly: It must be hard for you, taking care of Michael every day. Because every time you look at him, you have to think about how easily that could have been Jake in Michael's place, because of Jason. And I'm not gearing up to attack you, if that's what you're thinking. I was quick to judge you for the decision you made, keeping Jake's paternity a secret. And that was before my own child was hurt for being in wrong place at the wrong time, standing next to his father. You made the right call, and I owe you an apology.
Elizabeth: Well, thank you. That's not necessary. [The hell it isn't. - Ed.]
Carly: I mean, I'm not pretending like I magically like you or anything. But I understand why you made the choice that you made. And I really wish I would have...My life has been intertwined with Sonny's and Jason's for years, and I know first hand how dangerous it can be just, you know, being with them. But I still let myself believe all the promises that were made to keep my kids safe. They were impossible to keep. So when you go home tonight, you hold your babies and you make sure they know how much you love them. And you be proud of yourself for making the only decision to protect your kids.
Elizabeth: Carly, we don't have to be friends for me to understand the type of pain you're in. So I'm just going to tell you something from one mother to another. You did what you thought was best for you children at the time. That's all we can do.
Holy shit. I don't even know what to do with that kind of truth-telling when it's not coming from Jax. Does this mean I have to consider liking Carly for the first time since, I don't know, the Clinton administration? Because that's the kind of life change I'm not sure I have the energy for.
Emily the Tumor is really truly totally gone now, right? I've been fooled before, but I really think this must have been the final goodbye. Because there was a flashback montage, the universal soap signal for someone leaving a show.
Probably my two favorite things in soapdom are SOAPNet marathons and montages. Well, flashback montages. Not the montages GH writers favor of late, usually involving murderous episodes in slow-motion set to a cheesy ballad.
Anyway, I can get into a flashback montage even if I wasn't that crazy about the couple involved originally. This is particularly true when the montage is bringing to an end a horrible story in which the male half of the couple's love for the female half of the couple is expressed after her brutal murder in hallucinations of her as a gleeful reanimated corpse which turns out to be due to his aggressive brain tumor.
So Nikolas and Emily the Tumor had their final dance and make-out session (involving in reality I guess Nikolas groping the ether? I don't know),
which teed up the montage!
Ah, memories . . .
. . . of that time Emily was battling cancer and malaria or whatever simultaneously and her character was so annoying that I was actually hoping the diseases would win.
. . . of that period when I thought Tyler Christopher might be growing bangs to cover hair plugs.
. . . of when I was like goddamn, Nikolas, I know you're royalty and everything, but could you please arrange never to wear a shirt?
. . . of a romantic snowball fight in obviously fake soap opera snow. Which if it happened today would likely involve "realistic" CGI snow. And probably one of the two of them taking a bullet to a major organ.
. . . of, I don't know, how Tyler Christopher has a great ass? I have no idea the significance of this scene. Most of the clips were of the two of them hooking up, which was actually a little disturbing, especially given the real-life parallels.
. . . of that fucking horrible Pirates of the Caribbean ripoff storyline (never let it be said that Bob Guza isn't consistent -- he's been poorly imitating successful movies since way back), which was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen on television, ranking right up there with Heidi from The Hills on Letterman last week.
. . . of when I was not at all annoyed by them.
. . . of their pretty and non-annoying wedding, during which I was more focused on Lucky and Elizabeth.
. . . of the Port Charles Hotel fire storyline, which ended with effing Courtney rescuing that dog from the stairwell which somehow made her a billionaire which ultimately led to her marrying Jax and screwing Nikolas who was cheating on Emily after she'd been raped which resulted in basically the worst couple in the history of this show until apparently the writers made a concerted effort not to let Alicia Willis live with that legacy so they paired Emily with Sonny and the new worst ever was indisputable.
So bon voyage, Natalia Livingston. I hope the rumors about you heading to Days are true. You're way less likely to end up playing a tumor there. I mean, it's not beyond the realm of possibility, but it's less likely.