General Hospital Couple of Weeks in Review
Every time I see the beginning of a preview for a new Adam Sandler movie, I think, well, at least it won't be worse than [insert name of second most recent Sandler movie here]. And nothing could be worse than The Waterboy. But then, somehow, the latest Sandler movie almost always is worse than the last. It's downright vexing. Every once in a while a Punch Drunk Love will come along and surprise me, but that's rare. Mostly it's more like my most recent experience, sitting in a theater with the bad taste of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry still fresh in my mouth six months after being subjected to it on cable, shocked that this Zohan travesty appears to be even worse, adding the tangy twist of racism to the already heavy flavor of homophobia left over from the last movie.
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this: Every week of General Hospital is like a new Adam Sandler movie. Except without the possibility of one good stomach-hurting laugh (yes, there is usually one), and with a much higher likelihood of bloody assaults and homicides. (I am totally fine with endless non-bloody assaults involving, say, Bob Barker. But realistic bloodiness I can only tolerate in small doses, which GH usually exceeds in the first week of any given year). I stick around every week, in truth, only because I'm paid to. Occasionally I get rewarded with Awesome Writer throwing us a Punch Drunk Love-esque bone in the form of a scene that is actually engaging, but for the most part, at the end of a Friday episode, it's just me looking at my TV screen with the same expression I have at the end of 90% of Sandler's movies.
That was the extended version of my now-standard introduction to these Week in Reviews. The condensed version is: This show sucks.
Reminder: these two are brother and sister.
These two adult roommates, who gaze at each other and participate in
touchy-feeliness that includes but is not limited to neck rubs, are
brother and sister. I'm just...saying. Also, in true sibling
tradition, the sister is paying someone to seduce her brother away from
Claudia: I will pay you ten thousand dollars to seduce my brother John. I'll give you twenty thousand dollars if you can get Lulu to catch you in the act.
I hate this show so much. They have exactly ONE tolerable female
character in this age group, and they are making her a hooker.
(Actually, am I misremembering, or will this now be the second time
Maxie has agreed to sleep with a guy in exchange for money from someone
else? It's not only misogyny, it's redundant misogyny; it's everything
that General Hospital is all about.) I was totally outraged
and all puffed up to blog about it, but then she wore a really fabulous
dress and it calmed me down.
Plus, Lulu -- who I officially hate now, daughter of Luke and Laura
or not -- looks horrible right next to her. I love a catty
Maxie's dress could not be cuter if it were a puppy in a toilet paper commercial. Lulu's t-shirt appears to have a pixelated tie-dyed pattern accented by a sequined fruit basket on one boob. I know none of the words in that last sentence appear to go together, but there they are. And I know Lulu is supposed to have bad taste in clothes (Giselle mocking her fashion sense was amusing), but you can show that without offending one of my most important senses with that level of ugliness.
To get these out of the way at the semi-beginning, here are the assorted things that mostly suck about which I can think of nothing entertaining to say:
- Lulu telling Johnny off about his sister, Claudia tell off Lulu about her brother, Claudia telling off Nadine, Claudia wearing black leather in the middle of summer in New York
- the continuing effing blog war
- Sonny calling Spinelli "freaky boy" twice and "freak boy" once in the span of less than 30 seconds and not having it provide even one iota of entertainment
- Sonny's downward spiral
- poor, brutally hot Josh Duhon relegated to pushing Anthony's wheelchair into a room once every four episodes
- Sonny and Jason's acrimonious break-up
- Ric as background material in mob scenes
- Carly and Alexis suddenly freaking out about having had kids with a mob kingpin
- Jason getting a big promotion and still wearing the same t-shirt and jeans he's been wearing since 1997
What if you were having a conversation with someone and there was something SO OBVIOUS that you wanted to say, something so desperately in need of being addressed that you actually feared for the person's well-being if you didn't say something, even though if you did say something you're pretty sure it will come out so mean that the bitchiness of it alone would do serious harm?
It would be especially hard if not that long ago, things were mostly okay. Like, if the changing situation was apparent, but not terrifying. But you'd reach a point where you were really terrified. Terrified of saying something, terrified of not saying something. Basically, you would want your mommy, unless it meant your mommy would have to come and see the same scary things that you were trying to figure out how to talk about.
Hypothetically, all of that would be really awkward.
Regular readers know my opinion of Damien Spinelli has softened in recent months. I no longer hate him, no longer reflexively cringe when he's on screen. I was even starting to, gulp, like him. But then there's no growth in his character and he ends up bumbling and babbling like always and I remember that no human being actually talks like that and I get annoyed again. The last couple weeks had me all back and forth as per usual.
I did not mind Jax tutoring Spinelli on the ways of love and gambling.
I think Bradford Anderson has never looked better.
I even guffawed when he first busted out with the Aussie accent.
I'm tired of the Spinelli/Maxie one-way flirtation. I'm tired of Spinelli showing no growth towards being a Real Boy. I'm tired of Spinelli all tangled up in the mob storylines. I'm tired of Spinelli being responsible for every light-hearted moment on this show. He's on too much. If they're going to keep him all wacky and adorkable, or whatever, then he needs to stay a peripheral character. He can't be on all the time.
I'm not saying Spinelli is the only offender in this department,
but he's the one with the worst hair, so I'm going to focus on him.
One of the few bright spots was Sam and Lucky in Mexico.
These two are sexy and fun non-mobsters on a romantic adventure in an exciting locale chasing Luke Spencer...what the hell are they doing on this show?
Since her general smurfiness is detectable from space, I'm not sure why they insist on dressing Nadine like an Easter Egg to convince us that she is A Good Girl.
I also don't know how I'm supposed to believe she turned down $5K a week (!!!!) in consulting fees, what special expertise she has on clinics for low-income people, why I would want her with Nikolas, or who would believe she was a hooker. I know none of these questions are especially interesting but...neither is she. (I have nothing against Claire Coffee; she seems lovely. I think even she must be bored by Nadine, though.)
Sure, Patrick and Robin have been having the same conversation for at least 18 months now, but at least Patrick is hotly repetitive. He even mixes it up with some new things done hotly.
He hotly wore a sling. (Get well soon, Jason Thompson! I say, creepily, as if I know you or you read this site!)
He hotly advised Spinelli about women (hotly over the phone).
He hotly tended to Robin when she collapsed.
Then hotly hugged her when they found out everything was okay.
He ______ got a haircut. I'm leaving out the modifier for now. I'm not sold on the very short 'do, Jason. But I won't hold it against your hot self.
I have several modifiers for Kimberly McCullough's new cut, but I otherwise adore her so I'm going to keep them to myself.
"Tragedy" is not a modifier, per se, though.
Neither is "please threaten bodily injury to the next person who puts scissors near your head."
Oh, there's something else going on in that screencap? Sigh, okay.
Curtis made a return appearance. Curtis, the character from Night Shift's epsiodes 9, 10, and 11 that I think we were supposed to think was the biggest asshole in history, but by that point I was so sick of Robin's baby lunacy that I actually thought he was only a moderate asshole. Anyway, he's back, now determined to set new records of assholitude, in the hospital for some kind of insurance settlement meeting but taking the time to tell Patrick that he better be prepared to raise his kid alone if HIV-positive Robin decides to die. I sometimes think this writing team gets paid by the number of audience segments they can offend and alienate in a given week. But then they all would have retired comfortably by now. By 2003 or so, really.
This scene was very difficult for me.
I struggled for many minutes to decide what I care least about:
- Leyla's sad existence as an unmarried woman
- Leyla's mother (did she bring pearls?!)
- Leyla's bitchy friend
- Spinelli-propping involving defending Leyla's honor
I kind of want to ask if Kelly Monaco is pregnant, but I don't want to give a tiny gorgeous woman a complex, so I'll just say that if she's not, they should start dressing her...differently. Anyway, possibly pregnant Kelly and Rebecca "no, my character is the one who seems to get pregnant every five minutes" Herbst gave great performances of Awesome Writer's Sam-Elizabeth reconciliation.
Sam: I know, I know it's asking a lot -- a LOT, a lot -- for you to trust me with your children. So I kind of thought about it and I don't know, if you want me to wear like an ankle monitor or something, Spinelli could totally hook that up, or if that's too extreme, maybe you could supervise the visits, or you could bring cameras, or whatever you want, I will do.
Elizabeth: [Laughing] I would like to say that I'm not that judgmental. But I know I have been. A lot has happened since Michael was shot. I've had to take a couple steps back and look at my choices over the past few years, and...I've lied a lot. And I've hurt a lot of people. Especially Lucky. Including you. And I'm sorry. I would really...I don't, Sam, I don't think I can forget what you did to Jake. But I do want to forgive you because like you said it's just not healthy living in the past.
Sam: I'm ...Does this mean I'm allowed to spend time with the kids?
Elizabeth: No, not yet. It's not because I think you're going to do something crazy weird. It's ust, I don't want...I don't want Cameron to be confused.
Sam: I completely understand. I mean, how could Lucky have me for a girlfriend when he still loves you?
Sam: It's kind of ironic, I think, you and I have absolutely nothing in common except Jason and Lucky.
Elizabeth: You know, for a long time I thought you were with Lucky just to get back at me.
Sam: Yeah, I know that. Yep, you mentioned it. Like, every single time that you saw me. And yeah, I mean, it was true, at first. I was hurt and angry and -- oh, it sounds so bad -- but I knew that you seeing me with him would drive you crazy. And yeah, it was part of the attraction. But, over time, I really didn't care what you thought anymore. I really started to see Lucky, and he is an amazing man. He is kind, and he's accepting, and Lucky thinks the best of me. And I'm definitely not used to that. I'm actually starting to heal, because I don't wake up in the morning pissed off [You can say that on daytime now? Get on with your badass selves, bitches! -Ed.] at all the people who tried to hurt me. I'm just, um, I'm starting to actually believe that Lucky and I could actually have a future together. And you know I would just love for there to be a way that we could all be together, in the same place. And I know that it scares the hell out of me because if you wanted him back, ::snaps fingers::, like that he would go with you. [1) Aw, that was so sad, and 2) oh, she is so right. - Ed.]
Elizabeth: I love him. I always will. You can call it friendship, or first love, or, I don't know, maybe there is no label for it. But my point is, I just want to see him happy. And he's happy when he's with you. As far as the boys go, you know maybe we can set a date or something. The carnival's coming up in August. [Dude, that is two months away; what the hell? - Ed.] Maybe you and Lucky could take the boys.
Sam: Wow. Okay, yeah, that sounds like fun.
Elizabeth: Well just talk it over with Lucky and let me know. My break's over.
Sam: I'm sorry I took up all your time here.
Elizabeth: I'm glad you did.
Sam: Me too.
Mallory and I were emailing this weekend about how much it pains us to admit that the writers have done a really good job rehabilitating Sam since that point last year at which we thought they should just kill her off because she had sunk as low as a soap character could. But then Mal pointed out that really, once they broke up Sam and Jason and Sam was no longer in the mob universe, Guza stopped caring one way or another about her and forgot to write for her so she was allowed to fade into the background and sort of regrow her humanity. That explanation is far more consistent with this show than any involving "talent" or "story development," so I'm going with it.
But I think there might be a little bit of decent writing involved, because Elizabeth is also not annoying me lately! Despite the fact that she refuses to get rid of those highlights (I'm putting it on the fictional character because I refuse to believe that a real human being with bone structure and skin like Becky Herbst would willingly do that to her hair), she has been making good use of her time not spent pining over her hitman babydaddy.
She was a good friend to Robin; I liked their talk about single motherhood.
And she continues to have a lovely relationship with Lucky and their kids.
Though on that last point I'm willing to admit that any scene involving Greg Vaughn in the close proximity of a very small human being is perfection. What is it about that man?
Hey everybody, I'm sure you're thrilled to hear that Carly and Jax are going to try to work things out. Woo...hoo? He gave her a charm bracelet though, so you know he means business.
Ick. I've mentioned how I feel about those.
But, bright side! Jax trying to save his unsaveable marriage gave Jerry a chance to weigh in with his deep thoughts on interpersonal relationships!
Jax: I did not give up on any of my marriages, okay?
Jerry: Oh really? Let's take a quick glance back -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- you were married to Miranda, Alexis, Skye, Courtney, and Carly. That's five marriages. Five promises to stay together forever. That doesn't even include the invalidated marriage to Brenda; both of us know that you were married to Brenda in your heart.
Jax: What's your point?
Jerry: You made five, arguably six, lifelong commitments, that you broke. I mean, of course, granted, the marriage to Alexis was a marriage of convenience, but the pattern is clear. As soon as the marriage becomes hard and complicated, and god forbid, painful, you give up. You let go.
Jax: You're right, Jerry, I don't need your advice.
FOR SERIOUS. WTF is Jerry doing giving marital advice? WTF is Jerry doing giving advice about anything morality-related? Strike that, WTF is Jerry doing giving advice about anything other than how to brutally stab an apparently very buoyant woman, or blowing shit up leading to the death of beloved patriarchs?
Screencaps courtesy of LaurieLuvsLiason.