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« Oh, Show. Why Are You This Way? | Main | Days of Our Lives Month and a Half in Review »

July 02, 2008

Is This That Optimism Thing I've Heard So Much About?

I know they, whoever "they" are, say that you should live with no regrets.  But sadly, I have regrets.  They include, but are not limited to:

  • going through a period circa Reality Bites and Before Sunrise during which I thought Ethan Hawke was a little bit attractive
  • that my high school yearbook photo dedication includes the phrase "UR Audi5K"
  • not discovering arugula salads until this year
  • thinking Katherine Heigl was charming and/or down-to-earth
  • my attitude from ages 13-19
  • some really bad dates, especially the one with Scabby Leg Guy (I still don't believe that could happen playing soccer)
  • owning acid-washed jeans
  • taking almost half a season to get into Gossip Girl
  • probably some truly meaningful things as well

But none of that compares to how much I regret giving many, many hours of my life last summer to a soul-sucking enterprise known as General Hospital: Night ShiftMallory and I not only watched every minute of the awfulness, we detailed them in recaps that almost drained us of the will to live.  If not for Jason Thompson appearing nearly naked in a shower on the first episode, we probably would have walked away from blogging forever.  That scene got us through a lot -- a lot -- of crappy ones that followed.

So why, then, am I optimistic for the new season of Night Shift that starts airing July 22nd?  Note: Your answer may not include "idiot," "drunk," or "your brain is more broken than Jason Morgan's."

Hear me out, you guys:  I really think there may be cause for positivity this time around!  My reasons include:

  1. Neither Jill Farren Phelps nor Bob Guza is involved!  I can only hope this is a harbinger of similar things to come.
     
  2. New blood from outside soapdom! Well, partially.  Let's quickly, in the name of positivity, move past the fact that the Executive Producer the former EP of Passions.  (I am not able to say anything positive about Passions because 1) it took Another World away, and 2) I have heard that it is so bad it can only be enjoyed in the "are you fucking kidding me with this?!" way.)  ANYWAY, the exciting part is Sri Rao, a head writer from -- prepared to be blown away -- totally outside the world of soaps!  He has some TV and play credits, apparently?  At this point I wouldn't care if the extent of his writing experience was limericks on bathroom stalls; the likelihood is he'll be better at seeing an arc through from start to finish and avoiding offensive and stupid dialogue than the last regime.  I'm always bitching about how daytime passes around the same 10 or so head writers regardless of their abilities, so I'm so glad to see someone cannonball into that otherwise apparently shallow talent pool.
     
  3. Tristan Rogers as Robert Scorpio!  Robert is back, and not in the almost-invisible, slandered-via-horrible-writing way that he was on the GH mother ship.  According to Tristan's interview on the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys -- in one of the only moments of the pre-show worth watching -- he said the new writers are completely ignoring the ridiculous Robert-as-deadbeat-dad arc from GH and having Robert and Robin be a close father-daughter team with Robert involved in Robin's pregnancy and her helping him as a doctor.  Can you believe you're even reading that paragraph about something associated with General Hospital?!  I almost can't breathe, I'm so simultaneously shocked and excited.
     
  4. Jagger!  Jagger Cates is back, and -- per Antonio Sabato, Jr. on the red carpet at the Emmys, in one of the only other moments worth watching -- is an FBI agent and HAS A SON NAMED STONE.  Mallory and I freaked out in stereo.  I should probably reveal that Jagger is, if my fading memory serves, the reason I started watching GH.  I was in the student union in college and walked past one of those giant TVs (remember the ones that were about five feet deep with picture clarity akin to a YouTube video made from a 1980s video tape that's been sitting in the sun?) and saw Antonio Sabato, Jr.'s face about a yard high.  I stopped and watched the rest of the episode.  If you're having trouble understanding this, you clearly didn't see Antonio circa 1993, or Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do (Without You)" video. Because the dude?  WAS SMOKING HOT.  And he's still gorgeous!  And his character is not in the mob!  And he named his son after Stone "I can see you Robin" Cates!  I have to stop typing about this or I'm liable to pass out.
     
  5. No hitman/janitor as the hero of the show! Much as I liked the Night Shift version of Jason (yeah, I said it; bring it on, haters), I am thrilled that the mob will not be front and center this season.  Sonny can still swing by in the last episode and give Jason the sex eye or something, because that was awesome in a horrendous way.  But mostly:  Yay, no mob!  Or at least, no mob that eats the show.
     
  6. Patrick and Robin [exclamation point redacted for fear of implying current incarnations of these characters are worthy of excitement]  They are the center of the second season as they allegedly were the first, and that means -- drumroll please! -- under a new head writer, they might actually have a different conversation from the one they've been having since early 2007!  Robin might go back to being only endearingly annoying on an occasional basis!  Patrick might be notable for something other than Jason Thompson's hotness and adorable ability to hold babies fake-awkwardly!  A girl can dream.
     
  7. No alternate reality!  Per that SOAPNet article linked earlier:  "What's also great is that you can expect "Night Shift" to totally synch with "General Hospital." Last season's breakneck production schedule meant that some events on "Night Shift" didn't synch up with what was happening on "General Hospital." (Y'know, like when Jason was in jail during the day but not on "Night Shift.") Now the continuity between the two shows will be seamless." I'll believe "seamless" when I see it, but I'm so thrilled they're not even going to try that awful idea this season.  I like it when people admit that they're terrible at stuff.  It's the reason I don't play team sports, or try to make people feel better about bad haircuts.

I know I sound like a crazy fangirl.  Truly I do.  I even like the promo!  I need help.

But seriously, y'all, don't you think there's reason to believe the second time might be a charm?  Or at least, not the really sucky antithesis of charm?

You people better all have voted yes, because Mal and I are going to recap every episode of this damned thing and we need moral support.  So stay positive!  Or whine and complain like crazy, but send us chocolate.  (And maybe photos of Jason Thompson, Greg Vaughn, James Scott, and Peter Bergman.)

Comments

Quite frankly - if Robin/Patrick are not done with this freakin' s/l about Patrick being a part of the baby's life - I will be outside getting bit by a million mosquitos in my backyard (there IS a downside to living on a lake) and spraying poison to kill them while inhaling. Because this s/l has me wanting to throw myself down on the floor and have a three year old's hissy fit in frustration.

As for jackass Guza not having a say in the writing of NS - I call bullsh*t. He may NOT be a part of the day to day operations - but that moron will eff' NS up somehow. I'll take all bets on that.

On a POSITIVE note - Everyone have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!!!!!

Oh - Hey Becca - how about chocolate images of Jason Thompson, Greg Vaughn, James Scott, and Peter Bergman???? Now that's YUMMY!!!!!!!!

Your reaction to Jagger was my reaction to Robert Scorpio back in the day. So I'm going to have to upgrade my cable to get Soapnet.

But don't be dissing Passions. Anything with the floating head of Adrian Zmed is awesome.

Excuse me I left you shirtless Jagger in a towel on the forums...I think that gives me a leg up on the morale boosting right there. (in the spoiler section for those who would care to drool along with me)

I've been feeling this crazy optimism thing too....the no Bob thing did it for me.

And forgot to add...Passions gave us Timmy the talking doll who had his own cocktail named after him...now that is awesome in and of itself. Who wants a Martimmy?

Well, I voted yes, b/c, quite frankly, you ladies scare me-as an evil bitch myself, I recognize those who have the potential to go into evil bitchdom if the occasion calls for it. J/K-mostly.

However, my real feelings are a mix of "little bit yes, little bit no". Yes, b/c of Jagger and Stone, and Robert, and the potential of Robin, if Patrick should revert back to NS1Patrick's level of assholishness, having a s/l that 1-is apart from his assholishness, 2-gives her a hot guy friend to lean on through said assholishness, 3-said s/l will not, apparently, make her look as though she's lost her damn mind (see Stacey and the whole taking the baby thing from NS1). No, b/c, if you read the character bio for Patrick, we are once again back to him "trying" to be a loyal boyfriend and make a family with Robin and the baby, but his "wandering eye with other members of the hospital staff may prove to be a problem" or some such shit-AND I WILL NOT SIT THROUGH THAT BULLSHIT AGAIN. Just. No. And GOD HELP US ALL if we get another Leyla to go w/it-we haven't gotten rid of the first one yet.

Um, we started watching GH at the EXACT SAME TIME under nearly the same circumstances. I was a freshman and mourning the loss of Santa Barbara as my reason to procrastinate from 3-4pm. And, lo, there was Jagger. Holy Mother of God. I'm almost tempted to break down and subscribe to the cable package that would enable me to watch him again.

I am deeply disappointed in myself for having similarly optimistic near fan girl squealing feelings about NS2. Deep in my heart and mind I suspect I am setting myself up for an enormous fall and endless heartbreak. Oh well, there's always chocolate, cocktails, and the hotness of both Jason Thompson and Antonio Sabato Jr. to soothe my wounds.

Want to hear shocking revolting pathetic TV news....I spent 17 minutes last night watching "America's Got Talent". More shame on me. Not only did I find Jerry Springer tolerable for the first time ever but that dufus poser lifeguard in a girdle wanna be David the Germans love my music Hasselhoff said something I could personally relate to! More shame and horror for me. After a vile talentless act Night Rider said as one of the judges "On my death bed I will regret having spent 90 seconds watching you when I could have spent that time with someone I love."

OMG! The Hoff is right. I fear that is what I will be saying when my time is up about all the wasted hours I spent on GH (Guza years) NS and NS2!!!!!!

Becca, you're a girl after my own heart. I started watching GH for Jagger/Antonio too!!! I'm cautiously optimistic for NS2 but very excited - there must be something wrong with me, right? I can't wait to read your recaps!

Well, I was little when I started occasionally watching GH with my older sisters so I know a lot of the history, but I didn't fall in love with GH until I set my eyes on Jagger. He is beautiful.

i am beyond thrilled. NS2 sounds like its gonna be awesome. How can the return of robert (this time w/o those hyenas guza and jfp influence) jagger with a little boy named stone, patrick and robin front and center, no mob etc be anything less than amazing. i am really excited. ita about ASJ. he was so hot back in the day. i was in 7th grade when he started on gh and let me tell you he set my little heart on fire.

I'm with you, Marianne. That's when I started watching GH, too. I was in jr. high and when I layed eyes on Jagger, I thought he was GOD. It's a good thing there was an overlap when Jagger&Karen left town and when Sonny&Brenda hooked up because my 'high' was not broken.
Please, do recaps of the show because where ever Jagger is, I'm there.

Well, Passions did have a few painfully hot men running around. I can't bring myself to type the word "actors" to describe them; I preferred to see them as a bribe to keep viewers around in case Irony stopped being enough.

Anyway...another reason for optimism would be, if Night Shift gets enough ratings and/or fan reaction, it might cause the Powers That Be to turn against the Guza/Phelps regime. On a darker note, if Night Shift does deliver in abundance, then you'll have to live with the horror of knowing that a spin-off is doing a far better job of being General Hospital than General Hospital as well as (if they are 100% serious about synching) the shock of seeing, week after week, well-handled characters and even good stories dropping from capable hands to Guza's hands. So even if Night Shift does turn out to be really good, it might still increase your suffering a hundredfold.

With both Tristan Rogers and Antonio Sabato, it can only be so bad. Because we will have lots of wonderful eye candy and Tristan will be awesome no matter what. And it's a VERY encouraging sign that the head writer is not from soaps.

Tristan Rogers's pointed comments about having optimism despite this show coming from GH was enough to get me to watch it, actually. After the first episode of NS1, I didn't bother with the rest of it, and I have to admit that Robin and Patrick to me are the TV equivalent of a Sominex pill, but I can totally get behind a show that does not have Jill "This was expected" Farren Phelps and Bob "Love in wartime" Guza's dirty paw prints all over it.

But I'm just not buying NS and GH syncing with each other. Guza's enough of a petty f*&ktard, given that he was tossed off the NS bandwagon, to screw with NS's stories enough to confuse us all. Guess I'll just have to continue to not watch GH. Darn.

LOl they do get addictive and make you want to talk and blog about them! Check out the blog by Sara Bibel with a lot of juicy behind the scenes stuff and she has tons of contacts in the soap world from her days as a writer. http://thebiz.fancast.com/deep_soap/

At this point anything is better than the actual GH. All the extra stuff separating it from that suckfest is just bonus!

Robert Scorpio. Jagger. No Phelps or Guza. Yes, I'm excited. I can't wait. I hope it KILLS GH in the ratings!

you lost me at "passions killed AW" and that part about Jagger naming his son Stone "I can see you Robin!" Cates, but in any case, I agree with you. Even on the Ethan Hawke thing.

Your list is basically exactly the same as mine. We're all heading for a gigantic fall...

I'm excited about Robert and Jagger (and little Stone), and about Robin interacting with Robert. I can't drum up any optimism for Robin/Patrick though, considering that the show is supposed to synch with main GH - does anyone really think that NS is going to set the storyline for Robin/Patrick on GH, rather than the other way around?

I know this post is about GH, but speaking of optimism, why are you two not reviewing MVP??? Its got hot hockey players, over the top stories, a cute love story brewing, good music, and its on SoapNet at least 1-2 times per day. Only 2 episodes so far, so you can easily catch up.....

I always enjoy reading your blog, but I've never before posted a comment. So Becca, I have to agree with your comment about liking the Jason who was on NS1...or at least not disliking him as much as I do the GH Jason of the last 9-10 years. But I recognize my reason for this: while the possessed-by-aliens behavior of all the other characters (especially Robin & Patrick) was a horrific thing to witness, in the case of Jason it gave us a window to the Jason Morgan that existed back in 1996...back before he became 'contaminated' by all of Carly's drama & insanity & lies. It made me remember how much I liked that Jason Morgan & how much I miss him.

As for NS2, I am cautiously optimistic. I'm thrilled Jagger & Robert are back in PC. And while I'm also happy they're not writing the deadbeat dad angle...how do we just ignore all the stuff from 2006? Especially when we still have Anna referencing Robert's absence on GH - how does that work? Anyway, I'm hoping for some quality Robin & Jagger scenes - catching up, reminescing about Stone...seeing traits of the uncle in his little namesake...sigh.

As for the Patrick & Robin couple NS2 storyline...could it really be any more horrific than NS1? If we can just get through NS2 with them acting true to their characters I think we can call it a success.

I'm cautiously optimistic as well! Karen's dead now, so maybe if Patrick is a douchebag like he was on NS1, maybe Robin can hook up with Jagger and raise little Stone along with her baby?

And I love me some Robert Scorpio... plus no Guza AND no alternate reality? It sounds so good...

...I've held my peace for a long time (*ahem* lurker) buuuut I had to come out of the metaphorical "shadows" to say my thoughts are with you during the new season of Night Shift. I, myself, will keep up with it via y'alls recaps! (But I did stop and look around to see if anyone saw my blush @ the Antonio Sabato Jr. in "Love Will Never Do Without You" mention. Favorite. Janet. song. of all. time. And I'm sure Antonio had alot to do with that.)

........Alexis/JerryCraigDouchewhatever post? Totally looking forward to that.

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