"To Have and To Hold, From This Day Forward, On Awesome Shows and Bad Shows..."
I started writing this entry by typing, "The past few days of General Hospital have been so utterly great that I've had to consult a thesaurus for new ways to say 'adorable', 'fabulous' and 'soapy'" and, as I re-read the sentence, I realized that I have not typed a sentence like that since, like, 1997. At least.
Then I started to worry. I mean, since when do "great" and "General Hospital" belong in the same sentence when not separated by "-ly disappointing"? And for the OG GH to demonstrate this newfound creative renaissance with Patrick and Robin? A couple that they barely cared to write for over the past few years and when they did deign to write for them, crafted storylines like The Blog Wars and The One Conversation and Night Shift: Season 1? Really? That's...unlikely. So I thought that, maybe, perhaps, I had just hallucinated the entire thing. "It finally happened," I thought to myself. "General Hospital actually BROKE MY BRAIN."
But I rewatched the episodes and it turns out that they were actually episodes that were aired, for real, and were great: Fabulous Scrubs wedding! Spencers, Cassadines and Baldwins, oh my! Sonny being STABBED! It's like the writers said, "You know what we should try for a few days? Writing some quality soap. It could be kind of fun, doing something different like that".
Whatever the reasoning, whether it's just them actually trying for once, Awesome Writer being handed the reins or the simple notion that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, I have to give these writers credit for creating a fantastic soap wedding.
The scenes leading up to the wedding, where people who are, like, related to each other did things like interact and reference history? So shockingly out of place on this show that I gasped.
Mac: Well, you know what? I'll be happy to walk you down the aisle and give you my blessing, but I will never give you away.
Mac: I want cops at every intersection within four blocks of Queen of Angels, all right? Keep traffic moving. I want no-parking zones within a two-block radius. Tow first, write tickets later. 18:00 hours. I want everything in place immediately. My niece will not be stuck in traffic on the way to her wedding.
The nonstop parade of criminals, slaughterings and crooked trials makes one forget that there is a police presence in Port Charles at all, let alone that Mac is the police commissioner, so reminders like this are kind of nice.
Anna: I managed to see your dad. And he looks so much stronger. And he sends his love and he's so proud and yadda yadda.
Becca finally stepped away from the ledge she's been tNight Shift with this news.
Anna: Oh, okay. What about your hair? I can't do your hair. You know, I'm horrible with hair, I mean, clearly.
Clearly! Clearly a shoutout to us! Or, at the very least, the writers' subtle attempt to make Finola Hughes see the error of her ways.
But sometimes when characters on this show reference history, it makes me a little sad, and I weep for what once was...
Maxie: You know, I would always picture the perfect wedding. Not for me, but for my mom and Mac. He loved her so much. I always wanted them to get married so that we could be a family. They did eventually get married. It was a double-wedding with two people that you don't know, Kevin and Lucy.
It is a damn shame that Spinelli doesn't know Kevin and Lucy. They were such a huge, fun part of General Hospital and it breaks my heart a little bit that so many mobsters, mobsters' sycophants, mobsters' molls, and assorted nitwits make their way into Port Charles and Kevin and Lucy are MIA.
We all know how I feel about the endless speechifying that this town does on Jason being awesome at being awesome; my complaining about it is possibly even more tiresome than the speechifying itself. But I have to admit, the scenes where Maxie asked him to go to Robin's wedding didn't bother me. Perhaps because they sent me back to the halcyon days of the late 90s, when I thought that Jason and Robin were just the best thing since the song "Say You'll Be There". I do think that Jason and Robin were hugely important to each other and I liked their past being discussed, and it also gave us some quality Maxie zingers:
Maxie: Is that why you refuse to go to Patrick and Robin's wedding, because you have to whack someone? That's rude.
Maxie: How many weddings do you think Robin is going to have? I mean, this isn't like Carly, who gets married every five minutes so if you skip out on one, it's not that big of a deal.
Ha! But little does Maxie know that when Carly and Jax got married and Jason almost didn't show up, Carly pretty much had a breakdown and wasn't going to go through with it. Remember that? And the show expected us to get invested in Carly and Jax and be sad when their marriage fell apart? Oh, show. You and your drugs.
Jason attending the wedding led to the most bizarre part of the whole equation: the strange, vaguely homoerotic conversation between Sonny and Jason about their past
Sonny: I remember those first couple of years you worked for me. You used to ask questions all the time, not just about business but how to live in the world. You didn't understand how a person could say one thing and mean another.
Jason: It just seemed easier not to say anything, you know?
Sonny: It got to the point where you didn't -- you quit asking. But I knew when you were confused, because you would do certain things and I would sit you down and explain it to you, and you were a fast learner. I mean, I'd just tell you once. You got it cold.
Jason: I couldn't have had a better teacher.
I'm pretty sure that's the start of a porno...
Sonny getting himself stabbed and thrown in the river (as if the Russian mob would do that! Again, writers, watch Law & Order to see how the Russian mob operates!) was the Sonny-related highlight of the week, but the awesomeness of the wedding as a whole even led Sonny to get in a good line.
Coleman: Mr. Corinthos, hey. I didn't realize you were on the guest list.
Sonny: Yeah? I didn't realize you were the welcoming committee.
Coleman: Well, I'm -- I'm Patrick's best man.
Sonny: Yeah, well, times must be lean.
Hee! That's kind of a dick thing to say, but it still made me chuckle. Perhaps because Coleman, while amusing, skeeves me out more than a little bit. Like, way more than a little bit.
Coleman: Psst. Save me a dance at the reception, Barbara Jean. Tasty.
So...wrong. Not in the "so wrong, it's right" sense, either. Just...wrong.
And how outstanding did everybody look? Soap weddings are made to be full of pretty people looking pretty, but with these particular powers-that-be in charge, you never know how that's going to work out. Luckily for us, hair, wardrobe and makeup had their taste levels up to par.
Nadine looked beautiful. That color really works on Claire Coffee. Not well enough to make me forget how annoying Nadine is in general, but well enough to give her a temporary reprieve from my mocking.
Kelly, Lainey and Epiphany were similarly cute.
I feel like if I talk anymore about how perfect looking Becky Herbst is that I will have a restraining order filed against me, but, come on, I can't let this go without comment.
I don't think that the necklace really works with that particular dress; it's kind of distracting, no? But, again, the wardrobe people found another perfect color for one of their actresses to wear.
Their accessorizing skills are seriously not up to par, because I didn't feel like Anna's jewelry worked at all, with her dress and just in general. Bobbie...also attended the wedding.
Who do I write to to ask for more scenes of Ingo Rademacher in a suit?
John Ingle apparently had a medical procedure done, which is why Edward is wearing the jaunty hat. I love the hat, though, and I think he looks super cute. Monica also looked fabulous.
Kirsten Storms is lucky enough to have perfect skin, perfect hair and wears dresses well.
I'd hate her if she weren't so adorable.
And the GH people must have borrowed Night Shift's people for Kimberly McCullough, because she looked divine.
There were some not so great aspects of the wedding, like the weird, random, kind of uncomfortable scenes with Patrick and Olivia, that were part of a long run of "See Olivia? She's awesome! Love her! I SAID LOVE HER, VIEWERS!" scenes that we were treated to. I just don't see any real reason for their paths to cross, like, ever.
And then, the big one: Patrick being late to the wedding because he was operating on Anthony Zacchara.
FIRST OF ALL, Johnny Zacchara was so much better when he was jumping off of buildings. I like Brandon Barash a lot, but the writing for the character is so all over the place. Who orders someone to miss his wedding in order to perform surgery? Seriously, who does that? And it wasn't even played for laughs like Seth Rogen's rant to the MIA obstetrician in Knocked Up ("I'm going have to kill you, I'm gonna pop a fucking cap in your ass. You're Tupac, you are fucking Biggie, you piece of shit")!
Johnny: Not at the expense of our father's life. I'm not going to have some doctor I've never heard of operate on my father.
I know Patrick rules in myriad ways, but come on. It's not like he's the only surgeon in the world and I doubt he was offering to have some random high school biology student perform the surgery on Anthony.
SECONDLY, what the hell was with Patrick not calling Robin or Coleman or someone to tell them that he was going to be late? I know it's a plot contrivance to give us all a dramatic entrance, but still! They could have written something even minorly plausible. Even no cell reception in the church would have been better! But no! He JUST DOESN'T CALL. Honestly, who does that?
THIRDLY, the motley crew at this wedding was the DUMBEST BUNCH OF PEOPLE ever assembled in a small space. Especially Spinelli.
Spinelli: No, I, I -- the Jackal made a thorough search. He's not answering his cell phone. He's not at home. He's not in the church. As I previously explained, he is most definitely missing.
Okay, so Spinelli is a super web stalker genius, most of the congregation has gone to medical or nursing school and there is a world renowned superspy there and that's what they come up with? Really? Is Sonny and Jason's stupid contagious? "He's not at home, and he's not here, and there is literally nowhere else in the world that he could be! Uh oh, no wedding!" MORONS. You don't look for the workaholic surgeon at the hospital? I know it was just another plot contrivance to aid the larger plot contrivance, but STILL. This is RIDICULOUS.
On the ridiculous subject, when the guests were worrying about more drama from Robin and Patrick, Epiphany said
Epiphany: Lord knows I'm a patient woman...
ELL OH ELL. Patient like a drill sergeant, Pip.
It led to two good things, though. The first being Edward and his cantankerous self...
Edward: Hmm. Those are very beautiful words, my dear. But unfortunately, the missing groom can't hear them. So if nobody else has the decency to escort you out, I'll do it.
Mac: Edward, I'm the uncle of the bride. It's my responsibility. I'll do it.
Ha! I loved that it was just a foregone conclusion at that point that Patrick wasn't showing and that Mac figured that part of his official bride-giving-away duties included ushering her back out when she got jilted. Is that written in an etiquette book somewhere?
And the second, of course, being Robin's complete and utter faith in Patrick and knowing that he'd be there.
Robin: You know, Patrick and I have done enough worrying for two lifetimes, but the second I agreed to marry him, I haven't had a second thought.
Robin: I know this isn't going exactly as planned, but it will. Eventually. All of you know me and Patrick, and you've seen us through our ups and downs, and many of you have given us much-needed advice. So I just -- I want to thank you for your support and remind you of what you already know, which is that Patrick and I love each other. And we always will. And yes, it may have taken us way too long to get to this point, but now that we're here, we're committed. And you may think I'm crazy, but there is not a doubt in my mind that he will walk through that door at any moment. So please just be patient. There will be a wedding today.
It was really beautiful! No drama, no Bridezilla antics, just a woman knowing that the man she loved would be there for her. Perfect.
And Patrick hotly running in all dramatically was the icing on the cake.
Muffin takes after her father, apparently, because she made a dramatic entrance of her own.
Father Coates: Everybody stay calm. Is there a doctor in the house?
Hee! And how awesome was it that pretty much all of the guests stood up? I mean, a good portion of them are nurses, not doctors so they didn't need to stand up and god knows that Kelly and Lainey should have been forcibly restrained from offering their services, but still, it was pretty impressive to see a group of medical professionals together on this show. The show that has the word hospital in the title.
But holy foreshadowing, Batman!
Kelly: This one's mine. Step back, father. We have a baby coming.
Yeah, Kelly's on the case, this labor will totally go smoothly! The rest of the guests must have silently been thinking, "Noooo! Not Dr. Lee! Muffin deserves better!" I know that's what I was thinking.
Kimberly McCullough was reliably fantastic in the labor scenes, and Jason Thompson being hotly paternal was..well, hot.
Robin: About the closet.
Patrick: You mean the nursery.
Robin: I know it's a closet. You know it's a closet. We have to get the kid out of there before she knows it's a closet. You know, once this is done, i think we should rethink our living arrangements.
Of course, Robin and the baby are going to wind up in distress, because that's how General Hospital rolls. Healthy mothers and babies are so last century.
The labor drama did lead to more nice family scenes (!!! What is this show and what has it done with GH?)...
Mac: Ok, ok. Now I can panic. You know what? I don't think I've ever been this scared in my life.
Anna: It's childbirth, Mac. It's been happening for millions of years.
Mac: Not to Robin.
How cute was that? Mac is at his best when he's worrying about his girls.
...but if I can be bitchy for a minute: I do feel like the entire HIV pregnancy storyline has been absolutely bungled from the very start; the fact that Robin is HIV positive should have been enough to drive the story for months without resorting to the aforementioned blog wars and breakups and the other lame stuff that they throw at this couple in lieu of actually writing anything complex and...good. So as nice as this week's episodes have been, I also feel like this is kind of anticlimactic when one considers what could have been. Once again, and not to toot my own horn or anything, but the GH in my head is way better than the show.
Overall, though, the GH we saw this week, even if it doesn't compare to my imaginary GH, is miles better than it has been in ages, and I can't think of a better story to benefit from this upturn in greatness
Screencaps courtesy ofLizNJase