Given the Opportunity, This Show Would Probably Kick Puppies
No, I'm not talking about American Idol, who put the blind kid in pink pants (PINK!) and let the oil rig guy do...whatever we're calling that to a Motown classic. I'm really, genuinely bitter and worked up and filled with righteous indignation that is totally out of proportion with the circumstances even if they were happening to me and not random fictional characters. So of course, I am talking about General Hospital.
Sometimes, when I am having a stressful day at work (most days that end in "-day" qualify), I get an email from Mallory that, much like the soaps we previously loved used to do, provides me with a few minutes of escape from the drudgery of the real world. Such was the case yesterday when I received this gem:
Email: Have you ever seen a baby more clearly saying "PLEASE HELP ME"?
Now, in fairness, I have seen a baby more desperately seeking an escape, because I have glanced at the faces of infants I've been holding. But baby Emma comes close. The poor, sweet, gorgeous, inexplicably Latina darling needs an escape from this horrendous "postpartum depression," Robin-and-Patrick's-marriage-is-in-trouble storyline. Don't we all, Please Help Me Emma. Don't we all.
Mallory and I have never claimed to be unbiased when it comes to Patrick and Robin. Jason Thompson is the kind of hot that only amazing genes, innate sexgodliness, and Canadian water can produce. And Kimberly McCullough is adorable and super talented, and has endeared herself to at least two generations of GH viewers since she first appeared on this show (back before it was a godforsaken wasteland of former soapiness). The two of them have such mad chemistry that even now, more than two years into their characters' run as a couple, one of the main sources of our blog's traffic is questions (some very earnest and posed as if a search engine is an actual person) about whether they are, as the kids say, hitting it in real life. (I don't actually know if that's what the kids say, as I don't hang out with kids, because they are obsessed with Twilight and the Jonas Brothers, but I imagine it's something like that.)
So the actors I'm pretty over the moon for. The characters, well, we've had a rockier history. The only consistent thing about the writing for them has been its inconsistency, with the notable (and lamentably brief) exception of the second season of Night Shift. More than once, I've had to officially put one or the other of them on notice. (OMG, looking for those links I rediscovered that effing blog war and one of the Night Shift low points for Patrick and Robin's likability. Sometimes it shocks even me how low this show chooses to routinely sink. Why, I don't know, because how does something that happens every day manage to shock you, but whatever. I think it's because I don't really pay that much attention.)
Anyway, let's face it, when not tempered by a good relationship, Robin can tend towards the shrill harpy end of the Soap Opera Strong Woman Spectrum. And Patrick, well, Patrick is kind of a dick, not to mention one-dimensional, when he's not wooing Robin. So the characters generally benefit greatly from being together, especially because then the actors' chemistry can trump a lot of the truly awful writing in a way that it can't when the characters aren't supposed to be wanting to tear each other's clothes off. I like them together, a lot. That being said, I would not freak the hell out if they broke up, if it was well done; I understand that this is a soap and if couples don't have bumps in the road, they get boring. But I admit to a degree of fangirliness that makes me want these two to the be the one couple of their generation that stays together (you know, how every soap seems to follow that unwritten rule?).
Setting aside fangirliness, do you even have to do anything more than barely tolerate these two (either actors or characters) to think that this postpartum depression is story is one of the worst things ever? I was willing to admit that John and Marlena fans got screwed with their horrible exit from Days despite the fact that there were points in time at which I would have paid good money to facilitate their departure in general, so I assume even the Patrick/Robin haters can spot me this one, right? Just in the name of decent soapiness, everyone should be staging protests over how awfully this show is handling what are supposed to be serious issues, and torpedoing a popular couple in the process.
I'm not going to attempt to chronicle all of the medical inaccuracies of what's happening with Robin, because 1) I don't know what they all are, 2) other people have already made admirable efforts to do so, and 3) eh, I find medical details kind of boring. But I can sum up by saying that when you make me yearn for the Grey's Anatomy storyline earlier this season involving curing a disease by ingesting POOP, you have gone off the medical drama rails.
But on the topic of medical ridiculousness, now Robin has Lainey "helping" her, so obviously Robin is completely screwed.
Keep it up, Dr. Freud. Thinly veiled contempt is the new compassion!
Lainey is actually the perfect choice for a therapist, because the writers don't want Robin's postpartum depression to be cured. That wouldn't be "soapy"! And Patrick would have no "justification" for cheating on her. Because that's totally going to happen. I'm unspoiled, but that's totally going to happen, right? I think it's going to happen because I am not new, and I know all of this is a clumsy setup for interlopers. Interlopers are the backbone of soaps. And clearly these writers want to capitalize on Jason Thompson and Becky Herbst's awesome chemistry by throwing Patrick and Liz into a totally ill-advised relationship that these idiots who brought us Jason and Elizabeth's "romance" probably think would be delightfully swoon-worthy.
Jason Thompson and Becky Herbst have chemisty with everyone, so that really shouldn't drive all story decisions, or Patrick and Liz would have slept with everyone in town including their relatives. And while I do actually think -- a long time down the road -- Patrick and Elizabeth are an interesting possibility (as a traditionally soapy bump obstacle to a Patrick and Robin reunion after a couple of years of non-adultery-related angst, for example, or an option if Robin leaves town), it is way too soon.
It's also too soon for Jason and Robin, whom I loved the first time around but who, again, would suffer from a rushed story and, oh yeah, the fact that Jason is now a longstanding unrepentant hitman and Robin is a mother.
Side note: Steve Burton's expressions lately continue to crack me up.
Wait, what's "postpartum"? I've posted bail lots of times. Is that similar?
Note to self: For real, wikipedia what a partum is . . .
Because actors' chemistry aside, this couple didn't need interlopers until eons down the road, if at all. Lest we forget -- and I'm sure the writers would like us to, since they apparently have -- Patrick and Robin have been married for THREE MONTHS. That is a millisecond in soap time. Or it should be. The first relationship I ever saw develop on a soap was Steve and Kayla, and it took them over a year to get together. It was sudsy perfection!
So why the rush? Especially when unlike others, this couple has built-in drama. The HIV stuff, the postpartum depression, Patrick the flirt trying to settle down, Robin the control freak trying to parent -- that could have driven story for a year or more. Who taught these idiots how to pace a soap, and can we send them to some kind of reeducation program? (I know such programs exist, because I've been following Katie Holmes' life for several years.)
Watching Patrick turn into some kind of 1950s male chauvinist, acting like taking care of his child and having patience with his sick wife are actions worthy of the medal of honor, while SybilRobin parties it up in Rochester and makes out with another guy (on a gross polyester motel comforter, THE HORROR), has made the last week or so of GH even more painful to watch than usual. Patrick and Robin were pretty much the only established and popular couple in their age range on the entire canvas. They were not what needed fixing -- and how many things can you say that about in Port Charles? I would have even preferred them becoming a backburnered, boring married couple to this cluster. Why are the people in charge of this show so determined to ruin everything that is remotely good about it?
There is a little bit of good news. Kimberly McCullough was fantastic in the scenes with Robin coming to terms with having a problem. And although Patrick's hotly label is on hold, Jason Thompson's is intact. He played hotly devastated when Patrick saw Robin kissing Brad.
And he remains hotly pained.
While we're on the topic of Brad (I know we weren't, really, but...well, it's my blog and I'll change the subject if I want to), can we talk about him?
And how he is HOT AS HELL? I take nothing away from Jason Thompson or his obvious status as Hotly titleholder, but damn, Brad . . . Brad could get it.
That this actor (and even character) were wasted on this POS story, and that I have to deal with Ethan every day but Brad is gone, are tragedies on par with at least some small-scale wars.
Finally, because I need to stop thinking about this storyline or I am going to end up spending my lunchhour tripping random passers-by on the sidewalk: Please, someone stop me from taking that final step off the ledge. I know that the writing isn't going to get better and I will probably end up hating these characters I previously looked forward to watching, but I can probably deal with that because that's pretty much what I've been doing with General Hospital for at least a half-decade. But some kind staffer in the wardrobe department must do the right thing with an errant cigarette and
TORCH THAT FUCKING SHIRT. If not, I can't promise not to lose my mind entirely. In a most medically inaccurate way.
Screencaps courtesy of LaurieLuvsLiason.