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« Soap Blog Coalition | Main | Tainted Love »

July 17, 2009

How Is It That Not Even One Of Her Many Personalities Is Watchable?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that, for General Hospital, thinking in advance means "thinking five minutes ahead". This steadfast inability to plan extends to the creation of new characters, all of whom are introduced with a great deal of fanfare in the soap press but none of whom receive a second thought in terms of character development, place on canvas, character history or purpose. Nowhere is this clearer than in the existence of Claudia Zacchara, who has gone through at least 96 characterizations since she joined the show. Everything about her entire "How dare you say I planned to get pregnant to save myself?/HAHA, remember how I poked holes in condoms to get pregnant to save myself? Good times/ You jerk! How could you think I got pregnant to save myself?!" persona screams of massive rewrites and people flailing around trying to think of ways to make this character work.

Right? Because the alternative, that this was all planned, is terrifying. I can only imagine what would have happened when Bob Guza tried to sell this character to Sarah Brown...

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BOB GUZA: So, Claudia, she's great. She's a cutthroat mafia princess who wants her own stake in the family business and will do whatever it takes to get it.

SARAH BROWN: Sounds good!

BOB GUZA: No, wait, she still wants all that, but she wants Sonny, too!

SARAH BROWN: Well, yeah, okay. Maurice and I work together really well, so I'd love to see that.

BOB GUZA: Also, she just wants to be loved.

SARAH BROWN: I can play that. I have played that before, heh.

BOB GUZA: It's her against the world! All the women who are independent, throw your hands up at me!

SARAH BROWN: This is me with my hands in the air, Bob!

BOB GUZA: Watch her order mob hits left and right!

SARAH BROWN: That is kind of being independent, yeah, okay.

BOB GUZA: And then she gets a kid SHOT IN THE HEAD!

SARAH BROWN: Oh. Oh, she does that. Oh.

BOB GUZA: What's that sound I hear, Sarah? Oh, right, that's your Emmy reel saying, "Hey, girl, put this child coma causing stuff on me!" Can I get a what-what?

SARAH BROWN: ...I don't think people still say that.

BOB GUZA: But Claudia feels bad about Michael getting shot. She cries about it, Sarah! She cries!

SARAH BROWN: Tears! I can do tears! So she's sad and guilty--

BOB GUZA: What's another word for slut?

SARAH BROWN: Pardon?

BOB GUZA: Is there another word that means slut?

SARAH BROWN: Like...tramp?

BOB GUZA: YES! Let me write that down, hold on a sec...t-r-a-m-p

SARAH BROWN: What does this have to do with Claudia?

BOB GUZA: Oh, she's a total whore.

SARAH BROWN: How so?

BOB GUZA: Oh, man, she just...she just is. Like, when she was a teenager, she seduced a man in his 40s, just for kicks. And, you know, she just does slutty things in slutty ways.

SARAH BROWN: Oh.

BOB GUZA: A ho fo' sho.

SARAH BROWN: Yeah.

BOB GUZA: The town bicycle.

SARAH BROWN: Right.

BOB GUZA: Move over, Sleepy's, there's a new mattress professional in town.

SARAH BROWN: Oh, you're still going. Okay.

BOB GUZA: S to the lutty.

SARAH BROWN: Wow.

BOB GUZA: And then she's with Nikolas.

SARAH BROWN: Oh! That sounds great! I'd love to work with Tyler Christopher--

BOB GUZA: And then she's with Ric.

SARAH BROWN: Hey, Rick Hearst is great, too. He's a multiple Emmy winner!

BOB GUZA: Yeah, whatever. And then she marries Sonny.

SARAH BROWN: She...wait, what?

BOB GUZA: She marries Sonny.

SARAH BROWN: The father of the boy she put into a coma.

BOB GUZA: Hell yeah. That's what we in the business like to call a shocking twist.

SARAH BROWN: Twisted, yeah.

BOB GUZA: She only cares about herself. It's all about self preservation with this one.

SARAH BROWN: So the steely, independent Claudia has a marriage of convenience to garner herself some power--

BOB GUZA: And love. She just wants to be loved.

SARAH BROWN: She loves Sonny?

BOB GUZA: Everybody loves Sonny.

SARAH BROWN: But does she love Sonny, or does she want Sonny's power?

BOB GUZA: Yes.

SARAH BROWN: Yes, she loves Sonny, or yes, she wants Sonny's power?

BOB GUZA: Half.

SARAH BROWN: Huh?

BOB GUZA: But she wants Sonny the most.

SARAH BROWN: Right, right...uh, why, is that, again?

BOB GUZA: Because everybody wants Sonny.

SARAH BROWN: Yeah, you said that, but--

BOB GUZA: And it's hilarious, because Sonny treats her with blatant contempt.

SARAH BROWN: Oh.

BOB GUZA: I'm talking some serious LOLs here.

SARAH BROWN: Right.

BOB GUZA: You know, like laughing out loud?

SARAH BROWN: Yeah, I got that.

BOB GUZA: Like, he HATES her. If she were on fire, he'd laugh and throw a fire extinguisher out the window in front of her. Because of the hate.

SARAH BROWN: Is this because he knows she put his son in a coma?

BOB GUZA: No.

SARAH BROWN: So the pure hatred is because--

BOB GUZA: Do you really not get it? It's because she's a woman.

SARAH BROWN: He hates her because she's a woman?!

BOB GUZA: I said because she's a terrible woman.

SARAH BROWN: You didn't say terrible.

BOB GUZA: Yes, I did.

SARAH BROWN: ...

BOB GUZA: And then she thinks Sonny's going to try to kill her, and why wouldn't he? Amirite? High five! So she tries to get pregnant.

SARAH BROWN: So she traps him--

BOB GUZA: Like, hanging upside down, cutting holes in condoms, real crazy shit going on.

SARAH BROWN: Right. Okay, so she's crazy and obsessed with getting pregnant.

BOB GUZA: Because she wants to have a baby! She'd get so insulted if anyone thought she tried to trap Sonny.

SARAH BROWN: You just said that she got pregnant to prevent Sonny from killing her.

BOB GUZA: Correct.

SARAH BROWN: And then you said she wants to have a baby and DOESN'T want to trap Sonny.

BOB GUZA: Affirmative.

SARAH BROWN: That makes no sense.

BOB GUZA: Because she's a slut.

SARAH BROWN: What the fuck?

BOB GUZA: That's what she said.

SARAH BROWN: That makes zero sense in this context.

BOB GUZA: But that is what she said!

Comments

Mallory this is indeed PRICELESS.Please do more of this,its better than watching the show which I have not been doing on a regular basis since April. Mike I love what you said about Sonny. Can't be mentioned enough for my taste. He is what he projects... semen to be wiped up and thrown gleefully in the toilet once DONE. (sorry for the visual, but why should I suffer alone?!)

This was a wonderful, amusing summing up of that most loathsome creature, Claudia, and of Guza's writing technique.

Sonny is a slimebag and Claudia is the female version of a slimebag. Someone wondered why she wore all red when she first arrived and now wears all black. I think it's because she gradually got depressed having to play all this impossible garbage day after day.

Fans despise Claudia and feel not a drop of sympathy for her no matter what accident she was in, no matter how many times she cries, 'My baby, save my baby....' Most of us just want her to die. (Soaps can really make a person bloody-minded.)

Guza gives the least likable characters all the air time--those people we cannot care enough about to worry about their woes, triumphs, safety, relationships. If we do not like them and do not care, where is the suspense in their dramas and what is to keep us tuning in? The characters we do care about Guza back burners, ruins or kills off. Their stories are left dangling, unresolved or unexplored, while we listen to Sonny and Claudia do the same nasty scene over and over. And Sonny is looking so bored and tired and kinda sallow... His day is definitely done.

Sarah Brown, Victoria Newman on the Y&R. Sarah, if I was you, after you contract ends, quit this show and get on the Young and the Restless. Or do prime time. I feel that you are too talented to be on the horrible mess as GH. The mob years that ate the show.

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