Every Little Thing It Does Is Tragic
Today's General Hospital started out poorly, as is its wont, but it was a retread of the last few scenes of Friday's episode, so the poorness had no real effect on me, as I had already experienced it. Little did I know that those few minutes of repeated mediocrity would be the highlight of the entire show!
As the show progressed, I kept thinking that each of the plots featured in the episode would be, hands down, the worst of the day. Such as:
"You know, for a plot with two appealing characters portrayed by good actors, Michael and Kristina being on the run is pretty boring and, well, stupid."
"Well, no, maybe it's not as boring and stupid as Maxie and Spinelli's engagement drama, what with its Spinelli speak overload, and Mac pulling the same overprotective dad stunt as he did when Patrick wanted to marry Robin, and Maxie acting like a completely unhinged brat, because this is just horrible."
"Although Sonny and Claudia's relationship and her seething jealousy over Olivia and Johnny is completely disturbing and...did I really just see Dominante have to listen to Claudia insult his mother and talk about Johnny having sex with her and then imply that his alter ego is also sleeping with her as well?"
And then the episode ended with Sam handcuffed to a chair in Mexico, pimped out to a random unsavory day player by Jerry and then my brain folded itself into a little origami white flag to signal its surrender. You win, General Hospital! I will never again make the mistake of doubting that you can get any worse.
In theory, and in the hands of a talented writing staff, Michael and Kristina on the run could be compelling stuff. It would help if Kristina had been honest with Michael about her possible part in Claudia's accident, but that ship has sailed.
Of course, Guza is writing this, though, so the siblings running to Mexico has become a mere supporting part in the larger, lamer Jason/Jerry feud. I imagine that the show fancies the hatred between the two hired killers to be an epic rivalry, but, really, we all know how it is going to end (Jason will be heroic, and save Michael, Kristina and Sam, and Jerry will appear to have been vanquished forever, but will actually turn up in the near future whenever the show needs a villain to do something dastardly and Sebastian Roche has free time) and in the meantime, we are treated to endless scenes of:
- Michael being suspicious of Jerry, because he inherited his mother's great instincts and can tell when something doesn't seem right, while Kristina is blissfully oblivious to his true intentions. Because Alexis merely passed along book smarts to her children, while Carly's kids inherited her keen senses and always rightness.
- Kristina saying things like, "has Jerry done one single thing to hurt you, ever?" It's ironic, because Jerry HAS done things to hurt Michael! Please imagine me giving the most half-hearted and sarcastic "Ha ha" possible.
- Parental figures telling Morgan and Molly that if they are contacted by M & K that they need to tell someone immediately, and none of the parents noticing that the looks on Morgan and Molly's faces blatantly say "I have a secret and am guilty about it".
- The show piling on more bad boy behavior to get us to fully hate Kiefer, which was sort of unnecessary, as I am predisposed to hate most new people on this show. He has Molly write his college admissions essay! He gets angry at Kristina and chucks barware in frustration as though he, and not Kristina, is Sonny's child! Remind me again how he is bad but Sonny is a hero? And also, can you imagine how hard it must have been for that actor to yell at the girl who plays Molly?! She's adorable! I know I wouldn't have been able to do it. Although, I don't think I'd be able to croak out one line of dialogue by these writers without choking, so maybe I am not the best example of thespian integrity.
The continuing story of Maxie and Spinelli and their engagement that wasn't, but now is (except maybe it isn't because Maxie's facial expression at the end was equal parts dread and self hatred) is bad enough, since it manages to be stupid, offensive and repetitive, but when you add in the twinkly music of "Ell oh ell, these hijinks are hilarious!", well...I lost my will to live. This show is terrible at shenanigans! I'd say the writers should stick to their strengths, but they have none and the closest they come is being good at defying reason and good taste, a skill that I can't, with a clear conscience, call a strength.
As Patrick kept reminding us (in between pleas for pot roast), Mac has already played the role of overprotective father figure who wants to arrest the man who wants to marry one of his daughtersin the not so distant past, so this latest display was both played out AND not nearly vicious enough. Spinelli requesting to be a part of your family forever--and doing so in his inane, annoying, stilted language--deserves a response far more severe than an arrest! I say frame him on trumped up charges and extradite him out of state!
(I did appreciate Mac pointing out that Spinelli has criminal ties, though. That's ignored far too often, like when he couldn't go to prison for breaking the law multiple times because it's Spinelli and he's so nice and...nice and stuff.)
I feel like Maxie accepting Spinelli's proposal, after days of verbalizing why she doesn't want to get married, purely to stick it to Mac is a huge step backwards for her character and for my ability to stomach her. I mean, I almost always fast forward these two, especially lately (truly, over the course of the past week, when Spinelli interrupted everybody he spoke to--like, say, Sam and Jason, who are doing unimportant things like looking for runaway teenagers--so that he could talk about his relationship with Maxie, I wished that my fast forward button were a weapon. This show has turned me into a violent person!), so their engagement and possible nuptials will at least contain them in their own, easily skippable storyline hell, but...how on earth am I expected to tolerate Maxie when she acts so childish and unlikable? What is the purpose of all of this? Is it just to drive the audience crazy? IT'S WORKING, SHOW. IT'S WORKING.
Thanks to Yasmin for the following screencap, which says so much more than I can about this relationship:
I will admit to enjoying the background players in these scenes: Patrick and the aforementioned attempt at using pot roast to make the situation less awkward, and Robin and Lulu attempting to reason with Maxie. All it needed was Emma making some highly expressive and hilarious faces in the background and it would have been perfect!
Sonny attempted to be supportive and not outwardly hate-filled towards Claudia, based on the fact that they, and I quote, made a child together.
Sonny: [Fighting] demeans us both.
And being demeaning is only okay when a woman (preferably Claudia) is on the receiving end of it, remember!
But Olivia's honor is not to be demeaned, as Sonny, Johnny and Dominante all proved. When Sonny sticks up for Olivia, and tells Claudia that Olivia is not his mistress (technically, she's not, but "mistress" rolls off the tongue better than "woman I slobber over even though she is plainly not interested), I get annoyed, but I so enjoyed Johnny and Dominante putting an end to the endless barrage of slut, skeezer, whore, tramp, skank, black kettle that spews out of Claudia's pot mouth.
Of course, until Claudia took umbrage the fact that Dominante readily stood up for Olivia and asked if he, too, was sleeping with her. Poor Dominante! He has Corinthos genes, had to see his mother sexing up Johnny, had to HEAR about his mother sexing up Johnny and is now being accused of lusting after her! How could his life get any worse?! By getting busted by Lucky with shipments of drugs. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!
I screeched and railed and was miserable at the news that Sonny was going to have another child in Port Charles, but I have to admit that Dominic Zamprogna is a really fantastic addition to the show. He works really, really well with everybody he's been in a scene with, and I loved his banter with Brandon Barash today. I won't go so far as to say I'm intrigued by what's to come, since I know it will be awful, but, so far, Dominante's presence has been nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated.
And--big news!!!--Claudia was wearing a white top, so the wardrobe department is trying to play with subtext again. I'd ask what it all means, but that may be interpreted by some as caring, so I'll just move on...
After spending the better part of the episode being sexually threatened, harassed and victimized by Jerry, Sam found herself handcuffed to a chair in a strange bedroom. While it's only a matter of time before Jason comes to save her, that doesn't make it any less disturbing that a scary man walked into the room and proclaimed:
Unsavory Criminal: You better be worth what I paid Jerry for you.
I...have run out of disparaging adjectives to describe how truly loathsome I find this show. The best I can do is "Fnnarrrrhaaaaaaate" and even that doesn't quite convey my disgust, so just imagine me saying it in the fetal position, while crying, and writing "THIS EFFING SHOW" on sandwich boards and furiously planning a trip to Los Angeles to picket the GH studio.