General Hospital: 2009 In Review
I'm feeling great today. Another year is over, and it may just be my best one yet.
Perched behind his large mahogany desk, Bob Guza wondered if mentioning his Outstanding Writing Emmy again would be in poor form. Some may call it bragging--some have called it bragging. One day, it even sounded like Steve Burton himself muttered something about bragging but, Guza reasoned, it must have been something like "ragging", as in "Isn't that Guza a card, ragging on people who don't have Outstanding Writing Emmys?"
He finally decided that journals are for recording the cold, harsh truths of the world and if the cold, hard truths of the world include the fact that his writing, his brainchild, was awesome, well, so be it.
I won this year's Emmy for Outstanding Writing. Technically, it was for Outstanding Writing Team, but the person who leads the most outstanding team is the most outstanding of all. It was a proud moment to be recognized for a great year and Journal, I think next year may see a repeat win, because this year was on fire!
"That's an apt choice of phrasing."
The imperious, cold voice was familiar to him by now, and he didn't have to look up to see that the ghost of Gloria Monty was sitting across from his desk, glaring at him.
"This is getting ridiculous," he exclaimed angrily. "You can't keep doing this! You show up at my house, and at my job, and I've repeatedly asked you to stop."
"But isn't that what Sonny did, to Olivia? And he said, what was it? 'Stalking is a harsh term'?"
"You can't apply your rules to Sonny Corinthos," he scoffed.
"Because Sonny's fictional?"
"Because you're a woman!" Clearing his throat, he asked, "Why are you here?"
"Oh, I just wanted to talk to you about your--your best one yet, as you called it."
"Yeah?" he asked defensively. "What about it wasn't the best?"
"Let's take a look, shall we?"
She grabbed the journal and flipped to the front. Clearing her throat, she read aloud.
"Dear Journal, the January stories have gotten 2009 off to a great start. Lulu is showing her Spencer fiestiness, choosing her boyfriend over her brother--I'm sorry, she's exhibiting a familial trait by threatening to disown her family?"
She let the word linger in the air, then continued. "People always say that I don't include enough 'current events' in my stories, so I started this new story with Nikolas and Nadine, and the government. Journal, you know how much I love movies, so I got some inspiration from that new movie with Will Smith, Enemy of the State. And I created a character that I think may be my greatest yet--Winifred. She's like Spinelli, but a girl. And she's an FBI agent who is willing to break the rules for the mafia, which shows that she has a true understanding of what makes it means to serve your country: bending the rules to serve the purpose of the true American heroes who kill all the bad guys.
She's helped us introduce the greatest villain we've seen in a while, the FBI. Since we're a daytime show, we usually don't get to delve into true evil, but this is the closest we've gotten to the kind of terror that would get a TV-MA rating: The FBI wants Jason to work against Sonny. Horrifying."
"You don't have to worry, what happens is--"
"Oh, no, please don't spoil it for me," she interrupted acidly. Clearing her throat, she began again. "Dear Journal, I've been so excited for today to come so that I could unveil one of my greatest ideas ever. Remember when Natalia Livingston left, and we killed off Emily Quartermaine? That whole time, I had a secret in my back pocket--a secret that looked just like Emily! Today, Natalia is back as Emily's twin, who's bad. It's hysterical, because Emily wasn't bad at all! Let's, see, what else is there. Oh: Dear Journal, Mission Accomplished! One of the guys dared me to change Kate Howard from a strong career woman to someone pathetic and obsessed with her ex-boyfriend who is already married to someone new. Done and done, Journal! You know," she said. "I rather liked that Kate."
"Yeah, you would."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
He shifted in his seat uncomfortably.
"Dear Journal, People always complain that I don't give Robin and Philip enough of a story, so I googled "Women Mental Disorders" and found something called Post Partum Depression, which Robin now has. Dear Journal, Can you believe how much of a badass Sonny is? He brought a gun with him to the benefit that they had for the son that is in a coma because of gun violence. That rules so hard! Dear Journal, Robin put her baby in a tree. Bitch be crazy. Dear Journal, today I got to do something I've been wanting to do for years: set General Hospital the fuck on fire. And it was beautiful! All that fire, all that destruction. If only contracts didn't prevent me from getting rid of some of the dead weight on this show in that fire. Oh, well. They are building a new hospital set now, and I got a picture of myself on the new set with a big plaque saying Jason Morgan Awesomeness Hospital, LOL. I have to go to Michael's to get it framed and put it on my mantle. Dear Diary, today I made hilarious jokes about tomato sauce. I can already see the Emmy with my name engraved on it.
Dear Journal, Robin still has DPP and Paulson is really concerned about her, but she's so far gone that she doesn't think it's a problem. Dear Journal, the work Steve has been doing lately with his concern about being forced to work for the FBI has been some of his best yet. He's been brilliant at expressing the deep rooted fear, terror and self-loathing that a person would feel about being asked to do the most depraved thing imaginable. Dear Journal, Apparently General Hospital once had a girl named BJ on it and she died. Today, I wrote about what would happen if she actually lived, and how that would impact Spinelli and Carly and Spinelli. You do realize that BJ's death and Maxie's heart transplant was one of the most acclaimed storylines ever, correct?"
"You do realize that I wrote Clink-Boom, which was also acclaimed, correct?"
"You're right, a ten second scene in the mid-90s should guarantee both job security and critical accolades for decades thereafter."
"That's exactly what Brian Frons said to me at my review this year," he said suspiciously. "Did you stalk me there, too?"
"Dear Journal, Today Spinelli gave Jason the same cake I gave myself on my birthday last year! That means Jason and I have both been given the same cake, which is pretty cool, don't you think? Dear Journal, I'm a big enough person that I can admit that I was wrong about something, and that something was Claudia being responsible for Michael getting shot. She's married to Sonny, and Sonny deserves an awesome wife, so I have to do something to make her awesome. I think what I'll do is make her really really sorry and hope that everyone just forgets that she was ever not awesome, which shouldn't be hard, because they probably don't know how to tie their shoes, LOL. Dear Journal, the character of Ethan is my greatest stroke of genius in quite some time. I don't like to toot my own horn--I'd like to try and get Kelly Monaco to do it for me, LOL--but this is great. Luke needs to have a son in his life! Especially if that son is a charming rogue who marches to the beat of his own drum, and doesn't need things like "the law" or "showers".
Dear Journal, I know how Emmy voters like medical issues stories, and I'm going all out with this PPDPP story. I'm talking gritty realism. Do people want to hear that it's the woman's job to be chained to the kitchen raising babies? No, but you know what? It's a medical fact and as a soap opera head writer, it is my DUTY to give the audience the truth even if they don't want to hear it, and the truth is that the woman, even if she has a mental illness, needs to take care of her kid. Dear Journal, I can't wait for people to start doing their lists of the greatest soap couples of all time, because there is going to be a new reigning team: Sonny and Claudia are so hot that they could melt a television. In fact, I bet they already have."
"Not to sound full of myself or anything, but I know that I'm good at writing mob stories. I really wanted to stretch myself to prove to the critics that I can write a love story, too."
He got a cold stare in response.
"Game, set, match, Guze."
She sighed. "Dear Journal, Today was the greatest day in my entire life. Kelly Monaco--"she trailed off. "This is filth. This is pornographic filth. I ought to turn this in to the FBI. Let's move on. Dear Journal, I can't wait to see what kind of awards I receive for the Post Partum Women Crazypants story! Robin is so awful and crazy, and Peter is so long-suffering and put-upon. It's just like real life! Dear Journal, Claudia wants to get pregnant and can you imagine how great that would be? A Corinthos/Zacchara baby would be the greatest character ever on television. Dear Journal, How right on was Ethan today about how rotten Lucky is? I wish I could kill Lucky off, but I can't think of a good way to do it. I guess I could do another serial killer story, but those stories are the best when the victims are all women. We had it right the first time when everyone thought that Lucky died in a fire, but was really kidnapped and brainwashed by Helena. That's one of my favorite storylines ever, Journal, because it showed that I'm as good a comedic writer as as I am a dramatic one. Dear Journal, This isn't a real entry, but a note to self: I need to remember to tell Natalia to submit today's scenes on her Emmy reel, because she's doing a fantastic job of being bad. Dear Journal, I can't pick what I love the most about Sonny, but if I had to pick, I'd choose his devout faith and unflinching morals. There's something so--I'm sorry, does that say sexy? Something so sexy about a man who is unwavering in his beliefs.
Dear Journal, TAKE THAT, LUKE AND LAURA FANS. Yeah, that's right, Luke cheated on her ass and you know what he got in return? The greatest freaking son to ever exist, that's what. Choke on that, Laura! Dear Journal, Michael woke up today, and it was awesome. I'm so excited for Michael to take his rightful spot as the third star of this show. He's everything a soap hero should be: he's related to Jason AND Sonny, he's got a bad temper and mommy issues. Dear Journal, Tony Geary is the world's greatest living actor and perhaps the smartest person on this show--he has a better understanding of what entertainment is than anybody else. Sometimes when we're together, I just stare at him in awe and rub my arm against his, hoping to catch some of his genius. Dear Journal, When Sarah Brown got today's script, she grumbled something about it being derivative and a rip-off. I had to sit her down for half an hour and explain to her what an homage is. I think it's pretty crazy that she didn't know that already, but I guess writers are a special breed. Dear Journal, It troubled me for a while: how could Rebecca and Emily be twins? I thought about doing another plastic surgery story, but I think it's only fair that Jerry Jacks's radical facial surgery stand alone as the greatest story of that kind in all of soaps, so I decided to have Paige Whosits sell Rebecca at birth.No wonder Rebecca is such a bad seed, she was sold, and had to work a job! She's a tragic heroine, is what she is."
Guza beamed. "This is a great trip down memory lane."
Gloria Monty's ghost began to speak, but stifled whatever cutting insult she had planned, valiantly trudging along. "Dear Journal, People were asking for another story for Robin and Patterson, so I came up with a murder mystery, and they can be all medical in it. Killing off a random character off-screenwas the easy part, the tough part comes next--how can I involve Jason in this? Dear Journal, Kirsten Storms said something today that had me kind of worried. Do you think that Spinelli and Maxie being each other's essential people is the same as Grey's Anatomy people saying 'you're my person?' She said it was practically plagiarism. I hope she's just overreacting. Dear Journal, We were all talking about unconventional crushes today at lunch. I said Rainbow Brite. Everybody was so jealous that I came up with that first that they didn't say anything to me for the rest of the day. Dear Journal, Someone today called Sonny and Claudia 'hot with two t's'. Technically, they were reading aloud from a note I left them, but I hardly think that matters.
Dear Journal,Sonny and Olivia's kid is in town, and he's pretty awesome thus far. He held a gun on Sonny's other sons, which I think is irony of the greatest degree. Dear Journal, Ric Lansing is finally gone. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Dear Journal, So glad Alexis is being called out for the whore she is. She is always so condescending and bitchy, when she's just as bad as the rest of the women in the world. Dear Journal, I have to admit, the leadup for the big reveal that Sonny and Olivia have a son together is pretty masterful. I think my use of subtlety here may get me another Emmy."
Guza points to his bookshelf. "I already cleared a space for it."
"There's nothing on that bookshelf."
"I don't read," he answers proudly.