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« And the Word of the Week is: "Finally!" | Main | SOAPNet Is Being Replaced by Pre-School Entertainment »

May 24, 2010

This Show Needs To Step Away from Ambiguity

I can't believe that I am going to launch into a discussion about whether or not a teenager who we have all watched grow up on-screen was raped in prison, where he is currently serving time for killing his stepmother, but here we are: Michael was maybe raped in prison.


Nothing, of course, was mentioned explicitly: when Jason arrived at Pentonville, he found his cellmate sitting on the floor, practically catatonic, not responding to anything Jason said, and when Jason tried to put a supportive hand on Michael's shoulder, Michael physically recoiled as if it were the hand of a cold-blooded hitman and not a warm-blooded, saintly hitman.


It makes me feel as though something more extreme than a prison beating happened.And it also makes me feel as though the writers are being deliberately vague about what happened to Michael in case there is a profound and vocal backlash. Like, "Prison rape? What?! That's not at all what happened. You people have some dirty minds". Well, this is assuming that the General Hospital writers would actually acknowledge negative feedback, as well as assuming that even the GH writers, delusional as I assume they are, could get a sentence like that out without bursting out laughing, since there are no minds in the universe dirtier than theirs.

I am hoping, though, that I am just a deranged individual jumping to the worst possible conclusion and that Michael really wasn't raped, because I don't have the stomach to see how poorly the writers would handle a delicate, serious issue. Remember Kristina's abuse? Robin's PPD? The way they managed to turn me off of chocolate cake?! There is no way the story would be anything but an utterly depressing, slow-motion trainwreck.


Speaking of slow-motion trainwrecks...


I may need to create a new category for blog posts called OMFG: Does he not realize that there is a camera on him, filming, and that people are going to watch this? Not many people, but still, people, because that question has been running through my head constantly whenever Maurice Benard appears on-screen lately. It's like he's sleepwalking, but also impersonating an especially awful community theater actor.

When he first confronted Johnny, he was speaking with some sort of lockjaw. Then he was making overwrought hand gestures that wouldn't be out of place in the dance routine of an early 90s boyband while repeating the word "my" about a thousand times.

Sonny: You just think you can move into my--my--my--my organization and take it over?

It was like when Milli Vanilli was exposed as a fraud, except the surprise here isn't about lip-synching, it's about an actor continuing to draw a hefty paycheck despite not fulfilling the major requirements of his job (learning his lines and acting convincingly like a human being).

Really, I am becoming obsessed with the long pauses.

Sonny: I'm going to Pentonville to visit my son with brain damage, and you.....helped.....put him there.....because you couldn't catch me.

I may start timing them!

Other than the bizarre speaking patterns, it was a pretty good day for Sonny, because he got a chance to show off some of the fancy things he's learned lately, like what synonyms are!

Sonny: You're overconfident, cocky, stupid...dumb.

He also knows a lot about the way biology works:

Sonny: I'm your father and I love you and you're my son.


The latter came about during an especially amusing father/son moment where Sonny, horrified that Michael was beaten (especially because Michael is his son; as Sonny said, "my son gets hit, it's a big deal"), tried to alleviate all of his pain and worry by talking about how hard Sonny has been working on getting Michael released...by agreeing to let Jason go to prison.

Sonny: I'm doing everything I can to get you out. That's why Jason is in here.

O...kay. He was no more specific when he chatted with Jason.

Jason: Is there any progress on getting Michael out?
Sonny: I'm making calls and I'm doing everything I can to get Michael out of here.

That does sound like a heavy workload. I hope he gives himself enough time in the afternoon to work in a nap!

He could use one, if his mood is any indication.

Sonny: You left me a hell of a mess...[...]That little pitbull is on my ass, okay, so she says to me "I've got probable cause to search" and I said, "Go ahead, search the place".

This puts me in the awkward position of defending Jason and agreeing that he's making a sacrifice for Michael, but...the man volunteers to go to jail for your kid and you're bitching at him that now your life is just soooo complicated? Puh-lease.

Although I have to say that I literally laughed out loud at the fact that, when recounting this story to Jason, Sonny actually did voices for himself and Claire.


I also literally laughed out loud at poor, pretty, doomed Johnny and his plan to have Ethan bring Claire to Sonny's so that she could see him almost dying at Sonny's hand, not because the plan is funny, or even entertaining, but because he came up with a seriously bizarre scenario for what took Ethan so long to get there.

Johnny: Did you stop for apple juice and circus peanuts along the way?

What?! From the randomness of the items he named to how poorly those two things would go together, taste-wise, there is seriously nothing about that sentence that doesn't delight me.


The next time a friend or family member starts a conversation with, "I saw the cutest thing ever", interrupt them immediately and say, "Unless the cutest thing ever is Lucky and a pajama clad Cameron, you are completely wrong".



Soooo cute.

I loved that when Lucky walked in to Elizabeth's and the boys were loud and boisterous and Nikolas was smug and glowering, Lucky acknowledged him with only a glare, picked the boys up and got out of there with a quickness. It was the sane, drama-free way to go, although he missed out on some quality fireworks because Liz and Nik were both straight up crazy and bitchy.



Liz: I hate Wyndemere. I always have.
Nikolas: Really? You seemed to like the turret room just fine.

Liz: I begged you to leave me alone and you wouldn't listen. You manipulated me even after I told you I wanted things to end.


Nikolas: Really? Well that's not how I remember it.

Damn it all to hell. Agreeing with Nik and Jason in one day? I feel dirty.

Liz: I was trying to sort my feelings out for Lucky and you knew that.
Nikolas: Revisionist history, that's what I call that.
Liz: You know there's a time I thought we could work through this, that the old Nik that I used to know and love would show up and I'm really starting to hate the fact that I ever slept with you. And I'm starting to hate the fact that you're the father of this baby.
Nikolas: That was the wrong thing to say to me.

Well, there's a conversation where nobody comes out looking good, unless by good you mean "delusional" or "like an asshole", but Sonny Corinthos and his handy dandy thesaurus would be quick to point out that good does not mean either of those things...


Um. There is so much wrong with Carly pimping out Brook Lynn to break up Dante and Lulu. Like, doesn't Carly have better things to be doing with her time? And I am so sure that Ned's daughter would resort to credit card fraud.

But the biggest problem is Adrianne Leon's appearance, which us a hugely bitchy thing to say, but it's distracting me.


Why does she look young and like a fortysomething divorcee at the same time? She looks...different, right? Is it just me?


The daughter of Lois Cerillo and Ned Ashton hoing herself out for one of Carly's PLAAAAAAANS to cover up her petty fraud? FLAMES! Flames, on the side of my face, breathing, heaving, breathing, heaving, breathing... Hate you, Bob Guza.

This show is BEYOND broken.

Um, I agree with everything said here, but why are Brianna Brown and Scott Reeves in the opening instead of Sonya Eddy and JASON COOK?!?! Okay, Scott Reeves I get, but the boring and horrible stupidface mess that is Lisa Niles???

Sorry, Mallory. You're not deranged; that's definitely how the Michael "beating" aftermath played. If TPTB back away from rape now, it will be even more messed up than the fact that they decided to do this story without proper forethought in the first place.

I'm with you on everything else, too (AL does look different!), although Liz did get a lot of sympathy from me today. If a pregnant woman tells you she's hungry and tired, for pete's sake, give her something to eat, don't start b*tching at her!

All I can think about when it comes to Michael being raped in prison is Jason and Carly laughing and smirking about Jax's "claim" of rape on that ship where he was held hostage and RAPED by that crazy Eastern European chick who was an ex of Jerry's.

Doubt they'll find male rape quite so funny or impossible now that Micahel is the victim.

GUZA & GH are vile.

Leon is too skinny ! I am afraid she is anorexic, it remembers me the rumors about Y&R TPTB who wanted her to lose weight (i hope it is just a rumor) but i will not be surprised if it was the truth and that now she is anorexic ! Show business : sad sad business..

Thank you for saying exactly what most of us were probably wondering! Was unsure what had happened to Michael, too. I got a weird vibe from the villain on Friday's episode, it was hard to tell if the bad guy wanted to punch the heck out of him, or do something much worth. That plus the fact that they ended Friday's episode with the bad guy's approach and began it with a nearly catatonic Michael rocking back and forth with his shirt unbuttoned. If it was just a beating, I'm surprised it wasn't on-camera (we all know how the GH writers used slow-motion photography when it came to Kristina's beatings. :( Uh. Like seeing it wasn't awful enough? It had to be slow motion?).

From what I read (ie. the comment above) Jax's rape was never properly addressed. The show was at one point quite deft at handling sexual abuse stories--Elizabeth's rape is one of the most sensitively written stories I've ever seen on television, in film or tv, actually. (Sidenote: Becky was robbed of an Emmy that year). It will be interesting to see if they can handle such a tragic storyline for Michael with the integrity and delicacy it merits, or if they'll back away from the implication altogether.

Honestly, though, I didn't know how to take Michael's blood test any other way.

Thank GOODNESS for a Lucky/Cam sighting! It was the one happy point of the whole episode.

I think that the children under 5 are adorable on GH. I wish GH would devote an entire show to Cameron, Jake and Emma from their viewpoints.

Can you imagine their thoughts? They would make for a far more entertaining GH.

I still think Carly should be in jail or on a deserted island.

Yes, Michael did get raped. How else can you explain the blood work.

I didn't even watch the show and I know Michael was raped.

And I'll say it again, I'm so glad I'm just reading recaps now.

Sarah: I keep thinking about how the Jax rape was handled as well.

Being one who reads spoilers, plus adding up the *choke* nuances, I'm pretty sure Michael was indeed raped. I'm still not sure I'm going to be able to handle this story since, as Mallory pointed out, I've watched this boy grow up on the show.

And Adrianne Leon's appearance is definitely distracting. As I remember, I thought she was very pretty. All I keep thinking now is that she could play Courtney Cox's twin sister on Cougar Town.

I was thinking also that the implication was that Michael was raped but I just couldn't let that thought stay in my head. Wow, what else are they going to do to this guy? I'm confused about the blood test though. I thought they were injecting him with something. If it was a blood test, what would that accomplish?

Oh. Holy St. Jasus. This is not happening.

So, this probably goes without saying on this blog, but prison rape is a really big deal. I'm far from overly-P.C. -- Community is my favorite comedy! -- but the lightness with which prison rape is treated in our entertainment industry appalls me. I have studied this subject, so perhaps I'm getting over-invested here, but prison rape (of either a man or a woman and it certainly happens to both) is just horrifying. I don't wish it on any criminal. ANY criminal. I just can't convey in a stupid little comment on a blog the damage that it does to people.

I was actually supportive of the Kristina d.v. storyline because -- up until she was in the hospital -- I thought it was handled surprisingly well. But having read of the aftermath to that story, I know -- we all know -- that there is NO FRAKKING WAY that TPTB are going to handle this responsibly. I'm furious at their arrogance in thinking that they can.

@Sarah and @Cindy: Obviously Jax's rape was a joke because a man can't be victimized by woman. I hate this show.

I don't object to a story involving Michael being raped per se - it certainly isn't a story that has been explored before - but i do worry about it being done on GH. GH tends to be exploitative and shallow in these type of stories. Once upon a time, if say this happened under the Labines, you would have faith that it would be handled well via emotion and education. Under Guza, you just know that it's just a vehicle to showcase Sonny at some point, and someone will end up dead.

Wow, viewers asked for less mob and more romance, less violence and more fun, and someone over there at GH had a light bulb come on. "I know, prison rape!" It's the obvious choice.
You know, the writers use the phrase "Revisionist history" so often as a template for everything that it was bound to end up in dialogue at some point...
I don't watch GH anymore but I'm glad I keep up here so I won't be tempted to check back in.

I have to say -- ever since you've pointed it out here the last couple of weeks, Maurice's 'acting' has been obviously horrid. He reminds me of the George Gaynes character on 'Tootsie' that had a panic attack whenever he couldn't see the cue cards.

I actually wouldn't mind a WELL WRITTEN prison rape storyline -- but we are talking about Bob Guza here. I think we'd have a better shot at a well-written, compelling story about this if I purchased a giant keyboard, hooked it up to my computer, and let my dogs run amok on it for a few hours. Surely whatever ended up on the page as a result of their scampering would be more compelling than whatever spewage Guza and company will eventually come up with.

This is the guy who wrote Jax's RAPE as him cheating on Carly. And we won't even discuss the debacle that he made of the Kristina/Keifer storyline . . . .

Ok so I was going to post on Michael's possible jail rape, but something else has struck my curiosity as well.

What is up with the way Adrianne Leon speaks? Even sings? It's like she has lock-jaw or something. And of course she had to sing already. Geez, we know she has a good voice. My husband, who didn't watch with me back in the day when Brook Lynn was on, was like "Hell, what's with that girl's mouth?" Then when I told him she looks like she's lost too much weight, he asked if she had her jaw wired shut. Men.

I have decided to turn Sonny's scenes into a drinking game. Drink every time he doesn't speak in coherent sentences. Drink every time he pauses in the midst of a sentence to remember his line. Drink every time he mispronounces a word.

I'd at least have a great buzz going by the end of the show.

On the, um, "bright side" . . . With Becky showing her baby weight, The Puffy Prince no longer seems quite so out of place so. . . yay?

Okay, when Sonny called Claire a pit bull, I had to rewind that part three times b/c I couldn't tell if he was saying "pit bull" or "pimple." Then I went off on like a three-minute tangent trying to figure out why he would call her a pimple. Thank you, Caption!

I'm over him continuing to blame Claire for Michael's situation. She didn't do it!

I, too, thought the apple juice and circus peanuts line from Johnny was a major WUT?

Liz and Nik's conversation was a huge WTF, from Nik ordering Liz to move to Wyndamere and not have a hectic life, what with two, soon-to-be three kids and a career (although this wouldn't be ABC Daytime if there weren't men ordering around and dictating how life should be to pregnant women; is a woman not allowed to have an off day, like ever?) to Liz putting the entire affair on him. I do agree with Nik about one thing, though, this is revisionist history.

How is Carly going after Dante and Lulu helping Michael? Has she forgotten she has other children? When was the last time she even mentioned her "baby girl" Josslyn??? Jax, get your kid from that loon and apparent newly establised madam!

Brooklyn...credit card fraud...I am so sure.

Far more unsettling than Brook Lynne's new and odd physical appearance is her responsibility for that horrid song that used to be injected into every allegedly hot sex scene on GH. I read, here I think, that she wrote & sang the "do you want it" song.

So many gross memories.

Yeah I'm with all of you wondering if Jax is going to find the idea that men can be raped quite so hillarious now as he did when it was Jax's attack. I really hope he gets over the giggles for Michael's sake at least.

And while I don't deny that the entire argument between Nik and Liz was revisionist history (although not surprising given the way the show seemed to realize that affair was a crime against humanity the second Jonathan Jackson signed on the dotted line) I do back Liz up in the fact that even when she was being completely clear with him...Nik would do things such as break into her house and start a fire. He's not the innocent victim he's trying to paint himself as.

Even more unsettling that AL's appearance (and the unfortunate memories of THAT SONG) is the fact some people are praising Mo's performance....and think this is Emmy worthy. Well I guess they are right since the Emmys are jokes but still you know they are being serious!!!

And fart I clearly meant if JASON finds male rape quite so hillarious now. Clearly Jax won't find it funny...that is if the show even remembers they went there a few years ago at all. It is Guza after all.

They're dressing Brooke Lynn like they dressed Lois 2.0--ie., badly, because that's what says "Bensonhurst" to wardrobe. I am ignoring the Michael awfulness hoping that it will please go away, because if any more is done to that poor character, he should just go right to Shadybrooke. How adorable are Lucky and the kids? Wouldn't it be awesome if every time Sonny was on muttering, we could switch to seeing what THEY were up to instead?

I have to wonder how Bob Guza still has a job, with all the fan discontent...oh, that's right, he keeps getting AWARDS thrown at him for this tripe. Maybe if there are no Emmys this year, he'll have to find a new job! Ah well, one can hope.

Also, Bourgeois Nerd...CLUE is the greatest!

thank you for a great blog. I mourn for the show I use to enjoy. From your screen caps-- the actress who plays Brooklyn looks very different-something is off about her. Can't believe Ned and Lois's child is involved with Carly. UGH.

Guza and GH seem to start off stories with hope that they will be told in in depth and detailed manner then they seem to be dropped and curtailed. I believe the writers and producers need to ask themselves what would Claire Labine do or Gloria Monty do? It sure is not this awfulness.

After Sonny shot Dante I stopped watching --that was the end for me. I can't watch a show where the "heros" shot an unarmed police officer and have no justice. This Michael awfulness is just that awful.

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