The Return of the Queen
What happens when one of our favorite soap characters in the history of daytime television (if you didn't read that sentence in an overly dramatic Tyra Banks voice, we are disappointed in you!) makes a completely secretive, under the radar return to General Hospital? What happens is too much excitement for one person to handle, so we decided that the only prescription for Brenda-mania is tag-teaming this episode.
Becca: I am armed with java chip ice cream and an extremely high tolerance for bullshit, and therefore feel fully prepared to watch this.
Mallory: Spoken like a woman who has learned from experience!
Mallory: I come with way, way too much excitement and a sad feeling in the pit of my stomach that I am going to be let down in a huge and embarrassing way
Becca: That sad feeling comes from the same place of experience that caused me to hit the freezer for reinforcement prior to sitting down for this.
Mallory: Before we jump in, let's predict: will we see Brenda before the last five minutes of the episode? If we do, will she act completely out of character? And will Maurice Benard make it through a sentence in less than eight minutes?
Becca: I love it when you ask questions that a toddler could answer with ease.
Mallory: I think that's why little kids like me so much, because I am good at thinking on their level.
Mallory: Dare we begin?
Becca: We dare.
Mallory: Oooh, we're in Italy. Will Guza follow in The Jersey Shore's footsteps and make a mockery of an entire culture?
Becca: I thought he's already done that with Puerto Rico? That gorgeous "city"?
Becca: Holy shit, she's already onscreen. That was unexpected.
Mallory: What a coincidence that this petite brunette whose face we haven't seen is on the show the same day that Brenda returns! Imagine that!
Becca: Can we please fast forward through Sonny and Claire making out and Claire appearing to beg him to impregnate her? It makes me feel pukey.
Mallory: "Go upstairs and make a baby"? BRB, googling "Quickest way to deafen self"
Becca: Ew. I fear that is one of those things that's going to become an earworm that I can't stop no matter how much I want to. Like Katy Perry's "California Gurls."
Mallory: Everything about Sonny and Claire makes me uncomfortable. You'd think an overactor and a...let's call him an under-actor (I'm in a good mood tonight!) would balance each other out, but you'd be wrong. Almost as wrong as this kiss.
Becca: There are armed conflicts that are less wrong than this kiss.
Mallory: And Brenda's in the credits already? So many of my (admittedly low) expectations have already been surpassed!
Becca: Didn't it take them like a year to get the last dead person out of there?
Mallory: The strange shot of all of the GH men was the worst. Justus was in there for about a decade after he died.
Mallory: Remember Justus?
Mallory: Bob Guza doesn't.
Becca: And can we keep discussing this right through this continuing Clare and Sonny scene? The graphics, the music, the odd order of actors...?
Mallory: ...the strange background action, like someone almost getting run down by an ambulance? Yes, I'd like to keep talking about this and ignoring the ick.
Becca: Now back in Italy with the Italian-speaking randoms who are supposed to be "disguising" Brenda or whatever....You know, this show would be greatly improved on a daily basis by subtitles: "In this scene you are supposed to feel bad for the professional hitman." "You are not correct to think Sam is being clingy and also should really finally ask who her father is." "Please stop focusing on Maxie's hair."
Mallory: I'm with Lucky: brooding in a rainstorm is the only way to go.
Becca: I enjoy brooding in a variety of climates. I'm very good at it.
Becca: Carly and Lulu, aka Occasional Mini-Carly, at dinner. Was I supposed to think that dream sequence with the hair-pulling was real? Who am I, Brook Lynn?
Becca: (I mean come on, that girl is a dim bulb now.)
Mallory: For a good chunk of my blogging life, I had daydreams similar to Carly's about pulling Lulu's hair.
Becca: That is because you are a wise woman.
Mallory: It was nice to see that wish fulfilled (I mean, Lulu's been thoroughly rehabilitated, but I do want to smack her a little for not seeing Carly's barely suppressed hatred and totally obvious scheming), but I find it worrisome that I have something in common with Carly. I mean, if I were planning revenge, I wouldn't do it so terribly.
Mallory: Because the revenge plot is terrible, if I hadn't mentioned it. As is everything about Brook, really. I'm all for more Quartermaines in town, but...ew.
Becca: It's almost like Guza hates the Quartermaines and what they represent about the history of this show and is therefore determined to write them in a negative light, if not destroy them completely.
Becca: Thank goodness that's not actually the case.
Mallory: Poor Michael has probably the worst life ever. And he'd have a much easier time dealing with all of his traumas (psychopathic parents. Coma. Prison. Prison rape) if everybody he interacts with would stop with their petty drama and grossness. Please excuse me while I throw a completely unrelated side-eye at Brook and Carly.
Becca: He is seriously cursed.
Becca: It's handy that Carly has three spare napkins on her shirt should Lulu do what the rest of us want to do and throw hot food on her.
Becca: What is that shirt, honest to god Jason?
Mallory: Seriously! And Lulu is dressed like she's on her way to play canasta at an ugly sweater party.
Becca: I continue to be traumatized by Kirsten Storms' hair. What on EARTH was she thinking?
Mallory: She was thinking that she wants to look like a 40-year-old in 1987. WHY she was thinking that, I have no idea.
Becca: Lucky is pretty nonplussed about finding Aiden. And Maxie...what is wrong with that girl? Did dating Spinelli eat her brain? "Oregon, as in the state?" Yes, sweetie. That was otherwise very confusing.
Mallory: Lucky's trying to be all heartfelt, but it must totally screw with your heartfelt momentum when you're having this conversation with a dim bulb and need to pause in order to explain things that are obvious to most second graders.
Mallory: Olivia's hair fascinates me (it's the only part of her character that I am positive about). It's so big! In the good way.
Becca: I was just thinking that her head/body ratio was reaching Lucci-esque proportions.
Mallory: Well, I do love La Lucci and her ridiculous hair. I am a total child of the 80s.
Mallory: Was the only purpose of that scene to amuse me with her hair? Because as enjoyable as it was, there must have been something else that could have aired instead of her babbling.
Mallory: The hell is Alexis wearing?
Becca: I think it's a polyester dressy poncho. Which shouldn't exist, OBVI.
Mallory: Kristina, on the other hand, looks ADORABLE. And I'm suddenly reminded that I need a cardi in that color.
Becca: I am reasonably certain you have a cardi in that color, only because you have a cardi in every color. The Gap loves you.
Mallory: Wacky hijincks music on this show never lead us down a good road.
Becca: I want to kick that wacky hijincks music in the 'nads. It leads only to show head-shaking and palm-forehead contact.
Mallory: At least they don't use it when Jason "goes to work"...although the fact that they use epic, romantic music for a lot of those scenes is probably even worse, now that I think about it.
Becca: I am trying to focus on yet another clunky shout-out to the audience about Lucky being Aiden's father, but I cannot stop focusing on Maxie's head. That haircut and color is so distractingly horrible!
Mallory: It truly is. I can't tell if they're going in a romantic direction with them. If they do, I would miss the entirety of their relationship, just puzzling over the why's of that hairdo.
Becca: I hope they're not going romantic. Maxie's a ditz now and Lucky's just getting smart again.
Mallory: He did have a HUGE uphill climb.
Becca: A couple of years ago, Lucky would puzzle over unwrapping gum.
Mallory: Cam must have a lot more free time these days, since he doesn't have to parent his father. I bet he found a completely delightful hobby.
Becca: Claire makes me stabby. I cannot deal.
Mallory: I can't stand Dahlia Salem, in anything I've seen her in. I had hoped she'd be gone after the trial, on account of Claire's uselessness and lack of any positive qualities, but it seems like we're stuck with her for a while because this show actively tries to be a nuisance.
Mallory: Nuisance probably isn't the right word. It's too benign and implies that there may be something moderately amusing involved. GH is the opposite of those things.
Mallory: "This mysterious brunette"'s hands are shaking!
Becca: She sounds exactly like someone I feel like we used to know!
Mallory: Like, why the secrecy, GH? You've been trumpeting this return on every channel for months. If there is anyone still watching who doesn't know who that is, I feel that scientists should be studying their brains.
Becca: And how played out is the "don't show the face of the returning actress until the end of the episode" thing anyway?
Becca: I mentioned at work that I had a live-blog thing to do tonight, and like three people who do not watch soaps were like "oh, you mean Brenda coming back to GH?" Weird!
Mallory: Seriously, Michael has been through enough! Why does he have to keep playing relationship counselor for the so-called adults in his life?
Becca: The poor soul. Being in a coma was better than this.
Mallory: Remember when Nancy Lee Grahn used to have actual stories? Those were good times.
Becca: That was so long ago I can't even remember. "This blouse is no big deal." That's not exactly true, Alexis.
Becca: I realize Dante is eating the show, but if Dominic Zamprogna were less damn sexy it would really help me be more irate about that.
Becca: I'm behind on GH, so help me out -- why is Kristina dating a 30-year-old?
Mallory: I was just going to say. Of all of the things to copy from the original 90210, this is what they choose?
Mallory: This show does not need a Gabrielle Carteris.
Becca: He was talking about going to a new school and I was thinking he must have meant The New School, and for a graduate program.
Mallory: The show has got to stop with these "subtle" hints about Aiden's paternity, seriously.
Becca: They are as subtle as Maxie's hair.
Mallory: I keep picturing the writers patting themselves on the back for being clever, and getting annoyed. There is little in the world more irksome than misplaced arrogance.
Mallory: I am just going to pretend that Claire and Sonny aren't on screen right now.
Becca: I think that's the right response to this garbage
Becca: I like how Claire knows more about Brenda than Patrick did.
Mallory: I'm sorry, I just got really weirded that you said "like" and "Claire" in the same sentence. Were you hacked?
Becca: I meant "like" veeerrrry sarcastically.
Becca: At least Kristina's new boyfriend can buy her beer.
Becca: And rent cars.
Becca: And entertain her with stories about his junior high years, filled with acid-washed jeans and the birth of hip hop.
Becca: Should I stop this? I could go on all night, and maybe run right through a Sonny or Carly scene or three.
Mallory: I know that Lexi Ainsworth looks, like, super young, so most scene partners will seem a lot older than her, but this guy looks like he was born in the 70s.
Becca: He so does.
Becca: She looks so young that I was actually skeeved by the scenes with her and Keifer having sex.
Becca: I mean the allusions to them having sex, obviously -- at least so far, the show hasn't crossed the line into porn.
Mallory: I feel like I've lived through so many awkward high school study dates that I shouldn't have to watch them on a show that's supposed to entertain me.
Becca: But you gave up on the show doing that a long time ago, I assume.
Mallory: I did, right around the time of my last awkward high school study date...
Mallory: And again: poor Michael! Sexiled AND stuck playing therapist!
Becca: To his SISTER! Gross! Better topic: Though I remain suspicious that you don't already have one, you really should buy a cardigan in this color.
Mallory: I really don't! And now I am fixating, the way that I do, and am planning to go shopping tomorrow.
Becca: Kristina wants to go to dinner and a movie with her study partner? Is she aware that he may only see films in black and white? And thinks a nice dinner should cost $4?
Becca: Because he's old, is what I was getting at there. In case I wasn't clear.
Becca: (Just taking the lead of the GH writers there for a sec.)
Mallory: This revenge plot is so, so tiresome.
Becca: It started out tiresome and went downhill from there.
Mallory: Not even Carly's ridiculous shirt is entertaining me at this point.
Becca: I'm still kind of entertained by her ability to mop her brow repeatedly with it, I must admit.
Becca: OMG, more Sonny and Claire kissing. Make the lambs stop screaming.
Mallory: I forgot to tune out them out, and heard some horrible, hateful things! I have to ask again for the, like, millionth time: what about Sonny does Claire think is a good idea to pass down to a hypothetical baby?
Becca: The capacity to find her interesting?
Mallory: That's true, and it's something she's certainly not used to, but it doesn't seem like enough of a reason to spawn with him. Like, does she really want to deal with an infant throwing bottles and jars of Gerber around the kitchen in fits of rage?
Mallory: Back in Italy..."the mysterious brunette" has been on the show for an hour, and already almost got stabbed. Welcome back to this den of sin, Vanessa Marcil!
Mallory: WAIT A SECOND. Could it be? OH MY GOSH, the mysterious brunette was BRENDA!
Becca: SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I did NOT see that coming.
Mallory: I never, ever would have guessed that, not even if ABC aired promos nonstop saying things like "Brenda returns to GH on Wednesday August 11th".
Becca: I love Vanessa Marcil [new last name redacted in honor of history and my inability to spell it], but doesn't she look a little...extra surprised? Smooth foreheaded?
Mallory: I wish I could agree, but the part of my brain that is permanently in middle school won't let me say anything remotely negative about her.
Becca: Ha! Okay, fair enough. I withdraw the question.
Becca: I can't believe that was really the whole episode.
Mallory: It went by incredibly quickly, didn't it? I guess that's what happens when you ignore all things Sonny related, since you don't have to pause the show in order to go vomit.
Becca: Good tip for like-minded viewers.
Becca: So I guess we have to stop pretending to be interested in this show now, at least for tonight?
Mallory: Yes, I think we did a convincing enough job of it for the night.
Becca: Fabulous. Well, welcome back, Vanessa Marcil. I hope the powers that be wait at least a week or so before mercilessly crapping all over Brenda.
Mallory: Wow, this is a Serial Drama first: now you're the adorably naive one!
Becca: Oh god. Let's never tell anyone I just typed that. I don't know what came over me.