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« She's Certainly Guilty of Fashion Crimes | Main | History Whitewashing Itself »

October 18, 2010

Secrets, Secrets Are No Fun...

I know that suspense and intrigue are essential soap opera elements, but when General Hospital attempts them, I feel the same way that I do when a singer attempts to act or an actor attempts to design a clothing line: know your strengths. And one of General Hospital's only strengths (and I am stretching the definition here, obviously) is telling a story that's glaringly obvious with all the subtlety of Blake Lively's wardrobe choices. None of this "secretive hinting" or "loaded dialogue that can be interpreted in several different ways, because the writers probably haven't figured out which way the story is actually going to go".

Dante: I just wanted to make sure we were still on the same page. No one can find out what we did.
Brenda: You ever think about what happened?
Dante: I try not to. I buried it pretty deep in hopes that the truth wouldn't come out. It wasn't easy, though. You're in magazines. Every time I'd see your face looking back at me, it would bring everything back. I guess you didn't have that problem.
Brenda: Every time I'd see a cop, I'd think of you. I'm really sorry. Everything was my fault.

Dantebrenda 
Between exchanges like this and all of the new flashbacks of a forlorn, emotionally fragile Brenda and a Dante who can only be described as an eager beaver, I think we're all supposed to be thinking "Oh, my goodness! What secret past could they possibly have?! I bet it is a humdinger!", but let's be real: the secret is probably about The Balkan, with a slight chance of Romantic Feelings on the part of one or both of them, and their secret will eventually be revealed in a story in which Jason saves the day. Let's just fast forward to that point, okay?

Another thing General Hospital is doing poorly right now--another thing from a list of dozens of things, obviously--is irony. Just before one of the aforementioned loaded conversations between Dante and Brenda, Lulu spoke these words:

Carly: What is it about that self-involved twit that makes otherwise smart, really rational men lose their fricking minds?
Lulu: I don't know. I can't even imagine what I would feel like if Dante was fixating on some woman from his past that he couldn't forget.

Get it? Because Dante IS thinking about a woman from his past that he can't forget! So clever. So subtle. So over this show.

Divider

The Balkan is a mysterious crime figure whose identity is unknown, but whose fondness for evil deeds is highly publicized. Even though I feel that we were basically all up to speed on that particular plot point, Jason did a little recap for us. On-air recaps seem to be a new trend with this show, as Spinelli also felt the need to sum up Dante and Brenda's (staged) spat mere seconds after Dante had summed it up himself, either because he felt the need to one-up Dante (possible) or because he worried that Jason really was confused (probable). Anyway: 

Jason: Nobody knows this guy's face. Nobody knows this guy's name. He's gone to a lot of trouble to keep it that way, Brenda. It doesn't make any sense that he'd come after you. You live in the spotlight. You've got cameras all around. What do you know about this guy that is worth risking calling that much attention to himself? [...] Somebody's going to get hurt or somebody's going to get killed because you're not telling me the truth and I'm tired of you lying to me.
Brenda: I hate you.

ILU, BRENDA!

What do we make of Brenda's near breakdown during her conversation with Sonny? Well, it wasn't a conversation so much as it was Sonny talking at her. And it wasn't Sonny talking at her as much as it was Maurice Benard stumbling over his lines and pausing awkwardly.

Sonny: That was then, it would it it would it was eight years later. We're too different people.

I thought that being opposite Vanessa Marcil again would bring him back to life a bit. I mean, I understand half-assing it when you're working with Claire Walsh; I don't approve of it, but I understand it. That'll teach me to have low to moderate expectations for his performances!

After Sonny's declaration of love, Brenda freaked out, begging him not to touch her. It...was awkward.

Divider

I feel like A Brief, Appreciative Mention of Carly. Yes, Carly! I'm As Surprised As You! is on its way to becoming a recurring feature here. Her continued unraveling, thanks to Brenda's existence, is hilarious to me and Laura Wright is playing it fabulously. And while I raised an eyebrow in consternation at her above-quoted statement that smart and rational men lose their heads when it comes to Brenda (smart and rational man? Yes. Because Jax is the only person in this town that qualifies as smart and rational. Describing Sonny that way is just...no), I giggled at her plan to let Luke stay at The Metro Court in exchange for a favor to be named later. She and Tony Geary play off of each other so well.

Luke: Caroline, I'm insulted. You think I'm here for a handout?
Carly: That or a tab at the bar.
Luke: Well, now that you mention that, a tall scotch couldn't hurt.

Carly 
When he inquired about the favor:

Carly: I may need you to grab a high maintenance model and throw her off the nearest bridge.
Luke: Oh! Sounds fun.

I love when this show is funny on purpose.

Divider

What a neat segue into the latest chapter in You Nutty Ho: The Dr. Lisa Niles Story! After the world's shortest stint in Shadybrook, Lisa is back and, because this show has no concept of reality or common sense, ready to practice medicine.

She's also up to her old tricks! Her exact old tricks. Like, the EXACT things that she did during her first quest to win Patrick over, a quest that ended poorly, with her attempting to commit suicide. I know she's crazy and all, but if she's smart enough to cover her tracks so well that the hospital has literally no way of keeping her from performing surgeries, you'd think she'd be smart enough to analyze her past failures in order to improve upon them, but whatever, she once again paraded around Patrick in a bra and panties.

Lisaunderwear 
And when he didn't bite, she engaged in one of her favorite activities: goading the Scorpio-Drakes in that wide-eyed and chipper way she has.

Lisa: I have perspective. I regained my equilibrium. Robin seems a little shaky, though. Wow, paranoid much?

Lisa: The truth is, I never did anything to Robin. Ask the police. There is no proof to back up any of her outrageous claims.
Patrick: No, Lisa. You've already proven you're smart enough to cover up the tracks.
Lisa: Okay, so not only am I a stalker, I'm a professional criminal, too?

Robin: This little innocent act of yours isn't fooling anyone.
Lisa: You look tired, maybe you should sign out, get some rest.

Lisa: Robin, you need to find a better way to deal with your anger, or at least own up to your part in all this, all right? You're losing Patrick and it scares you, so you're acting out to try to get his attention. It is pathetic and it is sad.

Love her or hate her, you have to admit that she's good at what she does, since she managed to rile up Patrick (who punched a locker) and Robin (who slapped her, and also got in the awesome dig "Why don't you go back to Houston or, better yet, go to hell. I don't really care). You also have to admit that her hair looks HORRIBLE sometimes.

Lisahair

Why do they let such a pretty girl go on camera with such greasy, unkempt hair?

Hauling off and slapping Lisa will undoubtedly cause professional problems for Robin (AGAIN), but Patrick is on her side; for all of his recent failings, he was hotly supportive of her today, in a sweet scene.

Supportive 
He assured her that he doesn't think she's crazy, even if Steven might.

Which, um, he kind of does. Well, he was trying to figure out the true story behind Lisa and Robin's feud and appealed to Epiphany for her expert opinion. And like she always does, she tried to pretend that she is so above petty gossip:

Epiphany: I think it's a damn shame that we're talking about other people's issues when there's work to be done.

Epiphany: Robin and Lisa are good at what they do. I've never heard any complaints from patients about the care they received or their bedside manner. Can I get back to work now?

AS IF we haven't spent the past few years loving to hate her and watching her be a busybody! This is why I once considered her my GH nemesis!

Divider

Lucky: I want to be with you, even though it complicates everything. So stop your whining and give us a kiss.

Luckysiobhan 
I know that I am a hypocrite for enjoying Lucky's adventure, since it is also about The Balkan, but whatever: it's fun, it's adorable, we finally got to see Siobhan's (gorgeous!) hair, and she and Lucky are all kinds of cute together. I was amused that, as he did some spur-of-the-moment detective work, trying to track down Brenda's whereabouts, the Italian woman at the hotel was hardcore flirting with him; the poor guy had to leave the country to get female attention!

I was also amused by Siobhan's reaction to the hardcore flirting.

Siobhan 
Of course, Siobhan did wind up being held at gunpoint, with Lucky-as-Ronan being ordered to kill her, because this is Guza's GH and storylines aren't allowed to be fully enjoyable or devoid of excessive violence.

Comments

Now, I have to say that I haven't been watching this show because I care about my blood pressure. Reading these recaps are all I can do. So I don't know if what I'm going to say is already disproven based on what's been on screen.

BUT.

Is anyone else hoping that The Balkan will wind up being Jerry Jacks with yet another new face and new accent? Oh, Jerry. You scamp.

"YOU NUTTY HO: THE DR. LISA NILES STORY!" I LOVE IT!!!

That Sonny and Brenda scene....was just creepy. The writers are trying way too hard with them. I am not getting any romance from them at all.

I FLOVE Lucky and Siobhan!!!! Right now, they are the ONLY thing on General Hospital making me happy! Watching Jonathan Jackson's Lucky Spencer fall in love is an absolute treat for me. The fact that he's acting across from an equally expressive, engaging and incredibly beautiful screen partner (Erin Chambers, I FLOVE you!!!) just sends me into orbit.

Yeah, I like it. I love it. I want some more of it.

You know when two are dating and engaged, and the guy works out all the time and wears good clothes - and then he gets married and five years later he's 30 pounds overweight and wears t-shirts and old jeans and flip flops? That's Maurice and his time on GH. He's way too comfortable, way to sure that since the show revolves around him, he isn't going anywhere - he phones it in at best. Most of the time, he's sending it in via telegram.

Still refusing to watch this show, but your love for LW brings me back to these recaps every time. She can just make anything marvelous with that hair, can't she? <3

GH never does irony well. Remember this gem? "We don't keep secrets from Mommy."

I wonder how GH has remained on-air for so long when both the head writer and the lead actor have such difficulties with the English language. "[I]t would it it would it was" made me flash back to "the penultimate cosmic guffaw."

I guess I'll have to return my JJ fangirl card since I really wanted to like the Lucky storyline but I'm just completely bored by it now, the actress and JJ fit well together physically, as they're both birdlike but I'm glad that Erin Chambers is only on for a limited time since Siobhan to me, is as fake as her Irish accent.

I could possibly get on board with Lucky and The Walking Irish Stereotype...if they didn't insist on her calling him "Ronan" every three seconds. Serriously! It's a little ooky for me. Plus that entire storyline makes no sense and never has.

Hey Crystal how about all the "subtle" hints about blue eyes when Jake was born. THose were my personal favorite ones.

I really want to like Lucky's story (and I do love seeing action Lucky and I highly approve of JJ's new haircut), but I can't stand Siobahn's accent. I'm hoping it's revealed she's really a secret agent too and the accent is fake.

I'm kind of over the crazy Lisa story right now. All the actors are doing a good job, but this story seems stuck in reverse right now and I don't have the patience to watch Lisa do the EXACT same things she just did a few weeks ago.

Squee! Patrick does something hotly again!

I'm also over the crazy Lisa saga and making everyone but her look like idiots.

I rarely watch GH, but I caught Carly's "otherwise smart, really rational men" line yesterday and, well...my brain had a blank stare.

Am I the only one who think Vanessa Marcil seems to be QUICKLY over-running Maurice Benard's lines when he's stumbling and bumbling and mumbling? I swear, it's like she can't even stand him trying to stammer through what are the same damn lines he says every day anyway, so how the hell does he forget them? So before he's even finished stammering the last syllable, she's quickly inserting her line? I think it's fairly hilarious.

Also, as a blonde whose hair is probably more like Brianna Brown's, can I get Laura Wright's hair?

Amy, I feel your pain. Only, I USED to have Laura Wright hair, and it has since deflated into what you could call "Brianna Brown plus." (The plus being that I try to remember to wash my hair most days.) I cannot for the life of me figure out what went wrong, and it haunts me like Alan Quartermaine in a tracksuit.

I'm wondering if it is this show and the stylist doing this to Brianna's hair. I follow her on FB and when she posts pictures of herself outside of GH doing other things her hair looks fine.

What a neat segue into the latest chapter in You Nutty Ho: The Dr. Lisa Niles Story!

Now that was just too freaking funny. Still laughing.

And agreed, Sonny's badgering, almost stalkerish behavior towards Brenda makes her reaction of "please don't touch me" as she backs away, in tears and shudders in fear - not the "romantic" undertone that I think the writers were hoping to convey.

My shallow hair rundown:

Becky Herbst, Kimberly McCullough and the actress who plays Siobahn have mesmerizing hair right now.

Laura Wright's hair can either look really good or really bad depending on whether she's gotten her roots touched up.

Kirsten Storm's hair looks much better now that it's not that ridiculously harsh shade.

I have no idea why Brianna Brown's hair always looks so unwashed. I think she could also benefit from going a couple of shades lighter and getting sleeker cut.

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