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« The Recap to End All Recaps | Main | Showdown at the Buchanan Stables »

January 19, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know that bad news typically makes me get my shriek on. I'm sure you'd expect my reaction upon hearing the news that Rebecca Herbst was let go from General Hospital to include an absurdly long screed filled with, well, screed-length remarks in parentheses in the middle of a run-on sentence, and lots of ANGRY CAPS LOCK TYPING, and questions about Brian Frons and Bob Guza's job security that, if they were spoken aloud, would be verbalized in the form of a long, plaintive wail and a sneer (I'm not sure what the written equivalent of a sneer is, but roll with it) at ABC's somewhat terse statement about her exit:

"Storyline dictates the exit of Elizabeth Webber this spring. The next few months promise to be a 'not to miss' story for the character. We at ABC and GENERAL HOSPITAL wish Rebecca Herbst nothing but the best in all of her future endeavors."

(I am guessing that those are sarcastic airquotes, incidentally.)

But mostly? I am just really, really sad. I am sad that a daytime veteran (who plays a legacy character!) who was part of multiple (!) hugely successful pairings and some hugely memorable storylines is getting unceremoniously written off the show after spending years uncertain of whether she'd be dealing with the backburner or character assassination. I am sad to be losing a character that I have loved for years (I realize that this is not an opinion shared by many people; Liz seems to be one of the more polarizing characters on daytime)--I mean, she has not been written well in a REALLY long time, but, because I am an optimist and also a fool, I held out hope that the writers would realize how much story potential this character has in her.

And, selfishly, I am sad that my Things To Look Forward To On General Hospital list--which was crazy short to begin with. And, like, five of the things to look forward to are Carly-related. CARLY!--is going to become even shorter. I will no longer be able to swoon over Rebecca Herbst's shiny, shiny hair and...I hardly want to type this, because I am just speculating and jumping to the worst case scenario, but: we may no longer have Cameron. I know. I'm perishing the thought and biting my tongue and so on! Ugh, I hate everything.


So should we start betting on the terrible, gruesome way they will kill off/get rid of yet another legacy character. TPTB at GH really do not understand that it is not their actors, characters, or show history that sucks; it's them and their lack of ability to make good decisions and tell good or even halfway decent stories. I'm not always a Liz fan but Becky Herbst goes above and beyond to make the crap she's given worth watching. This just screams bad decision but so does almost everything else at GH.

Yeah, they're going to kill her, it'll all be about Jason's Box of Secret Pain, he'll "bravely" step up and claim "his child" while Nik and Lucky fight over Aiden and poor Cam gets shipped off to live with Grandma Car Horn. Ugh.

I am devestated by this news. DEVESTATED. And I haven't even watched GH in over a year. I am positive they are going to kill her off in a grusome way, leaving Jason to grieve, Sam to comfort him, and those two to raise Jake together. Then Lucky and that random newbie who gets Becky's contract get to raise Cameron and Aiden.

Becky/Liz is the reason WHY I started watching the show. I was obsessed with L&L2, Liric and Liason and ALL those pairings were destroyed. If I thought it would do any good I would send Guza, Frons and ABC ranting hate mail but that won't fix anything.

I hope they suffer a huge loss of viewers, that the show finally crashes and burns in the very near future in the way they so obviously wish it to, and that Becky has a fabulous career in front of her free of this disgusting regime.

Oh my gosh, I LOVE the idea of an alternate universe GH where all the dead and ignored characters are alive and thriving! Maybe it could be like Days of our Lives and they are all just off living on some island together. I would watch it!

I will miss Rebecca Herbst on GH more than I can even say. I don't feel like I have any reason to watch GH at all anymore. It seems strange to be so upset over a television show but it is like saying goodbye to a lifelong friend. Goodbye Elizabeth Webber, I wish Becky the best. Goodbye GH.

What is the point of revealing that Aidan is Lucky's child if they are going to write her off? Or bringing on Steve Webber? Why not just write off Nikolas and Brook Lynn since they are currently occupying space and doing basically nothing. Who is going to be the normal one at GH now? Certainly not Ephipany.

If Elizabeth Webber is indeed killed off as so many people are most likely correctly hypothesizing -- "not to miss story" tends to be code for "violent demise of a beloved character" with this writer -- I predict that this show will be cancelled within 18 months.

Did Jill Faren Phelps learn nothing about alienating the fans when she killed the beloved Maureen Bauer over on GUIDING LIGHT all those years ago? Did Brian Frons learn nothing from the insane decision to kill off the beloved Dixie Cooney (and with poisoned pancakes no less!)? Obviously not. Neither show ever recuperated from the loss of those characters.

And daytime takes another step toward being but a memory in the annals of television history...

Last night, after I got over my initial reaction of "WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!?!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS SHOW????? I AM SO DONE!!!!!!!!" I decided to take a tip from Serial Drama and sort out my troubles in list form. I have made a sort of ransom list (if I call it something less violent-sounding, Guza would ignore it. Cause he's totally reading this) in which I offer characters to the show in exchange for other characters. This is an "eye for an eye" list, as in death for death, backburner for backburner, character assassination for character assassination, and being written off for another character being written off.

In exchange for Monica Quartermaine being removed from the backburner, I offer Damian Spinelli to take her place. He's cute in moderation, but in large quantities... nope. Nuh uh.

In exchange for Georgie Jones being resurrected, I offer Sonny Corinthos to be brutally murdered in her place.

In exchange for Jason Quartermaine being resurrected, I offer Jason Morgan to be killed in a car crash.

In exchange for Emily Quartermaine being resurrected (preferably in the form of Amber Tamblyn), I offer Siobhan McKenna to be killed, if only so that I can stop hearing that horrendously fake accent.

In exhange for the removal of Bobbie Spencer from the backburner, I offer Brenda Barrett to replace her.

In exchange for the return of Dillon Quartermaine, I offer Ronnie Domestico to leave town instead.

In exhange for the removal of Alexis Davis and family from the backburner, I offer Claire Walsh to permanently simmer there. And never come back. Ever.

In exchange for daily scenes featuring Cameron Webber, Jake Spencer, Aiden Cassadine, Emma Drake, Josslyn Jacks, and Spencer Cassadine, I offer Maya Ward to crawl into a hole and only come out once every other week. (They're tiny, so it balances out.)

In exchange for allowing Elizabeth Webber to remain alive and in Port Charles, I offer the sacrifice of Theo Hoffman, Max Giambetti, Milo Giambetti, Brook Lynn Ashton, and Olivia Falconeri. Do what you want with them, cause I really don't care at this point.

Lastly, in exchange for reversing the character assassination of Carly Jacks, do whatever the hell you want with Lisa Niles.

Am I delusional or what?

That "statement" they released resembles the form email they send out when someone quits/gets fired/goes postal at my place of employement. All the way down to the line about future endeavors... What a bunch of douchy douche bags.

I have 2 things to say:


WTH is wrong with GH for firing RH!!!!! BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! SCREW YOU BRIAN FRONS!!!!!!!!

just awful....

I still miss Alan and Georgie.

I will bet dollars to donuts Liz gets killed off. Sam and Jason will get Jake b/c the storyline dictates Jason gets to be a father...

They don't call Jill Faren Phelps the Soap Killer for no reason. And she LOVES to kill off beloved characters. I thought maybe ABC would fire Phelps and Guza when GH got to last place, but clearly they like their vision of this show. I don't. I give up.

I'm terribly upset. Rebecca Herbst is an amazing actress and she has been treated shoddily, like so many of the talented vets before her. I don't plan to watch GH again.

I don't even know what to say about Becky's 'leaving' - 'firing' - whatever. She is one of very few favorite characters I like left. Guess Robin is next.

All I can say is that I wish the storyline dictated that Sonny and Brenda were leaving (permanently - in a blaze of mob fire). I am really hating this show and wish I had never got involved in it so long ago 'cause I really hate the stupid, hypocritical Sonny character (and Maurice's mumblings make me cringe, I usually fast forward through anything to do with him). GH has gone so bad it stinks!

I hope Becky finds something better in her future.

Jasam BOMBED, Lucky with the bad accented redhead BOMBED, so fire BH and people will suddenly watch? Got it.

This woman arguably has probably the biggest fanbase for a female character on GH, and because the two losers they want to pimp can't make their pairings work, and her fans were VERY vocal about who they thought she should be with, they fire her?

Only in Fron's kindergarten brain does it make sense to fire the woman the majority of the viewers want your 'lead with' in order to stop the bleeding from his current pairing.

Yeah, makes sense. The 1.7's both Jasam & Sucky pull in will soon be the 'good ole days'. Enjoy cancellation, you earned it.

Seriously? This effing show. I am shocked. You think they can't go any lower or do anything worse and then... I'm definitely not going to watch them hack Elizabeth Webber to pieces in her final months to fuel Frons' sick fantasy of what a soap should be. Seriously.

The stupidity of GH is astounding! Letting go a veteran actress who is obviously loved was such a huge mistake. I wish nothing but good things for Becky and even worse ratings for the show.

Well as a Liason fan and EW/BH fan I'm totally devastated and pissed the eff off about it. If Becky had decided to leave I would have respected that and peacefully walked away but to fire because of 'storyline dictating' excuse me but that's absolute bullsh*t. Becky deserves better, her fans deserve better. She's such a vital part of the show and it's history, she made that character it breaks my heart the way she's been pushed out like this. And it really boils my blood to think how they are going to completely butcher what's left of her character to justify some garbage unsellable story and couple. Piss on GH. Good riddance for me. I wish Becky all the best and will follow her wherever she goes. <3

I hate the way Becky is being treated. These asshats made a very very bad decision that I'm hoping will bite them hard in their collective asses. It's just stupid in my opinion not to write for her character because she has so much more story to tell. These idiots aren't very bright if they think her fans will stick around to watch further character assassination. I have officially stop watching as of yesterday. Rebecca is classy & her talent will open new doors she never dreamed possible. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors. I really hate Guza/Frons/GH so very much & I'm glad to finally
be able to walk away for good!!!

This is the kind of thing that makes me want to raise however many millions it would take to buy that show out from under those fucktards and write it myself. I have not watched in more than a year, and yet this news still raises a fury in me like nothing else.

Maybe I'm far too invested in a character I haven't even WATCHED in more than four years, but Liz, Lucky and Emily (as children/teens!) are who hooked me (as a teen myself) into GH. They (and the writers back then) made it okay to be an adolescent handling both everyday issues and things "beyond our maturity level" and to seek parental advice about it up front (usually) without being precocious smartasses all the time.

Which is why my mom let me watch GH and banned sitcoms. Irony. And how far this show has fallen since! (Was that really nearly 20 years ago?)

Sarah, Leanne--I love you guys. Your comments kept me from tears.

Becky H -- more power to you. May you career eclipse even the most grandiose fantasies of TPTB and leave them as less than a memory.

P.S. Jonathan J. -- escape! while there's still time!

I have to say that I'm not even angry anymore b/c I feel like the writing was on the wall for the character of Liz...Sure there are a number of stories that they could've told w/her considering the men she's tied to...Every single pairing she's ever been a part of was magical...I loved LnL2, LiRic, Liason and I was holding out for her and Patrick down the road...LOL...I stopped watching GH a while ago b/c most of the characters are unrecognizable and self absorbed...Liz was like a breath of fresh air from all the "drama queens" on this show ala Carly...It's sad when a woman who has been nothing but loyal to this show and gracious in every interview she's ever given to be let go in this manner...Speaks to the type of people over at ABC Daytime...I only pray that Becky goes on to bigger and better things b/c let's face it, GH is not it and hasn't been in quite some time and the ratings tell that story...It'd serve them right if she landed a role on a CBS show---daytime or primetime...Wouldn't matter considering CBS is killing ABC on both fronts!

I haven't watched GH in years, and this news even made ME say "Holy Shit".

GH is done.

It is extremely sad to see what TPTB at ABC Daytime have allowed to happen to GH over the last several years, going back to 1998. In a way, i feel guilty because when Robert Guza first showed up as headwriter in 1996 after the Labines, there was so much promise with intriguing stories, everyone on the canvas having a story, the stories even slowly turning out to be interconnected - then he left for Sunset Beach (I think), and GH suffered through a horrible year, leaving all the GH fans to beg for Guza back. And we got him back.

Thing is, the Guza that came back, wasn't the same one that left. The mob started taking over, stories felt a bit flat, and clearly he didn't appreciate the breadth of the cast at the time. And when he left and came back again, the Guza that returned was even worse than the one who left. From that moment on, he and Jill have seemed hell bent on making GH for the most narrow of audiences - the mob loving, Sonny lusting, Jason hero worshiping viewers - and no one else. Oh, he throws a bone to the other characters at times, but usually they are poorly thought out, B stories at best.

The firing of Becky is just another step in the current teams efforts in lopping off the remaining limbs of this once grand tree called GH. In their mind (incorrectly I might add), the base of GH - the tree - is Sonny / Jason / Carly. Everyone and everything else is an expendable limb, which is why we've permanently lost characters like AJ, Alan, Emily, Georgie, had other classic characters destroyed like Holly, Heather, Robert, and yet other characters not appreciated, like Scotty and Laura. Guza and Phelps have no respect for history, the actors or characters that actually made GH what it was, or for the audience that is looking for anything beyond the mob - if you aren't interested in Sonny and all things mob related, they have clearly and repeatedly shown you that they don't want you watching. They don't care about you.

I think part of it has to be that they see themselves as the last people who will work on GH and oddly enough, because of their choices and Frons apparent complicity in the deal, probably will be. Who cares about family and long term characters if you figure the show won't be on for too much longer, and they don't want the characters, what's the point of keeping them around. They've helped drive away the majority of viewers, and any viewer who is left that hears that their favorite non-mob characters is getting a big story has to start sweating - because more than likely, that character isn't going to make it. Big story for Sonny - he fathers a new kid or shoots one - big story for Elizabeth - means she's probably leaving in a body bag.

This move is more than the writing off of a long term character - it is a HUGE step in giving the finger to the remaining viewers who loved the GH of old. When a character tied to a (formerly) core GH family, who has been on the show for fourteen years, who is really a great actress, and has had chemistry with every leading man thrown at her - even when the writing seemed to be working over time to undermine that chemistry and to set the character up for failure, who has three kids tied to three men (two still on the show) - when you can't find story for that character, it shows you are a piss poor writer or it's deliberate. In this case, both.

Thanks to Becky for all her years of service on this show, especially when many of those years were acting out stories by a writer who clearly has issues with women and (in my opinion) Becky herself (then again, we've established Guza is a horrible writer, perhaps it was simply his distaste for women coming through in much of Elizabeth's awful characterization). You've brought the viewers many wonderful and heartbreaking moments, and fantastic pairings. Sorry Guza is still headwriter because any other writer worth his salt, would EASILY recognize your value and have story for you.

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