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« And Then My Head Explodes | Main | The Proper Use Of Air Quotes »

February 02, 2011

So Many Depressing Things

In the days after a snowstorm (another snowstorm and at least one full day of being snowed in!), all people talk about is the weather: how much snow there was, when the next snowstorm will be and what we did on our day(s) off. I am panicking about this last one.

Because what I did yesterday was read and watch TV which, yes, is generally an ideal way to spend a lazy afternoon, but what happens if they press me? What if they ask what I read and watched? I can't answer them honestly, because what I read was Hush, the gut-wrenching story about the death of a child who had been molested by her brother and what I watched was General Hospital, which showcased Michael's confession that Carter raped him in prison. If that one-two punch of disturbing and depressing doesn't get my name passed along to a criminal profiler, I don't know what will!

IN MY DEFENSE, both things were really well done: Hush is just masterfully written and Michael's big moment brought us some genius work from Chad Duell, Laura Wright and Steve Burton (not a typo!).

I have a lot of problems with the way General Hospital chose to let this story unfold, dragging it out ambiguously for so long so that they could pull the "What? No, that didn't even happen a little. My goodness, you people jump to the worst case scenario!" card in case there was viewer backlash or network trepidation and I am disappointed and angry that they didn't bring Elizabeth into this story and I am irked that Jason's pain is as much a focus of these scenes as Michael's, but I have never had a problem with the acting. Chad Duell handled the initial fallout remarkably well and I had faith that he'd do the same if/when the truth came out. And, oh, did he ever. When the Emmys roll around, his biggest problem is going to be deciding exactly what to submit for his reel. And also hoping that I am no longer an Emmy jinx. Remember how I spent months shouting "They might as well engrave Drew Garrett's name on the Emmy right now?" and then he lost and also got fired? Yeah.

While Jason and Michael's conversation was really well done (and I have to say again that Steve Burton did a great job. When Jason teared up, I...well, I actually didn't tear up, but I did see why other people would!) (How sad is it that an actor doing, you know, his job is cause for celebration?), Michael's confession to Carly had me completely gutted. It was fantastic.

Jason: Abby was attacked tonight and Michael stopped the guy. Abby's in the hospital, but Michael's really worried about her.
Carly: Oh, god, is she okay? How badly was she hurt?
Michael: She's pretty beat up.
Carly: Oh, Michael.
Michael: She said she wasn't raped, but, uh, she might be covering, you know? Trying to pretend it didn't happen, not telling anybody, hoping that it would just go away. That's what I did, Mom. I didn't want anybody to know this, but when I was in prison....I was raped.

They rocked it: Carly's worry as Michael struggled and faltered to find the right words to use, and then the way she swallowed him in an enormous hug? I got goosebumps.

(Do you know how valiantly I am struggling not to make a "Laura's got the Wright stuff" joke?! VALIANTLY)

The rest of the show was...also dark and depressing, in a variety of ways.

Divider

I am just going to put this out there, with my usual "I think that Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo and no, I will never get used to typing that last name, is a goddess and I spent a lot of my middle and high school years obsessed with Brenda and Bob Guza may ruin my dreams, but he can never take away my pleasant Port Charles memories" disclaimer: everything about Brenda telling Dante what happened to HER BABY was almost laughably bad.

Firstly, VMG and Dominic Zamprogna have absolutely no chemistry together, romantic or platonic, and it was bizarre to see Brenda pouring her heart out to Dante while he remained...I guess it was supposed to be stoic, but it seemed unengaged and like they were in completely different scenes.

Secondly, I am not going to tiptoe around it: VMG was awful. For most of the "big" "reveal", she seemed completely disinterested which I guess is fair, because we are ALL disinterested in it, but then she seemed to remember "Oh, right, this is supposed to be a BIG MOMENT" and threw in some gaspy sobs, and the overall effect made me seriously uncomfortable.

And also, how sure are we that THE BABY (and, I should note, Brenda referred to him as "her" baby, not "our" baby, so Carly's jumping to a gross conclusion is going to blow up in her face and I am going to giggle) is actually dead? It's possible, sure, but something about how Brenda noted that Suzanne knew about the pregnancy and was there when Brenda lost the baby made me raise an eyebrow. Although maybe my eyebrow raised because I forgot who Suzanne was! When I realized that they meant Adrienne Barbeau, I--well, I wasn't interested, exactly, but I did wonder if there is some super sinister agenda there.

The awkwardness between Dante and Brenda did lead to a genuinely sweet and funny moment, after Lulu walked in on Dante comforting the great love of his life and went home to rant to Maxie.

Lulu: I went all the way over to Dante's place and guess who got there first? Brenda.
Maxie: I was gonna guess that.
Lulu: Guess what they were doing? Holding each other.
Maxie: I wasn't going to guess that.
Lulu: She was, like, in his arms and in his neck.
Maxie: Were they naked? Was it foreplay, like you should have knocked first?
Lulu: No, they were clothed. But so what?
Maxie: Were they...horizontal?
Lulu: No.
Maxie: Were they groping each other? Was there anything inappropriate?
Lulu: It was a very meaningful and important embrace.
Maxie: Did they look like they were having fun?
Lulu: No, they looked miserable.

I love when people on this show are allowed to have sweet and funny friendships! And I love how Maxie had all of these possible scenarios in her head. I also love that Maxie's hair is approaching the vicinity o cute!

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After that brief detour into the world of cuteness, let's go back to DREAD and HORROR and HEARTBREAK.

Brenda went to talk to Jax, and learned that he and Carly split up (Yes, AGAIN. Read on for more about that particular rehash of a rehashed rehash) and--well, first, Brenda got a couple of quality digs in.

Brenda: Look, I realize that this woman's your wife, but she's crazy and selfish and its not like I needed help changing a tire. There's actually a real threat to my life and you could do something to help and, by the way, I didn't know I was supposed to hide it.
Jax: Carly kicked me out. She said our marriage was over, so I'm living back in the hotel.
Brenda: Why, because of this?
Jax: Because of this.
Brenda: I'm sorry. I just lied. I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry that you're free of that woman. It's just my honest opinion.

Then things all went to hell.

Jax: Why are you marrying him? You know he's only going to bring you misery, right?
Brenda: Oh, right and you made me so happy. Look, just because your marriage is over, don't be vindictive towards me.

Jax: You know, sometimes love just isn't enough.
Brenda: But Sonny and I aren't you and Carly.
Jax: It's not just the pain you and Sonny caused each other, you know. It's the pain you caused others. It's Lily lying in St. Andrews cemetery. It's your nervous breakdown. It's all the people who've made sacrifices to help you, Brenda, and all the women who risk their lives and their sanity to try to help Sonny and now youre running back into each other's arms and ignoring all that and I'm just afraid it's all going to catch up to you in the end.

This era of General Hospital ruins, literally, everything that it touches but for some reason it hurts even more when it ruins Jax and Brenda.

Divider

So, as I mentioned before, Jax and Carly are once again "over" "for good". WHAT THE HELL? Even taking into account the extreme laziness and aversion to creativity these writers have exhibited for years, the frequency with which they go back to this well is a little much. And I say this as a person who always looks forward to seeing Laura Wright yell about things! But come on! Either keep them together or break them up for real and pair them with other people. My patience with their cycle of screaming matches/tears/makeup sex/short-lived happiness is...okay, I don't HAVE any patience with that cycle. We go through this once a month.

Jax: I'm expected to forgive you every time you feel like sleeping with Sonny, but I lie to help a friend and that's a dealbreaker?
Carly: You didn't forgive me. You throw it up in my face every time we get in a fight. I sleep with Sonny and that entitles you to lie about anything, any time you feel like.

"Uh, yeah, it does, Carly. Because it's fucking disgusting."

Jax: Diane probably has a drawer full of divorce papers that we never signed so let's not put the kids--no, let's not put ourselves through this again.

HA!

Let me paraphrase the rest of their fight.

Carly: I can't be married to you, Jax. You're a liar. And a cheat. And if you were honest, you'd admit that you don't want to be with me, either.
Jax: Don't tell me what I want.
Carly: Don't tell me not to tell you what you want! We all know what you want!
Jax: A conversation with someone who uses an indoor voice?
Carly: No--
Jax: Someone to ask me how MY day was when I come home from work?
Carly: YOU WANT BRENDA, JAX. BRENDA! Nobody knows WHY you want Brenda, because she's a selfish mess of a human being. She's a moron, Jax. And I bet she has STDs. A lot of them. She lived in Rome, for god's sake. But you're all, "Oh, I don't mind. Here, Brenda, let me pop open a vein so you can have my blood! I'll do anything for you!"
Jax: Actually I--
Carly: Don't interrupt me!
Jax: I...thought you were done talking.
Carly: I'M NEVER DONE TALKING.
Jax: No shit. Look, Carly, you want out? Fine. But you're the one leaving, not me.
Carly: Oh, wow. That's great, you attack me and you choose Brenda over me and then you steal the line I wanted to throw at you at the end of this argument? Wow.
Jax: Carly, this is serious. This is about our children.
Carly: Um, screw our children, okay? SCREW THEM. This is about ME. And how as soon as Brenda came WHORING INTO TOWN, you were all, "Oh, I just need to find a reason to leave my devoted, caring wife so I can be with that little dwarfy twit and not feel bad about busting up my marriage".
Jax: Carly, there are lots of reasons for me to do that, such as "everything you have ever done, ever".
Carly: Whatever. You're going to run back to her and ask her to choose between you and Sonny and I don't now who she'll choose, and I don't even care, except I do, and I hope she chooses Sonny just because it will make you cry.  
Jax: I am not going to run to Brenda.
Carly: Okay, fine, then die in a pit, alone. See what I care.

How many times have we heard that conversation?!

There was some tragic fallout today, though, as poor Morgan had to ask Jax what the hell is going to happen now. In doing so, he proved just how much he knows his mother.

Morgan: Did Mommy cheat on you?
Jax: No.
Morgan: Did you cheat on her? Because you know how jealous she gets.

Poor Morgan!

Their conversation did have a silver lining, though, aside from the adorability that comes with all Jax/Morgan scenes: Jax promised to take Morgan and Joss sailing this summer and I got my hopes up for some scenes of fat-headed Joss wearing a sailor suit and/or a life preserver! Fingers crossed!

Comments

Mallory, it looks like you may get your wish; rumor has it that Jax and Carly are done for real this time, because TIIC are tired of their relationship. The spoiler hinted that Ingo Rademacher is on his way out and Carly is to be paired with the new guy, Shawn.

Wow, I don't agree at all about the baby reveal scenes. I thought Vanessa Marcil did the best work I've seen from her since she's been back. She was obviously struggling to keep it together long enough to tell Dante everything, and just lost it at the end. I was gutted.

sad thing is that was the best work vm has done since she came back and it was highschoolish.
she recited the dialogue and you could see the script say "insert crying" on her face and she did. she has been sleepwalking through scenes since her return. the big reveal was no exception.

My thoughts on GH: arly needs to not be in any relationships ever, Jax needs a woman that doesn't treat him like a doormat or have sex with Sonny whenever they feel like it, Brenda needs to be less annoying, Dante needs to be less boring, Morgan needs new parents, Chad Duell needs an Emmy and most importanly fat headed Joss needs a sailor suit because I can already picture it and it's adorable! Also GH needs to rewind about 15 years to when it wasn't revoltingly awful, the writers could actually write and tptb weren't complete morons.

I actually enjoyed Jax telling off Brenda! It was refreshing to see a GH character with a penis that didn't fall at her brainless, self-absorbed, giggling feet! (Yeah, NOT a Brenda fan here, sorry.)

So sad the state of GH I didn't even realize Carly and Jax were together. I thought they broke over the Dante thing-- him knowing and hiding it from Carly. I can see Jax sailing off this summer and not returning ever! Ingo is on his last days at GH you can tell. Do hope we see Joss in the sailor suit.

After reading an interview with Karen Harris about how GH is written it is now completely understandable why the storylines are so awful.It is all about production not writing now

That being said I am so tired of the same people on my screen. Dante, Carly, Sonny, Brenda, Jason--UGH

What happened to VMG (can't even get use to that)? She really is phoning it in if that.

Chad Duell is excellent-- he should get the emmy and he should move onto bigger things!

VANESSA WAS AMAZING TALKING ABOUT HER BABY IT WAS SO HEARTBREAKING WHEN SHE SAID "I NEVER GOT TO HOLD HIM" AND SHE BROKE DOWN

Couldn't disagree more about VMG.

Thought she was the best part of the show. She handled the baby reveal scene just right.

Thought she was perfect. She was heartbreaking. Good job by VMG.

VMG was the best part of the show???????

Hello, Chad Duell was awesome. We all know how crappily the whole "was he, wasn't he?" storyline was written, yet Chad performed those scene with gut-wrenching amazingness. How many times did Dante ask Brenda about the baby, and all of a sudden she's fine with telling the whole thing? And why was she at his place to begin with? I agree completely that they have ZERO chemistry.

Aww...I thought VM was really good with those baby scenes. Probably her best work since she's been back. Jax was a thing of beauty. His words to Carly and Brenda were amazing. Glad to see Carly gave you your balls back in the separation!

Ha ha, I totally think the baby still exists, a la Billie and Bo's kid on Days! But then GH doesn't do those crazy, over-the-top, soapy stories AS much, so it's hard to say. Also, the baby is totally not Dante's, right? It's fully Balkan spawn spawn, no?

Also, Jax and Carly broke up for real??? So weird. That seemed like it should have just been a fight, and then Jax is all telling Morgan, 'Oh yeah, we're over again.' And I was thinking: why are you telling him already??? If they really are done that was sure rushed and dumb. I should have known when Alexis was like: I wouldn't be surprised if Carly dumps you for this. THAT WAS OUR CLUE, apparently.

It was the glasses. Don't be fooled by the glasses!

I'm going to disagree about Vanessa. I think she did a good job with the baby reveal. DZ did look like he was in a different scene, though.

Chad was amazing. I may be in the minority with this opinion, but I totally see why Michael was recast. I actually saw months ago why he was recast, when I realized that somewhere along the line I was a Michael fan.

Steve and Laura were great, although I do have to say that it got to be a little too much about Jason for a little bit there. I know this is bad, but in the back of my mind, I wondered "Hm. Carly doesn't seem to find this funny. She did with Jax..." I know it's Michael and what happened to him was horrific, but I was equally upset when it happened to Jax. Wish she (and Jason) could've shown some compassion. Overall, it was a good Jasper Jacks day for me.

I'm with you about Elizabeth. This is the story she should be in, but Guza magically has no idea what to do with her.

Lastly, I liked Brenda and Jax's scene. Even though I didn't agree with him about the Lily part and him expecting Brenda to have kept London a secret (sorry, Carly had that coming; something needed to shut her up and send her on her way), I get he was upset about his marriage being over for the 30th time. He had every right to vent. I also loved him regaining his balls back from Carly. Someone should tell her that her multiple cheating with Sonny will always be relevant when she wants to question Jax's loyalty. I also liked Brenda's dig about Jax dumping her at the altar, considering the fact that he eventually married Carly who has been a horrible, horrible wife.

This right here, is the major problem I have with how they are writing Brenda. Yes, Brenda, Jax actually made you happy. In fact, had Sonny not brought his presumed dead wife back (and Jax did think she was dead) you would have been married to him and happy when YOU cheated on him with Sonny and eventually went back to Sonny. Then after Sonny left you at the alter and you had a breakdown as a result, you recovered and spent a year - A YEAR - trying to get Jax back with all kinds of silly, romantic plots (and i remember because I couldn't believe this was Vanessa's story for almost 12 months). And then you were happy again until your crazy mom drove you both off a cliff.

Then you showed up alive and you CHOSE Jax. Why? Because you had gotten past Sonny, you realized that the love you had for him - while real - was not good for either of you. His life, his ways was not healthy for you in any way, shape or form. You grew up and moved on.

Of course, Jax was insecure, thought your friendship with Sonny was your way of holding on and left you at the alter - but seriously, THAT was really about the only time Jax did something to you that wasn't about being devoted to you. Otherwise it was all about courtship and dating and sex and romance and happiness.

So to have Brenda come back and all of sudden to be hung up on Sonny is like ignoring everything from the breakdown on. It's like Brenda never grew up, it's like she never came to respect herself, it's like she's a naive teenager all over again falling for the bad guy again, mistaking angst and pain and drama for a healthy relationship - while she bashes the only guy who actually made her happy for an extended amount of time.

IT MAKES NO SENSE. But then, isn't that what we've all been saying for years - centering a show around the bad guys means nothing can make sense - from the women who fall all over themselves to date criminals and murderers, to the police who would need help remembering their names, to the otherwise sane people who continuously defend these criminals because - other than the MURDERS - they are good guys.

Brenda, for all insecurities and flightiness, is a character I liked and kind of understood. This Brenda - I don't understand at all.

I have to agree with you on VMG during her "my baby is gone" scene w/Dominic. She was very disconected at the beginning. However, I felt that she salvaged it in the end.

For the reocrd, I really enjoyed the Brenda who was putting Carly in her place and telling Jax exactly what was on her mind. I wish that Brenda was around more.

LW has amazing hair, but why does she insist on all the yelling? It hurts my ears. She's much better when she pulls it in...a lot.

I know it was the day before, but damn I have to give it up to JJ on his performance Monday. "Your insulted. Your insulted. I'm insulted. Me. Okay, because you have been sleeping in my bed and working against me behind my back." Great line and even better delivery.

I've been saying for weeks that Suzanne is going to end up being Alexander's mother. So she probably has the "baby" stashed somewhere if I'm right.

I still can't get over the whole 'let's have one of the shows young stars, who we watched grow up, get raped in prison' thing. I know I've had a lot of time to expect this...but...still...NOT entertaining at all.

Glad I quit watching this show. Had the misfortune of watching it the past 2 days out of snow boredome...and it is just as much of a mess as you have reported. :(

I missed the original Brenda years (watched before and after) so I was curious to see what you were all ga-ga about. Frankly I don't see it. VMG was awful yesterday. Her only chemistry seems to be with Jason. And her sudden I MUST MARRY SONNY addiction (or should I say affliction?) is without foundation.

Why do I watch this show? Why are the writers so disconnected they had Robin say weeks ago to the new dude, that she was born and raised in Port Charles. Hello, wasn't she sprung on Robert at the age of 7?

And speaking of that, can't someone just call Anna or Robert and have them find Megan and out the Balkan. I AM SO BORED.

The only thing nice this past week is that Sonny was no where in sight. What a relief. I have to agree with those who do not see the reason or 'chemistry' with Brenda and Sonny and them getting married. I am banking on it not happening because I hate the idea (they are both so boring) and she phones it in as much as MB does; however if they could only leave town permanently together and never be seen again, that would be a dream.

VMG is not what she was. Lucy is right, I only see 'chemistry' between Brenda and Jason. She's boring with anyone else. And she scares me with her disingenuous 'laugh'. And Mike, are you in my mind??

okay. true story, I just cried during that youtube clip. A lot. Like, could not stop it. What. The. Hell. That was amazing. All of them. Just so... amazing. Michael and Carly and Jason--Jason who took a child away from the Quartermaines to keep him safe. Who never wanted him to hurt. Just... wow.

Okay. And I know this is a HUGE pipedream (I know that because Kristina APOLOGIZED TO HER DAD FOR MAKING HIM TRY TO BLOW HER UP and we were supposed to accept that), but why doesn't everyone hate Sonny? Seriously. The guy's claustrophobic so his son goes to jail for him, really, and gets raped? I would not forgive. Even if Sonny were someone I loved, I'd hold that piece of anger inside me, and it would grow to loathing, knowing he hurt someone I love. I want that so, so much. For this to be the thing that cannot be forgiven. Because it's not something that you can be super angry about. It's not something that Carly can yell about. It's too personal for that. Too close to home. I hope she never yells, but always remembers it. Always pushes herself that much further away from Sonny. Always thinks of it when she sees him and flinches.

It's the pain Sonny causes all those around him, without even trying.

Elizabeth not being in this story is fucking ridiculous. Ri-dic-u-lous. She should be there. She should be. I don't care how.

People are still watching this show? Amazing.

Chad Duell is too good for this show.

Vanessa Marcil's acting....choices continue to leave me thinking WTF? Her sobs when she was telling Dante about the baby were so forced that I cringed and had to look away.I find her manic giggling and various other tics really bizarre. Unless she's purposely portraying Brenda as someone teetering on the edge of insanity, in which case....well done.

Soooooo...basically, we couldn't have Chad Duell just being completely awesome in his rape reveal with Steve Burton (agreed, Steve rocked it, too) and let that be good enough for at least 24 hours. I would have been okay with telling his mom, though I think a longer adjustment period and a little more convo with Jason would have been in order.

But in ONE SHOW, he told his mom, Abby AND Dante! "Do I have to tell them about my rape?" Come on, Michael, really?? You thought you'd have to tell the police a story that had nothing to do with the crime?? Is Guza planning to make Michael an idiot, too? (ala Greg Vaughan's Lucky)

Why not just take out an ad in the Port Charles Gazette? I understand feeling free now that he's told the secret, but it's really not necessary to announce it to every person you know in the span of an hour. I'm waiting for them to bring Abby her dinner where Michael will stand up and say, "can we get an extra vanilla pudding? And oh by the way, I was raped. Let me know about that pudding."

Jesus, Guza. As my mom used to say, we just can't have nice things.

I'm sure that Guza has forgotten all about Liz's rape from 1998, that was the "good old days" when a story was well written, well acted and played all of the beats.

Thank St. Jasus that someone brought up The Rape of Jax a/k/a the reason I stopped watching this show. I watched the Michael reveal clip, and I agree that the actors rocked it, but it also brought back the horrible memories of Jax's assault and the abhorrent handling of it. The inconsistency of this show is mind-boggling. Which, I suppose, is why I don't watch it anymore.

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