• About Us
  • FAQ
  • Archives
  • Links
  • SOD Columns

Ads

Facebook

  • Serial Drama on Facebook

Subscribe to Serial Drama

  • Add to Google Reader or Homepage

    Subscribe in Bloglines

    Add to My AOL

    Powered by FeedBurner

Shop Amazon.com

  • We'd love it if you would use these links to search or click through to Amazon.com. There is no charge to you and we get credit for linking you. Thanks so much!

    Canadian readers, it works for Amazon.ca too. Search or click here:

« Putting On A Happy Face. For Now. | Main | Why Did This Happen? »

March 27, 2011

The Unbearable Darkness of Being

Anguish, along with literally and like, is a word that I have a tendency to both over- and mis-use ("There isn't a new Parks and Recreation until April 14th! I'm totally anguished!"), but really, is there a word that better describes the feeling one has throughout a legacy-killing, continuity-free, endlessly repetitive episode of General Hospital?

This week, the residents of Port Charles mirrored our anguish, as they were all uniformly miserable, which is to be expected, since the major themes of the week were "dead child", "who is responsible for the death of said child?" and "toddler with cancer". They (and we) were heartbroken, pained, and dejected and the dark got even darker with Friday's reveal that Luke was the driver who hit Jake.

Luke 
Luke: I didn't see him. It was dark. That stretch of road is dark. There's no shoulder, there's no sidewalk. My music was blaring. I was rushing to get across town to get to you before your wedding. I drove fast. I always drive fast. I'm a good driver. I--I never ran a light. God, no, I--I never felt anything h-hit... oh, my god, I never saw him. I never saw...I--I--I never saw him.

I mean, honestly. DEPRESSING.

There's a small part of me that wants to, grudgingly, give the show a little bit of credit for not taking the easy way out and having Theo or Franco be the hit-and-run driver. And having the driver be Luke is definitely a bold move, because how does a character come back from that? In the hands of a competent writing staff, there could be a must-watch, albeit terribly sad, story in there about redemption and an irreparable rift between father and son; Tony Geary and Jonathan Jackson are more than up to the task.

But this story is not in the hands of a competent writing staff; it's in the hands of a writing staff overseen by a man who will almost surely tire of this story, possibly as early as Wednesday. There is a very real chance that we'll get one huge confrontation between Luke and Lucky, a few scenes of an angry Jason and then the whole thing will peter out and we'll have once again sat through character assassination for the sake of a (small and short-lived) ratings spike.

Tony Geary shares none of my reservations though: he's approaching this story with all kinds of gusto.

TV Guide Magazine: Do you see this as your greatest acting challenge?
Geary: Absolutely. I've had a lot of wonderful stories through the years but more often in the adventure and romance arena. This is exactly what I need at this point in time — to attack something new and something on a grand, operatic scale. This is Greek tragedy. This is right up my alley. I am of the school that the older you get the better your work is because you've got so much more to draw from, and I'm getting up there in age, my friend! So this is a big, spectacular gift. I'm going into work these days with nothing but gratitude in my heart.

So...there's that.

Like he always does when he's committed to the material, Geary was excellent on Friday, but Jonathan Jackson? Amazing. Stellar. Phenomenal. All sorts of other adjectives for awesome including the wordless squeal, accompanied by flailing, that I often use to convey hysteria. Every second he was on-screen, he was just outstanding.

First, there was Lucky's fury upon learning that Carly was on the list of suspects in the police investigation that lasted a total of eight minutes.

Luckyangry 
Lucky: No, it's an accident, dad. Of course it's an accident. I mean, Carly's entire existence is a series of accidents. That way she's not responsible for anything she ever does.
Luke: Now, don't jump to conclusions. Stick with what you know.
Lucky: What, like you don't know what she's like? Seriously. Carly is so focused on herself and what she wants at any given moment, she doesn't care who gets in her way.

Lucky: Somebody just drove away and left Jake in the street. That woman doesn't know how to be anything but completely selfish to the core of her soul. And now my son is the latest to pay.

How freaking satisfying was it to hear someone verbalize Carly's worst character flaws? Sure, he didn't say any of this to her* and almost immediately after saying these righteous words, he found out that it wasn't Carly after all, but STILL.

*Because God forbid that happen, right? If he had yelled at her, Carly would have been totes sad, you guys.

Michael: But my mom really doesn't need Lucky yelling at her right now. 

OMFG, were they kidding with this? They must have been, right? Because for someone, even a son trying to protect his mother, to verbalize the thought that CARLY'S precious feelings are paramount is just so deranged that I cannot even. Yes, Fat-Headed Joss is sick and that is terrifying for a mother, but Lucky's son is dead; it's not like he's just being cruel and messing with Carly for fun.

ALSO, MICHAEL, your therapy/makeout session with Abby was so wrong that it made my skin crawl.

Mabby 
Michael: Abby, I just don't want you to feel you have to sleep with me because you feel sorry for me.
Abby: I don't feel sorry for you. I think you are beautiful, inside and out, and I love the way I feel when we're together.

Ew.

ALSO ALSO, this is no longer directed at Michael, but the mention of Fat-Headed Joss reminded me: where the hell is Jax?! Why wasn't he with Joss and Carly at the hospital at the end of the episode when she was babbling about Jason's great pain? His absence seriously offended me, as did Carly's fawning:

Carlyjoss 
Carly: Yeah. God, I'm so happy you're ok. You know what we're gonna have to do? We're gonna have to spend a lot of time with Jason, aren't we? We're gonna have to make him feel good. Yeah, that's a girl. He's gonna miss his little boy.

Carly: You're gonna love Jason as much as I love Jason.

For starters, how much more time could Carly possibly spend with Jason? Are she and Joss going to move in with him? And is it even possible to love Jason as much as Carly does? Will she force Joss to literally pray at an altar to his awesomeness? And you know who else is going to miss Jake? HIS PARENTS, LUCKY AND ELIZABETH.

That brings me back to the point I was actually trying to make, which is that Jonathan Jackson is wonderful and should, by all rights, be the star of this show. Shock, heartbreak, anger--all of it was so good.

Lucky 
At least the cast is getting prime material for their Emmy reels...

Comments

Why do people keep saying Jos had stage 5 cancer? The highest is a stage 4. Did they say stage 5 on the show? If so then their "medical consultant" is a bigger moron than I thought.

Disgusted viewer - No, I did not miss that part. I just think there are more positives than that. We're all entitled to our opinion but I also think that there are more people like me who are of the opinion that the show is not complete crap. FYI - I have watched the show many years & remember when Jason Morgan was still a Quartermaine. The point I guess that I was trying to make is that as much as I don't want to see viewership decline, maybe if some people hate the show that much they should probably just change the channel.

Lucy-

I wish I had your positive outlook.

I WAS a regular viewer long before Alan and Susan even created St. Jasus and I can assure you there's nothing positive left on this show.

Dawn- there is a stage 5 kidney cancer, Wilms tumor, that shows up in children. Unfortunately, that's the only part of the illness/disease that the show got right. Transplant at that stage was not a treatment option according to the research I did. But overall, you're correct - the medical consultant is a moron.

I read an interview that TG did on this storyline. He says Luke doesn't have a drinking problem. I'm guessing he must have forgotten he was drinking when he raped Laura and that he referenced the alcohol over the years as one reason why it happened. I believe the other reason was because he just wanted her. He also mentions in the article that according to the research done by GH (seriously, they have a person researching how to kill a child by car?) it is possible to hit a child and not know it. I will say the article read as though TG was a little skeptical of that particular bit of research, too, but I'm sure as long as it's a story that will focus on him, he'll accept the research as gospel according to Luke, Spencer that is. Because there isn't anything remotely holy about this mess. I can respect the phenomenon of the time that put TG's Luke on the cover of TV Guide, People, and Newsweek, but hitting a child because Luke was drinking and focused on where he wanted to be is right up there with drinking and raping.

Could it be a well written story? Not with this crew. It's a few little emmy worthy scenes and a whole lotta WTF.

It is hard to be enthusiastic about a show that is this dark and ugly. It's hard to cheer on a bunch of mobsters as they pillage and plunder their way through what used to be equal amounts of romance and angst and a little bit of fun. It's not a great hour of entertainment to watch actors who are paid pretty well to mumble and stumble their way through a script, or snot and snivel to the point where I no longer care about their pain.

Michael and Abby? No thanks. It is every bit as distasteful to me to have an 18 year old boy with a 28 year old woman as it would be to have an 18 year old girl with a man ten years older. No double standards for me.

Yea, the fact that TG sounds as excited for this storyline as he was for the Ethan storyline speaks volumes to me. Wasn't the Ethan storyline voted the worst for 2009? Enough said.

GH acting = postive; GH writing = horrific

Thank you for correcting me Crystal. I was truly scratching my head on that one. :)

TG was excited for the Ethan storyline until the brought JJ back. From that point on I think I can count on one hand how many times Luke and Ethan have interacted.

I love reading the comments -- there are so terrific! I really do think watching GH is watching a slow motion train wreck-- I don't want to watch but I do. But only on DVR so I can FF through most of it! Lucy-- I was really trying to think about the positives-- Robin and Patrick -- I enjoyed family breakfast time last week. There I found something! I also believe the acting has been terrific. Lucky's rant against Carly would have meant something to me if it had been said to her because it was an accurate rant. Very disappointed GH spoiled who was the driver-- I do try to avoid spoilers but this one was very difficult to avoid. Very disappointed no Bobbie, no Monica, no Audrey-- does Jake get a funeral? probably not--

Is it wrong that all I can think about is how if Greg Vaughan were still on the show, Lucky would be getting absolutely no POV at all? JJ's acting is great, to be sure, but the blatant Emmy baiting and TPTB's newfound (since JJ's return) love for Lucky pisses me off. GV would have never gotten material like that - hell, he probably wouldn't have even been on screen. It would all be about Jason's "secret box of pain" (which, I'm sure, will be played out for months to come). Nobody would have even told GV's Lucky for fear that it would drive him back to pain pills, right? Remember that story? Because I'm pretty sure the writers don't.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. I think JJ is great, but GV was excellent too, and it makes me mad that he never got a storyline like this.

I totally agree about GV. If he'd been given material, he would have been great. I still have trouble grasping we went from his Lucky back to JJ's Lucky looks wise. It's like Lucky went through the fountain of youth. JJ is a great actor, don't get me wrong. But it's always aggravated me the people that downed GV's Lucky when it was the way it was written, not the way it was acted.

Oh and another thing they got wrong on the Wilm's (sp) tumors was that the blood in the urine would not be visible to the naked eye. What I found online didn't say that, only that only 15-20% of the children had that symptom. I know its an apple and an orange, but my father had a huge tumor on his kidney and it the blood was VERY visible. When Terrel said that, I had to look it up.

The performances today were nothing less than phenomenal. Tony Geary and Jonathan Jackson were just astounding in their portrayal of two grieving men who have lost a child and perhaps each other. The problem is the writing. A really talented writer could salvage this story and make it somehow be one of redemption. But we are talking about Bob Guza. Guza deconstructs, but he never re-builds a character. Where does that leave Luke? Unfortunately, the audience is turning away from viewing terribly depressing stories. Gh has no balance. Whatever happened to romance and humor on this show? Tony and JJ will probably get nominated for Emmys for their work, but will Gh still have an audience? That is the larger question for TPTB.

Jake's hit and run started out about Jake, Liz, Lucky and Jason. Now, it's all about Jason, Lucky and Luke, while the woman that carried Jake for nine months and who was his primary care giver for most of his life is where exactly? Has Luke, Jason or Lucky bothered to tell Liz that a drunken Luke was the one that ran down Jake?

Is Liz going to get the chance to snot it up and rant at Luke? Some how, I don't think so.

First of all let me say kudos to the PCPD for actually solving a crime. Granted it was a case where Sonny and Jason weren't suspects, and the outcome was horribly sad and tragic but at least they managed to find the culprit for a change. Now the question becomes will Luke actually be charged for what is basically a hit and run? I know he didn't see Jake or know he hit anyone but he was still drinking. And if he is charged, will he go to jail so that Geary can have his 6 month vacation?

Watching this storyline, I'm reminded of when Tony Jones went all taxi driver and shaved his head and kidnapped Robin. Remnember that? And then he didn't have a storyline for years until they finally killed him off. I think that was one of Guza's big ideas.

Again, this storyline would resonate so much more if Audrey, Bobbie and Leslie were involved. Bobbie should be torn because of what happened, wanting to be there for Carly but also for Luke. How would Leslie and Audrey who were friends deal with what happened to Jake? This story would have been so much more powerful if Claire Labine had written it.

The acting in this story line has been great, but unfortunately the writing was not spectacular. There are so many plot holes!

The comments to this entry are closed.