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« Soapy Italian Weddings and One Good Thing About Todd Manning | Main | That Other Show »

March 22, 2011

This Show Is Heartbreaking. Interpret That As You Please.

If you pretend that today's episode of General Hospital isn't an episode, exactly, but actually a series of standalone vignettes that just happen to add up to sixty minutes, it was pretty fantastic: the performances by Rebecca Herbst, Jonathan Jackson, Steve Burton and Laura Wright were nothing short of phenomenal and there were some pieces of dialogue that gave me goosebumps and had me pausing the DVR so I could open another package of tissues.

Lucky Carly 
Lucky: It's only the machines keeping his body going at this point.
Elizabeth, voice tiny and heartbroken: I know that. I'm just not ready to let him go.

Lucky: I can't tell you, man, how thankful I am that you gave me the chance to be Jake's father. Every day, man, every day he brought so much joy to my life...and now he's gone.

Lucky: You know, ultimately it's your fault that I took those boys in. You made being a father look like so much fun. I just couldn't resist. I wanted to know what that felt like. I wanted to be on the other side of things. I didn't know it was possible to love that much.  

But when you look at the episode as, you know, an episode, it was fucking awful.

Oh, yes, it made me sniffle, sob, and weep (it's hardly an achievement--I cry at everything. They could have just filmed Rebecca Herbst saying, "I am really, really sad right now" while wiping her eyes, and I'd choke out "Oh, Becky! Don't be sad!" while dabbing my eyes with a tissue, so really, they oughtn't pat themselves on the back too hard on that point), but you know what else it made me do? GASP in HORROR SLASH RAGE. HORRAGE, if you will.

  • Jake got hit by a car, underwent surgery, was declared braindead and his parents chose to donate his organs. Josslyn was run-of-the-mill sick, diagnosed with the worst form of kidney cancer, and was prepped for an organ transplant. All of these things happened in less time than it takes for me to order a drink at Starbucks. To refer to this kind of pacing as demented is being far too kind.
  • Really?

    Carly: Jake's father said we could have one of his kidneys for Josslyn.

    Okay, not only did that not technically happen, LUCKY is the only father that really matters here, but why am I even going to bother arguing with Carly? She's not at all well-versed in facts and reality, and she's also fictional.

    Carly: If Josslyn doesn't get that kidney tonight, they're going to start pumping her full of chemo. I get that Elizabeth doesn't like me and I can't imagine what she's going through, losing Jake, but I've got to talk to Elizabeth and make her understand...

I know that this is Carly that we're talking about and that she takes everything said to or about her as the most sadistic of insults, but that's a bit much, even considering the source. Like Elizabeth is just being spiteful!  

  • Are you kidding me with this?

    Carly: I just keep thinking about Jason. My heart is breaking for him. He has helped me through everything in my life and now this. Josslyn's getting a second chance because of Jason.

    "Lucky and Elizabeth? Who even cares? Who are they to Jake, really? They're not like Jason. They're not awesome."
  • For some bizarre, completely inexplicable reason, the show is treating the (rehashed and lame) "Whodunit" part of the story as its most compelling aspect--that's what the promo is about! Gravelly-Voiced Promo Man sternly intones, "Only one question matters". Yes, that is true, G-V PM, and that question is: how is anyone related to this freakshow of a soap still employed?
  • Elizabeth's son dies and she just...disappears for the last half of the episode? WHAT? And also, WHY?
  • General Hospital hates veteran characters the way that I hate...well, General Hospital, so the glaring absences of Monica and Bobbie aren't surprising, but they are maddening, since both are related to the major players in this story and were part of the far superior story Bob Guza is lazily and half-assedly ripping off. And just to dig the knife a little deeper, Monica was actually paged today during one of the hospital scenes. It's like the writers were laughing in our faces whilst giving us the finger.


Agree on the acting - great stuff. Unfortunately, the story itself - or as pointed out, scenes with a loose theme - is so jam packed that there isn't enough breathing room to fully FEEL the emotion that we are supposed to be feeling. You barely get your cry on before we are on to the next, sometimes non-sensica and / or aggravating, scene.

It's times like these that I'm fully convinced that GUZA is fully convinced that he will be the show's last writer. He's been playing in GH's toy box for many years now - far too long - and has absolutely no qualms about breaking any of the 'toys' that he wishes. Seriously, how many of GH's youth - the next generation - are NOT going to be related to Sonny. He's decimated the Quartermaine family - he basically views them as bodies for his next tragedy. He's now knocking off the ones that don't even identify as Quartermaine's but simply have Quartermaine blood. He's hacked off the generational feel to the show, his stories have the depth of Saturday morning cartoons (and even some of those have more depth), and if it isn't Sonny / mob related, he has no interest.

Becky Herbst, Jonathan Jackson, Steve Burton, and Tony Geary all did really well with what they were given, but I guess I'm in the minority who mostly didn't like Laura Wright's performance. I mean, she definitely had some of the worst dialogue to try to spin into something decent, but I felt like she played everything so angry, impatient, and entitled. The only part I liked is when she was on the roof with Jason before she actually asked him for the kidney...you know, when Carly was pretending to care that a child died.

Luke totally sucked leaving the hospital like he did and making Lucky come to him, but the actors are still so, so good together.


Show is a travesty and as myopic as Mr. MaGoo.

Jason's pain.

That's some growth, Guza, you ignorant slut.

I hate it.

At first the speed of the story was giving me whiplash. Now it is just the rewinding and watching Elizabeth smack the crap out of Jason that's doing it.

This was never going to be anything but about Jason's pain and how it would affect his not-so-distant decision to have another kid.

Nothing that happens on this show will ever be about anything other than Jason and how it affects him. Or the bit of trickle-down to how it affects Carly or Michael or Sam or Sonny.

I think the actors did very well with the material they were given, but I also expect that on a daily basis. And yes, I'm often shortchanged on that, but this is what they are paid to do.

By the way Guza, you are being paid to actually write creatively and well.

I don't disagree that Jake had three parents, but if the Jason and Lucky love grows any more - those two are gonna be having grief sex in the supply closet.

@Bourgeois Nerd:

"I'm certain the pace, though, is Guza fast-forwarding through the "boring" stuff to get what's really important: Jason's Secret Pain. That toy is going straight into the Box"

Laugh out loud funny. Amazing.

The show missed a HUGE opportunity to educate its viewers about organ donation, too.

Oh, and the show also made chemo sound like a fate worse than death. Carly and Jax made it sound like the doctors were going to euthanize Josselyn if they couldn't find a kidney that night. Yes, chemo is painful and horrible and has a lot of potentially risky side effects, but so does an organ transplant. I think the show did a real disservice by showing a really ignorant view of treatment options.

Crystal-- loved the "grief sex" comment about Lucky/Jason. LOL

This show is awful-- I keep saying I am going to stop watching but it is like a train wreck-- it is so bad that you have to watch and see how low Guza can take it.

Love the blog and love the comments here--thanks for the outlet.

one plus of the fast break pace--no Sonny/Brenda around-- could not have handle them as well. Wonder if they will show the funeral or now it is over and we need to focus on the secret pain of Jason.

Still mad Elizabeth didn't get the last scene -- she was only the mother but I realize that Elizabeth was being written out when filmed so I am assuming TPTB didn't want to waste time showing Elizabeth grieving.

Carly is just over the top- I don't even feel sympathy for her. I don't care.

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm just not happy with the fact that Becky is relegated to a second tier role in this story. I feel like most this story has been written to showcase JJ and Steve Burton, and Becky hasn't had scenes that I think she's owned. It's like there are scenes where I'm wondering what's going on with her instead of what's going on with Jason or Lucky and his Siobhan. I mean with the exception of her brother, it seems that Elizabeth is pretty much dealing with this on her own. She doesn't have Lucky, she doesn't have Jason and she doesn't have Nik to rely on. I guess I just want more of her reaction to this, more story for her and less story for JJ and SB. I think it's a fail because they aren't giving her the attention she deserves for this storyline.

The pacing of this story is giving me such severe whiplash, I've developed back spasms or maybe the spasms are because this entire so called story is so horrifically written. Kudos to BH, JJ, TG and (I can't believe I'm typing this)SBu for at least trying to make the muck palatable.

I want Bobbie there for her granddaughter and nephew. I want Audrey there to say goodbye to her great-grandson,the little boy she spent so much time with. I want Lesley there to do the same. I want Laura there, because there is absolutely no way she would not be on the first plane to be there for her son.

The most I've felt for any of these characters though was yesterday. Luke/Lucky nailed me between the eyes when Lucky said he wanted to be a father because Luke had made it look like so much fun. That's maybe one of the only accurate pieces of history this shows written in years. TG & JJ are beyond awesome.

About all I can say is that I absolutely HATE the Carly character. She is so very hateful with her blinders on and her conceit that the world is for her to use as she sees fit. I think Carly needs therapy (I suppose that means the writers need it too)! Oh yeah, poor Jason (yeah, right!) Relief that Sonny the idiot and his stupid bride weren't present to fast forward through. I HATE THIS SHOW!

I've been loyal and watched this show for 30 years but it looks like I've finally had enough of this crap. Kill a little boy but keep the stupid mob shit! The stupidity that these writers try to shove down our throats is disgusting.

Thanks for letting me vent a bit. I love your blog, and look forward to you agreeing with me about the mess called GH!

How many hit-and-runs is Port Charles contracted to have every year and which female character will it be that did it this time?

Let's see...which strong, capable female character hasn't yet had to spent time in Shady Brook? Maybe it's one of them. Then it wouldn't be Lisa, Robin, Carly, Brenda, Elizabeth, Laura, Lulu...

I'm beyond pissed at so much I don't know where to start. First let me say that I did not watch the show on ABC I waited until someone loaded up on youtube because I don't want to give them the ratings.....yes I am that spiteful! Now I do have to say that JJ, Steve(shocked), and Becky(with what little she had) did a wonderful job. I loved that Liz slapped the crap out of Jason and it wasn't a little "how dare you" slap it was a "bitch please" slap that she put her whole arm into. As many have said the speed in which this story has played out is ridiculous. Hell they spent like what two weeks on Sonny/Brenda's wedding. Yet Jake was ran over, killed, and donated a kidney to an instantaneous cancer stricken deaths door knocking Joss in a matter of what 3 days. Jesus take the wheel and drive this show off a cliff please! I could go on about some other things that pissed me off but y'all covered most of it and besides I have a headache now just thinking about it.


JJ and Becky killed me! They were amazing!

Unfortunately, all I could think of as the show ended with Steve Burton crying over Jake's motorcycle toy was, " Well, there's another item for Jason's box of pain."

I hate this show!

I feel absolutely nothing for Carly. I think it's sad that Jocelyn had to get stuck with a mother like that.

And today? Was I supposed to be rooting for Michael to destroy possible evidence that...? You know, I've already given the story more thought than the writers. Had to laugh at the JJ/SB grief sex comment. I felt the same way. Not like Elizabeth just lost her child. Nope, it's all about how everyone else is suffering.

As far as I'm concerned, Carly can drive her car off a bridge again and not come back this time. And Michael and Molly can be in the backseat.

UM HELLO, BJ/MAXIE cop out recycled redo storyline! ARRRGGG!

I deleted the recording of GH from my DVR right after I read spoilers about this storyline. I have enough painful stuff in every day life, I don't need to sit and cry over a dead child on a soap opera. Sounds like I made a good decision.

It makes me sad to give up though. GH has been a part of my life ever since I was in middle school and ended up staying at home sick with the flu for a week. That just happened to be the week that Luke raped Laura at the disco. I just don't think there are enough scraps left of the wonderful show it used to be to continue to waste my time.

watching this show is almost like being in love with a man you can't stand. You just keep hoping it'll get better, but sadly, it never does.

meanwhile, jason's pal/carly's bffhusband sonny has a grand ol' time playing house in italy without a care in the world. no one has called him????

The audience might not have been in such an uproar if this story had taken more than five minutes. If Guza had prepped the audience for this by having Josselyn get sick weeks ago, Carly and Jax arguing over her treatment with Jax wanting to take her to some homeopathic place that he found online, and Carly wanting to immediately start chemotherapy it might have worked. Josselyn could have started out having only one tumor on her kidney, they could have removed that, Jax and Carly could have heaved a sigh of relief and then boom, a week later, she has a tumor on the other. Instead, this storyline took less time than that god-awful bus crash last December which took like three weeks of time. And we all know that it's going to turn out to either Theo Hoffmann or Franco so what is the point of the who-dunnit. Nice to see that Luke decided not to tell Edward that he just lost his great-grandson. Thank god that finally came out. Guza is a completely souless hack.

I agree with whoever said the medical consultant on staff need never put this job on his/her resume. Josslyn would have had to go through chemo after her kidneys were removed anyway BEFORE she got the translplant. They need to make sure there are no more cancer cells in her body before they put a new, healthy kidney inside her. Just taking out the tumors does not take out all of the cancer. People go through chemo and radiation FOR A REASON after surgery. Especially when it is a stage 4 like Joss had. If they had done things THE CORRECT WAY, we would have had Joss have to wait and Jake's family could have taken a little more time to say goodbye to him. THIS.SHOW.SUCKS........Hey ABC instead on considering cancelling AMC, hows about cancelling this crapfest. You obviously don't care how your head writer is writing it into the toilet, so why not just put us out of our misery already.

Great opinions Mallory. I have to agree with everything except ... I agree that it was a stellar performance by Becky Herbst and Jonathan Jackson, but Laura Wright and Steve Burton? No. Sorry. Not so much. Laura? Meh. Okay. A bit too shrill for me. It bordered on over the top, but I've seen worse. Steve? Ha. I was NOT impressed. Not at all.

Even knowing how bad this show is and how selfish they write Carly, I still COULD NOT BELIEVE she was only on the roof with Jason for two minutes before asking him for Jake's kidneys! I turned the TV off at the point, I was so disgusted. Not even CARLY would be that insensitive.

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