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« As Subtle As a Sledgehammer | Main | The Kid Is All Right »

April 04, 2011

Interview With a Show-Killer

Despite the fact that the headwriters and executive producers of at least two ABC soap operas have demonstrated a staggering inability to speak to the press without offending...everybody, ABC Daytime hasn't imposed a gag order preventing them from giving interviews. I guess the folks in charge of ABC Daytime have more important things on their minds, like possibly cancelling All My Children AND One Life to Live in order to make room for a reality show and a talk show hosted by Tori Spelling, which makes me so livid that I can't even compose an eloquent rant about it. It upsets me, so I am just going to put it out of my mind and focus on the thing I started writing about: Bob Guza's habit of sticking his foot in his mouth every time he speaks to the press.

Speaking to TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan about current and upcoming stories (so there are some spoilers, for those of you who want to be surprised by the show. Unfortunately, the plot twists have been telegraphed so obviously and in neon that it's nothing you haven't guessed already), Bob Guza said things that made little to no sense.


TV Guide Magazine: Why so many kid stories right now? [...]
Guza: It's this whole notion of the sins of the fathers in its many, many forms. Some of our characters have gotten away with an enormous amount for a long time. Our heroes are bad guys. They're criminals. They are certainly haunted by what they do but now we're showing them the consequences of their actions. We want to show the ramifications as their legacies are passed on.

Our heroes are bad guys, but not as bad as, like, EVIL guys. They're criminals, but they're not criminals. Okay. I am glad that we've finally got that out in the open. So here's my question: why are viewers the ones being punished for the sins of the father? How is that fair?!


TV Guide Magazine: Jake's death and the organ transplant that saved Josslyn struck many viewers as a replay — if not a downright rip-off — of Claire Labine's great death of B.J. story in the '90s. What's your comment?
Guza: We absolutely thought about that, and it was a very real concern for all of us.  But that was a long, long time ago and, more importantly, we found a way to do a big variation on it. If the rollout couldn't be different there was no point, because Claire did the story magnificently.

But...I thought that Stone's death was, and I quote but cannot put as much derision into my voice as I assume was in Guza's when he first made this statement, "all that [Claire Labine] had". So now he's admitting that her stories are totally worth ripping off and making substantially worse. I guess that's one way of giving her her due.

Also: WHAT THE HELL WAS THE "BIG VARIATION"? Because the only new aspects I'm seeing are the focus on Jason and Carly and the comically/tragically inept pacing.

 A few more (SPOILERY!) answers after the jump!

TV Guide Magazine: You've been telegraphing the return of Brenda's child for quite some time, so this is no surprise. Why play it that way?
Guza: Because this is so much more than a reunion of a mother and son. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Brenda has always wanted children and she bonds quickly and hugely with Lucian — and he with her — but there are great psychological ramifications for her and her new husband Sonny [Maurice Benard]. He's made it clear he doesn't want any more children. She's fiercely protective of Lucian, and wants to keep him away from Sonny's mob world.

This is about so much more than a reunion of a mother and son! It's also about SONNY! And JASON, probably/definitely!

Guza: This is a sprawling umbrella story. Jax and Carly [Laura Wright] are coming off of the hugely emotional near-loss of Josslyn, and that baby is a very precious part of their very existence. At this point there's not a whole lot else going on between them. The stories of Brenda and Sonny and Carly and Jax will be intimately intertwined.

That's...not...what an umbrella story--you know what, forget it, I should just be thankful that he's actually including Jax as part of this story! Although I'm sure the story will really unfold with Jax completely offscreen and Jason being inserted in a ham-fisted and ridiculous fashion.


Guza: He was deliberately named, as you suggest. I'm just planting a little seed here, desperately hoping that daytime will be around in 15 years and we can harvest it.

I feel like the quickest way to make that happen is to put in your two weeks notice, Bob...

Comments

"Guza's named for the devil?"- Daryl

Actually Daryl, I think the devil's named for Guza. And Frons. And hell, let's throw in Sweeney for kicks.

I loved GH so much-- it was part of my life. I have so many memories of watching it with my mom, in college, in high school, as a new mom... it upsets me to see what it has become. The moral compass has gone -- criminals have no regret no remorse no consequences. "The heros" are criminals-- am I suppose to "root" for Michael, Sonny and Jason? They are the "good guys"??? Carly is the "heroine" of the show. I am suppose to cheer her on??? UGH.

I see so much potential for stories and characters but I know it is too late. GH is on a fast track to cancellation. I find myself ff through the show to see the train wreck occurring. It amazes me how morally adrift this show is.

thanks again for a great blog.

Lucian is deliberately named?? Seriously the man is planning for a story in 15 years??? He has truly lost it--

I don't care about Lucian nor his father and frankly his mother is bugging me (It is amazing that Guza could destroy my Brenda love).

The one child I cared about Jake is gone- what a waste -- Jake was connected to major characters on the history --what stories could have been told there?? but no we get Lucian...

Does this part give anybody else flashbacks to Guza's former writing partner and a certain now ex-AMC actress?

TV Guide Magazine: What about La Giovinazzo dropping hints that she's leaving soon? At the beginning of March she told Access Hollywood her time is 'almost done.'
Guza: News to me. [Laughs] If she's leaving, I'm in big s--t trouble because I have big plans!

To me, that reads like Chuck Pratt's nonsense about how he was "led to believe" that he had Eden Riegel for longer than he really did, and that "suddenly" he received word that she was leaving NOW (because she hated what he had done to Bianca and wasn't about to extend her contract so that he could do even more damage). Look for Guza to be shocked in a few months when VMG is gone and start making excuses about how her final months were crappy because this was a two-year story in his mind and then he had to wrap it all up immediately, blah blah...

There just are no words. No words at all.

WHY THE FUCK DOES THIS LOSER STILL HAVE A JOB?????????????????????? why????????????

Wow. Amazing. GUZA managed to make me hate him even more than I already do. Well played, Bob. Well played.

Frons and Phelps are the evil duo of soap killers. I believe Guza is stymied because they have been dictating Storylines and pairings since the writers strike. Frons/Phelps believe they did better than Guza by fiddling with storylines while the strike was on to the point where SJB/Claudia became a character that was unrecognisable to what Guza wanted. He got 6months to fix her and when she still didn't resonate with viewers and ratings didn't go up. Frons/Phelps took control back. Many actors have hinted at it and some have flat out said that Storyline/pairings is no longer dictated by Guza and the writers but Higher ups. But on the whole I don't think Guza can fix Frons mess. We need someone new to take control and fix the crap on screens, including weeding out the dead weight cast. Frons/Phelps/Guza MUST GO

Guza also said in the interview that he is surprised that Ingo Rademacher is saying he won't be on the show much anymore. Somehow I find it hard to believe that Guza doesn't hear about these things. If he has his head totally in the sand (or somewhere else where the sun don't shine), he is being pretty short sighted not to be paying attention to what the actors are saying and feeling. Not to mention the long-suffering audience.

Is there anyone more disconnected and arrogant? Is there anyone more out-of-touch with the audience? Is there no one who will pink slip Guza, Phelps, and Frons? A bunch of dead weight on the show but he can't get Genie Francis back when she had stated repeatedly she wanted to return. And, seems he lets Tony Geary decide to turn Luke into someone no one recognizes any longer. I stopped watching 2 1/2 years ago and haven't missed anything.
To watch this show is an exercise in masochism.

I am really scratching my head trying to figure out why on earth he can't be replaced by Sri Rao.

Hahahaha. So he is planning for a story fifteen years down the line when he can't even follow through on any of his current ones? Ooooooook. Sure.

Boy I hope you saw this:

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/04/05/genie-francis-on-general-hospital-they-cannot-conceive-a-laura-who-a-grown-woman/

quote: "they can certainly get the wig out" for a spot with Laura.

Please get rid of the unholy trio = Guza, Frons and Phelps, and hire people that have a vested history in GH. Being a 40 year plus viewer, this crapola Guza is selling is not making the grade. Give me back my GH and love in the afternoon!

Wait... Did he seriously say on the YT clip that they looked at all the people who were in cars that day and decided based on that? Such an important story was decided by playing a game of finish the sentence. I used to try and defend the writers because they have to spew out so much story so quickly. It makes sense to me that assigning different to different days (instead of stories) would result in inconsistencies, but I assumed someone was thinking more than a week in advance. Apparently they don't even think more than a day in advance.

OK, I think we fans have to take action. We have to write some scripts for GH and AMC and OLTL, with Mallory, Louise, and Becca as headwriters, and go in a mob to ABC Studios to present our work to the PIC. Maybe Louise can go to one of those shows where Mark Lawson and ex-Ross (can't remember his name) hang out and convince them to shoot a scene or two for us, to save these shows.

I think scripts written by the fans is a great gimmick that ABC would go for - they've had fans win walk-on roles, so why not a guest writing stint? Only permanently cuz we write so much better than their hacks...

I just found this on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSTar-jY5qc&feature=related

This kid could not have been ten years old when she gave this amazing performance. I was in tears. The quality of soap child actors today has DEFINITELY gone downhill.

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