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« How to Celebrate Christmas, Manning-Style (or How Is This So Awesome?) | Main | The Greatest Hour Of My Life »

December 18, 2011

Shocker In Port Charles: Self Awareness!

It doesn't happen always, or even often, but General Hospital does sometimes amaze. Like, Abby was killed BY A CRANE. WHAT? That is so ludicrous and ridiculous and DUMB and I cannot tear my eyes away from any of it. Every time Sam and Michael grieve for her in between talking about themselves and Jason, I just think "...crane. Crane. Craaane!" and I laugh. Perhaps I find this funnier than most because when I hear the word crane, I think not of machinery or birds, but of Niles and Frasier...

Anyway, Port Charles's resident simple-minded, soothing-voiced former stripper has perished, offscreeen and in the most random way possible, which has sent Michael into a spiral of utter self-loathing. We finally have something in common!

For a few minutes, he chose to seriously examine his life's choices and startled me with his self-awareness.

Michael: Anybody who gets close to me gets hurt or killed. I'm just like my father.

I mean, RIGHT?! Because he is! This child is a prime example to use in an argument on Nature vs. Nurture. Like his father, he is spoiled, entitled and prone to violent fits of rage. He is hugely unpleasant, judgmental and has a nasty habit of brutally insulting the women in his life when they dare disagree with them. And, above all, he is thoroughly unentertaining.

Sam, of course, tries to make him feel better about himself and completely disagrees with this accurate assessment and he proves his own point quite neatly in response:

Michael: I got to get the phone number of Abby's family. They need to know what happened...what I did.

Making an exquisitely tortured sad face and making an accident all about you? Tuning out the person speaking to you until its your turn to say something (about yourself)? He IS Sonny. Just a foot taller...


Wha...? That is so...how DOES one get killed by a crane, GW?


Judy, the crane in question was a construction one, which fell on her head while she was standing on the sidewalk. Oh man, I'm still giggling.

"He IS Sonny. Just a foot taller..."


GH is a big old mess. I never understood why the show brought on a 33 year old pole dancing stripper and paired him with a teenage rape victim. Gross.

Even thought the death-by-crane was random, I was really impressed that GH managed to keep her death a surprise. I miss the old days, when there were no spoilers and you actually had to tune in to see what would happen. I wonder if that's a huge reason soaps have gone down the tubes in recent years.

Does anyone else find it odd that just moments after we learn that Delores' husband works out of town "in construction" Abby gets killed out of town in a construction accident?

Was this another Franco death?

Katie - I've longed believed that one of the reasons soaps declined in viewership (and there were several) was the abundance of spoilers in the soap press. Once upon a time, you had to tune in to know what was going on with the show - and you didn't know when characters were going to die because interviews with the departing cast member weren't held two months before they were off screen, and the shows themselves didn't tell you exactly what day it was going to happen. When you start telling viewers exactly what days they need to tune in to see something important happen, you've just broken the habit. It becomes appointment tv two or three days a week at most, instead of five days a week.

*two* feet taller.

Mike, why do you think that it has become this way? Do you think that with the internet, it's just impossible to keep leaks from happening? (Although it seems like prime-time shows manage that just fine). Or did the soaps think it would increase ratings if people knew when to watch?

Well now all I can picture is Niles Crane smacking Abby in the head with a well seasoned crepe pan while Frasier stands by consulting a wine list.

She. Was. Killed........ By. A. Crane.......???? I don't... I mean... What.. How... I can't.

Wait... What?

A crane. GH has its moments of giggle-worthiness, I'll give them that.

Michael on about how much he loved her and all I could think was, "Sure, you loved her...right up until she disagreed with you."

Well, at least he knows he's terrible, so there's that. *thumbs up*

Katie - I think it became that way for a reason. I think first, it was a misguided way for soaps to try and bring in viewers. But daytime soaps are a unique experience that aren't helped by giving the details of a story before it plays out on screen - the whole soap viewing 'habit' is only formed when you can't afford to miss a day because you don't know what is going to happen - if you don't know who is going to die, who is going to come back to life, who is going to get married and move away or return from out of town - then you actually tune in to see it because tomorrow might be the day! But if you know that Thursday is the die Character A is going to die, then you can read about the buildup and then watch on Thursday, thus the habit is broken.

Second, the one time proliferation of the soap press had to fill up their pages with something. There was Digest, Weekly, and Update - among others - and between the actor interviews and writer interviews and producer interviews, and comings and goings and previews of stories - all the suspense, all the surprise, was taken out of the equation. Mind you, readers lapped it up but no one understood at the time that by giving readers what they wanted at that moment, a longer term erosion of appointment tv and daily viewing was being enacted.

Combine that with writer and producer retread, the one time focus on pretty bodies and faces over actual talent, the obsession with one and only one demographic (thus marginalizing the older audience that actually 'passes down' soaps to the younger generation), and missed opportunities by the industry to actually advance the genre until it was too late - those are the things that killed soaps. Yeah, there were outside forces like OJ Simpson trial and the rise of reality tv and the growth of cable - but those are things soaps couldn't control. Unfortunately, they things they could control, they let go for too long and didn't address until severe damage had already been done.

And honestly, I think if soap producers and networks had actually made it a point that actors could not discuss upcoming stories in detail and the shows themselves would have stopped giving out detailed previews - leaving discussions for why certain stories happened and why certain actors or characters left the show until AFTER that event took place on screen - you could have still maintained the soap press AND the "gotta see what happens today" pull of the soaps. It might not have been as 'juicy' and 'late breaking' but it certainly would've been more healthy for the industry.

Still, the most classic campy soap death was Mary in 'Santa Barbara' dying by being hit by the letter L (?) from the neon sign of CAPWELL HOTEL. LMFAO

In terms of what Mike says about the exits....I do remember how shocked I was when Kimber died in Nip/Tuck. The fact that there had been no preview of that made it all the more shocking.

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