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« More Favorites for Our Late, Lamented Show | Main | In Praise of Llanview's Scoundrel Population »

January 24, 2012

Wholesome Fun For The Whole Family!

You can say many things about General Hospital; I have said many things, most of them terrible and many of them potentially slanderous. But one thing you cannot say is that this show is not thought-provoking. Because it is. It makes me think. Granted, it makes me think of the depths of human misery and have particularly depressing internal debates like "Which is funnier: a psychopath faking the death of a child or a psychopath pimping his child out to a mobster and spending the ensuing decades emotionally abusing both of them?*", but I'm thinking!

*Obviously, normal human beings find neither of these horrible things anything less than viscerally upsetting, but General Hospital spun Lucky's presumed death at Helena's hands as a wacky shenanigan and chose to juxtapose the revelation of Claudia's abuse with "comical" scenes of her father and Tracy's wedding (the wedding that came about through threats and blackmail--again with the hilarity!). Are people even writing this show anymore or are plots harvested from a collection of especially perverse Mad-Libs? "Let's see, [OFFENSIVE WORD FOR WOMAN] gets [ACT OF VIOLENCE] with a [WEAPON] and is then [ANOTHER VIOLENT CRIME] on videotape".

Yes, Johnny spent most of yesterday getting hit with the most upsetting of knowledge. Claudia is not his sister, but his mother (having gotten pregnant with him at, what, eight? FUN IN THE AFTERNOON!). Anthony is not his father, but his grandfather and the kind of man who pimps his child out to a friend that the writers have become obsessed with in recent weeks (seriously, Gino Soleito is mentioned more often than some characters currently on contract). And Sonny reacted to this by walking on air, smiling like a Disney princess and outright guffawing at Johnny's pain.

Sonny: Anthony is not your father.
Johnny: I wish that were true, but the single defining factor in my life is that I'm Anthony Zacchara's son.
Sonny: Open it. It's a, uh, birth certificate. Yours, to be exact. And if you look at where it says "father"--look, look [What follows is at least 17 "looks". I can't tell if this was an intentional "Sonny is so excited to ruin Johnny's mental state that he's getting antsy" choice or an unintentional "Oh, fuck, I forgot what comes next, so I'm just going to say this word over nad over again until I remember my next line"--Ed.]...
Johnny: Is this supposed to be some sort of joke?
Sonny: I'm sure as hell laughing.

"Pregnant kids, amirite? EL OH ELL!"

Johnny: We're done.
Sonny, enunciating every HA harshly: HAHAHAHAHA! We didn't even get to the best part. You see this, Johnny? [So many of Maurice Benard's vocal choices confound me, but near the top of the "Wha...?" list is his tendency to say Johnny's name in the most sensual, alluring way possible. Is this a taunt or a come on?--Ed.] right here, where it says mother's name? It doesn't say Maria. That's right. Now it all makes sense. Claudia was always close to you, hugging you all the time--
Johnny: Shut up.
Sonny: You know what I mean?
Johnny: Don't you dare say my sister's name.
Sonny: Well, she's not your sister, you're not her brother. It says right here in black and white. You are Claudia's son.

Poor Johnny.

And not to kick a man when he's down and reassessing the fact that his entire life as he knows it is a really weird, child-rape centered lie, but...you couldn't just kill Sonny? You had him right there, at gunpoint! I don't want to call you a failure, but I am going to at least heavily imply it.

While Johnny sat, shell-shocked and the audience paused their episode recording to shower the ick off of them, Tracy was being forced to marry Anthony and it got oh-so-very gross. I know that she and Luke are actually on good terms--I don't know what their angle is with going along with this wedding, nor do I have any interest in finding out--but this whole exchange upset me.

Luke: Cut to the chase, padre.
Priest: I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride.
Luke: Pucker up, popsicle! This is the moment we've all been waiting for. [To Anthony] Oooh, you're going to have your hands full tonight.
Anthony: I'm counting on it.

Can you file a sexual harassment claim against your own television?

Elsewhere in Port Charles, Patrick confronted Robin about her illness and the scenes were some of the best on General Hospital in recent memory, which makes me think they deserve their own post (their own post and also a pledge from me to campaign for Emmy nods on behalf of Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson because BRILLIANT); Lulu is rapidly becoming an alcoholic and her OHMIGOD DRINKING PROBLEM!!! is beginning to trouble Olivia, who smugly informed Lulu that she's never had wine alone at lunch time--you know what you have had, you condescending witch? A change of heart that led you to almost immediately forgive the man who SHOT YOUR SON IN THE CHEST so save your moralizing, please--which made the dramatic music of doom chime in to agree that the girl's on a dark path; Maggie and Steve did something pointless in scenes that served no purpose other than bolstering my "Reasons Steve and Maggie Should Be Written Off The Show" file; and Matt found out that Spinelli is Maxie's new roommate and Spinelli at one point smiled the world's SMUGGEST smile--I actually hissed at my television. I have a problem.


Even Sonny thought saying she wanted it was gross.

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