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« The Young and the Gloria | Main | Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column »

April 08, 2008

Is He Dumb? Evil? Both?

Let me begin with a few things that I know I have made abundantly clear over the months that I've been writing this blog (and before that, in feverish emails to Becca about the state of GH that included lots of Nancy Kerriganesque "Whyyyyyyy?!"s):

(A) I do not like the character of Michael Corinthos. I feel like he's the symbol of how far off the rails General Hospital has gone in the past twelve years. Carly's pregnancy with Michael was, at the time, entertaining and soapy, but everything from that point forward devolved into a mess of mob worshiping, legacy character trashing lunacy and the epitome of that is the red-headed child whose entire existence is about proving how the mafia is a better place to raise a child than the mansion of a rich, dysfunctional family. Also, he's annoying and, much in the manner of Noah on Y&R, they write him like he's five years old sometimes.

(B) Dylan Cash is most likely a very nice boy. He is very good at corralling the child who plays Morgan. He is not very good at the whole "acting" thing, which is why I was always confused at the fact he is on contract and gets a good deal of screen time and stories centered around him. He also, and I know this is wrong, reminds me of a perfect combination of Isaac and Malachi from Children of the Corn. I get uncomfortable watching movies where kids are evil psychopaths and I have to tell you, it really seemed like Michael was on the edge and could just snap and take people out with a machete. Or, you know, a gun.

(C) The show's longstanding idea that Sonny and Carly are the greatest mother and father to ever parent a child and are so great that their virtues should be heralded by and large by the entire town, whether by song and dance routines or shadow puppets or hushed, reverent soliloquies is, to put it mildly, disgusting, since they are, respectively, a career criminal and a mob moll who knowingly put a child in the middle of a life that includes getting shot at on a regular basis. I have long wanted something to open Sonny and Carly's eyes and make them say, "Wow, I royally screwed this boy's life up".

So I am totally okay with them temporarily writing Michael off.


If I were a soap writer and trying to think of a way to do something regarding the above complaints, the last thing I would do is write a story where a child is shot in the head. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm in my right mind, but my first instinct is never, "You know what we don't see enough of on TV? Kids getting shot. Daytime needs some more of that". Maybe this is why I have a blog and am not in charge of running General Hospital...

But luckily for us, Guza explained it all to Entertainment Weekly. My attempt to understand these words after the jump!

''We've been accused before of glorifying violence,'' Guza says.

Where would anyone possibly get that idea? Maybe from the fact that the show's hitman is always right? Or the repeated "Sonny is a good man" mantra? Or the fact that Sonny and Jason are the undisputed stars of the show? Liz remarking that being a cop is just as dangerous as being a hired killer? The show's heroine, Carly, repeatedly looking down on Liz and Kate because they can't handle the rigors of mafia life? The REPEATED flashbacks of Emily being brutally strangled? Should I keep going?

''But we always try to show the consequences. We do deal with mobsters. We can't just have them importing illegal tchatchkes from the Far East and getting a slap on the wrist. You've got to deal with the fact that they kill people and people are killed all around them.''

Um, up until this point in time, have Jason and Sonny ever faced consequences for anything? Sure, Jason went on trial for a few murders, but he was never convicted. And yeah, he can't go public with the fact that he's Jake's father, but Liz is totally on the case making sure that Jake knows the glory of Jason. And Sonny...has been shot a bunch of times, like he told Michael, but, much like 50 Cent, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

''I like it from an emotional standpoint. I also like it from a responsible standpoint,'' Guza says. ''Twelve-year-olds shouldn't be picking up guns; I don't care if your father is a gangster. And if they do, there's got to be a consequence.''

This man is actually disgusting. Michael was foolish enough to get a gun because he saw Sonny and Jason use violence FOR YEARS in order to "protect their families" and exert their power in town, and because he did that, he deserves to be shot? What the fucking fuck, fucker?

"We make directly culpable the people who love him most"

Look, I'm all for Sonny, Carly and Jason having to deal with enormous guilt for the myriad ways in which they screwed this kid up, but (a)I don't believe for a minute that this will happen in an emotionally satisfying way and (b)did they have to shoot him? Couldn't they have just had him get kidnapped or something? This show's violence is appalling to me.

''It will play out for months. It's a major, major thing. And the ripple effect to the emotional lives of the characters is going to go on for maybe years,'' said Guza. ''You're going to see relationships shatter, new relationships forged out of grief and a need to understand the un-understandable. That's the only way you can justify doing it. The way it would happen in real life, it would have that kind of ripple effect. We tried, in our way, to duplicate it on the show.''

I...I don't even know. Is this going to be like the huge umbrella story dealing with the fallout of Georgie's murder? Or Emily's murder? Well, technically, I guess it will because those, too, eventually became about the mob...you know what, I'm too irritated to even go there.

''We're not going to make them all go in the garment business."

??? How utterly random. Is the only alternative to a life of crime becoming a tailor?

"That is not what this story is about,'' Guza says. ''The show is about romance during wartime..."


"...we have the highest stakes possible because people can be killed. We're not going to ignore that. We're not going to go away from that. But we're going to make them very, very aware of the consequences and make them try to deal in nonviolent ways.''

Oh, death has "consequences". Like being brought back from the dead to become a serial killer? That kind of consequence? Or like how Emily's death led to Jason leaving the mob in heartbreak feeling guilty over his role in his sister's death, and the murder of the police commissioner's daughter completely changed the way Port Charles operates. EXCEPT THAT NONE OF THAT HAPPENED. Because this show is HORRIFIC.

I feel like crying and going all Vito Corleone, "Look what they did to my show!" How are Guza, Brian Frons and Jill Farren Phelps still employed? Please help me understand.


Thank you for writing what I was thinking...Guza & co. are shameful and should be fired!

I think you just said what everyone I know has been saying forever!!! What a shame those you write about are so out of touch they can't see the obvious!!

An open letter to Guza - I know you couldn't have seen this coming but do you realize right now, in Chicago, TWENTY THREE children have been killed in or around schools due to guns/violence?? The fact that your soap opera, in it's own soap opera way, is trying to show the "culpability" of such actions is moot.

Children watch tv and they may very well "see" children get killed and see it romanticised, but what they don't see is, the ACTORS get up after the director yells "cut"!!!!! You show me a teenager who can think beyond his own ego, I'll show you a 30 year old trying to pass as a teenager.

And before you get on the ole' "but children aren't suppose to be watching soaps"... EFF OFF. Stop putting hot men and women on, stop showing commercials with said hot men and women, and put the shows on after 2100 like every other "adult" orientated show that is watched over by the FCC.

Having said that, Guza is still idiot, will always be an idiot and before anyone jumps up and tells me how hard it is to write a soap, wait just a second. I'm sure it is very difficult to write a good soap. Which is probably why Guza has yet to actually do that.

Violence begets violence. Period.

I wouldn't find this nearly as offensive if Guza had talked about the importance of Sonny, Carly and Jason suffering for their actions, even if it's in the worst possible way. But obviously Guza feels that Sonny and Jason's career choices are just fine -- they are soldiers, after all!

How low do the ratings have to go before people start getting fired? And I'm not talking about 13-year-olds.

So, I guess accidentally shooting your father's girlfriend and a woman who has been generous to you isn't enough of a consequence for Michael? Depressingly I'm not surprised that Guza would feel that way. In fact, the whole interview is kind of astonishing. I always had a caricature of what Guza was like in my head, one that couldn't possibly match the reality. Yet, if anything, the real Guza exceeds it.

I have to say, the "Michael getting shot" story was the last straw for me (well, close to it; my third-wave feminist-self was also getting really annoyed at how Claudia gets called a whore by everyone in town just for dressing in a way that strikes me as provocative but still respectable, but that's another rant entirely). Except from maybe catching a couple of episodes every now and then, I think I'm going to take a hiatus from watching "General Hospital." There are still a few aspects of the show I've been enjoying - Ric's dysfunctional relationship with his father, for one - but I just know that even what I like will be brushed under the rug to make room for those themes and stories Guza just repeats over and over ad nauseam.

Anyway, it was partially the knowledge that Michael's shooting is basically yet another repeat of "someone close to Sonny, Jason, or both gets hurt or killed," which will never, ever actually lead to any long-lasting changes in the characters' lives or perspectives. Just shift the circumstances a little and replace Michael with Kate, Emily, Carly, etc. However, what also did it for me was the refusal to even acknowledge that Michael is biologically a Quartermaine. We get the reaction of Lulu and Alexis and even Jerry, but not how Monica might feel about the shooting of (as far as she knows) her only grandchild. It's far from the worst that the writers have done to the Qs, I know, but it was the proverbial straw.

If I had any confidence in how this show was being run, I'd suspect this was all building up to a dramatic year-long storyline where Monica and Edward sue for custody of Jake as soon as they find out that he's Alan's grandson, just to save him from the same fate as Michael. But I now doubt we'll ever see it, since such a story might actually interfere with Guza's determination to be writing a fourth-rate "Sopranos" rather than a halfway-decent soap opera.


Ok first off when the HELL has he EVER EVER wanted to address what makes the fans unhappy? WHEN? I want an acutal date, episode and line because I don't remember it AT ALL.

The rest I think caused my head to explode in random pattern of WTF? all over my office.

Consequences? We'll see a ripple effect? We'll see a ripple effect of people coming out of the woodwork to make sure Jason, Carly and Sonny know NONE of this is their faults! And the same people will vilify Alexis, Jax, Lucky, Mac, Rick and anyone else who will say "YES IT IS!"

This effing show! This effing show!

I'm still seething about Guza's comments. It's one thing to write an idiotic drama, it's quite another to be PROUD of it. Guza is about as usefull as tits on a bull.

And - his quote:
That is not what this story is about,'' Guza says. ''The show is about romance during wartime..."

Lord - pray for me. Pray for me that I can respect his right to have his opinion, even though it gave me a migraine trying to figure out how, during a time of ACTUAL WORLD WAR Guza could use this analogy.

I swear Serial Drama - I absolutely look forward to your column but you cannot keep postinig Guza comments like that to a bunch of civil, logical minded fans. We are going to spontaneously combust in furor over this effin' moron.....

Oh I forgot to add...Guza is most decidedly the dreaded combination of both...he's dumb AND evil....and the rest of ABC daytime is the same for bringing this fecker back after McTavish left.

And apparenlty the ratings have to actually be in last place before anything will happen to this moron...falling out of the top four in HOW long? apparently just ins't enough

My favorite line of Guza's is "this show is romance in wartime." Romance? Where? I haven't seen romance on this show in 10 years. Sex, yes. Not romance. I no longer have any words for this man. Speechless.

"(well, close to it; my third-wave feminist-self was also getting really annoyed at how Claudia gets called a whore by everyone in town just for dressing in a way that strikes me as provocative but still respectable, but that's another rant entirely)"

THANK YOU. I thought I was the only one still rooting for Claudia! I hate that she's being written as just another skankalicious whore because her character has so much more potential (I loved her actual concern in asking the hotel clerk to call Carly a cab). When will we ever see a strong female character that isn't automatically either a bitch or a slut?

Oh, man, am I ever watching the wrong show.

I just ranted on the Scrubs board where this article was shared. I was so repulsed by his words I was shaking.

Whenever Guza Frons of Phelps explains why GH is the way it is under their control they prove themselves to be a lying amoral insane mafia loving morons with no clue about reality, drama, romance, or anything soap worthy. I wouldn't trust any of the three to fish sit for me if I was going on vacation!

According to Guza's version of consequences...Imagine Guza's kid "borrowed" his parent's car while age 15 and/or was grounded and went to the mall to hang out and got a parking and/or speeding ticket and/or shoplifted a DVD maybe and then lied about it to cover his behind. So his/her father aka Guza the amoral moron got a huge ticket via the mail months later and maybe even the car gets booted let's say. To punish Guza's preteen he or she should get into a fatal car accident or drive off a cliff to pay for those crimes? WTF?!?!?!?!

It is all so ass backwards and desperate. The only way for Sonny, Carly, and Jason to truly repent or suffer for their crimes not only in law but in life as people and parental units is loss of custody and prison! And that will never happen.

Becasue when this whole sick storyline is over they will still be the heroes of PC. And the rest of the once inteligent cast will be forced in character to agree and prop them relentlessly no matter how absurd.

How can Disney of all corporations accept this shit? No tongue while kissing between committed couples, but shooting kids in the brain...SUPER! Maybe it can be a ride at Disneyland. "The PC Screeching Harpie Express". A rollercoaster of mysogyny, mob worship, and hypocrisy.

Preach it, sister Mallory. You should have a first annual Serial Drama campaign to make GH Suck Less, with sparkly postcards for people to pick their top five favorite idiotic quotes and send them into ABC. Or a: 'I am a GH viewer, I'm 25 years old, and I remember when Jax and Brenda were in Malibu and THAT WAS ROMANCE YOU ASS' type theme.

I think the time for ranting is over. Frons, Guza, and Phelps Farren don't give a damn what viewers want. Now is the time for action.
Perhaps we should write to Frons' superiors en masse and try to get this show on track. I don't know if it would work but every GH message board screams the same rants from fans and still nothing changes. I believe the next few weeks will show ratings dropping below 2. The show with Guza et al is a trainwreck about to jump the track completely. I am speechless, beyond anger. Stunned at how this rot is is put on the air and then justified by Guza.

I'm sorry, but KLR are you serious? Claudia planned and paid for that hit. She is a mobster and a killer and she loves it. She loves the power, control, money, and rush it gives her. They all do, except for brain damaged Jason who is in it to be free of the Q's and be loyal to Sonny and Carly. Yes, it's pathetic.

And yes, I get Claudia was likely sexually abused by her psycho daddy and all the other childhood horrors she endured. But she is an adult now and her choices are inexcusable.

The fact that Sonny wasn't killed but Michael, his child, was is a ploy for ratings and fake crocodile tears. Everyone Sonny Jason Lorenzo Carly Trevor or Claudia or any mobster real or fictional kills has a family. And that family is forever changed/ruined by that death. But we never get that on GH.

People and children Sonny and Jason love have been hurt and died because of their beloved orginization and neither one has done a damn thing to change their lives to stop the insanity.

Pretending like only really evil unattatched people get killed so organized crime can flourish is a crock of shit. So Claudia's tears mean nothing to me. She kills for money. All the kids and families forever changed that suffer for her greed never get any of her so called sympathy. But Michael does? I don't buy it. Maybe she didn't like seeing it, but it won't stop her from killing for years to come. It's so far past unrealistic it is sickening.

The reason shows and movies like the Soprano's worked is because you saw the kids and wives of these mobsters compromise themselves to the point of insanity and severe depression and self loathing just for living and loving these deeply sick criminal men. They suffer the consequences of their father's crimes and choices. They are ridiculed and ostracised. They die in some cases, or become drug addicts, drop out of school and life, and they all have severly warped ideas about loyalty, family, and law. And no amount money heals those wounds.

But on GH none of that happens. Until sweeps when kids and innocents are brutally attacked and the "hero" mobsters turn on one anohter for a few weeks. But in the end it never changes. Sonny and Jason will be the town heroes and their "work" will go on unchanged and unanswered for.

Given the fact that there was a hit list found at the high school down the road from me, I couldn't agree more that the whole violence track on GH has got to go.

I was never a fan of Michael either, but this is asinine. But I will admit to liking Carly in the "kick Sonny's ass" mode.

General Hospital has become something like a car wreck - I just can't stop looking.

Amen Sarah...because we all know that before this week is out someone is going to say the following words "It's not your fault Jason (or Sonny or Carly)."

My money is Stepford Liz as she tries to move her two young children into the of so safe penthouse.

Any person involved in these idiots lives who questions their choices are run out on a rail or are looked down on for not being able to handle it. When their relationships implode for whatever reason, they are not to blame for it. (Remember the insantiy that was everyone saying Sam cheated on Jason when in fact he had repeatedly broken up with her for months before she slept with Ric?) Anyone who dares to blame them for this will be accused of being jealous (Lucky), over reacting (Alexis) or being an opportunist out for their own motives (Ric).

And if you read the full article you will also see that Guza tried to blame the scabs for this one and the way Michael's accidental shooting of Kate had no consequences. I'm sorry but since all I heard was how closely he had outlined everything...you can't convince me that plot line wasn't Guza through and through.

The writing was improving under the scabs, Guza knows that and he's jealous. I can't feature anyone with a brain stem actually setting something like this up.

Gawd, why not write a story line for Alexis that doesn't involve flirting with Jerry? How about Sam wanting to know who her father is? That would be a great story, and it would give Alexis something to do!

"That is not what this story is about,'' Guza says. ''The show is about romance during wartime..."


Oh these statements make me sick. Is he really comparing GH to Iraq where 4000 of our noble countrymen have died. This hack sickens me and this is the last straw comparing GH to the war in Iraq. Sick disgusting whore of a bastard. Someone send Guza over to Iraq. The problem is is that this hack would come back alive while our valued countrymen stil perish.

Is he serious about consequences related to what Michael did. The kid gets shot in the head because of this.

Sadisitic, pathetic, mob worshipping son of a bitch. This article articulates EXACTLY what is wrong with this pathetic excuse for a show. Guza the hack, Phelps the worthless power hungry shrew who victimizes woman more than anyone, and finally Frons the delusional head of ABCD who is turning Soapnet into a bad version of Lifetime and reality TV combined. All 3 of these bloodthirsty hacks need to be scrubbing the toilets at GH and ABC, not running a soap. But you know what. Scrubbing toilets is too noble a job for them. I would prefer they all eat the shit.

I cannot understand how Disney of all corporations can put up with this. Does Frons have some really vile pictures of Walt Disney doing unspeakable things with farm animals or something.

FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE all of their pointless assess(Frons, Phelps, and Guza) and put the viewers out of their misery once and for all. If viewers who left knew this team was gone, I believe they would return to the show in droves.

I've been saying similar things for YEARS. Guza and his mob worship is the reason that GH is in the toilet.

*head in hands*

This man is a delusional moron. He's a blight on soaps, drama, and good taste in general. His head is so far up his ass he may never find his way out.

When is the last time ANYONE who shot, killed, strangled, or maimed ANYONE ELSE on this show faced consequences for their actions???!!!! Did Jason show one lick of remorse, much less any kind of change in his life, for the fact that his beloved little sister died because of him??? Were the PCPD allowed to look competent based on Mac's need to avenge his step-daughter's death??? Has Craig spent even one NIGHT in jail or anything else for terrorizing a group of people in a hotel and poisoning and torturing a man for months???

A slap on the wrist would be a welcome change for Jason and Sonny, as opposed to the usual, which is NOTHING, you fucker.

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG...OH MY GOD. Where to begin with this delusional bit of claptrap??? So the ONLY effective repercussion for a 12 year-old accidently shooting someone - because he was only aping what he's watched his scumbag thug of a "father" do for years - is to PUT A BULLET IN HIS HEAD??? What kind of drugs are you on, man??? Pass them the hell over, because maybe I might find a tiny bit of entertainment in watching a child maimed for life with them.

Gee, when's the last time I saw anything like this having a ripple effect that goes on for months on this show??? Oh, that's right, NEVER. Because if random acts of pointless violence actually mattered on this show, Emily and Georgie would still be alive, you little shit. ShutupshutupSHUTUP. We all know the drill - you'll get bored with this in a month and start planning your next explosion. Bite me.

Romance during wartime????? Mkay. I see the "war," I guess, but where the fuck is the ROMANCE????!!!! And Jiz getting a two-minute proposal is NOT romance, it's frickin' torture.

And may I direct you to the families and loved ones of the over 4,000 men and women that have been killed needlessly in the Iraq War so that you may get a REAL meaning of "wartime." Until then, keep your big mouth shut.

And dealing in non-violent ways???? PLEASE. I saw the promo for this week in which Sonny declared he'd start cutting hearts out. Yeah, that's SOOOOOO nonviolent. Next I'll see him singing "Kumbayah" and holding hands with Jason. You wouldn't know non-violent if it slapped you backwards.

Oh. My. Gosh. What the heck? Moron.

I have a good consequence idea(of course it'll never happen): how about Monica successfully sues for custody of Michael? And the people of Port Charles could get in an uproar, and kick the Mob out. There's your ripple effect. Let's see the sainted Jason try to make it at a legitimate job.

"Romance? Where? I haven't seen romance on this show in 10 years. Sex, yes."

We don't even see sex--the only people who've gotten it on since February are Johnny and that shrieking Cousin It look alike that keeps launching itself at his face.

Someone should shoot Guza in the head. It'll just be the well deserved and long awaited "consequences" for his actions. And hell--maybe he'll get Jason-style brain damage and go off and become an uber rational hired killer, since that's clearly what he wants.

I'm so glad you responded to the Ew.com article. I read it today at work and was horrified at the explanation of how Michael was getting what was coming to him. This is truly sad.

Appropriate consequences for illegally obtaining a gun and then accidentally shooting your father's girlfriend? Hmm... facing the victim, apologizing sincerely. Going to the police, admitting what you did, and asking the judge for a fair sentence and then accepting it. Being grounded, to home, except for the time you are out doing your community service (as a Candy Striper, maybe, at GH? They have guy Candy Stripers, too. He could interact with his grandmothers!). Those are consequences. Getting shot in the head in a messed up mob hit? Not so much.

A couple of weeks ago, police found 4 guns in a local high school freshman's locker. We don't know what he planned to do, but I doubt it was good. Because of Barry Loukaitis and Klebold and Harris and every other teenager who's picked up a gun for any reason, we need to be showing that gun violence is not the answer to gun violence. Every kid who's been killed in a drive by or in a school shooting or has been the victim of an accidental shooting did not "deserve" to be shot as a result of some action they took, no matter how bad it might have been.

Add me to the list of people who don't understand how Guza/Frons/Phelps still have jobs. Ratings sink, storylines become more and more contrived and stupid and disgusting and violent, people complain more and more loudly, and NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS!!!! Clearly, it seems, ABCD is looking for a way to get out of the soap business; between GH and AMC, they are really on the way to killing 2 of their 3 entries into the market.
You know, if you make a product... let's say you sell instant gravy. And huge numbers of your customers write to you and say "The gravy is too salty and it doesn't have enough chicken flavor; the guy running the plant changed the formula and it's not good and we won't buy it anymore." Eventually, the gravy mix will get changed or the company will have to deal with shrinking profits and customer dissatisfaction. Proof of this? The New Coke debacle (aka: Goat Sputum in a Can!) of some years ago. People hated it, and Coke changed back. I don't understand how this doesn't happen with GH.

Thank goodness for Serial Drama; if I couldn't make fun of this drivel I'd lose my mind.

Bravo for this post!!! I read the guza article online and i actually thought that someone wrote is at a joke of what Guza would say, but it really was what he said!!! The man is a sadistic pig. JFP is just a puppet from what i hear, she's olny cosmetic and A PR move to show that a woman is giving input on this horror show of a soap. You ever see Frons in an interview the man is a jackass. One can only hope that Maurice and steve decide not to renew their contracts as they are up within the next year and that will put an end to the mob. what am I thinking Guza will just find two new actors to do that. I just wish we could actually start showcasing the real heroes of this show. The doctors like Patrcik and Robin who heal the sick and wounded. Or the people who risk their lives to protect others like officer mac and lucky spencer. How about the attorneys like alexis who try to prosecute these dirt bags. what about decent guys like jax who just want to treat their family's like gold?
What am I thinking that is boring TO the holy trinity of morons that run this show. I hope Liz finally sees what will -not could happen to one of her kids if she shacks up with a hitman.
The only thing that gets me the most is Jason and sonny never ever have any consequences. michael with the bullet in his head, sam who lost her fertility, lily and child blown up in a car emily, george etc etc.
Oh well so long michael you knew u were gonna get urs after all you are really aj's son and we know how much guza hated aj.

I totally disagree. This show has proven time and time again that death has consequences. If you die you can come back as a wise-cracking, track suit wearing ghost or a vapid, giggling, romantic ghost that is just so thrilled to be dead.

Wow...just wow. Is there any way I can nail Guza's testicles to a wall while he's still attached to them? Just the gall of this man...just thinking about that makes me want to punch him in the face.

Other than that, I gave up trying to figure out why they still have jobs. It hurts too much. And GH found a way to top AMC and itself on the shit scale...if this doesn't secure it as Worst Soap Of The Year (and now in the running for Worst Of All Time), nothing will. It all just makes me more and more glad that I stopped watching it every day. It's the best way to give them the finger-super sized.

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