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« The Daytime Emmy Award Winners: Our Take | Main | Dancing (And Soap Writing) In The Dark »

September 01, 2009

GH Wins Outstanding Writing; People Run To Dictionaries To Confirm Definition of "Outstanding"

We woke up yesterday morning with vague, hazy memories of what could be the most bizarre, poorly produced Daytime Emmy telecast ever. Some of the memories were so strange (Fashion Show?!?!) that we wondered, hopefully, if we had hallucinated the whole thing, but then the tragic details came rushing back to us. Like General Hospital's writing staff being named the best at writing in all of daytime!

The closing credits of Sunday night's allegedly-real-and-not-an-elaborate-practical-joke ceremony informed us that the voting panels are “made up of people with outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.”  We are forced to conclude, therefore, that said fields for the people who vote on writing are 1) being terrible, 2) enjoying watching a beloved genre circle the drain, and 3) exercising exceptionally poor judgment.

Yes, after a year that included

  • Undead Diego being revealed as the Text Message Killer
  • Michael being shot in the head as punishment for using a gun
  • Limo sex
  • The bungling of daytime's first HIV+ pregnancy
  • Nikolas having sex with a tumor (okay, with a figment of his tumor-addled brain, but STILL!)
  • The introduction of Claudia Zacchara
  • Logan's murder/the debut of Ghost Logan
  • Involving two distinguished physicians in an effing blog war
  • Sonny breaking up with Jason and leaving the mob but not really because the mob is wonderful and great and where he's meant to be

in addition to the usual

  • Mafia overload
  • Endless violence
  • Rampant misogyny

the writers were named the best in daytime. At writing, not sucking!  Does not compute.

P.S. To the person who found Serial Drama yesterday with the Google search "why was general hospital not nominated for 2009 emmy for best drama":  You should really probably not read this blog.  Maybe you should spend your time instead on a lengthy research project of what "best" means...or even just "good"...or "not aggressively horrible."


It makes even less sense when you realize B&B submitted the episodes that won them Best Show. OLTL submitted the ones that won them Best Directing and Days submitted the plane crash that brought them ultimately 2 Emmys but a boatload of nominations.

So the shows that were good enough to win Best Show weren't good enough to win Best Writing? The show that was good enough to win Best Directing wasn't good enough to win Best Writing?

My brain imploded from trying to figure that out.

I'm sticking with blackmail and somehow the voting panel for that award was made up entirely of GH writers, producers, actors and agents who have actors on the show.

Actually, I think you should probably take the "sometimes" out of that sentence and just make it "...evil triumphs over good." Because, let's face it, when it comes to GH, that's always the case.

Of course, to cheer myself up, I imagine the WTF look on Tyler Christopher's face during that train wreck of a "fashion show."

Now, I admittedly have a slanted perspective, having received 90% of my plot summaries for GH in the past year from your blog, but this is unfathomable. I mean, regardless of any of the other story lines, the Text Message Killer Story Line -- of which I unfortunately did watch part because, as a sucker for big events involving the whole cast (as is any good soap fan) I was seduced by the black & white ball -- was unforgivable. Extreme fail. Everyone who watched is now dumber for having watched it. I award the GH writers no points, and may God have mercy on their souls.

So that alone was enough for immediate disqualification in my book. I also find Tumor Emily, the bungling of the HIV+ pregnancy, Limo Sex, and, second only to the TMK, Logan's Murder as inexcusable as well.

This show is an asshole.

Maybe the academy shortened the name of the category from "Outstanding Writing of Absolute Crap in a Daytime Drama" and didn't tell anyone... ??

Things would make so much more sense if that were the case...

I have always thought that the people who vote in these categories do not watch soaps at all. So Tony Geary is nominated every year because they have heard of him. General Hospital wins for best writing be cause people have heard that it gets good ratings. There is just no way that anyone who has watched that show could think that the writing was good, let alone the best in daytime. The whole thing just shakes my belief in humanity.

Guza is Sleeping with all the right people...

I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a bit. And trust me when I say I had the same reaction when it was first announced. But this isn't so insane when you zero in on it as an award for an episode rather than a year. I don't know WHICH "Michael's shooting" episode they submitted, but we do know it was one of them. (Let's disregard Guza's explanation that Michael was being punished for having picked up a gun because we can assume that lunacy was not attached to the submission reel.)

The birth and custody of Michael was the precipitating force for basically everything this show has turned into over the past decade-plus. Mob morality has been king. Then he got shot. AT THAT TIME, the writing really did indicate that everything was going to "change forever." Based on the dialogue and the character's revelations and feelings of guilt at that time, it honestly looked as if the mobsters and the mob molls and apologists were all going to finally look at things like consequences, sacrifices, and maybe ultimately redemption. It was the beginning of what could have been an incredibly powerful story arc that would be not only heartbreaking, but could lead to a permanent change. Salvation. Atonement. Absolution. A journey back to hope, that grows out of grief.

Now I know that's melodramatic. And that those of us who *really* have let Guza drag us through this train wreck over the years knew this wasn't going to happen. Everything is back to normal, as *we* all knew it would be. No consequences at all. But not all the voters work for GH or even watch it regularly, and when you think about it that way, there were some really powerful and promising episodes in there.

Sure enough, it turned back into a crapfest, and Guza will take this award as currency for his garbage. So I'm not saying to look at the bright side. I'm just saying it does make a little sense.

Louise, I agree, it makes more sense when you know it's episode-specific. My issue is, it shouldn't be episode-specific. This is a serialized genre and the writing should be judged on its totality over multiple story arcs. Writing one decent hour of a daily TV show isn't that difficult -- writing it day-in, day-out over a year is what's hard, and this award makes it seem like the GH team is actually good at it. The best show nominees this year are another example of how the single-episode format fails.

I think the writing and show awards should be based on a large number of episodes, so that you're actually getting reasonable nominees and winners.

Now, on a less soapboxy note, I CANNOT BELIEVE THESE EFFING HACKS WERE NAMED THE BEST IN DAYTIME. I would give up all -- okay, most -- of my shoes and handbags to see Guza get replaced. Ugh.

I almost agreed with you until I realized that Guza did deserve the Emmy for best writer...WHY? you ask.
Anyone who can make me HATE Luke Spencer and who can totally destroy a character I loved for 30 years, deserves something.

I will be delusional and assume that the Emmy was not for overall writing but those few episodes where the awesome writer escaped. There really is no explanation for this type of poor judgement.

If only Guza could look at this award and the episode they submitted and go, "Oh THIS is what they think is good writing? Not the slow-mo operatic shootouts and all those meetings on the docks? I'll write like THIS more often now!" But he won't.

Hell, I don't even *remember* what happened for the rest of 2008 after Michael's shooting. I remember words like "docks" and "loyalty" and "Zacchara" and "Trevor" and "territory" and "shipments," and people leaving and re-joining the mob and a few more women getting shot, but it's all a blur. A wretched blur that ended just where it started.

A stopped clock is right twice a day. Guza managed to put together one episode and win the Emmy for writing when others write circles around him every day. I seriously wonder what reels the other writing teams submitted for GH to win. Something tells me therein lies the problem.

I hate that GH continues to get these best show/best writing levels of recognition. All it does is reward their terrible behavior.

Jane, you're right about the reels submitted -- there are pretty easy explanations for AMC and OLTL not winning. (I don't know about the others, in all honesty.)

AMC didn't win because the writing is horrible. Consistently. Has been for a while. There wasn't a good week of writing all year long. No clue why they were nominated. The Jesse/Angie reunion was great but it was on the same episodes as the usual 13-year-olds-write-our-show crap.

OLTL submitted the stupid fantasy episode, "Who Wants to Be Shane Morasco's Father?" Fantasy episodes can occasionally be fun, but the point of soaps is sustaining our interest in what's *really* happening in the characters' lives over 250 episodes. They made a bad choice since there was some tremendous writing on that show last year.

They really need to change that system.

Louise, the only thing good thing I can see about Guza winning is that at least it wasn't Pratt.

What a stupid decision on OLTL's part. I remember back in the days when Erica Slezak seemed to be unbeatable, the explanation was that she had an uncanny ability to know the right reels to submit. Too bad her show did not follow her example. I suppose there are egos and politics involved in making decisions about reels rather than cooler heads prevailing.

I agree the system needs to be changed. A show that has GH's consistently terrible writing should never be rewarded.

Summerjay - u "nailed" it. No pun intended. Guza clearly is sleeping with someone - its the only explanation. This guy must be have a bottomless prescription to Viagra as surely he's spent some time with LLC and SJB as well this year.

Guza and Fronsie boy are sucking the right d**k....no other logical explanation :x

The absurdity continues. Normally, in years past I could at least argue for the reels. Even in the shows declining state they still were able to churn out a good sweeps epic-mini arch. But the last few years they haven,t even been able to do that. It astounds me that they can still win for best writing, even when I know by word of mouth and industry press that there is far better writing being represented in other soaps.

Frankly I,ve lost faith in the whole system. And it only worsened when I heard Berman won for younger actress. I couldn,t even think of a single reel worthy scene from the nominating year.

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