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« Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | There's Some Sad Things Known To Man »

February 25, 2010

The New Neutrals

Once spring styles start coming out, I am inundated with emails from Banana Republic, J. Crew and the like, proclaiming that this is the year of the new neutral (their willingness to recycle trends and package them as brand new reminds me a lot of the advertising campaigns for ABC soaps, actually: "You won't want to miss this! Even though you saw it happen last week, pretty much word for word. Tune in!").

But it's entirely possible that by "new neutral", they'll mean "hot pink pants and a day-glo green top", because...well, because in the past couple of days, General Hospital attempted to re-define the idea of neutrality, with hilarious results. Did I type out "hilarious"? I actually meant "results that make me want to stab myself in the face repeatedly".

It's not that I expect Sam "Jason, I'll do whatever you need. Whatever. Seriously, do you want my blood? How much? Here, this vein looks really good" McCall and Robin "Sonny was completely amazing this time fifteen years ago" Scorpio to have particularly nuanced views of the current situation with Sonny. I just...

Sam: Okay, fine. Look, I never had much to do with your sister. I didn't know her all that well, which means that I'm pretty objective about this whole situation.

Robin: [Dante] needs to have a balanced view of who his father is. 

I just hate this show, is the way I was going to finish that sentence.

Let's start with the less offensive (to me, anyway) conversation that Sam had with Johnny yesterday, when she asked him to back off of the Corinthos organization.

Johnny: I can't imagine what we possibly have to meet about, but next time, let's say we do this on neutral territory, all right?
Sam: Look, this isn't an ambush. I'm here by myself. Can I get you a soda or beer?
Johnny: No, how about we just cut to the chase, huh?
Sam: Okay, fine. Look, I never had much to do with your sister. I didn't know her all that well, which means that I'm pretty objective about this whole situation.

(She proved how little she knew Claudia when she later told Johnny that his hunger for revenge would disappoint his sister, as if that psycho wasn't known for creating blood feuds and elaborate revenge schemes for all sorts of petty shit) 

Johnny wasn't having it, though, and was peeved throughout this whole conversation. I have no idea why she was even talking to him, except to help Jason out. Sometimes her single-minded focus on doing whatever it takes to make Jason happy reminds me of the relationship between Jack Donaghy and Jonathan on 30 Rock. But whatever, when she said to Jason all cunningly, "Jason, maybe there's a way I can help", I thought she'd scheme or use her PI skills or something, but she really just meant that she was going to badger him. 

Although Johnny wasn't so peeved that he would do something blasphemous, like be angry at Jason

Johnny: My problem is not actually with Jason. I respect him. We worked well together and had each other's backs.

Come ON, Johnny! You were all righteously furious at Sonny and telling people all over Port Charles that Sonny is the worst, and you couldn't even be slightly irritated with Jason? Boo!

Johnny: My problem is that Jason works with Sonny, and Sonny's gotta go.
Sam: For what?! Your sister isn't going to miraculously be brought back to life. She's dead, Johnny, and she threw her life away. And if you insist on revenge, you're gonna be doing the same thing. You saved Spinelli's life last summer, and we all owe you for that [Not all of us, Sam--Ed.], so the least I could do is warm you that you're going about this all wrong.
Johnny: I'm not looking for revenge, I'm looking for justice.
Sam: Well, all right. I'm not going to judge you for wanting to blame someone for your sister's death, but it was the way your sister lived her life that got her killed.
Johnny: My sister was murdered. Her body was thrown out in the woods and then she was dug up and tossed around until she ended up on a slab in the county morgue. You gonna sit there and look at me and tell me she deserved that? While Sonny walks?
Sam: No, I'm going to tell you that turning this into a war with Sonny is the wrong thing to do. You're going to upset Spinelli [?!?! --Ed.], and Sonny's family and everyone you care about, and for what?


And then there is Robin, who was horrified to learn that Mac was serving Dante with a subpoena.

Robin: To testify against his own father? Don't you guys think that's too much of a burden to lay on someone?

When a large group of elementary school aged children happen to be singing or listening to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, they often add little interjections to the song like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, had a very shiny nose (Like a lightbulb!)", and I have found myself wishing that there would be one person on this show who would do the same and immediately interject some comment about Sonny shooting Dante in the chest whenever someone talked about Sonny with anything but revulsion. So, Robin's line would be "To testify against his own father (who shot him in the chest)? Don't you guys think that's too much of a burden to lay on someone (who was just shot in the chest)?", which would make me feel much better about things.

While trying to explain to Dante why testifying against Sonny would be the worst thing to ever happen to the human race, Robin told the story of why she loves Sonny so much. The story that made so many of us weep back in the mid-90s. The story that Bob Guza should never be allowed to even reference. Hell, every time the man so much as says the word stone, as in rock, high or Cates, he should get some sort of small electric shock as a deterrent.


Robin: It would have been a lot worse without Sonny. I mean, Sonny stepped in like you can't even imagine. He paid all of Stone's medical bills. I mean, he was there for him throughout the entire process. Stone died in Sonny's home and then by that time, I had already found out that I was HIV positive and then he was there for me. As my constant, giving me all the love and supposed I needed...there was a time in my life when, really, there was no one else that understood the way that I felt, and what I lost and how much I missed him. I mean, I know to everyone else, Sonny is like this heartless mobster, but to me, he's the most generous and kind person I have ever met.
Dante: The Stone Cates AIDS wing of the hospital, right?
Robin: Founded by Sonny, as a tribute to Stone. Someone that we both loved very much and both lost too soon. And now that AIDS wing is one of the premiere treatment centers in the country. That's who Sonny is.

Look, I loved every single thing about the Stone storyline. I responded to that story in the way that only a sixth grade girl can, which was with buckets of tears and hysteria (I'm talking actual hyperventilation). I don't even object to her discussing it with Dante (although bringing in a picture of Stone was just bizarre), because it is a huge part of her life and what bonds her to Sonny. And I ADORED Sonny throughout that whole arc, by the way, and I can see Robin being thankful to him for forever, but...that's not who Sonny is, Robin. That's who Sonny WAS. He has not been that person for ages, and I wish she would be more realistic in how she looks at him and his actions. Having a soft spot for him is fine, but having a blind spot for him is not.

You'd think that was the lowest point of Robin's (surprisingly ample) screen-time today. You'd think wrong, and I'd have to call you a nitwit for ever thinking that you've seen the lowest of anything on GH. They can ALWAYS go lower.

Lower, like...

Steven: Dante's test results look good.
Steven: You look almost disappointed.
Robin: I was hoping for a medical intervention. If something was indicated, we could have used it to isolate him from the prosecution, give him more time...

And then even lower still...

Robin: All I wanted was for Dante to have more time to think about it.
Patrick: And what? Start believing that Sonny's a saint like you do, Robin? Well, thats not going to happen. Dante worked for Sonny for a while now and the rose colored glasses? They've come off. All of Sonny's kindness toward Stone doesn't change the fact that he looked an unarmed man in the eye and shot him.
Robin, the daughter and niece of law enforcement agents: There were extenuating circumstances.


Patrick was seriously appalled by this turn of events, which I have to appreciate, but unfortunately, he was way over-the-top in his anger and it overshadowed his good points, and I can't tell if he was really angry that Robin was trying to sway Dante, or if he was pissy that Steven and Lisa were making oh-so-clever jokes about him being a lame married person. And wasn't he totally cool with Sonny relatively recently? At any rate, his bitterness led him to sign Dante out of the hospital (without looking at his test results!) to get him away from Robin, which made Steven angry and Robin angry and there was seriously unprofessional shouting.

Robin: You tried to undermine me.
Patrick: I didn't try. I did.

I found that reaction ("YUP. What of it?") to be kind of hilarious. I also found Lisa's ridiculously transparent fascination with this latest bump in the Scrubsy road to be hilarious


But I'm not sure if I am responding to intentional or unintentional hilarity...


Alexis (!) was also singing Sonny's praises today and tried to browbeat Jax into supporting Sonny. For real, that actually happened.

Alexis: Did it ever occur to you, Jax, that having Sonny in prison might not be best for everyone involved? Not for Michael, not for Morgan, not for my daughter? For those kids, would you at least consider backing off from Sonny?
Jax: Who are you, and what have you done with my friend Alexis? When did you start flying Sonny's banner?
Alexis: He's the father of my child, and my child happens to have some serious daddy issues, and I'd like not to add more to the list if that's all right with you. She doesn't know if she loves or hates him from one minute to the next.
Jax: Well, all the more reason to send him off to Sing Sing for the rest of his life.
Alexis: I'm sure you can appreciate that I don't want Kristina to have to deal with the fact that her father is in prison for murder. That's why I'm flying his banner, and I wish you might pick one up too, for her sake.


Maybe Sonny wouldn't face a prison sentence if he stopped being a fucking criminal!

Thank you, Jax, for looking completely baffled throughout Alexis's plea.


Your quizzical "Is this really happening?" facial expression nicely mirrored my own. I wish you'd just stop being so cocky about Sonny going to prison, because proving Jason right is seriously the only thing this show loves more than proving you wrong, Jasper!


And there is nobody in the world who agrees with Alexis and Robin's assessment that Sonny doesn't belong in jail more than Sonny himself.

Sonny: I need you to set up a break, because I gotta get out of the country tonight.

Sonny: Me going to prison was never the plan.

I just can't even with this show.


I absolutely hate when Robin refuses to see Sonny in the present. I believe that the only way Robin will actually see Sonny for who he is will happen if he hurts Emma (unintentinally) or Patrick. Call me dense but I'm not getting the Scrubs/Lisa storyline at all. Patrick was right about Sonny but he could've tried to reason with his wife (he's an ass).

In contrast to Sam, who know's who Jason is and what he does and doesn't make excuses for it but thinks because she loves him everyone else should. (Duh).

Sonny needs to take responsibility for his life that he chose and take his ass to jail and bunk with Anthony Z. That would be good for both of them.

Seriously...you took the words out of my mouth. Although I was firmly Team Patrick in that fight (childish pouting and all) because GH trying to fly the Stone flag to get people to back off of Sonny is about as old as "Deke used to lock Sonny in a closet".

The sad part is that at one point...Robin admitted she knew Sonny and Jason were guilty of most of the crimes they are accussed of.

I must say my Broadway nerd favorite part of the show was when Sonny dramatically declared to Diane that he was telling her he's not going. PAGING JENNIFER HOLLIDAY!!

The fact no one is holding Jason and Spinelli to the same DIE SCUM DIE attitude is beyond frustrating and puzzling. All three of them planned to kill Dante but Jason and Spin get nothing? Not even a cold shoulder? Shennangins!

I think Robin needs to read the e-mail I got from Gwyneth Paltrow today about friendship divorce. She asks:

“What do you do when you realize that although you may have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don't like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can't make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?”

Robin needs to let Sonny go.

I hate this show!

I was hoping you'd write about Robin's completely inappropriate conversation with Dante. My mouth gaped open the whole time she was talking and I gave Patrick a mental high five when he told her off. This show is so skewed.

For a while this show was good. Now it looks like the monkeys are back and writing again.

What a load of hooey.

Oh, and hey AssHat Writers, Stone's real name was MICHAEL and Jagger's is JOHN!!!

Yeah, we notice that kind of thing.

I'm so glad I don't watch this show anymore. I don't know how you can stand the hypocrisy.

On a side note from the last GH post, Conan has a twitter account. I don't know if you use that, but I thought I should let you know since you love him.

I loved the Sing Sing comment from Jax. Made me think of Scotty :)

Interesting. I kind of saw something different with Robin today. I saw her do a knee jerk reaction of defending Sonny as she always has out of old loyalty & habit. But I also saw that she was conflicted & questioning as well. The way Kimberly McCullough played that last confrontation with Patrick wasn't as someone who was being righteous. She was subdued and more hesitant than Robin normally is in fights with Patrick when she really believes she is right. When she had to utter those lines about extenuating circumstances, you see her eyes skitter away from Patrick. She didn't have the conviction to maintain eye contact. Robin is conflicted, so she offers up lame defenses out of habit almost but can't quite sell it. Patrick on the other hand does believe what he's saying, and in his usual hotheaded way, made his point & then some. I really think in this case, we need to look at the acting to guide us in how we view the characters. I think KMc showed great subtlety & depth with the little that was there. I think Robin is too smart to really believe what she was saying but she is also too loyal & sentimental about the past to write off Sonny just like that. Patrick can more easily as he really has no emotional history with Sonny. My 2 cents on today. But I will say I HATE that they are using Scrubs in this way--creating angst between them over frigging Sonny! Blech.

Oh my god, seriously, what is wrong with this freaking town?! It seems like all the men hate Sonny, but all the women can't wait to defend him?! WTF?!

Lock Sonny's ass up and let him get acquainted with Bubba...

And the ole' cycle begins. There is always a brief period of time when Sonny is portrayed as the low life criminal he is and other people see him that way and stop making excuses for him. Anyone remember the two days a few years ago when I think it was Courtney, Kristina, and maybe Alexis or Carly just lit into Sonny and told him truth after truth about himself. It was glorious, and then ended and everyone went back to Sonny love (and of course, two of those characters are dead now; hmmmm).

Same thing. We had a couple of weeks here where reality broke through, but sadly, we seem to have only four holdouts from that reality check - Dante, Lulu, Patrick and Jax.

Everyone else has reverted back to same - Sonny's choice to live the life of a mob boss is incidental. It says nothing about him. It's just a minor footnote in his life. The murders, the criminal activities, the emotionally cruel tantrums, the pity me parties, the choice to add nothing good to life so that power and money can be attained - no, that's all just something slightly unpleasant to be overlooked so that the goodness that is Sonny can be seen.

My suggestion, when you have to go back almost fifteen years to find something good to say about someone, maybe it's time to LET GO. Robin's holding on to a sentimental memory of both Sonny AND Jason, Carly is typically only about what's good for Carly and Sam - well, Sam did start off a criminal and apparently any thing goes so long as she gets to be with Jason.

It is appalling that on GH, murder and attempted murder are basically on the same moral level as stealing a candy bar - just a minor character flaw. But, this is the world Guza has created and ABC has endorsed.

Practically every Robin scene not confined to "married and/or motherly cuteness" has driven me nuts since I returned to this show in October. Her blind ability to excuse, apologize for, brush off or rationalize the very worst behavior by the people around her.

Exhibit A. Robin's reaction to Liz cheating on Lucky with Nik? No big deal! She has a crush! The sex was great!

B. Jason rushing into a patient's hospital room with a gun and yelling at Lisa for doing her medical duty? No big deal! Just the ex boyfriend with a loaded pistol who practically gave all meaning to life. Lighten up, Lis!

And now she's saying "Let's cross our fingers and declare Dante unfit for trial so he can't testify against the mafia kingpin who he has a totally VALID case against, and who was instrumental in his wife's murder coverup and shot an innocent unarmed cop point blank'...it irritates me but doesn't surprise me.

Robin's acting like such an enabler. It's making me want to hit the mute button whenever she comes onscreen.

Oh, and yes, Robin - those extenuating circumstances. These were the circumstances - Dante, a cop, was upholding his responsibility to protect the public by attempting to arrest a criminal who runs a mob empire involved in illegal activities that regularly involves MURDER. Sonny, your friend and said mob boss, shot Dante - the public servant - with the intent to murder him in cold blood.

That's it. Those are the circumstances. All this noise about father / son / if I had known / if he had known - it's static, it's white noise. It means nothing.

The bottom line is, a criminal attempted to murder a police officer. And you - and the rest of the majority of Port Charles female residents (plus Jason) - are trying to excuse his behavior and even worse, are trying to emotionally manipulate the VICTIM - the shot police office - into feeling sorry for the murdering criminal.

Yeah ...

I am a Scrubs fan first, foremost and always but when Robin acts like that I COMPLETELY see why Robin haters hate her. In her mind EVERYTHING is her business. I was totally pissed when she told Patrick a few weeks ago that had he told her about Dante and Sonny she would have told Sonny like she did in the AJ situation BECAUSE A FATHER HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW!!! WOW!! REALLY?? Then that means Patrick had a right to know about her baby too right? Robin has the mindset that she can do it but no one else can. Again I LOVE my Scrubs but Robin at times can be completely unbearable.

"What is crikey fuck wrong with these people?" Bob Guza is their writer. Nuff said.

"My suggestion, when you have to go back almost fifteen years to find something good to say about someone, maybe it's time to LET GO."

Mike that was pure poetry. I was so thinking that yesterday. If you have to go back 15 years to say something good about someone..it doesn't say something good. This show is seriously trying to sell us that because Sonny endowed an AIDS wing over a decade ago and he feels totes bad abotu it...he should get away with trying to murder a cop? What? The next time Jason is on trial for murder we'll hear that because he was in medical school for a few years he was actually trying to save the guy's life and not kill him?

I'm not at all surprised. I usually FF all Robin scenes. I can't stand that character, annoying and sanctimonious doesn't do it for me. But, she was in a scene with Dante, so I had to watch. Her annoying and sanctimoniousness continued.

WTF!!! Robin, Sam, Alexis! Their defense of Sonny has become too ridiculous, too over the top. When will it end? I guess never. What makes me particularly mad is how they all say that it would be better for the kids if Sonny was not put in jail…REALLY???!!!

When Alexis was having it out with Jax, I just could not even believe my ears. How can Alexis defend Sonny? Why do they insist on continuing to degrade her character by having her stand up for this a-hole?! Why doesn’t Alexis look at Kristina and see what is in front of her face?

You know a really good storyline that GH could do since they are going down this Kristina being abused by Kiefer angle, is to look at the influences in Kristina’s life that allow her to think it’s okay to be abused by a guy and keep taking it. By this I mean SONNY! Of course the girl is going to feel confused and keep going back to her abuser when that’s all she sees around her. When will people understand that Sonny is an abusive SOB and a sociopath?! It makes me so seething mad!

Kristina sees her father acting like a completely violent, psychopathic monster, abusing the heck out of Claudia and others and everyone around her, and then Robin, Carly, and her own mother stand up for him, of course this girl is going to be confused and make excuses for her own abusive boyfriend. GH could do a really subtle and nuanced job with this storyline and look at the implications that an abusive father has on his kids even if he does not abuse them directly, and have Sonny try to turn some corners when he realizes that his daughter is being abused. But I think we all know that that won’t happen. Instead Sonny will probably put out a hit on Kiefer, and it will be just another day in Port Charles.

I know I’m expecting too much by even using the words nuance, storyline and GH but we can dream. For now I say GO JAX and JOHNNY! I think they are going down, but if they could take Sonny with them, I may be willing to make the sacrifice. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

This is their pimping method of storytelling and it continues to amaze me at the lengths the writers will go to pimp their agenda instead of just telling a "balanced good story" the line up the whole town to stand up for what they are "trying to train me for by overcooking the stew" They will club you death in dialog trying to twist you into accepting their pet projects. Sonny and Jason are lowlife scumbags and you can line up every resident in Port Charles to prop how they were saved by them. And I will still say they are lowlife scumbags.

...I just tuned out the whole Robin thing it stopped making sense a few minutes in and I don't have time for ridiculous stories. Unfortunately for me most of GH storylines are pretty much the same.

What I find is the show is super macho. I mean women need men to sanction their mere existence for the most part (with a few exceptions) eg Diane. Its the good ole' boys style of writing its been this way for a long time I don't expect it to change with this current regime.

As for Sam she never made much sense to me. She's a mob bimbo who needs to read Paltrow's quote,

"How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better or if you are better off without them?”

I hated the Robin/Dante conversation and her bringing Stone into this situation. I understand that they try to bring history into stories (in their own distorted way) but I think it would have been better if she had the conversation with Sonny. As in, you were so kind and supportive with Stone, wtf happened to you.

I think it's insane how they prop Sonny for all this great stuff he did for Stone but seem to overlook how rather rude he was to Karen, especially when Karen told him she had been abused by her mom's boyfriend. Sonny never said, "It wasn't your fault, you were a little girl..." or anything but instead, kind of used that in order to keep her dancing at his club. Stuff like that has been swept under the rug in favor of loving this man no matter what. OK, I'm done!

I am sorry I can't believe the Robin the Sonny supporter. She broke up with Jason because she could not take the lifestyle Sonny and Jason lived. Yes that was after being HIV positive and Stone's death... I guess she forgot about that...I wish they would give Robin a storyline that is not propping up Sonny! Why make Robin so one dimensional? That she would totally ignores what he does... for a living...that is not the Robin I have come to know over the years. I want Robin a real storyline...

I haven't watched since early last week, and I won't be watching again until the "trial" is over. There's no way my blood pressure can take it until then.

Actually, I'm hoping Mac's going to realize that Helena put a spell on the whole town and made them think that Jason and Sonny were misunderstood good guys, and when he breaks the spell, everyone will realize they're killers and belong in prison. Is that too much to hope for?

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