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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.


GREAT NEWS, MALLORY! Cassandra (aka "The Lady In White") has been axed from GH according to ABC SID's website! What the hell was the point of that useless character anyway?

I don't know squat about the mob, but AZ is not the kind of man that would allow a kid that is not his own blood to run his organization.

At one time, IIC were leaning toward Trevor and Maria as Johnny's parents with AZ finding out the truth back in 2009 and chose to kill off Trevor and Claudia.

Dear Soap Gods, may you be able to help RC and FV fix this craphole of a doomed show. For going on 2 days now I have actually shouted at my tv,"WTF? Was Claudia like 9 when she allegedly had Johnny? There is no F@C$ing way SJBrown is old enough to have a 30 year son! What is wrong with these hacks!" I'm, not kidding. For two days now. Having Trevor secretly being Johnny's father(via an affair with Maria) made sense back in the day. Why the hell would Maria(who didn't really get along with Claudia---ever---IIRC) agree to raise her stepkid's baby? Didn't Claudia depise Maria due to the fact that her mother was exiled and then Daddy moved Maria right into the family? Why do I keep thinking that these hacks would ever bother to think about storyline history?

Ron? Frank? Really, I'm totally cool with you fixing this problem by having it turn out that Crazy AZ set Luke and Sonny up by faking this so called birth certificate. To help with his crazy plans for control of whatthehellever. You guys finally did fix the whole "Jess deBuked" issue on OLTL, so I'm game.

The only worthwhile scenes were the Robin/Patrick and Robin scenes. Everything is just a freaking joke. Maxie and her living situation? Don't care. Michael and his endless stupidity? Don't care. Sonny and any of his shit? Don't care. Olivia and her bitch cousin? Couldn't possibly care less. Lulu and her sudden drinking issue? The only other substance abuse "issue" that I've cared less about on this show was the SkipperBitch's 3 day addiction. Which was simply solved by having St. Jasus throw the pills onto a beach.

Question? How do we even know that AZ 'pimped' his daughter out? Where is the proof. We already know that Claudia rebelled against AZ as a teenager so how do we know that she didn't start an affair with Gino that AZ knew nothing about. It's not like this has never happened in soaps before. After all, the reason that Reese hated Carly is because as a teenager, Carly seduced and slept with her father. So what's to say that a teenage Claudia didn't seduce Gino without AZ's knowledge. Why automatically go to AZ must have pimped Claudia out when there is no proof.

The Jason and Sam storyline is so asinine to me. This chick has no symptoms whatsoever. Then all of sudden the reveal happen where I got a good chuckle about the two drugstore tests because drugstore was emphasized during the pregnancy reveal scene like the EPT test at Wal-mart and Target are less reliable than the EPT test at CVS and Walgreens, was positive. I'm still wondering what was the purpose of her walking around with a used pee stick in a ziploc bag. Then somehow without an exam, Kelly is able to tell Sam over the phone when she can have all these tests done because she just magically knows how far along Sam is. Then her constantly asking Jason if he could raise the baby if it's Franco when she's constantly talking about how it makes her sick at even the thought of carrying Franco's baby. And I'm just rolling my eyes because all I'm thinking is why don't she come to terms if she can raise Franco's baby before she continues to ask Jason if he can raise Franco's baby. It's like will she ever be able to process a thought without getting Jason's feelings about it especially considering he continues to say things to her like 'whatever you decide' as an answer.

Even though this couple is not a favorite of mine, I can enjoy Robin and Patty. And no Robin is not one of my favorite characters but at least unlike Sam she can think for herself and not constantly have to ask Patty about how he feels when it comes to her own body before she makes a decision for herself. I have to give kudos to JT in the Patty/Robin scenes because that boy is working hard for his money and it shows.

I enjoyed the Tracy/AZ wedding if nothing else for the pictures they are going to use for the photo album. I enjoyed Sonny sticking it to Johnny. I don't care for the character of Johnny so it tickled me because as much as he preaches to Michael about how Michael doesn't know much about the innerworking of mob, neither does he. Example: his own men that he leased out was hired to beat up Ethan who works for him. And as much as people poo poo sonny for picking on Johnny, at least that's mob picking on mob. Big bad Johnny on the other hand is picking on Steven a doctor because instead of hiring a doctor for his organization he would rather blackmail one.

I have no words for anything that is currently happening on canvas except for Robin & Patrick! Eagerly awaiting their post and some awesome screencaps :D

I still wonder exactly what TPTB expect us to feel towards Sonny. He's written as such a self-involved slimeball - and yet he's clearly the star of the show (well, co-star - shares it with Jason). But they spent at least half of this episode showing the audience an upstanding side to Johnny, only to have Sonny come in at his most cocky, most cruel, with a cheshire cat smile - totally thrilled to be destroying this man's world on yet another vendetta that has historically come back to bite Sonny's FAMILY in the ass. Mean, stupid and selfish pretty much sums up Sonny.

My hope for this show is that the women on this show start thinking like normal women - meaning, it would be nice if they would actually look at a mobster and not think of him as the "good mobster" who only murders when he has to. It would be nice that when the mobster shoots your son (and his son) because he's a cop, that you don't find a reason to forgive him. It would be nice if women would just see Sonny for the criminal he is.

"Let's see, [OFFENSIVE WORD FOR WOMAN] gets [ACT OF VIOLENCE] with a [WEAPON] and is then [ANOTHER VIOLENT CRIME] on videotape".

I think you finally cracked the code.

@kermitklein I suspect that we know this because Claudia was 16 when Johnny was 8.

Even reading this makes me feel gross.

I love how the writers from that era are coming forward all "No, Claudia was not meant to be his mother, she just wanted to screw him", like that's somehow BETTER.

To be fair- I didn't have symptoms with my first pregnancy. Until I gained a bunch of weight in my stomach area! I figured it out then.

I thought I was the only person who literally hissed at this show.

Only part of the show worth watching were the Robin/Patrick scenes. Someone just hand those two their Emmy's.

Yes I understand that Anne, but considering that they Soras people on a dime, reason that Johnny went from being around Lulu's age to now being almost 30, they probably have Soras Claudia from being 8 years apart from Johnny to being 15 or 16 when he was born in order for this storyline to work.

"I don't know squat about the mob, but AZ is not the kind of man that would allow a kid that is not his own blood to run his organization."

A grandchild would be his blood-line.

This show is maddening with the constant retcons of stories we saw, characters we know. And none of them advance storyline at all. They just make it harder for RC and FV to fix this.

Regarding Sam's story, if you know when your last period was it's not difficult to estimate how far along someone is. I'm not sure what is meant by "no symptoms," but no period when it's supposed to happen is a big symptom. I never suffered a day of morning sickness with either of my kids. Missed period; stomach grew. That's it.

The carrying around of the pee stick is always silly. I've seen this done on other soaps. In fact, on Passions, Whitney's pee stick made more appearances in a solid week than half the cast. I'm going to guess this is how the show creates a small window of update for viewers who don't tune in every day.

As far as Sam's waffling - what if/can you/ I can't ... I'd be doing all that and more if I were in her shoes. She needs to feel confident about where her partner is with all of it. I'm sure she doesn't trust just her own emotions right now. And consulting Jsson, even multiple times, is the right thing to do. They are partners; this will affect them both ... which was the same argument used against Robin when she decided to plan her course of action on her own. Besides, it's not like this is a situation she put herself into, and about which she is having second thoughts. Sam had no time to mentally prepare for something like this, so watching her go through the steps of processing it on screen doesn't bother me so much. In fact, I'd prefer that to the many things that happen offscreen for which we are expected to fill in the blanks.

Well said, Afterall.

This is a life changing situation for both Jason and Sam.

I'm just glad Gino Soleito isn't Franco's father. Yikes, I'm going to be sorry I said those two names, aren't I?

I actually remember Gino Soleito from The City and I think they're retconning his character too. What else is new. Fix this, please.

@kermitklein: considering that they Soras people on a dime, reason that Johnny went from being around Lulu's age to now being almost 30, they probably have Soras Claudia from being 8 years apart from Johnny to being 15 or 16 when he was born in order for this storyline to work.

I don't know why on earth anyone would give Anthony the benefit of the doubt; the man has been portrayed as raging misogynist from the moment he was introduced and has a history or disrespecting and treating his daughter like chattel. (Hell, we've seen him sell her off as part of a business deal once already and he's currently coercing another woman to marry him -- you think he would balk because Claudia was underage? I don't.) Frankly, if the writers didn't want people to have an instantly squicked out reaction to a character they've established as being all of eight years old at the time of having a baby, then they needed to have done a lot more groundwork setting this up beforehand.

But okay. Say they do SORAS Claudia to 15 or 16 at the time Johnny was born. That still puts her at 14 or 15 at the time of conception. If you don't see an adult man impregnating a 14 year old girl to seal a business deal with her father as her having been "pimped," then I'm not sure what definition of the word you're using. Claudia's "consent" (or lack thereof) is irrelevant. There is no way in hell that an underage girl raised in an abusive home where she was specifically taught that her only value as a woman was as a sex object to powerful men could be capable of giving any kind of legal or moral consent. She was a child, and no matter how much she might have thought she wanted it, it doesn't remove responsibility from the adults in her life for allowing it to happen.

If they try to SORAS her even older to make it less skeevy, we start really running into even more believability problems. SB was born in 1975. She *looks* like she was born in 1975. Say Claudia was 20 when she got pregnant. They means she would have been in her mid-50s when she was married and getting knocked up by Sonny. It just... doesn't work. At all.

I mean, people aren't assuming the worst because they're looking for reasons to be outraged. This shit is just really toxic and gross, no matter how they try to spin it like Claudia was some Lolita and all the adults were just "helpless" against her.

The fact that they are trying to spin it like Claudia was some Lolita is in fact one of the primary reasons that it is toxic and gross.

Just a minor point, but carrying around pee sticks is especially stupid given that many of them (at least the kind Sam appeared to be using, which are the same ones I've used) only show a result up until when the pee evaporates. At that point, the test doesn't show anything anymore.

The storylines are all terrible but some of the acting is really great in spite of it. Hopefully once the new crowd gets going, the writing will start to approach the level of the acting! Brandon and Jason T in particular have been really good lately.

I'm not sure how they will manage it but I am hopeful. You know things are really bad when you wish the show would pull a Dallas and have the last few years to have been a character's bad dream!!

I hope they get rid of TJ, nuKate, Shawn, Delores, Maggie, and Steve along with Cassandra but I want them to keep Ewen. I hoping he and Elizabeth get together.

Coming back to say -- I am happy to see more of BBr, and front and center in a dramatic storyline. He's great. Too bad the content totally sucks.

Nell, I also like Ewen. He's Australian, right? I hope he turns out to be a Jacks.

Well Elizabeth, I gave AZ the benefit of the doubt because I made my original statement on Jan. 25th befor the AZ and Johnny's conversation took place so it was a legit question at that time. It's not really far fetched to believe that Claudia could have went behind AZ's back and went after Gino to piss off her father.

I haven't actually even seen yesterday's episode yet, but regardless of what was said between Anthony and Johnny, my point is that absolutely NOTHING about Anthony's character so far would lead me to give him any benefit of the doubt where any woman is concerned. Him viewing his daughter as a slut whose only worth to him is as a piece of ass to be peddled to the highest bidder is not exactly new characterization, you know? And even if Claudia *had* initiated this without his knowledge, that choice a) was not one she was old enough to make, and b) wouldn't have happened in a vacuum. So ultimately, I would still hold him responsible.

Not only could they not decided what age Claudia was when she got pregannt(kept switchnig from saying teen to young girl)

but then joking that "she wanted it" because she was corrupt was enough to make me turn off the tv

I'm sorry... Who is Maggie?

Even Sonny thought saying she wanted it was gross.

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