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« Once More, For Old Time's Sake | Main | The Fog Begins To Lift (or Metric Tons Of Gumption) »

February 19, 2013

Now We're Getting Somewhere

Now that felt like a February sweeps episode.

You know, one of the best and worst things about a Carlivati/Valentini-helmed show is that, as a result of both Carlivati's approach to storytelling as well as Valentini's approach to consolidating and block-taping in order to best keep the show budget down, the storyline wealth tends to get spread around. The latest Soap Opera Digest has an interview with Ron Carlivati in which he talks about how Brian Frons used to jokingly call him a socialist because he rotated stories through so many cast members while Frons thought that the best approach was to find your stars and give the vast majority of the material to the heavy hitters (yeah, we noticed that influence on GH for a damn decade and most of us nearly lost our minds). The great thing about this is that even if some storylines are driving me completely insane, there are always about fourteen other storylines to lean on (see The Bold & the Beautiful for an example of a show that currently gives 90% of its material to one small group of characters and one dominant storyline, and it is torture all of the time if you don't totally adore that plot and those people).

The worst thing about this is that soap viewing is kind of a full-immersion process. Three episodes in a row with a certain focus and that aren't really to one's tastes start to feel like THIS IS ALL THE SHOW IS NOW! Anyone who watched last week and last week only would be pretty damn sure this is a ridiculous show about vampires, doppelgangers, some clown named Todd being wacky, and Carly generally being horrible. While I'm sure some viewers had a blast, I was hurting, y'all.

You get the point. But the last couple of days we're back on a track that hurts me a hell of a lot less. 

Now, just in case any viewers didn't start watching till the 90s and feel like that was the heyday of the show, the cornucopia of 80s nostalgia we're getting might not be all that much fun and the show might really feel like... not GH. But today was totally the GH of the last 17 years, y'all, because SONNY'S LOVE REDEEMED A WOMAN. You know, like it does. Obviously.

Sonny apparently rocked Connie so fantastically in bed that she wept.


Wept! Oh man. This show slays me.

Anyway it was apparently the happiest moment of Connie's "entire life," which... huh?


She was blathering on about how it's been so long since she'd had sex (other than the revenge sex with Johnny) and I was trying to figure out who Connie was sleeping with before considering she's an alter. God this D.I.D. story is a mess.Anyway apparently the sex was so pure and beautiful and life-affirming that it made Kate re-emerge, so Sonny is going to wake up next to a different "person" from the one he fell asleep with, which is surely no less than he deserves. I wondered how Kate will feel that Sonny "cheated on her" with Connie. Ha! I mean is that how it works? Oh hell, there's no "how it works" because they are just making this shit up on whims as they go along and every new bit of it is making me laugh even harder than the last.

Meanwhile, Sabrina was floating around the show today being... Sabrina. Which is a heavy load to bear since she is the worst. After she couldn't stop crying at the Haunted Star Valentine's Day party (which really differentiates the Haunted Star from no other place in the world, because there is nowhere that Sabrina doesn't cry or isn't on the edge of tears, though while she's AT HER JOB she's definitely in the most emotionally expressive and shaky place), she decided to head into work where she could really have a much better cry. 

So here's the greatest, most hysterical sequence of the day: Britt puts on a fake face and horribly fakes apologizing to Emma for their "misunderstanding."



Emma was not having it, and bolted immediately.


Off she ran!


And SURPRISE, SURPRISE, guess who just happened to be right there to catch her and comfort her.


Shocker! Her favorite babysitter and first choice for new Mommy! WHAT A COINCIDENCE.

Oh, Afternoon Television Program, subtlety is just nowhere on your menu now, is it?

Anyway, the whole sequence was a laugh riot and I'm still scratching my head if this is any sort of insane attempt to move Sabrina into any kind of romantic situation with Patrick. It's important that whoever Patrick dates next does care about his daughter. But it's equally important that whoever Patrick dates next is A GROWNUP. And there certainly weren't any adult women in that room.

I've decided that this is a terrific storyline where they are putting all the perfect building blocks in place for Patrick to go ahead and adopt Sabrina so that she can be Emma's big sister! And then perhaps as Sabrina's new father, Patrick can foot the bill so she can get some therapy for her emotional development problems. (Was anyone else thinking that, however horrible Britt most certainly is, her letter to Monica was spot-on at least in the part where she was saying Sabrina's crush on a doctor was negatively affecting her job performance? BECAUSE IT IS. I so wanted Britt to add in a line or two about Sabrina's really terrible habit of "running off crying" AT WORK. And possibly include a photocopy of Sabrina's nursing school notes, which most surely have margins full of giants hearts with arrows through them and "Mrs. Patrick Drake" written inside.)

Okay, so those were the chunks of today's episode that I had fun watching for the sake of mockery. On other hand, there were things I was legitimately thrilled about. Shall we review?

1. Spinelli not being intolerable and actually seeming to care more about his lovely girlfriend Ellie than his ex. (Also file under the "subtlety no longer on the menu" category, there was a big fat Pixar product placement in that for the movie Up. Which NATURALLY is Ellie's favorite non-science-fiction movie. Or something.)

2. Now we're getting somewhere with Frisco. He wasn't really making much sense thus far. The writing was all over the place (as was the acting), and Frisco just wasn't familiar to me. He wins the "Worst Father Ever" Award for sure (just give Lucky another 10 years away and ignoring his sons, though, he'll have competition -- he wouldn't even recognize his boys now!), but he was never just a total dick in actual personality. So I didn't quite know what was going on. But now, what I hoped would happen has happened. Maxie finally confessed her secret to somebody -- because who has less of a right to judge her than Frisco, and who has more of an obligation to back her up no matter what? 


Frisco: I'm watch you'd call a "fixer." I get paid to kill bad guys. And from where I'm standing, you're a bad guy.


Hell yes. There's some Frisco Jones. He may be the most unreliable son-of-a-bitch who ever lived, but when he does show up? He shows up. Shit gets real. And he doesn't even know yet what Britt pulled on Robin's daughter. If they're true to that history and he finds out the whole story, Frisco's warpath toward Britt is going to be scorched clear through.

3. Steve got stabbed, Steve got stabbed! (I say with all due apologies to Steve fans. Are there Steve fans? Steve got stabbed!)


And Olivia's horror-movie scream in response was just art.


It's like there's some Delgado up in here, people!

4. And last but most certainly not least, Luke and Laura!



Luke and Laura flashbacks!




The Ice Princess!


Scotty Baldwin!


And of course Scott entered with a quip. "Who you callin' ugly?" I'M GIDDY.

Whew. Hell of a roller coaster today. I'm sure I'll want to throw things at vampires tomorrow, but this was a damn good time! 


Loved the show and loved your review. "Are there Steve fans?" Hee, hee. I loved the Frisco/Maxie interaction. It was long overdue. But best of all was Luke, Laura, Scotty and the Ice Princess. GH is back!

LOVED today's episode (mostly). You're spot on Louise--so tired of Connie, Sabrina & Britt. But how awesome was Emma taking the "magic wand" and saying "poof you're gone"? Love that little girl (except for her fixation on Sabrina). Please Ron C. stop!!!!

Genie Francis looks radiant. Happy to see Scotty. Missed the original Ice Princess storyline (I watched before and after, but not during) but I'm willing to go with it, especially since it won't involve (I hope) Sam, Sonny, Connie or Olivia.

Who would care enough about Steve to stab him? Is Heather a zombie now?

I feel kind of sheepish now because a friend pointed out what should have been obvious to me -- Steve probably wasn't stabbed, it was probably another one of Olivia's LSD visions. Bummer.

But it was still fun!

And yes, Emma is darling. I want to scoop her up. I'm still dying for Duke to meet her! (And now Frisco, too.)

Genie Francis is gorgeous. Scotty is back. Umm, that's all I got (and that's not too bad.) I have not enjoyed GH very much since January 1st. I feel that the show is in the doldrums and while Laura's return is awesome, the stories haven't been engaging. The story has a bloated cast and a bloated storyboard. I would like smart, focused storytelling versus this smorgasbord of camp.

And there is was no follow-up to Liz/AJ's spaghetti dinner but we got Sabrina? Who knows the nest time we'll even see Liz. That's not fair. Sabrina adds nothing but takes away a lot. And just when I think she cannot get any more obnoxious, she does. We, the audience are being constantly told how wonderful Sabrina is without actually seeing her be wonderful. Liz and Felix are devoted friends to her but we have never see her discuss their lives with them. Emma wanting Sabrina as her "new mommy" is so heavy-handed. I loathe Sabrina. I applauded Britt's very accurate letter to Monica and only wish it would work to send Sabrina into a Laura Spencer-like catatonic state.

Your review is spot-on right down to the Sonny "miracle" stick that screws the alter right out of you. Best moment was Luke and Laura, felt like I was a kid again. Now just bring back the dashing Robert Scorpio and everything would be perfect.

Wait!! Who stabbed Steve?? Was it "Caleb"?

I liked today's episode, but was disappointed there was no follow up to Liz/AJ, like soapbaby said. I tuned in today hoping to see Luke and Laura (of course), but also to see Liz and AJ having spaghetti with new Cam and Aiden and maybe afterwards AJ looking at pictures of his nephew Jake. Can we have just a bit more Liz? She is actually a Webber, one of the original core families. And Louise, since you mentioned long absent dads (Frisco, Lucky), I started wondering what are the chances of a Jeff Webber return?

Definitely enjoyed Scotty's entrance at the end today.

Seems interesting that the Ice Princess road leads back to Switzerland. Hopefully that means Robert will be waking from his coma soon!

As for the vampire story, I've bought in and enjoyed last week and am enjoying this week with Genie Francis and the lead in to the Ice Princess story. If people remember the Ice Princess story most should agree that story was as outlandish and crazy as the vampire story is now. Its the crazy outlandish adventure/mystery storylines that made GH in the past and makes it watchable for me now. We all know that Helena is a great villain who I suspect is upto to her eyeballs with Jerry and Faison. It is certainly not beneath Helena to start messing with her enemies' kids (ie Lulu and now I think Robin)

And thank the soap gods that Frisco actually sounded and acted like Frisco today. Britt had it coming but yes I agree Sabrina has a lot of growing up to do. However, I don't want to give up on these characters yet. Although Sabrina has no business being in a relationship with Patrick. I have a feeling that we are going to start seeing some actual backstory for both Britt and Sabrina that explains at least somewhat their behavior.

So I will continue to watch with a smile on my face even in spite of Sonny/Connie/Kate...

Louise, I looked at the Delgdo link and when I looked at the pics of JPL (sorry, can't spell his last name for anything), I thought it was Steven Lars.

For the record, I started regularly watching GH when Claire Labine was the headwriter and Wendy Riche was the executive producer. Clearly, I have been spoiled. I consider the Labine-penned years of GH some of the best daytime drama ever. For me, GH was a soap grounded in realism and felt sophisticated, yet there was sweeping romance and humor. I think Ron Carvialti is far too camp and unfocused. When I think of the number of stories and characters roaming around the canvas I feel more overwhelmed than entertained/engaged. I applaud RC's efforts to pay homage to the past but the efforts are falling flat.

One of the hallmark events of the Labine years for me was The Nurses' Ball yet RC's resurrection of the event has been initiated from Sabrina's obsession with Patrick versus a sincere desire to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. We still have over a month before the event airs but the planning has been focused on Sabrina's ridiculousness versus the social issue. My biggest problem with GH over the years has been how the show has lacked heart and sentiment. I am still waiting...

Sorry but the worst deadbeat dad award goes to Jeff Webber. At least Frisco showed up to Maxie' s surgery. Jeff didn't show up for Liz's rape,weddings,kids,kidnappings,almost deaths,etc.and lucky abused Liz in every way and never cared about Cam and obviously not about aiden either since he hasn't even called. Very peeved that we didn't get Liz/Aj follow-up,but they don't care about Liz so it wasn't a surprise. GF looks great!too good for the child killer. How about they trade Sabrina' s airtime w/Liz's. Sabrina needs to SO does the entire DID s/l,it got old a long time ago. Good to see Scotty. Very happy Frisco finally acted like a dad and is protecting his kid even though if maxie wasn't such a b!tch Britt wouldn't' have anything on her. I don't think Lante would have been mad at her.this s/l is idiotic too.

Sabrina has said practically every time she mentions the Ball that it is a tribute to Robin and a fund raiser for HIV. She has never talked about doing it to impress Patrick. Felix has said that, but Sabrina's push has always been about reviving something Robin cared about. Sabrina may be childish, but she's sincere.

But my focus today was on L&L and Frisco's masterful smackdown of Britt.

@ marz: I've seen Sabrina deliver "spiel" when attempting to gain sponsorship for the Ball but the focus has been on her crush on Patrick (her running out of planning meetings because she was embarrassed about her crush or her contemplation of quitting the planning committee because of working with Patrick.)

I think it would have been a good idea to have Sabrina state that she had a friend or loved one who died from AIDS-related complications. Instead, we are seeing Sabrina front-and-center, treating every incident in her life with the same upset, whether it's lost funding for the Ball, Patrick dating Britt, contributing to the death of a police officer, not having a valentine, etc. Sabrina is a shallow, one-note, simpering caricature versus a character with any depth.

Very nice explanation of the pros and cons of the Cartini team, which hold true from their OLTL days. Story spread among a community of characters so there's always something you're interested in, but the pacing is terrible.

The Sonny/Connie thing reminded me how much I hate D.I.D. stories. Sleeping with an alter is not romantic, it's GROSS.

Shut up, Sabrina.

I think Sabrina is being written this way so she never is a viable love interest for Patrick so that when Cartini bring back Robin (to the extent that they can convince KM), it will be much easier for Scrubs to pick back up where they left off. I'm not sure Sabrina is meant to be a real love interest for Patrick because they are writing her as rather mousy, immature, and non-threatening. I think we're not meant to take her seriously. Perhaps her inevitable makeover will make us take her more seriously-- so long as that makeover isn't purely physical. She does need to grow up. But even if she did, it also appears that there is a sizable age difference between her and Patrick which also (for me) makes it more difficult to take her seriously. Robin and Patrick were peers with life experience and a history to cement their relationship's foundation. As "wonderful" as we're supposed to think Sabrina is, I don't think she can match that.

All of that said, I am looking forward to Sabrina's transformation. The actress (Theresa Castillo?) is a beautiful woman! Giving her the "Ugly Betty" treatment is just criminal! LOL

P.S.: I am also looking forward to the return of Caleb/John! I was a PC fan and I rather dislike sci-fi and fantasy stuff. I just enjoy seeing Michael Easton have a personality on screen and he's just hotter and younger-looking with the longer hair. Although, for serious, Cartini, I think we could do better than the infomercial clip-on pieces you're hiding in his hair! They don't even move, which makes them look more fake! I am respectfully requesting a new hair system for Michael Easton. LOL

@Soapbaby--you are right on with your assessment of Sabrina. No matter what words come out of her mouth she is doing the Nurses Ball for Patrick--that's what I see on my screen.

She never even met Robin but she is defintely obsessed with her family. I would love to see her backstory because she is getting on my last nerve with her whimpering and crying without shedding 1 single tear.

Louise, I appreciate the utilization of the entire cast as well and as a longtime viewer of OLTL I agree that this "Todd" is definitely more "David Vickers" or just an all around class clown. It's not cool that he puts Carly before Starr...that is so un-Todd like.

Finally, a reason to like Frisco. I liked his smackdown of Britch. Her whole storyline seems to be a set up for murder mystery and yet the actress is on contract. I don't have any idea how they are going to redeem her.

I'd much rather see Caleb than Sonny/Connie. And I'm still not convinced that Connie is the altar. This is really confusing.

Again spot on......
Thanks for pointing out the unappealing buffoonery.

Angie, Todd putting ANYONE before Starr, Blair and Jack is ridiculous.....

I think Steve's Stabbing was an Olivia vision too.

Now THIS is a Frisco I can get into. I'm guessing Britt will feel like she can out-maneuver him and then he will really drop the hammer down!

Jeez. One ride on the old greasy sausage is enough to knock Kate out of Connie. Blech.

We should have seen Liz/AJ on their fun dinner with the boys instead of whiny Saboring.

Patrick can adopt Sabrina...hahahaha!

I loved when Emma wanted to make Britt disappear with a magic wand. I'm glad Maxie told Frisco the truth, giving me hope that we aren't going to have to put up with this pretending the baby is D&L's for 9 months. Somehow I don't think Britt will just roll over and play nice though.

So all it took was some good Sonny lovin' and Kate is back! Wow, he really does have a magic you-know-what! No wonder half the women in town have gotten pregnant by him! Kind of gross to just go into a random cabin like that. This is a nightclub, not their personal Love Boat.

So glad to see Scotty at the end, I can't wait to see what happens next! I hope they are on today and we don't have to wait 3 or 4 days. As you said, the pacing could be a lot better.

I'm new to this board, a friend turned me onto it, great job ur doing, really enjoy it! I'm not as much of a Sabrina hater as everyone else seems to be, mainly b/c in the golden age of soaps an ugly duckling stayed an ugly duckling for MONTHS, maybe even years. I can wait this out a bit and accept that story is maybe coming before character development at this juncture. Imo, today's soap viewers are a tad bit impatient...

My biggest issue with GH is the insistence on pushing Starr into every single story on the show. I resent it and therefore resent her. I'll take Connie/Kate b/c i've come to really enjoy Kelly Sullivan as an actress and look forward to what choices she makes, not unlike Michelle Stafford on y/r.

Too bad they just propped up AJ and Liz to showcase them in the Valentine's episode, and that was it. :( But no surprise i guess.

But i will agree that Sabrina needs to stop "crying" until the actress can actually learn HOW to cry -- one sorta relies on the other. Anything less is just WHINING, and that is definitely getting old.

We all KNOW that Sabrina is not an "ugly" ducking, which is why I find the story and character so, annoying. I agree with Soapbaby in that Sabrina is only using the nurses ball to get into Patrick pants and Emma's good graces. If Liz had recommended the nurses ball to Patrick as a way to honor her friend and his wife, and those two started to develop feelings for each other much to Sabrina and Britt's horror and AJ some how figured out that Jake was alive and rescued the spiky haired tyke to get into Liz's good graces which ended up with the two falling for each other and AJ was able to raise Jason's son...sigh....a girl can dream!

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