Sept 23, 2004
In honor of General Hospital, which took a giant leap into the Land of Proving the Point this week, I have titled this column:
Yes, I'll talk about the other two soaps in a bit, but once again, GH Head Writers, Bob Guza and Charles Pratt, have bashed the soap world in the head with their unnecessary and gratuitous heterosexual male masturbatory fantasies. In fact, I'm not completely convinced, based on some of the interaction of the happiest couple in daytime (Sonny and Jason) that all those fantasies are completely heterosexual. Thus far, they have been the only couple GH has managed to keep together for any length of time under Guza and Pratt's reign of holy terror.
What has set me off, of course, is the kiss that rocked the nation. Well, not really. It's not as though we haven't seen this before. You've got to admit, Cyndi Preston is a giver. She seems pretty much willing to jump in there and give them whatever they ask for, from a lap dance on an elderly man to gun sex with Ned to public sex with Ned to an unmasked attempt at oral sex with Dillon to a soul kiss forced on Courtney Cottontail. One can never say Preston is unwilling to go to the mat (and take anyone the powers that be request with her or under her) for her craft. It does make me shudder to think of anything that might have been presented to her which caused her to say, "No, I'm sorry, that's just too far."
For the record, most people who know me well will vouch that I am anything but a prude. I recognize and warmly accept that we are forty years out of the Rob and Laura Petrie, twin beds, one foot on the floor at all times, married-people-never-have-sex-and-unmarried-ones-sure-as-hell-don't world of the 1960's. Still, this is daytime and as I recall, it was an amazing, earth-stopping event when there was a lesbian kiss in prime time. Does the fact that All My Children aired the first ever lesbian kiss in daytime (although I was told that Donna Pescow had already broken that ground, but I did not watch AMC at that time and can't vouch for it) suddenly motivate General Hospital to say, "Shit, Chuck, we've got to get some women kissin' here?" At least AMC's lesbian kiss was done in the context of true love and attraction and not hate-kisses as all of GH's have been so far.
As I said, this isn't anything new, it's just the next step. I wrote this column four years ago during Guza's second tenure with GH (we're on #3 now). What we are currently watching is just more of the same. I'm quite sure that when Faith invited Skye to be her bitch and planted one on her, a few hundred men, watching over the shoulders of their GH fan wives, breathed, "This is the coolest soap opera ever," and sank into the couch, agog. At first, we thought the target audience for GH was the 18-24 young women's group. We were wrong. They're appealing to the horndog male demographic.
"Look, Chuck, the men of today really like that Sopranos show. Let's make Tony really good looking, put him in the coffee business instead of waste management and lose the whole messy drug issue. We'll have lots of explosions and gunfire and knock a few broads around when it's necessary. Just like in The Sopranos, the cops will be the bad guys who are too stupid to make a charge stick and anyone who isn't a made man is not only pathetic, but expendable. The women, ah the women, will all be enablers if they know what's good for'em and we'll teach the ones who aren't a lesson or two. Tony, I mean, Sonny, will be the law in town and all roads will ultimately lead back to him, just like in The Sopranos.
"But what about the hospital, Bob?"
"Hospital? There's no hospital in The Sopranos! We only use the hospital as a thoroughfare for the victims, plus to give Tony, I mean Sonny, some incredible near death scenes. It's a vehicle, not the focus."
"So we can set things on fire, blow things up, have shoot outs, knock broads around, having girls kissing each other and doing everything the men tell them?"
[together] "Heh heh mmmmh hmmm he heh. That's cool."
Any questions about who's running your show?
Is there any doubt why the show lacks a certain appeal to the general (hospital) soap audience? We love it because as Dr. Phil might put it, "It's not a good friend, but it's an old friend." We are not (well, most of us are not) going to walk away from our old friend because it is going through a (long) rough patch, but that doesn't mean it's an easy friendship and in any friendship, communication is important. Even if they are not listening (and they aren't), we should at least continue verbalizing the changes we want in our "friendship" dynamics.
My relationship with General Hospital predates my relationship with anyone in my life with the exception of a couple of aunts and uncles. I'm not about to walk away after that long of an investment and honestly, GH owes me. I've been here for over forty years and I deserve more than the misogynistic, male-centric and downright dumbass stuff that's coming out of the GH think tank. I'm sticking around until I get what I'm entitled to have.
If we wanted any further indication of the current state of interests of those who run the show, we need look no further than the closing frames of the opening credits. We get the men in formal wear with the women nowhere to be found and Tony Geary getting up and walking way, leaving the words of John Bender from "The Breakfast Club" in his wake, "I don't think that I need to sit here with you fuckin' dildos anymore."
Having purged that mess, we shall move along to the "I like..." and "I hate..." portion of our column.
No, seriously, there are things I like. Really. About all three shows. Stop laughin.
The Frye family is absolutely wonderful. All of 'em. I loved seeing Derreck and Reggie hug and laugh about JR today, as well as the tough guy routines they postured afterward. Livia is a hoot and Danielle is a cutie and my, my, they can all actually act.
I love Lily. Even though I know the entire story is a slap in the face to anyone who knows anything about true autism, I love Lily and I love the actress playing her.
I like Ryan and Greenlee. I can't stand Ryan and can't stand Greenlee, but I love Ryan and Greenlee. Go figure. I also want her cantaloupe sized engagement ring.
I like Adam in a box. As my beloved Coggie pointed out in her Channeling column this week, we are to presume that he is in there with food, air, water and no bathroom, so the great Pine Valley Pater Familias is currently crapping all over his Armani suit. That part I don't really like, espeically since it butts up nicely against the terrible "Blair and Todd con Asa" story to bash on the vets. I do, however, love the effect of Adam in a box, which is JR running all over town making threats and demands with no one really giving him any nevermind. I didn't like Jacob Young as Lucky Spencer and I don't like him as JR Chandler. It's even one of those high and mighty dislikes where I have trouble seeing what anyone else sees to appreciate in him as an actor. The whole business of speaking louder in order to emote and grinding your teeth and bugging your eyes to look intimidating tends to have the opposite effect on me, dissolving me into giggles. Adam and JR playing the "Yeah, YEAH, what HE said" game is beyond boring and having the two of them separated for a while is a nice break from all of the high fiving and yesmanning that goes on when they are together Pity, however, that we couldn't have JR in a box and Adam out and about getting dismissed.
In that vein, I love watching Reggie heckle JR. See item one and blend it with the previous item.
I love Aidan. I never did until FauxAidan came on board for a few weeks while Aiden Turner (if you believe the rumors) worked out his immigration issues. Like Sage, I craved his return and I've lapped up ever little Aidan moment since then. I'm glad he worked out while he was away. Muscles are good.
I love that Erica has been prominently missing for days.
I still love David Hayward, but he's teetering precariously on the edge of the next category.
I hate, like most of the free world, this baby story. Babe has been able to find 1000 things to do other than the right one: give Binks her baby back NOW! How anyone involved can justify this I cannot imagine. I keep hearing it, as in their mouths are moving but nothing comes out that makes any sense. Such a shame it can't just be for Colby's sake. Then I could understand. *sigh*
Hate, hate, hate the Carey women. I've ranted before about how they are a Southern woman's worst nightmare, perpetuating the stereotypes on and on and on. I hate them for forming this alliance to rob Bianca of her child just so Babe will feel good, all the while acting like they're best buddies with Bianca, who can only be seen as their victim. I pray, PRAY that Bianca goes totally full on rage case walking tall falling down freaky crazy and prosecutes them all to the fullest extent of "My uncle is the DA" Pine Valley law. Put da smack down. I hate how gooey and weird Tad gets around them and hope he walks away when he learns the truth.
I hate cross overs. Everyone needs to go to their neutral shows and stay there.
I hate Edmund and Maria so much. I hate that the private lives of Eva LaRue and John Callahan threw a monkey wrench into the storylines. I hate JC's beard.
I hate the dueling accents that are landing right smack where they don't belong. Ryan's brother is fighting back some kind of major brogue situation. Zach/Alex Jr is supposed to be pure Cambias, but that whole Brown Penny, Brown Penny (if you don't know, don't ask... it was painful) accent is managing to creep through. Ethan has... something going on that is at told odds with what Zach has going on. As with Bree Williamson on OLTL, if we're going to hire people with accents into roles that aren't supposed to have accents, can we at least do a li'l 'splainin'? Fer cryin' out loud, just tell us that AC, Jr was raised in Ireland by wolfhounds or something.
I hate that I don't see nearly enough of Palmer.
I love David Vickers in a big, big (and rather carnal) way. There's a codicil on this that will be explored in the next category.
I love RJ in absolutely every scene.
I love Dorian most of the time.
I love Duke. Great casting, even though he looks nothing like a Buchanan or a Demerest. It's good to have a genuinely nice guy around for a change.
I love John McBain. I didn't want to. I tried not to. I think he's just wonderful. I tried to get into PC on SoapNet and I just couldn't hold an interest at all. I like ME as McBain and I hope he's enjoying the role.
I loved seeing so much of Addie lately. She's a wonderful character. She kept mentioning how much she wanted to go to the party and I was praying SOMEONE would play fairy godmother and dress her up for the ball.
I actually like Jen. Tell anyone and I'll kill you.
Yep, that's it. That's all she (being me) wrote (about OLTL's positives, anyway).
On the negatives, so much! Where to start?
The Codicil: I hate that the powers that be are even HINTING at hooking up David and Kelly! David and Dorian are so perfect for one another and after JOE leaving Dorian for Kelly, I don't think my favorite Diva would do well with losing another beloved man to her ditzy neice. If this doesn't straighten up soon, it might actually piss me off enough to leave. We're talking deal breaker here.
Kevin is an idiot beyond redemption.
Marcie as the one note wonder was wearing thin about two months ago.
The Luv House was done about two months ago.
Did the OLTL warranty expire two months ago or something?
The deplorable story of Blair and Todd cruelly exploiting and tormenting Asa just because they can is reprehensible.
Todd being a sexual dynamo after years of serious intimacy issues isn't even almost close to making sense.
I hate that Lindsay is being left to languish without story or man. If we could just bring on Max or Hank or rev up RJ for her, maybe even John McBain (sorry, the Evangeline As F-Buddy relationship is seriously bottomed out on the rocks), we'd see Lindsay's eyes light right up. Where's my Troy/Colin when we need him?
Renee's hair! Lord help us! Jose Eber, hand that woman a curling iron!
Watching the character of Natalie is like watching a fish flop about on the shore.
Where's Viki? How long was that benefit dinner where she was the keynote speaker? A month?
Tico ees not nearly as sessy as OLTL wood like us to belief is ees. Ack. Antonio is jumping on my last nerve in stiletto heels and holding a salt shaker in each hand. Carlotta as the shunned woman is tiresome. Will everyone with a Santi affiliation please vacate the show promptly?
Ditto for any actor with a last name that is normally a male first name. (hint)
I miss Starr and Travis and after hearing that the kid who played Travis was let go, I'm not feeling hopeful about seeing either one of them. Guess the job with Viki for his mom fell through.
I resisted because I didn't want to invest in ANY couple under the hand of these guys, but I like Rexis. I don't care what either of them did before (if we went on track records, no one on GH would deserve a relationship), I like the buzz. I loved the scene between Ric and Sonny and Alexis when she was orating about how Ric rocks her her body and soul like no other. She weathered it like a champ and I loved her for it. I even stopped hating Sonny for a few minutes. That's a miracle.
I love Jason in Daddy Mode. Loved it with Michael and I love it with Sam's babe.
I love Adrianne Leon. What a find!
I love Steven Lars and I'm not even sure why. I think I'm hungry for a good guy somewhere who's of age (Sorry, Dillon). Will someone please pass the salt and the good guy who's of age? The drunk scene and "she's taking me home - wink" gave me ol' heart a flutter.
I love Lorenzo and I forgive him for being mean to Lois. I want to be mean to Lois as well. Maybe we can bond over that.
Ned, baby, lookin' good! Likin' the grey!
I love that I'm at least occasionally getting a look at Bobbie, Monica, Alan, Mac and Felicia.
I like Casper when Michael Comforti writes for them, but they go in the pooper as soon as anyone else touches their keyboard (the nun scene, the Jason kiss).
I love, love, LOVE John Durant!! I wasn't eager for Corbin Bernsen to hit GH because I had not been particularly impressed with his work elsewhere, but wow! This guy seriously gives my daddy complex a work out. He's hot as the lowest pit of hell in summertime. In the previews (today) when he leaned over and was talking to Bobbie about "our daughter," I was, for the first time in forever, screaming at the TV, "KISS HER ALREADY!!" Personally, I think Bobbie was shocked anyone spoke to her directly since she's barely been acknowledged onscreen in years. Honestly, I'd give anything for Bobbie to strike up a red hot scrogfest with John and rekindle a few old times, pro bono as it were. (Heh heh mmh heh "She said 'bone.'" "Shut UP Guza and Pratt!") Those of you who haven't seen Bobbie in action haven't seen Bobbie and haven't seen action. There's a reason why she did this sort of thing professionally. (I Love Big Daddy John. I'm writing Mrs. Big Daddy John Durant on my notebook... "Mrs. Katrina Big Daddy John Durant." "Big Daddy John N Katrina 4-ever")
I love the interaction between Liz and Steven. Now if we could just get Richard Dean Anderson to come back to avenge his brother's death and sweep Monica off her feet...
I am so glad to see Skye back again.
Coleman, Coleman, Coleman! I'm even used to the hair. When I first saw it, he was dead to me. Now HE LIVES! When he was talking to Steven Lars about Carly and Sonny, all I could think about was sandwiches and I wasn't even hungry.
It was lovely to see Vulnerable Faith, but confusing for the scenes that followed. I guess she was dead serious when she told Justus that when she walked out the door, the woman he loved was gone.
Thank the lord Greg Vaughn got his own hair back.
I am glad to see Rebecca Herbst back from maternity leave, but wish she could be in a situation to get a really, really good story.
I love Dillon, God bless him.
I love Big Alice, but I deeply miss Reginald. What a wonderful romance that would be.
Initially, I very much enjoyed Lesli Kay as Lois. Now, it's like long, irritating nails on a chalk board. Lorenzo deserves a much better belt buckle ornament than Ms Loud, Shrill and Bitchy.
I very, very much dislike manipulative, controlling men. Anyone come to mind? (Let's just say that birthing six children in my time has assured me that labor is difficult enough without some megalomaniac bursting in the door and shooting me in the sex brain with his phallic gun affectionately known as "The Extender" as I'm trying to push a watermelon sized kid out a hole in my body that is roughly the size of a lemon, minus the epidural and placating, cheerleading nurse. I just wouldn't come back from that.)
Felicia, Felicia, Felicia! I sincerely hope the whole Heather issue is a ploy to get SOMEONE (as an astute Soap Zoner pointed out) to say "screw the money" and step in to rescue Edward from her clutches. Then, I might regain a bit of respect for Felicia. As it is, she's duped.
Didn't like Heather before and can't stand her now. I cringe when she comes on the screen with that absent stare parroting her lines. I can't believe she's being allowed to walk around without a police escort, much less baby-sit and Edward-sit and rose-sit.
This past week of Casper has been absolutely horrible. Courtney is acting like a total ditz running from Jax. Again we contend with the male fantasies of a woman who absolutely cannot resist a man. Just say no and eat the free food, stupid! Sure, Ingo's cute, but lord, there's not any man I'd pay $30 million to get into bed. "I'll pay you thirty million dollars NOT to sleep with me while I cart you all over the world, kiss you, cuddle you, entertain you and feed you." Sounds like husband material to me!
Can someone please explain to me why Courtney couldn't recognize Jax's voice in the confessional? I know she later said she knew it was him, but please. I don't buy that. If I'm all hetted up over someone, I recognize their voice ANYwhere.
Sam finally changed out of that ugly dress today. Sadly, Alexis did not change her shirt with the funky leather things across the neck.
I hate the way our most ferocious pit bull ever, Helena Cassadine, has been reduced to toothlessly gumming her victims and then skulking away, whimpering with her tail between her legs.
Oh. So Georgie is crazy now. Got it. (anyway) Oh, and lose the earrings. *shudder*
I've already fussed about male fantasies dictating very nearly everything about GH, which brings us full circle and our monthly column to a close. Personally, I think MY fantasies are much better suited to the primarily female audience of daytime drama. Just take off your shirt, Jason and nobody gets hurt.
Screencaps courtesy of: