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 Two Scoops: November 23, 2009 columns
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I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
For the Week of November 23, 2009
Violence aside, General Hospital has been phenomenal TV lately.
As if I wasn't obsessed enough with Adam Lambert's version of "Mad World," which I bought on iTunes during last season's American Idol, now GH is playing it daily and it's rolling around in my head all willy-nilly day and night. Thankfully, it's a song I love.

As an added bonus, the lyrical sentiment rings true. I have mixed feelings about General Hospital. I can't take my eyes off of it. But it's so bloody. I am riveted by all the drama unfolding each day. But it's so bloody. I love it. I hate it. Readers, even though it's SO good right now, part of me yearns for the kinder, gentler GH where gun fights weren't an everyday occurrence, but instead an occasional and shocking intrusion.

Violence aside, General Hospital has been phenomenal TV lately. In fact, Entertainment Weekly magazine, who rarely even acknowledges the fact that soaps exist, actually chose James Franco's appearance on GH as its "Must Watch of the Week." I'm going to write them a letter and thank them for throwing us a bone.

It's been a long time since we've been introduced to a character in such a slow and deliberate way. I enjoyed seeing Franco's lair before we saw him, dancing the dance, letting my eyes wander around his room, looking for clues, trying to fit together all the pieces of the puzzle and solve the mystery of who he was before he arrived.

I failed miserably. Franco has arrived and I still don't know his secrets. Is he related to someone Jason killed in the past? Is he just a freak who is obsessed with death and murder in and of itself? If he a serial killer who masquerades as an artist? Is he a good guy or a bad guy underneath all the eccentricity? I am wildly intrigued.

The fact that he stepped down on Joey Limbo's lungs to make sure he was dead is a decent indication that he's not a good guy, unless he was protecting Jason in some way. We have a million questions and will have to wait for the answers to present themselves. He sure does clean up nice, doesn't he? He went from Homeless to Fabulous on one shave flat. The woman is a mystery, too -- is she merely his agent, his lover, or his partner in crime? Ah, it's going to be a fun couple of months, dear readers.

Johnny Zacchara got answers he didn't even know he needed. As Lulu blasted Dante for betraying Johnny's friendship in his time of grief, Johnny overheard it all. Dante is an undercover cop and Olivia's son, and Johnny was visibly crushed by both pieces of news.

Lisa Locicero and Brandon Barash were brilliant in their scenes together -- it was like one giant exposed raw nerve throbbing in the room. Olivia was crushed, fearful, heartbroken, and angry all at once, and every emotion was hot in her eyes. After Olivia begged Johnny repeatedly to hear her side, he reluctantly agreed, but she hasn't won him over yet with her tale of woe. Can they ever reconcile after this?

Johnny was sad and furious, yet strangely calm. It was as if he wasn't all that surprised to find out he had been betrayed again, because that's what his life has taught him: trust no one. He allowed Olivia to make her case, explain her side of things, but the sorrow in his eyes was so deep when he realized she would have sold him out to protect Dante. It made me cry as I watched him listen to all the reasons (excuses) that the woman he loved and trusted betrayed him. Can they ever reconcile after this?

I find Johnny one of the most sympathetic characters on the show because he had no choice in his lifestyle. If your dad is a maniac like Anthony Zacchara, you grow up surrounded by murder, mayhem, and violence.

But Johnny, left to his own devices, would teach piano lessons and compose music, as we discovered when he and Lulu went on the run two years ago. The violent life he doesn't want and didn't choose has cost him everything once again. He lost Lulu because of the mob, he will lose Olivia because of the mob, and he doesn't even want to be in the mob. Characters that are trapped always really break my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Olivia, either, she was in a no-win situation, too. Her only choice was to flee town, and let Dominic arrest or kill his own father. That's the kicker here, although the secret of Dante's chosen profession has emerged, and his relationship to Olivia, the secret that Sonny is his biological father is still dangling out there in the universe.

Could Olivia have actually trusted Johnny with Dante's secret? Well, it was a gamble, and I don't know a mother alive that would knowingly gamble with her child's life. I think Johnny truly loved Olivia and would not ever intentionally hurt her. But if he had known Dante was a cop, could he have kept that secret while Claudia was still alive? We'll never know, because Claudia was the X factor. Olivia might have trusted Johnny, but certainly not his train wreck of a sister.

I even feel sorry for Dante. Dante was sent in to bust Sonny, and somewhere along the way, he discovered that Sonny was a nice guy who loved his family. Dante realized the guy he was sent to take down doesn't really want to be in the mob at all. The look of utter surprise washed over Dante's face when Sonny confessed his own hatred of his lifestyle and offered "Dominic" a chance to get out. Dante likes Sonny and is trying to match up the man he has come to know with the image he had of Sonny built up in his mind before he met him. Every player in this storyline is a victim in some way. It's very compelling.

While I sympathize with Olivia, Dante, and Johnny, I have ZERO sympathy for Nikolas and Elizabeth. Zilch. Nada. They repulse and sicken me. The biggest lie in the world is "I just can't help myself." Of course you can help yourself! You just have to be a grown-up and do it! I think of all the families who end up with broken-hearted kids because two selfish people "just couldn't help themselves." It's called self-control. You'd think Nikolas would have learned that in Prince School.

Hey, men out there, do you walk around in your day-to-day life wearing gold cufflinks embossed with your initials? And what if you were going over to sit in your sister-in-law's house hoping for a quickie, would you have worn them there? When Liz stepped on Nikolas's N.C. cufflink with her foot, I was hoping it would jab her stupid foot and make her bleed.

I think Liz and Nikolas are having a hard time differentiating between love and lust. Lust is when a guy can't keep his pants on if you're in the same room. Love is when a guy is willing to raise two kids who aren't his and take all his worldly possessions to buy a piece of land to build his fiancée her own dream house.

Elizabeth is making such reckless choices right now. Has she thought about her kids? Nikolas doesn't even want to raise his own son, Spencer, much less Jake and Cam. She kept Jake away from Jason because she was worried about Jake's safety. Frankly, I think living in a house where Helena might be lurking around in tunnels is more dangerous than living at Jason's penthouse. Helena would view Jake and Cam as threats to the "rightful Cassadine heir," Spencer, and happily push Liz' kids off a cliff at Wyndemere to get them out of the way.

Poor, hapless Lucky is going about his days believing he's about to reunite with his childhood sweetheart and build a family with her. I don't want Lucky to get his heart broken again, but it is coming and we all see it. Every time Liz and Nikolas have a tryst, I just want to slap them both. I mean, you know you have really made bad moral choices when Luke Spencer is questioning them!

Nikolas could have had Rebecca as a consolation prize, but instead confessed he was using her. This will usher out Natalia Livingston's Rebecca, but I don't understand why. This would be the perfect time to have Rebecca revert to her original self, go back to Ethan and vow revenge on the man who used and betrayed her.

I liked Rebecca Shaw when she first showed up with blond hair, leather, and too much eye makeup. She was sassy and independent, and didn't let anyone mess with her. But then they turned her into Emily-Lite and it fell flat. She could only be one of two things -- the Anti-Emily, or Emily herself, but not a bland in-between shell. Viewers couldn't connect with the character, because the writers kept changing who she was. At any rate, I hope the talented Ms. Livingston finds a rewarding role out there somewhere.

Does anyone but me think Patrick's old girlfriend, Lisa, is in town for reasons other than a medical consultation with Robin? Perhaps I should take her at face value, but I think it's a little shady that she showed up out of the blue like that. I sure hope Patrick doesn't have some secret love child out there somewhere.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Franco find a Joey Limbo look-alike to lie down inside a chalk outline in his studio? Will Johnny find that padded room where he wrote the symphony on the wall with a Sharpie to hear music in his head instead of lies from his lover? Will Franco pretend he likes Elizabeth's artwork and then kill her in her studio because it's so bad? Will Maxie ever pick a hair style or color and stick to it for a week? Will we see Josslyn again before she's Soap Opera Rapid Aged to graduate with Molly? Will the few remaining Q's get to eat one last Thanksgiving Pizza for old time's sake?



Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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