Storyline dud!

For the Week of September 19, 2011
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GH Two Scoops: Storyline dud!
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I'm a bad girl. Instead of starting out this column raving about how much I adored every delightful scene on General Hospital this week -- which I did, and I'll get to that shortly -- I'm taking a minute to object to a major storyline development.

I'm a bad girl. Instead of starting out this column raving about how much I adored every delightful scene on General Hospital this week -- which I did, and I'll get to that shortly -- I'm taking a minute to object to a major storyline development. Don't worry. I won't be a Negative Nelly for long, but we bad girls rarely stay silent, and this particular plot point needs a good nitpicking: the storyline of Jason Morgan's accident turned out to be a major dud. I'm talking the kind of dud that happens when you're at a fireworks display, watching for 30 minutes, waiting for the big finale, and it never comes. Instead, you get one loud pop of noise and a sky filled with nothing but smoke.

I feel cheated, and from my inbox, many of you do, too. For weeks, viewers watched characters mention Jason's past and his beloved Quartermaine family. He started talking to his mother. He visited his grandfather. He even began questioning the choices he made when he woke up from that accident, more than a decade ago. It was all beautifully woven -- or so I thought -- so that when Jason had a second accident that landed him in a coma, viewers thought they would get to see Jason wake up a different man, conflicted with memories of his Quartermaine life and family. He didn't.

After endless commercials of Jason in a hospital bed, posing the very question of who he would be when he awoke, fans were eager to see a merging of Jason's past with his present. What they got was a big fat goose egg. He woke up as Jason Morgan, no memories of the past, the same stone-cold guy we've come to love, or hate, since A.J. crashed that car.

Head writer, Mr. Garin Wolf, is a tease. Yes, I said it. Normally, we bad girls like a show that teases and tantalizes, but when the storyline fails to deliver the goods that were dangled in front of us, we're left with utter disappointment. Perhaps Mr. Wolf has a better plan than the one he teased us with in those dramatic promos, and if that's so, I apologize for jumping the gun. But, as a longtime viewer, I am ticked that so much story potential was wasted.

If Jason had woken with memories of his past, while retaining his present, it would have been riveting. The dream sequences showed us just how talented Steve Burton is in any scenario, whether he's snorting blow as a stressed-out doctor or rolling in the sheets with Elizabeth. Watching Jason grapple with his mob career, reexamining his life and the path he's put Michael on, would have had me glued. It also would have been a springboard for plenty of GH history to be rolled in, reconnecting him to his Quartermaine roots.

Anticipation is a key element for any successful storyteller. I was eagerly racing home to watch GH, anticipating who Jason would be. Wolf hooked me again. But what a disappointment I got. Turns out, so far, this accident hasn't moved Jason's character forward or backward. He's the same guy who is managing Sonny, Carly, Michael, and everyone else's problems, with little attention to his own fascinating story. I wanted a bang with this plot, and all I got was a fizzle.


How much drama can one show pack in a week? More than I ever thought possible. Luke returned, Kate returned, Lisa Niles is (gulp) alive, Maxie and Elizabeth were kidnapped, Kristina could be paralyzed, Sonny and Johnny are at war, and Spinelli regained his memory, or part of it anyway. I was on the edge of my seat every day. Well done, GH, well done!

Johnny is quickly becoming my new favorite character. I told you I was a bad girl, and we bad girls like bad guys, especially those with killer grins, who play the piano. Johnny has guts and the ability to charm and disarm. Few people have the nerve to stand up to mobster Sonny Corinthos, but Johnny does it with verve. When Sonny burst into Johnny's apartment, gun blazing, Johnny tormented the manic mobster with this gem about Sonny's daughter Kristina, "I could've screwed her sweet teenage brains out." (Gulp.) Johnny, I love you and really want you to stay in Port Charles, so take a note. It's not wise to taunt a bipolar mobster who is off his meds. However, that scene was powerful and beautifully played by all the characters, even Olivia, waving around her shaking gun, yelling that Sonny got her pregnant at 15.

Johnny had so many great one-liners this week; I don't know where to start. From his "Don't play dumb. It's redundant," to Anthony's bumbling henchman, to Johnny's ongoing battles with his father over those silly orchids, I can't stop grinning when he's onscreen. I also loved that he was getting his flirt on all over town, from flashing that killer grin at Kristina, to hinting to Dante that Johnny and Olivia may not be finished. "I thought you two were over," Dante insisted. "We'll see," Johnny remarked, flashing that sexy grin. Swoon. How does Johnny manage to have chemistry with every woman in PC? I'd like to volunteer to chemistry test his powers in the real world.

My only fear is that Johnny is going to get whacked. Sonny ordered a hit, but enforcer Jason is still in the hospital, trying to avoid Epiphany and sponge baths, so Johnny may get a short reprieve, until Sonny can get back on his meds. Fingers crossed.

Kate Howard is back, or someone calling herself Kate Howard . Sure, her wardrobe is still impeccable. And she's as uptight as ever, but she isn't the Kate I fell for. This new Kate is a fine actress, and I mean no disrespect, but this part did not need a recast. Why did GH not bring back Megan Ward, who fans loved and who made this role her own? I just don't get it. It's tough enough to get invested in another love story with serial bed-hopper Sonny, but when the potential love interest has a new face we've never seen, it's even tougher. Bad call, GH.

I'm with Kate, um, Connie. Olivia's speech could use a little refinement. Although I had to laugh out loud when Kate chastised Olivia for it. "You can take the girl out of Bensonhurst," Kate spat, after Olivia used the word "piss." Olivia retorted, "But you can't take the stick out of your own ass, can you? " Olivia is rough around the edges with her speech, for sure, but that line made me chuckle.

The dialogue this week was so soapy good that I can't stop talking about it. Sonny spat to Carly about Shawn, "Why are you defending this piece of garbage. Is he that good in bed?" Score. I also love when characters spout what we're all thinking. Sometimes, I swear the writers must be reading my inbox from viewers. When Tracy called out Lulu for not standing by her man and dissed Olivia for not standing by her son, I think I heard collective cheers from GH fans across the country. And when Michael told Alexis that he was surprised nobody was blaming Sonny for Kristina's condition, it was like the writers were reading the message boards that have been tough on Sonny lately. Then, there are the times when the dialogue echoes my own commentary, like Anthony's one-liner to Johnny about his depressing piano playing: "Would it kill you to lighten things up a little and maybe play some Sinatra once in a while?" Perfect! I've said it for years -- Johnny needs some Prozac. He did lose it this week and go all rabid dog on Anthony and bite his hand.

I hope Kristina has complications from that surgery. Yes, I know I'm bad. But it will give us plenty of drama between Matt and Patrick, not to mention Sonny, Johnny, Alexis, and the Davis girls. And we might even see Ethan in this storyline.

Has Patrick always had a tattoo of a duck on his arm? How did I miss that? It's about time Sonny showed up to visit Jason. Although, after Sonny dissed marriage to the glowing Jason and Sam, I think Jason may prefer that Sonny just go smash some barware.

Speaking of Jason and Sam, I loved their scenes. I never really thought they'd be a long-term couple, but they are showing me otherwise.

Luke is back! I couldn't be happier. There is a huge hole in the canvas when Tony Geary leaves for his vacation. Luke looks great and isn't knocking back Scotch. He's creeping around corners, trying to find out how his family is doing. And did you see his face when Skye suggested that Tracy may have another man? Priceless. I'll take more of that, please.

It's rare in soaps that I'm surprised. But seeing Lisa Niles alive was a shocker for me. The fact that nutty Anthony is nursing her back to health to help with his evil plans is making me nervous though. Patrick and Robin have had enough misery. I hope she sets her sights on someone else.

Kudos to Jason for choosing Spinelli as his best man. And I melt for man hugs. When Spinelli went in for the embrace, I could see Jason's face tensing up, as I was cracking up. Spinelli is the best choice, because he has been a better friend to Jason than Sonny or Carly.

Let's all give a shout-out to the shirtless men of GH this week. Shawn and Patrick were looking fine! Well done, gentlemen.

Best Lines of the Week

(An abducted Maxie tells Elizabeth that Spinelli will save them, despite Elizabeth's objections that Spinelli is no match for the guys that kidnapped them.)
Maxie: "Size doesn't matter. (pause) Okay, sometimes size does matter, and anyone who says it doesn't, is a total liar."

(Kate Howard is on the phone, trying to conduct business.)
"I am Kate Howard, founder and publisher of Crimson magazine. I just flew in from Paris and I...No, my arms are not tired, and I'm not amused at your adolescent attempt at humor. "

(After Sonny tries to kill Johnny, Olivia pleads with him to stop provoking Sonny.)
Olivia: "Sonny is not rational now."
Johnny: "You think?"

(Housemates Johnny and Anthony bicker again, this time about Johnny's piano playing.)
Johnny: "You know where the door is, and you can take your houseplants with you."
Anthony: "Orchids, John, orchids! How many times do I have to tell you? And I'm surprised they all haven't turned black after being force-fed concertos to cut yourself by.... Look at the bright side, if I do end up dead, you can play your little doomsday arias at my funeral."

Reader Spotlight

I love hearing your comments! If you'd like to share, please drop me an email by clicking here.

  • "Is it just me? Or do others think that the "Jason with a Headache" storyline is one big dud? What was the point of putting him in GH to a grand build-up only to have the story sputter and die after a week of listening to Sam give the same speech over and over. There was no dramatic value to the story. Jason didn't move forward; he didn't move back. The entire story was just one big disappointing fizzle." ---Lenora
    Note from Jennifer: (It's not just you, Lenora!)

  • "As you mentioned a few weeks back, before Jason woke from his surgery, I think the writers missed a great opportunity. As much as I love Jason Morgan, to have Jason wake up with all the memories of Jason Quartermaine, yet also all of Morgan's as well, would have been fodder for years to come and brought in all the Quartermaines, having to really share Jason with his "Morgan" life: wedding, Sonny and all." ----Chris

  • "I am really tired of all this Sonny bashing. The last few years the writers have been changing the Sonny we all love. He was always a caring father, who put his children first and now they are turning everyone against him. They had him shoot Robin (albeit an accident) in front of her child, and the list goes on and on. They have changed other aspects about him as well, such as his respect for women. I am also tired of the Luke bashing. He was the town mayor and saved the world from Helena's weather machine. However, he now kills children (Jake). ---Geraldine Gelber

Jennifer Biller
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