Readers, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know my General Hospital pet peeve of the week. The loop. I am weary of the endless droning loop of people having the same conversations day after day. My husband, who pretends he doesn't watch GH, said to me this week, "If I hear the Slutty Cousin (his code name for Valerie) say she misses her mom one more time, I'm going to throw up." Mind you, we are people who have also grieved the loss of our moms, so we know that grief is pervasive and raw and real.
But the writers have Valerie say that line in nearly every scene she is in. "I just miss my mom." There has to be more than that to her. They have to give the character some depth and background and context. We met Valerie months ago, and all we now about her is 1) She misses her mom. 2) She's hot for Dante. Is that all there is to her? A sad girl who sleeps with her cousin's husband? That's remarkably boring. Does she like Pumpkin Scones? Does she play tennis? Is she an art lover? We do know she can dance a little from the Nurses' Ball, but she hasn't danced since. Unpack her character and make her real.
It isn't just Valerie, though. I have listened to scene after scene where people are saying roughly the same thing over and over, and I want to scream.
Here are a few of the verbal reruns I have observed in the past couple of weeks:
• Alexis: "Julian says he's out of the mob, and I believe him."
• Hayden: "I don't remember that."
• Franco: "Nina, Nina, Nina, Nina."
• Scott: "Me and my crackerjack lawyering skills will free you /convict you."
• Jake-son: "No matter what your confession is, I will never leave you!" (He is so going to leave her. Like at lightning speed.)
• Carly: "I love you, Sonny, please don't die."
• Morgan: "Julian shot my dad, and he's going to pay!"
• Ric: "How's my brother? How's my brother? How's my brother?"
• Elizabeth: "I feel very guilty. I should tell Jason who he is, but if I do, he will leave me. And I'm selfish, so I am not going to tell him."
• T.J.: "I told you everything I know. Mr. Corinthos saved my life. I would tell you more if I knew."
• Ava: "I am getting my baby back from Sonny!"
• Michael: "Hey, Morgan, chill."
• Julian: "I'm not in the mob. I'm out of the business."
• Dante: "I feel guilty for cheating on Lulu. I love her. I should tell her. No, I should not tell her. Maybe I ought to tell her. No, I probably shouldn't tell her."
• Valerie: "I miss my mom, and I'm hot for Dante." (Soon, I predict we will add, "I'm feeling a little queasy/dizzy." Because I am 99% convinced she will turn up pregnant.)
• Tamilu: "Is this thing on a loop? Didn't they just say the same thing yesterday?"
Readers, I can't take it anymore! I am going to start turning down the volume and making up my own dialogue. I have ADHD, and I don't have the attention span to watch the same people say the same things every day. If I already know what's coming next, I'm bored. Move the storylines forward, please, I beg you.
Also, the cliché meter hit 100 this week when yet another wedding was canceled due to mob violence. I wish I had started tallying up the interrupted weddings and people falling down stairs when they were pregnant back in the 80s. I wish I could give you a firm number: "This makes the 34th interrupted/postponed wedding since 1982." But alas, I can't. I just know it's a fairly substantial number.
Let me stop whining briefly to talk about something wonderful: the return of Lexi Ainsworth to the canvas and the reunion of all the Davis girls. That young lady is a powerhouse performer, and if you weren't a viewer when she was on before, I would highly encourage you to go to YouTube and watch videos of her abuse storyline. Here's one to get your started. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DyoM_jvp3A) This young lady will definitely class up the show. If the new writers give her solid material, she can absolutely make the most of it. I am delighted she's back on canvas. I was whining for two years after they fired her because I was still irked.
As we are on the verge of a new team taking over the show, I am hopeful that they will speed things along and get the show moving again. But that having been said, I refuse to throw Ron Carlivati under the bus. He did so much right at the beginning of his reign at GH: brought back legacy characters, used GH's rich history, threw in a little Ryan's Hope nostalgia, and gave us an amazing 50th anniversary celebration. I wrote many glowing columns about his writing and about the storylines he created. But, somewhere along the way, he got lost. That happens to writers sometimes.
Let me call this the Modern Family Syndrome. When Modern Family first came on the air, I laughed until I cried. It was fresh and funny and original, and there was nothing like it on the air. I still watch it every week -- it's on my TiVo as a season pass -- but last year around the end of the season, I thought, "I'm not laughing anymore." I saw it win Emmys, but I could think of ten other sitcoms that were much funnier and edgier than Modern Family had become.
Maybe the kids grew up and the writers didn't know what to do with them anymore. Maybe they were restless and after several seasons just couldn't think of any new comical situations. Last night, I was flipping channels, and the old birthday party "Fizbo" episode of Modern Family was on in reruns, and I laughed as hard as I did the first time. But there was no "Fizbo" episode last season.
I think Ron Carlivati saved GH. I think it was in line for cancellation, and the ratings soared his first season of writing. But now, they are declining again, and I hope the new team can boost them up. I don't even want to think about a world where there is no GH! I wish him well. I think good thoughts about him. I know he loves our show. I hope the new writers love it and are energized to write new, fresh dialogue and action for our quirky friends in Port Charles.
But back to business in Port Charles. Ava is blonde again! I cheered out loud at my TV when I saw her bottle of hair dye and the scissors. When she started hacking at her hair, I screamed, "YES!" at my TV. I was so done with Denise. Readers, don't hate me, but in my humble opinion, the mingling of Scott and Ava is pure genius. Scott can be a good guy or a bad guy. He's swung both ways over the years, and if he's swinging over to the dark side again, by all means let it be for a fling with Ava.
Since Morgan is deeply entrenched with his possible bipolar disorder and quest to murder Julian, he certainly won't have the time to be Ava's lover anymore. Last we heard, he was pretty mad at her for lying to him about her identity, but we have seen her seduce him out of his convictions before. Kiki has been off canvas, and frankly, I am okay with that. So, I am all for Scott getting Ava so Morgan can focus on either A) going to the doctor and getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder or B) fighting a murder rap if he shoots Julian.
I think the notion that Julian shot Sonny has been a case of "Bait and Switch" -- they are working too hard to point to Julian, which makes me think it's definitely not Julian. My money is about 50-50 between Paul Hornsby and Sonny's devoted brother Ric. I can't decide.
Paul showed up in town out of the blue with buckets of money and seems slightly shady. At the end of Friday's episode, he showed up on Ava's doorstep and said he could help her. Is he the one who ransacked Scott's room and stole the flash drive? Or maybe he was offering to help her dye her hair.
On the other hand, Ric proved to us he wasn't on the up and up anymore after marrying Nina and trying to drive her mad for money, so it stands to reason he might be in bed with the mob, too. Carly has never had any use for Ric, and one can't blame her, since he had her tied up in a panic room for months, but it would be great if she could say "Ha! I told you!" to everyone who thinks she is too hard on him.
Carly spent some time in the chapel this week, as did Dante. I'm always happy to see GH acknowledge faith, and yet a little sad too. For many people, faith isn't just a thing to pull up in crisis. On GH, people who do nothing but terrible things day in and day out suddenly get very religious when someone gets shot. Just once, I would like to see any character on GH say "We have to get ready for church now, kids" and attend an actual church service other than for a wedding or a funeral. Or even mention their faith out loud like, "Don't worry about being bipolar, Morgan. I know God will give us the strength to get through this together." But nope, people in Port Charles only think of God in gunshot/cancer/tragic situations.
On to other topics, I am very disappointed in Elizabeth and Nikolas. They used to be two of the good, upstanding, decent, righteous people in town. Now, even though Elizabeth wrestles with her guilt daily, she continues to live a lie and keep Jason away from his wife and son.
At first, I was willing to give her a pass because I thought she would have a couple of weeks with him and then be wrought with guilt and do the right thing. (Because that's probably what I would do.) But she hasn't done the right thing even though this lie is weighing on her with the pressure of five elephants. All she can think of is her guilt and shame for this terrible lie she is telling, but she continues to walk in that day after day, taking short moments of comfort in Jason's arms. You know, that guy who calls himself Jake because he has no idea he is Jason.
You'd think the fact that he took out three goons unarmed would have tipped off Sam, but after all this time, the only person who realized it was Spinelli (and maybe Sonny had insight after he was shot). I hear he's coming back, and I would be so thrilled if he got to be the one to say, "Ha! I knew it! I told you he was Jason!"
I have to wonder how far down the trail of the dark side Elizabeth has gone. If, for instance, Danny was sick and Jason could save his life, would she tell him then or just let Danny die? If Monica were in the hospital, would she say to him, "Your mom is sick, and she needs you"? After this is all over, can she be redeemed? Which, of course, I asked when she was sleeping with her brother-in-law behind her husband's back a few years ago, too.
And what about Nikolas? The new writers will have their work cut out writing him out of the corner he's in right now. What would make him snap out of it? Something bad happening to Spencer? I have read that Nicolas Bechtel was signed on to his own Disney show, so I have to wonder if Spencer will be killed off or recast. Although, since ABC and Disney are owned by the same company, maybe he will pull double duty? What sort of shock would it take for Nik to snap out of his Helena fog and start acting like a prince again?
I think there is potential for Nik and Hayden to become a real couple, but two amnesiacs in town being lied to about their identity is two too many, so first she has to regain her memory and come to terms with who and what she was before the shooting. That had the potential to be a very tender love story -- the two of them realizing how damaged they are and trying to become better versions of themselves together. Like Franco and Nina, who are still my favorite couple right now.
Speaking of shootings... Sonny was shot. He was not shot in the brain, and yet Patrick, the world-renowned brain surgeon, is the one that operated on him. My husband said, "Why is the brain surgeon operating on a chest wound?" I did not know the answer, other than the fact that a show called General Hospital is very light on doctors and nurses these days.
Monica has vanished from the hospital, as has Bobbie. One could presume they have both retired. Sabrina got fired after the Ava pill incident, and I haven't seen Nurse Felix or Lab Tech Brad for weeks. Britt sneaked out of town with Faison, Lucas is occasionally at the hospital, and Epiphany makes an appearance now and again.
Dr. Obrecht must be on leave to film Winterthorne, although Maxie is on canvas, so that doesn't explain that either. Elizabeth spent two months tending to Jake when he was in the hospital, but ever since he was released, I rarely see her in a patient's room. Steve is in prison, Matt is in prison, and Lisa Niles is in prison. (Or a mental hospital, I don't recall.) Tony and Alan are dead. Rick and Jeff Webber are gone. Dr. Collins, who desperately needs to see Morgan, hasn't been seen since the day he found out Lucy was sleeping with Scott.
All that is to say we need some new doctors at GH so Patrick can get a day off and not have to do every single surgery. Next thing you know, he will be Valerie's OB/GYN. He did get some time off for his birthday party, which was a very sweet scene. Robin was never really that loving to Patrick, so I am feeling sad for him already because Sam will dump him in a New York minute when she finds out Jason is alive, and he will be all alone. At the end of that sweet scene, Patrick proposed to Sam, and she looked shell-shocked. Will she say yes? If so, Jason will find out who he is either the day of her wedding or the day after. If she says no, it will be because she's drawn to Jake and isn't sure why. I'm not psychic, of course; these are just random soap guesses.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Alexis explain how she and Julian are staying in a house that exploded last year? Will Alexis explain why she is still crashing with her kids if her house was rebuilt? Will Alexis explain why her lover Julian is almost always just wearing a towel? Will Carly kick all of Sonny's other baby mamas out of the hospital waiting room? Will anyone tell me where Max and Diane are hiding and why Magic Milo came back to work -- did he get fired from stripping?
Will Sonny have to write new vows now that Carly has already read his old ones? Will Maxie be able to plan a second perfect wedding? Will Sonny think to wear a bulletproof vest the next time he knows for a fact he's walking into an ambush? Will I ever care about Dillon's stupid movie? Will Mayor Jones ever unseat Mayor Lomax? Will I be able to stop writing rerun columns when the show stops endlessly looping?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
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