i bet you all are thinking that this is another lost blog post, but it's not. it's actually about the hot mess that is "general hospital." i'm embarrassed to admit this, but i'm actually traveling for work and have been catching up with the episodes online, via abc's full episode player. in any case, sometimes i wonder why i bother catching up with episodes i've missed instead of just skipping them over. i suspect it's some sort of masochistic tendency on my part.
here's the thing, i think one of the biggest problems gh faces is that the writers have continued to write themselves into corners that they can't wriggle out of and they relentlessly cling to storylines that do not work while refusing to take the tired stories in newer, possibly interesting directions.
i've been doing a lot of lists lately, but it's the best way to highlight all the things wrong with this show.
1. claudia zacchara
in all honesty, i like claudia. i think sarah brown is fantastic, and i think that the writers have made a mess of her character. the one night stand with sonny that brought her back on the canvas didn't bother me, it was the misogynistic behavior that resulted from every quarter in port charles that did. somehow claudia was wrong to sleep with sonny, when he was the one who was so in love with someone else. how was she to know that he was in a committed relationship (even if kate and sonny were totally on a break)? granted they made her behave like a stalker when they ran into each other again, but sonny was really awful to her.
she made some horrible choices too, and putting out the hit on sonny that resulted in michael's shooting was a bad idea. but at the same time, i don't see her as responsible for the shooting. she didn't pull the trigger and michael was never the target. he wasn't supposed to be at the warehouse. i think i'd be a terrible mobster, because i just don't get mob justice and accountability. i don't see how claudia behaved any differently than jason or sonny, only that her actions had really bad consequences for an innocent party.
i also think that in some ways the people who do know about the hit, must think like me. here's the thing, sarah brown excels at playing claudia's vulnerable side. she cries A LOT, but she's also been treated like crap by all the men she's ever loved--even johnny flip flops on his treatment of her. every woman in town treats her like she's the town whore, rather conveniently forgetting their own poor choices in the sleeping around department.
when claudia interacts with nicholas, spinelli, jason, and johnny, she's surprisingly great. during the hospital crisis her scenes with carly were fantastic. and now that sarah brown has extended her contract for another year, there is no easy way out of the "who ordered the hit that resulted in michael's shooting" scenario. so they're trying to redeem her, but when you make someone behave irredeemably, that is impossible. and nothing makes sense.
i like claudia, i really do. and i think that claudia and sonny together are more interesting than sonny and kate ever were. as much as they like to put sonny in triangles with the angel/whore dynamic, what they seem to forget every single time is that it never works out with the angels. sonny is into whores--see lily/brenda, carly/emily, kate/olivia, kate/claudia, etc. sarah brown and maurice bernard have fantastic chemistry too, it's amazing to contrast it with the snoozefest that was kate and sonny.
what's annoying about the claudia zacchara situation is that obviously at some point the truth will come out. and it sucks that she'll have to pay for it. especially considering how much jason and sonny get away with, how much blood they have on their hands.
2. emily quartermaine/rebecca shaw
killing emily bowen quartermaine was possibly one of the stupidest things this show has ever done. i'm not a natalia livingston fan, but i have always been a fan of emily. so when natalia decided to leave, i'm not sure why emily couldn't have been recast. or at the least terribly injured and sent away to recover for the 10 months it took natalia to reconsider her employment status on "general hospital." if she really wanted to change her look, you could always say she woke up from her coma feeling like a different person. jason did that, why couldn't emily?
i don't care about rebecca shaw. everything having to do with her is boring. and her eye makeup couldn't be more terrible. it reminds me of when amber tamblyn first started wearing makeup as emily, when she went through a little rebellious period with lucky, and i don't think that it is their intention to remind me of that.
in any case, if rebecca arrived on the scene with a nefarious purpose, they need to get to it. because it's so boring watching everyone react to her doppelganger status. especially since nicholas had a doppleganger while he and emily were together and this was a major storyline for both characters. and the thing is, i can't warm up to rebecca really, because i don't understand why they just can't bring emily back from the dead. maybe helena kidnapped her during the black and white ball and had a minion who looked exactly like emily killed and this emily who has come to town is brainwashed much like lucky was when he was kidnapped by helena.
having rebecca around is ultimately less soapy and creative than if they had found a way to bring emily back. and they need to do something to make this character a bit more interesting and way less annoying.
3. jason and sonny
why are we reverting back to everything the way it was before?
ugh. just ugh. i can't even use words to explain how annoyed it all makes me. because michael's shooting was supposed to have consequences, it was supposed to change everything. but it hasn't because jason and sonny are the same as they have always been. and even though the story has been more interesting having them on separate teams, i can't believe we're going back.
and if ultimately the consequences of michael's shooting aren't long-lasting. and if they do bring michael back--which is clearly what they are planning to do then what is the point in having claudia take the fall for the shooting in the first place?
it's just so wasteful. so many potential storylines. all of them going to waste.
and that's the theme on "general hospital": wasted potential. i watch because i fool myself into thinking that they'll catch on and tell a good soapy story the way they did in the 90s (when i first got hooked) but it's not going to happen. especially not as long as there is no change of leadership in the writing and producing staff.