Saturday, November 27, 2010

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program to Bring You ... Good Writing

There's nothing worse than an outdated blog, and mine has been growing stale for so long now, it might as well be covered in mold. While I'd like to tell you I've been busy traveling the world or doing something equally as exotic, the truth is ... well ... OK, I'll just say it: General Hospital has kinda sucked lately. And while I'm a long-time, loyal viewer who sticks by the show through good times and bad, the past several weeks have left me completely unentertained and uninspired. One week, I barely even watched any of the episodes, something that usually only happens if I'm away on vacation. But with so much good TV available to me on my overpriced cable package, I couldn't see carving out time to watch most of General Hospital fly by my screen on fast-forward.

There have been some glimmers of hope. I am a die-hard Sonny and Brenda fan from back in the 1990s, and while I have been mostly disappointed with how the writers have handled Brenda's return thus far, I absolutely loved S&B's scenes this past week in their old apartment. I've also enjoyed Lucky and Siobhan's scenes lately (is it just me, or does Lucky look sexier ever since he started gettin' some?) and I like watching Liz get her panties in a twist over it. And even though I thought it was absurd that Sam shipped Michael off to a hotel room with a woman who was willing to take money in exchange for having sex with a tortured 18-year-old virgin, I like the dynamic between Michael and Abby so far.

Sadly though, the General Hospital episodes that I've enjoyed the most in the past few months are the ones that have been repeats, from the Brenda-focused ones that replayed leading up to her return to this past Friday's Jason Morgan marathon on SoapNet. Yes, I'm sure some of the enjoyment of those episodes is the nostalgia factor--remembering when I first watched those stories play out, seeing characters that are no longer on the show, and seeing how those who still are on the show have changed over the years (skinny Jason! Luke with hair! when Nikolas was hot!)

But let's face it, those episodes also are so enjoyable because the writing was so much better. I miss when the show had a better balance of characters (I don't hate Dante, but yikes, we see him every single day), and well-thought-out and well-executed storylines. Sure, soaps are known for over-the-top stories that can be a little outside the realm of reality, but you can still take the time and care to fully develop those stories in a way that doesn't leave your viewers scratching their heads and grabbing for their remotes.

For me, the Lisa-Scrubs storyline is a prime example of this. This was actually one of my favorite storylines after Lisa and Patrick slept together and Robin found out. Crazy Lisa was fun to watch and fun to hate, and the emotional fallout between Patrick and Robin was so engaging that it made me care about a couple that I never really cared much about before. And as a huge bonus, we got Stone (STONE!!!) down in a well with Robin as she tried to sort the whole thing out.

But post-Robin in the well, this storyline has dragged on into absurdity. I mean, Lisa somehow finds a witch costume identical to Robin's in record time, signs herself out of work to follow around Robin and Emma in said witch costume, and takes advantage of a random moment when Robin's back is turned to grab Emma in her stroller, take her around the corner and leave her? Huh?? That's not psychotic, that's just silly. And then Uncle Mac's house happens to catch on fire, and while this actually isn't one of Lisa's crazy stunts, she just happens to be driving by at the exact moment the house is engulfed with flames, so it just looks like she did it ... stop this ride, please, I'd like to get off. Because I'm really tired of hearing the same conversation over and over and over again: Robin whining that Lisa is crazy, Lisa defending herself, Robin whining that Patrick doesn't believe her, Patrick defending himself. At this point, I'd like to drop all three of them down a well and throw a huge house party in the abandoned cabin that is surely located conveniently nearby in order to drown out their screams.

If you missed the Jason Morgan marathon on SoapNet, look up "Robin and Jason Hospital Break-up" on YouTube for a prime example of how good this show USED to be. This is Jason post-accident and yet the man talks ... a lot! He even cries! He exhibits a range of emotions that I haven't seen from "Stone Cold" in, well, I can't even remember how long. And bottom line, it's good, dramatic, engaging, emotional writing that is true to both of the characters involved.


mandalynn10 said...

BWAAHHaha!! "When Nicolas was hot..." Sorry Nicolas, but so true... lol It really has been so hard to watch lately. I hate cause like you have said, the show used to be Great! Great writing, amazing acting, and now we have The Dante Show, and Lisa-Scrubs! It has been torture to watch... but I am still, and always will be a GH fan! And yes, FINALLY some good S&B scenes!! :-) Cheers to them!

Eleven said...

Oh, how I agree with this blog post! I didn't watch GH back when Sonny and Brenda were together, but after watching some old episodes....I'm in love.

I'm sooo sick of this Lisa crap. Move on already.

No matter what, though, I'm still a fan and will stick with GH through the good, the bad, and the WTF were they thinking?!