June 5, 2008By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Jun 5, 2008
It's not surprising that GENERAL HOSPITAL submitted last February's Metro Court hostage crisis episodes to the Emmys. That's the last time I found the show truly engaging. Every day of that story was must-see TV...and no, not because of the fancy explosions (or because I heart Sebastian Roché). It was because of cast integration, because of character building and bonding and use of history, because GH stepped up to the plate and let its phenomenal actors all hit it out of the park.
These days, the show feels like it's barely in the minor leagues. I'm bored. It's on in the background while I work. You know why I can't get worked up about GH once again playing lesbianism for cheap thrills with the hot chicks at Jake's kissing in front of Spinelli...? I wasn't looking! Back when Faith was running around planting kisses on Courtney, I actually had my eyes on the screen. Remember Faith...? The blonde Claudia Zacchara? Kind of like how Johnny is the brunette Logan Hayes and Mad Anthony is a less tattooed, whiter Manny Ruiz?
When you're constantly being censured for using the mob as your show's linchpin, for glorifying violence, for shooting little kids in the head, how does the thought, "Hey, let's bring in another mob family?" make any kind of sense? It's not a knock to the actors — Sarah Brown, Brandon Barash, and Bruce Weitz are fabulous — but it's silly that while ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ALL MY CHILDREN are bringing back vets by the truckload, GH is killing them off, forgetting them, and replacing them with newbies like the Zaccharas, Spinelli and Kate. And, yes, I know Sarah Brown isn't a noob, but her character is. I'd rather see familiar characters than sit through Claudia playing nurse to my colleague Janet's favorite "angelic" Nikolas.
Case in point, where's Scotty? Kin Shriner is one of the most hilarious, talented actors on daytime. He's nowhere to be seen after his much-touted 2007 return, while his onscreen son, Logan, is reduced to pushing Mad Anthony's wheelchair. It's just like the criminal misuse of Emma Samms, Tristan Rogers, and Finola Hughes when they came back in 2006. A token. "Hey, look, here's our vets...psych!!"
How about rolling Lucas out of whatever closet he's locked in or recasting Serena Baldwin and Tommy Hardy instead of making a sitcom character like Spinelli the star teen? Bring back Steven Lars, Ned and Dillon, and step up the roles of existing characters like Lainey and Dr. Lee because they've earned their storyline stripes just as surely as Max and Diane have. How about Lucky being a hero instead of Jason? Jax's hate for the Mob being taken seriously instead of dismissed?
But oh, wait, that might take away from Claudia and Johnny playing Flowers in the Attic. From the millionth time Sonny and Carly sleep together for no reason, from the million and first time Sonny "quits" the Mob and Carly pretends Jason being a hitman is perfectly safe. From Mob Threat #2,312,042. Zzzzzzzzzz. (It's not JUST for 'Zaccharra.')
There's only so long I can keep holding on just for Coleman and Jerry/Alexis scenes, folks.