Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nelson Branco Interviews General Hospital Head Writer, Bob Guza

BRANCO

Well, he's a tough nut to get out of his shell, but our own Canadian Wonder-Boy Nelson Branco got him to give an extensive interview for TV Guide Canada. Click on that link and read the article before reading my comments!


 It’s almost like love amongst the ruins. Love against the backdrop of violence, despair, and death ~ Robert Guza on GH's "Identity"

TVGuide.ca chose General Hospital head writer Robert Guza as daytime’s most powerful and influential player in 2010. At first I was questioning this...I guess it's my deep-seated feelings about GH in general, but then I realized it was true. He IS the most powerful player right now. (although Brian Frons deserves some credit for giving the green light for all this mayhem!!) Who else has had the mainstream press buzzing about Daytime?? Franco is the hottest guy in the movie, TV and art world lately. Yale has him... he'll be in "Eat, Pray Love" soon... PLUS he's got a real life art show in NYC.  Can't buy that kinda press, folks.

I'm not as enamored of Mr. Guza's story-arc style as Nelson is. As you all know, I find many too many holes in stories (you can drive a coffee truck through them), waste of characters and jagged time lines to be maddening. And although I'm not in a focus group, I think I can say as someone that has watched daytime for over *cough* MANY years and been on the Internet for 11, things aren't going very well in ratingsville for a reason. Huge stunts are great. Showcasing actors is wonderful...but on GH it's too often just bursts of greatness instead of building things slowly over time. Don't get me wrong, bursts are exciting and much needed but I do like a bit of filler that makes sense.

I can't imagine what goes into writing for a soap on a day to day basis. As much as I SAY I can write--I'm just a concept 'artist'!! I'm obviously not a fan of block-taping (which is used A LOT on GH) and I wish they'd use history more. I wish they wouldn't waste people like Jason Cook, Rick Hearst and Robin Christopher. I need characters like Helena to be on more often and to grow as the years go by, not just do the same thing over and over. Tony Geary's vacations are bumming me out. Bless his heart, but they are. LOL. I also wish Guza didn't have such a short attention span (he even admits this) and that stories would have a beginning, a middle and an ending. There have been far too many loose ends in the past couple of years to overlook. I won't count them now, but you know what they are.

Here's my biggest beef with GH and Guza: There are moments of greatness that can't be equaled on daytime tv. The actors of GH are not matched by any other cast. Put them together and you get gems...but gems do not a necklace make. They rattle around on the table--waiting to be put together. (how's that for analogies? LOL) Having greats come on for cameos (ie: Bradley Cole, Martha Byrne) and then having them languish in the background is heartbreaking. Older vets are pushed WAY back (John Ingle, Leslie Charleson, Ron Hale, Jackie Zeman) It leaves us all with a bad taste in our mouth.

Soaps are about history, rolling waves of stories and keeping the audience interested. If I'm only 'dazzled' once and awhile and not 'engaged' everyday, there's a problem. Vanessa Marcil isn't going to turn the tide unless the stories are top rate. Just sayin'.

Anyway, Awesome interview--you don't often get ol' Bob to open up. Leave it to a Canadian to do it. Did he offer him some Brador??

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

karen do you know if Robin Christopher was let go or was it her choice to leave? I Hope All my children pick her up! Jennie cartier

Andrea said...

I noticed in the interview that he didn't like to use the name liz, even though it was asked about the Liz/Sam/Jason triangle. If Guza always knew that Sam is the only one that will take jason as he is and not try to change him, why did they create that AWFUL storyline where Sam betrayed him in the worst way possible? In the back of their pea brains, didn't they realize that a lot of us would turn on Sam with those (two) storylines?
He also talked about how he wanted to do a show where all the kids were grown up...Morgan, Emma and Jocelyn. No mention of Cam or Jake though....

Anonymous said...

I do wish someone could make Guza realize that repeating dialog is NOT story development. More often than not GH feels like it is written for and appealing to the occasional viewer rather than those of us who have been following the show on a daily basis. With the advent of first the betamax/vcr way back when through dvr's, SoapNet, and network downloads, viewers have options open to them to stay current with the show. Why this constant catering to inconstant viewers? Don't we constant viewers deserve some rewards too -- like fresh dialog and story development that doesn't gobble up airtime for months and months on end with no forward movement?

I wonder if Nik will bring the Cassadine power to bear when he learns that Franco has the baby? Realistically he should.

Anonymous said...

I agree Andrea.. and they also had Sam sleep with her step father when alexis had lung cancer. nice one sam. We all know sam will stand by jason simply because she gives up everything for him. Liz won't give up her kids for him but jason sure will. Guza obviously didn't know Jason either. It was a slap in the face to those of us who have watched for decades

Anonymous said...

The identity of GH is "love" among the ruins?

Where is there any love on this show?

(Other than when Sonny looks at himself in a mirror)

AntJoan said...

I don't understand, if Franco is a "serial killer," wouldn't there be some kind of alert when he has a performance art event that would bring on a SWAT team or some kind of strong local or federal law enforcement presence at the event?

Trixie said...

No, Aunt Joan. When they say "serial killer" they really mean "misunderstood coffee importer." No SWAT team needed.

Dierna said...

AntJoan:

There's no proof that he kills. It's all just art to people.

Well no proof till he killed that camera man anyways. *lol*

Anonymous said...

This was a most revealing and compelling interview. I am so glad Branco nailed Guza on the tedious, often repetitive, violence-for-shock 'Maurice Bernard' show of the last several years. Guza is often lazy and complacent and that showed in so much of his past work. But I am pleased he is finally making Sonny as cheap, self-absorbed and dirty as we have always known he was since his days as a strip club manager. It has given Maurice something a little new to play (sorely needed), and given us a sense of vindication after having to sigh and groan over Sonny's 'friends' constantly telling us he is a 'good man', a 'good father', and other stupid hokum. To begin to reveal that Sonny is a shallow, murderous, and ego-driven little weasel as we've always suspected is a strong step in the right direction. And to step Sonny back a few paces from the front burner and allow other fine actors to have real story is also a positive. Nancy Grahn, probably the best actress on the show, has been neglected for years, Lucky needs a full story of his own. There is too much fine talent here to not take advantage of it all.
I do not like stunt casting, do not like these interruptions of 'star' performers coming in and hanging up other stories for a few weeks at a time. Still, while I think Martha Byrnes was wasted, I did feel Michael Learned added to the show immensely and fitted far better than Martha. It all depends on how they are intergrated into the overall landscape that must go on all the time.
I suppose James Franco has his publicity value, but as an actor in this story he is negligible. I'm anxious for him to be gone, as I was the first time he was on. I have no investment in him, and soaps are all about investment for viewers.