Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Surgery: Hormone Injection

Well, let's see. I've bitched all week about the show...put up the failing ratings... expressed the few things that brought me joy (the Q's).  What's left? Well, today's surgery is going to be about Guza's Women  and how their stories (or lack there of) totally contribute to the downfall of those key WOMEN'S demo numbers.

Carly, Sam, Alexis, Claudia, Claire, Olivia, Kate, Brenda, (Reese, Emily, Hannah...Angel, Lily) all fell  into the Sonny-Well. You know, that deep dark place where women seem to lose all sense of self. Within the last few years we've seen character after character fall over the edge. Ker-Plunk. I'm going to start with Kate. 

Kate came on canvas as a strong character, editor of "Crimson" mag, moving through the fashion world with ease. She also knew Sonny from her girlhood past. Who remembers the two of them sitting days on end during the "Black and  White Ball" talking about their "relationship"? I sure do. Kate was always on. The wedding, the shootings, the undying love declared. That is, until Olivia showed up. THEN it was 24-7 Olivia,  who actually met Sonny when he was even younger back in Bensonhurst. What happened to Kate? Well, let's just say Kate's now seen maybe 3x in 6 months, making out with Coleman. She didn't even get much to do when Michael came out of his coma, a story she was entrenched in from the start.

Olivia. Olivia was Sonny's "first love" we found out. They bantered, she had a secret--they flirted. The secret was Dante--who quickly took over the canvas and ate up every scene. Olivia was the one that was front/center  in the Michael wakes up from the Coma story. Where's Olivia now that Brenda's back? Hmmmm, reduced to making out with Johnny once a month if we're lucky.  She talks about lasagna and maybe gets a scene with Jax now and again. 

Claudia also came in as gangbusters. She was a man-eater that was also in a mob family. At least Claudia got a brother and a father. Problem is, she was written  into a corner after trying to have Sonny killed (at the same time as wanting his baby). Claudia was brutally killed and "Changed things forever". I personally loved the character and saw a lot of potential if she was written as more than a one-dimensional shrew.  

Claire. Oh, poor Claire. She started off strong, and then got into the Sonny web and totally lost everything that made her character interesting. Thank god they dropped the desperate "I want a baby" story once Brenda got back. That was another Guza trick: all women either want or get Sonny's babies. Claire reminds me of Alexis. Where's Alexis now? Hmmmm. Reduced to either having a line or two with Diane or running to Sonny about Kristina. 
Thank God for Diane who seems to  be the only teflon-donna when it comes  to Dimples Charms. If she ever sleeps with him, I'll fly to LA myself and do some ass-kicking. 

My point is this: our dear head writer seems to bring in new females with new stories and instead of finishing up the old ones or weaving them together, totally drops things. Women don't really have a use outside of Sonny--unless they are Carly or going out with Jason. Robin is connected to Sonny via Stone and thank goodness she's allowed to be a doctor in her own right. The women in question rarely have friends, btw-- rarely indulge in girl talk, and forget about showing them doing anything but talking about Sonny or Sonny's kids. Kristina was beaten by her boyfriend--and it ended up being more about Sonny's revenge than Kristina's healing.  

Now that Brenda's back it's  going to be ALL BRENDA ALL THE TIME...and not only that her "past" involves Sonny's own son! We get a Double-shot of Sonny!!

Michael had better keep ol' Abby away from Daddy, because if she's around for any length of time, you know Guza wouldn't be able to resist sticking those two together.

I understand the need to revolve the show around a central theme. The thing is, in daytime it's usually around a central family or families. Given the fact that Sonny's "Family" is far flung and in the case of his father, hardly shown, it's difficult to care for more than a moment. Look at Ric--Sonny's brother. (Hey, someone had to take AJ's place as Sonny's punching bag). He disappeared on an elevator, never to be seen/talked about again. His sister is dead. We're lucky if his kids are in the same room once a year. He's had SO many pairings, it's hard to root for any of them because you know they'll get blown to bits in one way or the other. (BOOM!)

Don't Faint: I honestly CAN like Guza's writing.  I do think he has talent -- I have enjoyed many of his story arcs. I just really REALLY wish he'd start to weave things together, not get so frenzied over a "guest" star or a couple or a tiny story. While I've never been a fan of his female story-arcs (most end up in Shadybrook) I do think he could write a bang up female-empowered story if he tried.
GH's cast is bloated...the players we'd love to see more of aren't used enough. I'm so tired of seeing the women on this show being reduced to baby-makers (not knowing who the father is), the seducer, the crazy-shrew bent on having an affair with another man. I need some Cramer women on GH. I want Leslie and Monica back, with Audrey thrown in now and again. Mike needs to be on and the Q's certainly need more to do than they have now. If the stories were more balanced, we could have more cast integration going. If it were more balanced and less frenetic, I could look forward to the story-telling of it all without worry that it's going to be dropped for the latest flavor of the month.  Speaking of dropping...Helena was invisible after Franco appeared. Valentin? A guy with real connections to the canvas? Heck, he was mentioned for an entire beginning story, then never heard about again.

Like I said, hormone injection. With writer Karen Harris leaving (a great dialog person, imo) we are in even deeper sheeze in the months to come. Hang on.

NOTE: It was announced that Brianna Brown (Lisa) has had her contract extended to 12/2011. There's another girlie headed to Shadybrook or death.


Anonymous said...

Guza needs to go plain and simple! Everyone should be calling and writing about it!

Dori said...

OMG, really?!! A whole other year of dragging out the crazy Lisa/Robin story. It's a good storyline; but Lord help me I don't think I could stand another year of it! Oh, nevermind, let me guess it'll turn into a Lisa's sane and Robin's crazy. Oh no wait a minute, it really is Lisa that's crazy. Oh no wait...oh forget it!!

Lindsay said...

Carly isn't in that image. I see Claudia, but not Carly. That seems like one of the most important women with whom Sonny has slept haha! Good surgery today though! :) You are SO right. When is Guza going to start listening to you already?!?!?!

skeebob said...

I think Guza's first two terms as headwriter were mostly successful. First time out, he introduced Carly, Stefan and Nik, and he did the story he's repeated ad nauseum - click, boom. On his second go-around, he did Liz's rape and the reexamination of Laura's rape (although one of his assistant writers, can't think of her name, gets a lot of credit for those), Alan's addiction, the silly but fun Jax/Chloe/Ned/Alexis thing, and the initial Sonny/Carly pairing. He's never been as good as Claire Labine, but those two terms weren't anywhere close to the consistently disappointing run since he returned in early 2002.

I think the Lisa story up through Robin in the well was pretty good. The scenes with Patrick admitting the truth to Robin are among the best scenes of the year so far. But since the miracle rescue from the well, it just hasn't gelled. I despise the Shadybrook stuff, but Lisa might be the first character in forever that actually might deserve to be sent there.

Anonymous said...

I think Guza's time has come. He's recycling the same stuff. Over and over again. WHY do people think he's so brilliant?! Beyond me...

Anonymous said...

Like Skeebob, I can remember some old times and better days with Guza. I hated that Stefan came on to be a re-write of Laura's history, but Steve Nichols did a good job finally (and I miss his exchanges with Luke!) I even liked when Guza married Jax to Alexis, but he was quoted as saying he didn't get to do with that story what he wanted to do because TPTB insisted on Chloe with Jax. Still there were some good times and some thin times--I hated that he couldn't seem to find a way to put Lane Davies to good use! Imagine! LANE DAVIES!

The spiraling downhill ride started when he got so thoroughly hung up on Sonny. Sonny as a strip club owner was slimy and interesting, but Guza had to try to give him a heart and make him the lead. Then he gave him the show. All of it, handed it over. If you didn't love Sonny and if you believed crime was a bad, punishable thing, you tuned out.

I never felt Guza had a lot of heart or could write the sort of warm, involving stories that Labine could so easily do. He was terrible at romance--mistook it for sex. Can't write an intelligent, self-sufficient woman. (And even if Diane doesn't sleep with Sonny, she defends him in court when he is always indefensible.)

This could all be changed for the better easily enough. Give Mike a chance at romance and have him marry--so Sonny would have real family, a house to visit, something besides kids all over town. Then keep Sonny confined to one story and not have everyone's story part of his. Let him be in the background part of the year. And please..let him go to jail for a good while! Even his fans should be able to see why...

Then develop some real stories for real women, women with a sense of humor, women who are not 85% bitches, women who can think for themselves so we can identify with them. I sure don't identify with conniving, amoral Carly or characterless Sam, or ditzy Maxie or cave-in Claire, or super-bitch Tracy or zig-zaggy basket-case Brenda.

Guza needs a female co-headwriter (one who understands women) who actually has enough clout to do some good here.

kdmask said...

HELL, I give props for Guza's Cassadine into. Totally changed history, but it was GOOD.

And...Lindsay, I put Sarah Brown in there as Claudia/Carly-- I wondered if anyone would notice. I didn't put Laura Wright in because she, out of everyone looks the most different with her blonde hair. SO many of those women look SO alike! LOL

Stephanie said...

Hey - I think that Suzanne is Balkin's wife, and the mother of the guy that Brenda shot. And, she wants her grandbaby!!!

Mamaspat Ole said...

I have emailed and sent mail to that lady Anne Sweeney hes still there.So I will just come here read what yall say and go back to watching OLTL and Days....Sic em Karen