Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Surgery: Tunnel Vision

Mornin' hour early!!  I hate Daylight Savings Time. I should live in AZ...they are the smart ones that don't have it. I have a very sensitive internal clock and this just throws me off for weeks. It's not right until we 'fall back' again.

On to the task of the day!!  I'm going to talk about the black hole that is GH's character development. It's been an interesting process to watch. GH brings on women 'for Sonny' and then they are shoved in our faces 24/7--at the expense of all others---until the next one shows up. Think for a minute: 

Kate Howard--Sonny's "first love" from Bensonhurst
Olivia Falconeri--Sonny's other "first love" from Bensonhurst 

Claudia Zacchara--crazy lady ONS that morphed into a mob marriage
Claire what's her last name-- lawyer that filled time until Brenda showed up
Brenda Barrett-- the "love of Sonny's life" back for the umteenth time and until she leaves again, Sonny's locked into that relationship.

While looking at some fan bases that are missing their fave characters, I started to think about each one's fate.  There's poor Kate Howard-- brought on as a lost love of Sonny's from  the old neighborhood, now a glam-jam lady for a fashion magazine. We saw them all the time. Heck, during the back and white ball, they were hold up in a room for days, the result of block taping and insertion. The only time Sonny got out was when Ric needed a blood transfusion. (we won't go into that mess...) Kate was shot by little Michael...was shot on her wedding day...and was present when Michael got shot in the head. Then, never was even around when he woke up. Nice job, writers!

Then?? Just about nothing--because------OLIVIA showed up. Olivia with a little 'present' for Sonny. His son. DANTE (dum, dum..dum dum...drum roll). They flirted...she let him taste her sauce at Kelly's. They kissed. They bantered. Kate became background noise--gone to Paris, gone baby gone. The magazine "Crimson"?? Ah, it held such promise..Maxie and Lulu working like the girlies on "The Hills". Now?  Nothing but a few scenes with them in the "office" talking about Kate and not actually seeing her.

BUT! We had Olivia-- and the Dante secret to get out. Finally, Dante gets shot-- Sonny finds out it's his kid. Olivia is on all the time, making out with hot Johnny Z--Sonny's rival's son. Ironic? I guess. Anyway, Olivia was hot property for awhile...then, things the middle of it all was: 

Claudia Zacchara. The wild card. See, Sarah Brown came back to GH to do a whole new character and based on their old CarSon chem, it had to be done again. Soooooooo, Claudia got married to Sonny for 'convience' and quite a few sex scenes. She yelled at Kate and Olivia, got into it with Ric  and then got bashed in the head by Michael and died for her troubles. Bye Claudia! 

Who's next? How about inserting a sexy lawyer lady to tempt our alpha male?? A sassy prosecutor  that's gunning for the murdering Michael. (Ok, self-defense Michael). Enter: Claire Walsh. Short, spunky and full of distain for the mobular man. Except..she too falls for Sonny's charms. (How can you not??!) Not only does she fall for him, she wants a baby. We did hear about that for quite awhile..didn't we? There were even hints she might be PG. There were many sex scenes. Many. Then? Well, we know what happened. The Face was back. That put the nail in ol' Claire's coffin.  She went to Alaska.  BUT WAIT!! She was back again..for ONE scene where Sonny asked her to take over Brenda's lawsuit. 
Then, nothing. NOTHING. I have no idea where ol' Claire you?

All three ladies (with the exception of Claudia, who's dead) are in the twilight zone. I call it the GH storage closet. Many characters have gone before them. (Bobbie, Mac, Monica, Audrey, Lucas..yada, yada). Sometimes the characters are allowed out to play, other times, they just evaporate. That's Kate at the moment. Olivia has some life left--they are trying her with Dr. Steve, and she did get a part in the 2.3 second "Bus Crash" saga. Other than that? You don't see her in scenes with Sonny often. NEVER with Brenda. I think ol' Abby got her old apartment set. We know  Claire is in there, buried deep in the back behind Monica and Helena. 

*sigh*. What's wrong with this you ask? Don't soaps have to renew/change characters? Well, problem with GH is they bring in people to peg-hole them, paint them in a corner and when they are done, they can't move along. They are stuck. They've rarely interacted with the whole GH canvas, and hardly get used outside the Sonny-Saga.  That's what makes Olivia and Kate's "bar fight" at Jake's so awful and stupid. Why was that even in there? Why waste Kate in something like that when we could have had Crimson scenes? Olivia and Kate were never shown to have an 'outside' relationship even though they were cousins.  Why hasn't Olivia been more present in the Dante-Brenda back story? She's usually into all his biz. 

This is what makes fans start to NOT root for any couple. NOT CARE about new characters or even want to hope for a future. We worry now that VMG might not sign again--meaning Brenda either leaves town or "Dies" and is brought back later. I personally think Soaps lost so much when they started bringing characters back from the dead over and over again. It might have worked in the past as a shocker, but now? It's expected. And way overdone.

Ah, heck, there's always Carly, right? 

Have a good's hoping This week Mother Nature calms down. It's also the start of "Jake Week"...he'll get hit and we'll go into the "brain-dead" story. Kidneys, angst... fan backlash. By the way, I don't think JZ or LC taped any scenes for this. Storage Closet alert!!


Anonymous said...

you forgot Hanna, Reese and Sam who is still being shoved down our throats. she also has never had a storyline other than being a man's arm candy.

Frisco said...

If this dreadful Jake storyline were going to be done properly (insert eyeroll) Boobie, Monica, Leslie, Audrey, Laura, Lady Jane and Edward would all be part of it...maybe even a reference of Sarah Webber or Lucas having called or sent flowers...a side scene of Mac or "Georgie" comforting Maxie, etc.
Instead I bet we will see more of Sonny, Brenda, Sam and Dante then we will even see of Jax or Steve Webber.
I'm already disgusted.

Kimmie said...

Amen! Ridiculous writing and lack of character use is exactly why soaps will soon be gone.. people that watch them now want romance and ALL their favorite characters to be seen once in awhile..not never.. young viewers are not interested in watching soaps they are too into internet and texting so the genre of the soap fan is dying off.. Use all characters so people that DO watch can be satisfied watching or rooting for their character! I miss Kate Howard! Bring Back Kate!

nana said...

I said to my daughter, the first day that this storyline leaked out that this would be the +perfect time for JZ to appear. She is a Spencer, a coworker of Elizabeth's and SHE WENT THROUGH THE SAME THING back in the nineties; still one of the most heart wrenching storylines of all time..this from someone who has been aboard since April 1, 1963. It is going to be heartbreaking, as SB and JJ are two of the best actors GH has ever had with facial emotions. It is going to be interesting as to how this developes, as I feel this was written a while back, to start the departure of Elizabeth. Will not miss this. And the embrass between Luke and Lucky. Where are my tissues?

Metome said...

See from the beginning, cannon of the show, it was about Sonny and Brenda....period. Yes, I do believe he loved Carly and they showed that for years but his great love was and is Brenda.

Sorry but Kate, Olivia and the rest were ridiculous plot points in Sonny's story. It was insulting to have Guza make Kate a first love of Sonny's. Rewriting history just to give him a girlfriend...please. Olivia should have been a nice gf that he had that got preggers but the rest...again...insulting.

Yes I do agree with you about how they paint characters into a corner but Sonny and Brenda were always a supercouple.

I had no interest in either of them with other people and I stopped watching after she left the last time. I couldn't watch them pass time trying to make another woman Sonny's "great love." His great love was and always will be Brenda.

There are tons of fans who are invested in them and they bring ratings, which have been high two weeks in a row, and GH should realize that. If the ratings have gone up from the wedding I could only imagine how good they would have been if they didn't botch Brenda's return from the beginning. She should have come to town, Murphy and Suzanne in tow, working for ASEC and then interacted with Sonny, Jason and everyone else. Screw this Balkan crap and Brante, Brazen, etc. Sonny and Brenda from the beginning would have worked. Now that they are finally together things are finally coming together.

I really do hope VMG does stay and continue and integrate more with the cast. Would love to see her and Olivia talk, see Emma and Patrick, Brooklynn, etc.

Overall, even though the show is still a mess, writing wise, I think things are getting a lot better with character balance and story balance. They just need to stop recycling storylines from the past.

Anonymous said...

guza the luza hates Jackie zeman and the Q's Why would he write for them. He only writes for his lovers sonny , jason,carly, or anything to do with the mob.

inbal said...

As we always say ITS THE WRITING!!!

we have stories for some time then they all fall apart.. we still have Sam on the show she is Krisi's sister she is dating Jason but we didn't had scenes w/her&Sonny..they had a baby that died&saved Krisi's life..

I am going to watch Jake death S/L I hate saying But it could be good SL this is the first Big SL that is not really mob....
I hope hope they will add Jake's&Jocc families to the mix Bobbie monica Edward not to mention Audrey...

as we all know its depend on one thing and thats THE WRITING!!! the actors Steve B John Becky are the best in the soaps world, they will give us the scenes where we want to cry,seeing the promo I already did when Lucky hugs Luke,where liz&Lucky talk or when Jason is looking at the OP and he reaches his hand...

ANd please I do not want to see all of them going back to normal after month I want Lucky Liz and Jason to change...

kdmask said...

Ah. SORRY, corner stone of GH is Luke/Laura...and many of us saw the need for Luke to be with Tracy. That's character development.

Watchintele said...

Karen, you have made a great point about the writing and how it pigeon holes characters.
That being said, even the characters that are expected to act in a certain way as that is/are their defining traits as a character are rewritten for mere plotpoints.

Side bar for a minute.
I like the fact that fans are allowed to chat with actors during shows. It's a good change of pace.

I was reading through Steve Burton's chat, and was surprised no one asked his take on Jason forgiving Sam for all she did to Jake, Cam & Elizabeth. It's just mindboggling that he was unable to forgive Robin (his first love as Jason Morgan) for telling the truth about Michael's paternity but was so forgiving about all that happened to his son, Cam and Elizabeth???
This is the kind of stuff that irritates fans so much.
And, it's not only Jason who've they changed.
Sonny is another example. He would have flipped after hearing about the baby thing. He would have ripped into Carly for talking about it so publically. She would have been labelled a "betrayer" in Sonny's eyes. And, nothing!!

All Luke is these days is a lush.

Lucky is shown as bit of a dimwit, considering he was so savvy as a child.
Elizabeth has been shown as a girl who can't make up her mind about a guy, when that's far from the truth.
I can go on but what's the point.

The writing has become horrible over the past decade. Plot points can only drive stories so far. It's the characters that are the driving force of a good story. Stick with their characteristics that define them. Otherwise, you might aswell have a new character for all on the canvas all the time.

Last but not least, use your vets!! They are the ones that carried the show for many years. Not utilizing them is just a tragedy.
If a story as the one is going to be done with Jake & Joss, please incorporate those that have gone through this before.
Now if they hadn't killed Tony Jones, imagine the powerful scene he and Jason could have shared?!?
There would have a been a good understanding developed between the 2.
But that can't happen now. Sad!!

inbal said...

BTW did You know the last funeral GH had was Emily's n 2007...

I wonder if they will do one w/Jake yesterday I watched the BJ/Maxie S/L on YT and saw the funeral.. I hope the writing thought of that...

Watchintele said...

Sorry for the repost in this thread, but I thought more may read the Sunday Surgery blog.

I'm just wondering what everyone else’s take is on the spoiler of Sam being the only one that will be able to console Jason after Jake's death?

I personally feel it would be far more organic and realistic if he displays signs of anger and resentment towards Sam as it was her stunt in the park that hardened his resolve to stay away from Jake, Cam and Elizabeth after he decided he wanted to be a family with them.
Though some of those feelings would be a projection of his own guilt in his decision to stay away, it would not be too far fetched for him to push her away in his time of grief.

I just feel it's another attempt to prop all things Jasam at the expense of what is a realistic reaction.

I would prefer him to find solace from Monica, Edward, Lucky & Elizabeth.

Karen, and other wubbers, what is your position on this?

Jen said...

My position is GUZA IS A LUZA (Stolen from anon). Hate it. I don't mind Jasam, but please don't kill all Liason history off (literally)

Anonymous said...

I think it's way too easy to say it's just, "the writing"; although I agree that is a big part of it. I also believe that budget constraints and production schedules (block taping) also have a lot to do with the disconnected feel of a lot of our characters.

Unfortunately, GH has redone too many stories and tried overuse existing characters and then scotch tape things together with unwanted newbies.

Personally, I really don't like Abby/Michael together. I find the actress a bit one dimensional. And I was never crazy about Olivia either. I liked Kate and thought it was dumb to have another long lost kid for Sonny.

I like VM as an actress, but I always felt she was desperate for Sonny in the 90's and preferred her more indepentant side with Jax. However, I like Sonny and Brenda more now then I did back in the day. I just wish there weren't so many women in between. Sonny comes off as a man slut.

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog. You are right on. Sonny and Brenda were very hot in their day, but in this day, they just don't have it and I resent having them shoved in my face 24/7. They do not have "it" anymore, but yet they do come across as "caring" for each other--more in a brother/sister way or even a father/daughter way. I see o passionate chemistry there any longer. It's sad, but that's the way it is and that's why the ratings have continued to sink. Their wedding seemed more of a sweeps stunt than the culmination of a romance. I am happy for the SnB fans though because they finally got their wedding. However, I suspect Brenda will be gone in the blink of an eye--that's how VMG does it.

As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see Sonny reunite with Kate after Brenda leaves. Kate made Sonny and much more entertaining and likable character. I loved their lightness, sexiness and funny scenes. I never thought Maurice would be such a great straight man! LOL I want to see some happy, sexy, believable romance with a real story. I'm waiting for a SKate reunion!