|Which one are you? Which one am I?|
There's a fine line in soaps: Asking viewers to suspend disbelief for the sake of a broader more fantasitcal story and .. asking them to swallow something far more simple that was just executed poorly.
So apparent this week that Billy's exit rocked the story line department. Was it THAT sudden? I can't imagine management didn't relay the situation to the writing team but stupider things have been known to happen. As a producer one would think you'd want to have a seamless departure of a well loved star, especially on the heels of a hectic and sudden recast. But what do I know about running a soap?
I only watch them.
Sit back because this blog may be more of a 'think piece' this week than my usual snark. GH's ratings are on the brink and there's no where to go but up. Well, there is, but I don't want to think about that. This is long as hell so get pot of coffee ready.
I realize running a show 300+ days a year is a formidable task and I certainly don't begin to imagine how one would accomplish such a feat. I do know that in recent years, GH has lost a good amount of talent to other projects and has seemed to wax and wane on certain stories. This could be due in part, to backstage antics that are pretty evident if you follow social media. I feel like GH is focusing on the wrong stories and characters so much lately and has been for awhile. The choppy editing and segmented stories just mess with the flow of the show. I find myself trying to cheer it on when I live Tweet because god knows they need the help. Hard to do when things seem to be falling apart before your very eyes.
THE MIND TRAP: So many ways to start on this. Many people believe that Drew's memories should have been given back to "Drew" long ago. Question is: Why weren't they? I can't imagine that the writers didn't want to go in that direction. The entire Oscar and Kim arc would have been the perfect vehicle. Fans of Billy Miller would say that they favor other actors over him--yet... why would they pass on a great opportunity with an award winning actor to favor others that don't work as well in the content? Ah, I may never know the inner workings of a daytime drama. But believe me, I think there was some drama there.
I do know this: HUGE Shift came when Burton got back. Now, I for one, loved that return story line because it was written very tightly, had a ton of drama and for the most part all the players brought it. Kelly Monaco was my actor of the year that year. Seemed like the canvas was alive with all the characters participating.
Then, it all went south.
Actors seemed moody... that whole Drew/Sam/Jason triangle never really surfaced and things stalled for months while Sam moped around. I'm going to say it: Neither Miller nor Monaco were happy. You could tell in the social media posts and you could tell in performances. Maybe someday they'll grace us with the whole story. I'd love to hear it.
**PS don't say to me they 'deserved to be angry because of X Y Z-- that may be true but professionals don't let it show on canvas.
GOOD THINGS TO COME OUT OF THIS STORY: Getting more characters in the mix. Scotty for one. As Franco's Dad he's going a bit nutty over things. Curtis, Hayden, Liz and Drew talking the situation out in the living room. Nice. Let's not forget Hayden is now living with Liz due to this. Dragging Shiloh, Peter and even Nelle into the fray. Kevin, Kim, Monica and Ava should be jumping in soon so I do get that this is a nice 'umbrella' moment. That is not lost on me. The actors are doing a fine job and if written right, the shake up could be a good one. I say that with the "glass half full" attitude.
We've lost Vinessa Antoine, who was very successful playing Jordan. Why? Well, the girl didn't have a contract. So, while the family of Curtis and she were being built up it was again, choppy and barely there. The actor playing TJ left. Now Vernee Wilson has gone. See a trend? I mean, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that investment in that was so thin, even the actors ran.
Popular actor Dom Z also walked. Big loss. The one bright light was that his exit story involved Robert which eventually lead to Tristan's return. Brytni Sarpy also left; just when there was potential for a Krissy/Val story. *sigh*. Don't forget Ryan Paevy- he's on to Hallmark.
Photo credit: @LanteQuotz
Michelle left for YR... leaving a Nina hole. Not for anything (and I'm not a huge Valentin/Nina fan) but she brought something to Nina that was playful and interesting. Nothing against Cynthia Watros but Nina's just bland now. I don't care about her anymore. I never really cared about Valentin because he's been vacillating between "evil" ..."Bad"..and "Good" for years now. He has no teeth. He tells stupid secrets to try and keep Nina and we wait until he's found out. *Sigh*. Not a whole lot of drama there. Charlotte was interesting for a hot minute when she was a bratty, sassy Cassadine but even she got watered down because god forbid we have a kid that's a bully on the show. Everyone has to learn a lesson in these times.
Speaking of White-Washing..enter Franco. A once wonderfully demented character -he got SO domesticated they actually gave him other memories and persona to spice things up. The decision to make Roger Franco was probably one of the worst moves ever, I will grant you that. But making him Old-Drew now is baffling. It struck me when Drew and he were talking. Drew Present was actually talking to Drew Past. Now, Drew Present is leaving and that gives us Drew from brith to 2012. And he erasure of Franco. Which, yes, some people love but there's also a big contingent out there that bought the whole Franco is changed and are huge Friz fans. Do I want to see Elizabeth fight to get her man back when he's implanted with flashdrive memories of being in high school and in the war?
Not my thing. Maybe it will be interesting... I have no idea.
Things I'm tired of: Characters eating and talking in the Metro Court ALL. THE. TIME. I get it, it saves money. It also dulls the senses. Having Molly and TJ on once a month or less just to tease us into thinking something might happen. Remember when Molly was going to write about the whole DOD thing? Molly who was screaming about her sister being brainwashed? yeah.. think about how many times she showed up post-Kristina out of the cult. Don't think hard because it was minimal at best. I'm also tired of stories like Cassandra-- gaining steam and then shelved for weeks. Baby story getting good with Nelle and Harmony--then nothing. Mac not being around more. Yes, the actor isn't on contract. We get that but for crying out loud, he's running the PCPD now. Hire the man for more than a few token appearances. I'm tired of Alexis in therapy. Yep, I really thought I'd love it but it's boring and now she and Neal are in some kind of weird limbo.
I'm tired of Sonny yelling at Ava, even when she's just sitting there, not bothering anyone, trying to have a cocktail. I so wish she would have said Fuck You Sonny (even if they had to beep it out) and stomped on his foot. I want her to fight for Avery and beat the Corinthos Clan. Get her angry.. the weepy "I need validation from my dead daughter" is over. SO over.
THE LITTLE THINGS: Julian's restaurant being empty ALL. THE. TIME. Lulu not taking notes at the wine fest even though she's writing a story. No extras at said "wine tasting in the park". Lulu and Maxie at Crimson--or anyone at Crimson and you never hear a phone ring or any dull 'buzz'. Magazines are hectic places, aren't they?
Carly not being shown in a scene with Bobbie about her baby yet. The teens being snooze worthy ..even tho they are teens with all that teendom can bring. Kevin and Laura back together but not shown together at home. And the kids. Oy the kids. It's one thing to not 'see' them..it's another to act like they don't exist (Maxie, Sam). Did they all of a sudden cut the child actor budget to zero? Summer is usually the time we see them all. I don't get it.
Last but not least I feel like to talk about the exit of Billy Miller. Anyone else reminded of another character that was shoved into an elevator and left? Why yes, that's Ric Lansing. Lame then, lame now. Don't give me the "it was too soon to write a good exit". If you can spend 3 days on Drew talking to Curtis about Franco's mind, you could have had 3 days of other things. The car and the money? Drew 'had a feeling about" that used car? From his old Army buddy TEX (that' I'm assuming was TEXAN)? Welp. Okay then. Godspeed. Just don't get pissed when his fans follow. A thoughtful write-off of an important character and actor is so crucial. Unless you're going to kill them off shock-style, give it some care.
Photo credit: @soapsass
Hayden helped Elizabeth on the domestic front
Franco was let out with an ankle monitor and word to stay in Port Charles
Kim gave Monica her resignation and Monica begged her to stay
Shiloh is blackmailing Peter about his past part in the Drew capture to get him free
Ava talked to "Kiki"
Lesil and Jax had lunch
The Teens Don't want to go to school...except for Trina who thinks they lost their damn minds
Franco tries to reach Kim through Oscar-talk
Drew gets into an elevator and is off to Afghanistan to 'distribute money'
Lulu's divorce went through and she went to a wine tasting
Hayden talked to her daughter (I'm assuming it's a girl) on the phone
Peter makes a phone call to stop Drew from finding Dr. Maddox
Shasha's illness isn't getting better
Jax actually thinks Lesil is interesting!
Maxie and Peter said "I love yous"
Olivia bought Charlie's and got her pizza oven
Nelle overheard Shiloh and Peter, let Shiloh know she's connected to the Qs
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT: Lesil and Jax have lunch. Find some fun common ground. Then idiot Carly has to interfere. Will we ever get another scene with them? I can only pray to the soap gods.
RUNNER UP/LINE OF THE WEEK: Monica to Finn "you look like a damn vampire"!! I screamed!! Photo tx @theWSB
THANK YOU SOAP GODS FOR THE WEEK: Empress Cassadine--looking fabulous and putting her touch on this back story. Loved
FACE OF THE WEEK: "WOW you're getting married for the 88th time"??!!! Sam's reaction to the CarSon vow renewals. I totally saw this as a trolling moment. Sorry, call 'em like I see 'em.
WEAK PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: Ok, I've given the kid that plays Dev plenty of time. WOW-- but.. WOW. Um.. nope. Photo Credit: Mindy on twitter
PROP OF THE WEEK: Finn's sandwich which he crammed in his mouth, then made Robert pay for. Easton and Rogers are just gold together.
GHOST OF THE WEEK: Kiki-- who basically represented Ava's psyche (see Kevin Collins and Chelsea) and boy, does Ava hate herself. I guess I would too if everyone, even the dead bitched at me 24-7.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK: I've been bitching about Carly not telling Bobbie about the baby (and since the wedding is Monday I'm not sure we'll get a 'tell all scene) but THIS could have been so wonderful. Carly opening up to Jax, especially after all they went through medically with Josslyn? They were IN THE ROOM-- things were clicking and you just-- DON'T GO THERE? WHY?????
PS Carly is wearing some house dresses from the 1940s lately!
I've been trying to enjoy the show and remain energized all summer, I really have. I show up daily, tweet and try to engage other viewers to dish about things. Quite a few of the people I interact with on Twitter don't even watch anymore. Sad. GH has such great actors and great seeds of stories -- I just don't know what to say anymore. I want longer scenes with more characters in them. I want a beginning, middle and end of a story. I want to feel like I'm having fun and being surprised now and then when I watch.
JaSam's Picnic faces--lol this is epic..and not in a good way!!
Again, much better to watch the show on Hulu the next day if you can. The constant commercial interruptions are a pain and stretch the show out so much. I'm really hoping that things come together for ratings and soon. Why they left the baby story languish, I can only imagine. I also wonder if Kelly's contract is up in the fall? If so- will she stay? You know how I feel about that. :side-eye:
Looking forward to: Michael Knight coming and also when DrewCo sees Aiden. THAT should be a great RoHo moment. Will Aiden's little cherub face shake him in any way?? Hmmm....
What's working for you? What's not working? Are you watching as much as you once did? Who do you think Michael E Knight will play?
Have a great one. Thanks for the Bday wishes.