If you follow Entertainment News, (and really, if you don't what are you doing here?) you know the Writer's Guild of America is on strike. I want to put the word out to all Presidential candidates for either party; my vote can be bought if you settle the strike so I can get some new episodes of The Office, House, and Heroes. I am truly that shallow. (...Not really...)
But I digress. Due to the Writers' Strike, GH is out of episodes written by the normal writing team and is now using scab writers to compete their scripts. So, if your characters aren't exactly acting and speaking like themselves these days, it's because they are being written by different people.
Is that good or bad? Well, I suppose it depends upon your point of view. I personally would not cross a picket line, but some writers did. So how are they doing? Kind of lame, IMHO. The storyline this week which involved Diane and Alexis and the Litigator of the Year award was clever in some parts, and poignant in others. But on the plausibility scale, I'd rank it a zero. Why? Well, of all the female litigators in New York State, 2 of the 3 nominees, Alexis and Diane, seem highly unlikely candidates for such an award. Alexis was D.A. and lost the job to Ric during her battle with lung cancer, and didn't have a lot of active practice in 2007. But, who knows, perhaps she got nominated with a pity vote as the other women litigators felt sorry about her having cancer.
But Diane? She is a mob lawyer who spent her year getting Sonny and Jason out of jail for crimes most people think they committed. While I think Diane is ever so delightful to watch, I'd imagine he peers (even the fictional ones) trying real cases and affecting change in the world wouldn't be impressed by the antics and litigation skills required to defend gangsters. In fact, most legitimate women litigators would be appalled by an attorney whose sole job was to put her criminal clients back on the street in 5 minutes flat.
This is not to say this whole storyline wasn't entertaining. It was. The two of them getting kicked off the plane, the two of them in the biker bar, the two of them in their designer gowns in that filthy bar drinking beer was all entertaining. Hearing their confessions to one another, regrets, things that haunt them, quite moving. But for me, the beginning premise had too many holes in it and I am Monk-like about such things.
I also took issue with Spinelli taking *1* over the counter cold tablet and passing out drooling on a table at Kelly's. He actually slept through Lulu's call for help as she's being held captive in a monastery. Even after Mike walked Spinelli outside into the snow, he collapsed on the sidewalk in front of Kelly's - just slumped down like a rag doll. Seriously, what kind of cold tabs were those and where can I get some? Are we to believe that Spinelli, a former pothead, would get so stoned on 1 over the counter cold pill that he'd black out? Um... no. Are we to believe that Jerry could blend in at a monastery? Ever see the film We're No Angels with Sean Penn and Robert De Niro? I don't think anyone will mistake Jerry for a Monk.
Then there is friendly Joe the Auto Mechanic. They have made sure to convey to us for a couple of weeks now, that Joe is a good guy that everyone in town knows and likes. Would he really lose his mind and strap a bomb to his waste because they told him to drive 2 miles to another hospital? Let me see if I can wrap my mind around his actions... it was easier for him to go home, build a bomb and strap it to his belly, rather than drive to the other side of town? Or make a phone call to his insurance company? Or to call Sam McCall, his personal friend and host of Everyday Heroes, to do an exposÚ about his wife's plight on her show to raise some money for them?
I know that desperate people do desperate things, but we have seen this guy several times lately and it's been made clear to us, he's a good guy. Sure, he's down on his luck financially, times are hard, and so...he morphs into the Unabomber? And Medical Professionals out there, can you please clear this up for me? Would an administrator like Ms. Sneed actually walk into a patient's room with a clip board and sour look and demand she be hauled away? Sorry, this seems a little farfetched to me.
Kind of like Liz who told Cam vehemently not to close the door when he went out as the lock was broken and he'd get stuck outside, and then went outside and did that exact thing herself. Interesting how Cam suddenly became a pyromaniac after years of being interested in nothing but that Train. And that Liz had a box with about 14,000 matches in it. I have never seen that many matches in my life. It must have been a full moon, as Kristina also became a whiny brat over holiday break.
But, one point the scab writers DID get right? Sam is totally selfish, and would definitely go and blab about Jake's paternity to Carly. Jason has the worst luck with girls and paternity secrets.
The scene where Carly confronted Jason and he admitted to her he had kept her in the dark made me sad for her. I know full well how it feels to think you have some deep unspoken connection and trust with someone only to find out you're completely wrong.
But even so, for me, it seemed the timing was off. It fell flat - this was a BIG secret - the kind you reveal during sweeps week in the midst of a turbulent storyline, not on some random Tuesday in January. You have to build it up so that when the character speaks the forbidden words you gasp in shock. It's almost like they spilled this big secret because they couldn't think of anything else for the characters to do this week. "Hmmm. Let's see. We already showed Sonny and Kate mooning over one another 14 times, and Lulu pounding on the door to get out 8 times... how about we blow that big secret about Sam's paternity. Maybe next they will have Logan tell Luke that Scott really killed Rick Weber- just for something to do. Of course, Liz is keeping Sam's secrets about being married to rich guys and killing them, and watching her baby being kidnapped, and hiring thugs to terrorize her and such - but why? Oh right, Liz isn't a vindictive 'b' word.
Skye is leaving town (Yes, Robin Christopher is really leaving GH) and that's sad, too. Skye had an amazing relationship with Alan, and since they are pretending he's "Tracy's Conscience" and not really a ghost, we couldn't have any sweet goodbyes between the two of them. Skye sparkled the most in her time with Luke; the two of them had an amazing chemistry together. I also liked her all too short and never fully developed relationship with Lorenzo, but he's dead of course. You know, if there aren't a few murders in Port Charles every month, the writers get squirrelly. I think they secretly wanted to write for the Soprano's but were turned down and opted instead to try to turn GH into the Soprano's.
She was just on the verge of something sweet with Ric, and it's been too long since Ric had a love interest, too - but just when it began to get promising, Skye handed over her pier contracts to Ric and split town.
Bottom line, we have lost one more beautiful and talented actress who was tragically underused. We have lost another character of layers and depth with history, while No Name Nurse got 5 or 6 scenes this week as they try to make me like her, but I swear to you, I never will. If I ever find myself accidentally starting to like her, I will picture Georgie's cold dead body in the snow to remind myself why I hate her.
I am weary of investing years getting to know and care about characters so they can kill off the whole town during some budget crunch. You know, these actors are intelligent human beings - I am guessing if ABC went to the cast as a whole and said "You know, the economy is weak and we're heading for a recession - we have to cut the budget by 10% across the board." I would guess that 99% of the actors on the show who could look around and see home foreclosure signs all over L.A. would say "Hmmm...10 percent pay decrease, or... get killed off by the text message killer...? Oh, okay, I'll take the cut."
But maybe I am na´ve and over simplistic about such things, it's highly possible. I grew up in a small town in Ohio where our school field trip entailed walking across the street to the dairy farm to milk a cow and to tap a tree for maple syrup. Chances are I don't know much about television contract negotiations.
One more note, ddy is turning in some fine work this week as she grieves for Stan, and I just wanted to acknowledge her efforts. Sadly, since we have had so many deaths in P.C. lately, I am betting Jason and Sonny won't be throwing Stan a memorial service. Just a hunch.
What will happen tomorrow dear readers? Will Lulu look back over his history with men and decide to join the convent while she's there? Will Nikolas beat up the Dominos Pizza guy if he has to wait 31 minutes? Will Carly ever listen to other people talking instead of the voices in her own head? Will Jason fire the guards who are supposedly keeping a watchful eye on Elizabeth and her kids who weren't anywhere near when her house caught fire? Will Nikolas choke the barista at Starbucks for forgetting the extra foam on his latte? Will Kate Howard want her designer gowns back after they came in physical contact with flannel shirts? Will Nikolas beat up his optician when they tell him he needs contact lenses?