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Showing posts from December, 2009

Soapy Christmas

If there is one thing I enjoy more than watching soaps it is watching soaps during the week of Christmas, particularly on Christmas Eve. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that while soap families are celebrating onscreen, I am immersed in my own traditions, often making preparations for family reunions as a soap opera plays in the background. For this reason many of my Christmas memories are inextricably tied to watching soaps. And since I have been watching them since childhood, these memories are in abundance. There really is no other genre quite like this one, one that understands history, family, and traditions, and takes at least one day out of the year to showcase their importance through the eyes of viewers. And with that in mind I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas!

Double Take: GH

It has been a year of look-alikes on General Hospital, from Sarah Joy Brown (ex-Carly) finishing her run as Claudia, to Natalia Livingston (ex-Emily) being cast as Rebecca. There was even an episode that featured Luke and Ethan look-alikes in the form of Link and Evan, replacements hired by Tracy who she jokingly referred to as re-casts. With all these doubles, one might assume that General Hospital would avoid doppelgangers for a while, but one would be wrong. Obviously the show could not let the year slip by without the inclusion of yet another counterpart, and Rebecca's exit provided the perfect opportunity for that.

It is not that I dislike the way Rebecca was written off the show, in fact I think bringing Chad Brannon (ex-Zander) back was an excellent way to facilitate this exit. However, I think this would have been a bit more entertaining and would have seemed more clever if Brannon wasn't the third actor in recent history to return to the show as a different character.…

For the Sake of Convenience: GH

Occasionally soaps contain scenes that are so off-putting and poorly constructed I find myself wishing I had either misinterpreted them or just skipped them altogether. Fortunately this doesn't happen very often, and when it does it is usually on a soap whose quality has been suffering for quite a while. On Friday, however, General Hospital, a show I consider to be one of the best in daytime, featured one of these scenes. If you watched this episode chances are you already know that I am referring to the scene where Liz's rape became the topic of conversation. It is not that I am against the show making reference to this tragic event because clearly it is a part of Liz's history and the show's history. I just happen to believe that television should handle sensitive subject matter in a responsible manner, rather than placing it in scenes simply because it is convenient. Careful consideration needs to be given to both the setting and the timing so viewers know what mess…

Reconciling Rebecca: GH

I know I have made this statement before, but after watching Thursday's General Hospital I think it bears repeating. It is simply a shame that Natalia Livingston is leaving the show just when the Rebecca character is becoming interesting. Not only has she made the Lucky/Liz/Nikolas triangle more intriguing, I am beginning to notice the potential impact she could have on the overall show. For instance, until now I never realized just how compatible she and Lucky actually are. Rebecca arrived in Port Charles as a con artist, which is something Lucky can obviously relate to because of his upbringing. In talking about this upbringing with Rebecca, Lucky revealed his inherent fondness for Luke for perhaps the first time in months. And these days any person that can make Lucky feel anything for his father other than resentment or embarrassment could have a positive effect on this volatile father/son relationship. One also cannot ignore the fact that if Rebecca helped Lucky reconnect wit…

Mystery Loves Company: GH

General Hospital fans have spent several weeks searching the Internet for clues about the mysterious CO77X tag that was introduced as part of the Franco storyline. This tag even made it into Google's top 10 searches on October 21st, as viewers tried to find some insight into its meaning. In fact there were numerous theories about what it might mean and what impact it might have on the show, but on Monday's General Hospital all of those theories were quickly dismissed, revealing a simplistic explanation for the tag. As it turned out CO77X was Franco's booking number from a past arrest, and something he now uses as a tool with which to taunt police. I must say, as one of the many viewers who spent hours playing amateur detective in an attempt to solve this mystery, I was very disappointed by this revelation. These days soap operas rarely have storylines that capture the attention of viewers the way this one element has, and it is even rarer for a movie star to request a role…

Control Issues: GH

As I watched Wednesday's General Hospital it occurred to me that the only person Michael should be living with is Jason. Michael's behavior has been out of control for a while now and Jason seems to be the only one who knows how to grab his attention for even a second. And even though Carly has finally decided to do the right thing and tell the truth about what happened to Claudia, it isn't going to accomplish much unless she can get through to Michael. With his remorseless attitude, no one is going to believe that Claudia's murder was justifiable homicide. Of course in order for Carly to be able to get through to Michael, she is going to have to stop letting him get away with everything. After all that is one reason his behavior continues to get worse. I am constantly astounded by how much freedom Michael is allowed to have despite his actions. And every time he leaves the house following an argument about why he should be allowed to join the mob at 16, I am shocked t…

Hit and Run: GH

I never thought I would say this, but I think I am finally on board with the Rebecca character on General Hospital. It is just too bad that her portrayer, Natalia Livingston, is set to leave the show in the not so distant future. The last few episodes of GH have given viewers a glimpse of what Rebecca could have been like in a storyline that didn't somehow revolve around Emily. And for the first time since Livingston's return to the show I have been able to see her as someone other than Emily. Granted, my sudden affection for Rebecca has everything to do with her disdain for Elizabeth, which is something we actually have in common. And needless to say it was great to see Rebecca finally give Elizabeth what she deserved, even if she held back a little more than I would have. However, I wish this storyline had come along a lot sooner because now I actually feel like Rebecca is someone I could root for, rather than just tolerate. And let's face it, her involvement in the Luck…

CO77X Revisited: GH

In the weeks leading up to the introduction of the Franco character on General Hospital, viewers were treated to countless montages featuring the mysterious CO77X graffiti. Since then there has been non-stop speculation about the meaning behind this tag and how it may affect the course of the show. Recently there have been fewer CO77X sightings, but there have been several episodes featuring Franco so I thought it would be a good time to revisit CO77X in an effort to unlock this mystery.

This week Jason received a painting from Franco listing the seven deadly sins of vanity, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed, and sloth. Seeing this made me wonder if one of the "7's" in CO77X represents these seven deadly sins. This may seem a bit obvious, but looking back on the scene where Franco is shooting red paint balls at the pictures of people close to Jason, there are seven people on the canvas besides Jason. Taking this one step further it seems logical to assume that Franco…

Time Away: GH

Well, it was another successful karaoke night at Jake's on Wednesday's General Hospital. And it provided a much needed break from all the intensity that Franco has brought to the show the past few weeks. I am pleased to see that GH seems to be making this a regular event. I do not really mind the darker moments on this soap because quite frankly that is where most of the interesting storylines come from, but it is nice to have balance and the karaoke episodes do a good job of maintaining that balance without making the show boring. I especially like the way these episodes tend to highlight and accentuate some of the back-burner storylines and romances, like Max and Diane's reunion or Alexis's budding romance with Mac. And let's not forget about Spinelli's unforgettable rendition of "I Want to Know What Love Is" when he was attempting to woo his fair Maximista with courtly love. After all it was Spinelli's courtly love phase that seemed to kick-sta…

Death Trap: GH

Ever since Johnny found out that Olivia has been keeping her son's identity a secret he has been offering ominous warnings of the danger that may result from this secret. Based on these warnings I am inclined to believe that someone, likely Johnny, will die because Olivia cannot bring herself to tell the truth. And while I hope that this assessment is incorrect, a variety of factors indicate otherwise. First of all, now that Claudia is dead, Johnny is the only Zacchara in Port Charles, with the exception of Anthony who remains in prison. And Johnny's death would effectively remove the Zacchara family from the canvas of the show, should the writers be so inclined to make this happen. One can also not ignore the fact that with Olivia's gravitation toward Sonny, and Lulu's infatuation with Dante, there really does not seem to be a place for Johnny at the moment. Granted he could have a storyline that didn't involve either of his love interests, but I have seen no evid…

A Thousand Words: GH

When Jason received the photo of Maxie laying inside the chalk outline, I expected that he would have an immediate reaction to the axe handle and basket that were in the photo. Instead, neither he or Sam seemed to notice them or their significance. In fact Jason's only reasons for thinking that this picture was somehow linked to the picture of "Claudia" seemed to all be based on the fact that he received both pictures within a short period of time. Never mind the fact that both of them contained elements from Claudia's murder scene. Franco may want to reconsider sending messages through his artwork because apparently symbolism, even in its most obvious form, is completely lost on Jason.


These are scenes from when Jason received each photo. The axe handle and basket are clearly visible in both. Pause the first video at 1:33, and the second at :20 to compare the two simultaneously.

"Claudia's" photo [no copyright infringement intended]


Maxie's photo[no c…