Sarcastic Clapping

{March 16, 2010}   Stuck on stupid and offensive

You know the bad thing about GH’s inability to concentrate on more than two stories for any length of time is A – there is no escape when the storylines are epically bad and B – when they are actually trying to be good, the flaws are oh so much more obvious.

Lets start with the just stupid one and work our way into deeply problematic and hypocritical shall we?

Alright to the shock of only the dead, Lucky was named the winner in this round of “Who knocked up Elizabeth Webber?”.  Which we all guessed since he’s the one walking around talking about how much he doesn’t want to be the father and all Elizabeth has been able to talk about is how much she wants Lucky to be the father.  (Plus you know the whole “Lucky is now played by Jonathan Jackson and will therefore be the predetermined winner in anything that doesn’t involve the mob”)    And also to the shock of the dead, Helena is playing paternity games in some elaborate, I’m sure will fail by November sweeps plot point of Guza’s to drag out a festering triangle just a little longer. 

Now as any fan of Helena can tell you I don’t have an issue with Helena being crafty and screwing with the Spencers.  It’s totally in her nature and right up her alley. What I have major issues with is the major players in this storyline being so brain dead that she litterally could change the test in front of them and they would still fall into her plot like domminos.  We have Nikolas, who has heard Helena’s ramblings about wanting a new heir, has gone so far as to order a second paternity test…not questioning why the test was delayed.  We have Lucky, who was kidnapped and brainwashed by Helena, not suggesting his own second paternity test.  And we have Elizabeth, who is aware of paternity shenanigns that go on at GH (as is Nikolas) , who has been told by Helena that she controls Shadybrooke who is taking this test under her real name at General Hospital while Helena is in town. 

We aren’t even going to go into my beloved Steven being bullied by her by a referrence to something we all know won’t be brought up until he discovers proof of the false paternity results and then will be blackmailed into lying to his sister by lets go with Nik since that’s the obvious choice now. (Always bet on obvious. Always!)  I wept.

All these people are aware of Helena’s reputation and no one has even considered that taking a paternity test while she is lurking around under their real names in a hospital she’s been known to run some scams through is a bad idea? 

Idiots. The whole lot of them. Cam needs to take Jake and this new baby come August and run far far away.

And now onto the attempt to be socially relevant.

I have no issues with a well written, good intentioned, well researched social issue storyline on daytime.  Because of  daytime’s unique daily serial nature I feel they are often the best tool to address taboos and storylines that often force us the viewers to look at uncomfortable situations. Because these characters are in our home every day we grow to care about them as our own family members.  And for many of us, issues dont’ really hit home until we personally experience it.  How many of us didn’t really grasp the sacrifice and unselfish decision it is to donate a loved one’s organs was until we watched Tony’s heartbreaking decision to donate BJ’s heart to Maxie?  Look at how Robin’s diagnosis of HIV has changed since it first happened.  At first fans were upset they would eventually watch Robin die from AIDS and now we have seen her marry and have a healthy child of her own while becoming a doctor.  These storylines often work better on soaps than a one hour drama or dramedy becuase the “afterschool special” feel is often not present.  (As much as I love Glee and Artie…”Wheels” is kinda a turd of an episode.)

And a subject like initimate partner violence among teens is an issue that needs to be addressed and seems perfectly fit for daytime.  It’s a storyline that necessarily takes a long time to build.  The multi-dynamics that are played in such relationships can be shown, instead of what we normally see which is the abused wife/girlfriend when she comes into the hospital and the dynamic caring doctor tries to get her to leave.  So in theory I have no issues with Kristina’s abusive relationship with Keifer and the recent beating Keifer laid down over her ditching him to flirt with way older Ethan. 

Except this storyline stayed focus on Kristina and her possible recovery from this for like a minute.  We have fully moved into “Sonny is a good dad and wants to protect his kids” arc.  Also known as trying to whitewash the fact that Sonny shot  Dante in the chest in coldblood. It’s also the start of the “thaw” between Dante and Sonny so they can bond as father and son and Dante will finally understand that Sonny is a good man who cares for his kids and sending him to prison is a bad bad idea. 

Kristina’s fingering of Ethan led to Sonny’s predictable response of immediately threatening revenge….and the painting of the PCPD as incredibly incompent idiots.  Look I’m no fan of Ethan as you all know but come on!  He was seen by multiple people at the time of the beating. Sam was busy telling him that being a con man was so much worse than being a con woman who is sleeping with a professional killer.  Not to mention the fact tha he is a doofus who’s hasn’t even managed to knock the crap out of someone who really deserves it in his book, namely Nikolas.  He’s not hit the big fat floating head people!  It’s not like Nik is hard to miss! 

Plus….look I know evidence is secondary to Sonny’s judgement but if Ethan litterally just beat her up..wouldn’t he be…I don’t know…COVERED IN HER BLOOD?  Wouldn’t her DNA be all over him?  Also..why is his brother still on this case?  Lucky can claim conflict of interest to try to get out of investigating his second cousin that pretends he doesn’t exist Michael….but he’s so clearly still on the case to investigate half-brother Ethan?

Sonny’s entire tirade to Ethan about how there is no scum lower than a so-called man who would lift a hand to a woman or a child?  Look I agree and so does the prison system pyramid of power…but really Sonny? REALLY?  Yeah I’ve never seen you lift a hand to a woman to hit her….I’ve just seen you shake them down after discovering they are wearing a wire for the FBI (Brenda), shoot them in the head while giving birth (Carly), throw money at them and make them crawl for your pleasure because you doubt the depth of their grief (Courtney’s mother), order their murder in front of a room full of witnesses (Claudia), throw barware at them (all of them really) and throw around the words “bitch”, “whore”, “slut”,”tramp” and the like so much I wonder if you are aware those words are deeply offensive (Again all of them). No Sonny’s not laid a hand on a woman to hit her…but it’s not that far of a stretch to see that he very well could.  His emotionally abusive and manipulative dealings with women is one of the reasons it is vile he’s the lead of this show.

Stories such as this are great for umbrella stories that affect the entire canvas.  But instead of focusing on how Sonny’s hatred of women has trickled down to the daughter who desperately wants his attention and has helped shaped her view that it is entirely ok to be treated exactly like this, the show is going in the predictable route of Sonny the avenging father, Jason the truth seeker who will discover the truth and save everyone and somehow making this all about how Luke and Sonny will survive this blow to their friendship….that just returned to BFF status like a week ago with no explanation. 

It is offensive to me that when given such an opportunity to impact so many women and girls in a positive manner, a chance to really take GH in a new direction and really give it’s lead actor some meaty material to work with, this show instead decides it’s best to use such an important plot to further plots of lesser impact and focus it squarely on how it will affect one man and one man alone.

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