March 8, 2007
Sweeps in Review
Success or failure or worse, indifferent? How does the recent sweeps effort of the hostage crisis measure up? The formula for sweeps rarely changes: take almost every contract player on cast (along with a few day players to convince us it's purely by coincidence) and put them somewhere (a train, a building, a plane, a picnic) and have all hell break loose (a crash, an avalanche, a fire, a tornado). It must get absolutely impossible after nearly 60 years of coming up with this stuff to hit on any idea that is even remotely original. In fact, that is the bane of all soaps, I believe. There is no original material. Very nearly every child on every soap opera (on ABC, anyway) has, at some point, contracted aplastic anemia. It's the soap opera chicken pox, however it is particularly common in children who have been passed off as the child of another man or who have secret siblings. Every couple on a soap will deal with adultery in their relationship and no one ever stays married or together.
Pregnancies do not happen without at least one intense miscarriage scare. Most soap opera pregnancies end in the birth occurring outside of the hospital under the most dire of circumstances or in a rush to get to the operating room to perform an emergency cesarean. Lately, the two are combined resulting in the birth culminating in an emergency cesarean outside of the hospital under the most dire of circumstances. We also know that soap opera pregnant women are completely incapable of negotiating a staircase.
By soap opera standards, most people will kill someone, accidentally or on purpose, at some point in their lives, often more than one. Laura Webber, darling of Port Charles, is a veritable serial killer. Police departments, on the other had, are incompetent at best and completely unable to arrest the actual perpetrator on the first try in any murder case.
Most people on soaps will, at some point, develop a drug, alcohol, gambling or sex addiction. The good news is that this condition is easily cured with just a couple of trips to a support group.
Paralysis and blindness are also conditions that occur at least once in every lifetime. Like the drug addiction, however, it is completely manageable and only requires a hospital stay of a few days.
Soap characters must hate Fridays. I wonder if they think, "Oh crap, it's Friday. I'd better brace myself for some heavy shit."
So how did GH do on this sweeps effort? To refresh my memory, I went back to an Instant Messenger conversation I had with our own Starr Raven Madde while we were both watching one of the GH hostage crisis episodes. I will drop you into the middle of it because we had been talking about things like grocery store lines, activating Windows XP and the fact that she'd just set her finger on fire trying to light an incense wand.
we're down to 5 hours on GH until
the MC explodes
Starr: I wuv him
Yes, I have heard that this is true.
Starr: It's not been nine months yet has it? Did they actually SORAS an unborn child?
nope, only about nine minutes of
pregnancy so far
I hate this commercial
it makes me laugh at it's stupidity
[commercial time over, GH is back]
Hmmm... gotta think... Jason,
AJ, Tony Jones, Sonny, Jax...I'm sure I'm probably forgetting someone.
[ed note: I did, I forgot Lorenzo]
Katrina: about 11 years
Starr: so that's like an average of a new guy every 2 years and weren't Jason and AJ and Tony all combined into something like a couple of years on their own? So only Sonny and Jax for a bunch of years now??
Katrina: that sounds right
Starr: Interesting. So I'm thinking "not a whore."
Katrina: I think I'd have to go with you on that one.
From there, the show ended and the talk went to off topic things that were likely interesting only to us. My conclusion is that overall, GH sweeps were better than average and although there were definite glitches (like why did Mr Craig wear a mask when he was speaking while wearing the mask? He'd made a point to, before the hostage situation, talk to most of the people on contract with GH. Wouldn't he think they'd put together "The British guy did it?" How many British guys does he thing are walking around Port Charles, specifically at the Metro Court asking about the vault??), it made for a decent story. We got the lovely addition of Cooper Barrett out of the deal and with the Barrett history in Port Charles, that should open up a nice vault of stories. Now we have Logan, we says his father is from Port Charles... Please let his last name really be "Smith" and his daddy's name be "Damian!"
All in all, I'll label the hostage crisis as a successful sweeps week, but it was even more fun watching it while talking with Starr.
Thank God and Gates (and Steve Jobs and Al Gore) for the internet!