June 16, 2006

GH - How Do I Love Thee?  Let Me Count The Ways!

As Laurence Welk would say, "And a one and a two" and well, let's just jump into it, shall we?

I really enjoy the gaslighting of Sonny.  After years upon years upon years of everyone tiptoeing around the fact that things aren't quite right with Sonny and then heaving a big ol' sigh of relief when he cycles back again, it is refreshing and entertaining to see Ric just going right into it with both barrels (sort of like Jason the Terminator walking into that chapel with a blazing gun in each hand).  Spoilers say that he is actually doing it "for Sonny's own good" so that he will go far enough over the edge to actually get some real help, but I find myself hoping that there is a little bit of "Bad Ric" at work too.  Today, I fully expected an innocent and confused look from Ric as he whimpered, "But Sonny, you told me to get that dress."  Little did I know that Ric was going to push the envelope even further by coldly and calmly saying, "I never bought Emily a dress."  Oh ho ho!!  Touche, Ric!  Not a whimper in sight.  One of the most gratifying moments in soap watching for a columnist is when a character says or does something that is a step up from what we ourselves could have written.  It's that moment when a character whips out something that just blows your mind to the point that all you can do is say, "Oooh SNAP!" and soak up the happy bubbles raining down on you.  Ric did that to me today (thank you, Ric).

The story is being expertly enacted by Rick Hearst and Maurice Benard.  Benard is showing us that not only is Sonny dark and moody and prone to personality shifts, but he's also in trouble... big trouble.  Hearst is showing us that Sonny doesn't even have a clue how much trouble he's in and neither do we.  Ric has his hand on the controls and is going to decide exactly how much trouble Sonny is going to have or going to be.  How often in the history of GH have we actually seen someone pull the strings on Sonny and do it well? 

My most sincere hope is that as we chart Sonny's descent (by means of a solid push from Ric) into madness, the myth of the sainted Adella will finally be undone and Sonny will be able to (perhaps with some perspective from Mike?) find a more realistic and balanced view of his mother.  We have already, for years now, in fact, heard Lily compared to Adella and those of us who were there KNOW Lily was a manipulative bitch.  Objectively speaking, Adella allowed her little boy to be terrorized by a monster and was too cowed, too victimized or too weak to do anything about it, like get him to safety.  She remained with an abuser and enabled herself right into an early grave and her young son into the streets into a world of crime.  Would it ever come into play that Gia and Taggart had a completely different impression of Deke than did Sonny?  Certainly, Sonny is more than capable of glamorizing the women in his past.  Could he not also demonize the men?  There is so much history back there that has only been alluded to thus far and really deserves a story.  Although at the time, I was a little dismissive of the whole "oh and by the way, Sonny has a brother" idea, but now it could be a very rich vein of stories to mine. 

I have no illusion that Sonny will be cured, given some mood stabilizing medication and suddenly be Mr Rogers.  Benard has literally been waiting for years to play this story and now that he has the chance, he is giving it all he's got.  I can't even imagine what will be on the other side of this story for Sonny, for Ric or for GH and that intrigues me. 

Now we have introduced the additional element of Poor Helpless Nikolas who is an instant father.  That will definitely appeal to Emily.  When things are so unstable with the man she truly loves, it will be hard for Emily to stay away (it's hard to figure out if I am talking about Sonny or Nikolas there, which is actually my point exactly so I'll move along) .

Carly is now determined to make Robin pay for revealing John's true paternity and since I have no love for either Carly or Robin, I say bring on the popcorn and start the show.  There have been days when I have watched either one or both of them screw up their hateful little faces and start up those turbine engines and thought, "Oh Lord, woman, please, just shut up."

It was almost painful to watch Justus today, knowing he was walking around in his final hours.  The last minute addition of sudden back story regarding the number 29 was a nice touch that I did not mind experiencing.  Few of us have the time or patience to go back through time and find out exactly when Bradley Ward died, although I imagine some detailed recap or history site has the information.  I can suspend a few seconds of reality to get a little chill when I saw the number on the door he entered.

Robert Lasardo remains a stunning villain as Manny and I will be sorry when and if he goes (I do so hope he's at the GH Fan Weekend in July).  He is an amazing actor and Manny will definitely go down as one of the better GH villains. 

I had to laugh at Sam's horror over her clothes being folded and put away, making a major conspiracy theory out of it.  Anyone could have told her it was Ruby's ghost putting things to right.  What came into my mind was the old Ghostbusters line, "No human being would stack books [or put away clothes] like that!"  I loved how you could see Jason's gears turning trying to find out what exactly was the problem with the fact that Sam's clothes were unpacked and put away.  I thought I saw some smoke and smelled a little ozone there for a bit. 

You have to turn in your GH badge if you didn't know before it was shown that the perfect nanny was actually hired by the perfect psycho Granny.  That was one of those gimme moments where GH lets us think we're bright.  "Oh look at the cleverness of you!  You figured it out!"  Had the girl walked in wearing a T-shirt that read "Property of Helena Cassadine," it would not have been more clear.  Did anyone else get a slightly Omen feel from Perfect Nanny?  I expect the Hell Hound will be arriving directly (or if you are a Neil Gaiman fan, the Hell Hamster).  Now if we could just get Emily to say, "All for you, Ivan" and throw herself off the parapet, we'd have it made.  (No way are they going to let that kid stay "John Cassadine."  I feel a re-christening coming on.  That will be the most baptized kid in the world.  Oh well, with Cassadine blood running that richly through his veins, a second pass through the ol' holy water couldn't hurt.)

So Laura is a grammy!  Hard to believe!  Stavros is someone's Pappaw!  Even harder to believe!  Who knew Grampas could be so hot?  In my world, they all look like Mike or maybe Bob Hoskins.

They sure don't look like Robert Kelker Kelley.  Nuh uh.

How Helena will handle having a great-grandchild is interesting, yet predictable.  What I want to know is what's going to happen when she finds out little Natasha has a hot-headed, smart mouthed daughter on the loose.  Manny should be the least of their concerns (forgetting the fact that they all think he's dead and likely are not concerned at all about him). 

Just as the history is ripe for the picking as Sonny delves into his mental illness, there is a good bit we still need to know about Alexis and Sam.  For instance, have I missed the part where Sam asked for the answer she is completely entitled to know, "Who is my father?"  I will be highly disappointed if it turns out to be an incest story.  The scene was already set by describing what a loner Alexis was and the impression given that she never dated anyone.  All mention of the baby's father has been glossed over and quickly moved past, but hey, enquiring mines want to know and I would think that Sam's would be the most enquiring of them all!  If I were Ric, I'd certainly want to know who fathered my wife's baby a lifetime ago. 

I've gotten this far, many paragraphs in fact, in a discussion about things I truly enjoy about GH and have yet to toss the Robert Scorpio, Tracy Quartermaine (Spencer?), Luke Spencer chip onto the table.  Do these three not just absolutely vibrate rich and exciting history? I get excited every time I see them on screen and the same old jokes just do not get old for me.  I could watch them quibble for the full hour alone.  Forget the rest of the cast.  The very fact that they have all been tossed into the Quartermaine Quagmire just makes it all the better. How I would LOVE to go to the Quartermaine Brunch at the GH Fan Club Weekend this year!  Sadly, finances will not allow my daughter and I to attend, but if you can make it, do so!  I have a feeling they will have a LOT to talk about!

I am grateful (I hesitate to say this because it is a break from soap protocol and I am bane to tempt fate) that we are here in the school summer break and so far, the teen stories are only a small slice of the pie.  Traditionally, a good bit of the attention is turned over to teen stories during the summer months and I am pleased that the canvas is remaining very balanced with the teens only taking up their own part of the stories that are currently going on.  Personally, I enjoy seeing Dillon and Georgie struggle with the realities of being a young, married couple that really does see that they shouldn't be married.  Julie Marie Berman is a wonderful asset as LuLu and although I very much miss Brook Lynn and could do without both Maxie and Diego (can they not steal a car and drive it to Texas to live with Flea or something?), I have found the teen stories to not feel nearly as invasive and out of place as they normally do.  I hope that continues to be the case... just like my love for GH, which is flowing like the rivah Jordan.

Poor Justus, gonna dieeeee....
...and the wardrobe department...
hated poor Skyyyye.....

...And this is where I say good-byyyyye!

Screen capture courtesy of: