A Little Respect
Occasionally I have bouts of insomnia. Truth be told I haven’t slept well since becoming pregnant with my first child four years ago. Something tells me I won’t be getting much rest for what, the next eighteen years?
But every now and then while I’m trying to fall back to sleep, my mind wanders and on occasion I’m struck with some good ideas, inspiration and the motivation to write. Writing is a big part of my job so I welcome these moments. However late Wednesday night (or early Thursday morning) my mind kept coming back to that days’ GH episode. Was I dreaming, delusional perhaps, or did GH actually show some respect for law enforcement? Lord knows there is much to comment on regarding the three ABC soaps, but this stuck with me. I’ll do my best to relate my feelings, but for some reason I always seem to be more articulate in the middle of the night. I should sleep with a notebook.
After a fairly long ‘hiatus’ I started watching soaps again about two to three years ago. It was a gradual process. I wasn’t necessarily surprised at the state of AMC and OLTL, but I was honestly taken back by GH. What happened to my show? I had stopped watching before it became “Sonny Hospital.” Not only were criminals now the heroes, but the police were now being portrayed as bullying, incompetent fools who were to be disliked for being annoyances to Sonny and Jason. What?!
So, do I see a glimmer of hope here? The Sason breakup (yeah, yeah!) is welcomed. But Jesse’s funeral drew me in. Admittedly he was a bit player TPTB had no idea what to do with. I also understand the complaints from some fans that he received a more elaborate good-bye than show veteran Tony Jones. Personally, I thought Tony, and Brad Maule, deserved a lot better. But I’m trying to see the big picture and hoping it is a sign of things to come.
GH, in my opinion, has done a poor job of accurately representing real life professions. I know things are done for the sake of the story, but sometimes I appreciate a little realism. Most doctors do not have offices in, or are employed by, hospitals. Some are, most are not. Young women who come into large sums of money and start nonprofits do not become child welfare experts overnight (I was a nonprofit manager; Courtney’s ‘foundation’ drove me nuts). It was not that long ago that GH thought that all nurses did was stand at reception desks, answer phones, gossip and wear silly hats (my mom’s a nurse, that drove her nuts). But GH’s biggest ‘crime’ has been it’s portrayal of police officers over the past few years.
If I remember correctly, Robert was a good cop, so was Frisco, Sean Donnelly, etc. Ok, so I’m still a little bitter about the whole Burt Ramsey is a bad guy thing (sometimes my memory is ok.) These days Sonny and Jason are likened to Robin Hood and Little John (oops, sorry Jax), and Durant and Mac are what, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne? Please. I actually like Durant, a lot. OK, so he’s a little um, unethical at times. And Mac, I love Mac! Mac is not stupid, he is not an idiot and hey TPTB, not a bad guy! Am I supposed to believe that Sonny and Jason are so smart and superior that they have the right to kill people they deem a ‘threat?’ Oh, that’s right, they only kill bad guys. Really, according to whom? Sonny & Jason. And other characters on the show seem to think that’s OK. But God help the police if they try to do their jobs, they’re just getting in Sonny’s way. According to GH, police officers just mess things up. Sorry, but that is unacceptable.
I’m on my soap box. Police officers for the most part are competent, capable, ethical, brave and smart men and women who have chosen an honorable and dangerous career. Make no mistake, anyone who puts on a police uniform has put themselves in harms way every day. Whether you are in a big city or a small town, your police officers are targets. I live in a small town and one of our officers was shot working a road detail, because he wore the uniform. Police have my respect and admiration because they put themselves between me, my children, my loved ones, the innocents, etc. and the bad guys. They are the good guys. Hey, I have friends that are cops and I know some in my hometown. Do I like them all personally, nope. Some I downright dislike. But I respect all of them for what they do everyday. They help and protect us from those who would do us harm.
I’m not suggesting that there are no dirty cops, of course there are. I’m not even suggesting that GH stay clear of ‘dirty cop’ storylines. I can even accept Luke’s disdain for police because he is one character, and that’s who he is. But I would like to see the show’s overall attitude towards police changed, and the glorification of criminals stopped. Jesse’s funeral gave me hope. I thought GH did a decent job with showing the honor, ceremony and brotherhood that is displayed at officer funerals. I understood Lucky’s need to be there, I get that brotherhood, and sisterhood. I understand the need to honor their fallen comrades. My grandfather was a Police Chief until his death at too young an age, a man I admired above all. So I clearly have personal feelings on the subject. His own funeral was amazing. Police and Fire Chiefs from across the state showed up, police officers from all over came in droves and the procession was miles long. That is what honor and respect is. Every time Sonny mentions ‘honor’ I want to throw up.
Here’s hoping that the Jesse’s funeral and the Sason breakup are turning points. Y’know, I’m kind of sad to see the character of Jesse go. I still think they could have fleshed out the character. I certainly hope he wasn’t sacrificed so they could see if Nic and Maxie click. Anyway, if the rumors are true (stop reading here if you don’t do rumors) and Jason may actually be heading to the law enforcement side of things – well I might have mixed feelings. On the one hand the idea of a former hitman being a cop is nauseating, but this is a fictional world and I think it may be good for the show. And I really have been liking Jason more these days; it’s nice to see him become more than the Borg I’ve seen over the past few years. Lucky and Jason as partners, hmmmmm…… there’s an idea. I don’t know, but I’m a lot more likely to see Jason as a hero if you make him a cop.
Sorry if this one was a downer folks, but sometimes I need to vent!
Happy soap watching!
To write to Melissa about this
column click here.