April 10, 2008

The Consequences of Living a Mobular Life…

I was going to write about this earlier, but I wanted to see if what I was hearing- in the way of spoilers – would play out the way I was AFRAID it would.  Unfortunately, it played out precisely how I feared.  As you all know by now, young Master Mobster Moppet, Michael Corinthos III was gunned down in a heinously cruel twist of fate that left even hardened, black hearted fans reeling.  It didn’t matter whether we liked or disliked the character of Mikey-the-Mini-Mob-Boss-in-Training – he is a TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY!!!! 

Yes, I know that it happens to young kids far more often in real life than it should – let’s face it, once is too often.  But that’s real life.  THIS?  Is a SOAP.  Soaps are supposed to be a place where we can all escape into a better FANTASY life for a little while each day.  I don’t know about Guza, but my fantasies don’t include murder, mayhem, and the gunning-down / victimization of children.  EVER.   I almost had to laugh when I ran across an interview in EW (Entertainment Weekly) between Robert Guza, aka the debbil incarnate, and Abby West.  I say “almost” because as laughable as some of what he was spouting was, it wasn’t the least bit funny.  In fact, it was kind of scary!  (See what you think as I pepper this column with quotes from the inimitable Guza) 

Regarding the shooting of Michael, by a DOCTOR, no less (remember the first rule of the Hippocratic oath?  FIRST, do no harm) he has this to say:

'''I like it from an emotional standpoint. I also like it from a responsible standpoint.   Twelve-year-olds shouldn't be picking up guns; I don't care if your father is a gangster. And if they do, there's got to be a consequence. We make directly culpable the people who love him most.''

The gist of how Guza came to this “brilliant” decision is that since so many were unhappy with the way the storyline of Kate’s shooting was written and played out – during his absence throughout the writer’s strike – he decided the best way to show REAL repercussions would be to have Michael TAKE a bullet himself

*crickets chirping*

Consequences? Yes… we wanted consequences.  I believe we all were upset and clamoring for consequences when Michael accidentally became responsible for the gunshot wound that very nearly ended Kate Howard’s life and ran away without so much as an anonymous call to 911.  Consequences?  Absolutely!  A bullet to the brain?  HELLS TO THE NAH!!!!!  Like him or not, Michael is a child.  It’s not his fault that his parents (and Jason) brought him up in a world of violence, or that he never had to suffer any consequences for his bad behavior.  It wasn’t his fault that Carly chose one of the worst possible role models to play Daddy to her firstborn son.  Throughout all of Michael’s annoying, and bratty phases that is something I have always tried to keep in mind:  He is a product of Carly and Sonny’s upbringing and has learned his moral code / value system from THEM.  Was I glad to see that Carly was suitably HORRIFIED at Michael inadvertently shooting Kate and then promptly following his father’s instructions and running away?  HELL YES!  That was a banner day in Carly history, but it was so short-lived. 

Why?  Why did we not see her demand that Michael go to Kate, do his mea culpa FOR HIMSELF, and then apologize PROFUSELY.  Why did we not see Sonny, Carly and Jax march him down to Alexis’ office to have Michael explain, in private, what he did and how it came about?  I don’t think any of us believed that jail time was in order for his offense, but some court-mandated counseling (not with Lainey, please) and some community service, perhaps a visit to some scared-straight program… Hell, even spending some time at a special rehab center for people who have suffered from gun violence or a stint in military boarding school, but (I repeat) a bullet in the brain?!  NOOOOO!!!!!

In Guza’s mind, this is supposed to illustrate to Carly and Sonny (Jason as well) just how badly they have screwed up the lives of their children.  It’s also supposed to ripple outward to affect other people on canvas, who are in some way close to or on the periphery of Michael’s life.  Jax, Robin, Alexis, Lizzeh, Jerry, Diane, just to name a few.  All that is well and good IF… IF it serves to make some REAL changes in the general direction of the show.  IF this is what it takes to eliminate – or at least TONE DOWN – the glorification of the mob on General Hospital, then I will take it.  I don’t like it, but I’ll take it – as long as it means that things will get better.   Speaking of glorifying mobular world?  Guza had this little gem to share during that interview:

''We've been accused before of glorifying violence, but we always try to show the consequences. We do deal with mobsters. We can't just have them importing illegal tchatchkes from the Far East and getting a slap on the wrist. You've got to deal with the fact that they kill people and people are killed all around them.''  


*deep breath*


Is he kidding?  For one thing, it’s not JUST an accusation about how he glorifies violence, it’s a fact!  One has but to tune in to GH almost every day and you can see it.  Guza loves the mob, he loves the violence.  He would have us believe that WE love it as much as he does, but that doesn’t make it so.  As I stated earlier, Soaps are supposed to be an escape.  How does one escape the violence we see in the real world today if it’s playing out right on our Soaps?!  I fail to see the logic, Bob.  He makes it sound so good on paper, that he wants to show the consequences brought on by the lifestyle choice Sonny and crew have made – and to be truthful, there HAVE been consequences (Lily’s death, along with her unborn child, Carly being shot in the head while giving birth to Morgan, Jason having to hide the fact that he has a child from the world) but NOTHING changes!!!   Usually, when one is faced with such dire and soul-shattering consequences people DO SOMETHING to change their lifestyle because of it.  In Guza’s world though, nothing ever changes.  Consequences are shown, and then quickly swept under the rug, all too soon to be forgotten.  And the slap on the wrist comment had me almost ROTFLMAO.  That is pretty much ALL they get!   REAL consequences mean (and should include) CHANGE.

He goes on to share:

''It will play out for months. It's a major, major thing. And the ripple effect to the emotional lives of the characters is going to go on for maybe years.  'You're going to see relationships shatter, new relationships forged out of grief and a need to understand the un-understandable. That's the only way you can justify doing it. The way it would happen in real life, it would have that kind of ripple effect. We tried, in our way, to duplicate it on the show.''

I’m sorry…?  Did Guza actually utter the words “The way it would happen in real life”? 


There, see that, I’m laughing in spite of my horror!  Because, you know, in real life we ALL see mobsters as heroes and the authorities as incompetent boobs who couldn’t find their own arse if they reached back and touched it.  We all know that you can nearly sever your fingers on broken glass, suffer nerve damage and show up three days later with WRIST GUARDS and no visible scars or cuts on said hands.  We all know that you can… Oh never mind, you get my point!!!  Back to the subject of consequences… REAL consequences  mean (and should include) CHANGE.  Will this heinous event signal the beginning of REAL change?  I’m not holding out too much hope given Guza’s take on the subject:

''We're not going to make them all go in the garment business. That is not what this story is about.  The show is about romance during wartime, for lack of a better term. We have the highest stakes possible because people can be killed. We're not going to ignore that. We're not going to go away from that. But we're going to make them very, very aware of the consequences and make them try to deal in nonviolent ways.'

Garment business?  WTF?!  They already own a SUCCESSFUL coffee importing business and probably a chain of Sonnybuck’s coffeehouses all over the CONUS, WTF is with the garment business crack?   We already suspend disbelief as it is with our Soaps, so none of us would so much as bat an eyelash if Guza suddenly found a way to write them out of the mob business without them having to die or leave the Country.  Seriously.  In fact, most of us would WELCOME that.  Especially if they turned things around so that Sonny and Jason were now using their super powers for good, instead of evil.  If they were to FIGHT against the mob, instead of for it.  They don’t have to be cops to do that.  (WTF is with Guza’s hate for cops, anyway?)  And did he really say that this was a show about “romance during wartime”?  WHAAAT?!!  Romance?  Where?!  The only sprinkles of anything even approaching romance is the burgeoning relationship between Spixie – which is FABULOUS, by the way.   

I was not on the “Love between Spins and Maxie” bandwagon at all, but I am now actually seeing how it would not be such a bad thing at all.  And whoever (probably NOT Guza) is writing the SPIXIE scenes, they are doing a MASTERFUL soapy job of it.  It’s not being shoved in our faces or down our throats at all.  They are taking their time, slowly adding layer by layer to form a friendship that could very well lead to an unexpected romance.  I love how Spins brings out Maxie’s soft, vulnerable side; while still allowing her to be a vixen.  I love how Maxie seems to be drawing out Spinelli’s inner-strength and in the process, inadvertently boosting his confidence.  Spixie have the potential to be an AWESOME, if unconventional couple and I would love to see them continue to slowly move forward with it.  In the meantime, I will continue to drink up and enjoy every Spixie scene we get.

Back to the subject of Michael now… Guza is remaining mum on exactly what plans he has for the character of Michael – as in whether or not he will be SORAS’d – but I think we can all see the writing on the wall.  As of the date of this column, Dylan Cash, who plays Michael, has not had his contract picked up by TPTB.  Why wouldn’t they renew his contract unless they WERE planning to SORAS him?  There were rumblings a couple years back about them sending Michael away for a while only to come back an older, more rebellious Michael, who would finally embrace his inner Q (as in Quartermaine) but there was a huge backlash from the fans about wanting to keep Dylan Cash.  He stayed.  Now, I have to wonder if they’re not gonna head in that direction now, in the aftermath of Michael’s grievous injury.  In MY opinion, this would be the ONLY way to spin gold out of straw.   I FULLY support the idea of Michael turning into a Q. 

*bangs the gong*

And, if my recent forays into the Soap Boards is any indication, I'm not alone in that regard.  Most everyone I've spoken with on the various boards is fully on board with Michael discovering and embracing his Quartermaine roots - PROVIDED THEY DO IT RIGHT!!!  What is right, you ask?  Well, that would depend on what YOU want to see happen.  I received an overwhelmingly positive response when I suggested the possibility of them having Michael undergo a personality change similar to that experienced by one Jason the Morgan.  No, not another "Anger Boy" story, trust me.  Suppose, due to the brain trauma, Michael lost all his memories, just like Jason did?  Suppose, instead of turning to his parents for love, support and understanding, he turned AWAY from them, just like Jason did with Alan and Monica?  Think of the possibilities, people!!!  What better way to drive the point home to both Sonny and Carly about the cost of raising a child in a mob-world, than to have them lose their eldest son - not to death, but to a radical, irreversible personality change?!  It would be Jason-revisited!

What storylines could shoot-off this one development?  TONS!!!  For example, having Michael embrace his Q'ness opens the door  to another chapter (a new generation) of AJ vs. Golden Boy Jason, only it would be through their respective sons.  Sooner or later, Jake WILL be acknowledged by Jason, and then, of COURSE by the Q's, so it stands to reason that there could eventually be some cousinly rivalry folded into the mix.  Picture Michael as AJ and Jake as Jason?  (Yes, I know there's quite an age difference between them, but Jake will be SORAS'd soon enough... Anyway, you see where I'm going with this.)  . 

And what would transforming him into a Q do to the dynamic between Michael and his siblings?  Would he shun his siblings, the way Jason shunned AJ?  Would Krystina be his Emily?  Would he try to "save" his siblings from the mobular world?  Would he, eventually, become an enemy of Sonny's and vow to bring down his empire o'crime?  And what karmic payback for Sonny and Carly to have to pay – not only for the mobular influence, but for stealing Michael away from the Q’s in the first place!

Would he choose to eventually pursue a career at ELQ, thereby granting Edward’s most fervent wish, or would he maybe go into medicine, like Alan and Monica?  Could he be the driving force behind Jason FINALLY giving up the mob and possibly drawing him back into the Quartermaine fold?  The possibilities are endless!  I am excited about this ONLY because of the unlimited storyline potential; not because of the violence that ends with Michael being shot in the head!

Another way the storyline could turn out - and please GAWD don't let them go THERE... is for Michael to really go dark-side and begin battling it out with Johnny Zacchara for control of the mob.  That would be a total waste, not to mention a huge disservice to what could possibly have been a valuable PSA to children and mobsters alike.   The way I see it, TPTB have been wantonly killing off Quartermaine's left and right, and it's about time they started to replenish the bloodline, so to speak.  Right now, the only Q still of reproductive age ON CANVAS is Jason and he isn't even "part of the family" anymore, by his own choice.  We can't really count Brook Lynn and Dillon, since they have been written off the show - ditto for Ned who, I'm sure, is still more than up to the task of fathering another child or three...


But I digress... So, yes!  New Q's simply must be infused into the show.   What say you, my pretties?  What would YOU like to see happen in the aftermath of this senseless and heinous deed?  Have a few drinks and think about it.  I’d love to hear from you.

Much love!


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