Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lee’s Top 5 GH Moments of 2012

Lee’s Top 5 GH Moments of 2012

What a difference a year makes. Had someone tried to convince me last year that anemic, running-on-fumes General Hospital would be experiencing a stunning creative renaissance at the talented hands of OLTL dream team Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, I’d have laughed and written some fan fiction. But since their work started airing early in the year, GH has been must-see TV. Not every “Cartini” move was a stroke of brilliance - has there been a more obvious blunder than the “love story” of Kristina and Trey? - but from the moment Johnny shot out Anthony’s tires, leading to a car crash that took the lives of an innocent young man and his daughter (One Life to Live’s Cole and Hope), I’ve been hooked. Here are five moments I felt really stood out among the many stellar stories.

#5 - Sam Meets With Heather Webber, Opens Pandora’s Box
It seemed like a one-off guest appearance: Sam met with mental patient/legendary Port Charles psycho Heather Webber to discuss Jason’s biological mother Susan Moore and learned that Susan gave birth to twins. Heather asked Sam to deliver a letter to estranged son Steven Lars, but Sam was horrified to learn that Jason and serial killer Franco were twins and ran out without the letter. When Heather was declared mentally fit enough to come home and live with Steven, she immediately began a new reign of terror that, in the end, all came down to Sam not following through on delivering the letter. By the time Heather was thrown back into the loony bin, she’d already murdered Steve’s ex-girlfriend Maggie, goaded Todd into switching Tea and Sam’s babies, kidnapped Luke and attempted to throw a baby off a cliff. Sam may have gotten her baby back in the end, but all this could have been avoided if she’d simply kept up her side of the bargain!

#4 - Patrick Scatters Robin’s Ashes As We See Her Alive
I had trouble choosing just one great moment that stemmed from Robin’s presumed death, but the revelation that she was alive - a reveal that hadn’t been spoiled beforehand! - was shocking and signaled the return of the true soap cliffhanger. The viewers were given renewed hope for the beloved character and immediately began to theorize: How did Robin survive the explosion, and who was behind whole scheme?

#3 - John Ingle’s Final Appearance
The campiness of the “poisoned water” saga delivered a surprisingly poignant and sobering climax. As Sonny and Co. rushed to get the cure from Jerry, a very ill Edward offered the only available serum to Emma. “I love you too,” he told Tracy, who then delivered a quiet yet powerful speech about family and love. Edward’s appearance, which was reportedly at the request of a very ill John Ingle, would be his last, as Ingle passed away not long after. The image of Edward giving a “thumbs up” to Patrick and Emma will give me goosebumps for years.

#2 - Elizabeth Confesses All To Jason
Carlivati silenced months of fans complaining that he didn’t like or “get” the character of Nurse Elizabeth Webber with one immensely moving scene that showcased the talent of portrayer Rebecca Herbst and finally opened the character up for redemption. After confessing that she switched the DNA results of Sam’s baby, Elizabeth broke down and admitted to Jason that she’d been slowly falling apart since Jake’s death. No longer hiding her pain with self-righteousness and judgment, Elizabeth was finally able to explain how angry she was with Sam, with Jason, with everyone. With rumors of an exciting new year for Elizabeth, this scene was simply perfect.

#1 - Fondue Foils Faison’s Fun
Was there a more satisfying moment this year than John and Robert hurling fondue in “Duke’s” face, melting his mask and ruining Faison’s dastardly plans? The scenes showcased the talents of GH favorites Finola Hughes, Tristan Rogers, Ian Buchanan and Anders Hove, with OLTL transplant Michael Easton fitting in seamlessly. There were a ton of “OMG!” moments this year, but this moment was a creative and brilliant payoff to viewers who were screaming and throwing things at their TVs for months for Anna to come to her senses.

What were your favorite GH moments this year? Sound off in the comments or on Twitter @dayplayerdish or @leemeyer26, and have a happy holiday!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Are we seriously upset that GH introduced a gay black guy?

Last week, General Hospital introduced a new nursing student, Felix DuBois. Felix, an openly gay black man, attempted to give Sabrina an impromptu makeover before her “date” with Patrick to discuss the Nurse’s Ball. Sabrina was surprised when Felix pulled lipstick out of his pocket, and apparently viewers were, too. Following his appearance, gay news and media blog Towleroad called out the show and Head Writer Ron Carlivati for presenting such a “stereotypical” gay character, which prompted Carlivati to reply to the scathing comments and uninformed opinions, some of which called him out for being self-loathing and homophobic. I felt pretty strongly about the issue, so here are my thoughts.

First of all, the knee-jerk reaction to the character has been really blown out of proportion. Felix has aired once so far, which is not nearly enough to get a true feel for the character. He will next air today (Monday) and the reason he’s carrying lipstick will be explained (hint: Lucy Coe). Second, Ron Carlivati is the last person who should be criticized for his portrayal of gay characters. In 2009, One Life to Live introduced five gay, ethnically diverse characters (Fish, Kyle, Nick, Amelia and Madame Delphina) and did stories involving coming out, gay marriage, hate crimes, parental rights, and, most importantly to a soap, love. These characters were flawed and complex additions to the canvas and won Carlivati a GLAAD award. Now he introduces a character who is not only gay, but black (and let’s face it - GH has had a pretty poor track record with black characters in the past) and connected to the hospital (another area in which the show has lacked in recent years) and viewers cry foul? I wouldn’t be surprised had these complaints come from One Million Moms or some other hate group, but I’m stunned and angry that gay people are the ones raising hell about this.

Gay men need to stop being afraid of so-called “stereotypes.” Gay people come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is plenty of gay representation on television now, and I’d argue that most modern gay characters are played as masculine and “straight acting” (a term that really annoys me). Carlivati has introduced a character that many of us have encountered, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, Felix should be celebrated for breaking the mold. “Men” don’t have to be masculine or macho; a real man is someone who shows honor, is true to himself, and unapologetic about the way he is. So thank you, Mr. Carlivati, for being brave enough to introduce a character that breaks the mold and shows us something new and fun.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Confessions and Catharsis For GH’s Liz

Elizabeth never mourned Jake properly. Okay? I said it. The girl didn’t have a chance to mourn the loss of her little boy in between dodging murder allegations and other assorted disasters. And though we’ve been told that she’s been successful and living on and being a good mother to her living children, we have really only seen otherwise. Life hasn’t been good to Elizabeth Webber, and October 2’s episode finally brought all of her stifled pain and frustration and anguish that she’s been feeling up to the surface. As Rebecca Herbst delivered Liz’s powerful confession - that she lied about the baby’s DNA test to keep Jason and Sam apart - we got to see the real Elizabeth Webber.

“I didn’t deserve to have my child taken away from me, either!” Elizabeth cried out as she finally admitted that she never forgave Sam for watching Jake get kidnapped years ago. Herbst’s performance was incredibly raw and honest and made me remember why I fell in love with the character back in the 1990s. Elizabeth survived a violent rape. She survived failed marriages. She survived the loss of family and friends. But who really survives the loss of a child? “Ever since we lost Jake, I’ve been trying to recover on my own, trying to let time heal. But It’s only gotten worse. And so I really thought … I thought you would make it better. That you would fix it. That’s not fair of me to ask that of you,” she whimpered. Who hasn’t felt that way at some point? Elizabeth’s pain was so real, so incredibly potent, that I understood where she was coming from for the first time in a decade.

Credit should also go to Ron Carlivati, who managed to take one of my least favorite stories ever and create an incredibly strong throughline for all the characters involved. I was going through my Twitter feed and was astonished at how many complaints were targeted at Carlivati for “not liking” the character of Elizabeth! Because the way I see it, Carlivati not only likes the character, he gets the character. He’s the first writer to get the character since Michele Val Jean, and that’s no small feat. I’m not sure where Elizabeth goes now- I’m going to suggest lots of therapy - but I am confident that with Herbst and Carlivati steering, the journey will only get better from here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scandal Season 2!

Yayyyy!!! Scandal is Back!!!

How about that jammed packed season premiere? I for one am glad the show is back in full gear.

Now on to my random musings!

  • Olivia's wardrobe needs to be it's own Pinterest board. Ms. Washington rocks  the hell out of those clothes.
  •  "You're ornamental not functional." Ahh damn Fitz! Don't be so hard on Mellie Aka the FLOTUS! I love me some Mellie! And for the record, President Fitz, she had children for your career, faked a miscarriage to save your candidacy, and now got pregnant to bolster your president. So she is highly functional..Thank you!
  • I'm suddenly intrigued as to why Quinn warranted Olivia and Huck basically kidnapping her and forcing her to take on a new identity. Even more so, who did Olivia contact to put the fix in on her trial? I am intrigued! Even though I hate Quinn and her dumbness with a passion, they got me hooked! 
  • Fitz and Oliva...that is some powerful chemistry those actors possess. Still the best part of the show.

Great start to the season!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lee’s Two Cents

Lee’s two cents - one positive, one negative

General Hospital: Don’t Drink The Water! (But please do.)

Ron Carlivati took a while to get into the right rhythm and groove at General Hospital. Sure, the show was infinitely easier to watch than the trainwreck that was Garin Wolf’s tenure and more entertaining than longtime Head Writer Bob Guza’s never-ending mob epic, but overall the show lacked a consistent tone or direction. All of that changed, though, with the return of fan fave villain Jerry Jacks and new baddie Joe Scully, Jr. Jerry’s plot to poison the water of Port Charles and demand a ton of money for the antidote made for absolutely fantastic viewing. Weaving in old stories, such as the Dead Man’s Hand cards, and involving the entire cast, the month-long umbrella story reminded us exactly why we fell in love with GH in the first place. It was full of thrilling action and adventure (I won’t forget the climactic confrontation between Jerry and Sonny on the docks any time soon), romance (Dante and Lulu’s strong devotion and love for one another, Alexis and Shawn’s epic kiss following her rescue, the growing triangle between Jason, Sam and Liz), humor (Todd rounding up the “1 Percenters”) and riveting emotional moments (Edward’s selfless act of giving little Emma the only available antidote proved to be a powerful moment for fans of John Ingle, who unfortunately isn’t looking very healthy). In the end, the story was not only a throwback to the swashbuckling adventure of GH’s past, but a sign that this creative team knows what they’re doing and that for the first time in years, General HOspital is in very good hands.

Days of Our Lives: Listen To Your Mother, Sonny

Sonny was upset with his mother for not approving of his burgeoning relationship with Will, but I wanted to hug the woman. I get that Will and Sonny are being positioned as the next gay soap supercouple, but Adrienne really has a point. Sonny is a happy, well-adjusted guy with a nice family and good looks on his side; why settle for some constantly embattled, irrationally angry guy who is still not quite okay with being gay? Sometimes we look beyond the baggage to see a wonderful person worth fighting for, but so far, Will has only proven to be selfish and absolutely dysfunctional. Sonny should go with his heart, yes, but he should also be practical. There’s a reason Sami hasn’t been able to nail down one guy, and Will has definitely shown many of her negative, self-destructive traits. Run while you can, Sonny. You’ll only regret this in the future....

“I love you, too” - John Ingle Passes Away

“I love you, too” - John Ingle Passes Away

There was something very powerful about the September 11 episode of General Hospital, in which a very ill Edward Quartermaine selflessly gave the poisoned water antidote to little Emma and gave Patrick a smiling “thumbs up.” His only spoken line in the entire episode to his on-screen daughter Tracy, “I love you too,” showed that Edward, who put on a tough-as-nails act as Quartermaine family patriarch, was just as compassionate and nurturing as his late wife Lila. Sadly, the episode was John Ingle’s last; he passed away on September 16, surrounded by his family.

It would be easy to list all the accomplishments John Ingle has accrued over the years; a beloved teacher and actor, Ingle made a lasting mark in show business, but to me, his greatest accomplishment was portraying a character that was not only endlessly entertaining to watch but also one that reminded us of what soaps are about: love in many shapes and forms. His devotion to his dear Lila (played by the lovely Anna Lee, who passed away several years ago), his unfulfilled desire to do right by the family of his illegitimate child, Bradley Ward and his unspoken love for Mary Mae (the late, great Rosalind Cash), along with his biting, yet loving relationships with his children made Edward relatable and often comforting to watch.

General Hospital’s creative team would be wise to honor Edward and Ingle’s legacy by building a story around Edward’s mission to rebuild his dwindling family from beyond the grave; I can just see Tracy having to welcome the rest of the Ward family into the Quartermaine mansion at Edward’s final request, or Monica’s shocking discovery that Edward had been secretly nursing Emily back to health since her death in 2007. It’s all wishful thinking on my part, but John Ingle’s portrayal of Edward should be celebrated, and what better way to celebrate the life and career of a great man by creating something new and wonderful in his honor?

Ingle’s wife passed away earlier this year, and I can only hope that he has reunited with her, wherever they are, just as Edward has hopefully reunited with his beloved Lila and made peace with Justus and Mary Mae. I’m going to miss you, John Ingle, but thank you so much for the memories and may you find health and good fortune wherever you are.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dive In: Revenge

You don’t have to wait until the Dallas sequel starts airing this summer to get your primetime soap fix. ABC’s scorching Hamptons soap Revenge returns this Wednesday, and if you haven’t watched, here’s everything you need to dive in and enjoy the most dramatic and surprising soap on TV!

Who’s Who

Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke
Amanda Clarke, our (anti?)heroine has returned to the Hamptons years after the wrongful arrest of her father, David, for a heinous crime he didn’t commit to get revenge on those who wronged him. Now going by the name Emily Thorne, the cold young woman ingratiates herself into the lives of the Hamptons-royalty Graysons, the family primarily responsible for her father’s arrest. Emily courts and becomes engaged to handsome-but-clueless Daniel Grayson and sets out to take down the Graysons one by one, but her plan hits a snag as she actually begins to fall for Daniel, all the while developing feelings for her childhood friend, Jack Porter, now a handsome bar owner.

Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson
Cold as ice, the confident and cruel “Queen” Victoria is Emily’s primary target, believing her to be most responsible for ruining her father’s life. Victoria had an affair with Emily’s father the summer of his arrest, and shortly after became the most revered (and feared) socialite in the Hamptons. Now the matriarch of the Grayson family, Emily’s schemes have exposed wrinkles in Victoria’s perfect life, which have led to her taking drastic action and stooping to horrific lows to maintain the life she worked so hard to create.

Gabriel Mann as Nolan Ross
The foppish young technology billionaire is Emily’s one confidant and only true friend. Having considered her father a mentor, Nolan is 100 percent loyal to Emily and often makes sure her manipulations and schemes don’t backfire. Insecure with no family and few friends, Nolan once fell for Tyler Barrol, who seduced him before trying to blackmail and extort him. Nolan has also tried to sway Emily toward Jack Porter, who he has recently befriended.

Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter
A would-be world traveler, Jack’s plans to leave Montauk via boat to travel the world hit a snag with the surprise death of his father. Now taking care of both the bar and his little brother Declan, Jack has fallen hard for Emily, not knowing that she is really childhood friend Amanda’s Clarke, who he’s carried a torch for since she gave him her puppy to take care of following her father’s arrest. When Emily realizes that her dog Sammy is still alive and well and living with Jack, she is slowly pulled toward him. Following Emily’s engagement to Daniel, Jack meets and falls in love with the real Emily Thorne, who claims to be Amanda Clarke!

Josh Bowman as Daniel Grayson
The handsome, booksmart, completely naive son of Victoria and Conrad, Daniel is the quintessential golden boy. After a drunk-driving accident that left his waitress girlfriend paralyzed the year before, Daniel walks right into Emily’s trap and falls hard for her, much to Victoria’s chagrin. Emily’s manipulation of Daniel leads to him dissenting from his mother and father’s grasp to become his own man, not realizing that Emily has him wrapped around her finger. Daniel inadvertently brings his college roommate Tyler Barrol into everyone’s lives, and is now charged with his murder!

Henry Czerny as Conrad Grayson
Victoria’s husband is the mastermind behind David Clarke’s framing and shows no remorse for those whose lives he’s ruined to get ahead. Conrad’s marriage to Victoria falls apart when Emily exposed his affair to Lydia Davis, Victoria’s best friend, and Victoria blindsides him by filing for divorce. Expecting too much from son Daniel and showing a soft spot for daughter Charlotte, Conrad’s life is further turned upside down by the revelation that David Clarke is Charlotte’s biological daughter.

Christa B. Allen as Charlotte Grayson
Charlotte is an impressionable teenage debutant who develops an intense young romance with Declan Porter, which neither Victoria or Conrad approve of. Charlotte’s world falls apart when her parents announce their divorce, and she begins to spin out of control after learning that she is the biological daughter of suspected terrorist David Clarke. After being blackmailed by her grandfather into not going to therapy (he was afraid of family secrets getting out), Charlotte’s begun popping pills to cope, which is bound to produce disastrous results.

Connor Paolo as Declan Porter
Jack’s younger brother becomes involved with the Grayson family after starting a relationship with Charlotte. While his working class background initially doesn’t mix well with Charlotte’s delicate lifestyle, Declan eventually becomes a rock for the young girl as her life begins to fall apart. Declan has trouble listening to his Jack, resenting that his older brother didn’t sell the family bar after their father’s sudden heart attack and death (which Declan witnessed and felt partly responsible for). Declan is the first person to come across the dead body of Tyler Barrol at Emily and Daniel’s engagement party and suspects his brother of the murder.

Ashley Madekwe as Ashley Davenport
An ambitious event planner and Emily’s supposed best friend, Ashley yearns to have the riches and lifestyle Emily and the Graysons enjoy. Ashley struggles to impress Victoria, who treats her like her personal assistant, and ends up compromising her friendship with Emily to gain the acceptance and respect of the Graysons. After Tyler Barrol’s murder, Ashley secretly sells photos of the family to the tabloids, which Nolan discovers, prompting him to question her motives.

Supporting Cast

James Tupper as David Clarke
David Clarke was framed by his associates at Grayson Global for assisting a terrorist organization that caused a terrible plane explosion. Before dying in prison, David left his young protege Nolan Ross a box filled with diaries, pictures and other evidence that incriminates the Graysons and everyone else who helped incriminate him, hoping that Emily would find peace knowing that he was innocent (not thinking she’d decide to avenge him). David was in love with Victoria and knew that her baby Charlotte was his daughter.

Margarita Levieva as Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne
The real Emily Thorne met Amanda Clarke in juvenile detention, where they were roommates. After Amanda came into money following her father’s death, Amanda paid Emily in exchange for switching identities. After a sequence of events that result in the real Emily murdering the Grayson family lawyer, the real Amanda brings her to the Hamptons for damage control, where she ends up falling hard for Jack Porter, who thinks she’s Amanda from his childhood! Following the murder of Tyler Barrol, “Amanda” disappears, prompting Jack to try to cover up what he thinks she did.

Ashton Holmes as Tyler Barrol
Tyler is a sick, mentally unstable grifter who worms his way into the Grayson family through Daniel, who knows him as a friend from college. Tyler’s pathological ways are revealed when he seduces Nolan Ross for his money while supposedly dating Ashley Davenport. After Emily discovers Tyler’s true identity, she arranges for Tyler’s older brother to have him institutionalized (after Tyler holds the Graysons hostage at Daniel’s birthday party). Tyler escapes the mental institution just in time for Emily and Daniel’s engagement party, where he partially reveals Emily’s true nature to Daniel before trying to kill him. Daniel shoots Tyler once in self-defense, but is shot dead by Mr. Takeda, Emily’s mentor, in a plot to put Emily’s plans back on track.

Hiroyuki Sanada as Satoshi Takeda
“Mr. Takeda” is Emily’s mentor, who’s trained her both physically and mentally for avenging her father’s death. When her Emily’s plans hit a snag, Mr. Takeda comes to the Hamptons to help her, all the while expressing his disappointment in Emily’s apparent weakness for falling in love with Daniel Grayson. Takeda shot and killed Tyler Barrol and framed Daniel for the crime, hoping that it would set Emily back on track. Takeda was last seen driving off with “Amanda Clarke,” who he believed was causing too much trouble for Emily.

The Story So Far....

This is not a story about forgiveness. Emily Thorne came to town with one thing on her mind: revenge. But after actually developing feelings for Daniel Grayson, she considered toning down her plans - until Victoria let Daniel believe that David Clarke had raped her. Now, Emily is caught in a tangled web of lies and murder, struggling to maintain her strong outer shell while things begin to fall apart.

It was Takeda. On the beach. With Daniel’s gun. Psychotic Tyler Barrol planned to expose Emily’s lies at her and Daniel’s engagement party. After showing Daniel a photo that Emily was hiding with a list of her targets, he and Daniel struggled, resulting in Daniel shooting him in self-defense. Before Daniel could make his next move, Satoshi Takeda knocked him out and finished Tyler off - with Daniel’s gun. Now, Daniel’s been considered a flight risk and is being held without bail at Rikers Island prison, while Takeda has disappeared with the real Emily Thorne, who was causing too many complications for the real Amanda.

We’re all family here. Charlotte Grayson was devastated to learn that she is the biological daughter of David Clarke, long thought to be the accomplice in a terrible terrorist attack that claimed many lives. When Emily learned of her half sister, she was conflicted as to how to handle the situation. Charlotte’s boyfriend Declan suggested Charlotte talk to a therapist about her problems and stress, but Charlotte’s grandfather Edward Grayson was leery of his family secrets being exposed and blackmailed her out of it, threatening to make sure Declan wouldn’t be able to attend school with Charlotte in the fall. After finding Declan’s older brother Jack’s painkillers, Charlotte’s begun using drugs and falling apart at the seams.