Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Not Barbara Jean's heart..." Oh wait. Same story, different decade.

Isn't it a shame that what is arguably the best story in soap history has been copied and butchered so many times that if it aired today, it would lose all its luster and relevance? That's unfortunately what's happened on General Hospital, where the story of BJ dying in a bus crash and Bobbie and Tony giving her heart to a gravely ill Maxie. Since then, the story has been repeated ad infinitum - on the same show, no less - and the latest attempt to capture the greatness of the heart-wrenching saga of the early 90s has proven to be the worst yet.

After Elizabeth's son Jake ran out into the street and got hit by a drunken, driving Luke, she and her two baby-daddies Lucky and Jason made the decision to donate the little boy's kidney to Carly and Jax's daughter Josslyn, who suddenly had cancer. Organic storytelling at its best, no? What made the story so insulting was how entitled Carly seemed to feel towards Jake's kidney, and how she made it all about herself when Elizabeth was reluctant. The one stunning, powerful moment in the story came when Jason asked Elizabeth to give Jake's kidney to Josslyn and she slapped him, reaming him out for abandoning her and Jake and accusing Jason of wanting to use Jake for "spare parts." If the entire story had been charged with that anger, that visceral tragedy, we may have had a classic story on our hands. Instead, we had yet another reminder that Carly is more important and entitled to whatever she wants than anyone else on the show. And where in all of this were Bobbie and Monica?

I know I'm being excessively negative about this story, but I really thought it was in bad taste and skipped over all the beats that could have played out for weeks and months. Instead of a nuanced, poignant story of loss and healing we got a speeding plot-driven mess filled with histrionics. Thumbs down, GH...
Lee and Lauren