If I went to an exclusive restaurant at a 5-star hotel for dinner and they served me jarred Prego sauce on my pasta, at probably 30 bucks a plate, I would be pissed; even if it was really good for my heart. If I had escaped from a burning building and had a hankering for an orange soda, and my best friend insisted I drink V-8 instead, I would start holding auditions for a new best friend.
Have we glimpsed the ugly future of Daytime TV? Hour long commercials thinly disguised as plots? I understand that advertisers are desperate. There are many people; me included, who pride themselves on never watching commercials. With a Tivo or DVR, I record all my shows, watch them at my leisure and zoom past all the ads. If advertisers think making the whole show into an ad will work, they don't know me very well. If GH turned into a giant ad for Campbell's, I'd stop watching. Even if they had Jax eating tomato soup while in a Speedo.
When Thursday's show was all Campbell's, all the time I was annoyed. But when I tuned in Friday and it was STILL a giant commercial, my head nearly exploded. When they got to the romantic Jax and Carly reunion scene I had been waiting and waiting for only to have it interrupted by Max barging into their hotel room to sit on their bed and talk about Prego Spaghetti sauce I was in complete disbelief. I felt so sorry for the actors. Can you imagine being a star of Daytime Drama and having the director come in and tell the cast they had to hawk soup on air for two days? And they had to do it with feeling as if they really cared if people drank V-8 juice.
I know heart disease is a serious problem. In fact if you have been reading my column for any length of time, you might recall that my Dad died of a heart attack in 2004. He keeled over one morning after he had been out fishing with no warning whatsoever. So, you can see that I am not insensitive to the problem, it has impacted me personally.
BUT, when I watch soaps, I am seeking an escape. Life is hard. Several of my friends have lost their homes and their jobs and every day we are all out here wondering if we are next. There are wars, and 401k's suddenly with a zero balance, and chaos abounding on all sides. We all know about heart disease, and cancer and other horrible diseases because people we know suffer from them.
Is it really too much to ask that when we turn on our Daytime TV we can get a little romance, a few happy endings, something, anything we can daydream about? What we got instead this week were public service announcements about women dropping dead from heart disease which were thinly veiled soup and juice commercials.
I know soaps have the potential to be educational. Until Stone had AIDS, and Robin contracted HIV, I was completely ignorant of the facts of the disease. GH did an incredible job of educating me on the topic. But they did NOT do it by selling pasta sauce. They did it by showing me a well written story with a group of fleshed out characters that struggled with it and made me care. And I did *not* care if Diane had Heart Smart Prego for dinner, or 3 martinis or some nuts and maraschino cherries from the bar.
But the bottom line? They won. Why? Today when I went grocery shopping, I came home with V-8 Fusion, Prego Heart Smart Spaghetti Sauce, and a case of mini cans of Heart Smart V-8. Damn those rat bastards at the ad agency.
Now that I got that off my chest, let's get down to business. Sonny needs to fire max and Milo and hire someone who can keep that stalker Kate from sneaking into is house five times a day. She slithers in from the back patio like a well dressed snake. Yes, I admit it, it's sick but I am still rooting for Claudia. I know she will eventually get busted for her role in Michael's shooting, but right now, I like her better than the bickering Bensonhurst girls. Kate has forgotten she runs a magazine and spends all her time slinking around playing detective at Sonny's. Olivia finally has a job in Port Charles, but still never went back home to pack her bags and actually move to Port Charles. She came with a weekend bag to a wedding that was months ago. That's my worst nightmare- that some relative I have been trying to avoid for 20 years will come for a weekend visit and then never leave.
If Kate is going to tell Sonny about Claudia, she should do it right away instead of playing cat and mouse with the current Mrs. Corinthos. If you really loved someone and realized they were married to someone who had actually put a hit on them, wouldn't you tell them so? But Kate's wounded ego got the best of her when she asked Sonny if he would come back to her if Claudia was out of the picture and he said no and announced he planned to stay with Claudia. Kate was left speechless and didn't drop the bomb she had been waiting to drop.
Claudia actually toyed with the idea of confessing all to Sonny. She got it half way out, but didn't have the nerve to finish when they were interrupted. It's just as well she stopped, because even though Sonny is grateful that Claudia let him know Anthony shot Kate, I think his gratitude would evaporate when he discovered Michael was in a coma because Claudia planned a hit on him. Of course if Claudia and Johnny don't stop talking about their crimes out loud in a hospital room with an open door, they deserve to be caught.
Anthony deserves to be caught, too. Did he die in the fire, or is he out running around town looking for roses to tend to? Maybe smoke inhalation and toxic fumes sent him back over the edge. Who will find him first, and when they do what will they do with him? Hopefully he will end up in prison because Agent Raynor is out for blood, and if it's not Anthony, sadly it would be Spinelli who would not last 3 minutes in prison.
Speaking of hospitals. Perhaps GH isn't at the forefront of cutting edge technology, but wouldn't they have a Sprinkler system for fires? The place is engulfed in flames, and not a single sprinkler let go of a drop of water. I know Mac is inept as Police Chief, and it seems the Fire Chief is equally inept and never did an inspection of the hospital to ensure they had working sprinklers.
Rebecca Shaw, or Biker Emily if you prefer, is a welcome addition to the cast. I can see why she would be freaked out by Nikolas following her around, but if you are going to have a stalker, a rich stalker who wants to pay your hospital bills is the kind to have. Nikolas asked for an hour of Rebecca's time to tell her about Emily, and in return, he promised to get her a job at the hospital that is burning to the ground.
Spinelli was the last one out of the blaze, and only got out alive due to the bravery and loyalty of Sam and Jason. And he was rewarded when he exited the building with his first real kiss with Maxie - one without any ulterior motives, and only love behind her lips. Winnifred looked crushed, but Maxie deserved that kiss, she was the one who went in after The Jackal and climbed stairs in platform shoes to try to find him. I was so happy with the Maxie and Spinelli reunion right up until the moment she approached him with V-8 Fusion instead of Orange Soda.
When I saw Robin cradling Emma in the hospital, I thought Huzzah; her PPD was magically cured by hypothermia. But I was wrong. She's gone back to not wanting to touch her baby. Rumor has it, this storyline is going to last a long time. So, brace yourself for several more months of disliking Robin. And baby Emma is so chubbylicious cute with her little squishy cheeks; it's a pity her Mommy doesn't want to hold her. Maybe Grandma Anna can come in and give Robin a good karate chop.
Lulu knows that something isn't quite right with Johnny but can't put her finger on it. Maxie told tales of his bravery in the blizzard, and Lulu was glad he saved Robin and Emma, but didn't look quite as happy that he had followed Maxie into a blazing building.
Lucky and Sam amicably and officially ended their romantic relationship. This leaves Sam free to run back to Jason and Lucky free to run back to Liz. There is quite a bit of chatter on this topic, and the feelings are mixed. Each different pairing has its diehard fans. I know whatever side I choose will make me the despised enemy of some loyal group of devotees. But in my humble opinion, the universe has been set right again. Sam and Jason proved they were a great team during the fire and biotoxin disaster. Lucky proved his devotion to Liz by breaking into a poisoned building just to be by her side. I am happy these 4 people are back with the partners that make sense. Sure, Jason and Liz love one another and have remarkable chemistry, but I just can't see Elizabeth happily living a life of crime.
The character I felt sorrow for this week was Ric. His father died, and no one at all cared. Sure, Trevor was a jerk, but he was Ric's dad and inasmuch, Ric felt a sense of loss, and a realization there was no hope of repairing that damaged relationship. He had no one to talk to about it, as his one and only friend, Claudia, switched teams on him in the middle of the game. Rick Hearst needs a love interest. A real one. I wouldn't even mind if he and Alexis found their way back to one another, I always actually liked them together. And I bet Ric wouldn't spend a night on the town with Alexis lecturing her about heart healthy foods.
What will happen tomorrow dear readers? Will anyone at the Red Dress ball ask Maxie where her scar is? Will Diane eat a bacon double cheeseburger and chili fries just to stick it to Max? Will Carly and Jax change the electronic locks at their hotel so Max's pass key won't work anymore? Will Luke and Ethan find more hi-jinks and capers to dive into once they are sprung from jail? Will Jason get his bullet wound treated before his shooting arm falls off? Will Jackie Zeman or actually get a scene in the Feb 24th B.J. episode? Will Jason tell the Equinox Corporation that their deadly biotoxin evaporates if you throw it into a fire?