Readers, I'm still miffed that The Bold and The Beautiful won Outstanding Drama Series at the Daytime Emmys. And I fear they might win again next year, if they happen to scare up one really good episode.
But what WE know is that General Hospital, day in and day out, provides the best daytime drama on TV. If there is any doubt about that, pull out your Tivo and rewind the last five episodes. Riveting drama from start to finish.
Sure, sometimes there are holes in stories and I mock them. Sometimes the violence gets too much for me to take and I whine about the blood. But I can't deny, and you can't deny, that the fine folks at General Hospital know how to rivet us and put on shows we won't soon forget.
In the past week, GH took on several major bombshell storylines where other soaps would be hard-pressed to manage one. A newborn baby was kidnapped. A serial killer is on the loose. A shootout occurred in the hospital with three major characters gunned down. We witnessed the death of a beloved cancer patient. A secret affair is about to blow wide open with a core couple (I mean, c'mon, Carly knows…How long before she blabs?) And, last but not least, Olivia fainted in the way only pregnant women do…
On the other hand, the big drama on B&B right now is that Brooke "accidentally" slept with her daughter's boyfriend because he had a mask on at a costume party. No really. Do you see how freaking unfair that is?
Okay, off my soapbox and back to business.
General Hospital outdid themselves on each of these storylines from the writing, to the acting, to the production - in each of these stories, everyone was on their game.
Let's start at the end and work backwards…Is Franco dead? There has been some debate in Twitter land about whether or not that was Franco, or some look-alike who plunged to his death. Or, maybe the spot he fell was spongy underneath and he's going to make everyone think he died, but he'll be back later, like Stavros Cassadine who was secretly frozen under the hospital in a creepy lair.
Time will tell, but the fact is that Jason is going to be blamed for Franco's death and will most certainly go back to Pentonville, at least for a while. My only regret is that he can't kill Carter again.
The first time James Franco came to GH as Franco I was…underwhelmed. He was on too little, it was a spotty storyline, we barely got a glimpse of him, and days would pass without a sighting. But this time around -- it grabbed me. Franco's character was fleshed out and we saw him for the sociopath serial killer he really was -- Franco purposely tormented people who were terrified of him with the goal of enraging Jason.
Jason doesn't have a very long fuse, so of course, Franco got the desired reaction. Best lines of the week… Franco (to Art Show Guy): "Do you trust me?" Art Show Guy: "Yes!" Franco: "Well you shouldn't. I'm a whack job. Ask anybody."
Franco taunted Jason using his love for Michael and pushing every button Jason has. Steve Burton has given a compelling performance in this cat and mouse saga with Franco. When Jason lost it with Dante and gave him a shove the other day, it looked very real. I'm guessing Dom Z woke up with a big fat bruise on his shoulder the next day.
Do you know what bothered me about the storyline? I convinced myself that it was believable. I can absolutely see people in our world aiding a dangerous psychopath if the price was right. People knew Franco was a serial killer, or at least had strong evidence that he was dangerous and violent, and yet -- they staged an art exhibit for him in downtown L.A., turning their heads to his crimes for a pile of cash.
So, readers, here's the question… Is Franco really dead? My husband, who pretends he doesn't watch General Hospital, has a theory. Franco killed the videographer who looked…like Franco's double. He thinks it was Dead Camera Guy who went over the roof to frame Jason for Franco's murder, while the real Franco made his escape. Plausible. After all, this is a soap opera. Also, it is reported that Franco will have some connection to Brenda, who is set to return next month. That fact hints that Franco might still be around when Brenda arrives.
Kudos to James Franco for taking a role on Daytime that we know he didn't need. He has loot, he has fame -- he took the role for the fun and the experience. I like that about him. I wish more celebrities would be willing to do Daytime. Their mere presence gives Daytime TV credence. Mr. Franco's presence in Port Charles helped promote a genre that's at a crossroads to a mainstream audience. He brought attention to how hard soap actors actually work, he brought in some new viewers in -- Daytime Fans universally thank you, Mr. Franco.
Again, I'd like to point out that the production of this, particularly the art show with the outdoor sets and jumbo-trons, rooftop shots, etc - the staging and the FX were phenomenal. This is a much bigger event than we usually see in Daytime. Will anyone at GH walk off with an Emmy next year for best drama? If not, they will have been robbed AGAIN.
One death that's not in question is the passing of the positive and loveable Shirley. Dear readers, when that storyline was first announced, "Elizabeth bonds with Cancer Patient," I inwardly groaned. I admit I wasn't looking forward to it at all. I expected it was going to be really hokey; but - I was wrong. Shirley wormed her way into my heart just as she wormed her way into Elizabeth's heart. Michael Learned's portrayal of a dying woman whose soul was much stronger than her body was just what GH needed.
I realized that Shirley's character filled a role that was vacated when Anna Lee passed away and we lost Lila Quartermaine -- Town Matriarch. Shirley had insight and sage advice for all of our lovelorn characters -- that's something that only comes with age and experience. Many of our lost souls in Port Charles needed a wise motherly figure to guide them in the right direction, and Shirley filled that need to perfection. I'm going to miss her and her crazy jewelry. I really loved the piece she made Elizabeth with the starfish. I swear to you, I would buy and wear that.
I loved that Shirley was the bridge between Nikolas and Elizabeth. Sure, we know baby Aiden (a.k.a. Buzz Lightyear) isn't really Nikolas' child, but Liz and Nik don't know it. I hated them being enemies.
In fact, I am actually beginning to like Nikolas and Liz as a couple. I love the way they bonded over their baby at the end, the way Nik is stepping up and trying to learn to be a dad to Jake and Cam, and I am glad we aren't losing all of Nikolas and Elizabeth's history. But…I figure just about the time I get really invested in them, Lucky will discover he's Aiden's father and the three of them will be in turmoil again. I guess that's the nature of the beast.
Although I rooted for Lucky and Liz in the past, I think there comes a point where there's no going back in a relationship. I might be wrong here, but I think sleeping with your brother-in-law should be the point of no return.
Where is baby Aiden? Does Franco have him in L.A., or is he hidden in Helena's old vacated cryogenic lab in the Stavros freezer under the hospital? It's hard to say for sure, but hopefully he's not in L.A. dangling out a window like Blanket Jackson. Aiden Blah Blah Blosivich Cassadine is pretty cute. But let's not forget he's really a Spencer! The kid has survival in his DNA!
Back in Port Charles, Mac and Ethan are both fighting for their lives after Warren Bauer started shooting up the hospital nurses' station, vowing vengeance for Kiefer. Methinks Kristina is going to need a lot more therapy sessions. I enjoyed Michael busting in and using all the moves Jason taught him in jail to kick Mr. Bauer's butt when Warren raised a hand to hit Kristina. At the time I was cheering Michael on, I didn't realize Warren Bauer was armed, of course.
Matt Hunter is the surgeon tasked with saving Mac's life, and I predict that if he succeeds, Maxie is going to be very, very grateful to him, if you know what I mean. Lisa and Steven are working on Ethan and Maya is…curled up in the fetal position behind the nurses' station. What's up with that, anyway? I have to agree with Olivia, who guessed that wasn't the first shooting that Maya had witnessed.
That's the thing with tragedy; anything can set you off and send you back in time. I was in a bad car accident once where one of my friends died -- when I see accidents on the freeway sometimes, it paralyzes me. So, part of me, the average viewer, was yelling at her to get up and help the shooting victims. But the other part of me, the wounded soul, felt nothing but compassion for her frozen state. I'm interested to see where this goes; perhaps we will finally get to know Maya in a deeper way.
Will Mac and Ethan both survive? I sure hope so. Maxie and Robin need Uncle Mac desperately. And poor little Kristina can't take much more; she's holding herself responsible for all of Mr. Bauer's crazy actions. Lexi Ainsworth is such a remarkable actress. I'm not even going to say "for someone her age" because she's good, period, regardless of age. She holds her own with the Big Dogs in scene after scene. On Friday, Kristina's fragile state was impossible to ignore, and hard to watch. I just wanted to hug her.
Kristina is about to crumble -- what will Warren's death do to her already broken heart? Imagine being a 17-year-old kid and feeling like you're responsible for three deaths? A little tough to bear, I'd say. I wonder if, in the long run, Kristina will break, or grow stronger?
Lisa, on the other hand, is about to snap in that Fatal Attraction way. She is not at all content to let Patrick movie on with his life and marriage and will continue to throw herself at Patrick and insinuate herself into his marriage. Robin knows something is going on, but isn't sure what. Maybe when she finds out, she can run off to Rochester and call herself Nancy and bang that guy she had on the hook during her postpartum depression. On a scale of one to ten, I was *ten* happy that Carly is the one who overheard Lisa and Patrick blathering about their affair in the hospital locker room. This is going to be fun!
Readers, I'd like your opinion. Did Olivia faint from the sight of blood, or is she knocked up with Johnny's love child? I hope she IS pregnant so she can reconcile with Johnny and get him back from Hoochie Mama Brooke Lynn in her "hooker goes to the beach" getup. That bathing suit looks like it came off my Malibu Disco Barbie from 1974.
This past week on GH had more twists and turns that a crazy straw. There is so much mayhem waiting for us on Monday and I, for one, can't wait. These are the kinds of weeks that make me happy I stuck by GH for 30 years, even through the Casey the Space Alien years. Thanks, GH, for a great week of entertainment.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will the dense, giddy socialite from the art show ask to buy the dead body to mount in her foyer? Will I be able to find the store where they sell Brook Lynn's gold lamé whore-kini? Will Olivia ask Carly to hold the pee stick while she takes her instant pregnancy test like my friend Susan made me do for her once? Will anyone but me make note of the fact that over on B&B, Claudia Zacharra just slept with Frisco Jones? Will anyone wonder how Lulu afforded a last-minute plane ticket to L.A., since she rarely shows up at work and must not get very big paychecks? Will Carly have to bite her tongue all the way off to keep from rubbing Patrick's affair in Robin's face?