Have you ever had someone in your life whose company you once enjoyed and anticipated and then one day woke up and realized you had nothing in common with them anymore? That's how I am feeling about GH right now. Watching GH lately is more a habit than a joy. The worst part is, I am half convinced that's the way they want it.
A friend sent me a series of accusatory posts from an anonymous person who claimed to be part of the GH writing team. A soap "Deep Throat," if you will -- a whistle blower who wanted to alert the world of a scheme to destroy GH.
I don't know if it's true or a hoax, but as I read the list of accusations, they rang true to me. I won't repeat the detailed list of alleged crimes against soapdom, but I'll share the spirit of the list with you… The anonymous tipster says that there are a handful of people who want to bury GH because they have shows waiting in the wings they think will bring in more bank. The person claimed that certain people in power at ABC Daytime are purposely trying to drive viewers away to get the ratings low enough to justify pulling the plug on GH.
I find that hard to believe. After all, ABC did spring for the new credits and a new hospital set, and upgraded to HD broadcasting. Those don't sound like the choices of a network itching to kill off its soaps. It sounds more like a network who wants their shows to succeed.
On the other hand, the anonymous tipster made a convincing case of writer sabotage. Some of the tactics he/she listed were things we have already discussed here -- the botched return of Brenda, the massive amounts of airtime for minor characters, the lack of storyline for fan favorites, and what the heck, here's one quote from the X-Files: "Expect to see more and more of your favorite characters being written completely out of character; soon you won't be able to recognize them."
As I said, I rarely put too much stock on anonymous tips, but some of the points had merit.
For instance, ABC pushed Brenda's return hard. They even cancelled new episodes of all their soaps for an entire day to air "classic episodes" of Brenda during her glory days. But now she's back and we're all still waiting for one juicy love scene with Sonny. The writers have lollygagged around for months now. They have squandered away the patience of former GH viewers who came back to see Brenda's "big return" only to get bored and leave again. It's like if you won the lottery and every day you came to collect and they handed you a penny. Sure, you know there is a fortune waiting in there, but you realize you'll never get your hands on it.
That's how I'm feeling. GH has a gold mine of potential and talent, but instead of coughing it up, they are it out in penny-sized portions and the world is full of other ways for me to spend the hour a day I spend on GH. I mean, I own the boxed set of The Gilmore Girls -- I could be listening to the zippy dialogue of the denizens of Stars Hollow.
But I digress. This Balkan storyline has consumed the GH canvas. If we all did a shot every time someone said "the Balkan," we'd be hammered by a quarter after the hour, but we have no idea who he is yet. Is it Jerry? Is it an Alcazar? I am so tired of waiting and guessing, I barely care anymore. (If it turns out to be Alcazar, I will totally change my tune because I love me some Lorenzo.)
Maybe it's viewer A.D.D. -- but I want something to happen. I want the story to progress. I want to be moved in some genuine way. When I don't get that, my mind wanders. I get bored. I ask, "Why am I spending five hours a week of my life on this?" and come up empty. I've been watching this show for 30 years and I've hit patches like this before where the show got so far off track I almost gave up, but -- I never do give up. I just whine.
I'm not alone, readers; you're whining too -- my e-mail and Twitter accounts are filled with messages from disgruntled GH viewers. The most common opening is "What the ____are they doing over there?" because, like me, you love the show and are frustrated right now. When I proposed we create a reality show to write it ourselves, I got brilliant plot ideas from GH viewers. I wish we really COULD write it. But, we can't, and next week should be Sweep-tastic. Let's all hang in there and give the existing writers a chance to redeem themselves.
There have been some tender moments, but that's credit to GH's wonderful cast who make the best of whatever has been given them. Sam and Jason tenuously deciding to let Sam be the bait for the Balkan, Abby's kindness to Michael, Lucky and Siobhan's budding romance, and Tracy hovering over Luke's bedside in an uncharacteristically vulnerable way were all highlights for me. But still and all, a few nice scenes do not a good drama make.
Last week I thought this week would be the big lead-up to sweeps -- to be fair, we did have some big reveals and plot twists;