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 Two Scoops: May 2, 2011 columns
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Intervention!
For the Week of May 2, 2011
There are plenty of folks in Port Charles that could use an intervention: Jason for his black t-shirt addiction, Lisa for her Patrick obsession, and Spinelli for his computer usage, to name a few. But Luke Spencer is the most ideal candidate for an intervention that GH has ever seen. And wow, did it turn out to be one tough hour, not just for Luke, but for viewers, as well.
There are plenty of folks in Port Charles that could use an intervention: Jason for his black t-shirt addiction, Lisa for her Patrick obsession, and Spinelli for his computer usage, to name a few. But Luke Spencer is the most ideal candidate for an intervention that GH has ever seen. And wow, did it turn out to be one tough hour, not just for Luke, but for viewers, as well.

Luke has been an excessive drinker -- one could argue alcoholic -- for more than a decade and, finally, his family took action. That action, sadly, included drugging Luke and duct-taping him to a chair to begin the intervention. Hey, the Spencers never really do anything the conventional way, so what did you expect?

Luke's intervention was one of the most powerful hours of GH I've seen in long time. Thank you, writers, for giving us the Spencer intervention in its entirety and not cutting away to other ongoing storylines with Michael, Robin, or Jason. That continuity of the confrontation kept the focus where it should be: on Luke's problem and denial.

As his children, family, and friends each took their turn telling Luke he had a problem, it was clear that Luke still believes he doesn't. "I am not an alcoholic!" he ranted. Luke tried to reason with them, saying that they were asking him to give up who he was. If Luke thinks that alcohol is who he is, then I think the group proved their point.

I commend the writing team for this episode. It was nearly perfect. (If Bobbie had been there, it would have been perfect.) Luke's support team each read their letters to him, describing how his alcoholism had affected them. They all were emotional, but Tracy's really got to me, as I realized how vulnerable this tough lady really is. It was a hard pill to swallow that the reason Tracy made Luke stay sober on their wedding day was that she thinks he can love her only if he's drunk. Gulp.

When it was Lucky's turn, the floodgates opened -- for him and me. "When you would rather drink alone in an empty casino than spend Christmas with your family, it's got you," Lucky pleaded to Luke, about his addiction. When Lucky went on to tell Luke that Jake was dead but that Lucky still needed his father, well, let's just say the lump in my throat is still there.

The writers stayed true to Luke's character for the entire episode. Luke maintained his trademark sarcasm throughout the entire intervention. "I hope you all enjoyed the creative writing," he snarked, as the letter-reading ended.

All of the actors in this episode should be applauded with heaps of praise. But Jonathan Jackson was a real standout. This actor has the ability to make me feel everything he is feeling, and it usually ends with me reaching for a Kleenex.

The best part of the hour was waiting for the climactic ending. As each family member and friend told Luke they would no longer be in his life unless he sought treatment at a facility, I was waiting for Luke to agree to go to Shadybrook. (How could he not, when Lulu, Lucky, Tracy, Sonny, Nik, and everyone in his life are prepared to shut him out?) But in typical Luke fashion, he ended the session by walking out, declaring there was a bottle with his name on it somewhere.

It wasn't until he was outside that viewers saw the toll the confrontation had taken. Luke wrapped his arms around himself to try to comfort and compose himself. What we saw was a grisly-faced, red-eyed man in pain, staring at us. Bravo Tony Geary! He was perfection.

Kudos, General Hospital, for not taking the easy route and sending Luke on his merry way to treatment. We all know real life seldom works that way, and with a character as stubborn as Luke Spencer, I think it will take a few more falls, before he hits rock bottom. And as uncomfortable as it is to watch, I don't want to miss a moment.


Meanwhile:

  • Pass the Prozac. Remember the days when we tuned in to watch our soaps for a fun hour of escapism? Yeah, neither do I. General Hospital has become so depressing lately that I need to get a prescription for antidepressants just to get through it. For months we've been dealing with rape, murder attempts, a car bomb, psycho stalkers, alcoholism, infertility, a child's death, and what looks to be turning into a teen drug-addiction storyline. The writers of this show seem to love doom and gloom the way Anthony loves his roses. But, I'm begging here. Please give us some fun, light-hearted, optimistic storylines for the summer. May I suggest Mac and Alexis flirting and hanging out at the pool, a girls' night with Maxie, Robin, Diane, and Alexis, or that Jax gets his surfboard or boat out of storage? Anything will do at this point.


  • I did get one good laugh this week. Thank you, Anthony Zacchara! When he nosedived into a bucket of ice to cool off, after seeing hottie Lisa in her underpants, I couldn't help but chuckle. Is it wrong that the funniest person in town these days is a psychopath? He's crazy, but he's funny.


  • Speaking of crazy, Lisa is diabolical. Getting an insecure teenager hooked on drugs, so Lisa can get access to her obsession's home, is cruel. Forget Johnny. I think Lisa should set her sights on Anthony. They're evenly matched. Even he argued that they would be a perfect couple, "When reality doesn't suit us, we create our own; it's the mark of a brilliant mind." Or a crazy one. They could be a match made in Shadybrook.


  • Admittedly, Maxie sometimes works my nerves, with all her silly ramblings. But lately, she has become the voice of reason. She befriended Elizabeth and this week, point-blank, told Sam and Jason that having a baby when they weren't ready wasn't the way to get over their grief about Jake. Score, Maxie!


  • Why is it the writers spent months giving us Brenda and Jason scenes that hinted of friendship, yet now they can't even have a conversation? Epic miss!


  • Speaking of Brenda, she is absolutely going to lose it this week if her child is missing. She turned her head for a minute, and Lucian disappeared in a not-so-crowded diner. (First Elizabeth and now Brenda! I think the lesson GH is trying to impart is never take your eyes off your children.) This disappearance could be all Suzanne's doing, to avoid Lucian having to take a DNA test and disproving he's Brenda's child. If Suzanne had lived in Port Charles a little longer, she would realize that one can easily manipulate DNA test results at General Hospital. Just ask Elizabeth.

    I couldn't believe my ears this week when Brenda spouted off that she didn't just blindly accept Suzanne's story that Lucian was her grandson. Um, that's exactly what Brenda did. It wasn't until Robin and Sonny worked her that she agreed to a DNA test. Sigh.


  • The line to smack Michael starts here. I know the kid has had a tough year, but he punched Dante at the police station. At this point, it's like Michael is flaunting his nose at the law. Dial it down, dude!


  • Nothing Sonny does should surprise me, but asking Dante to get rid of evidence that would incriminate Michael, did. I know he's trying to protect one son, but Sonny asking Dante to risk his job, again, was pushing it. I have to admit, though, that was a great scene!


  • I'm not sure if this was addressed and I missed it due to recent storms/power outages, but has anyone said why Luke isn't being charged with involuntary manslaughter? Is it because they can't prove he was drinking?


  • I asked this before, but I'll try again. Has anyone read The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli? If so, please drop me a line and tell me what you thought.


  • I like Johnny Z. I hope it doesn't take him long to figure out that his daddy is behind this whole Michael/Abby/Brandon mess. At least I think Anthony is behind this whole Michael/Abby/Brandon mess. I wouldn't mind a substantial story for Johnny Z sometime soon. He has charisma and can do romance well. We need more of that, please.


    Many of you wrote me a couple weeks ago, asking how the Nielsen television ratings work. I checked with a couple sources, and got to the bottom of this. (Thank you, Dan!) Ratings only count if you are chosen as a Nielsen family. If you are a Nielsen family and DVR the show, then it counts if you watch it within 24 hours of the show's airing, according to soapcentral.com founder Dan Kroll. If you are a Nielsen family, and record all the week's shows and watch them Saturday night or Sunday, you are not counted as watching the show at all.


    I can't help but be angry at the inaccuracy of a system that counts ratings this way. First of all, if Nielsen families are the only ones counted, the networks are NOT counting millions of viewers who watch their shows. I'm an avid television watcher and have never been a Nielsen rater. Have you?

    It seems to me that in a world where I can unlock my car, program my DVR, and set my house alarm with a click on my iPhone that someone in the television industry could come up with a device to put on our cable/satellite boxes that would tell the networks every program we watch and when we watch it, hence making all our opinions count, and not just a select few. Why aren't networks protesting these antiquated ratings' measuring devices and trying to come up with a better system? Our shows are dying, supposedly, because of ratings. And if the ratings are flawed, I say that's one place to look at starting to fix the problem.


    Best Lines of the Week:

    (Maxie tries to comfort Lucky about Jake's death by trying to lighten the mood, a move that Spinelli pulled on her after Georgie's death.)
    Maxie: "It felt good for somebody to pull me away from the pain. I kind of think you need that right now."
    Lucky: "Maybe I should hang out with Spinelli."

    (Luke orders a Scotch from Siobhan.)
    Luke: "Will you join me, or will that put you in hot water with my son for contributing to the delinquency of a senior?"

    (Longtime adversary Nikolas tries to help Luke at his intervention.)
    Nikolas: "If you don't get help, my doors are closed to you."
    Luke: "Ouch, that hurts."


    On a serious note, my heart is breaking for all those caught in the tornadoes in the South this week. My family was safe, with minimal damage, but there are hundreds dead and thousands more whose lives were destroyed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


    Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.
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