Sunday, February 27, 2011

General Hospital - the best it's been in a long time

First, no's my Mom's fault...I have watched all the ABC soaps since I was in the womb. And, as much as I realize they have little to no redeeming value, I continue to DVR them 30+ years later.

Now, in my humble opinion, the genre is probably, sadly for many, on its way out. How many years can a show run? How many plotlines can be repeated? In short, soaps just ain't what they used to be.

Once in a while though, the real sudsiness of the "Golden Age" of soaps reappears...

For the past few months, we have watched as Sonny - the mobster-with-the-dimples-that-can-melt-any-woman's heart (even a usually rational woman, like ex-flame Alexis) - and Brenda - the sweet, vulnerable supermodel waif - rekindled their first love.

Sonny and Brenda, circa late 90's
When Brenda followed her heart (and Sonny) back to Port Charles from Rome, after a break of many years following his leaving her at the altar (for her protection), we knew The Game Was On. And, when Sonny proposed, the romantics among us hoped they'd finally find their happiness.

Sonny and Brenda 2010/2011
Of course, love is never simple on a soap opera. Among the many obstacles to the wedding: Brenda being stalked and her capture and death elaborately planned, down to the last detail, by The Balkan - the father of ex-lover, Alexander, whom she killed in self-defense - an international criminal whose identity is unknown to all except those closest to him. Trust me, The Balkan is no joke, and he is determined to see Brenda suffer the worst fate imaginable.

The Balkan plots Brenda's demise for killing his son, Alexander

An even more formidable foe than The Balkan, perhaps? Sonny's attention-seeking ex-wife four times over, Carly Corinthos Jax.

Carly Corinthos Jax

Now, here's where GH shined this week in a way it hasn't in a LONG time. Two major plot twists, plus something we pretty much knew was coming, but which was presented in an unexpectedly clever way.

First, Carly's plan to bust up the wedding went bust when it turned out that Brenda's miscarried baby was not Sonny's long-lost son Dante's child after all, but, rather, Alexander's child (i.e., The Balkan's descendant) whom Dante had claimed paternity of to protect Brenda from Alexander. Sorry, Carly, no dice. A nice, unexpected twist after months of hearing Carly plotting to spring the news of Dante and Brenda's supposed love child in order to throw a wrench between Sonny and Brenda.

Plot twist #2. The Balkan kidnapped mob enforcer Jason Morgan's long-suffering girlfriend, Sam McCall who, coincidentally, bears a striking resemblance to Brenda with her dark hair and eyes, model good looks and super-petite frame.

Kelly Monaco, aka GH's Samantha "Sam" McCall
Wasn't quite sure where this kidnapping bit was going until, just as newlyweds Sonny and Brenda were about to say their post-wedding goodbyes, the limo that Brenda had entered just moments before blew to smithereens. It didn't take a rocket scientist to fit the pieces together and surmise that the body eventually pulled from the charred wreckage would turn out to be Sam's, not Brenda's. (Now, likeable as she may have been, Sam's character had been going nowhere fast for a looooong time. But, why did GH need to throw in the "maybe she could get pregnant" after all stuff the past few weeks? To me, that was wasted time and detracted from what, otherwise, was a nicely played switcheroo.)

Third - we knew James Franco would be back in his guest spot as Jason-obsessed artist/serial killer, Franco, and he was back - in all his gorgeous glory, wearing black tie and tux - Friday.

James Franco, dressed to kill, on GH
While the connection and/or whether there even exists a connection between Franco and The Balkan is unclear, Franco took responsibility for the post-wedding "fireworks." Franco's quip to Jason (see clip below), that he had to run, as he had "a big event to attend, a VERY, VERY big deal," a nod to his Oscar hosting gig tonight, was classic and made Friday's GH worth the price of admission. Franco also joked, in a nod to his Oscar-nominated role in "127 Hours," that "that's what [he] got for spending [his] spring caught between a rock and a hard place."

The best stuff of GH in a long, long time. Bravo, GH! Bravo, James Franco, for livening things up with your best serial killer sass! I just hope you and Anne can pull this hosting gig off tonight...

1 comment:

  1. I grew up watching the soaps, too! Still watch them, I heart James Franco on GH!