Why do I get the feeling that I’ll be looking back on this sweeps as The One That Let Me Say ‘Toxic Balls’ A Lot? Sadly, I can already tell I won’t be looking back at it as The One That Didn’t Suck. Or even, The One That Didn’t Bore Me To Tears.
Now, as a long time General Hospital viewer, I’m used to dealing with plots that defy all logic, common sense or good taste. I’ve nearly become inured to repetitive, unimaginative storytelling. I am no longer shocked by missed opportunities.
But this latest sweeps “event” is really hitting new lows. I know that all of Hollywood is guilty of a certain amount of lemming mentality. When something new hits big, copycats pop up overnight to try and cash in on the trend. But I think GH deserves an extra award. Not only is Bob Guza willing to rip off other, much better shows and movies, from The Sopranos and The Departed to Grey’s Anatomy and The Devil Wears Prada. He’s also a pro at ripping off his own material. I thought it was sad when he put out pale imitations of stories from back when the show was still good. But since he’s now been reduced to ripping off stuff from the last few years, it’s gotten even sadder. Case in point, the current sweeps stunt, which manages to simultaneously steal from the monkey virus crisis from 2006 and also from every sweeps since the MetroCourt hostage crisis with it’s gimmicky, backward, hour by hour format.
Don’t get me wrong. I approve of a major story taking place in the hospital, for once. In theory. But the only redeeming part of the monkey virus story the first time around was that it rid us of the toxic presence of Courtney. Revisiting any other part of that hot mess? Bad idea theater. And I’ll admit the backward story telling device was kind of interesting the first time around, but a big part of that was the novelty of it all. Trust me, Bob: the novelty is long gone. Stop. Just…stop.
On top of the lack of originality, this latest crisis is has been put together in such a half-assed manner — it’s like the writers have given up trying to make this crap seem even the littlest bit plausible anymore. Like, why are there no actual law enforcement professionals on the scene? Why didn’t Patrick immediately begin evacuation and quarantine procedures since there weren’t any actual law enforcement on scene to stop him? Now that the hospital is under quarantine, how do people still keep wandering in? (Except Jax, of course, because God forbid he actually be allowed to take part in a crisis.) Why was it faster to have Spinelli hack into the hospital records rather than just having the hospital staff in charge of this kind of thing handle it? Why could the people in the conference room only leave one at a time? Where did they get that plastic and tape to block the vents? What kind of “benefit” takes place in a board room with no food or decoration and has only ten people in attendance anyway? Why were the deadly toxic balls (hah!) left completely unattended? Why did the sterile OR share an open air vent with the rest of the hospital? How can Jason still be a super secret FBI informant when he’s running around openly running their crime scenes for them? What is the point of Sam in all this? (Seriously, all she does is follow other people around and repeat what they’ve already said.)
Most importantly of all, what the hell is Lulu wearing, and will we really be forced to look at her scrunchy 80’s tutu for an entire month? SO MANY QUESTIONS!
Meanwhile, there’s the usual senseless death that accompanies any Guza extravaganza. I’m not a huge Leyla fan, but what a waste. They handicapped her as a character from the start by bringing her on as a foil for one of the most popular couples in the show. But after months of rehabilitation on the back burner, Leyla was finally tolerable enough to get worked back into the canvas in any number of ways. Instead, they invent an off-screen fiance the audience has never seen or heard of before then get rid of her in a cheap sweeps stunt. (Note to the writers: if you don’t think the audience would be sad or affected enough by a character’s death unless you make up an invisible fiance to mourn her two days beforehand, then maybe that’s a sign that your character really isn’t important enough to kill off in the first place).
At least she’s not a Quartermaine, although I’m still afraid another one of them is going to drop before this is all said and done.