A sampling of the many things I’ve recently found puzzling about General Hospital includes:
– An extended plot involving Lucky and Maxie fighting over possibly the ugliest lamp in the world was one of the most engaging parts of the week.
– The contention that putting a kid on the stand against his father is basically the moral equivalent of EATING PEOPLE, such that even hardened criminals who willingly spend their lives KILLING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS FOR MONEY can only look upon the depraved animals who would do such a thing with disgust.
– The fact that there was an episode in which Spinelli was actually the character making the most sense:
SPINELLI: Despite your word of discouragement, Stonecold is determined to save you from that fate. But what Stonecold does not comprehend is that you chose to build a criminal empire fully knowing of the risks and consequences. It is neither noble nor right to allow your most trusted friend to bear the consequences of your actions.
(The words, “Sing it, Spinelli!” just feel really wrong coming out my mouth, you guys.)
But the most confusing thing by far has been the writers’ decision to end the Kristina abuse arc with such a dramatically unsatisfying mess. Another hit and run, show? Really?
Let’s break this down. From his very first scene, it’s been very clear that we were meant to hate Kiefer. (With this show’s characteristic subtlety, of course – hey, remember when he incessantly made fun of Michael for having been in a coma for a year? School yard bullies are well known for their hatred of gunshot victims!)
This was a kid with basically no redeeming features. A snotty, snobby, control freak bully who nevertheless managed to spend nearly a year getting away with abusing Kristina, tormenting Michael, scaring Morgan, and making Molly do his freaking homework.
In short: this was a kid badly in need of a take down.
I wanted to see Kiefer humiliated. I wanted to see his future ruined, his reputation destroyed, his facade of respectability utterly and completely torn apart. I wanted to watch Alexis and Sam read him the riot act. I wanted him to be spit on in the streets. I wanted him to have to look his parents in the eye and tell them what he’d done. I wanted Kristina to finally face him with her head held high. I wanted her to get her self-respect back and want nothing more to do with him. And I wanted him to know that she and everybody else saw him for the pig that he was.
You know what I didn’t want? For him to DIE without ever having to face any condemnation or reflect at all on what he’d done. For him to be made into a martyr. For this very real social issue to get sidelined into an even more unrealistic circus as Alexis’ inevitable trial proceeds.
And now we’re left with Kiefer’s horrible, over-the-top parents as the only villains. Seeing as we just met them, you’ll forgive me if I don’t take nearly as much satisfaction from their eventual take down. If Kiefer was alive and they weren’t one dimensional clichés of WASP entitlement, watching them have to come to terms with the truth about their son might have been a painful, moving story.
Hell, even with Kiefer dead, if the Bauers weren’t so utterly awful, balancing the natural sympathy most viewers would feel toward parents who’ve lost a child with the knowledge of who and what that child really was could have been a dramatic goldmine. But where’s the fun in actually dealing with hard, complicated issues when we can deal in broad stereotypes instead?
Nancy Lee Grahn and Lexi Ainsworth have been spinning gold out of straw with this story, and I’ll admit the scene where Alexis confessed she was the hit and run driver and Kristin forgave her had me blubbering like a baby. But seriously, writers? What were you thinking with this crap?
(Nevermind, I know what they were thinking: after all the build up with Sonny and Ethan, there was no way to justify him not ordering a hit on Kiefer. But watching Jason murder a teenager — even a reprehensible little shit like Kiefer — might have been a bit much for even this show. But hey, if someone else kills him before Sonny gets a chance, then problem solved! And bonus “irony” points if we can somehow make Alexis look bad in the process!)
In conclusion… I hate this show.