Back in the saddle again…

Boy, you take two weeks off from this show and the whole world explodes. First things first: BRENDA’S BACK!

Do you see this face? That is the face my heart makes every time Vanessa Marcil and her glasses and pigtails and ridiculous laugh come on screen:

Love her!

Can I tell you guys how sad I was when I realized my business trip would coincide with her debut? (And then how sad I was to realize I was actually feeling sad about missing General Hospital? Believe me: it was a low moment on multiple levels.)

And forget about James Franco. Who needs him when the fabulous Adrienne Barbeau is wandering around, being her fabulous, power-suited, charity-running, girl-talking self?

Seeing Vanessa Marcil again has reminded me of two facts: one, she’s not the greatest actress in the world. But two… it doesn’t matter. Because damn, has she ever got charisma. There’s just this way about her, a focus that she brings to every scene, even when her scene partner — like, I’m sorry to say, the dude playing poor man’s Matt Damon — is a complete block of wood. She’s like a magnet.

Have I mentioned that I love her? And that I’m terrified by all the ways they could mess this up?

I also love that suddenly, Brenda really is the great love of Sonny’s life after all! And don’t get me wrong: SHE IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE. But, psst, Sonny from last week… don’t tell that to Sonny from nine months ago. For some reason, he seemed to think Carly was his soul mate to end all soul mates. Whoops!

(Here’s a hint, writers: if you don’t want your characters’ whiplash changes of heart to appear as contrived and dictated by off-screen events as they actually are, it might help to write in some motivations and reasons for their feelings.)

We did get this bit of inadvertent truth in the midst of all the awkwardness:

MIKE: It’s not who Brenda was to you. It’s who you were when you were with her.
SONNY: Everything was so much simpler back then.
ME: Yes, you “simply” weren’t such an enormous douche. Amazing how that works.

Preach it, Mike!

I can only imagine how much worse it’s going to get when Brenda actually makes it to Port Charles. I’d almost rather watch her wander the world helping children and having boring conversations with her block-of-wood boyfriend than subject her to the steaming hot mess Sonny’s life has become. If this new, world-weary and mature Brenda doesn’t take one look at that and want to run the other way screaming, I’ll be so sad for her, you guys.

I was going to spend some time talking about all the big happenings elsewhere in Port Charles, from the truly surprising (Lucky got to rescue his own baby for once!) to the utterly not (Jason got out of prison early! On the flimsiest “legal” justification yet!) — but thinking about how sloppy and poorly executed the baby kidnapping story was just makes me embarrassed for poor Jonathan Jackson. And the only positive thing I have to say about Jason’s release is that at least it lessens the chances I’ll have to hear five characters a day indignantly bemoan the unfairness of a KILLER FOR HIRE being forced to spend a measly two years in prison.

(Yes, I’m looking at you, Spinelli.)

(Oh, and Diane — that is some great lawyering there. Way to earn your enormous retainer by completely failing to notice this apparently air tight get out of jail free card that’s been sitting there all this time in the damn plea agreement.)

Over on the Dante/Lulu front, Brook Lynn’s seriously making a bid for Most Unbelievably and Inappropriately Sanctimonious Asshole in Town. (She won’t win, of course — so many other characters have such a great head start. But it’s a valiant attempt!) It’s all so very petty, childish, and ridiculous. But it’s also pretty damn soapy, and let’s face it: my standards on that front have lowered a lot in recent years. So the upshot it, I’m kind of enjoying this story.

I also appreciate Lulu making the connection between what Brook did to Dante and what Dante didn’t do to Lulu in a similar position. (Which was also the moment I sort of fell in love with this couple in the first place, so thanks for the reminder, writers!) I have no faith that this show would ever have the guts to call what happened to Dante what it actually is: sexual assault. Clearly, they can’t even bring themselves to say the word with Michael when they’ve all but hung a “TRAUMATIZED RAPE VICTIM” sign on his back. But at least the implication was there, even if just by proxy.

I just wish they’d give Brook some motivation for horribly betraying her old friend that’s a little less odious than laziness and greed, but… this is still General Hospital, you know? Can’t have everything.

All those developments pale beside the Scrubs happenings, though. First Lisa went super extra batshit crazy in the space of about a week. This could have sucked, given how badly the build up was screwed up. But all credit to Brianna Brown — who has obviously embraced the batshit with an admirable amount of scenery-chewing zeal — it has actually been pretty damn entertaining:

(Her delivery of the accompanying “that would be crazy!” line when Patrick accused her of stealing Robin’s meds was so delicious I’m still kind of chortling over it.)

Then yesterday… oh, yesterday: Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson totally stole the show. The angst! The desperation! The breaking voices! So good! So soapy! (And who knew they were both such pretty criers?)

PATRICK: It was only one time. Just one time.
ROBIN: Just one time? Yeah, just– just once, you broke our marriage vows. Just once, you betrayed me. Just once you let me think that I was paranoid when Lisa was dropping all those hints because you didn’t want her to tell me the truth.

Ouch.

You could see Robin’s heartbreak all over her face. Loved her anger, and especially loved her throwing Patrick’s condescension over the past months back in his face. All those times she was suspicious of Lisa and he told her she was crazy… I would have kicked him, honestly.

But even though Patrick’s been a total ass through this whole thing, and even though the writers gave him next to no reason for cheating on Robin in the first place, I still kind of felt for him here. He doesn’t deserve Robin’s forgiveness right now, but I could feel his terror at the thought of losing her, and the shot of him looking in at her crying was brutal. Oh, show.

How come you can’t do soap like this more often?

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19 thoughts on “Back in the saddle again…

  1. Welcome back! I missed your blog.

    Yes, the acting has totally made this storyline work, despite all the bad writing. I hope yesterday’s scene reminded the writers that JT and KM are wonderful actors who should not be constantly regulated to the backburner so that every story can lead back to Sonny and Jason. It reminded me of the pregnancy reveal, when their painful fight was mesmerizing. And as much as I hated the Lisa build-up –THIS is soap. As crazy as the Brook Lynn storyline is (she’s a Quartermaine for goodness sakes. Can’t she just ask Daddy or Grandpa for money?), both she and Brianna Brown are better than their material and remind us how much we need bad girls on our soaps. I suddenly want Lisa to stay around–maybe not to keep messing with Scrubs but to keep that kind of fun crazy in play.

    • I am all for Lisa sticking around — although they’re going to need to work hard to keep her viable after this. Of course, these are the same writers who think Sonny is still viable after shooting one son in the chest and nearly blowing his daughter up all in the space of the same year, so… yeah. Who knows.

      When they give JT and KM decent material, both of them are capable of so much. It’s a shame they don’t get the chance very often.

      • I’m enjoying bat shit crazy Lisa but I don’t know if it’s a good idea to keep her around because GH always messes up that type of stuff. Soaps always need bad girls, but GH tends to keep characters around too long and “redeem” them so that they’re no longer bad girls. And while Brianna Brown is great as CrazyLisa, she didn’t really seem to work as non-CrazyLisa. Look what happened with Jerry Jax. I love Sebastian Roche and I think he was awesome as Mr. Craig holding the Metrocourt hostage and I think his run should have ended on a high note there, but GH decided to keep him longer and the writing for the character became a hot mess. I just have no expectation that GH would be able to keep Lisa awesomely crazy for an extended period of time.

        • True. I should say that in theory I think it would be possible to keep Lisa around in some capacity, because with good enough writing, almost any soap character can be redeemed.

          However, in practice, there is no chance in hell that this show will be able to pull that off well.

          • “with good enough writing” – oh that cracks me up. You know we’re screwed then because this is GH we’re talking about. We’re lucky if we get something that’s a step above terrible most of the time.

        • After what Lisa did to Robin, Emma and Patrick she needs to die and never return. Not at all impressed with the actress. She is decent now ONLY at Fatal Attraction and I’m in a giving mood. She was horrible and couldn’t play other parts leading up to the Fatal Attraction. I need airtime given to Robin and Patrick and GH has a large enough cast. Lisa needs to DIE!

  2. Welcome back!

    I have to agree with you, we shouldn’t feel bad for Patrick, but for whatever reason I do. What he did was inexcusable. But the way JT plays him and how beautifully acted everything is/was between Scrubs one’s heart just breaks. And YES, there is no reason for Patrick to have cheated on Robin. Just SO out of character for how far he has come.

    • Yeah, I think part of the reason why it’s so tempting to feel sorry for Patrick is that even thought we watched him sleep with Lisa, it was so forced and out of character that it’s hard to believe he actually did it of his own free will.

      Also, Jason Thompson cries prettily. NOT THAT I’M SHALLOW LIKE THAT.

  3. Lisa has such great potential to screw with so many of the characters on the canvas taht I am all for her stickign around. She’s already threatened Steven with a sexual harrassment lawsuit. Liz turns against her in solidarity with Robin and Patrick…Lisa lashes out at Liz. Nikolas, in his umpteenth attempt to curry favor with Liz, uses his postition as a BOARD MEMBER to block Lisa professionally. Lisa retailates by discovering the paternity switch and either goes into to cahoots with Helena (fun!) or blackmails Nik into keeping the secret. Lucky therefore gets scewed by her as well. Matt and Maxie are watching her…so she sets them up to think Maxie has gone back to Spinelli and Matt slept with Maya.

    But since she has almost unlimited access to screw with the non-mob side of teh canvas…..clearly she’ll be gone by Febraury because heaven forbid we have a villian screw with someone OTHER than Sonny and Jason.

    And the less said about that pathetic and STUPID baby-napping storyline the better. I know what Guza was thinking…but seriously! If he could please spend more than five minutes thinkign out this baby switch storyline it would be great!

    • I have seen better MUCH better villians than Lisa on GH . Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson are the ones making the story work. Until Robin found out most weren’t inetersted in the story. People are interested in how Robin and Patrick overcome this. Lisa is prop to the couple Robin and Patrick and so not needed after this story.

      • I don’t need Lisa sticking around. She’s not a great villain from my standpoint. We’ve had better ones on GH over the years, ones you love to hate. I just hate her and want her gone.

        I totally agree with the praise for Kimberly’s and Jason’s performances though. They were outstanding. I am enjoying this story now that the truth is out. I will never understand or get over how lame a story they wrote to explain Patrick cheating on his wife, when the viewers who have watched him evolve from player to a devoted and faithful husband, seem to know him better than the writers do. There is no way Patrick would have done this and so easily as the writers suggested he did. But, what’s done is done and thanks to these brilliant actors– they have making this story NOW worth watching.

  4. Kimberly McCullough is the BEST actress and deserves an Emmy . This is no justice if that doesn’t happen. Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson deserve airtime and front burner status. Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson pulled out all the stops and made me feel Robin’s pain (I cried with her) and Patrick’s sorrow. Kimberly was over the top good. When Robin asked Patrick to repeat himself, you could see her eyes well up and shock take over. From then she played EVERY scene perfectly. Robin was calm and in shock and then went to anger with SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP. I was cheering her on and I love Robin and Patrick together. That is how I felt Robin’s hurt.

    Patrick was wrong but Jason made me see that I still want them together. Patrick was sorry but he still cheated and needs to make up to Robin for all he did. Jason and Kimberly made the FA story. I’m focused on the couple and so over the Fatal Attraction part.

    I need the Fatal Attraction character dead after this. There is no redeeming because the character went too far with taking Robin’s meds and taking Emma. To me after all that was done, fatal is dead. I need that payoff. The Fatal Attraction character is no Mr Craig (SR talent wise) from the Metro Court crisis, now that is a bad character not this Fatal Attrraction ex of Patrick’s. Besides GH needs to cut some of their stale talent and move Kimberly and Jason upfront in airtime and story.

  5. Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson are once again proven to be top of their game. They both delivered outstanding performances this week. I think it was really Kimberly’s moment to shine since Robin is now “in the know”. She was brilliant is showing a very emotional, raw and realistic reaction, retaining Robin’s strength, but also her vulnerability. I was just in awe! Before this we got to see JT’s multi-layer wonderful portrayal of a guilty, ashamed husband terrified of Robin finding out for fear of hurting her and losing her. And, now we got to see Patrick’s despair in seeing how much he’s hurt Robin and how he’s desperately trying to ask for a second chance. These two are killing me. I can’t wait to see how they deal with this psycho together. As mad as I am at the Patrick character, he and Robin are still the “root for” couple as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want Robin to forgive him too easily (and I don’t think she will), but I do want them to work it out.

    As for your comments about Brenda, I agree with you on all points. I am particularly bummed by the fact they intent to repair Brenda with Sonny. I want her nowhere near him. He has turned into a pathetic character and he and his mob shenanigans are likely to suck the life right out of her.

  6. Robin (Kimberly McCullough) & Patrick (Jason Thompson) had me crying all week. And for some weird reason I enjoyed it. The couple’s drama was excellent. Robin Scorpio-Drake may be the littlest person in town but she does not play! Robin does not need a scapel to draw blood. That girl can cut you with words! Robin’s verbal smackdowns had me cheering even as I was crying for Robin and for Patrick. The GH writers are crazy for not always giving them great stories to tell.

  7. Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) are the only reason I watch this storyline. KMc and JT rock their scenes together. I’m glad TIIC have finally given both actors some meaty material to show off their amazing chemistry and acting talents. Both KMc and JT showed an amazing sense of vulnerability and pain to their scenes.

    What I would like to happen is for Robin to concentrate on her future with her family. Her memories of Stone need to get put in the past where they belong. Stone wanted Robin to find love again.

    Patrick needs to forget his ego and figure out why it was so easy for him to cheat. I’m not buying that he missed Robin, so he gets drunk and has sex with UTP. That excuse doesn’t fly. Patrick needs to give Robin time to deal with “his mistake.”

    I do believe when the time is right, Scrubs will come out of this mess stronger than ever.

    KMc and JT needs more storylines that highlight their acting talents. I will be extremely upset if the appropriate emmy people ignore the amazing talents of both KMc and JT.

  8. Pingback: In which I am flabbergasted. And nauseated. Again. « Despair in the Afternoon

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