I resent so much about this show. It’s wastefulness. Its gender politics. Its juvenile worship of violence. It’s disrespect for its own history. It’s disdain for its own fans.
I think the thing I resent most of all, though, is that it still has the ability to make me cry, even when the story is as blatantly cheap, manipulative, short-sighted and derivative as this one. But they centered the whole thing around the two prettiest natural criers on the canvas! It would take a stronger woman than I am to resist these faces:
So pretty! And yet… so rage inducing, because seriously, GH? These actors — like the audience — deserve better. They deserve stories that are more than cheap stunts and pale imitations of better writers’ work. (Claire Labine had the chops to kill a child and make it mean something. Bob Guza? You, sir… are no Claire Labine. And boy, does it ever show with this hot mess.)
Even if I was willing to forgive the blatant thievery (which I am so, so not), this isn’t even a good retelling. You know what made BJ’s heart so compelling? It wasn’t the shock of killing a kid. It was the months of careful build up. It was the way all the threads of the story worked perfectly to wring maximum emotional truth out of every character. Let’s just say that this version has been lacking in that regard:
– Maxie getting the miracle heart had dramatic weight because we’d been waiting for it, watching her slowly waste away. Now we get Josslyn going from having a mild case of the sniffles to full on, five alarm cancer in the space of about two days.
– BJ’s death caught Bobbie and Tony in the middle of the lowest point in their marriage. All their interactions as grieving parents were even more fraught because he’d just discovered her affair with Damien. But Elizabeth and Lucky have barely acknowledged each other’s existence for months before last week. And the show would evidently still like us to forget that Jason and Elizabeth were ever anything more than sperm and egg donors to one another, judging by how carefully the writing has worked to keep them from sharing a single scene while their child lay dying.
(I mean, really, show. We get it. You hate Liason fans. But you already broke up their couple, so could you maybe stop kicking them already?)
– The tension of watching Felicia and Frisco’s joy over finding a donor, unaware that it was their niece, was one of the most deliciously heartbreaking parts of the story. In Guza’s version, there’s no tension. Everyone in town seems to now take it as a given that Jason has a connection to Jake. Everyone except Monica, of course, who’s yet to even put in an appearance. Gee, if only there was a qualified heart surgeon on staff who could have performed the surgery, not realizing she was actually working on her grandchild until it was too late! Thank God they didn’t go that route. People might get the impression they were actually watching a soap opera.
But beyond the laziness of copying almost every element of this story — and beyond the sloppy, half-assed way it’s being told — I think the thing that pisses me off the most is that you just know every single character is going to hold this up as the reason why being in the mob isn’t actually any more of a danger than any other “profession.” Because we could all get hit by a bus tomorrow, right? And that’s totally as likely as being gunned down on the street because you’re a fucking hit man.
(I swear to God, I know they’re probably going to use this story as the catalyst for Jason and Sam deciding it’s a-okay to bring their own little bundle of joy into his life of neverending violence and bullshit. And it really makes me do a full body clench of hatred. This show, you guys. This effing, effing show.)
I can’t believe this is the “story dictated” reason they were going to kick Rebecca Herbst to the curb. What unbelievable hacks.