General Hospital: Kids with Guns for Sweeps

By Marlena De LacroixDylan Cash

I’ve never lost sleep over a soap opera before.  But when I saw Michael buying a gun on General Hospital, the thought of what most likely will come next so disgusted me I couldn’t calm down. Now that Michael — at approximately age 12 — is packing heat, either he or his little brother  Morgan is going to get shot, or one of them will shoot an adult. Someone could even die.

General Hospital is lower than dirt.  I want to go on record saying that, even though we don’t know yet exactly who will shoot whom,  and what the atrocity masquerading as a storyline is going to be.

This is February, sweeps month, when soaps will do anything to get ratings. So Jill, Brian, Mr. “On Strike” Guza, don’t insult me by trying to pass this story off as a cautionary tale, or attach a public service announcement to the story saying children and guns don’t mix.  We know what you really want.  Bang!  Bang!

There’s a good reason that you’ve never seen a child do the shooting or get shot on daytime before.  Soaps are still a women’s medium, and many women who watch soaps are mothers.  Mothers can’t bear to see a child shot.  Neither can fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins or grandparents.

For sixty years, daytime soaps have stayed away from stories in which children are seriously endangered.  Years ago an  aspiring soap writer friend of mine pitched a story to Another World about a child being shot in a convenience story robbery.  He did it to delineate the animosity between the child’s divorced parents.  As soon as the NBC vice president saw it, she screamed, “We don’t do children in peril stories!”

If GH has a child doing the shooting this month, or has anyone, especially a child, being wounded, then the soap medium has taken another significant step toward its own self-destruction. Over the last ten years, GH has sought to change soaps by including the mob and excessive violence in the their stories.  With this latest bit of impending violence (whatever it may be), GH proves once again that it totally misunderstands the medium it’s in.  We are women.  We love children.  We are soap opera watchers.  We want the warmth of love and our family — not the bloodletting of our kids.   

Comments

  1. Lois Lane says:

    Well put. I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Coggie says:

    This is, perhaps, the hottest spoiler-rumor making the online rounds. I have received several inquiries, from fans and fellow columnists, about what’s gonna happen with Michael and the gun. I have heard rumors from Michael accidentally shoots Morgan but just injures him, to Morgan finds the gun and shoots Michael, Morgan finds the gun and shoots himself dead, to one of the kids shoots Kate by accident.

    What’s worse than all of the speculating or any of the possible butt-covering ratings tactics by TPTB is… this story blip won’t matter in the long run, in the bigger mob-centered scheme of things. What kind of PSA social issues story can this possibly address if the mob continues to be played as heroic, if mob moll Carly continues to stick her head in the sand and/or up Sonny’s and Jason’s rears, living in denial about mob danger and worse, going after a fellow mother for daring to be concerned and rightly so about the dangerous effects to her baby (Liz)?

    So what if Michael or Morgan plays with a gun. Their mom constantly raises up a hitman and his mob boss as paragons of virtue and blindly defends their superhuman ability to protect their children. Why should any of us care or even pay attention?

    Gratuitous and stupid.

  3. Elana says:

    I think you are absolutely right in pointing out the likely direction for this story and how very problematic it is for soaps. You are also dead-on in arguing that soaps have, historically, avoided doing violent harm to children. It seems to me, however, that this general policy has gotten more and more lenient over the years with kids being hurt, even killed, in a number of ways across daytime—albeit not in the gun-violence way you are foreseeing here.

    My one small, tiny, itty-bitty glimmer of hope with this potential GH story is that it will be the straw we’ve all been waiting for that will show the cost, once and for all, of Sonny and Jason’s mobbed-up life (not to mention the women in their lives’ acceptance of their illegal and violent careers). If the story is told in such a way that it serves as a wake-up call for these characters and results in some fundamental changes in the choices they make, it could be a welcome and amazing turn. That said, I know the chances of the kind of character-driven, thoughtful storytelling I imagine are close to zilch. Tragic in more ways than one.

    Marlena says: You sure are right, Elana! For the last few months, one of my friends who has watched GH from Day One has been insisting that this is the year that Sonny and Jason turn away from the mob. Yeah, right! With the ratings scraping bottom, no one is going to do such an adventurous thing, let alone a truly meaningful social issue story a la Agnes Nixon or Claire Labine of old. All GH wants is an public outcry, not change.

  4. rcade says:

    Good overall point, but I think you need to define “children in peril stories” a little more specifically. I can recall several storylines on soaps where kids were in danger.

    On AMC, I can remember Charlie Brent as an adolescent nearly drowning. He had to stay afloat over the Friday cliffhanger all the way to Monday, which my mom and I still laugh about. That kid could tread water!

    On OLTL, more seriously, Pat Lord’s teen-age son Brian was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver — Ivan Kipling with Karen Wolek as his passenger. I was Brian’s age, and that one got to me for a long time.

    On GH, B.J.’s death was one of the most traumatic and memorable stories in the show’s history.

    Marlena says: Roger, I think that a child buying a GUN and shooting someone — or getting shot by a sibling — is a “Child In Peril” category all its own, don’t you? In terms of soap history you really can’t compare it to Brian getting run over or BJ dying in a car crash. Could you see any soap doing a story like this with a CHILD and a GUN in the 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s? In those days writers better understood the audience and knew the parameters of taste and dignity in the medium.

  5. Oakdalian says:

    A child-related gun tragedy may be the only way to illuminate and curb the absurd mob fixation on GH. I don’t think the audience’s reluctance is so much about mothers seeing a child getting shot. They don’t want their kids in peril for any reason, but an effectively told story centered on that concept can only be an asset. This is the show for which BJ’s death was a gripping tearjerker. If avoiding stories of this nature is about pleasing women, why do they continue to watch what may be the most sexist genre of entertainment on network television? It makes more sense for Sonny’s lifestyle to hurt one of his children than having endless women throw themselves at him despite his illegal activities. It’s time for an emotional shot in the arm and a moratorium on contrived cliches. Soap viewers can take it. Whether Guza will do it masterfully is another matter.

    Marlena says: The whole point of my column was to state I don’t WANT see a storyline where Micheal shoots anyone! And the last person I’d ever want to be taught a lesson about violence from is Mr. Bob Guza!

  6. Ms Chicklet says:

    I wouldn’t hate this idea so much if there was the remotest possibility that it would mean that Sonny’s, Jason’s and Carly’s chickens are finally coming home to roost.

    Carly, Jason and Sonny created the monster that is Michael. Violence, instability, misogyny, greed, avarice, selfishness, self-righteousness, anger and grief are his world. Remember when Jason told him that he and Sonny were just like soldiers and firemen? Or when they thought he killed AJ, they basically threw him a party? Or when he and Morgan killed Kate’s fish, no big deal? Or when he threatened to put out hits on Lorenzo and John? The Red Menace runs away, talks back and does whatever he wants with no consequences.

    But none of this will be addressed, they won’t be called on their failures. Instead, Jason will somehow save the day, Carly will once again be praised as braveandstrongandloveswithherwholeheart, and Sonny will be praised as a loving father.

    All I want is for AJ to come back, hang all three of them on meat hooks, and leave them there to rot as no one cares they’re gone. Then he can come back to Port Charles, take over ELQ, put Michael in psychiatric care, and pull the Quartermaines back to the center of the show.

  7. Esther says:

    In the 60s and 70s and 80s, I don’t think we were hearing every other day about a kid getting a hold of a gun and either accidentally killing someone/themselves or taking it to go to shoot someone. I heard on the radio the other day that guns are so easy to buy for kids, that one school in the south was looking into paying kids to either turn in their guns or leave them at home. It’s an epidemic. Now, we’re hearing more of 12 year olds being the murderers — not just an accident. Look at the infiltration of gangs with NO honor like MS-13 that want the killing to be more hidious with each new kill.

    That said, it doesn’t mean I want to see this on my soap opera either! BUT I do think times are different. No one had reason to even think about this a couple of decades ago. GH could really do a service here. Do I think they will? Hell no!

    As for horrible things done to children or children doing them, Donna and Chuck’s son dying in the fire on AMC was pretty heinous. I do think killing BJ was horrific. Having Robin get HIV was pretty ill received at the time. Kids in peril and even killed has sadly infiltrated our soaps. I agree — I don’t want to see it. Bad enough I gotta see it in real life.

    Marlena says: To my dear friend Esther and everyone else who has written letters containing examples of harm which has been done to children in soap storylines in the past: GH’s forthcoming atrocity is about KIDS and GUNS. I said KIDS and GUNS. It disgusts me GH may do a story like this for their own selfish gains and if Michael or Morgan shoot anyone, it is a trangression against the sensibilities and the nature of the viewers. It is a total misunderstanding of the daytime audience. As I said above KIDS AND GUNS are in a category of overstepping bounds above and beyond anything tried in daytime before.

    Can’t wait to hear your reactions when the tragedy on GH actually happens. Mes chers, don’t forget to write!

  8. Gigi says:

    While I agree with you that this storyline has the potential to be despicable and outrageous, I’d like to submit that *how* GH does the story is just as important as*why* they do it.

    GH did similar storylines with a young Lucky Spencer in the 1990s, under a different regime. When Lucky was 11, he was shot, on-air, after following his father to a mob meeting. But there were consequences–long-lasting ones–and in no way were Lucky’s actions condoned.

    Then, when Lucky was 12, about the same age as Michael is now, he, too, decided he needed a gun to protect his mother. (Laura had just kicked Luke out of the house, after a mob shoot out in the Spencer home.) We saw Lucky get a rifle and shoot at an intruder (who turned out to be Luke.) Luckily, Lucky missed. The story had the potential to glamorize guns–but it didn’t, because the Labines were better than that. Lucky’s gun-use was used as a major point of conflict between Luke and Laura, and the whole thing was handled in a graceful and mature way.

    So, my long-winded point? One, that GH isn’t exactly chartering new territory here. They’ve gone down a somewhat similar path before, albeit with better writing and acting all-around. Two, that how GH does this storyline is just as important as why. I’m willing to see what happens next, because to me, it makes perfect sense that Michael would be so terrifyingly messed up.

  9. horselover says:

    Violence. Mob. Sonny. Guns. Mob. Sex. Mob. Jason. Sleaziness. Mob. Carly. Mob.

    I’m sick of it. SOMEONE at ABC please get a clue. We want love in the afternoon!

  10. Patrick says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I can appreciate a well told story about the loss of a child from time to time, but no one – NO ONE – wants to see kids pick up guns. These shows need to be far more light and hopeful – but none of the shows seem to get that!

    Like Elana, I could only see such a story being a redeeming one if a child or teenager played with a gun and had an accident….ie, shot his best friend or something. And none of the shows would give that kind of storyline more than 5 minutes of airtime.

  11. Fabobug says:

    Hi Marlena —

    Seeing Michael buy a gun isn’t that shocking for me — this is the same kid that “almost” killed his own father 3 years ago. As a matter of fact, if I’m recalling this correctly, Guza & Co. did intend for Michael to be A.J.’s killer, but ABC wouldn’t allow it.

    Honestly Marlena, I’m more disgusted by the consistent degradation of women on this show. Raped, shot, murdered, or simply sidelined, JFP and Guza have consistently demonstrated a general hatred toward women of all ages on and off screen. Seeing a little red-headed boy with a gun in this context isn’t quite as alarming to me.

    I haven’t watched GL lately, but isn’t there a homicidal kid on that show too? And on ATWT didn’t little Will murder Rose? I guess Guza isn’t such a pioneer in this area.

  12. specificity please says:

    We’re not all women. And “children in peril” isn’t enough of a critique.

    The problem isn’t the core of the plot — kid buys gun, something bad happens. Claire Labine could write that story and have us talking about it with admiration for the next decade. The basic elements of the story are events that happen all the time — the troubles like rape, incest, death, tragedy of all sorts that we see often in soaps.

    The problem is that the writers of GH are utterly and completely incapable of writing that story well. They are doing it as a cheap shock trick, and they will probably use it, as said above, to emphasize the virtue of Sonny, etc.

    Women and men and young people who like soaps — they see the entire world of personal life, all its ups and downs and in particular its worst tragedies reflected in soaps. Hell, those of us who remember Edge of Night or the adventure days of GH know that soap viewers can enjoy a wide range of stories that aren’t the stereotypical romance-and-talking-over-coffee story. The problem isn’t the subject of the story — it’s the inevitable failure in execution that we have come to expect from the soggy GH that airs these days.

    Marlena says: I know you are male — are you a “father, brother or grandparent?” Didn’t you read the column?

    Also moi has always recognized that soaps are not just for women and that men are avid fans. Darling, how do you think Marlena De Lacroix became such an overwhelmingly popular soap columnist in the first place?

  13. Dave says:

    I don’t want to see kids with guns either, but on a show that regularly shows it’s “heroes” with guns (and I’m not talking about the police) it might be good to finally show someone with a bad reaction after a gunshot. It would only be hideous if Michael shoots someone and there is no consequence.

    I guess he could always have a brain tumor…. :)

    However, I do disagree with your children in peril comment. Hasn’t almost every show told stories about kidnapped children? What about Holly on GL where she kidnapped ALL of the children?

    And didn’t one of Barbara’s kids turn out to be Rose’s killer on ATWT? Isn’t that Will?

    GL just told a story of Will attempting to kill Edmund. Sure, he just shoved him over a balcony, but his intent was clear. Isn’t that just as damaging, because any kid (let alone the child actor) probably has a lot more access to pushing someone off something than access to a gun.

    And didn’t a young Rick shoot someone on B&B?

    I hear your upset, it just seems like you’re forgetting that kids in peril has been around as long as… well, women in peril.

    Dave dear, you are wrong. I have watched soaps since the late 60s and back then the worst thing that might happen to a child is kidnapping. So child in peril stories are not as old as women in peril stories.

    But Dave and Fabs, when I originally conceived this column I did want to write about Will on GL because I have been fascinated by the tackiness of this story. It’s not serious like the Michael story on GH. Actually, I find it hilarious They hire the young actor who played Damien in last year’s revival of The Omen to play exactly the same kid on GL? How obvious can you get? Also dopey Cassie doesn’t understand that her own son is suddenly … different? Even when he ties his own brother to a railroad track with the train coming? Is this why GL suddenly made Josh a clergyman? To exorcise Will? Wait a minute, isn’t Josh a Protestant minister?

  14. storyjunkie says:

    If Michael’s gun doesn’t blow a hole through the GH mob love-fest, then it’s just a ratings stunt, and a betrayal of social conscience. A PSA doesn’t make it acceptable. So why do we continue to watch, like we’re viewing a horror film and have to avert our heads/hit the fast forward when these things play out? Because these were our characters before they were “Bob’s.” It’s clear they’re just pawns to him and represent nothing real. While to us there is at least one character we secretly love, who is family. Guza’s the mean kid from down the block who breaks your doll, pushes down your brother, steals the baseball, all to get attention for himself. He doesn’t understand the magic or drama of true community. It’s hard for us to abandon our family, but we may eventually be driven to that.

  15. D. Suddard says:

    As a mother of young boys, I am appalled at what I see. I’m not refering to GH but rather your assessment that we mothers want to stay in our bubble of nice things and ignore the world around. This is a soap opera, it isn’t Saturday morning cartoon (which are a good deal more violent than anything on daytime I can assure you). Children in this medium are always targets. They have the life threatening illness or the accidents or the drugs or the guns – this isn’t new and it’s always about the adults, not the kids themselves. Do I like it, not really. But you know what, this show isn’t for my chidlren, its one hour of daily fantasy before my real life takes over. To suggest that one child, on one show, buying one gun and potentially using it will help destroy the genre, is overly dramatic.

    Most of your assessments are bang on… this one misses the mark.

  16. Patsy says:

    The idea of Michael buying a gun and actually using it accidentally or not to me is exactly what is expected. He has been bred and raised with guns and violence and parents who are too wrapped up with their own sorry lives of sex and violence to even notice that a child is slowly losing it. If a tragedy of this kind would happen, written properly, this could soar GH’s ratings to an all time high. Imagine the fall of a mob kingpin by the hands of his own child. Could this be finally the one thing that could make Sonny, Jason and Carly see that it was just not worth it? Danger, regrets, pain and sorrow, knowing that nothing in the past or in their lives has ever prepared them for what they must now deal with? Is this not what soaps are made of?

  17. Michelle says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that General Hospital is going down this path. This is a soap that has embraced and glorified the Mob Life for years. This is a soap that is bringing Sarah Joy Brown’s Claudia Zaccahara back as another piece of the Mobular lifestyle, where they have promos where she admits that she would kill her own father if he got in the way. This is a show that is taking Carly’s fertility issues and allowing her to get pregnant within a month’s time when she has seen there are problems with her elder child. Instead of focusing of giving Jax a child she wants, perhaps, her first order of business would have been focusing on the child who has been acting out.

    It’s why it does not surprise me that GH is possibly allowing Michael or Morgan to shoot Kate and once it is said and done, there really will not be any true consequences to his actions. Sure, he may get a talking to or GH will do one of their notorious PSA about KIDS and GUNS, but the bigger problem at hand will continue to be glossed over.

    The show will continue to glorify the mob world as they will be seen as the good guys and anyone else who come up against them, the bad guys. This is a show that is Named General Hospital but only see it when the mob and their families need it.

    Therefore, I have no expectations from General Hospital with this KIDS and GUNS storyline panning out, only that it will be used for ratings, glossed over, and completely swept under the rug. Afterall, we can’t focus on Mikey or Morgan, when Carly is having her third child which takes precedence over the kids that she already has.

  18. rcade says:

    “Roger, I think that a child buying a GUN and shooting someone — or getting shot by a sibling — is a ‘Child In Peril’ category all its own, don’t you?”

    Yep. I watch that kind of stuff on The Wire, but it’s dark and depressing and the sophistication of the storyline carries it.

    Here, as a 20-plus year male GH viewer, I can’t imagine anything I’d like to see less than Michael shoot somebody. GH is relentlessly violent and dark, but not in a gothic or film noir way that might be interesting. Instead, it romanticizes goons and ridicules legitimate authority figures — even in the days after 9/11 when the nation lionized its firefighters, cops and early responders!

    Every time I think GH might redeem my decision to stick with it, like when Logan turned out to be Scott’s son and A.J. briefly developed a backbone while courting Courtney (say that 10 times fast), they throw it all away on stuff like this.

    I’d like to see Michael rebel someday because he was kept from his father and raised in an atmosphere of constant violence. But not this soon, and not in this manner.

    Marlena says: Roger, “The Wire” is a cable program mostly seen at night. “General Hospital” is an afternoon show (although you can TIVO it or watch it on SoapNet in the evening.) Shooting kids resides properly in the nighttime dramatic form, I think. On another board, a viewer commenting on this column said she saw kids shooting adults on E.R. many times so what would be wrong with them shooting a gun on a daytime soap? Huh? Daytime drama and primetime drama are two very different genres with two very different audiences. I know in the past GH executive producer Jill Farren Phelps loved to incorporate primetime elements in her shows. (Such as her attempt to remake Another World a la NYPD Blue) I humbly think the only way daytime soaps survive will be if yhey remain true to the classic form.

  19. DS0816 says:

    Perhaps it is “General Hospital” that has led the way in betraying the purpose of soap operas: sweeping, romantic love.

    “GH,” like all other soaps, has behaved disgustingly.

    There isn’t anything on the suds that shock me. And in the medium that speaks to heterosexual women before any other sector of society, it is no wonder “GH” and others are in such terrible state: It’s dreck like this that leaves clueless honchos wondering, “Poor little me. Poor little us. Whatever could we do to win back the established audience we’ve driven away? Ah, screw ‘em! It’s stories involving criminals Sonny and Jason, and trash like Carly, that excites the young ones — and they want more, more, more! And we’re going to deliver.”

    And deliver, “GH” most certainly does. The “award-worthy” text-message killer storyline — and the callous killing of characters we appreciate — is what “GH” offers these days.

    I’ve become trained in not giving a damn as to content. Over the past year, I steadily tuned out the soaps, and what I’m viewing lately is “All My Children” (due to the returns of Emmy-winning vets Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan as Jesse and Angie Hubbard). “GH” — and so many others — have created, and shaped, their own problems. I don’t feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for the good actors and quality crews and every soap because they, not unlike us viewers, deserve so much better.

  20. CarrieMarie says:

    Marlena, I love ya, but I have to disagree with your assessment here. I am personally looking forward to the Michael shoots someone storyline. As others have commented, that may be the only storyline that could wake up the character of Carly to the dangers of Sonny & Jason’s life. Up until the last couple years, I’ve enjoyed the character of Michael. He’s been written with emotional issues, not living in the soap bubble so to speak. His biological father was an alcoholic psycopath who constantly tried to get him away from his mother, and eventually kidnapped him to brain wash him. His mother couldn’t touch him for the first how many months of his life, and he was raised by his his uncle until she came back. His stephfather and uncle are both gun-toting mobsters, who everyone but the police seem to describe as having hearts of gold. He’s always had a nanny, and recently, that nanny was killed in a violent and unexpected way – that had nothing to do with the mob.

    So, having gone through all of that, and living the life that he does (has he even been in a regular school for more than a month at a time before being jetted off to some foreign or exotic locale because of some danger?), I think it’s totally believable for his character to procure a gun for “protection.”

    I understand that KIDS and GUNS are bad. But GH has always done very real stories with their kids, and I think this can join those ranks, if given a chance.

    Marlena says: I guess you are the kind of viewer GH and ABC Daytime counts on to accept their immoral, tasteless storytelling because kids being shot forwards the story. As we say in French “chacon au son gout,” which translates to “to each his own taste.” Think, darling, think.

  21. BringBackZarf says:

    I want to see this story. I want Morgan to accidentally shoot himself…and yes, die. It is perfectly logical that such a thing would happen given the adults he is surrounded with and the way they behave. It is a perfect wake up call for Sonny and Carly. It is a perfect way to forever stop the downward spiral of Michael into the mob. It is a perfect way for Jason to see he must leave the mob and be with his son. If GH handles this right, it can generate alot of good character driven emotional storyline. AND pleeeeaaaassssee Will the devilboy on GL is FAR worse than this.

  22. Bryon says:

    I must chime in here to all of you who are comparing this ridiculousness to the B.J. storyline. B.J.’s heart was a story about life, really. It was a beautiful story in which Maxie was given life. And if Guza, Phelps, and Frons had any brains they would still be playing off of that story. It STILL has legs. But I digress. This Miachael with a gun storyline is tasteless, just like everything else about GH these days!

  23. I hate this storyline. It would be one thing if Agnes Nixon or Claire Labine were telling this story or even Pam Long. Michael should have been in therapy long before this after the whole AJ took him and brainwashed him story-line. If I thought for one minute that this storyline would lead to the Quartermaines getting custody of Michael and taking him away from the horrific mob life that he’s been dealing with since childhood than I might applaud it. But I have a feeling that nothing is going to change because of Michael’s actions, and the show is going to go back to the same old, same old, and this is just a cheap ratings stunt. After all how many more times can this show get everyone into one place for a sweeps stunt? They’ve already used up Windermere, the MetroCourt, the hospital, the old Port Charles hotel, Carly’s club in the basement of Ruby’s and Alcazar’s house.

  24. Desertrose says:

    As a GH viewer since Day One, I have gotten over the addiction quite easily in the past few months.

    I have to agree with you wholeheartedly on this, Marlena ( I usually do tho anyhow). I am sick of the way violence is the main focus of GH. No more family connections unless they are mob related. Characters being killed off simply for a ratings bump that lasts a day or two and then beyond that…pfft. The whole point of a serial drama is the story and its unfolding ramifications over time.

    I am appalled at the way women are treated and portrayed…and how so many viewers seem ok with it. Maybe that is the part that bothers me more…that so many seem to feel its all ok .That its ok in real life and even more acceptable to watch on a daytime show?

    My, how clever of you, Mr Guza. Its not enough the mob has infiltrated and taken over a show entitled “General Hospital”, now we have a child with a gun story…

    Michael, the horriblepumpkinhead child, is ready to step into Sonny, the eternally free killer’s shoes and none of the grownups seem to have a clue.. . I’m sure this will be written with the same great taste and writing as all your stories are done.*cough*

    I hold out no hope that love and joy and romance – even humor, will be returning to a once great show, nor will I be retuning as viewer anytime in the future either.

    General Hospital, like many others, is no longer an escape from the world we find ourselves in, no longer offers us stories to make us think, but is merely an echo chamber of all thats gone wrong in this society.

    Guza (& other HR’s too) have no clue as to what makes up a great soap…(hint: its not about killing off beloved characters, but more about how they react and interact with family, friends & “enemies” in various life situations.)

    Sorry for the rant, Marlena, but many thanks for all your great columns.

  25. Trish says:

    This topic could be interesting if there were actually some good writers for GH. They’ve had many opportunities to wow the audiences, but let most of them fall flat. The writers these days are more concerned in protecting their precious mob story that the fallout from what a child shooting should bring will fade in the back. So considering that we have crappy writers, this storyline will just disappoint me and create even more disdain towards GH.

  26. Julie says:

    I think there is nothing wrong with the kids and guns story. Kids accidentially shoot themselves all the time. Kids as old as Michael do buy guns and do use them. This is reality. It’s ok for people to sleep around, get abortions, blow things up, lie, cheat and steal but when a story takes the reality route everyone is up and arms.

    I think GH is doing a good job by addressing a real situation. GH doesnt kill a lot of actual children. Besides BJ when was the last time a young child died? Not counting miscarriages or Sam’s baby that died at birth.

    This is reality, people, deal with it.

  27. kristen says:

    I agree that when it comes to society, kids and guns are never something we want to see together…
    HOWEVER, I am not saying that we WANT to see kids and guns on television, but this is GH. If you watch the show, you know what it is about and where storylines can go. If it is too distressing for you to watch, then stop. To me, it is as simple as that. I am fine with seeing how the storyline develops and where it ends up going. I can even say I look forward to a refreshing change in what has been somewhat of a static few months on the show. I am not a cold-hearted, child violence-loving, bitch… I just have the ability to separate reality from television. It’s make believe people….

  28. Oakdalian says:

    ” I humbly think the only way daytime soaps survive will be if [they] remain true to the classic form.”

    The classic form is sitting around a kitchen table having the same boring conversation for an entire episode while an organ purrs, Marlena. I for one am grateful that the genre has progressed. Soaps ought to be true to themselves, but why would a proposed story of this caliber hurt the genre when GH’s revitalization of the late 70s didn’t? People must have felt the same doom about adopting a faster pace and infusing soaps with action plots until it, the biggest gamble in the history of soaps, worked. It’s not the what, it’s the how. Clones and exorcisms didn’t kill the soaps, oddly enough. Violence isn’t new to the shows either, and we’re hearing a lot more of “bitch” and “ass” on them these days. I take MUCH more offense with the disgusting manner in which Jax was made the aggressor of his own rape. You can’t confuse Guza’s insensitivity with the potential of a captivating story. No matter what time of day, I bet people would tune in to see one of Britney Spears’ kids with a gun!

  29. Spanky says:

    I hate to say it, but if Morgan ends up in the ground, then I think alot of GH watchers will stop watching. For one, you cannot kill off the only blood line of Sonny so far, and by this I mean true bloodline.Secondly, no one wants to see a child shot, even if it is for sweeps, is it worth losing viewers for sweeps, I don’t think so. Thirdly, we are mostly women that watch soaps, and NO we do not want to hear about a child shooting themselves. And that is all I need to get out there. Thank you.

  30. Summer says:

    Just heard about Shell Kepler’s (Amy Vining) passing and it got me thinking about the days when there was romance and humor taking front burner on the show. I was fairly young for the Luke and Laura stuff as I watched it with my grandmother, but I remember clearly all the “supercouples” and laughing at Amy as she spilled one secret after another. That will be my memory of her and her time on the show! I hope Shell rests in peace.

  31. Barb says:

    Could this story happen in real life? It can and no doubt does. But that doesn’t make it a good story to tell at this time. A child died in GH’s BJ’s heart transplant story — but the story featured love, hope, and generosity, not just female characters suffering onscreen. One mother’s generosity allowing another’s to live even when her own was gone. Is there anything hopeful that could come out of this scenario? Just stamping a gun-control message on it doesn’t okay the violence.

  32. Scottie says:

    I have to agree with Marlena here on all that’s been said here. There is no responsible way to use this storyline in daytime TV, especially when you have a writer like Bob Guza who glorifies violence, rather than builds a story off its ramifications, or looks at the deeper meaning of people in this kind of lifestyle.

    Under Guza’s leadership, GH’s ratings have continued to sink over the past decade and the only time we a see a spike is when news of historic characters come back to pay a visit.

    The constant violence on GH has disgusted me for a long time, to the point I am a fair weather watcher now and only peek in when I hear that Laura, or Felicia, or Anna and Robert will be making an appearance.

    If the writers of this show had a moral conscience, they would have rebelled against the senselessness of this show’s direction a long time ago. I further blame the vet actors and those who support GH’s direction over the past decade for supporting Guza’s overall destruction of GH’s core and historic fabric.

    If we have to have Morgan, or Michael shoot anyone, I hope they break that proverbial 4th wall and nail Guza in his unmentionables!

    The show takes seemingly smart women and turns them into goon lusting, brainless bimbos. The show has no heart, its an animated, soulless, poorly written and acted shell of its former self.

    Marlena says: LOL on your line about Guza and his unmentionables! Thanks, dear.

  33. Monica says:

    Marlena you Rock! I miss and know what you are saying and what I miss most of all from TFGH is true romance, i.e. taking time ang getting to know someone and not all of this hook-up styled sex act “acting” I see on my screen. But back to your subject, this storyline sucks and the most dumb thing of all was not only did Jason not tell Carly about what went down with Michael in the office, he did not even convince the kid not to use guns of any kind AT ALL. If you stand there and watch him come back in try the draw er again and then proceed to not tell his mother about it, then he is at fault just as much as the Sonny and Carly whom when he told Sonny proceeded to blow Jason off in a way and then went all PMS on us over Kate not taking his BS love me or leave it marriage proposal. Blech!!! Love your column.

  34. SoapLuvr38 says:

    Marlena, I 100% whole-heartedly agree with you. Reality or not – kids wth guns = a no no. Bottom line. End of story. Kapish! And anyone who says otherwise, well…

    Besides, daytime was originally meant to mean love in the afternoon, adventure, romance, intrigue even. Violence and the escalation of it? Do we REALLY want to see that? I venture to say that MOST of us don’t.

    Reality or not. It’s just not cool. Bottom line.

  35. Snommit5 says:

    Why is a story that can acually happen in reality being shot down. People who watch this show watch a soap opera that circles around mob activity. I don’t get it. Why do you all want to live in a fantasy land? Kids DO buys guns, kids DO shoot other kids. Why not bring it up. Does anyone remember Jackie Zeeman’s talk it over soaps advise commercial. I for one, think it’s a story line that I could watch with my 12 year old son and talk about it ESPECIALLY if the worst happens, kids NEED to know reality.

  36. George says:

    GH has become a complete and absolute mess. Is there nobody at ABC that can see what crap GH is anymore. I tivo GH and FF thru 90% of it only characters I stop for is Robin/Tracy/Lucky/Monica/Lulu unless they cross into the endless mob storyline then it’s back to the FF. They need to seriously change head writers & producers. GH is dark and angry all the time with so much death and murder and killers running wild and free.

    First they killed off Allan but I thought okay I can deal he’s still a ghost (little tired), then they killed Emily, while I hated the actress that played her the character deserved much better. One of the last straws was killing off Georgie. A huge mistake. Then they brought on Kate and I saw a ray of sunshine and fun even the teaming of Jax and Carly has been fun (and I’m a Carly hater).
    In my book she stole Michael from his natural father can never forgive her for that.

    Then there are these tired assed characters involved in the endless mob crime scene saga. Sonny/Jason are just about as flat of characters you can get. How many times can you play the same old storyline out. A new mob boss moves in a war breaks out, they fall in love, someone close gets killed, love doesn’t work out and boo hoo is me. The Jason and Liz story my God is that old and the back and forth between them is lame because after months of it they’ve gotten nowhere fast.

    Now while ABC is promoting the return of Sarah Brown as some big thing I find it rather lame also. All she does is remind me why I don’t like Carly in the first place but has the soap world run out of actors that they now recycle. This brings me to Michael and his turning into another mob boss in the making. Didn’t GH at one time have a storyline where Michael killed his natural father AJ because Carly/Sonny raised the kid to hate AJ.(this goes back to the reason I hate Carly so much) GH writes on the notion that Sonny/Jason /Carly are the moral center of GH.They turn everyone else into second class citizens.

    I could go on but this is not what soaps are all about. I want love, star crossed lovers, romance, bold story telling and violence only when storyline needed. The world as it is is bad enough (Republicans come to mind) as it is. GH wants to be bold and daring kill off Sonny and the mob and return to the Quartermains, the Scorpios, Lucy, Scotty (next generation is waiting) bring back Georgie and Emily (new actress though) and all can and will be forgiven.

    But what do I know I’m only a fan whose halfway out the door.

  37. Marlene says:

    I do not want to see a child be killed off on daytime TV. We see enough of it on the primetime news. I watch GH to be entertained. I see this soap opera like a never ending book, some chapters are boring and should be used for building up the child characters’
    personalities.

    Being a mom and a new grandmother though, I do find it nauseating for Carly to be put up as the wonderful mom. I really think the writers should remember the old saying “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” It really gets ridiculous when you have the characters trying to be hollier than thou attitudes, when they have done the same or worse. Example of Carly vs Elizabeth or Carly vs Kate or Carly vs Alexis or Carly vs Sam. Carly was the evil person that was redeemed by Sonny. If Sonny loves his children so much and he is such a good father then he needs to get out of the mob.

    What is wrong with storylines of old? Where you have one or two evil characters and lots of affairs without all the girl fighting that seems to go on now. It irritates me when the writers find the only way a woman can win an arguement is with slapping the other one instead of calling her on the things she’s has done with her life. Women really don’t resort to physical violence normally! They will rant and rave and insult, but not slap.

    You can tell GH has male writers for the most part. They have the Godfather complex and the women to women fight fest that most men dream about. Give the kids a break, teach them a lesson about guns, but don’t kill them off. Mostly Adults watch GH, not kids, we already know guns are dangerous!!

  38. AN says:

    I think this is a good story line – not that I want anything bad to happen to a kid, but I think it is actually a good thing that the writers are having the violence that surrounds Sonny and Jason is taking its toll. If Michael shoots someone and nothing bad happens I will change my mind, but for now it seems that this mob life may catch up with the mob characters.

    Personally, I am sick of Sonny’s life ruining things for everyone around him while he skates along just fine. I want Jason to leave Sonny’s “Organization” and have a family. If, like some spoilers indicate, Sonny gets out of the mob and gets to have a new life, leaving Jason to continue sacrificing I will be really annoyed.

  39. Kat says:

    Any day a child spends around adults in the mob, he is in peril.

    It is about time that this freaking show actually portrayed the consequences of children growing up around violence as the answer to problems. Yes, its distasteful, but no more distasteful then the last 1,000 years of this mob story.

  40. Mary Kate says:

    I have to say, I’m so sad to see what GH has become. I have been watching this show since for almost 30 years. Laura was my first soap actress heroine, and to this day I love to watch her- her return last year was great. I’ve been so dismayed with how the show is treating characters I’ve loved for a long time…the callous disposal of Laura is just one example. The way Alan Q was killed off was so upsetting. He was part of the bedrock of the show! The way Emily was murdered was awful. I remember the day Amber Tamblyn joined the show. I remember what a cute little kid Emily was, with her and Lucky starting their own worm business. And Georgie?? I remember how she was born under a table in Kelly’s diner, and like Emily, I watched the characters grow up, and I cared about them! I hate the way characters I’ve spent years with, and invested emotionally in, have been so poorly treated by GH.

    So, here we are again. Another character that we’ve watched grow up is in a storyline I find truly disturbing. I’m sick of the senseless killing, the pointless death, that seems to have become a staple of this show! This is not the Sopranos, and I miss the love and romance and action (NOT violence) that made me a fan all those years ago. This is not what soaps are about…or at least it didn’t used to be. Kids and Guns on a soap? It could be the final straw for me.

  41. Anne says:

    As if this whole possible storyline isn’t horrible enough, are any of the writers thinking about the future of this show? What foundation will be left if the young family members are killed off? What is left of the Quartermaine family? Yes, I guess we could technically count Jason as a “family member”, but he certainly doesn’t. Now Georgie has been killed off. This only leaves Maxie and Robin as connections to Mac. The one thing that keeps so many of us watching for decades is the family connection. I don’t want to watch a show that is filled with characters who really aren’t connected to each other.

  42. katiya says:

    General Hospital is a train wreck period. Bob Guza I blame for it period. However if I were an actor on this show I would of jumped ship a long while ago. There are only a few talented actors anyhow. Kudos to Kimberly McCullough, Nancy Lee Grahn and even newer Sebastian Roche for dealing with this mess as best as possible. Alexis and Jerry practically blow up my set everytime they have a scene together. Its really the only reason I hope to watch. Pathetic. SRand NLG need to do a movie together and steam it up for me :)
    It doesn’t feel like there is a family connection on the show anymore. Seriously!

    Marlena says: Certainly, Sebastian Roche, who is French (mais oui) is toujours charmant, but his character is still the man responsible for holding many characters hostage at the Metro Court a year ago and the deaths that happened there. Everyone wants Alexis to have a nice romance, but not with a criminal who should have been punished and sent off the canvas long before this! Only Guza’s GH would let him walk free.

  43. Nancy says:

    I thought the whole point of this (ridiculous) Michael-with-a-gun thing was for him to accidentally shoot Kate, thereby effecting a parallel between Sonny accidentally killing his mother (Trevor’s love) and Michael killing Kate (Sonny’s love). Or am I crazy?

  44. Cyberologist says:

    Well as an educator in a large urban city this is no big deal for me. Young children play with guns in homes, bring them to school, and shoot them here. I think it is important to have a story sharing the consequences of this behavior and for me the consequences for Michael is very grim in reality people are shot and killed by youngsters…

    In this case it shows a person who is seriously injured. I see nothing wrong with this especially after what just happened in my state with five students being shot and killed at our university. The pollyanna approach of ignoring it then maybe it will go away doesn’t work in my neck of the woods…

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