Thinking Fans Comment Update July 26: horselover thinks NS2 has potential … Thirty misses Cody and Lainey … pjs opines NS2 is up slightly from NS1’s nadir … and more. See Comments below.
By Marlena De Lacroix
I can’t stand watching General Hospital because of the din of Crazy Carly’s constant yelling about Jax’s relationship with Kate (when Carly secretly screwed Sonny). I could hardly bear watching last year’s incoherently plotted GH: Night Shift because in the end it was sound and fury signifying nothing.
So the last thing I expected the premiere of this year’s season of Night Shift to be was deadly boring. Did anyone make it through the entire hour?
The premiere of any show is at least supposed to be exciting, vamping you for the entire season. I think it was supposed to be exciting when the car crashed through the hospital’s wall into the nurse’s station. But, not only was it cheese-ily produced, but we soap fans have seen the car-crash-through-the-wall shtick twice before: on Another World, when Wallingford and Lily hilariously crashed through the wall of Felicia’s nightclub Tops, and on Passions, when Ivy drove into somebody’s wedding (Julian’s?).
In the Night Shift crash, Dr. Ford, whom I liked, was handily killed by a piece of flying glass so that Dr. Patrick almost instantly was made hospital chief of staff. How old is he? 28? 30? Geez, Patrick look-alike Ben Casey was barely an intern at that age! What obvious, clunky writing.
And clunkiness didn’t end there. In fact, it had just begun. Pregnant Robin was knocked down and out in the crash but got up apparently without a scratch, and was seen bizarrely running around following a commercial. The driver of the car (who was said to be drunk) was lovingly shuffled into a hospital bed and coddled throughout the episode – to no avail, as it turned out, because she suffered a stroke.
Meanwhile, where were the cops through all of this? If you drove through the wall of any building in your neighborhood, the cops would arrive and, at the very least, want to know what was going on. They might even put you in handcuffs, even if you were in a coma! Don’t you hate it when soap writers are so illogical, they insult your intelligence?
Throughout of the episode Patrick and Robin did exactly what they’ve done on GH and last year on NS, which is argue. Now, I love them, you love them, they are one of the most divinely matched couple on soap operas. But does anybody out there still find their endless arguing entertaining? Honey, I’ve had my share of “romantic” relationships in my life, in which all we did was argue. I’m sick of watching it on soaps, and I’m sick of ABC wasting these two wonderful characters this way. The first thing new chief of staff Patrick did was fire workaholic /pregnant Robin so she’d get some rest. And she snuck back to work anyway. What is this, an unfunny I Love Lucy?
The rest of the episode was devoted to reintroducing Jagger shirtless (been there, seen that, and I don’t care if it was thirteen years ago) and introducing new characters, mostly hospital interns. These include an Iranian, an Indian woman who is into holistic medicine, and of course a curvy, gorgeous intern shown in her in her lingerie even before the first commercial What is this, a checklist of politic correctness and clichés? A friend of mine says all primetime shows are cast this way these days. Oh please! Where is a Jewish girl from the Bronx, an Amish man from Pennsylvania, a WASP from Beacon Hill or a French Canadian? All of these ethnic types and more are unfashionable right now, I guess.
And of course, another sign of the times — foul language. It caught my attention when one character was telling another about an intern who had “a pole up his ass.” Darlings, you don’t have to remind me so prettily that this is a nighttime show on cable! Same thing with Robin and the blonde intern shown only in bras before the opening credits. I watch other shows besides daytime soaps — sex is everywhere on TV! But deep cleavage and semi-nudity and characters having sex on sofas alone aren’t going to make a night time soap any better than it’s daytime counterpart. Try good writing. Yes, NS head writer Sri Rao has done a teenish soapish series for MTV, but this is really his first effort at a full-blown soap. His clunky, abysmally paced first episode showed that inexperience.
Okay, was there anything Marlena liked? I’m so glad they brought back Billy Dee Williams as Toussaint for Sonya Eddy’s Epiphany. Incredibly, even in his 60s, Billy Dee still has a hint of that idiosyncratic sex appeal that made women of the 70s swoon. (Saturday Night Live did a parody of his iconic Colt 45 commercial last season.) And I always love Epiphany. She is the only character from both GH and the first season of NS to have total integrity. Whenever she speaks, you know she’s telling the absolute truth. There’s hardly anyone else on soaps you can say that about these days! Call her the anti-Carly!