Second Thoughts on the Second Episode of General Hospital: Night Shift 2

Soapnet

Thinking Fans Comment Update August 2: Emelzmom thinks Epiphany deserves better … Karen thinks NS2 is hard to watch … Soap misses the old Leo … and more. See Comments below. 

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By Marlena De Lacroix

I thought the second episode of General Hospital: Night Shift 2, which aired this week, was an improvement over the first.  The pacing was much better and the script had clarity.  Although written by debuting soap headwriter Sri Rao, it felt like a more experienced soap writer had given the whole thing a rewrite or at least a polish.  My friend pjs joked that the show had improved from zero to ordinary, but I think it made more progress than that.  For one thing, this week I could actually sit through the entire hour.  

The best part is that the characters were more clearly delineated. Claire and Kyle’s (he’s  gay) friendship is promising and realistic.  But does the show have to be unsubtle and wise-guy enough to have them talking locker-room talk in the locker room at the top of each show?  I was more grossed out than shocked by their conversation about a mysterious bottle of lotion Kyle keeps next to his bed and various male bodily excretions.  What’s up next week? A giggle session about menstrual flow?

LeoAnd then there’s Leo, who went beyond the mere jerk he appeared to be last week.  This week,  Dr Robin was called upon to treat a little Chinese girl suffering from aplastic anemia and in need to a bone marrow transplant. The girl, Leo learned from Robin and Jagger, was smuggled into the U.S. and thus is illegally adopted. Instead of recognizing that this is really none of his business, he blurted out the truth about her secret background to her startled adoptive parents, who were hearing it for the first time.   What a total, irredeemable schmuck!  And wimpy new hospital chief of staff Patrick didn’t help when he muttered something like, ‘Well, Leo, next time I’ll to put you on report!”  That’s all the reprimand he gets for ruining these poor parents’ lives in perpetuity?  Oh well, maybe the real point of this new job is to give Patrick and the heartfelt, idealistic Robin a new set of things to argue over, as it did here over the legal disclosure of the girl’s history.Claire

But I was thrilled that this show might actually give birth to a big daytime star in the person of Azita Ghanizada, who plays Saitra Batra, the holistic doctor.  This actress is very ladylike (can I say that in the 21st century?), has an innate sense of class and has qualities rarely seen in daytime since the days when models became the casting norm.  Interestingly, she isn’t Indian as her character is, but comes from Afghanistan.  Her Soapnet bio actually says her first love is literature!   KyleWe can only hope bad writing does not ruin Saitra, who has been positioned as Robin’s friend and med school classmate. (I guess that really means she’ll eventually fall in love with Patrick.)  It was a supposed to be a hoot when Leo came on the Saitra at the nurse’s station and she said “What do you think this is, Gray’s Anatomy?”  What cards these writers think they are!  Actually, all the rather obvious, sophomoric humor on the show leaves me a little chilly.

I absolutely hated when Epiphany became more than noticeably flustered, popped out her eyeballs and almost hyperventilated upon seeing hunky Jagger for the first time.  Certainly, a man wouldn’t be allowed to whistle at an attractive woman in these politically correct times (watch AMC’s extraordinary Mad Man, set in 1962, for that!)  And why in a show full of young interns was our middle-aged,  usually dignified Pip required to act like out a horny  teenager?  Yikes!

Speaking of bad decision-making at Soapnet, when I went to the Night Shift section on the Soapnet site to research this piece I found, instead of a standard factual recap of the episode, something I as a critic find offensive, not to mention a poor public relations choice: a “summary” of the episode that tries to pass itself off as witty criticism. “Episode Two of Night Shift was totally hilarious,” it begins.  “We loved Nurse Epiphany’s wide-eyed (lust crush) reaction when Jagger (Antonio Sabato Jr.) dropped by the hospital to visit Robin.”

“We” did? Someone paid to publicize the show is also reviewing it?  Foul ball!  That’s a critic and/or a fan’s job!

Comments

  1. Karen says:

    The sophomoric writing and the bad acting are still making this a struggle for me to watch. The hospital storylines are just really lame and because I can’t say it enough the bad acting from most of the cast is just making this thing feel like a badly written/acted college project instead of a primetime soap. I do agree that the holistic doctor is the show stand out. I think she has more spark then even Robin. I’m finding the Robin and Patrick stuff pretty stilted. I personally loathe Claire and Kyle; the acting between these two is painful. I’m sticking with the show but so far for me it’s a real struggle and I think the writing needs a serious boost.

  2. Soap says:

    I love Pip and Toussaint. It’s about time we see something other than a hard-nosed nurse coming from Epiphany. I loved the scenes with Jagger, I thought they were quite funny. Sonya Eddy is so funny and SO talented. I love watching her, I’m glad they’re giving Epiphany more to do than just being the watchdog.

    I also enjoyed Robin and little Stone’s conversation at the apartment. And I like the aspect of the story that Jagger seems to be in denial about his son’s health.

    As for Leo, yeah, he’s an ass. I miss the old Leo. The one who was compassionate and had a good bedside manner. And I miss Dominic, he had some off the chart chemistry with Kirsten Storms last season.

    I hope the writers explore why Leo has this animosity towards Kyle. Is it just sibling rivalry or is it because Kyle’s gay? I like Kyle and Claire, I hope the writers turn these two into BFF’s.

    Again, for me, an overall consistent show. I can’t wait for next week! And as I said before, another show without the mob! What a concept!

    Marlena says: Jen, you know I love Epiphany, too! As I said last week, so glad she and Toussaint are going to have a romance. I was just embarassed for her when she swooned so much over Jagger! I thought it was insulting!

    I’m looking forward to what they are going to do with Kyle. That he’s gay and his brother is straight and they’ve already had a little fisticuffs portends interesting story. Let’s hope it’s done right….

  3. horselover says:

    I agree, Marlena, this episode is better than the first. The newbie acting still isn’t great, although the character of Saira is like a breath of fresh air. I like the friendship she has with Robin. Also, the scenes don’t seem to flow very well but this show has promise. It isn’t written by Bob Guza and it doesn’t have any mobsters.

    I’m hoping each episode gets better as Mr. Rao gets more comfortable. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they handle the character of Robert Scorpio. Goodness knows, it has to be better than the 2006 version GH gave us.

  4. Emelzmom says:

    I enjoyed both episodes, although I do agree this episode had a much better flow to it. And I am totally with you on the Epiphany “Jagger Love” moment. She deserved better. I am enjoying the real relationship that Patrick and Robin seem to be sharing on NS2. They are actually relating…not the Shrew and the Horndog show that Mr. Guza shoves down our throats.

    I really like Saira, too. She comes off as polished, intelligent and caring. I hope she does not go to GH daytime…think of the horrible things Mr. Guza would do to her.

    Thanks.

  5. Matthew J Cormier says:

    Well I agree some of the acting is bad, that is for sure and I find the fact that all Robin and Patrick do is argue very annoying. But i do see a lot of redeeming qualities in this show, I for one am not as grossed out by Kyle and Claire as you seem to be, I find them refreshing and realistic, they definetly talk like people in their twenties and thirties talk. I also love seeing a realtionship between a gay man and his straight female friend it works. I also love that Jagger is back, I love that his son is named Stone, but I hate that they only mentioned Karen like once, considering Karen was supposed to be the love of his life you would think she would get more mention than one line! But I blame the PC writers who broke them up to facilitate her return and who than killed her off at the end of the shows run, when they could have just brought her back over to GH with her father Scott.

    Also, I found Leo’s reasoning for exposing the smuggling to be believeable, the fact he was adopted from another country makes sense to me and I feel his motivation was justified. I also feel like it actually redeemed him in my eyes. But what bothers me is the recasting of Leo with Ethan Rains instead of Dominic Rains. They just seem like different people.

    As for Ephiphany, well I’ve never been a fan of hers, mostly because I’ve never gotten over the fact that she is Bobbie and Amy’s replacement. When they phased out Jackie Zemen and Shell Kepler’s Bobbie and Amy characters it devestated me and I’ve never gotten over it so i just can’t watch an Ephiphany scene without thinking “she’s no Bobbie” or “Amy would be much funnier”.

    I also feel like it lacks a lot of credibility that they are at GH and yet there are no doctors or nurses from GH on it, where are Monica? where is Elizabeth? Where is Lainey? Where Is Kelly Lee? Are we supposed believe that the entire staff is made up of two interns, four doctors, Epiphany and Toussaint?

    Overall it’s an okay show and definitely better than GH has been for years now but it needs to improve it’s credibility and it’s connection to it’s mothership. I mean at least Port Charles featured Monica, Audrey and other characters on a recurring basis for a while before it forged onto it’s own.

    Marlena says: Matthew dear, to me, Kyle’s remark about the lotion was T.M.I. (too much information.) Marlena’s college students don’t speak such in gross terms at all! Let’s hope that in future episodes more regular General Hospital characters get featured. Also, Matthew and other readers, please do moi a favor and send in your letters in upper and lower case. That means use capitals and small letters. Prof. Marlena says, “Learning to use standard English now can only benefit you professionally in the future!”

  6. SHAUNA says:

    I love the whole dynamic between Sonia and Billie Dee, I think Sri does a better job than Bobby G of writing her as human rather than a stereotype. I don’t like this new obnoxious shorter version of Leo (I kinda liked the dynamic between Leo/Maxie last season) Siara is a very refreshing character as well (please don’t jinx us-I can’t take another version of that lame Patrick/nurse story from season one)

    I love the friendship between Jagger and Robin and how jealous Patrick gets. For once he’s got some competition for Robin’s attention and he’s going to go throw some other woman in her face because of it.

    The editing is still kinda weak and some of the lines are totally lame. By the way, did you catch the dig Sri made about mobsters on the mothership? That was a hoot.

    I think there’s real growth in the Patrick/Robin relationship. They’re actually talking about NEW things for a change. They also seem to respond to each other in a more grown-up fashion on this show than they do on GH. I like it a lot better this season than I did last, although I was kinda looking forward to seeing Cody/Lainey andKelly Lee. I think the smartest thing they did was pare down the cast and NOT include a certain nurse who couldn’t act if her life depended on it. And of course bringing on Robert and Jagger.

    Marlena says: Wow! What a well-thought out, critical letter. But I don’t know what the remark about mobsters was and I don’t recognize the the nurse you think couldn’t act.

    It’s amazing how many fans out there are who like Night Shift precisely because it isn’t General Hospital. Obviously TPTB at ABC Daytime finally made the good decision not to give the show to Bob Guza to write again. Perhaps they’ll listen to initial fan reaction from this year’s Night Shift and give him the boot from the mother show? Ha! At this point the only thing that would get Guza fired would be the voice of Vito Corleone/Marlon Brando commanding “Basta!” (“enough!” in Italian) from somewhere in Mafia heaven. Or the mysterious appearance of a horse’s head in Bobby G’s bed!

  7. Purple Haze says:

    I find this show excruciating.

    The “socially relevant” storylines are preposterous and poorly researched.

    Firstly, no one would have to “kidnap” girls from loving parents in China in order to find babies to smuggle into the United States. China’s official “one child” policy has led to the massive abandonment of girl children. Boys are far more desirable in this environment because they are expected to support their parents in the parents’ old age whereas girls have no such cultural responsibility and are expected to get married and leave the home.

    Secondly, it was customary in light of the Revolution for Iranian children to emigrate with their parents, not for the parents to send young children to the United States by themselves to be adopted by strangers (especially strangers who would treat a son who grew up to go to medical school as a “screw up”!).

    There was a custom for parents after a political upheaval to send unaccompanied children to the United States, but this happened in Castro’s Cuba (Operation Pedro Pan). Children who emigrated in such manner would be in their fifties and sixties now — hardly dreamboat fodder in soapland.

    The third egregious bit of “willing suspension of disbelief” involves Jagger who is presented as a devoted, attentive, loving father who is his son’s primary caregiver. It strains credulity that he would not notice his son’s behavioral distinctiveness, not have sought help for his son, and get angry when a doctor brings it to his attention.

    As far as Epiphany and Jagger, I found that a hoot. Epiphany has had a very rough year. Her son was murdered and she had a heart attack. She works in a very pressured environment. I think being able to look at Jagger is a reminder of how life is worth living!

    The one good thing about GHNS was that after ten minutes I got so aggravated that I was willing to clean my bathroom and kitchen (tasks that would have otherwise been relegated to happy procrastination!).

    I will continue to watch in hopes that Tristan Rogers might be given something interesting to do, but I foresee that he will be misused in which case I will have one extra hour a week for housework.

    Marlena says: Purple, you are a hoot one smart gal (or guy). As I’ve been saying and no one seems to listen, it is great risk to hire a first time soap headwriter for any show. (Sri Rao’s only real writing experience is a MTV teen-ish soap.) First timers make all their mistakes and we the audience have to suffer them. Thanks for pointing out the factual fallacies behind the Chinese adoption story and the story of Leo. Robert Scorpio is coming back on tonight’s episode and to tell you the truth, I’m not optimistic about the story. Will Rao know how much we the audience of decades have invested emotionally into Robert and Robin? Or will they just give us a disease of the week story? I’m not hopeful!

    No soap, no matter how bad, will drive me to clean my kitchen or bathroom. Ask my poor husband, Moose!

  8. Matthew J Cormier says:

    As someone that grew up in special education and was involved heavily in Special Olympics I must take a moment to defend Jagger. I can honestly say that it makes perfect sense to me that Jagger would be a bit clueless about his son’s possible disability. From my experience parents often have a difficult time admitting their child needs help; especially fathers who oftentimes refuse to acknowledge that a problem exists and believe it is a reflection on themselves as parents. Mothers typically have an easier time of dealing with these things as they are able to step away from themselves and view it for what it is, a medical condition. So in this case I find it perfectly acceptable that Jagger like many fathers would get upset at anyone, even a doctor pointing out his child’s possible disability.

  9. ghnsfan says:

    At first I wasn’t going to watch this year’s season but I’m glad I did. I think the show has a lot to offer and I’ll be staying tuned :) Loved reading everyone’s take on GH Night Shift!

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