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.
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?
And 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.
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! We 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!