Sunday Reflections 17: Hurricane Sandy Made for Spotty Soaps … General Hospital, Don’t Jump the Shark

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

What a week!  At the height of Hurricane Sandy, the lights went out in our Manhattan apartent and stayed that way for five days.  Pas d’eau! Pas de toilettes! Quelle horreur! Thank goodness that on Day Two, Moose, Nigel and I fled to our country hide-away and by Day Three the lights (and warmth!) finally reappeared there. We hope other Thinking Fans in the New York-New Jersey area also found sanctuary and comfort. And our hearts go out to the thousands who are still suffering, and particularly to those who lost loved ones.

General Hospital: As if losing light, food, water, warmth and toilets wasn’t bad enough. Minutes after the power went out, I exclaimed to Moose, “But how am I going to see A.J. now?” This typically Marlena-esque alarm left Moose at a loss for words. Nigel, sensing a crisis, looked worried. With any luck, power would be delivered to the country home’s cable system in time!

On the Friday tag of the show just before the blackout, the supposedly dead Quartermaine brother had made his first (re)appearance in mother Monica’s living room.  So exciting!  I really wanted to see what Sean Kanan, who played A.J. from 1993-1997, would do with the role now.

As it turned out we didn’t make it in time. But a very dear Thinking Fan tipped me off to the next three episodes of GH on YouTube.  Kanan turns out to be a major, major (re)addition to GH, with great leading man prospects.  I thought his performances were very striking, warm and realistic.   Once a major screw-up (as we were reminded by many people on the canvas who had formerly known him), A.J. has grown. Now the light of a father’s true love truly shown through during his Halloween confrontation with his son Michael.  The re-introductory sequences gave Chad Duell and that wonderful old pro Leslie Charleson (Monica) a real chance to shine.  I can’t wait to see Carly have the freak-out of her lifetime on Monday.

A word to the GH writers, though: please don’t jump the shark.  That’s what All My Children did in its final months, when the creative team brought too many characters back from the dead in such a short time. It spoiled the “reality” of the show to see such characters as of Dixie, Zack and Stuart all come back to life practically at once through Dr. David Hayward’s crazy back-to-life machinations.  On GH only two months ago, dead Duke reappeared and now we have alive A.J.  It’s rumored there are more resurrections of old dead characters soon to come.   I love seeing these old characters, too, but please GH, not too many of them at once!  That makes it impossible to buy into the “reality” of the show.  Like back from the dead is “real” in the first place, no?

Catching up: Thinking Fans, I really do need your help.  I didn’t see any other soap this week because of Sandy and I need you to fill me in.  I’ve read show recaps, but what I am really missing is the events of the week as seen through the critical lenses of all my TFs out there.  So, drop me a line and tell me what I’ve missed!  After all, with no computer and no internet this week, I certainly missed you, too!

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I didn’t watch DAYS becaues of the lame Jennifer/Daniel/Nicole/E.J. storyline despite the return of Kristen Blake (Eileen Davidson), the Will/Sonny storyline, and Peter Reckell’s final scenes as Bo Brady, where he left Salem with Caroline so that he can help her get treatment with Alzheimer’s Disease in California.

    I watched B&B, and on that show this past week, Katie left her home in L.A. (despite Taylor offering her professional help for her post-partum depression) to live in a cheap hotel out of town. Katie also tricked Brooke and Bill by sending a text message from her cell phone to them saying that she was in Aspen, CO. Katie actually sent her assistant to Aspen with her cell phone to make it look like she ran away to Aspen. Brooke, Bill, along with Liam and Steffy, went to Aspen only to find Katie wasn’t really there and left a note there saying she couldn’t take care of her newborn son Will because she’s a horrible mother, and that she wants to divorce Bill (and also gave him their wedding rings along with the note) and that Katie wants him and Brooke to both raise Will as their own instead! The Katie storyline is a very well done tale and a heartbreaking one at that! I think Heather Tom should win yet another daytime emmy next yeart for her performance for this s/l! Stephanie sent her invitation to her farewell party to Eric and they both looked back at their life together via a montage of flashback scenes from past episodes from the last 25 yrs. of B&B. Loved the Eric/Stephanie scenes! Thomas began his new job as interim CEO of Forrester Creations (I don’t like the idea of Thomas running FC! The only reason Ridge hired Thomas as interim CEO was because he’s his son, and Ridge doesn’t like Rick! Thomas doesn’t have any past experience running a fashion house like Rick did when he ran FC International overseas! I think Rick should be interim CEO of FC instead!) and introduced new changes to the fashion house. Thomas also assigned Rick to work with Hope, while Thomas hired Caroline to work with him on a new clothing line with her, and Thomas daydreamed about proposing marriage to Caroline. Taylor also offered support to her son’s new promotion at FC as interim CEO.

    On Y&R this past week, Chelsea finally discovered that Adam was hiding out Sharon in the guest cottage (uh-oh!) and both Harmony and Genevieve left Genoa City! Too bad that Debbie Morgan and Genie Francis never had any really good storylines to play with on Y&R! Sigh!

    I’m glad to hear you and your family are staying safe from Hurricane Sandy in NY and are all safe and sound, Marlena!

    Marlena says: Thanks for the thorough episode descriptions and your well wishes, friend Chris!!

  2. BL says:

    Stay safe and thanks for letting us know what is going on with you, Moose and Nigel.

    Now onto the soaps:

    Your reaction about GH is appropriate as that means you weren’t too upset or else you wouldn’t even have thought of that. Other than B&B everything else you missed is on Youtube. I had to watch B&B on CBS.com as we had storm coverage early in the week.

    While there are some characters I still wish would come back from the dead on GH, paging Alan Q, there needs to be some spacing.

    I focused on some of the material on Days, but not everything. Bo’s goodbye was very low-key. If we didn’t know Peter Reckell was leaving the program, you wouldn’t have known it from these scenes.

    I think Chris did a good job summarizing B&B. If you can watch Monday’s episode you should.

    Last week was also Jennifer Landon’s last Y&R episode.

    Marlena says: Thanks, Blossy. I’ll miss Landon, she’s such a good actress.

    • howard and john caylor says:

      please tell me that they are bringing back billy warlock to the show and that sean kanan will play jason morgan

      john and howard caylor

      Marlena says: Sean Kanan plays AJ now. Billy Warlock isn’t coming back.

  3. DS0816 says:

    Dear Connie/Marlena,

    I’m pleased that you and your loved ones are okay. I’m sorry you and all those impacted by Hurricane Sandy suffered. (I don’t live in this area of the U.S.)

    —DS0816

    Marlena says; Thanks, dear DSO.

  4. SZima says:

    So glad you and your family are safe Marlene!

    I’m excited to have Sean back as AJ. I started watching GH towards the end of Billy Warlock’s AJ, so I’m anxious to see how Sean plays the character. I’m hoping he is changed from “horrible AJ” to “kinder, gentler AJ” but with an edge. I’d hate to see him pick up where he left off, but I do want to see him stick it to Carly and Sonny for all their transgressions towards him back in the day.

    Carly HAS changed a lot over the years, and I think it could be really interesting for her and AJ to suddenly start having feelings for each other. I don’t know how she happened to get pregnant by him, but IF they were lovers once, it could happen again. I think Carly/Laura and AJ/Sean could have enormous chemistry and it would certainly be a crazy bumpy ride!
    (Marlena…could you fill me in a little about how Carly & AJ got together?)

    Marlena says: Thanks, Szima. I can certainly use some Thinking Fan’s assistance in explaining Carly and A.J.’s past to you. It sticks in my mind that they somehow conceived Michael in the street somewhere. She was a tramp and he was drunk. Can that be right? The two of them together now might be interesting, but they seem to have a lot of hate to get through first from the past.

    • Chris says:

      Carly first met A.J. at Jake’s Bar when she was still romantically involved with her mother’s husband Tony Jones, and they had a one night stand with each other (which resulted with Carly being pregnant with Michael) when they briefly dated each other. Carly at first said the child was really Tony’s, then Jason’s but Robin later told A.J. that he was really Michael’s biological father!

      Marlena says: Thanks for the info, Chris.

  5. Patrick Erwin says:

    Glad you are safe, Marlena, and that you, Moose and Nigel had a place to go!

    B&B took a sharp right turn back into the interminable Liam/Hope/Steffy business this week. I FF’d through most of it – looking forward to the party for Stephanie (and Susan Flannery).

    Marlena says: Thanks Patrick dear. I am looking (sob!) forward to the party too!

  6. Marilyn H says:

    Hi Marlena,
    You wanted an explanation of the AJ/Carly thing. And someone on another site who hadn’t been watching GH that long, wanted to know what the whole AJ-Carly thing was, how he was Michael’s father, how he lost him, etc. You know me, I usually have pretty good recall, but these were not my favorite years with GH and what Guza did to characters is now legendary and infamous. I gave it a try, and this is it.

    Carly came to town to ‘get even’ with her mother Bobbie Spencer, for giving her up. Bobbie had been a teen-aged prostitute when she gave birth and then gave the baby up for adoption as there was no way she could raise it. Not that that mattered to Carly–she had been rejected and wanted to punish.

    Carly was a really nasty piece of work and set out to ruin Bobbie’s marriage by seducing her husband, Tony Jones. Tony and Bobbie were going thru very difficult times with having lost a daughter a year before in a school bus crash (Maxie’s heart story) and Tony was vulnerable. When Bobbie caught them together, Tony then moved Carly in with him.

    Carly, meantime, had been having sex (‘just sex, no names’) with Jason in a room over Jake’s bar. She’d also had sex with AJ by then (I think out of boredom as Tony was just too old and serious). When she discovered she was pregnant she was alarmed it could be Aj’s, and she had to keep him from knowing, so she decided to get him out of town by sending him back to rehab (he’d been recovering nicely) and she drugged him, put him in a laundry cart and poured booze all over him. It worked, but then Tony wanted the baby and he no longer wanted Carly, having finally caught on to what she was. She wanted loose from Tony so she lied and said Jason was the father. She talked Jason into going along.

    When the baby was born, Carly panicked, had major PND, and took off, leaving the newborn with Jason. He knew the real father, but AJ was back to drinking, so Jason named Michael (after Sonny, his best friend) and raised him for the first year until Carly returned finally. Her ethics hadn’t improved. (There was a whole thing in here about Robin, Jason’s girl, finding out AJ was the father and telling him so, which caused Jason to break up with her which pleased Carly who hated Robin!) AJ wanted his son. He even proposed. Have to add here that some of AJ’s motives regarding Michael had to do with winning favor with Edward and a position with ELQ, although it was also clear he did have feelings for Michael.

    Carly then announced to Jason she was going to marry AJ for his money so Michael would be raised in luxury. Which she did. It was a disaster. They fought–a lot. The timelines here blur a bit because she divorced AJ and married Sonny in order not to testify against Sonny for one of his many crimes. Can’t remember all that–I hated Sarah Brown’s Carly so much I may have been ff-ing a lot. Anyway, she and Sonny went to the Q’s home and took Michael, threatening all who interferred. AJ tried court and hired lawyers and Carly would not even grant visiting rights, much less custody.

    Sonny was determined to keep Michael so he sealed it by kidnapping AJ, hanging him on a meat hook in a packing warehouse, forcing booze down him and threatening to kill him if he didn’t sign over all rights to Michael. AJ knew he’d do it and chose to live to fight another day. Only nothing else ever got his son back. Michael was still a ten or twelve year old red-headed kid when he and his siblings were kidnapped by AJ who let the others go and kept Michael, trying to get him to love him. It was sad, pathetic and scary. (Billy Warlock was such a good AJ, really giving him so many sides.) When AJ was caught, he fell and broke his back, which led to the hospital scene where a doctor (a shrink who was treating Michael’s trauma, I think) decided to smother him with a pillow.

    The doctor’s reason was kinda sketchy, because Guza’s original story plan was to have Michael be the one to have done the deed, and had evidence piled up, which explains why Michael was in the room at the time his father died and saw the murder. I think cooler heads at ABC felt having a ten year old kill his own father was a bit much even for Guza’s GH!

    That’s about it as I can recall. I’m sure I missed something or got the timeline off, but maybe someone can correct it.

    So glad you got the heat back on, Connie. This promises to be a very interesting GH month!

    Marlena says: Always good to hear from you, Marilyn! And thanks for the very detailed history of A.J. and Carly.
    It’s hard to think of a more smarmy couple (or coupling) in daytime history.

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