Deep Soap: Marriage Implosions And Wedding Explosions!

Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson on General Hospital (ABC)

Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson on General Hospital (ABC)

After He Cheats

If there’s one thing that ‘General Hospital‘ does well, it’s scenes where people find out that their significant other is cheating on them.  On Tuesday, Patrick (Jason Thompson) finally admitted to Robin (Kimberly McCullough) that he had a one night stand with the newly psycho Lisa.   The writers and actors chose to make the scenes starkly realistic rather than melodramatic.  McCullough’s Emmy worthy performance and some great dialogue combined to create scenes that felt like eavesdropping on an actual break-up.

When Patrick broke the news, tears welled up in Robin’s eyes, seemingly against her will.  She was stunned and hurt.  In a nod to realism, she was not wearing waterproof mascara and ended up with raccoon eyes.  Then, as Patrick, who had the weakest motivation for adultery in daytime history — upset that his wife was spending a few weeks volunteering at an AIDS clinic — went through all of the standard adulterer rationalizations about how it was just one time, and he regretted it, Robin’s anger built.  She is, after all, Robert and Anna’s daughter.  She is genetically incapable of putting up with that crap.  So she finally snapped and uttered the immortal line, “Get out. I will not look at you pouting any longer.”   I cheered for her, even as my heart broke. I even felt sympathy for Patrick because I know that he really does love Robin and is remorseful.

My one complaint is that Robin and Patrick were not the central focus of the episode.  Far more time was devoted to the injustice that nobody believed Sonny shot Johnny in self-defense.  Since I remember that he was not charged for planting a bomb in Johnny’s car that nearly killed both him and Kristina, I was not sympathetic.  I wish GH would realize how much more appealing it is to watch believable stories about relationships.

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Interrupted Weddings Tuesday

Happy interrupted weddings Tuesday!  Both ‘Days of Our Lives‘ and ‘One Life To Live‘ featured hastily thrown together weddings that did not happen.  On DOOL, Rafe (Galen Gering) charged into Sami (Alison Sweeney) and E.J.’s (James Scott) wedding, determined to tell Sami that E.J. masterminded baby Sydney’s kidnapping.

On OLTL, David (Tuc Watkins), once again was forced to abandon Dorian (Robin Strasser) at the altar by a supervillain.  I doubt many viewers thought either couple would be pronounced husband and wife.   Sami’s weddings are so frequently interrupted that it has become a running gag on the show. It is common knowledge that Watkins will be a series regular on ‘Desperate Housewives‘ next season, and was only making a brief visit to OLTL.

Both episodes had their entertaining moments, but I wish they made interrupted weddings like they used to, back in the days when I was walking twenty miles to school barefoot in the snow.  In olden times, there would have been weeks of build-up to the event.  The whole cast would be in attendance.  There would be full wedding parties, complete with hideous matching bridesmaid dresses.  There would be multiple people who had reasons to interrupt the wedding.

This being budget challenged 2010, neither of the brides even wore wedding dresses.  Sami looked gorgeous in an evening gown she allegedly had lying around.  Dorian looked like she does every day.  Both of the weddings were supposed to be last minute affairs, the typical excuse for cheap daytime wedding ceremonies.

A half dozen people were in attendance for Sami and E.J’s nuptials. Will (Chandler Massey) was the only member of Sami’s family who showed up.  Rafe arrived after  Sami and E.J. said their vows, but before their marriage became official.  Logically, he should have immediately shouted that he had proof E.J. was behind Sydney’s kidnapping, but instead he dragged Sami to a private spot and she spent the rest of the episode refusing to listen to him and jumping to conclusions about what he was going to say.

Yeah, she was still reeling from seeing him seemingly having sex with Nicole, but if someone tells you he has life altering news, the sensible thing to do is shut up and let him talk.  Finally, by the end of the episode, he seemed ready to actually bust E.J.  I appreciate DOOL’s attempts to milk a juicy plot point, but having characters vamp for a whole episode instead of creating actual reasons for them not to talk, was ridiculous.

As for ‘One Life To Live’, Eli’s (Matt Walton) transformation into Satan is complete.  I have no idea why he wanted to stop David and Dorian from getting married, unless he’s just anti-happiness in general. Nor do I understand how he and his brand new, never before seen minion, managed to incapacitate the two biggest men in Llanview, Officer Price (Maximillian Tapper) and Shaun (Sean Ringgold).  Is Yao Ming working with Eli?

In fact, the revelation that Price is Darren’s brother was the highlight of the wedding for me.  I am all for expanding the roles of minor, interesting characters.  Please make him Brody’s (Mark Lawson) partner, OLTL, and showcase the Llanview Police Department’s diversity.  It’s a place where the very short and the very tall can work together!

Dorian’s marriage to David turning into her ultimate public humiliation lacked impact not only because we saw the exact same scenario play out a few years ago when Spencer blackmailed David into abandoning Dorian, but because we only saw one side of the story.  Neither David nor Eli was in the episode, so we could not see David’s anguish at being forced to abandon the love of his life or see him struggling to escape Eli’s clutches.   Everyone just stood around waiting for the wedding, until Nora (Hillary Smith) handed Dorian a goodbye note from David.  It was only Dorian’s subsequent breakdown, in which she recited her wedding vows into a mirror before trashing her hotel room, that made me care that one of my favorite couples was only reunited for about a week before being torn apart.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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