Deep Soap: ‘General Hospital’s Double Dose Of Drugs

Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo (ABC)

Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo (ABC)

Two Druggings In One Day

Sometimes two soaps do the same storyline simultaneously. ‘General Hospital‘ broke new ground Friday by drugging two of its characters within the same episode. Lisa (Brianna Brown) drugged Robin as part of her crazy quest to break up Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Patrick (Jason Thompson).  The thugs who work for the Balkan injected Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) with some sort of truth serum in an attempt to get her to reveal whatever piece of information she has that an Eastern European criminal mastermind wants.  It certainly made for a repetitive episode, with multiple scenes of glassy eyed, confused,  petite brunettes.  With the huge amount of filler on GH these days — Sonny (Maurice Benard) has now reminisced about his relationship with Brenda with the entire town of Port Charles — surely the show could have made these two events happen on different days.

I did enjoy the scenes of Lisa and Robin in the cabin because they finally gave us a clue to why Lisa is so hung up on Patrick, a guy she dated a decade ago. Lisa told Robin, “I’m not crazy. I’m just unwise, stupidly romantic, whatever you call someone who’s still in love with a guy that she dated in college, you know, holding him apart from every guy who came after and just making them all seem less. I mean, I dated some really great guys, and they were hot and sexy and funny, and they’re surgeons and brokers, even a race-car driver, but none of them compared to Patrick. There was just something about him, about us, you know, how we were together. ”  I will buy that she has idealized her college relationship which seems in retrospect more passionate and intense than her more complicated adult relationships. People do that all the time with their first romances. In real life, a simple glance at the subject of one’s misty colored memories Facebook profile usually kills the fantasy.  Lisa’s substituting a dangerous tranquilizer for Robin’s AIDS medications has got to be one of the sickest things that a soap character has ever done, which is, in this case, a compliment.

Brenda’s drugging was less interesting.  Jason (Steve Burton) rushed in to save the day before Brenda said anything interesting, because GH refuses to let anything happen in Brenda’s storyline.  It was just another excuse for Jason to play the hero and rescue a physically vulnerable woman.

Three Things I Actually Liked Last Week In Daytime

1) Sometimes the best soap scenes are conversational detours that have nothing to do with the plot.  On ‘The Young & The Restless,’ a hospitalized Katherine (Jeanne Cooper) told Murphy (Michael Fairman) that, if she were critically ill, she did not want extreme measures taken to save her life.  Murphy told her he did not think he would be capable of letting her go and that, if he falls ill, he wants every possible measure to be taken to prolong his life, even if he were in a vegetative state. He was traumatized from watching someone in his past being taken off life support.  The conversation felt real and revealed a new side of Murphy, who is so often written as simply Katherine’s supportive spouse.  Katherine turned out to be fine, so unless Y&R was foreshadowing something awful happening to one of them, there was absolutely nothing plot related.  It was two senior citizens contemplating their mortality it was riveting.  When’s the last time you saw that on television?

2) I also got a kick out of ‘One Life To Live’s‘ Matthew (Eddie Alderson) busting Rex (John Paul Lavoisier) for snooping in Clint’s office.   Technically, Rex had the moral highground, since he was searching for David, but all Matthew knew was that a P.I. was sneaking around his uncle’s office.  Rex was so condescending to the teen that I found myself rooting for Matthew to have him arrested for breaking and entering.  I enjoyed seeing Matthew use his newfound powers of snobbery and condescension on someone who actually deserves it instead of hapless Nate Salinger.

Rex: Come on, Matt, we’re like brothers. And you know how important your dad is to me.
Matthew: Does he know about this?
Rex: He knows that I’m investigating…something. But not that it involves Clint. But Bo trusts me, and you should, too. We’re practically family.
Matthew: Actually, Rex, we’re not.

This was one hundred times more entertaining then watching the rest of the teens take driver’s ed classes in broadly written and directed scenes that seemed lifted from a Disney Channel sit-com. Given that after Rex learned David was rotting in a Moroccan prison, he decided to keep his mouth shut because Clint revoked then reinstated Gigi’s college scholarship, I am on team Matthew all the way.  Rex just left a man to rot in prison so his girlfriend can take an art class. That is even lamer than everyone who has allowed themselves to be blackmailed by Eli.

3) The Statue Make Up on ‘The Bold & The Beautiful‘: The wardrobe and make-up departments on B&B get to have a lot of fun, thanks to the show’s fashion industry setting.  I got a kick out of last week’s Roman themed fashion show, in which Owen (Brandon Beemer) was painted to look like a Roman statue.  Though campy, it was visually arresting, something that can rarely be said about daytime these days.  It’s nice to see one soap still knows has the creativity and the budget to maintain its production values.

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

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