Deep Soap: Why Do ABC Soap Teens Keep Visiting Hookers?

General Hospital's Chad Duell (ABC)

General Hospital's Chad Duell (ABC)

Risky Business

There are some universal coming of age experiences: first kiss, first car, first dance.  If you’re a teenage boy on ABC Daytime, you can add first hooker to the list.   A couple months ago Matthew (Eddie Alderson) had a near dalliance with an escort on ‘One Life To Live,’ courtesy of his slimy older brother David (Tuc Watkins) who suggested sleeping with a prostitute as a great way to get over being dumped. At least OLTL portrayed David’s plan as irresponsible and wrong, and had Matthew reject it.

Tuesday, ‘General Hospital’s‘  Michael (Chad Duell) decided that losing his virginity to a working girl would be the perfect way for him to sort through his issues with women stemming from his implied sexual assault in prison.  Shockingly, one of the adults in his life agreed with him.

Michael’s quest for a woman he could pay to use and abuse began when a girl named Ali invited him to a party.  Somehow Michael concluded that meant Ali wanted to have sex with him right away, and worried, because he is A) a virgin, and B) when he is touched he often flies into an uncontrollable rage.

Michael sure is arrogant.  If Ali were dying to jump his bones she probably would not ask him to hang out with her in a large group.  Jason (Steve Burton) was the unlikely voice of reason: “You said that she liked you and you like her. Why don’t you go down that road and give it a chance, see where it goes?”  But Michael was convinced that he needed to have sex with a stranger. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Ali, but that’s exactly why I need to be with a woman that I have no feelings for. So I don’t feel bad about hurting her or rejecting her.”

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I am frightened that Michael thinks that beating up a prostitute is totally fine as long as he pays her.  Growing up with Sonny really has warped Michael.  He also has inherited his father’s computer illiteracy, since any teenage boy who wanted to procure a hooker would just find one online.

Sam (Kelly Monaco) thought Michael had a great idea and booked an appointment with Candy, a sweet girl who is only hooking to pay her way through college.  (Isn’t that what they all say?)  I hoped that it was a mislead, and Sam was actually taking him to get the counseling that he so desperately needs.  Then I remembered this is GH, where it is perfectly normal for women to encourage teenage boys to go to hookers.  The show seemed to equate Sam hiring a hooker for Michael as similar to her taking Kristina to the doctor to get birth control pills last year.

Not a single person has pointed out to Michael that there’s a good chance Ali, as well as many of the boys in his class, are every bit as inexperienced as he is. Candy and Michael quickly bonded.  She gave him a dancing lesson.  They started kissing, then when she started to take off his shirt, he pushed her away so hard that she fell onto the bed.  It was a disturbing scene not only because of the violence but because the audience was clearly intended to sympathize with Michael, not the woman who was getting thrown around. I feel like I say this every week, but this is a show with a primarily female audience.  Does ABC really think that women enjoy watching young boys visit prostitutes?

Like everything else on GH, this is recycled from an earlier, better scene in the 1990s.  A teenage Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) hired a hooker, convinced that if he acted on his feelings for rape survivor Liz (Becky Herbst), she would be traumatized.   He picked a woman, Tammy, who was old enough to be his mother.  They had a thoughtful conversation in which she convinced him that he could be with Liz.  They never even kissed, and Tammy evolved into a well-developed recurring character. It was sweet, in a dark and twisted way.  Michael and Candy were just creepy.  A storyline about male sexual assault could be groundbreaking and help spark meaningful real life dialogue

Is Josh Kelly The Next Nathan Fillion?

‘One Life To Live’ has found its new Joey Buchanan.  Josh Kelly, who starred in the MyNetwork telenovela  ‘Desire‘ and played small roles on numerous primetime series will debut as Clint’s youngest son on November 24th.  Curiously, the character seems to be deSORASED.  In the 1990s he was played by Nathan Fillion, who is now 39.  Kelly appears to be in his late twenties.  Perhaps Joey will turn out to have a portrait aging in his closet.

Line of the Day

“I have thrown all reason out the window and got knocked up by a manic-depressive mobster. Those aren’t good odds. For your own protection, use a condom.” Alexis on ‘General Hospital’.  She should film this statement for a PSA that will air every day on all Port Charles television stations.

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

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