Get on the Bus
ABC Daytime’s promo department deserves an Emmy for their marketing of the great “General Hospital” bus crash of 2011. Thanks to all of the hype, I was prepared for a dramatic accident scene, high risk rescues, and lives hanging in the balance.
Instead, the accident happened off screen. One moment, Morgan (Aaron Sanders) was screaming as the bus driver realized he was spinning out of control. The next, everyone was artfully lying on a hill after the crash. At first I thought it was a time lapse, and an hour or so had passed between the crash and the strewn bodies. But, based on the intercutting between Carly (Laura Wright) on the phone with Morgan, people lying on the ground, and Carly alarmed that her call was disconnected, I think we are supposed to believe that either in two minutes everyone managed to evacuate a crashed bus then decided to lie down and rest or every single person was thrown from the bus — which begs all sorts of questions about the physics of the crash — yet most did not have a single broken bone.
The characters on the bus that most viewers care about — Maxie (Kristen Storms), Michael (Chad Duell) and Kristina ( Lexi Ainsworth) — were all fine. That left Matt (Jason Cook) who suffered… a broken arm. The horror! The horror! I realize that, as a surgeon, his injury could have longterm professional consequences for him. Given GH’s penchant for recycling storylines, he’ll probably end up addicted to pain killers. Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) is, so far, the only major character who is seriously injured — though she one of the few series regulars whose future on the show might actually be in jeopardy, so there’s a little suspense. Yes, it’s a shame that poor little Morgan is seriously injured, but given that his brother has recovered from an irreversible coma, I trust that he will be fine. The bulk of the episodes have been people standing around saying, “Are you okay? What about so-and-so?” It is the opposite of high stakes storytelling.
As for the rumored deaths, Alli has a bump on her head, which is always fatal on television. The only casualty so far is the bus driver. Poor unnamed bus driver. You may not have been great at driving on ice, but you will always be remembered for proving the theorem that an African-American man can’t survive for long in Port Charles. RIP.
Best Use of History of the Week
Casting a renowned character actress in a short-term role in not stuntcasting in my book. TV Guide reports that Ellen Greene, who I will always worship for playing Audrey in the film “Little Shop of Horrors,” will appear on “The Young & the Restless” for five episodes as Primrose DeVille, starting Friday January 7th. Yes, Primrose is the niece of Rose DeVille, (Darlene Conley), the blackmarket bay seller who stole baby Ronan (Jeff Branson) from Nina (Tricia Cast) back in the 1980s. I hope that Nina will finally get to settle the score with the DeVille family because I want to see Cast and Greene burn up my television screen. However the interview implies *spoiler alert* that Primrose will end up giving Daisy’s (Yvonne Zima) baby to Billy (Billy Miller) and Victoria (Amelia Heinle).
Here’s where I go off on a rant. Can’t Y&R think of anything to do with its couples that does not involve procreating? Billy and Victoria were supposed to be Y&R’s crazy, fun-loving couple. Suddenly, even though the ink is barely dry on their marriage certificate, they’re obsessed with having a baby. It would take a viewer more coldhearted than I am not to sympathize with Victoria’s struggle with infertility — except both she and Billy already have children from prior relationships, so it’ s not like they’ll never know the joys of parenting their own flesh and blood. Yes, Victoria lost custody of her son in completely implausible fashion and misses him. But there is no way that a mother with Victoria’s financial resources who is not a convicted violent felon or a drug addict would be unable to prevent her ex from moving out of state with her kid. We just saw a similar “woman desperate to have a baby” storyline last year with Cane (Daniel Goddard) and Lily (Christel Khalil). These storylines are ultimately annoying because once the characters get their miracle babies, they spend most of their time off-camera with nannies. Isn’t Billy’s tabloid, Victoria’s lawsuit against her father, and the inherent conflict of a Newman married to an Abbott enough of a story?
I also fear that this story will ultimately head towards Daniel (Michael Grazadei) deciding he wants to raise his child, after all. I like that there was one man in daytime who did not have baby rabies. I hate that soaps perpetuate the myth that, even if they say they don’t want kids, all men will become loving fathers once parenthood is thrust upon them. Daniel’s a twenty-something artist whose lifestyle is not conducive to raising a child. If that were true, there would not be hundreds of thousands of deadbeat dads. It’s not like he is some jerk who refused to wear a condom than refused to take responsibility with his child. Daisy drugged him to get him to (allegedly – I’m still not buying the paternity test) have sex with her. If he were a woman, everyone would say he was a victim of sexual assault. He has every right not to want to raise a child he never consented to creating, whose mother is someone he hates, on his own. Yet, after delivering the baby, he held it his arms and looked down at it in wonder. I hope Y&R will be bold, have Daniel happily sign over parental rights to Billy and Victoria, and resume his role as Genoa City’s resident hipster-slacker.
Pretty Young & A Little Restless
Someone on “Pretty Little Liars” must be a fan of “The Young & the Restless”: the Lynn Latham years. Teen lesbian Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) homophobic mother is played by Nia Peeples (ex-Karen). Her more tolerant, just-returned-from-war father is played by Eric Steinberg (ex-JiMin). Blind Jenna is played by Tammin Sursok (ex-Colleen), whose commitment to playing someone who has lost her sight is every bit as strong as her commitment to losing her Australian accent was. I have no idea what the connection is, but it adds an extra bit of fun to the hit show that could teach every daytime show how to structure a serialized mystery. It has also whetted my appetite for the upcoming Joleen reunion on “Nikita” now that Thad Luckinbill (ex-J.T.) has signed for multiple episodes as Alex’s Lynsey Fonseca aka Colleen 1.0 potential love interest. Y&R is like the Hotel California. You can check out, but you never really leave.