I’ve only had two scenes to judge her by, but Maggie, Steve’s mysterious doctor friend with a record for apparently having too much fun on the job, intrigues me. Her clown mask is still super creepy, so I’d love to believe she’s a crazy psychopath for choosing to wear it at all, but I can’t blame her for wanting to get the scoop on General Hospital incognito. Sometimes, I wish I had a disguise to poke around that set, too. And more doctors is always more fun as far as I’m concerned.
The biggest question I’ve been left with from her introduction is how Steve knew that she had been spying on General Hospital before coming to work. And why is he so reticent and full of warnings to her now that she’s in town when previously, he had been enthusiastic about her joining the staff? He even went over Robin’s head to hire her—I’m just so confused as to whether he’s happy she’s there or incredibly skeptical of it.
In further Steve news, his stint babysitting for his nephews, other than being an obvious setup for possible insecurity issues should Olivia prove pregnant, was rather cute. He had the expression of a tired-out caretaker down pat.
I’m not sure what I’ll think if Olivia turns out to be pregnant. It might be a fun, lighthearted storyline for the couple, and the soap gods know we need more lightheartedness on this show. The darkness of General Hospital is getting me down, from the physical lighting of nearly all the sets to the overall mood in Port Charles. Lulu’s issues surrounding her engagement to Dante are the perfect example of this ethos.
Why can’t we have scenes, now that Dante’s healed, of Dante and Lulu being ridiculous happy to be engaged? Instead, Lulu’s determined to be afraid of Dante’s career and make them both miserable. It’s so typical of the twenty-first-century Spencers for Lulu to lapse into this self-destruction, and it’s so not suited to a soap opera. Sometimes a character going dark or depressed can be gripping, but General Hospital makes that the case for ALL its characters. Tony Jones’s downward spiral, for instance, was absolutely fascinating at first, from the moment he shaved his head to the moment when he finally realized just what he’d turned into while kidnapping Michael and Robin.
But he didn’t stay that way. He felt guilt, he made amends for his behavior, and he slowly became the upstanding citizen he once was again. There are too many characters on this show that I don’t think could ever be upstanding citizens again, if they ever were in the first place. Lulu’s conflict about marrying Dante doesn’t make her a bad person, but she’s made her choice—why can’t she be happy about it now?
Sam being potentially raped by Franco is another depressing story line that I could absolutely do without. I think nearly all the females and at least two males have been raped on the show, or at least thought they’ve been raped as Sam does now. It’s not groundbreaking; it’s a well-ridden horse that needs to be taken out to pasture. I nearly gagged as she told Jason that she felt safe with him afterwards, because Sam, honey, you were just violated in some manner because of the man you married and his line of work that makes other killers obsessed with him. Feeling safe with Jason makes about as much sense as feeling safe trapped in a pit of cobras. Jason may be the snake charmer, but sometimes, you’ll still get bit. I do admire how strong Sam’s trying to be, though. You can see her willing herself to not freak out nearly all the time, and I must give Kelly Monaco kudos for that acting.
Port Charles isn’t all doom and gloom at present, however. Robin and Patrick videotaping messages for Emma on her birthday was the exact opposite of that. Jason Thompson was adorable looking into that camera! I love that Patrick and Robin have always been treated as a normal couple on this show, even while dealing with psycho ex-girlfriends who just won’t die or adventures off in the jungle with Robin’s spy parents.
At the end of the day, they are the most natural couple on the show, and their issues are issues of the heart rather than figuring out how best to cover up a shootout. I hope that never changes.
Finally, I want to leave you with this dizzying revelation: Abby and Michael are still together.
It’s been well over a year since Sam first set them up. Who’d have pegged those two as a stable couple on this show?
Prescription for Better Soap: Make more couples as genuinely sweet and down-to-Earth as Robin and Patrick, so we can relate to their ups and downs when issues like adultery come up and not just want to spear them for their insanity. Avoid any storylines involving rape for at least . . . well, forever would be nice. Try to make us laugh and smile with the characters rather than only feel their angst and self-inflicted misery.
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Pictures courtesy of GH-Caps.