Remember when Carly Corinthos took that bat to meet with the five families? Famed TV critic Ed Martin only needed a laptop to do way more lethal damage to General Hospital's storytelling. In a scathing review of the Jake's death/Josslyn's transplant story arc for The Huffington Post, Martin basically stated storylines like this are the reason daytime is dying. Ouch!
The current Death of Jake Webber disappointment is another matter entirely, and it comes at a time when soaps overall are in dire peril -- and in desperate need of stories that respect their shows' histories while reinventing them for the future. In that regard, this latest GH tale has done everything wrong: It has made viewers feel bad about the time they have invested in the Jake storyline during the last few years and killed off a character that was uniquely positioned to be at the center of dozens of compelling stories in the years to come. That's no way to improve a show or support a dying daypart.
Can someone install a "like" button on HuffPo? Or if there already is one, can you tell me how to get to it? I'm a bit tech challenged, you see, but I really need to give Martin his kudos. Despite the amazing acting of Tony Geary, Jonathan Jackson and the rest of the cast, this ugly, spiritually devoid, rushed, implausible storyline serves absolutely no purpose for this soap opera or its fans. Oh, and riddle me this: Is gunshot/rape victim Michael (Chad Duell) screwing a road-hard street walker supposed to serve as this soap's dose of humanity? Give me a break.
Instead of writing with the late Irna Phillips' Brotherhood of Man concept in mind, Bob Guza is writing about the Brotherhood of the Damned, and I for one can barely get through an episode these days. To think, a few months ago—heck for most of my time at Daytime Confidential— Guza was my dawg, in terms of a soap writer who at least consistently wrote decent, believable daytime television.
I might not have always liked Guza's story directions or pairings, but I could always count on GH, with him at the wheel, not to be steeped in tired soap stereotypes, bad dialogue and/or acting. However, on the heels of wasting my Vanessa Marcil for months in this terrible Balkan debacle and killing off a baby so precious to the characters and fans of this show—when viewers need escapism now more than ever—I'm ready to admit the obvious. Guza is out of touch as to what this soap needs to be doing to stick around.
For more of Martin's spot on critique, click here.