Forums General Hospital When to blame character decisions on bad writing
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    Profile photo of MareziMarezi
    54 Posts

    I saw this on another site and just loved the post. So my question is when do we blame a characters action on the character or the writing?
    Mac and Dante yesterday letting Jason the mob killer to do the police work. When did Mac, Dante and Lucky decide that all their police training was not useful in a hostage situation? Is this normal Mac reaction as he is in charge of the Port Charles police force? Do I agree with Mac letting Dante take Jason with him and not Ronnie or Mac himself? is this mac’s personality to hand over the reins to a hit man and junior cop. Is this how Mac acted during the Metro court hostage storyline?

    I hated what they did to Felicia as when was Felicia more concerned about “saving the world” and not being there for her girls?

    I stand back and can admit lucky is a cheater and probably always will be. He has cheated on Liz often. so to me he is not out of character. What was out of character was Luke and Holly.

    If I stand back and admit to myself, it was in Sam’s character to sleep with Ric then that means I understand Sam and accept her for her faults. (and under other writers it might have been a good story but we all know where that went down hill because of the “rush” job as they did not have any lead into the story.

    But I will never accept Sam watching the kidnapping of Jake. If they had never shown Sam caring about kids from her losing her daughter, to her brother, to saving Michael and Krissy and wanting to adopt Hope it might be different but we saw her helping kids and it was written into dialogue that Sam hated to see Michael and Morgan being caught in the middle of Sonny and Carly’s marriage problems or when her and Jason talked about never putting their kid in the middle.
    Then when they thought Kelly was leaving they wrote it so very out of character. They showed her just standing there not doing anything, they showed her hiring actors to play the part of “hoods/goons” in front of Liz and the boys to scare her and show her she wasn’t as accepting of the “mob life” as Liz thought she was. THAT part I blame on the writers the rest can be explained as Sam and the way she was raised.

    I know Rick, Kelly went to the writers and said their characters wouldn’t do this while Alexis was being written with cancer. I was told BH went to the writers and explained that Liz would not sleep with Zander either. So when the actors know their characters are written out of character shouldn’t the writers. Every character changes but some of the actions aren’t what the character would seriously do.

    So when is it fine to say the character is acting out of character or when is it bad writing , sloppy writing and destructive writing? Or is everything the characters fault because people do change. It would probably help if we had follow up and follow thru on these changes. Any thoughts.

    Profile photo of jockteen10jockteen10
    45 Posts

    I absolutely think that the writing can sometimes be blamed. When Sam just watched during Jake’s kidnapping I couldn’t believe it. I LOVE Sam and there is no way she would have done that!

    Profile photo of MareziMarezi
    54 Posts

    I agree some of the writing is out of character. But some of it is right on even if I don’t like it.

    like Lucky and his addictive personality I guess you could call it. Lucky was an addict in his teens. It wasn’t drugs or drinking but gambling if I remember right. So I understand why his first choice is to to grab a drink.

    I expect the characters to have some values and when those values change then we need a reason for it not just because they want to take this character in a different direction.

    Take Alexis for instance. I see Alexis as being the type of person that likes a little danger but not wanting to get to close to the danger. She liked being with Sonny and it “woke something up in her’ To me Alexis was always so straight laced until Sonny. I think Alexis was bored with Ned after a bit but she still “sparkles when it comes to the bad boy”. She isn’t drawn to Mac because he isn’t dangerous enough to make her interested in him. Now Rick was just as “bad boy’ as Sonny or the idea of Rick being Sonny’s brother turned her on but something was “edgy, different, exciting with Rick”. that to me is / was Alexis’s character.

    Which is how I see Liz. She likes the “tingle” of badness but would not want the whole deal if she had it. Like Brenda finding out bad guys can get to her or her son where ever she goes because she is connected to/now married to Sonny. Liz would be in that position too. So Liz and Brenda wanting to protect their children is in character. Living with the mob, IMO would be out of character.

    But I do have to admit that Liz was accepting the “life” with Jason. I think Jason could have protected her and the boys but I think that would not have lasted as Liz would spend all her time worrying and not enjoying her life.(What mother wouldn’t). It would have wore her down and ruined the relationship.

    Anything can be written for a character as these people do change with the times, age and what is happening around them and a good writing would show how this or that changed them and why they are doing this “crazy thing” now. But bad writing is someone or something that is totally inconsistent with everything they’ve ever said or believed or done in the past. (Sam/Jake)

    Take Mac for instance, he HAS left it up to the “mob” to handle things instead of relying on his police force so yesterday was not out of character and I can’t say it was the writing. It is something that he lets happen.

    Profile photo of EricasEvilTwinEricasEvilTwin
    1035 Posts

    Great thread Marezi..I think for me, one thing is when they go past the one or two major character flaws they build in to the character and then suddenly theres five or six new ones out of left field. So maybe the character has self esteem issues or abandonment issues or impulse control issues or insecurity issues and their mistakes all sort of stem from that and as viewers we go on the journey with that character as they try to overcome them, but then the writing goes astray and the character doesnt just have abandonment issues but also jealousy issues and money/classism type issues or anger control etc. etc. Thats when I find myself calling foul – hey I though his issues were all about x so where did Y come from. I also think the luke thing is a great example…we were always led to believe he was faithful to laura and now we are suppose to believe that both his marriage to her and to tracy were open arrangements. MAYBE I could see tracy saying okay he loves me and only loves me and I love him and only him but if I sleep with my massage therapist and he sleeps with a call girl its just us having fun, but no way would laura have gone along with that arrangement.

    In the past few years I think thats my biggest problem with gh. I really buy that maxie has abandonment issues so her drugging lucky makes sense but sleeping with franco not so much. I buy sonny having issues with powerlessness, so I bought his reaction to michael going to jail and the things he told dante about feeling like his mob power is an important counterweight to the power of the system but I never bought him leaving the mob to impress kate or feeling like he needed to be anything but who he is for some woman. I buy sam has self esteem issues so yeah I agree the ric mess was in character but not the jealousy issues with the babies. I buy liz has insecurities and a need to look good to others, so I got her behavior with jason and even with lucky but i didnt buy her willingness to use her rape to guilt rebecca or her stealing the kids trust fund. All of the in character behavior above are things I would consider “bad” or “wrong” or “inappropriate” but rooted in what we know of the characters weaknesses.

    Profile photo of EricasEvilTwinEricasEvilTwin
    1035 Posts

    Should have added…one of the other problems with GH is that the “good “characters usually are portrayed as raging hypocrites. Mac and Jax had no issue with jason going after carly and claudia knowing jason would likely kill claudia but then a year later theres mac browbeating jason and jax saying that carly shouldnt help sason find alec because they are mob goons. So basically its okay to use the mob goon when your daughter wife or random loved one is in danger but its not okay to use the mob goons to protect someone elses daughter wife or random loved ones. There use to be a bit more consistency in that respect…where the wouldnt have had mac, for example, at the hospital when the decision was made to let jason participate or he would have said I know jason is going to get involved no matter what I do so its better he is somewhere where dante can make sure the violence is limited. OR they would write things in a way where mac might say I have to let him go after carly and claudia because I let him go after jerry when robin was bleeding out and i understand what its like to want all the help you can get. The writers use to give us a line in the sand so that if it got crossed at best you would know why the character felt this was an exception.

    Profile photo of MareziMarezi
    54 Posts

    EET.. What the HECK? did you get hit in the head??????? Are you a Tess now???

    Tell me that is a picture of Susan Lucci and not BH. It has to be my eyes are strained today because other wise it means the world is ending. NOOOOooooooooo

    I am having a heart attack here.

    Good posts by the way. that much I can see straight about but that picture is just wrong. (a good picture but just wrong)

    Profile photo of tealitatealita
    134 Posts

    I dunno. I just don’t know. On the surface, this seems like an easy question to answer. I spent a whole day thinking about it. I even went online searching for a comprehensive article that would explain it to me. Aside from posts made by online viewers, there really wasn’t even much to read on the topic of, In/OOC writing in soaps. Obviously, the more one knows about backstage drama and politics, spoilers, news items etc., the better one might be able to guess. And it goes without saying, that the more character versus plot driven a show is, the easier it is to spot “wtf?,” moments. I’ve known some of GH’s characters for 30 years, and when I find myself asking if something is OOC, and who’s to blame, I still don’t know. And just when I think I do, a smart brain or an intelligent post can completely convince me otherwise. That’s the kicker, because much of the time it is purely a matter of opinion, and depending on who you ask, almost anything can be traced to an instrinic strength, weakness, or motivation in character. One thing that GW said recently, is that soap viewers don’t know who to root for anymore. I agree. So it follows, that if I don’t know that an actor is being canned, there was a budget cut, or catfighting and propping backstage, if I don’t root for ‘em or hiss at ‘em in a definitive way, I’m not gonna know.

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