Soaps

‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: Sonny Gets Shot

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This week’s General Hospital was chalked full of family drama as the Conrinthos clan gathered together after the gunning down of their patriarch. I wish I could say I enjoyed the moments of family dysfunction but unfortunately what is driving this story is GH’s now cliche “someone gets shot” plot point. I’m mourning right now for the loss of one of the best stories that GH has had in a decade rather than Sonny’s rarely used heart and spine.

I want to start off by giving kudos to the cast and crew for the work they did last week. You could tell everyone put in a lot of hard work. I think it’s safe to say that most of the people involved in putting GH together really care about the show and want it to do well. I really wanted to find something positive to write about this past week but alas I couldn’t. Readers, I hated it.

Week in Review for General Hospital episodes airing September 7th-September 11th, 2015.

Shot through the heart

My lack of love for the current story is due to the overused violent plot mob shooting as well as the sloppy characterization and forced emotional beats that are packaged along with it. Someone getting shot instead of married on GH isn’t anything new so the only way to make this story work is by pairing it with reactions from the characters that are relatable. It’s difficult to feel anything from this tragedy when, instead of allowing characters to have natural reactions to the event, everyone has been dumbed down as if they are all sharing an overworked universal braincell.

Screenshot 2015-09-13 15.57.42Why would the lesson that TJ learn from this be that Sonny’s lifestyle is admirable? Shouldn’t he be a little freaked out and want to remove himself from a situation that got him kidnapped and almost killed? Why would Michael Quartermaine not feel a conflict between being concerned for Sonny’s well-being and disgusted at seeing yet more common-placed Conrinthos violence? Why is Morgan’s undiagnosed bipolar disorder causing him such premeditated murder-y feelings? Maybe the boy just needs to switch to decaf. Dante knows more than anyone that getting shot in the chest really smarts but as a police officer shouldn’t his inquisitive nature be kicking in more regarding this whole mess? Why did Patrick expressing concern that Sam had been in a dangerous situation in which she could have gotten hurt or worse seem so confusing to her? And WTF Tracy Quartermaine?

This worn out plot point needed to have some fresh multi-layered viewpoints brought to it in order to avoid feeling stale. Had that been done, this could have been a good story despite its repetitiveness. What we’re getting instead is a uncreative juxtapose to the direction that characters where heading. This is a good example of when characters are written to fit plot rather than story being written to fit characters. In other words, this is what not to do.

With GH in need of some buzz and a ratings boost, I’m really confused as to why the show would take this direction. It seems to me if GH really wants to boost the demos, the previous journey for the characters was the way to go. I’m talking about Michael Quartermaine and rebellious Morgan.

Morgan quickly became a favorite of mine when he first returned to Port Charles fully grown. He was a bitter middle child with a bad attitude. He fought with his parents over the love he felt he was due but never granted. He was jealous of his older brother, the one who got all the attention. He reacted to things with hotheaded immaturity but in a way which was relatable and most importantly fun (Hey, Kiki! I just had sex with your mom!). As deep and meaningful as his current bipolar story line is suppose to be, I find it incredibly lacking in any real depth.

Then there’s Michael. I think that Michael was finally given an identity that worked for the character and the audience as well. It makes no sense to have stopped that story/character and then started another one when it was not only doing well in the ratings but would have provided years of good material. As soap blogger Wubsnet put it “Do the younger set like this stuff? I don’t know–but when I watch what they are into, I somehow doubt an aging mobster getting married five times to the same person and getting shot is really their thing.” I hope the new writing team rights this wrong.

How did you feel about the “Who shot Sonny?” story line? Are you excited for the new writing team’s stories to begin? Please comment below or feel free to tweet me to share your thoughts.

Photos courtesy of ABC.

About the author

Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop is TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.