‘General Hospital’ Gets Oscar Shout Outs

by | February 28, 2011 at 8:34 AM | Deep Soap, Oscars

James Franco on The Oscars (ABC)

James Franco on The Oscars (ABC)

The Soapiest Oscars Ever

It may well go down as the least entertaining Oscars ever. However, it was the best Academy Awards for ABC Daytime.  In the “Inception” inspired opening montage, Morgan Freeman, who appeared on several soaps before he became a movie star, told co-host James Franco, ‘The naked girl from ‘Love and Other Drugs‘ and the guy from ‘General Hospital’ moved through Alec Baldwin’s dreams.”

Last week an insane video of Melissa Leo catfighting on”All My Children” in the early 1980s went viral. Last night, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and the unofficial award for craziest acceptance speech when she managed to drop the f-bomb, chatter on for twice her alotted time, then exit the stage holding presenter Kirk Douglas’s cane.

Watch Melissa Leo Drop The F-Bomb:

“General Hospital” got one last shout out when Sandra Bullock, announcing the Best Actor category, introduced James Franco, who was nominated for his role in “127 Hours” by saying, “You are the number one reason kids get picked up late from school  — because their Moms are watching you on ‘General Hospital.’”

ABC daytime topper Brian Frons must have been thrilled. It’s the most mainstream publicity GH has gotten since Luke and Laura’s wedding. The timing could not have better. Franco appeared in the cliffhanger of Friday’s episode, surrounded by shirtless photos of himself that made him look like a congressman trolling for women on Craigslist, and will be seen again on Monday. To my surprise, ABC did not capitalize on the opportunity to showcase the movie star’s role in the dramatic aftermath of Sonny and Brenda’s wedding by airing a promo. I realize the network had a limited amount of commercial time, but surely one of the promos for Dana Delaney’s new show could have gone to GH.

The Final Nail in Click Boom’s Coffin

Dear “General Hospital,” I would like you to pledge, on James Franco’s life, that you will never reference the infamous Click Boom sequence again. At this point, it has been ripped off more times than Hamlet , the Bible and “The Godfather” put together — and they get used throughout pop culture.

Watch Full Episodes of “General Hospital” on xfinitytv.com

Ending Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Brenda’s (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) wedding with a shot-for-shot homage, right down to Jax (Ingo Rademacher) clinking champagne glasses with Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) before the limo that Brenda was apparently inside blew up, did not make me think that Sonny was a tragic hero doomed to fulfill a prophecy that all of his brunette wives die the same way. It convinced me that GH has decided that it will never top that moment in 1996 and has stopped trying. If this was the first time the show had echoed the moment when Lily got blowed up real good, it would have been stunning. But it has happened at least once a year, most recently when Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) nearly blew up in a car bomb that Sonny intended to use on Johnny (Brandon Barash). It has lost its impact.

Watch Franco’s GH Return:

It’s unfortunate that GH has dove into the clink boom well so many times, because the episode was so well done. While I would think that, given how many times as people have escaped certain death in Port Charles, people would be less likely to jump to the conclusion that Brenda was dead just because her car blew up, it was moving watching everybody who loved her mourn her. A record number of people blamed themselves for what happened. Sonny regretted not leaving Brenda at the altar, Robin (Kimberly McCullough) blamed herself for encouraging Brenda to get back together with Sonny, Molly (Haley Pullos) blamed herself for not telling Sonny and Brenda that Theo(Daniel Benzali)was the Balkan.  Not only does every man fall in love with Brenda, everyone wants to take responsibility for her fate. Fortunately, Jax was the voice of reason, suggesting that Sonny own up to his responsibility by blowing his own brains out. The performances were great. If I hadn’t known that there was absolutely no chance that Brenda was actually dead, I would have been moved. The reveal that Sam (Kelly Monaco) was, in fact, the person who was in the car when it exploded would have been incredibly shocking had she not been conspicuously absent for the rest of the episode — and were it not totally obvious that she was still alive, even if she is she ended up unconscious in a body bag.

As all of the promos gave away weeks ago, Franco, not the Balkan, was responsible for the limo bomb. It had nothing to do with Sonny, and everything to do with Franco’s attempt to torment his man crush, Jason, over by killing the woman that he loves. At this point, GH’s willingness to cater to Franco the Actor’s whims are becoming even more of a cliche than their obsession with the clink boom sequence. Yes, he’s an A-list movie star who wants to do soaps. He generates publicity and awareness for the show. But most of the audience is at best indifferent to him. Most of America is growing tired of his artsy, hipster, ironic schtick. He isn’t around for long enough to tell a complete story.

I challenge GH to create a new indelible image, whether it’s something outlandish or poignant or beautiful. Anything will be more impressive and resonant than Sonny watching yet another car blow up.