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Asp Burger

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  1. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    But...what about the occasions when it does mean something? Should people like that (and their stories) be made invisible? This is reminding me of the spasms of outrage over Felix five or six years ago, as if gay men with his speaking style and mannerisms didn't exist, and weren't part of the behavior spectrum just like the more understated, "non-stereotypical" Lucas. I don't consider that progress.
  2. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    Yes. His nickname will be "The Ice Princess." (I know. I'm going to hell. It's just all I could think of, especially remembering that scene of Liz trying to control Lucky's mind when she stole the diamond from Helena.)
  3. Asp Burger

    GH In The News: The PC Press Club

    There are also tributes from Wally Kurth and Jon Lindstrom within this piece. https://deadline.com/2019/02/kristoff-st-john-hollywood-reactions-yvette-nicole-brown-alice-hunter-young-restless-1202549067/ It is just heartbreaking. I used to watch Kristoff St. John and Anthony Addabbo as Adam and Jason, respectively, on Generations. They were two of the young male leads on that bravely diverse, ahead-of-its-time soap. Now they're both gone, only in their fifties.
  4. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    Carly never convinces that she really cares about anyone outside of her little bubble of (roughly descending order of importance) Jason, Sonny, her two living kids, Sam, and (barely) her mother. Sam only makes the cut because that's who Jason wants to be with, so she accepts her as a sort of a sexual surrogate. If Jason informed her one day that his taste had changed and he now preferred an inflatable rubber woman, I suspect we'd see as much of her friendship with Sam as we see of her friendship with Olivia. When she's showing up at Kim's place or giving Drew advice, it rings so hollow. Oh, and if Jason did suddenly decide he preferred an inflatable rubber woman, I doubt the Jason romantic story could be any less dynamic. Hell, they'd probably be running neck and neck with Jason/Sam in fan polls. It would be the new fan-base war. Especially if the inflatable rubber woman were designed with a convincing smile. Brick is a weird recurring character. How much of the audience is up enough on his ESPN doings to even get these in-jokes they always put into his dialogue, like the thing about how he had an appointment in Toronto that he couldn't miss? (Stephen A. Smith has had a love/hate relationship with Canada, and Toronto specifically, in his day job. I think a flare-up was going on when this stuff was taping.) I liked the Liz/Brad/Lucas scene because it covered various points of view that have been argued here. A lot of people may have had Lucas's experience, but also Brad's. But...Liz nodding in agreement that most of Aiden's friends are girls? He has friends now, of any kind?
  5. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    I assume a lot of people here saw the Best Picture winner of a couple years ago, Moonlight. In that movie, we follow the same character at three points of life, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In the first part of the movie, he is about Aiden's age. Everyone realizes he's gay (or, tm Curb Your Enthusiasm, "pre-gay"). His mother. The drug dealer who becomes a father figure of sorts, and that man's girlfriend. Other kids his age. The first time we see him, he has taken refuge in an abandoned building because other kids are chasing him. Excerpt from the screenplay: PAULA: You ever see the way he walk, Juan? JUAN: Watch your damn mouth. [Paula real close now, extremely close, her nose at his chin, looking up into his eyes:] PAULA: You gon' tell him why the other boys kick his ass all the time? Huh? Now, Barry Jenkins could have made a movie about a kid who proves everyone wrong by growing up to be crazy about the ladies. That just wasn't the story he chose to tell. The character was, in fact, gay. In the final third of the movie, he has a male love interest. The people who knew him at a young age sensed something, and whether they were cruel about it or compassionate about it, they were not wrong. I think the General Hospital story is trying for something similar. Liz does have two other sons, and there are several other boys on the canvas who, if the show goes on long enough to SORAS them, will be there to carry the torch for heterosexuality. I actually think it's a refreshing change from the usual gay reveals in soaps, such as Lucas and Kristina, who become gay or bi in their young adulthood for storyline purposes, with no preparation of it. Edit: Spelling of Jenkins's first name.
  6. It would have kept Stephen Martines from ever getting his mitts on the role, so it would have helped me. I don't know when GF expressed that opinion, whether it was at the time Tyler Christopher was leaving or retrospectively, but maybe she just thought he wasn't well established enough after three years to have the kind of career he hoped for. Even some multiple-award winners like Sarah Brown struggled with that transition. TC did rack up a lot of credits on high-visibility TV shows in the years between his first and second GH stints, but they were one-offs; he didn't land a series or anything. Catfish in Black Bean Sauce didn't launch a big-screen career either. One could argue that he had been well positioned on GH circa 1999 to be the young leading man, if he'd chosen to renew. He was well liked by fans. Jonathan Jackson was gone, but the female members of the Scooby gang were still there. They were trying to make Juan happen as the newcomer to the group. Once they realized TC was unlikely to stay, they did back-burner Nikolas, but the character did get a lot written for him after the recast. Much of it was by Megan McTavish, so it certainly wasn't kiss-the-pages greatness, but he was in a lot of front-burner material with Gia, Stavros and Helena, Endgame and all that. I was really happy for a few minutes when TC returned in '03, but...well, we all remember what the material was like. So much of it was bad, right up until the end.
  7. Asp Burger

    Spoilers and Speculation: Clink Boom and Cheese Fondue

    It's true. Not just the JaSam fan base, but what remains of the overall General Hospital fan base. Whenever I look at comments on Facebook or on soap-opera news sites, it's so different from how it is here. "Ryan better not kill Carly! I'll stop watching!" "Ava needs to lose custody of Avery for good. " I'm still bummed that Kiki and Griffin's sweet love story was cut off so soon. This stupid Ryan thing needs to end."
  8. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    I think they've done okay with it so far. The worst thing about is that the show's present-day budget/other restrictions have given it a hollowed-out, tell-rather-than-show feel. The only onscreen representation of the bullying has been via another character we know (Charlotte), and even most of that has happened offscreen. If a better-funded TV show or movie were telling this story, we'd be seeing more of Aiden at school, and there would be other kids. It's being told mostly indirectly through the adults. But the response I'm seeing on line is a little disheartening. Inclusiveness and the ability to be "seen" is important to a lot of people, and Aiden's story is a real thing. But it apparently went over better with the audience when Liz's other son was a brainwashed terrorist who was going to release a biotoxin. No one was threatening to stop watching over that (which I'm seeing on other sites re: the Aiden hints). No one that I recall was saying the show should never go there with a child so young. When the story of "Aiden being Aiden" is much more upsetting and objectionable than Jake's brainwashing and the young Michael's hit-ordering, it says a lot about why kids like Aiden get bullied or retreat into invisibility and fake it 'til they make it. Even here, the preferred response is that all this setup will conclude with a reassurance that he's still within the viewers' parameters of "normal."
  9. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    There's more to it. It's being written that he has a whole set of interests and behaviors that mark him as different and weird in the eyes of kids. The interests we've heard about so far including baking, princess-themed paraphernalia, and a television show that is aimed at young girls. The lack of acceptance he's encountering is making him withdrawn and fearful. This week his teacher had a talk with Liz and said she thought he was in the process of discovering his "identity." Those are the data points thus far.
  10. Asp Burger

    RW: San Francisco (1994)

    As I recall, coffee was what Judd tried to drill into Rachel's head as the thing to keep Pam occupied, and Rachel botched it by taking her to their neighbors' house. "Pam hates our neighbors!" (over a shot of Pam looking bored at the neighbors' house). I did find that hilarious. I wonder how those neighbors felt if they watched the season. For some reason, they zoomed in on a picture of Mohammed when Mrs. Campos threw the pictures down and said something about "this trash." I personally don't think her issue was a racial one, given what she had just been saying about Rachel's (white or Latina) female friends who visited her in SF. She struck me as more classist and socially conservative than anything.
  11. Asp Burger

    Favorite/Hated Roommates: From Puck to Pedro

    I watched the Hawaii season when it was airing, and I thought I had never seen such a nasty bunch in a Real World cast. If I had been posting in this thread in 1999, I might have said, "All of them." Everyone was conniving, insincere, stupid, shallow, mean, or destructive, or two or three of those traits at once. All of them had something that made me want to get away. I really missed the genuine-seeming relationships like Heather/Julie, and Pam/Pedro/Judd, or even Mike and Neil on London having that beer at the end of their season and talking about how they thought they were going to hate each other and ended up liking each other. Or Danny/Kelley and Melissa/Jamie in the season after this one. But I had to admit, Hawaii did entertain me. It was much better than some of the later seasons that used it as a template. Anyway, I've been impressed with how accomplished and successful that cast has gone to be. There was more to them than the heavily edited, in some cases drug/alcohol-addled versions of their young-adult selves. Except for Teck, that group also quickly got over their dreams of working in entertainment. I remember reading about Matt getting recognition for his teaching. He's apparently quite an inspirational classroom figure (of the "Let's have a dialogue about [issue]" type), which I can kind of see. It's like he managed to make a positive out of some negative qualities he had in his RW season.
  12. Asp Burger

    RW: San Francisco (1994)

    I liked Kevin (original NY), but he's someone I think I'd have enjoyed being around more a few years later. I think he got frustrated sometimes that he couldn't get his points across, and then he would get angry and people would take him the wrong way. He seemed a lot more "chill" on reunions. I really enjoyed listening to him, Kameelah, and Neil (London) just sitting around shooting the breeze during that mega-reunion they did in 2001. Those Real World polls about the best season usually tilted toward something people had seen recently. At some point, inevitably, they had a young audience that had joined somewhere in progress. Maybe Las Vegas, Austin or Key West was just everything to them. People started thinking of it as the show you went on first so you could do The Challenge. I'm sure to some of that audience, the early seasons would look quaint and slow-paced, if they could even find them.
  13. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    I wasn't paying the closest attention in the Anna's disease scenes, but Finn mentioned he had never seen the like of this in America, and then the two of them just acted stumped and she jumped to the idea of someone "giving" it to her. Hasn't she left the country several times in recent history? Didn't she go abroad to track Liesl, and to track whatsherface the hypochondriac, and maybe some others I'm forgetting? It would help to know how long of an incubation this thing has. (Again, if he discussed all of that, it's my fault for not being very interested. But I don't think he did.) When Sam was diagnosed with the feline fecal illness, everyone immediately just knew it was because Liv Jerome had thrown her off the bridge and she gave birth through her pants down there in the frozen slime, and thus Julian was circuitously responsible.
  14. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    That's interesting; I thought the Liz/Willow discussion was approaching "WE GET IT!" shower-of-anvils territory (tm old-time MBTV/TWoP). All that "I think he's just beginning to discover his identity" and "We're totally fine with that; we're a non-traditional family and accepting." Then they're cutting away from this to show Aiden baking up a storm and doing hand gestures he learned from the cooking show. And you're right, an interest in baking (or fashion, or ballet dancing, or any one thing) isn't incontrovertible proof of anything. It's just that the baking scenes are happening on the background of all the other stuff since last summer with a child character who doesn't really "need" to be featured at all. Charlotte sneering that she tries to tell Aiden how to act and he doesn't act the right way. Cameron worrying that the kids will pick on him because he likes princess pencils and whatever TV show that was, with the implication that it's a girls' show. He's reluctant to play with the other kids at recess. The specific words adults use to describe him ("sweet," "sensitive"). Etc. However, when I start getting frustrated with all the non-statements that I find deafening, I think about it, and I believe they are trying to do something that isn't easy to dramatize with such a young actor. And it's not premature in real-life terms; it's an awakening that a lot of today's families are going through with boys and girls around that age, so I respect that they're trying. The actor is too young for some of the things that might be expected to happen with an LGBTQ story, but I haven't doubted that that's the story they're trying to tell, from early on. I just have been undecided re: gay or trans. Also, in my opinion, sending Aiden to the other parent at this point would be bad. Visiting, sure, but not to live. He has a really nice support network at home with his brothers, Liz, and (yes) Franco. That consistency is probably such a bedrock to him in a really confusing time.
  15. Asp Burger

    Spoilers and Speculation: Clink Boom and Cheese Fondue

    GH does do -- or, in recent history, has done -- some male/female friendships that are nonsexual. Carly/Jason, of course. Britt/Brad. Franco/Liesl. Nina/Curtis. Liz/Griffin. Stella/Mike (which I think it's fair to say has gone beyond her professional connection). Recently, they've strengthened Sonny/Laura, which has some history. But it's such a pairing-oriented medium that if there's no obstacle, like a family tie, incompatible sexual orientations, or one character being in a solid relationship and not on the market for a triangle, I see why they hate to waste chemistry. Some of it is audience expectations. I can't count the number of times I've seen viewers on fan forums sum up the mission of soaps as love in the afternoon. It's true that "love" comes in many forms, but I usually take that to mean romance, rather than the love in the afternoon that, say, Monica has for her sick grandson. Sometimes characters turn out to work better as friends, I agree. I think trying for more ruined Luke/Felicia forever in 1999-2000, and at least damaged Liz/Nik in 2009-10. But that happens in real life sometimes. The teen scene at present is so thinly populated that I don't think Cameron could ever be Joss's best friend and most trusted confidant with no interest in more on either side, unless they decided Cameron was gay. If they had four more teen players who were on a lot and being written for, and so each of them was getting romantic needs met with someone else, then maybe. But if they had four more teen players who were on a lot, some of them would be girls, and then we'd be back to Joss having a "Langston" or a "Jamie."
  16. Asp Burger

    Spoilers and Speculation: Clink Boom and Cheese Fondue

    "You're so lucky, Joss. You've got an amazing boyfriend, and like the coolest mom in the world. And your Uncle Sonny, and Jason...and Michael is the best big brother ever. And little Avery adores you. I wish I had your life." "I guess you're right, Kaylee. As much as I complain, I really lucked out." "Well, gotta run. I'm opening at Kelly's! Call me later, okay?"
  17. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    GH from about mid-2017 through present (so, around the time Jean P. left the co-head writer spot) has been weirdly uneven. Usually in such a long, sustained period, I can say whether I like the direction of it or not, but the quality has been all over the place. Sometimes it gets so bad that I let four or five episodes build up and I have to make myself catch up, and then other times it's quite good and I enjoy whole episodes. Sometimes even the telling of the same story has ups and downs (like Mike's dementia, which was extremely well done early on, and then in some later months, not). I think there are a lot of competing voices yanking things around, and I have my theories. I have felt we are in one of the upswings in the last week or two, so I will hope it lasts.
  18. Asp Burger

    Spoilers and Speculation: Clink Boom and Cheese Fondue

    Sami on DOOL (another blonde, and teen at the time, although "heroine" is debatable) had a Langston named Jamie. She was played by Miriam Parrish. The character just abruptly vanished when the actress married former co-star Robert Kelker-Kelly (later to be GH's Stavros recast). But she was around for years, and people were always asking why she never got stories of her own. She was just there to be a talk-to and conscience figure that Sami never actually listened to. I guess a best friend with no life of her own is one sign that you've really arrived when you're a blond teen girl on a soap!
  19. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    Forgive me, but I actually liked the Carly/Franco scene. I was on a break when they were actually paired, and it sounds like a horrible idea, but the actors have some chemistry. I thought they got some subtext of familiarity into the scene in Kevin's office. I cannot enjoy Kristina even though she's being "mature," because the culty dialogue is whacking me over the head with all future developments of this story. She was all "I could get angry about this, but that would mean I haven't freed myself from the reactive mind." The next thing she'll be doing is talking about achieving "clear" through Shiloh's auditing sessions, and assuring Oscar that the tech really does work. Then, for May sweeps, Jason and Sam will have to rescue her from The Hole.
  20. Asp Burger

    GH In The News: The PC Press Club

    Being in last place just doesn't mean as much, though, when there are only four soaps. When there were 12, it would have been more embarrassing. The CBS soaps (which are the most solid with the mortgages-and-Metamucil set that is less affected by 21st-century changes in entertainment options) are doing best of the worst, and there really isn't that much difference in the numbers between DOOL and GH. My prediction is that both DOOL and GH will hang in there for another three to five years. But I don't think daytime drama is over as a genre. It needs a rethink.
  21. Asp Burger

    Spoilers and Speculation: Clink Boom and Cheese Fondue

    And AJ was fat.
  22. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    I think JL plays Ryan like someone who isn't especially burning with desire to add Laura to his kill list, in part because he's indifferent to her, in part because the world thinks he's Laura's husband. Since the husband is always going to be the first suspect when a woman turns up dead, it would attract scrutiny he doesn't need. Breaking it off with Laura and sending her on her way, even angry and bewildered, is the smarter play. But she keeps putting herself in his way and demanding that he explain himself, or reminding him of things that are supposed to stir feelings he doesn't have, or making speeches about how he became a stranger overnight. So then he starts thinking he needs to shut her up before she becomes a bigger problem, and also that he's tired of listening to the sound of her voice. So I do get where he is, both from the "unhinged psycho" and the "methodical operator" points of view. GF is definitely playing a "love of my life" kind of loss and hurt here. A new viewer would think the Kevin/Laura marriage consisted of much more than about a month of wedded contentment (I can't exactly say "bliss") before she was skipping town for most of a year. I never got into Kevin/Laura, but I guess it's good that some long-range development came out of the dropped story of Helena's will. As I recall, that was what threw them together. She was meeting with a cryptographer and it turned out to be him.
  23. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    And like Jackson, William Lipton is musical. He sings and plays bass and guitar. YouTube has a lot of clips of the trio he fronts ("WJM"). The Cameron-starring Nurses' Ball 2019 number seems inevitable.
  24. Asp Burger

    Episode Discussion: TFGH

    I enjoyed the 1997 NYE episode, as a nostalgic exercise. Whether I liked all the actors/characters or not, it was fun to revisit a distant period (I see Mulcahey wrote the episode; I liked him) and see all those long-gone and never-mentioned-again characters (Katherine, Keesha, Dara), as well as the original faces of Carly, Sarah, Emily, and Bobbie. I had not remembered the Webber girls getting along as well as they were doing at the Outback. They had only been on the show a few months at this point, too. When I think of that relationship, I never think of anything good happening, but I guess it was more varied than it is in my memory. Strangely, when I think of Liz's relationship with Rachel/Hayden, the "good" part of it does come to mind first, even though those two had so much conflict and even physical fights before they knew they were related. So I think Becky Herbst had better sibling chemistry with Liz's retconned sister than with either attempt at the one she was supposed to have grown up with. Maybe it's because Budig is such a pro, and neither of the Sarah actresses brought much to the part I couldn't even focus on the dialogue in the Robin/Brenda phone conversation because I was thinking about how enormous the phone receivers looked. Ah, the land-line era.
  25. "Remind me to ask you later who the Brady Bunch are." Gawd, Nikolas. Lucky just told you what a search engine is. You're making the youth of 1998 look bad, even if you are actually played by a 26-year-old. That clip reminds me again how seemingly one in a million JJ was. He could be such a surly little brat and I still liked him and cared about him and I saw what was under the surface unpleasantness. World of difference from Joss, Oscar, and Kristina when they're mouthing off. Tyler never had as much chemistry with any other group of actors as he had with the rest of the OG Scooby Gang, GF and SN, either. And JJ really isn't "one in a million," I know. I see actors in their teens and early twenties who are as poised and subtle as he was, but they're in Manchester by the Sea, Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird or whatever. I guess I'm glad they're in award-winning films rather than playing kids to Sonny Corinthos. The news isn't all bad. William Lipton impresses as Cameron.
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