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GH History Lessons: Because History is Always Repeating Itself

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Oh Tony was definitely to blame for the cheating, as the married party.  The fact that Bobbie had cheated first - and the fact that Carly was obviously using him - made it easier for the audience to feel for Tony.   The audience knew he was acting out in some ways after years of being just generally beaten down by life.  

On a more meta level, yeah the writing was sexist to the extent that the story used the stereotype of a highly manipulative woman “tempting” a damaged but previously respectable man into straying.   The writing was loaded to make Carly very devious and Tony very unsuspecting. 

Edited by SlovakPrincess
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28 minutes ago, SlovakPrincess said:

Oh Tony was definitely to blame for the cheating, as the married party.  The fact that Bobbie had cheated first - and the fact that Carly was obviously using him - made it easier for the audience to feel for Tony.   The audience knew he was acting out in some ways after years of being just generally beaten down by life.  

On a more meta level, yeah the writing was sexist to the extent that the story used the stereotype of a highly manipulative woman “tempting” a damaged but previously respectable man into straying.   The writing was loaded to make Carly very devious and Tony very unsuspecting. 

 

But then it got completely flipped and Tony Jones became the "EVIL" and it was poor Carly all the time. Predator females do exsist as do predatory males. 

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I thought back then what I think now: fuck Tony. 

It wasn't even the midlife crisis affair that he had, because that marriage was already doomed. Especially with Stefan lurking in the background.

Or even that stupid song he wrote for Carly which was really bad by the way.

It was when his relationship finally imploded like everyone told him, his self-righteous attitude that he deserved to take unborn Michael but also Lucas away from Bobbie.

He was clearly having a break from reality when he kidnapped Michael and then Robin but I was done with him from the year before.

Edited by nilyank
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18 minutes ago, nilyank said:

It was when his relationship finally imploded like everyone told him, his self-righteous attitude that he deserved to take unborn Michael but Lucas away from Bobbie.

Well that was when Guza returned and decided to kick his "good is bad, bad is good" mentality into high gear (it was present in 1996 too, but not as bad). Jason the monster's errand boy is suddenly Carly's passionate defender and in judgement of basically everyone else in town, Tony the doctor is the evil SOB for having the gall to not want his child raised by Carly the Tramp, and he has to be even more of an SOB to continue trying to interfere even after discovering Michael wasn't his.

Looking back, I think I really hated that era of GH. It just felt like so many formerly good characters were so forcibly derailed to prop up Guza's above-mentioned agenda.

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I think if Carly hadn't been so young, I would have had complete sympathy for Tony. I think if Carly were a little more sympathetic, I would have had complete sympathy for her. I think Carly was fascinating but not sympathetic. They both looked terrible. I feel like if Carly were a little older I might have felt worse for Tony but as it was when I watch that I think, really? You think the relationship with the 22 year old is a good idea?

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In limited defense of Tony, by 1996 his first wife Tania had been killed in a hit and run accident, daughter BJ had been killed in an entirely different accident, and he’d found out about Bobbie cheating the same day that BJ died.  So ... basically his life sucked by this point and his marriage with Bobbie already included loads of resentment and passive aggression. Carly worked well as a character at first, but by the time of the Baby Michael reveal that made Jason turn on Robin, I was just plain exhausted with her. 

Oh definitely—I watched all that the first time around. I feel like this was a really well done, believable, real story. In a way, it made perfect sense that Tony did what he did. He was just insufferably self righteous! 

(I also remember watching, as a young girl, when Tony berated Lucy and threw her out. Him screaming, her crying—it all seemed over the top, although I knew she was in the wrong.)

I also believe that Tony should have gotten his redemption story—his whole head shaving, kidnapping thing was WAY over the top. I mean, Alan tried to KILL Monica and was still a respected member of the community!

Edited by lizzbert
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I would say Carly was the worst thing to ever happen to pretty much every character, but specifically Jason was hurt the most. 

But, in all honesty, the worst thing that ever happened to Jason was that he was played by Steve Burton, who had way too much power and control over a fictional character. Down to his f-ing wardrobe. Oh, and Kimberly MuCullough leaving in 1999. I felt like her exit was the catalyst in Guza writing the Michael reveal the way he did. It was so easy to put it all on Robin and make it about her when the actress was leaving and the character could be used as a whipping board without a voice. Sonny and Jason looked nasty and unsympathetic, as a result, and there was no character left to balance them out.

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I was totally on Tony's side right up until he took Carly back when she was going to leave town while pregnant.  From that point on, I knew he wasn't being sincere, he was scheming, and I lost patience with him PDQ.  I was 15? at the time, and i thought it was totally sleazy of him.  I felt for him with Bobby and Allan and then Stefan in the background and everything leading him astray into the waiting arms of a young woman who was seemingly on his side.

 

Now Carly, I did like, as a schemer and such, and I loved her friendship with Jason, when it was really a friendship.  That nurses ball, when she said goodbye to him, was so great and I was so mad she was going to leave.  And then pissed that Tony stopped her the way he did.  I genuinely thought that Carly was just ready to be done.  She hadn't gotten what she wanted out of things and was gonna bail.

 

I also thought that it was way too much of a retread of the Kendall story on AMC.  Like, eerily similar.  At least in the background elements.  Kendall took it a bit more OTT than Carly did, lol

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Guza never did "gray" very well. He'd set things up in which, up to a point, it would have been possible for a character to retain some sympathy and be redeemed, but then he would put the bus in drive, back up, go forward, back up again, et cetera, until there had been a thorough squishing. Even if I liked a character or an actor, I'd ultimately check out, which of course was the whole point. It happened with Tony, with Stefan, with Zander, and with AJ.  Stefan was an especially egregious case, because his entire 2003 return was a character destruction from beginning to end. By the time he was skulking around in the tunnels with a disfigured face and trying to rape Lydia, didn't even the biggest Stefan fan want Nichols to go get a better job?

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I HATED the way Stefan was completely shredded.

Vastly unpopular opinion here, but I actually liked Tony and Carly together. I honestly believe that at some point, her motives for seducing him went from getting revenge on her mother to genuinely falling in love with him. There's a scene where she's positively gushing about him to Jason and it's 100% sincere.

I also hate what Guza did to hers and Jason's relationship. There was a time when they were genuinely friends and she was even sincerely happy for him and Robin. Then they had to make her so utterly obsessed with him that she drove Robin away--and I loathe how unbearably sanctimonious they made HER--and flipped out any time another woman so much as said "Hello" to him.

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I thought the setup for Stefan and TC-Nikolas' 2003 returns was great - bankrupt Cassadines, scheming uncle Stefan, Nikolas falls in love with childhood friend Emily who's married to Zander. Those were all great ideas IMO. It was the execution that was fucked. NL was a dicey actress at best and both Zander and Stefan were mauled by the writing.

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The first Lydia was terrible casting, too. I can't remember anything about her line readings or expressions, just that she was a charisma void in a role that needed someone with spice. The recast (the one who ended up skipping town with Warlock's AJ) was better, but by the time they made the switch, that whole story was tanking.

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The only thing the first Lydia had going for her was that she has chemistry with with GV's Lucky.

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I thought the first Lydia was way better and had some heat behind her among fans, but I haven't seen her in 15 years. The second was really strange and like a space alien.

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8 hours ago, jsbt said:

I thought the setup for Stefan and TC-Nikolas' 2003 returns was great - bankrupt Cassadines, scheming uncle Stefan, Nikolas falls in love with childhood friend Emily who's married to Zander. Those were all great ideas IMO. It was the execution that was fucked. NL was a dicey actress at best and both Zander and Stefan were mauled by the writing.

To this day, the only comfort I take (and it's minimal as it is basically a Cracker Jack prize - but had a bit more prestige back then!)  is that Chad Brannon still managed to win an Emmy even with the lopsided, loser writing for Zander. I think he was among the last of a kind that went from a day player to actual popular character thanks to the audience, considering the character was not supposed to be long term.

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35 minutes ago, Neptune said:

 

mac was in prison?  didn't he used to be police commissioner?

Pretty sure he was the black sheep of the family when he joined the show and in some sort of trouble. Barely remember but he and Robert did not get along at first. I find this hilarious because now I have such fondness for MAC but his terrible acting back in the day meant I didn't like him much and I never found him attractive and I was convinced he wasn't long for the show and here's he's outlasted just about everyone.  Still can't act IMO but I love him. Probably because he's a decent guy and not Sonny.

 

I mean we've had a police commissioner married to an obvious mob connected guy and Luke was once the mayor so Port Charles has no standards really. 

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IIRC, Robert wouldn't introduce him to Robin because Mac was such a black sheep.  She met him independently, on the docks, I think.

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The backstory on Mac is that Robert hated him for decades (and pretended he had no brother at all) because Mac was piloting the plane which crashed, killing the Scorpio brothers’ parents in the 70s and injuring Robert.  Robert thought Mac just abandoned him in the wreckage but eventually Mac explained he’d gone for help and got waylaid somehow.   Robert wandered off and eventually joined the WSB while Mac had a number of odd jobs that were sometimes not strictly legal.

Anyhoo.  Mac came to town working on a boat owned by the shady characters who made up the stupid cartel in the stupid cartel story, which also involved Faison and Bill Eckert and basically sucked except that kid SlovakPrincess finally got her wish of Robert and Anna getting back together.  Mac gets arrested at some point in that story on suspicion of trying to blow up Robert but it wasn’t actually him (of course) and eventually the brothers became friends.

I like Mac but the surprise!  brother stuff was kind of silly ... although given Robert spent years in denial about Anna’s existence and even lied to Holly about his first marriage, I guess it wasn’t completely out of character for him to pretend people who hurt him didn’t exist.   For, like, years.  

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1 hour ago, statsgirl said:

IIRC, Robert wouldn't introduce him to Robin because Mac was such a black sheep.  She met him independently, on the docks, I think.

She met him at Kelly's, actually (ETA: Okay, they actually met in a FUCKING MORGUE! WHAT? I didn't remember that at all! And then they went to the docks, and then to Kelly's, because sure, why not, let's get a bite to eat after seeing a corpse that pops up like a Whack-a-Mole.):

 

Also, I can't find it, but the first scene of Mac and Robert involves Robert pulling Mac out of the water during the cartel story, recognizing who he was, and promptly pushing him back in! 

Edited by UYI
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Watching Cottage Hell and damn, what a difference 20 years (and two kids) make. Robin is twitting Carly about not taking Michael shopping and I’m like, “Bitch, no one wants to take a baby shopping, that’s the luxury of having a freakin’ nanny!” Although part of my annoyance is probably Robin’s TERRIBLE eyebrows and the awful way they dressed her.

Bottom line: WTH was Robin ever doing with a mobster? Especially someone who constantly enabled someone who constantly undermined her? Robin should have aimed all her vitriol at JASON.

Oh, and acting as if Michael being scared of a stuffed lion was just proof of Carly being a crap mother. GMAFB.

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Another example of Guza's character derailment. Robin went from being a nice and normal girl to unbearably sanctimonious and self-righteous, looking down on everybody, yet in the next breath, passionately defending Sonny and Jason and holding them up as examples of moral fortitude.

I think by that point, Guza had decided that Carly was going to be his heroine, so of course, nearly everyone else had to look bad by comparison.

Edited by Camille
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On 7/7/2018 at 10:05 AM, Neptune said:

 

mac was in prison?  didn't he used to be police commissioner?

And the show couldn't even spell Malcolm.

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39 minutes ago, WendyCR72 said:

And the show couldn't even spell Malcolm.

?????????

it’s a well known fact that I ADORE Robin. But the one thing I hated about her character was being the Mooby and Jason apologist. More so for the former than latter. Because Jason wasn’t a hit man/enforcer when she and Jason fell in love. But I firmly believe that if Kimberly weren’t leaving to follow her then boyfriend Prinze, Jr. then she wouldn’t have gotten the character assassination Robin got. But there is also the focus on the mob as the “heroes” beginning and forevermore. I will always love Robin, but I did call bullshit on her when she didn’t cut ties after that mumbling stuttering asshole shot Dante in the chest. She did finally when her own daughter was put at risk, but then  Carlivatti undid all that when she escaped her captivity. Blergh. 

I will forever and ever ever LOATHE/DESPISE/HATE that piece of trash SHEBEAST.????????

I am and forever will be a proud NULOCH card carrier. I had to suffer and watch that beast be at Robin and Patrick’s wedding before they left for California when both she and Mooby should have had their noses pressed against the window from outside.

Yeah, totally not bitter.

Edited by GHScorpiosRule
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1 hour ago, Camille said:

unbearably sanctimonious and self-righteous, looking down on everybody

I never saw this from Robin, lol. It's always something they'd have Carly say because she hated Robin. And it's something I would only apply to that relationship because Robin didn't like her, and for good reason.  Who did she look down on? I've always wondered because you're not the first person to think this. Like, are the examples that she spilled baby paternity news, basically Carly's lies? 

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1 hour ago, HeatLifer said:

It's always something they'd have Carly say because she hated Robin.

And, at least in the Sarah Brown days, Carly had a streak of self-loathing. She believed Robin considered herself superior to Carly, because she (Carly) deep down considered herself inferior. Carly always projected her own issues like whoa. Of course, for a long time now, if anyone is a sanctimonious self-righteous hypocrite who looks down on everyone else, it's Carly (and Jason and Sonny).

I've honestly never gotten the impression that Robin considers herself better than anyone else. The people she dislikes have generally earned it, through their own actions. She's WAY too soft on Jason and Sonny, which has bugged the hell out of me for years, and that can be seen as hypocrisy, I suppose, but I have a hard time being mad at Robin herself about it, because the writers' agenda has always been so obvious there.

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9 hours ago, lizzbert said:

UYI, that scene is here, around 1:45: 

 

Thanks! 

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Robin tells AJ he's Michael's father, 1999.

I really do love Billy Warlock, both as an actor and because he's so cute. 

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1 hour ago, Melgaypet said:

And, at least in the Sarah Brown days, Carly had a streak of self-loathing. She believed Robin considered herself superior to Carly, because she (Carly) deep down considered herself inferior. Carly always projected her own issues like whoa. Of course, for a long time now, if anyone is a sanctimonious self-righteous hypocrite who looks down on everyone else, it's Carly (and Jason and Sonny).

Even in the Sarah Brown days. You're right about that initially, but around 1998/1999, she became this utterly obnoxious bitch who felt that SHE had the right to look down on everybody--she, the town tramp, branded Hannah a "slut" when the woman hadn't done anything but TALK to Jason, and she relentlessly called her that.

It's a shame, because that streak of self-loathing actually humanized Carly a little and explained a lot of her behavior. There's a scene where she's arguing with Tony and she outright declares, "Your friends were right, I AM trash", and as horrible as person she was, I felt for her in that moment.

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Sarah Brown was an incredible actress who I miss everyday as Carly and I'd have her back in an instant. I think both LW and Braun have done solid jobs but Brown's Carly was a mesmerizing character. That said, Sarah was not afraid to make Carly loathsome. As far as Michael was concerned, Robin was right.

Edited by jsbt
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I think the actresses have portrayed her "correctly" for how she's been written at a given time. If Wright had been in the role from the beginning instead of on The City or Guiding Light or whatever she was doing, she would have played the insecurity too. 

I think the larger narrative the show wants us to see (ugh) is that Sonny's love cured her of the self-loathing. He was a better choice for her because Jason is so "good," and she was always chasing after someone to whom she couldn't measure up.  

I do agree that Carly changed toward the end of SB's term. My feelings for the character reached full-on hate around the time of Hannah in mid-'99. 

By the time TB was in the role, the character was very haughty. I've mentioned it before, but I always remember that scene in which she threw a shower at the penthouse for Mike's dead daughter whose name escapes me. The other women from Coleman's strip club were there for the guest of honor -- they were her only female friends outside of Carly herself -- and they were sweet as could be, but just, you know, kind of rough-hewn. Braun's Carly was all sauntering around and rolling her eyes like, "Oh, the things I put up with for my best friend. Spending a few hours with this trash." She acted as if she were the highest of high society. But I didn't fault Braun for not knowing where the character came from. She was playing Carly several years after her elevation to mob queen bee.  

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9 hours ago, Camille said:

Even in the Sarah Brown days. You're right about that initially, but around 1998/1999, she became this utterly obnoxious bitch who felt that SHE had the right to look down on everybody--she, the town tramp, branded Hannah a "slut" when the woman hadn't done anything but TALK to Jason, and she relentlessly called her that.

It's a shame, because that streak of self-loathing actually humanized Carly a little and explained a lot of her behavior. There's a scene where she's arguing with Tony and she outright declares, "Your friends were right, I AM trash", and as horrible as person she was, I felt for her in that moment.

Damn straight!  By ‘99 or so, Carly had gone from stubbornly following through on her crazy schemes (even though part of her realized it made her a bad person and part of her maybe believed that after just one more scheme she would start being nice), to being utterly smug about her own behavior.   She developed this attitude of “so what if Jason has to keep cleaning up my messes, aren’t I just so street smart and awesome for just going for what I want?  Unlike Robin, who’s just so stuck up and passive aggressive for being mad that I blatantly use and flirt with her boyfriend!  And how dare AJ be mad at what I did to him - ugh, whatever!”

I also found Robin slightly unbearable when she and Carly would have their smirking, petty fights over Jason (as though he were a child) but Carly didn’t even have the benefit of being factually right about the situation!

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1 hour ago, SlovakPrincess said:

Damn straight!  By ‘99 or so, Carly had gone from stubbornly following through on her crazy schemes (even though part of her realized it made her a bad person and part of her maybe believed that after just one more scheme she would start being nice), to being utterly smug about her own behavior.   She developed this attitude of “so what if Jason has to keep cleaning up my messes, aren’t I just so street smart and awesome for just going for what I want?  Unlike Robin, who’s just so stuck up and passive aggressive for being mad that I blatantly use and flirt with her boyfriend!  And how dare AJ be mad at what I did to him - ugh, whatever!”

I also found Robin slightly unbearable when she and Carly would have their smirking, petty fights over Jason (as though he were a child) but Carly didn’t even have the benefit of being factually right about the situation!

And she got so unbelievably LOUD. Pretty much every scene consisted of her yelling at somebody, completely unprovoked. Hannah once told her, "You cause a scene everywhere you go", and she was right.

I was wrong when I wrote that Robin looked down on everyone, but she did with Carly. Not that Carly didn't completely deserve it, but I still feel that the writing made Robin insufferably sanctimonious. But I guess that was more of Guza's "Good is Bad, Bad is Good" mentality.

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4 hours ago, Asp Burger said:

Mike's dead daughter whose name escapes me

Cassie? Cathy? It's on the tip of my tongue....

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On 7/8/2018 at 8:22 PM, Melgaypet said:

And, at least in the Sarah Brown days, Carly had a streak of self-loathing. She believed Robin considered herself superior to Carly, because she (Carly) deep down considered herself inferior. Carly always projected her own issues like whoa. Of course, for a long time now, if anyone is a sanctimonious self-righteous hypocrite who looks down on everyone else, it's Carly (and Jason and Sonny).

Right?! That's why Carly ended up fascinating me back in the day. I HATED her at first and then just kinda grew to love/hate her but after Sarah Brown left..meh.  

I also found it odd that considering the massive amount of trauma that Robin had through her childhood and Carly's relatively ok upbringing she always treated Robin like she had some charmed life.  Maybe because Robin often brought out the best in people while Carly brought out the worst and Carly reacted to that.

Edited by MissL

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While I enjoyed Sarah Brown's acting, and she was great in that role of the Beast, I ALWAYS HATED HER and it was a visceral thing; not a love to hate, and boo hoo woo; Bobbie her birth mother had the audacity and nerve and cold-heartedness to give her up for adoption! Oh, the HORROR! But even though she was self-loathing, I didn't feel sorry for her one bit. 

And I don't know if it was mentioned here or in another thread, but Tony did get his redemption. He was given probation and to work in one of those clinics in the shady part of Port Charles--where Alan, who became a full-blown addict, found him there when he was looking for a fix.  I'm just glad the redemption happened years before they killed him off. And yeah, still bitter over that AND Alan's death. Fuck you, Guzasshole.

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1 hour ago, MissL said:

I also found it odd that considering the massive amount of trauma that Robin had through her childhood and Carly's relatively ok upbringing she always treated Robin like she had some charmed life.  Maybe because Robin often brought out the best in people while Carly brought out the worst and Carly reacted to that.

Carly always thought she had the terrible childhood, though—that's what brought her to PC in the first place, to get revenge on Bobbie for being a pregnant teenage hooker who gave Carly up for adoption. Carly only saw the present-day Bobbie, who was (seemingly) happily married to a rich, handsome doctor. And that wasn't the case, but Carly didn't care. When she first met Robin, Robin was practically the town saint, so of course Carly resented it. Carly made some awful, awful remarks to Robin about being HIV positive.

OG Carly was a strange mix of not caring what people thought about her and caring absolutely what they thought about her, and I think SBr did a great job of showing that. I didn't like her Carly much—I thought she relied way too much on teary eyes and a trembling chin, not to mention the nostril flaring—but I appreciated SBr's skill at portraying her. Sort of like how I am with Ava/MW.

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1 hour ago, dubbel zout said:

OG Carly was a strange mix of not caring what people thought about her and caring absolutely what they thought about her, and I think SBr did a great job of showing that.

I remember I think it was right after Hannah joined the show and Robin was gone; it was a holiday, so the show decided to do a "dream" episode; where Jason and Hannah were a couple and all gooey-eyed over each other and raising Michael. And the beast was dressed up as a matron in a tweed suit, her hair in a bun. I liked it for the stupid humor it was. You know, back in the day when they had the budget to film and air a stand-alone episode because it was a holiday or something.

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I remember that Memorial Day 1999 episode. There's a detailed recap here.   

http://soapcentral.com/gh/recaps/1999/990531.php

It was definitely better than the It's a Wonderful Life episode circa 2002-03 with Luke as an angel (or whatever he was supposed to be) showing Sonny various possible realities. The scenarios were all Sonny storylines the fans allegedly wanted to see. Then there was the nadir for this kind of thing: the Groundhog Day-like dream episode that was a showcase for Alicia Leigh Willis.

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4 hours ago, Asp Burger said:

Then there was the nadir for this kind of thing: the Groundhog Day-like dream episode that was a showcase for Alicia Leigh Willis.

Why, WHY did you have to remind me of this atrocity?!

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It was a great wedding. It had history. Everyone attended. And everyone was happy for the couple.

Unlike the nonsense that is happening with Michael and Chloe.

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hey guys, i know it’s random, but how did carly find out she was adopted? i do remember her adoptive mother saying something like she saw a photo of her in 8th grade and felt terrible... but i can’t remember exactly... does anyone know?

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On 7/12/2018 at 10:53 AM, dubbel zout said:

Carly always thought she had the terrible childhood, though—that's what brought her to PC in the first place, to get revenge on Bobbie for being a pregnant teenage hooker who gave Carly up for adoption. Carly only saw the present-day Bobbie, who was (seemingly) happily married to a rich, handsome doctor. And that wasn't the case, but Carly didn't care. When she first met Robin, Robin was practically the town saint, so of course Carly resented it. Carly made some awful, awful remarks to Robin about being HIV positive.

 

Carly's resentment of Robin stemmed from the fact that Jason saw Robin as a smart, strong, capable young woman who really cared about people - and he loved her. She saw that other PC folks, especially Sonny, saw Robin the same way, and that made it worse because she knew that Robin was everything she was not. The only things (in her mind) that she had in her favor were she was more sexually experienced than Robin/dressed to show off her assets, and she had Michael. Carly's awful remarks to Robin about being HIV positive were the one way she thought she could hurt Robin the most - "Hey guess what Saint Robin,you could never give Jason the hot sex I could, and you could never give him the child he wants/deserves because you have a disease."

After Robin left, Carly also got in Elizabeth's face for being close to Jason; she just wasn't as horribly nasty. I still remember she was furious that Jason was hiding out with Elizabeth to recover from a gunshot wound, after Jason saw that Sonny and Carly had just had hate sex. Carly stopped Elizabeth on the docks and said something like "I already got rid of one angel."  Of course she decided that Robin walked away from Jason all because of her. 

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