Aug 14, 2007

GH: Night Shift - 1x04x05 - The Mime Who Raped Kelly

jase: I must not title my Night Shift entry "Flower Drum Vagina."
Darn: It's better than "Sucky Sucky Five Doctor"

It's The Mime Who Raped Sylvia on Little House on the Prairie! He's back for seconds and he wants Kelly! No, it's the Carver! The Showtime After Dark rape mime is clearly the cause of Kelly's rampant sex madness! Next I want someone to try to escape a hospital fire by using Stacy the HIV lady's baby as a battering ram on the window.

So this is a double entry for two, two, two mediocre episodes in one! And I am also sick and nauseous as I work these bitches, though I'm afraid I can't attribute that to NS. Let's see if I make it through without slitting my wrists. I join others for whom the honeymoon with General Hospital: Night Shift is now long...long over. It just plods along, without much happening of interest or lasting import - much like the Senate Judiciary Committee. Will they - oh my God - will they - will they bust someone? Will they call the Capitol police? Will they go for inherent contempt?! Oh, no...just another "strongly worded letter." Every now and again you get the sense that something might...might actually happen on NS that interests you, and the mix of characters and ideas appeals to you, and the setting should work, but they just...limp along and don't deliver. There's good ideas and sentiments that don't add up to anything because the foundation, the inspiration and production is almost wholly crap. The patients, I don't give a shit. Jason, no. Dr. Julian, no. Kelly's feverish rabid love tunnel, maybe. But that's about it. It's just a jumble of stuff thrown onscreen and no matter how cute I find Bradford Anderson, Spinelli is just more grating every week.

Take Stan's protest rally, for example. Very timely for NS to be pushing this story, in the wake of the recent release of Sicko. Health care issues, specifically universal health care, are on everybody's lips, and given the recurring characters of Sneed and Dr. Russell on GH it makes sense for them to go there. So of course we get "Keep The Change," in which the running undercurrent and theme is the issue of modern American health care. We see Stan picketing with the doctors and nurses, we see Patrick and Robin at odds with bottom-liners like Sneed and Russell over treatment, we see the moral lines blur for disciplinarian Epiphany. It's a noble idea to give this kind of social issue stuff major treatment within the confines of an hour daytime (quasi-daytime, anyway) drama. The problem is I can't think of people less qualified to write about this shit than Bob "Mobsters pwn 9/11 Firemen" Guza and Liz "Die Alexis Die Die Die A Gorilla Raped You & That's How You Got Kristina" Korte. It's just morally and intellectually dishonest for these motherfuckers to put on a big show of doing a running subplot about this shit when they don't give the hospital, the hospital-bound characters or any semblance of conventional human morality (which they theoretically are having Stan and Patrick espouse in this episode) any kind of fair airplay on mothership GH. Like, Stan fumes at his mother: "Or is happy another thing you didn't raise me to be?" And that's fair because yes, Epiphany is one serious cast-iron, joyless, hypocritical bitch. The problem is, Stan, you fucking work for the mob. Stan is happily part of a system that perpetuates crime and turmoil for the working class and for people just trying to make an honest dollar, and this is a fucking fact no matter what kind of bullshit Guza and Korte still peddle about Jason and Sonny and the organization on a daily basis (and I still remember Tammy and the other dock whores cooing about Sonny's manly protection keeping the streets clean). Stan's hands are as dirty and probably dirtier than the soulless corporate thinking that he is claiming to fight against, and he has no right to be the voice of the revolution on the show, nor does Guza have every right to put him there. Patrick and Robin, okay. Stan, fucking no. It reminds me of the classic Theo Huxtable Speech scene on The Cosby Show; Theo comes out with the big speech about why he can be a trucker or whatever and not go to college and Cliff should love him anyway, and the audience applauds because there is certainly some truth in that, until you reach the larger intellectual fallacy of his position and his approach to things, at which point, Cliff responds with, "That is the stupidest thing I ever heard!" And that's where I'm at with Stan: He is right, but he is also so fucking wrong. And fucking hacks who glorify the mob five days a week and compare them to first-responders have no right to tell me anything about American health care, no matter how much I may agree with the concepts they are trying to put up there onscreen. You want to talk about ZOMG SOSHL ISHOOZ, Bob? Try making someone pay for the deaths of Alan and Lorenzo Alcazar. I used to own a copy of Prom Night, you fucked-up mash-up of Truman Capote and Blade. I know your work.

"...We were in this bar in Saigon and this kid comes up, this kid carrying a shoe-shine box. And he says 'Shine, please, shine!' I said no. He kept askin', yeah, and Joey said 'Yeah.' And I went to get a couple of beers, and the box was wired, and he opened up the box, fucking blew his body all over the place. And he's laying there, he's fucking screaming. There's pieces of him all over me, this, and I'm tryin' to pull him off, you know, my friend that's all over me! I've got blood and everything and I'm tryin' to hold him together! I'm puttin'... the guy's fuckin' insides keep coming out! And nobody would help! Nobody would help! He's saying, sayin' 'I wanna go home! I wanna go home!' He keeps calling my name! 'I wanna go home, Johnny! I wanna drive my Chevy!' I said 'Why? I can't find your fuckin' legs! I can't find your legs!'"

Why is this motherfucker back?! He threatened her! He mugged her in the parking lot! Now he threatens her with a goddamn buck knife! What is it going to take for this psycho to get his ass kicked? What is it going to take for this shit to stop? And of course his authoritarian dogmatic homoerotic bullshit from the Corps is what breaks through to Lainey's demented dad, because Sergeant Chris Benoit here is the goddamn fucking Alzheimer's Whisperer. And because Lainey, poor uptight Lainey, is just too "by the book" and prim and proper to "loosen up" and
really communicate with Penishead. Why does almost every single woman on a Bob Guza show have to be like this?! Any strong woman is always "uptight." "Bitchy." "Out of touch with her emotions." "Unable to just let go." And so the forceful men can always put the little women playing men's games in their proper place - on their backs, getting shafted - and it's just the same story over. and over. AND OVER. Even when the man is obviously a psycho, like fucking Cody. Come on. We can't seriously be asked to buy this guy as a big softy deep down. We just can't. Stop it. Stop it. BTW, it bears mentioning for anyone lost that the monologue below the pic is from First Blood.

"My doctors tell me I may never bowl competitively again." Ha! Sneed is largely a two-dimensional caricature but that was a great line and the actress is great. The question now is, who is the Medcam spy: Her, Russell, or Leyla? Leyla has already been shown to be too obvious, but maybe that's the whole point. I am frankly voting Sneed herself at this point, the one who protests the most about Medcam. Gotta show another "uptight professional woman" her place! I do find this whole HMO feud/mystery a compelling story concept. The problem, again, is the characters are either shitty or shittily-written.

Bob Guza: Wry Mark Twain-esque humorist.

There's all sorts of other random bullshit in these two episodes, and that includes this fucking clown. Which, BTW, NOT NECESSARY. I see Night Shift has learned the invaluable lesson of almost every modern medical soap on television today, and that is: Always make sure every single patient in the hospital has an incredibly embarrassing sexual, behavioral or personal hygiene problem that will lead to constant broad sophomoric comedy. The nebbish "sleepwalking" horndog. The lady demanding a tit check. The clown with the brain tumor that makes him go HAHAHAHA! Etc. Just lay the "comedy" on thick with a trowel, that's fine. No need for nuance - go broad and "naughty" on everything. The "serious" stories are pretty fucking lacking too. Take the non-story of the coma teen whose father, played by a man who is clearly not Nicholas Coster despite a fine attempt, has a strained relationship with his rebellious son. As we already knew from previous weeks, this teen has brain damage and may awaken with his personality irreversibly altered. ZOMG IT MIRRORS JASON'S LIFE! And of course, with no preamble, the teen awakens just fine and bada-bing, totally different. And the dad is happy. And that's it. That's all. You know, it's been a long time but I am pretty sure the original Jason Morgan story had a lot fucking more to it than that. But never spend time on what you can just stick a neon sign on and then speed down the assembly line, that's Guza's motto and that's what they did with that non-story of Coma Teen, who I am pretty sure was recast from the last time we saw him with a totally different-looking guy. Then there's Leyla and her Iranian heritage - again, speed it down the line, just another beat so NS can say it ticked a storytelling box; it's just there so Leyla can make doe eyes at Patrick and then provide two seconds of angst for Patrick. No need to actually develop Leyla's character or any other when these helpful bullet points (Iranian; ostracized; accent) can compose a character for you!

Also, Toussaint and the Saints. Ha ha. Here I was seriously expecting Toussaint to have turned out to have been some old-school black businessman and fallen power magnate. But no - just a goddamn singer. And clearly there is some old relationship with Epiphany, because no two middle-aged black characters on any show can exist separately from each other. I half-expect them to throw Dr. Russell into the mix. Just a waste of people's talent, and of what could've been much more compelling possibilities for Lando Calrissian. For fuck's sake, people: He was administrator of this facility!

Poor Lindze Letherman. Allegedly having to go to the producers crying and asking what she did wrong to not have story. She is such a good little actress and they threw her under the bus just like they do every promising young actor they chew up and burn through and then get distracted from by the latest hot thing, who they will then promptly chew up and toss as well. She deserves better. I do kind of like her with Spinelli, even if he is a fucking idiot who should just get down on his knees and service Jason already, and...uh...let's move on from this topic. Lindze Letherman, if I had any money, I mean any, at all, in this universe, I would buy you a cupcake. I would. Because you deserve several. Even if not being the girl who gets it doggy-style while lying in a tub full of infected needles on top of the corpse of a diseased homeless person makes you "boring." Maybe you could send me money, and then I could buy you several cupcakes, of differing flavors.

Rough shit people. Sometimes I hate my (non-paying) job. Can you wait for another gripping episode of Night Shift in which wacky humiliating diseases make for wild hilarity and uppity professional women are made to "lighten up" through a pervasive, unrelenting atmosphere of juvenile sexuality? I know I fucking can't!

Lamest goddamn dancing I ever seen.

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