Two Weeks! Two Freaking Weeks?!

31Jul07

I had the beginnings of a post in my mind following Friday’s General Hospital “cliff-hanger”: the start of Jason’s trial.

Then I glanced at some spoilers which revealed some story substance, but both that and most of my initial thoughts about the trial were overwhelmed by the news that this trial is going to go on for at least two weeks! Two weeks! God.

How is that possible?

By my reckoning they have exactly three pieces of actual evidence, all circumstantial: (i) the tape recording and Lorenzo’s subsequent absence; (ii) Elizabeth’s testimony about the phone call; and (iii) Jason’s rumoured (so far as the court is concerned) life as a hitman, reinforced by shackled-front-of-police-station sharp shooting and a licensed arsenal* at home. Even in the real world that does not a two week trial make.

Before I saw the spoilers my initial take on this trial was that I felt all at sea. My feelings on soap court room proceedings are hardly a secret around here: entirely predictable and often unwatchable. Now, on its face Jason’s Trial (I’m sensing it needs title case), likely fits the first category but not necessarily the second.

Soap trials always have a desired outcome and always end up the opposite way. It’s a rule. If an evil-doer is on trial for something they will get off, if a good guy is on trial for something they’ll get convicted unless Robert Scorpio can manage to end a hostage situation and obtain a confession right in the last moments of the trial.

Half the time the lawyer on the side we’re not barracking for is a recurring player at best – the guy who played the slightly amusing officious DA on GH during the 90s comes to mind – who we know but have no respect for. The judge is always lopsided in the wrong direction.

These are the rules.

Which is why you can see I’d be torn about Jason’s Trial.

On the one hand it becomes more watchable than other soap trials because it’s Ric verses Diane, and that’s got to be fun. Plus the idea of Sam being on the stand has hilarity written all over it.

But the convention of wanting the trial to go one way and it going the other has to, inevitably, be thrown into the spin cycle.

We’re meant to be barracking for Jason because he’s the God of Port Charles. But he’s a professional hitman, we all know it, and while they left it 1% ambiguous in order to be able to have this trial at all and possibly bring back a super hot actor at a future date when having the one-two punch of Charmed and General Hospital on his resume turns out not to be a job magnet, we’re 99% certain that Jason committed the crime.

But if we’re meant to barracking for Jason, then the laws of soap trials say that the judge has to be hideously one-sided and unfair against him, and he has to get convicted. Which we all know is never going to happen in 15 million years. We’d all still be boggled by the fact they held an accused murderer in custody for several weeks if we didn’t know Steve Burton took a vacation in between all the pre-taping and Night Shift mopping.

So I found myself wondering how I was supposed to think about this whole trial exercise where everything would be kind of a backwards excuse for putting a one night stand that pretty much all but two citizens of the city (Lucky and Maxie, the person who would tell Lucky at the first opportunity) know about out into the “open” and letting Diane continue to rock and rule at the same time. I was torn. Do I hate the whole thing? Do I use it for laughs alone? Do I give into the inevitable and pour another glass of wine?

Until I found out that it’s going on for at least two weeks. Now I’m torn between thinking “wow, that’s kind of a realistic time frame for a murder trial” and just drinking straight from the wine bottle with a straw.

* * *

Now, all of the above was written before seeing a minute of the trial itself, other than Friday’s so-called cliff-hanger. Moving onto Monday’s episode itself, I rapidly realised that no matter how torn I am about the overall trial proposition, there’s no point twisting myself in knots over the stupidity of the trial proceeding itself, and if Monday is anything to go by, it’s just as stupid as every other soap trial.

I am forced to note though that having Ric, and then, worse, Diane, open with a blatant lie to the audience jury “This will not be a long trial” is just plain mean.

Plus, you know, sitting witnesses in the same room so they can claw each other’s eyes out or collude over testimony isn’t really good legal protocol there. Especially not when they then get to watch a CCTV feed direct from the court room and run into the suspect periodically. Morons. Reminds me of the time my cousin got called for jury duty and turned out to know the defendant. They waved cheerfully at each other and said hello as my cousin walked out of the court room having escaped jury duty in amusing fashion.

Diane also knows how to use the air quotes, with irony. Though I’m not entirely sure that attacking Sam on the stand when Sam had hardly been hostile was necessarily the best way to go, especially given what Diane knows.

I’m also wondering what a jury thinks of a closed court room where the only person in the gallery is the Mayor.

Trial stuff aside, I did like “How does Eli Love get along without a freaking watch!” delivered with just the right level of exasperation. I am also stunned and pleased to discover Noah and Bobbie having an actual conversation. I suppose it was too much to hope that they’d bring Anna into that conversation and acknowledge that Anna and Bobbie are good friends though.

I continue to like Kate calling Sonny on his crap, at least in the beginning. And Sonny is a disingenuous ass. Not that that’s a surprise.

Alexis was on fire though, pinging Carly with a left-right-left: “Somehow you putting yourself in the same sentence as moral support must be an oxymoron”, followed by “For God’s sake, why would you do that to the poor man, isn’t being on trial for murder punishment enough?” followed by “If it was me I’d make sure it was a closed court specifically for the purpose of keeping you out.”

Onto the important stuff, the clothes. Apparently it was Even More Ugly Than Usual Wardrobe Day around the ABC studios.

Elizabeth got stuck with the dreaded high-waisted skirt, paired with a top with unnecessary dangling bits:

Sam got a hairstyle that went better with Elizabeth’s pseudo-Victorian blouse than her own power safari dress:

I am concerned that Kate has been in Port Chuck too long. The cause of this concern, this pedestrian and unflattering suit:

Actually, perhaps Sonny has been in Port Chuck too long [insert your own joke here], because the occasional track suit aside, he’s usually a pretty snappy dresser. And yet, here he is wearing what appears to be a synthetic zip front pullover:

But then there’s Carly. From the front, slightly disco, but for Carly not entirely inappropriate court-wear…

…from the back, rather more problematic…

* I wrote most of this, including this word, before watching any of Monday’s episode. I’m now not sure whether to feel flattered or dirty or obvious that the writer’s used the same description.

Caps courtesy Clarissa.

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One Response to “Two Weeks! Two Freaking Weeks?!”

  1. Carly’s dress is like the superior court version of the mullet haircut: business in the front; party in the back.



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