Too Much Mob?

In the 1990s the mob took over General Hospital with a lot of success. Seeking to cash in on the popularity of GH and other mob centered television shows, Guiding Light wrote what was supposed to be a short 6 week mob story. The popularity of Manny took everyone by surprise, story was quickly rewritten, Danny was given an extended family and Paul Anthony Stewart was signed to a long term contract. However, this did not happen without opposition on the part of some long term Guiding Light fans. They felt that the mob had no place in Springfield. Some fans who taped the show claimed to fast forward automatically any scene with a Santos in it. Some fans vocally opposed the move to add this new family and many feared that GL would follow GH to being all mob all the time.

Personally I never resorted to such tactics no matter how much I disliked what was going on. While I might ignore action that was on screen (for instance I great enjoyed looking at the photo of H.B. in the Jeva living room almost any time Cassie opened her mouth) or chose to focus more on whatever I was doing while watching TV more during certain scenes, I never believed in fastforwarding and I think those who do (like my mother who was an addict to the FF button) missed a lot. (My mom actually hated watching with me if she’d taped the show because I’d yell, “hey leave that on!” too much.) I especially think those who fastforwarded Manny missed a wonderful story and Springfield was never in any danger of being taken over by the mob. In fact, if anything I’d say the opposite it was true. The Manny story was kicked to the side and kept isolated which was truly one of the only flaws in an otherwise excellent story.

I think Manny angst was near perfection, but I do believe that the writers went back to the mob well too often. It seemed like some writer would suddenly say “Hey! I have an original idea, what if Danny is forced back into the mob AGAIN!” All the writers would cheer and other great storyline opportunities were ignored. Personally if it would have been me, I’d had Danny’s attempt at using Carmen turning state’s evidence to get out succeed. I’d given Danny running a legitimate SanCorp and set up Danny-Phillip battles on a more believable level than Alan-Josh. (I mean does anybody believe that Alan couldn’t take out Josh, really anybody?) On a personal front Danny and Michelle should have moved into the solid center of the show once held by Maureen and Ed. Between Danny and Michelle they had a solid connection to every single person on the canvas and should have been the crux all stories ran through dipping regularly to every other story on the show while also dealing with their own natural troubles which would naturally rise out of differences in background experiences. The Mission: Impossible storyline was pretty hokey in special effects execution, but gave a great example of how they could get in trouble and out again working together.

In “The Voice” episode of Seinfeld Jerry tells Elaine “Breaking up is like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push. You gotta rock it back and forth a few times, and then it goes over.” I’ve always thought that was a good description of Danny breaking up with the mob. I didn’t really mind the first few times he went back because getting out of the mob should be hard, but NOT impossible. Ultimately what happens is the plan Michelle first explains to Drew before she goes to the FBI to get deep enough inside to take the family down, but it’s not Michelle that can carry it out. Danny has to be the one that’s “knocking over a Coke machine.” Danny is the one deep enough in that he can destroy the family. But if he does it will destroy the world he grew up in and his mother and grandmother, who wants to do that no matter what the provocation? So Danny rocks back and forth and exhausts every other single possibility until he finally walks away for good when he realizes it truly is the only way to keep Michelle, Robbie and Hope safe. As I said I’d have walked Danny away earlier to end Manny isolation, but by the time Danny runs for office I think ANYONE would admit it was really going back to the well once too often. It makes no sense and only causes misery kicking off one of the worst Guiding Light stories (the deep, dark, best forgotten amnesia storyline) of all time. Danny had already knocked the machine over and broken it and that final time especially they expected him to go back again.

UPDATED June 13, 2015: Slightly updated for clarification. I also suggest you read this post, “Mob as Class Barrier” was the mob really the mob after all.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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4 Responses to “Too Much Mob?”

  1. Natnic Says:

    I thought of you immediately when the Bauer DVD was released!

    About the FF button- I was a fan of the FF button when I was watching GH and SB during the 1980’s. When I first became a GL fan I also used the FF button but I agree with you that its best to see the entire show. Even if storylines are unrelated, the show will have a certain tone and mood. I’m finding that to be true with the minor stories on the GL DVDs.

    • glmanny Says:

      I am still over the moon about the Bauer BBQ DVD. Yes, I think, esp during the good years, but even during bad ones, GL really was the story of a town & my just hitting highlights you really do lose the overall flavor. I even paid for express shipping on the DVD which I’m too cheap to do for anything, but SO can’t wait for this. ♥

    • glmanny Says:

      I really did look at HB’s photo while Cassie talked a lot. 😉

  2. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    Do you think there was Too Much Mob? on Guiding Light?

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