Saturday, March 10, 2012

World War III: ‘General Hospital’ vs. ‘One Life to Live’ fans

Can’t we all just get along?

I think most people believe that if another world war occurs, it’s going to involve the Middle East.

I have news for you, it’s currently happening on daytime television message boards.

The two foes? ‘General Hospital’ and ‘One Life to Live’ fans.

In one corner, the reigning (and only ABC soap left standing) heavy weight champion is ‘General Hospital.’ GH fans are starting to get snippy about an influx of OLTL fans stealing air time and front burner status from their favorite GH actors. They seemed okay with it when it looked like just guest shots – but now two of the four visiting OLTL actors have been signed to long-term contracts (Roger Howarth and Kristen Alderson respectively).

In the other corner, we have the underdog OLTL fans who have been battered and bruised beyond recognition and are now clinging to any ray of hope that they can – a merger between OLTL and GH.
If you’re only a fan of one of the shows, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. I happen to be a fan of both the shows and I can see both sides.

Let’s look at the simple facts first; this is crunch time for GH. If a decision about the soap’s future hasn’t already been made, it will be soon. Katie Couric takes GH’s time slot in September. The one shot of saving the soap seems to be dislodging the underperforming ‘The Revolution’ – which usurped OLTL’s time slot a few months ago.

Katie Couric came out in the media recently to say she preferred GH as a lead-in to ‘The Revolution.’ Now, all of a sudden, fans are on the Couric bandwagon. If you ask me, she’s hedging her bets. I would wager she’s been getting hate mail and lambasted on the Internet by GH fans blaming her for the possible cancellation of their soap. She’s just trying to placate the masses. I’ll take it, though.

As a denizen of a bevy of daytime message boards, I’ve seen cause for concern the past two weeks or so – right about the time that Starr’s car rolled off an embankment and killed her boyfriend and toddler. The OLTL and GH fans are at each other’s throats. Fans of both seemed to be neutral – and trying to play peacekeeper between the two factions.

I get it. GH fans don’t want OLTL actors and stories coming onto the canvas and taking it over. They don’t have the same affection or love that OLTL fans have for them – and that’s fine. They don’t have to.

On the flip side, OLTL fans seem to be fanning the flames by trying to get even more of their favorite characters brought over. That might be a little premature. Any additions needed to be folded in seamlessly – they can’t just be wedged in.

It’s become clear that they’re trying to pair Starr and Michael – and it may work – but I don’t think it was necessary to kill off the grandchild of not one but two OLTL super couples like they did. Whatever, though, it’s over and done with.

Kassie DePaiva (Blair) has said she’s only been asked to do a few guest spots. So far, we don’t know her future. Since Blair and GH’s Carly, though, have a lot in common I’m not sure the writers think having both characters is necessary. Only time will tell on that front.

Roger Howarth will finish up his current guest spot and then leave the canvas for about two months before returning full time in May. Of all the OLTL characters, I think bringing his over makes the most sense. Todd is a character that will not cow tow to Sonny and Jason (like the rest of the GH canvas does) and it might make for some exciting drama.

The final OLTL piece is John “Mullet” McBain, pretty much my least favorite character in OLTL history. Right now, from all I’ve read, I think he’s slated to stick around town for six months or so (I really haven’t seen a definitive number anywhere) but I would bet GH will try to keep him full time. This will mark Michael Easton’s third ABC soap, and I’d bet my vintage ‘Millenium Falcon’ that they’re going to at least test the chemistry between him and Kelly Monaco.

I could do without McBain. I know Easton has a devoted following – and truth be told I like his writing – but as an actor he leaves a lot to be desired for me, but I digress.

I think the most important thing that both sides in this discussion need to embrace is balance. GH fans need to realize that the OLTL fans have helped boost ratings – and that’s necessary to save GH.

The OLTL fans need to realize that they can’t have all of Llanview move to Port Charles and take over. That’s not going to happen and trying to push that agenda is just going to alienate GH fans more and if GH fans flee their soap it will most definitely be cancelled – which will leave Llanview denizens homeless again.
Another thing OLTL fans need to realize is that they alone didn’t help boost GH’s ratings – the death of longtime fave Robin and the returns of Holly, Robert and Anna also contributed to the boost. Neither side did it on their own.

I think fans should take this as an opportunity to cut the dead weight from GH’s cast and make one streamlined soap. Fans of Port Charles know we can survive without Spinelli, Olivia, Steve, nuKate, tempMaxie, Matt, Ewen, Dolores, Shawn, T.J. and Maggie. If we cut this dead weight, it can only improve the overall performance of the show. It would also make room for a couple more GH vet returns to help balance the cast. 

I know that asking fans to forget their gripes and make up is out of the question. This is the Internet age and online trolls won’t ever let that happen.

What you can do is take a deep breath, look across the battle lines, and try to see things from the other side’s perspective. You may still not agree, but you might understand your enemy just a little bit more.

Either way, we should all learn how to get along. This is our last shot to save at least a hint of ABC daytime as we know it. We’re going to have to work together to do it.

What do you think? Can you handle a blended OLTL and GH?


Blogger jennilouwho4 said...

I would rather get rid of the mob and oltl peeps...focus on the vets & hospital, bring back the wsb too! I really love Shawn, Delores, Spinelli & Ewen! I have watched GH since I was a child in the 80's. Bring back the action & heart of the show. I want romance & do not like seeing the vets trashed.

March 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a fan of both GH & OLTL, I love the OLTL additions to the show. Michael needed a better love interest & Starr is perfect to fill that role: both are legacy characters of their respective shows and a lot of history & similarities will be colliding there. I love that they finally brought on a worthy adversary for Sonny in Todd Manning and I think they should do the same for Carly by signing KdP to a contract if it's not already done. Plus, that means GH would have one more supercouple worth watching in Todd & Blair. I agree though that we could have done without McBain & would rather have had Robert Scorpio taking over the PCPD but I understand that the business decision of bringing him over means the Caleb/Livvie fans will follow.

March 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM 
Blogger PoliticallyCole said...

I think having the Mannings as a foil family for the Corinthos was a stroke of genius. The shows have been doing "crossover" story lines successfully for decades now, and Starr and Todd bring a lot to the table, including the (OCCASIONAL) guest visit from their Llanview kin. Who wouldn't enjoy a Luke Spencer and Tina Lord romance story line? Two of the greatest schemers in all soap history combining forces (even temporarily) would be nothing short of amazing. I will grant you, Blair and Carly are basically the same role and bot are not needed on the same canvas. Bringing John McBain pretty much makes no sense without Natalie and Liam, so I don't see that lasting long unless they pair him with Kelly Monaco and have John and Jason go head to head at the same time Todd and Sonny go head to head (possibly over Carly?) I also am REALLY liking where they are headed with Kate Howard's DID story, and who better to tell it than someone who wrote the DID of all DID characters, Viki Lord? All in all, I think we may very well be creating a winning package here...

BTW-does anyone else think Starr and Spinelli might make a better couple?

March 12, 2012 at 6:23 PM 
Blogger devotedtoabcsoaps said...

I am a soap lover of AMC and OLTL and GH. Yes we lost our beloved soaps and GH has been dull for many years with the constant mob issues. I think that the cross over is great and that the new writers are breathing life back into a soap that probably would have been the next to go. We are fighting for all soaps not just the ones WE lost. We want all cancelled soaps and all soaps period on their own soap channel just like the sports. We will pay for this channel just like the pay for their sports channel. I understand GH fans distress but this article is right we have given a big ratings boost to GH and they should be thankful for that instead of bad mouthing it. The GH fans only will be the demise of their own soap, not the ones who support the whole genre!

March 12, 2012 at 6:50 PM 
Blogger ~Cyber~ said...

No, I haven't been able to handle it and all you have to do is look at the screen to figure out why....these actors/characters have GH twisted into a pretzel to accommodate them; history re-arranged; while my GH vets get the bum's rush in story sitting on the bench with a paper bag over their heads gasping for airtime regulated to supporting these three IMO. There are too many characters, and the writing style is hard to follow. I didn't watch OLTL so I don't care about Starr err I mean KiKI, Todd/Franco and/or Silas, John, Caleb, Stephen Clay or whatever...they are eating this show alive and frankly I don't like them and am quite sorry they came to "this" show I've watched for over 30 years. Anytime RogerHowarth had to be photo shopped out for Maurice Benard because of the uproar of GH because he was branding the 50th anniversary all over ABC GH website; pretty much says it all...this is the mindset of this new regime. I don't have to get along; I just stopped watching it.

June 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM 

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