Sunday, July 29, 2012

What was old is new again . . . at least on GH

The writing on ‘General Hospital’ has gotten markedly better over the course of the past few months.

I just wanted to get that out of the way. I’m not a Ron Carlivati hater. In fact, I’m a big fan.

I do have a problem, though.

What is it? I’m glad you asked. It’s the retread of ‘One Life to Live’ stories.

Now, for years I thought OLTL was better written than GH. Sure, OLTL had a few clunker storylines, but it also had balance and wasn’t regaling murderers as heroes. Their murderer/rapist acknowledged his bad behavior.

What’s interesting, though, is that some of OLTL’s more high profile stories in recent years have started to take center stage on GH – and it’s not OLTL’s better stories.

The first was the worst.

Yes, I’m talking about Kate’s multiple personality storyline.

When OLTL first did a DID storyline, it was actually fresh and new. It was crazy, sure, but Erika Slezak is a great performer and she seemed to be having a ball with the storyline as her staid Viki morphed into the crazy Niki.

Through the years, OLTL dusted off the storyline time and again. Each time they did it got more and more ridiculous.

When OLTL decided to give Viki’s daughter Jessica DID a lot of fans groaned. I was actually torn on the story. It did usher out the vapid Antonio – which was a plus. It also introduced the flat Nash. I guess everything is a trade-off.

After the first DID story with Jessica, the writers started trotting it out every two years. It got old pretty quickly.

And Kate’s DID storyline on GH? It got old even quicker. I think we should have a soap opera mandate: No more DID storylines. Let them go.

Still, if the DID storyline was the worst thing to hit GH I could live with it.
The second storyline that caught my attention was the baby switch storyline. Now, I’m not saying that baby switches aren’t a staple in soaps – because they are. It’s not a OLTL thing.

However, usually baby switches involve swapping out two live infants. Swapping out one dead infant for a live one seems to be a more recent thing.

In this case, we were supposed to believe that Tea’s full-term baby died and was switched out with Sam’s healthy premature baby.

Hmm, where I have I seen that before?

Oh, yeah, Jessica’s alternate personality Bess switched out Jessica’s dead infant Chloe with Starr’s live infant Hope – and it was months and months before that little gem was rectified.

The way Sam’s baby storyline is going, I’m guessing she’s not going to get her baby back until the next sweeps period – in November.

Still, complaining about two retread stories in the same year might seem a little petty. I was willing to let it slide until . . .

This week Robin returned to the canvas to kick off (what I’m assuming at least) is another Cassadine story. She “died” several months ago.

First Robin’s “spirit” appeared to her grieving husband and asked him to “save her.”

Where have I seen that before? Oh, that’s right, when Gigi died in the waning months of OLTL. Only, Gigi didn’t really die (like Robin).

Then, the people keeping Robin (nice reveal on Ewen, by the way) decided that they had to keep her quiet – so they gave her electro shock therapy. Yeah, nice, I know.

The problem is, that happened a few years ago to Jessica on OLTL (I know, that poor girl never got a moment’s happiness). Jessica, for those that don’t remember, was given ECT by her father because he wanted to have sex with her.

For her part, Jessica reverted to being a teenager and started chasing her high school boyfriend all through town.

If GH is going to do that with Robin there’s going to be a problem. Robin’s high school boyfriend succumbed to AIDS years ago – and if she starts chasing Jason I may throw up.

I know there’s really no “new” ground on soaps – but we don’t have to have exact replicas of former storylines either.

Carlivati still has my respect and admiration – but if he dusts off anymore OLTL storylines that love might be disappearing pretty quick.

What do you think? Are you sick of the OLTL storylines making their way onto the GH canvas?


Blogger Scotia said...

It's not like the OLTL stories were original to begin with. That's all stuff I've read/watched before in other genres, etc. If you're going to take a firm stand that GH is using retreaded storylines from OLTL, at least admit that OLTL was using retreaded storylines from other fiction sources.

August 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM 

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