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
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
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?