Saturday, September 22, 2012

Port Charles without Jason Morgan? Good.

I think ‘General Hospital’ is going to be better without Jason Morgan.

I know a lot of people disagree with me – but hear me out.

Now, before I begin, I want to stress I’m talking about Jason Morgan and not his portrayer Steve Burton. For his part, from everything I’ve seen (and one media event with him and Maurice Benard and Anthony Geary more than a decade ago), Burton is a stand-up guy. He’s funny and personable.

I’m just sick of Jason Morgan.

You can actually track the ratings decline on GH to the time period when Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan became the two leading men.

In the 1990s, GH was a balanced soap that had hospital stories, adventure stories, social issue stories and, well, the wacky Quartermaines. Sure, the mob was still prominent in the mid-1990s. It just wasn’t the be all and end all of every storyline on the soap.

When Sonny and Jason took over – the Carly character is just as culpable, I should point out – everyone else fell by the wayside.

The Quartermaines have been decimated in the past 10 years, with Emily, Alan, Justus, A.J. (more on him below) and Lila being killed off (yes, I know Anna Lee died in real life) and Ned and Dillon being shoved out of town. Edward will be dying in upcoming weeks as well – thanks to John Ingle’s unfortunate passing (may he rest in peace).

Technically, Jason Morgan is a Quartermaine. He just rarely interacts with them. He had a hand – whether deliberate or inadvertent – in the deaths of Emily, Alan, Justus and A.J. and he was also responsible for keeping one Quartermaine heir from them until it was too late and stealing another.

Jason Morgan is just not a character I could invest in.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. When Jason Quartermaine had his accident and turned into Jason Morgan – I was invested in the story. It was well done and poignant. Nice guy Jason Quartermaine was gone and rage monster Jason Morgan was in his place.

Then, later, when Jason Morgan fell in love with Robin Scorpio, I was still invested.

So when did I stop caring about Jason?

It happened little by little through the years. It doesn’t even have anything to do with his love interests – Courtney, Liz and Sam – even though I felt he fell flat with all three of them. For me, the character just lost all traces of emotion and rooting value and turned into a vacant Borg.

With Steve Burton leaving the show for greener pastures, GH has the chance (and a lot of freed up money) to make some vast improvements.

They’ve already announced that Sean Kanan is coming back as wayward brother A.J. Quartermaine (I’m sure his resurrection will be miraculous). That’s a good first step in fixing the Quartermaines. You still need to add Alan and Emily to the "must have" list, as well. Actually, while you’re at it, Ned would be a nice addition, too. I could totally get behind a Ned, Alexis and Shawn triangle.

The biggest thing GH needs to do, though, is bring back Genie Francis.

There has never been a better time for Laura to return. You could put her in a triangle with Duke, Anna and Luke. She could be there through daughter Lulu’s pregnancy. She would be a great sounding board for Anna. Nikolas could return to town as well (if Emily and Laura are there, he needs to be).

If Burton’s expansive contract money isn’t enough to afford all these actors, you can oust the deadweight that is Spinelli, Olivia and Steve to balance things out.

The current writing regime at GH has made impressive strides – but there are still gaps. Former head writer Bob Guza did some terrible injustices to GH. This is an opportunity to fix a lot of them.

What do you think? Is Steve Burton’s exit a good thing or a bad thing?


Blogger Shawnie said...

Steve Burton's exit is a great thing but I was hoping you would mention JJ's Lucky returning. Maybe during his off season from Nashville? Any Lucky in my opinion is better than no Lucky at all especially after the way Garin Wolf wrote the character into the ground.

October 2, 2012 at 10:32 PM 

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