Thursday, December 27, 2012

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Year in Review



This year, ‘General Hospital’ took a creative step forward – by getting rid of a lot of the debris that had been encumbering it for several years.

This was the best all-around year for GH in I can’t remember how long.

Not only did we get a bevy of beloved vets back, but we also got an infusion of strong characters from Llanview and a cut in the airtime of certain longtime Port Charles players who have essentially ruined the show over the past decade.

Saying that this year in Port Charles was perfect, would be a lie. Still it was much better than anything that the sudser has put to screen since the mid-1990s.

So, without further ado, 2012’s best and worst of GH:

Best Storyline – Robin’s death: Kimberly McCullough has been with GH for years – since she (and I, frankly) were small children. Fans have grown up with her. Fans have loved alongside her. And, this year, they mourned her untimely passing. Viewers know that Robin isn’t really dead. That didn’t make her onscreen demise any less heartbreaking for fans off-screen – and her loved ones onscreen. Robin’s death has allowed Jason Thompson (Patrick) to do some of his best work ever. Robin’s “death” reverberates today. Just last week, in fact, her father found her alive and then was injected with a toxin and put into a coma. Now resident bad boy Jerry Jacks has her and fans are still clamoring for her return. If GH plays this right, Robin's return could be next year's best story.

Best Storyline (runner-up) – A.J. returns: For years, the beloved Quartermaine family was decimated by death after death (after death, after death, after death). This year, the rejuvenation began with the return of black sheep A.J. Quartermaine. A.J. was still smarmy, snarky and untrustworthy. He was still suffering from a persecution complex that was bigger than his hair gel issues. His return fired up his mother, his aunt, his son and his mortal enemies, though. Here’s hoping A.J. is just the first in a long line of returning Quartermaines – including Ned, Alan and Emily. Bring on the bickering.

Worst Storyline – Kate’s DID: Multiple personality storylines are always a risk. ‘One Life to Live’ managed to pull it off (countless times) thanks to the talent of Erika Slezak. The soap started overdoing things when Bree Williams’ Jessica had the disease. Quite frankly, you can only go to that well so many times – and OLTL did it about five too many times. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea to do a DID storyline on GH. It wasn’t, though. First off, to make a DID storyline work, the character afflicted has to be beloved. Kate is not beloved. Second off, DID storylines are tricky. Williams and Slezak are powerhouse actresses. Kelly Sullivan is not. Sure, it looks like she’s having a ball as Connie. Her Kate isn’t root-worthy, though, so ultimately the whole story fails. The fact that the beloved Johnny Zacchara is being sacrificed on the altar of this storyline just makes things that much worse

Best reason to start drinking – Olivia’s visions: This is another misstep by the writers this year. Olivia’s visions were hard enough to swallow when they were about Heather and Faison. When she started dreaming of Maxie giving birth to a puppy, though, things went from mildly irritating to rabidly chafing.

Best Actor – Jason Thompson: We always knew he was a solid actor, but watching Thompson’s masterful performance as a man who has lost his wife was truly something to behold over the past nine months. Not only was Thompson able to convey Patrick’s heartbreak at losing Robin – but also his confusion when it came time to raise his daughter, and his reluctance to even attempt to move on. Even months later, Patrick is still struggling to keep his head above water – and Thompson never lets fans forget where Patrick’s heart really belongs and what it will take to make him whole again.

Best Actress – Jane Eliot: Tracy Quartermaine is a hard character to love a lot of the time. Still, in Eliot’s capable hands, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when Tracy Quartermaine said goodbye to her beloved father. Eliot was mesmerizing as a grown woman that couldn’t grasp the loss of her “daddy.”

Mommy Dearest Award – Kate: Sure, Kate was traumatized by being raped and giving birth, but that still doesn’t make up for her leaving a newborn in a drawer in a dresser. I don’t care if it was Connie or Kate who abandoned the kid, that’s not the way to make fans warm up to a character.

Best Death – Edward: In what could have been the best send-off of a beloved character ever, Port Charles bid adieu to Edward Quartermaine this fall. John Ingle, Edward’s portrayer, passed away in the summer. His final scenes were of Edward giving the lone dose of a cure to young Emma Drake Scorpio – rather than saving himself. When it came time to write Edward off, GH went all out – even bringing back Ned and Skye for Edward’s funeral. The best moment of the episode came when you saw Edward and Lila (body doubles, of course) ride off into the great unknown together.

Worst Death – Jason: The best thing to ever happen to GH was getting rid of Jason Morgan. However, the show did it in a really sloppy way. I’m not talking about the death itself, of course. Jason Morgan getting shot and kicked into the water on the docks was a fitting end to a rampant thug. However, the aftermath has left a lot to be desired. Sonny, Carly, Michael and Monica mourned him for exactly five minutes before moving on. Wife Sam has lived in denial for the past few months. Now that Steve Burton has signed on with another soap, let’s put Jason to rest and let Sam move on with a worthy love interest. Jason Quartermaine was not a hero. Let's bury him and move on.

Best Couple – Lulu and Dante: There actually wasn’t a lot of choice in this area. I mean, practically no choice. Think about it. How many couples are actually on this show? It's not a pretty number. Still, Lulu and Dante are one of the few couples the show can boast -- and respectfully at that. The sometimes tortured couple have a lot of love for each other, a lot of patience, a lot of loyalty  and they’re always there for each other. Plus, the two ooze chemistry.

Worst Couple – Jason and Sam: I like strong heroines. I can’t help it. Sam is supposed to be a strong heroine. However, when she’s paired with Jason she becomes a walking doormat. Sam was “raped,” and yet her husband was the one that moped. Sam lost her baby, and yet Jason was the one who really felt the pain. Sam is a much better character when she is free of Jason. Let’s hope she gets to show that again soon.

Best Return – Anna Devane: There were a lot of returns this year. Anna was only one of them. Like I said above, though, I like strong heroines (and Anna is one of my all-time favorites). Anna managed to come to town and take over an inept police department. She immediately warned Jason that his antics would no longer be tolerated (I wanted to stand and cheer). She embarked on a mature love story with Luke. Oh, and she banters with the best of them when she’s in a room with her beloved Robert. Anna commands respect -- and  I love a heroine like that.

Worst Return – Helena Cassidine: In some really brief scenes, Robert and Helena faced off about Faison’s identity. They were fun and full of history. They were over in a few minutes, though, and we haven’t had a glimpse of Helena again. She’s too good of a character to waste, GH. Give her a real story.

Best One Life to Live import -- Todd: I was on the fence when I heard which OLTL characters would be migrating to GH. Months into the experiment, though, I have to say they picked the right ones. All three of the imports have established a strong chemistry with their GH counterparts. Todd, however, has instilled a sense of comedy and charm to the show that it was severely lacking. Unlike Sonny and Jason, Todd is a villain that owns the crap he does. He's not portrayed as a saint or an angel despite the bad things he does. Todd is a walking one-liner -- and no one does comedy better than Roger Howarth.

Best Villain – Jerry Jacks: Jerry is often portrayed as an inept cartoon. Still, the water toxin story was gripping in a lot of respects. Jerry is always out for number one – and it made sense that he would try and protect Alexis and Josslyn. In a surprise that even I didn’t see coming, it appears Jerry is now in charge of our beloved Robin’s fate. I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeves next.

Worst Hero – Jason: GH’s biggest problem over the years was elevating two thugs to hero status and pretending we were supposed to revere criminals as heroes. Half of that equation was solved this year when Saint Jason of the Docks met his maker. Here’s hoping that the Godfather of Thrown Glass will follow him down that road sooner – rather than later.

Who Cares Award -- Sabrina and Britt: I cannot fathom why I'm supposed to like either of these characters. The writers have went out of their way to make Sabrina pathetic. They have went out of their way to make Britt a bully and unlikeable. Guess what? I can't stand either of them. Propping one as a helpless sap and the other as a heartless harlot doesn't make me like either of them. Get them on the first train out of Port Charles -- and let Jerry blow it up if the mood strikes.


Best reveal -- Duke is Faison: Everyone knew there was something "not quite right" about Duke when he returned. He wasn't the dashing lothario we all remembered. We all started to suspect that Duke was really someone else. The question was who. While no one was surprised that Duke turned out to be Faison, I think fans were tickled with the hilariously eighties reveal of Faison pulling off a latex mask to a dumfounded Robin and revealing his plan. Kudos for finding the fun, GH. There were a lot of holes in the story, but it was so fun most fans didn't really care.

What do you think? What did GH do right this year? What did they do wrong?

2 Comments:

Blogger Unbelievable said...

You should add Elizabeth, most wasted character. They've used her only to prop up Saint Jason and assist in a boring story about the aforementioned pointless Britt and Sabrina. It's about time that she gets a story of her own.

December 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM 
Blogger Kristin G said...

Agree on Elizabeth. She needs a story, pronto. Sabrina is okay. She would be better out of Patrick's storyline. She seems too childish for him. Britt would make a good villain if there were a reason for her to act the way she does. Best new character for me is Ellie. I kind of like her a lot but wish she had a better love interest than Spinelli. I like him but together they can be hard to listen to.

December 31, 2012 at 12:53 PM 

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