Saturday, September 21, 2013

GENERAL HOSPITAL: More to love than hate in Port Charles right now

No one is ever going to like everything on their soap.

That’s a simple truth.

People can hold up the 1990s as the best era artistically for ‘General Hospital’ – but that doesn’t mean I liked every story and every character from that decade.

The truth is, ‘General Hospital’ has seen an increase in ratings lately.

There are a lot of different reasons for the increase – but there’s no one thing that should be taking credit for the jump. Instead, it’s a number of things.

First off, GH is still riding high after the 50th anniversary this summer. There are a lot of vets on the canvas right now. Sure, they’re not on every day, but they are on regularly. Old time fans want to see Mac, Felicia, Lucy, Kevin, Laura, Scotty, Luke, Anna, Duke and Tracy. The key is fitting them into umbrella storylines.

For example, Anna and Duke easily fit into the Jerome crime saga that is unfolding on the canvas right now. Luke, Anna, Duke, Mac, Felicia and (the rumor is) Robert are going to play heavily in the return of Robin next month.

Mac, Felicia, Luke and Laura will have key parts to play in the reveal of baby Connie.

And it sounds like Lucy’s kid will come to Port Charles to join in with the young adult fray in the next couple of weeks.

GH also brought on high profile – and beloved – vets from other soaps. Whether you like Ava Jerome
or Silas Clay, Maura West and Michael Easton have big fan contingents. They are bringing in viewers. The same goes for Roger Howarth, who has been saddled with one of the worst characters in history. His fans will still watch him, though.

Finally, GH has struck a balance with airtime. The reason ratings plummeted so drastically over the past 15 years is that Bob Guza pimped Sonny, Jason and Carly like they were the only three characters on the soap. He decimated the Quartermaines during that time, and made many of the other characters props for the mob.

Fans turned out in droves because of that.

So, GH is seeing an upswing in viewers – and all I see on message boards is complaining.

“I hate Kiki.”
“I hate Olivia.”

“I don’t Robin to come back because Sabrina might cry.”

We should be embracing the fact that GH is doing so well right now guys. I’m sure ‘One Life to Live’ fans would love to be in our shoes – fighting over Sabrina and Robin – instead of coming to the slow realization that they’ll probably never see their Llanview faves again.

The reason we love soaps is because they’re a mixture of things to love and hate.

I loved when Emma verbally kicked Sabrina in the face this week.

I hated Olivia shrieking like a banshee.

I loved Anna and Duke working together to solve a problem.

I hated Sonny’s sudden descent into madness that arrived in the form of propping Michael to high heaven.

I loved Sam and Silas’ flirtation.

I hated Lulu and Dante suddenly turning into unfeeling monsters.

You know what’s important to take out of all of that? I love GH – and I want it to survive. I’m happy it is getting higher ratings. I am biting my fingernails in anticipation of the Robin return. And, for the first time in years, I’m not worried about the imminent cancellation of a show I’ve loved since I was a child.

That’s a win for me.

What do you think?


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