Saturday, October 5, 2013

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Can't we all just get along? Or at least pretend to?

Soaps are entertainment. Pure and simple.

Take General Hospital, for example. This is a soap that had super villains try to freeze the world, introduced an alien, had pickled relish save a family fortune and has resurrected more people than a zombie farm.

In other words, it’s escapism – not reality.

I can see wanting genuine emotions to be rooted in some sort of real place – but I cannot see freaking out because someone said something about your favorite soap character on a message board.

To say that the Internet has changed the entertainment business – in this case, soaps specifically – would be an understatement.

When I fell in love with soap operas I remember watching them with my cousins, gossiping about how much we loved Megan and Tina on One Life to Live and how much we wanted Dorian to get hers, and then we happily went about our day.

Now everything about soaps is taken far too seriously – including interactions on a message board.
I can’t don’t know when the phenomenon first started – but I do know when I first noticed it. It happened to coincide on two different message boards.

The first time I saw it was when John and Evangeline fans and John and Natalie fans started going at
each other with the intent to maim on One Life to Live boards. I remembered being floored by the animosity. Since I didn’t care about either couple, though, I usually just made fun of Michael Easton’s mullet and went on my way.

Pretty quickly after that, though, I was introduced to the Jasam and Liason wars on the General Hospital board. The vitriol the two fanbases tossed around at each other was amazing – and freaky. Again, I didn’t like either couple, so I was reduced to making Borg Jason jokes and wondering why he was actually considered a prize.

It’s harder for me to ignore the most recent war brewing on the General Hospital boards  – mostly because I have a horse in the race.

This new fight, though, seems to be more of a triangle fight than anything else.

In one corner, you have Sabrina fans moaning and complaining that the angel of Port Charles is somehow getting a raw deal. That the writers planned to decimate her from the beginning and they’re being personally targeted by the writers.

In another corner you have Britt fans. Most of these fans are avowed Sabrina haters. They were actually turned off by the Sabrina propping and they didn’t like how Britt was painted with a black hat to Sabrina’s white angel wings.

In the third corner, the one I currently reside in, you have Robin fans. We want the character we’ve been watching for 20 years to get her happily ever after – and we’re not ashamed to admit it.

Now, you can have variations on the fanbases. For example, I love Robin, I hate Sabrina and I’m mostly indifferent to Britt (although I think she has potential). However, the fanbases are starting to dig their heels in (and in weird ways).

One example? Britt fans turning on Anna for an offhand comment she made to Duke about karma. My take on that situation? Anna wasn’t saying it was karma that a baby got kidnapped. She was saying it was karma because the baby got kidnapped by Britt’s mother – a fugitive Britt has been protecting even though she’s evil.

Funnily enough, Britt got a lot of her fans from Sabrina haters. They hated that Sabrina got the victim whitewash. Now Britt is getting it, though, and her fans aren’t crying foul.

Sabrina fans are freaking out because they know that Patrick and Robin will reunite soon. I know
how hard it is to lose a favorite pairing on a soap – but some of the stuff I’ve been reading is really out there. Like it or not, Patrick and Robin are a legacy pairing on the soap. They had years together. I can’t imagine a scenario where Patrick picks Sabrina over Robin that doesn’t involve a lobotomy on his part. Some Sabrina fans (not all – heck, maybe just a vocal minority) have taken to attacking Kimberly McCullough (some in really vulgar ways). I don’t think that’s necessary. Robin and Sabrina are characters. McCulloug is a real person.

So, what am I saying?

I’m saying I love talking about soaps on message boards – but I don’t like being told I should have something horrible happen to me because I don’t like Sabrina (that’s happened twice).

We love soaps. We feel passionate about soaps. Let’s not turn into little monsters, though, because we happen to have our favorite characters and everything is not going their way. Soaps are about angst, anguish and true love – so let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride.

That’s all I’m looking for.


Blogger krazyrabbit said...

Soaps are fun, frustrating, exciting, sexy, silly and ground breaking. Anyone who attacks an actor/actress or another fan due to storyline unhappiness needs a reality check. Yes, I was crushed when Robert ended up with Holly and not Anna back in the day, but I didn't send Emma Samms hate mail or go ballistic on any fan who was fan of the couple.

It seems that the extreme fannish craziness seems to have really taken off when the blended character names started - Jasam, Team Edward, so forth. I like to discuss the stories, character development and dish on the cliff hangers. The anger and hostility that seems to dominate a lot of the soap sites amazes me, I'm not interested in reading it. Lets watch soaps for fun, entertainment and the OMG moments!

October 12, 2013 at 7:59 PM 

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