Whenever you watch a soap – no matter the time period – the best
you can say is that they’re a mixed bag.
Fans are never going to like every single thing about a
Watching General Hospital is fairly frustrating for me right
now. I usually love three days a week and hate two days a week. Ironically, at
least right now, I’m generally loving Mondays and Fridays (and one other day,
either Tuesday or Thursday, depending on the week) and hating the other two
days of the week.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like GH is
pairing all their good stories together on the same day and then pairing their
bad stories together on other days.
Is that perception?
You betcha. It still doesn’t mean that I didn’t watch the
entirety of this past Wednesday’s show in less than seven minutes.
So, what’s working?
1. Robin’s return: Super villains unite! Robin’s return has
been a barrel full of fun since we caught
sight of her several weeks ago. It’s
an umbrella story so, of course, they’re dragging out Robin’s reveal to her
husband and daughter. We’ve seen Robin spar with Jerry, go toe-to-toe with
Olbrecht and have a happy reunion with longtime pal Nikolas. The Robin story
has reunited Robert and Anna in their snarky goodness, introduced us to the
most dysfunctional couple ever in Faison and Olbrecht and ratcheted up the
emotion by having Faison tell Robin he shot her beloved Jason in the back and
dumped him in the harbor. Robin is getting dressed up this Halloween – and we
know little Emma is going to see her mom – but all soap fans know that the
reunion that everyone is waiting for won’t happen until November sweeps. Still,
I’m having a ball with the journey.
2. Robert and Anna: Not only are Robert and Anna sparring in
a locked room together – casting about so many sparks that I’m worried those
sheets are going to catch on fire – but they’re also drawing the duo into not
one but two different umbrella stories. Not only are Robert and Anna working
together to find their daughter – while fighting the attraction for each other
that still emanates from both of them – but they’re also both involved in the
Julian Jerome storyline. Making Robert the one that put Derek Wells in the
witness protection program was pure genius. Robert needs to stay on the GH
canvas permanently. He fits into just about every story. Tristan Rogers and
Finola Hughes feed off each other. Their energy is palpable.
3. Nikolas and Britt: Frankly, I’m relieved. I was so
worried they were going to try and force
Nikolas and Liz back together (a
pairing that makes me want to throw up a little bit) that I was actually hoping
Nikolas would pick up and leave town again. Nikolas and Britt have combustible
chemistry, and I am enjoying the dysfunction junction family setting they’ve
got going on right now. If anyone can understand Britt’s crazy past – growing
up with crazy parents – it’s the prince of Spoon Island. That being said,
Nikolas and Britt have a hard road ahead of them. I happen to believe that
Britt knowingly stole Dante and Lulu’s embryo and implanted it in herself and
that Ben is their child. When Nik finds out that Britt essentially kidnapped
his nephew, he’s not going to be happy. I don’t think it’s too much for the duo
to overcome, though. Britt still has some work to do on her redemption. I think
hitting bottom – when she has to give up the baby – and then building the
character back up from there is the way to go.
4. Sam and Silas: A lot of the couplings on this show –
especially in recent years – have been
rushed. It’s no secret that, when Kelly
Monaco first came to GH, I was excited. Unfortunately, the character of Sam
fell flat for me. Then, when they paired her with Jason, the character of Sam
bottomed-out for me. I saw nothing to root for in a woman that acted like a
walking doormat for a man one second and then an extra appendage for the same
man the next. While she was with Jason, Sam never became a full person. What a
difference a year makes. Sam now is a protective mama bear and her slow-burn
romance with Silas is fun to watch for a bevy of reasons, including the fact
that Sam doesn’t look like she’s depressed anymore. In fact, she looks happier
than I remember seeing her in years.
5. Surprising friendships: What GH was lacking (for years)
were believable friendships. Viewers want to be able to watch people be
friends. For example, I invested in Robin and Brenda as best
invested in Brenda and Lois. I invested in Liz and Emily. I invested in Lucky
and Nikolas. When was the last time GH had realistic friend pairings? In the
past few weeks, we’ve seen the unlikely grieving spouses Sam and Patrick have a
refreshing conversation that shows they’re bonded over shared hurt. We’ve seen
Felicia and Anna having discussions. My personal favorite was watching Carly
and Alexis have a conversation that was actually helpful to them both. While I
don’t like Sabrina, her friendship with gossipy Felix is believable. Every
relationship on the canvas doesn’t have to be romantic – and GH is proving they
finally realize that.
What’s not working?
1. Baby mama drama: A baby switch storyline – which the
failed surrogate storyline is essentially masquerading as – only works if you
have two sides that are both sympathetic. Here, I don’t find
either side particularly
sympathetic. First off, Maxie may have went into this surrogacy with the best
of intentions, but what she’s doing to Dante and Lulu now is just mean. Second,
Lulu has turned into such a shrill little banshee that I can barely watch her.
I am not blaming Emme Rylan. I think she is a fine actress. She is not,
however, the Lulu I have grown to love over the years. I think the fact that
Rylan was miscast, though, is only one of the problems with this story. I think
it’s fairly obvious that Maxie and Spinelli will get their baby Georgie and
Lulu and Dante will (eventually) get their son Lucas (I’m just guessing on the
name). However, I don’t care who ends up with either baby because I find both
sides ludicrously unwatchable right now.
2. Patrick and Sabrina: There’s no real drama in the “who
will Patrick choose” game because Sabrina isn’t really a consideration. Patrick
is sitting around pining over his dead wife on a daily basis – and yet Sabrina
seems to think it’s perfectly fine to accept a marriage proposal from him.
Sabrina’s point-of-view, in the past week her boyfriend has told her he heard
his dead wife’s voice on the phone, he’s had trouble taking off his wedding
ring and she’s walked in on him looking at the tickets he bought his dead wife
to go on an around-the-world vacation with. She still accepted the proposal,
even though Patrick is clearly not over his wife. From Patrick’s point-of-view,
he has not once moved forward with Sabrina by his own choice. He only dated her
because everyone in the world told him to. He only took his wedding ring off
because Carlos told him to. He only asked her to marry him because his dead
wife – via a DVD -- told him to. I understand this is a plot point, but there
is no way anyone believes Patrick won’t run (not walk) back to his wife the
moment he sees her. Fans of the couple call them Patrina. That reminds me of
the world patricide – which means killing your father. Since Patrick often
looks like a dirty old man with Sabrina, the name is weirdly fitting. I mean,
Sabrina is sucking the life out of Patrick. Personally, though, I have taken to
calling them Purina. For me, watching them has all the appeal of eating dog
3. Lack of momentum: Where is AJ? Why does Liz’s only job
seem to be propping Sabrina right now? Where is Ellie? Why does the teen scene
drop in once every three weeks – enough to make me
want to pull my own hair out
– and then disappear again? How long is Laura going to be visiting her doctors
in Europe? What happened to the Deception storyline? Is Sonny ever going to
find out that Ava was the one that shot Olivia? Why isn’t Felicia helping
Maxie? Who does Kevin keep visiting when he leaves town? Is Rafe living with Sam
or Silas? Does Rafe spend any time with Silas? Speaking of, who is watching Rafe to make sure he actually goes to school? Does Silas even want to get to
know his daughter? There are too many characters on the canvas – which means
momentum is constantly being thrown out the window. There is plenty of dead
weight to cut. Let’s cut it and move on. If the soap is more streamlined, the
stories will flow easier.
I love Roger Howarth as an actor. I’ve always
loved Roger Howarth as an actor. He is not the problem. The problem is Franco.
I am not going to invest in a serial killing painter that may or may not have
raped a woman and may or may not be responsible for the rape of a
young man. I’m just not going to do it. When
the writers decided to bring Howarth back as Franco, were they dropping acid at
the time? I don’t care that they’re trying to explain everything away by saying
that Franco had a brain tumor. I don’t believe it. For the love of all that’s
holy, why didn’t they bring Roger Howarth back as a Cassidine? Maybe the love
child of Edward and some Cassidine matriarch? Bringing a great actor back as a terrible
character still results in a painful storyline – no matter how you try to
5. Morgan and Ava: I’m not just saying this because she’s an
older woman and he’s a younger boy. I
have no problem with older women and
younger men (as long as they’re legal). I’m saying this because he was married
to her daughter – and has been fantasizing about kissing her daughter while
having sex with her: They’re gross. I am distinctly uncomfortable when they’re
on my screen. And, I have nothing against the actor that plays Morgan, but he
reminds me of the lost Ford brother from One Life to Live
– and that’s not a
good thing. When Morgan left for military school, he was a sweet kid that
boasted the personality of the stepfather – Jax – that raised him. When he came
back? He was a petulant, glass throwing baby with a gambling problem. The gambling
problem – given the difficulties of his grandfather – was a good idea. The
entitled brat routine is just rubbing me the wrong way.
What do you think? What’s working in Port Charles right now
and what isn’t?