Thursday, December 12, 2013

GENERAL HOSPITAL: How the writers managed to ruin Robin’s return

By all accounts, Kimberly McCullough’s return to General Hospital has been a ratings boon

Viewership is up – way up – and why? Because people love Robin and wanted to see her reunite with her family.

So, what’s the problem? This return has been one of the poorest plotted things I’ve ever seen.

I am not a Ron Carlivati hater. I like him a great deal. And, when One Life to Live was cancelled, I made the argument that it was much better written than General Hospital at the time and should have been the one to stay.

That doesn’t mean Carlivati is infallible – and the way he has fumbled the Robin return is getting on my last nerve.

To be fair, there were great moments hidden amidst the dreck where Robin’s return is concerned. Her reunions with Robert, Anna, Mac, Maxie and (especially!) Emma were heartfelt, warm and well-written.

It’s the rest of it I have a problem with it.

Want some examples:

Why hasn’t Patrick asked where Robin was? Does he even know who had her? We haven’t seen
that play out on screen. I can understand Robin not wanting to go into the gory details in front of Emma, but come on. They couldn’t carve out some time to talk about what she’s been through. There’s no: “Well, I was first taken by Dr. Keenan and he gave me some electroshock therapy. I was then taken by Faison and Obrecht. Faison wanted to use me to get to my mother, but Obrecht was about to inject me and kill me when my dad came in and she injected him instead. I was then taken to Jerry Jacks where I was kept in a lab for nine months with no sunlight and constant threats of death. My favorite day was when he showed up and said he had your son with him and made me watch you moon over someone else at a Nurse’s Ball that was supposedly in my honor.” Instead, we’ve had nothing. I think a normal husband would be out searching for Jerry to exact some revenge. Patrick hasn’t even asked where Robin was.

Why was Patrick getting married on a school night? There are always plot holes in soaps, but I still can’t figure out why Patrick was getting married on a school night. The next day, Emma had school and instead of spending the day with her mother, they had Felicia take her to school. I understand about child labor laws, but wouldn’t it have made more sense for Emma to spend the day with the mother she’s been separated from for two years? We didn’t have to see her. Robin and Anna could have mentioned she was in the other room sleeping because she had been up so late the night before with Robin.

Why did Patrick go to work the day after the wedding? I know it was to prop Sabrina. The writers had to get him to a place where Felix could lambast him and send him after Sabrina – I get the contrived propping. Why would Patrick go into work the day after his wife came back from the dead, though? Also, how did the people at the hospital – which has been proven to have a healthy gossip mill in the past – not know that Patrick’s wedding to Sabrina went kaput and Robin was back?

How has Carly not ran into Robin? Has Sonny heard she is alive? I don’t think Carly and Sonny
should be big parts of Robin’s story – but they are huge parts of her past. I would like to see Carly and Robin come to a sort of understanding – since Robin did ostensibly “die” saving Carly’s bud Jason. Robin is currently living in Carly's hotel, for crying out loud. They can't run into each other in the lobby? And Sonny and Robin’s relationship was strained towards the end, but he loved her like a sister. Instead of running around and making guys dig their own grave, shouldn’t he be trying to see Robin? The writers had a prime opportunity for him to find out, what with Duke in his office right after Robin’s return. I don’t want Sonny and Robin hanging out constantly, but they deserve some sort of reunion.

Patrick can’t “choose” which woman he wants to be with? Really? An hour before the wedding, Patrick was looking for his dead wife. When it came time to exchange the vows, Patrick paused a full minute before saying “I do.” Patrick had to be goaded into taking his wedding ring off. He had to be pushed to propose to Sabrina – and the proposal was more about Robin than Sabrina. He sat and watched that DVD constantly. And, yet, we’re supposed to believe he needs to think about things? I get not wanting to hurt Sabrina, but he seems perfectly fine to hurt Robin – which is something the Patrick we’ve known and loved would never do.

I don’t expect everything to be written exactly how I want it. If I was writing GH, Roger Howarth would never have been cast as Franco, Olivia would have met a stray mob bullet years ago and Jason would have met a watery demise at the docks a decade ago. Still, though, when fans love a character – they expect that character to be written true to nature. That’s why my final complaint is a doozy:

Why would Robin beg Sabrina to hold on to her husband? Robin is a legacy character that
doesn’t need to be propped. Sabrina is a Disney Princess that more fans hate than like, that constantly needs to be propped. That’s why Robin begging Sabrina to walk away from her husband makes no sense. I can see Robin wanting to have a sit-down with Sabrina. I liked that they talked like adults and didn’t snipe at each other. Why, though, should Robin have to beg for her husband? This all comes back to the Sabrina propping. She’s a passive-aggressive pain, and I’m sick to death of her being pushed on viewers.

Carlivati has his favorites. That’s pretty much a fact. It’s become obvious, though, that Sabrina is the new Natalie from OLTL.

What am I talking about? Natalie was the character that Carlivati loved to give everything to – even if it was to the detriment of other characters. Just ask Marty and Jessica.

Marty was a beloved heroine that survived a gang rape and was massively important to OLTL’s rich history. Carlivati made her crazy and had her stalk Natalie to prop Natalie and her "star-crossed love" John – a move that longtime fans were disgusted with.

That was bad enough, but what he did with Jessica was even worse.

Fans watched Jessica – Natalie’s twin – grow up on screen. We loved her. By the end of OLTL’s network run, Natalie ended up with her happily ever after. And Jessica? She ended up with two alive children, two dead children, two dead baby daddies, and no love interest. Her love interest, in fact, went crazy and chased Natalie. Yeah, that’s balance.

It’s become increasingly obvious that Sabrina is getting the Natalie treatment – and I can honestly say that’s just going to make fans turn against Sabrina even more.

The GH writers need to buy a clue. We are not willing to sacrifice Robin to prop Sabrina. Enough is enough.

What do you think? Has Robin’s return been a hit or a miss for you?


Blogger krazyrabbit said...

A huge sink hole needs to open up in Port Charles to swallow Sabrina, Felix, Olivia and New-Lu the whiner. The travesty that's Robin's return is beyond comprehension. Apparently Patrick was taken over by a bodysnatcher during the wedding because the REAL Patrick wouldn't have to make a decision between Robin and Sob-brina. Now, if he had gotten involved with Liz and fallen in love with her the viewers might have gotten invested in this story. It would be heartbreaking to watch and we could empathize with Patrick having to choose between Liz and his beloved Robin. This would have worked on all levels, especially because Elizabeth is such a wasted character. Oh well, like you state - I don't write for the show.

p.s. - I refused to acknowledge the Marty character assassination on OLTL. She's still living in Ireland with Patrick living happily ever after.

December 13, 2013 at 8:59 PM 

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