Tuesday, January 21, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Is plot or character more important?

News that Kimberly McCullough was leaving wasn’t exactly a surprise.

Most fans guessed it when she agreed to return.

I think the surprise is that Jason Thompson is staying. I know I thought he was probably out the door with McCullough.

We don’t know how Robin will exit yet. According to McCullough, though, fans are going to hate it.

We’ve already heard some fan fiction about Robin being locked up at Shadybrooke because of post traumatic stress and Anna breaking her out and sending her off after Robert.

Personally? I don’t believe that for a second. Ron Carlivati has show he has no idea how Robin should be written, but I honestly don’t think he’d be dumb enough to go that far.

The truth is, there’s no feasible way that Robin would leave town without her daughter. If we’re made to believe Patrick and Robin are sharing custody of Emma while Robin is off canvas (like Carly and Jax) then maybe I’ll buy it. If Robin leaves town and doesn’t see Emma, I’m not going to buy that for a second.

I’m at an uncomfortable place with General Hospital right now. I don’t believe in dropping a show
because you lose one character. Robin leaving again, though, just may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I love a lot of what RC has done, don’t get me wrong. We’re seeing vets that were sacrificed during Bob Guza’s reign of terror – and I’m eternally grateful for that. That doesn’t fix the mistakes, though.
I knew that RC was sinking when he wrote the terrible aftermath of Patrick and Sabrina’s non-wedding. There were plot holes big enough to drive the Haunted Star through in that story.

The truth is Kimberly McCullough and Tristan Rogers both helped bring GH’s ratings drastically up. Does RC think that fans will stay afterwards? Especially for writing like this?

The best writers in the world are character driven writers. RC is a plot driven writer. Every story he writes is just a series of beats until the next series of beats. That’s why we never got Patrick even appearing to care what had happened to Robin. Instead, the day after his aborted wedding, he was back at work because they needed him there for a plot beat to go looking for Sabrina.

RC doesn’t know how to write character driven stories. That’s why we have AJ running around drunk again (and we’re inundated with rumors that Sean Kanan is on his way out – again). RC promised fans the revitalization of the Quartermaines. Instead, we keep getting more and more stunt casting on an already bloated cast.

Just last week RC was touting “big casting news.” To GH fans that meant Genie Francis was coming back, or Jack Wagner, or they’d somehow managed to snag Tristan Rogers long-term.

Instead we got Donna Mills coming in. Who? If it was the 1980s you might know (or care) who she
is. Now? That’s pretty much akin to finding out that Richard Grieco is being cast as Sonny’s brother. It’s 20 years past being important.

When I sit down and really think about what I’m invested in on General Hospital right now, it’s a short list. It starts at Anna, winds around to Alexis, makes a shot stop on Spoon Island with Nikolas, winds back to Sam and ends in Lucyville.

I do not care about Ava Jerome. I love Maura West, but I’d much rather see Laura, Felicia or Lucy than Ava. Watching a grown woman freak out of a teenage boy isn’t hot – it’s pathetic.

I do not care about Silas’ sudden wife. I like Silas and I like him with Sam – but I don’t think he needs more backstory at the expense of other characters.

I certainly don’t care about BLT-obsessed Heather and her mutant offspring.

I don’t care about Olivia, her visions or her chemistry-free encounters with Sonny.

I don’t care about shrill Lulu and her sudden obsession with cheating on her husband because he told the truth in court.

I don’t care about Sabrina – no matter how much RC tries to prop her. You’re never going to make me like her. She could suddenly pull a lightsaber out of her pocket and start fighting the evil lords of the Sith and I’m never going to like her. It’s too late. The character was fumbled out of the gate. Now I hate her and the more you prop her the more I hate her.

I do like Lucas but I know he’s going to be thrown in a triangle with Brad and Felix – both of whom I hate – so I’m really worried about having to watch that.

I do like Nathan, but he’s apparently earmarked for Shrewlu until Maxie returns – setting up another
triangle between the two – and I’m not interested in watching two women fight over the same man.

And, as much as I love Obrecht, believing she's the new chief of staff is so insulting to fans it's like a smack in the face. There were other ways to keep her on the canvas, kicking the fans in the crotch and laughing at them with a plot contrivance is not one of them.

RC has the tools to make GH great, but the dead weight has to be cut and the storylines have to be streamlined. And, RC has to do start focusing on character instead of plot.

I won’t say I’ll stop watching when Robin and Robert are gone – but I will give it some serious thought.

What do you think? What parts of the writing do you like right now? Which parts do you hate?


Blogger Fan1972 said...

Amanda, I look forward to your insight into GH. I had no idea that Kimberly was leaving GH again and that news makes me sad. I agree, losing both Tristan and Kimberly is going to be a huge blow to the fan base, me included.
I don't want to see Donna Mills or Richard Greico. I've mentioned before my distaste for a lot of the characters (specifically the newer ones). The Heather stories are quite stale - how many times can someone escape a mental health facility that is allegedly for the criminally insane?? Obrecht as COS? Are you freaking kidding me?! I about died when I watched it --- I know this is a soap opera but how in the world is Obrecht able to not only be allowed to walk around PC but also be allowed and chosen to be COS of GH?! She is an international criminal - come on now!
I'm very sad and upset that RC has run this soap into the ground -- he showed some promise with bringing back some of the truly loved characters but he has flushed that down the crapper. I have little time per day to watch TV and I highly doubt I will spend that valuable time watching this faint shadow of what used to be one of my favorite shows for the past 30 years.

I'm not sure how Robin will leave but I hope they don't kill her off - that would not only be laziness on the part of RC (she died the last time, right?!) but I think an insult to Kimberly McCullough.

I don't want to think about how crappy this show has gotten in the last month or so .... my head hurts..so I will leave my opinion as it is.

January 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM 

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