Thursday, January 30, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Rick Hearst is back -- but that's not really a fix for continuity problems

The Returns Rollercoaster keeps on flying over at General Hospital with the announcement this week that Rick Hearst is returning.

In my opinion, Ric Lansing should have never left the show. He had strong ties to Alexis and Sonny, but when Bob Guza was in charge every character was sacrificed on the altar of Sonny, Carly and Jason – including Ric -- at one time or another.

Ric’s return could prove interesting. Not only is he Molly’s father and the only man that has ever really held Alexis’ heart, but I have a feeling he’s going to have ties to the Jerome crime organization – pitting him against his barware throwing brother again.

On a side note, Ric is also Liz’s ex and – if the rumors of AJ leaving (again) are true -- he is a possible love interest for her. A Liz/Ric/Alexis/Julian quadrangle has all sorts of potential.

While I’m excited about Ric’s return – and still angry about the exits of Robert and Robin – that doesn’t change the fact that GH is overloaded right now.

I hate to keep harping on momentum – but I’m still going to do it. There is not one story on GH right now that has sustained momentum. Not one. Just when you feel yourself getting into a story then BAM it’s off the television for two weeks. That’s not how to build an audience and keep it.

Kimberly McCullough and Tristan Rogers brought great ratings with their returns. If GH wants to hold on to those ratings, they’ve got to do a better job on the writing front.

So, let’s look at this logically. What are the big stories that are drawing in the bigger chunks of the cast?

1. The Jerome Mafia Story. Sure, not everyone likes mob stories. In the past, I would agree with this.
Julian is a legacy character, though. Making him Sam’s father was a stroke of writing genius. Tying Silas to the Jerome family was also smart. This brings in Duke, Anna, Alexis, probably Ric, Molly, etc. Like or hate the story, it has a good umbrella and involves a great many important characters. That being said, and as much as I love Maura West, I’m starting to get tired of Ava and her magical powers of persuasion. Why does anyone in this town believe her? And her pathetic pining for Silas is starting to rub me the wrong way – all the while she’s also getting all emotional about a teenager. It’s just gross and West deserves better. Maybe trying pairing Ava with Luke or something? They have a lot of potential. As for Julian himself, it is a little hard to fear the mob boss that tattles to the police commissioner about her boyfriend. Is that supposed to be menacing?

2. The Cassidine Resurgence. Sure, we haven’t seen this play out yet. Victor’s return, though, draws in the Scorpios, the Spencers, Nikolas, Alexis, Sam, etc. We’ll have to see the way it plays out, but this story has a lot of potential and a lot of history on its side. I’m sure we’re going to see Britt’s kidnapping of Lulu and Dante’s kid arc over this storyline as well – and we know Victor is somehow playing in to Robin’s departure. He’s probably going to blackmail her, at least that’s my guess, with the life of someone she cares about. Maybe an offscreen Robert? Maybe a not-so-dead Jason? We’ll have to wait and see.

3. The Carly Kidnapping. I’m not going to lie. I’m so sick of Heather I want to choke her with a BLT.
Believing that she can just wander in and out of a psychiatric hospital when she gets out stretches the limits of my credulity. I know this is being used as a way to make Franco the victim – so fans will start pulling for him – but I don’t think that’s going to work. That being said, I like Kin Shriner and Roger Howarth when they’re on screen together. I’m never going to be a fan of Franco, but I’m always going to be a fan of both those actors. In addition, Laura Wright and Howarth do have smoking chemistry. The problem is, we have to believe Carly has had a lobotomy if we get behind her relationship with Franco. So I’m still really torn on this.

Those are the big three stories right now. What you have pulling at the fringes are some crappier stories that are dragging things down. The Sabrina pregnancy story is just painful to watch. It’s a retread of a story we saw less than a year ago and it makes Patrick look like the biggest tool in Port Charles. I love Jason Thompson, so I’m so sad to see him saddled with this story.

The teen angst doesn’t work because there’s no chemistry between any of these kids.

Lucy and Scotty are smoking hot, but they’re on so rarely that I forget they’re even in town sometimes – and Felicia and Mac seem to have their whole story revolving around Lucy and Kevin’s marriage (now that Maxie is out of town).

I still can’t decide how I feel about Nathan. He’s hot, but the actor is a little wooden and he’s really annoying in a lot of scenes. Maybe the writers should have tried slowly introducing him instead of shoving him down our throats. That’s where they went wrong with Sabrina’s introduction – and they apparently didn’t learn from that mistake.

Obrecht as the chief of staff is just one big cluster of stupidity. I like the actress. I like the character. Couldn’t the writers have found a different way to keep the character around besides this? For us to believe that GH would hire this woman than we also have to believe that every person there is an idiot. It’s just so forced.

Basically, it comes down to this: I know I sound like a broken record on the momentum front. It’s just really bothering me. I want GH to last for as long as possible, but if things are starting to push me to tune out – and I’ve been watching for what feels like forever – I’ve got to wonder if other longtime viewers are also feeling the same way.

What do you think?


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