I’ve often thought that threatening to quit watching a soap
opera is an empty threat.
Until you actually do it, that is.
I honestly thought I would watch all three ABC soaps until I
died (or they did) but, at a certain point, I gave up on All My Children
Because the storylines were so bad that I had no choice.
Usually, even when a soap hits a rough patch, I can find
something on it that still manages to interest me. All My Children
got to the
point where there was nothing I could stomach anymore – so I gave up the soap.
On the flip side, One Life to Live
held my interest until
the bitter end. And, while I wasn’t happy with all of the stories on the show,
I was happy with enough of them to keep watching.
I’m at an interesting crossroads with General Hospital
now. I have the inclination to give up – but only
loyalty keeps me tuning in.
Basically, the soap is terrible – but I keep watching
because I don’t want it to get cancelled. It’s a vicious little circle.
I don’t think there’s anyone out there that can argue that
GH is well written and paced right now. The question is, who is to blame?
Most people are pointing their fingers at head writer Ron
Carlivati right now. It’s sad, a man that came in with such promise has crushed
the dreams of fans everywhere.
When he brought back so many beloved vets, fans loved him. I
mean, this was the man that brought back Frisco Jones, AJ Quartermaine, Lucy
Coe, Scott Baldwin, Kevin Collins, etc. – how could you not love him?
And, with the vets, came the ratings. Robin's return from the "dead" and Robert's return to rescue her helped GH achieve ratings it hadn't seen in years. RC basked in the kudos.
That euphoria didn’t last too long.
After initially giving fans what they wanted – RC immediately
yanked the rug back out from under them.
Sure, he touted the return of our
vets, but then we got to see them about once a month. And, the ratings highs he achieved have been falling over the past few weeks (although the demographic is still strong -- which means he's ticking off longtime viewers).
And, while this was going on, RC has introduced a bevy of
newbies that no one cares about. From Sabrina to Felix to Jordan to Nathan to Madeline we got useless characters that had no ties to the rich history of GH.
RC would throw us for the occasional loop, though, when he’d
do something smart – like bringing Lucas Jones back. A “newbie” that had strong
ties to multiple people on the canvas – that’s like finding gold in the middle
of the street.
For every Lucas, though, we get four duds.
When I look at the current GH stories, I can’t help but
While I was excited by Fluke (at first) – that excitement
eroded when RC wrote every person in Port Charles as an absolute idiot that
didn’t notice that Luke was an imposter. Seriously, the only two people that
realize something is up with Luke are Spencer and Ned – a child and a guy who
hasn’t been in town for a decade. Yet Sonny and Tracy, people who see him all
the time, don’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with him.
When you couple that with the rumblings that Fluke is
actually Bill Eckert – a man that we saw die on screen
(and his death was one
of the indelible images of the 1990s when he was carried from the catacombs) –
and I’m massively irritated with the story now.
Say what you will about Bill Eckert, but he was not a
sociopath. He was boring and he was a good father. Since his son, Sly, stayed
in town years after his death – are we supposed to believe that Bill just
abandoned Sly? That’s not honoring GH’s history RC.
One of the few newer characters that RC has introduced
viewers to that works is Britt. Unfortunately, in his zest to expand her roots, he’s
now forced a brother on her that absolutely no one cares about. Seriously, the
actor that plays Nathan couldn’t be more wooden if he was actually a board.
We have the insipid Levi wandering around calling Maxie “Max.”
The unnecessary Jordan is tied to two secondary characters that aren’t
important to anything (or anyone) on the canvas – and she’s clearly either evil
or an undercover snitch. Felix is only there to prop Sabrina – who needs to be
killed off ASAP.
If you want to use to glorified extras, why not give
something to Max to do? Is he still in the hospital fighting for his life, by
the way? Has anyone seen him since Morgan shot him? Has Morgan even addressed
the situation in the past two months? And where is Magic Milo?
Where’s Epiphany? Wouldn’t she have been a good sounding
board for Patrick when Robin left? Wouldn’t she be the one to take on Dr.
Obrecht at the hospital?
Pacing has been an issue at GH for awhile now. There are too
many characters and too little airtime.
Unfortunately, RC seems unwilling to
drop the dead weight.
What he is willing to do is lie to fans about reinvigorating
the Quartermaines – and then immediately kill AJ off, say that Robin’s return
is a “love story” for Robin and Patrick and then have Robin abandon her family
(something she would never do) and have no one in town notice that “Luke” hasn’t
bothered to see his daughter since she got her baby back.
I guess you can see why I’m at this crossroads. The question
is, has GH finally gotten so bad I’m willing to walk away?
It’s close to the threshold, that’s for sure.
What do you think? How bad is GH these days?