Friday, April 18, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: How bad does it have to get before it's too bad to watch?

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 right 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.

It’s exhausting.

When I look at the current GH stories, I can’t help but internally cringe.

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?


Blogger krazyrabbit said...

Horrible, just horrible. Character assassination. New characters no one cares about. Vets wasted. Story lines that bounce around. I keep watching hoping that it will get better but now GH is making me angry.

April 19, 2014 at 7:01 PM 
Blogger Regina47 said...

Well I crossed the threshhold when Robin was thrown under the bus on her way out of town and haven't looked at the show since. I keep reading updates to see if anything good has happened and all I am reading about is a first grade triangle, more and more new characters with no depth and storylines all over the place and never ending stolen embryos. I cannot believe how royally this regime has fu**ed up! The show is a trainwreck.

April 29, 2014 at 12:30 PM 
Blogger kermitklein said...

I'm with you. I'm at a crossroad myself. Not so much as loyalty on staying w/ GH, more like GH is now just a habit. I have so many issues with this show. People blasted Guza for years about the lack of hospital s/l & I mean 'true' hospital s/l, not s/l that involved the people that worked for the hospital, but I'm not seeing any hospital s/l from RC. Instead of having Elizabeth in her 15 millionth triangle, why couldn't RC explore the organ trafficking s/l that kept being hinted then dropped, hinted then dropped w/ her noticing these missing organs. Elizabeth has went from triangle of AJ/Elizabeth/Nik to triangle of Elizabeth/Nik/Britt to guess what triangle Nik/Elizabeth/Ric. It's ridiculous that RC can't find Elizabeth, a nurse and former artist, something to do besides being in a triangle. It's so bad that when a citizen of Port Charles is hurt, it's dayplayers playing the hospital staff. It's SO bad, that they have even put Elizabeth's child in his own kiddie triangle. Then you have poor Lante that went from baby s/l of wanting a baby, to baby s/l of getting Maxie a surrogate, to baby s/l of finding out baby is really Maxie's, to baby s/l where Britt has their baby, now to ANOTHER baby s/l of Dr. O having their embryo somewhere out there. Dante is a cop. Lulu owns the Haunted Star yet RC can't find anything for them except a baby s/l.

You have Fake Luke, Lulu finding out she has a child, Monica's child dying, and yet Bobbie is nowhere to be found in any of this, but yet Britt & Nathan keeps getting family by the week. Has Bobbie or Lucas even had a discussion to talk about Julian's homophobia? We have a huge s/l surround Nina, who has no GH history and has never been seen, but yet Maxie comes into town and hasn't interacted w/ Mac or Felicia. Emma has a recital & Maxie is no where to be found. Has Maxie even had a discussion with any family member on why Robin left town.

Things like this is what annoys me about GH right now. It's plot point after plot point. There's nothing really character driven about the show. There is no longer any heart behind it. AJ gets killed, we get a half-assed memorial in which Monica's pain was quickly shown as being secondary to Michael's pain, people are traipsing all around Monica's house & she's barely being shown. Where was Bobbie to be there for her friend? Where was the conversation between Elizabeth and Monica commiserating about the loss of sons? Instead we got Sonny and Ava literally having sex over AJ's dead body for an unnecessary shock value.

GH is becoming redundant in it's storylines. If you're not in a love triangle storyline, you're in a baby storyline or an evil villain who will never get caught or get caught who will never pay is wrecking people's lives. It's the same thing over and over again.

April 29, 2014 at 1:18 PM 

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