Wednesday, October 8, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: The five reasons I'm no longer a daily General Hospital watcher

You might have noticed I haven’t written about General Hospital lately (or, maybe you haven’t).
The truth is, I’ve almost completely lost interest.

Yes, I’ve been busy with other stuff – but I have taken to deleting my DVR’d episodes of the show
without watching them.

That’s a comment on the writing, folks, because nothing has tuned me out like this before (and I’ve been watching religiously since I was a small child).

While I applaud Ron Carlivait for bringing some of our beloved vets back to town – I cannot give him a pass on the (numerous) other bad choices he’s made. When I do watch the show now, it’s an experiment in frustration and sadness.

So, what are my big gripes?

1. There are too many characters: The canvas is too big. Period. You need to get dump at least five contract players, and another handful of recurring ones to make room. You can’t build momentum in a story when you have this many characters. There are a lot of little islands in that cast who lift right out. Start with Sabrina (she can’t be redeemed now anyway), Felix, Olivia, Franco (I love Roger Howarth – but the character is a dud), Jordan, Shawn, Rosalie, and Nina (I can’t name one person who likes the character). Then, bump off Ava in a murder mystery (Maura West is a dream, but Ava can’t be redeemed), and bring on Scotty and Lucy’s kid to date Morgan. This gives you history and pares down the cast.

2. Romance: Soaps are called “love in the afternoon” for a reason. How about some actual love?
Watching Liz flip flop on Nikolas (and him do the same with Liz and Britt) isn’t entertaining. And now that Liz is going to be panting after the Mobsicle again? Try to build a love story for Nik and Britt. Watching Carly and Sonny pant after each other is old (and one of the reasons GH’s ratings tanked in the first place). Sorry, Maurice Benard and Laura Wright are fun to watch separately – and as friends – but they have absolutely no sexual chemistry. Patrick and Sam would’ve worked after Jason and Robin both “died” but now there are issues. Sam knows Patrick’s heart will always belong to Robin – who is alive. Patrick knows the Mobiscle was alive a lot longer than Sam thought he was – and now he’s betraying her. Sam was just professing her love to Silas a month ago. It’s kind of too late now. When Sam knows the Mobsicle is back, it’s going to be “Patrick Who?” When Patrick realizes what was going on with Robin – and how all the signs were there – he’s going to look stupid. Again. Quite frankly, the only couple with rooting value right now is Maxie and Nathan and now we’re getting a contrived hurdle being thrown in their path. How about giving us some actual love before you tear them apart?

3. Characters acting out of character: Would Patrick really lie to Sam about the Mobsicle given what happened with Robin? Would Robin really voluntarily leave Emma after what happened with Robert and Anna?  Would Anna really believe Robin’s excuse knowing the Cassidines? Wouldn’t Lulu notice that her father can’t remember her husband’s name? Wouldn’t someone in town realize that Luke would have gone after Lulu when she was taken? Would Sabrina try to kill a baby after losing hers (kidnap, yes, but kill?)? Would Mac ever not go after Maxie? Why didn’t Robin go to Sonny to have him follow her to Jason in the first place? I mean, the list of contrivances and out-of-control actions is a slap in the face to fans. It’s a soap. That doesn’t mean the characters have to betray themselves.

4. Plot driven: I understand you need plot, but I also understand you need more than plot. We want to see these characters bond. Some of my favorite all-time scenes involve characters chatting and having fun – not jumping from plot point to plot point. Examples: Brenda finding out Robin is HIV positive, Jason carrying Robin off the stage at the Nurse’s Ball, Sonny and Luke taking Lucky camping as a kid, Alan and Monica freaking out (and Luke and Laura being proud) when Emily and Lucky ran away together), Lucky’s reaction to finding Liz in the bushes, Luke helping a shot Nikolas, etc. It was the human emotion attached to these stories – not the plot of these stories – that drove the narrative. How about a little of that back? How about a realistic conversation between Liz and Lulu about Nikolas, Lucky, AJ and Ric? How about Anna and Alexis getting drunk and talking about the Cassidines? How about Liz and Carly getting drunk and admitting all of the awful mistakes they’ve made? Just … something that’s not a plot point being driven home in our heads.

5. Baby stories: I know baby stories have been a staple of soaps for years, but RC seems to have a certain … proclivity when it comes to them. This is the man who gave us the Jessica and Natalie baby debacle on OLTL – a story that made me want to kill both of them at one point or another over the years. Since coming to GH:

Maxie became a surrogate, lost the baby, got pregnant with her own baby, pretended it was someone else’s baby, gave birth, lost the baby to the “adoptive parents,” reclaimed the baby, and then lost the baby again. Now she’s in court to fight for the baby, but there’s clearly something up with that judge.

Lulu is frozen and has no viable eggs. She enlists Maxie as a surrogate. She loses the baby. She finds out her other embryos are missing. She finds out someone else gave birth to her baby. She reclaims the baby. She immediately wants another baby (like in days – so stupid). She finds out she might be able to carry her own baby. She reclaims an embryo from Obrecht. She then finds out the Cassidines have made embryos from her eggs and Stravros’ sperm (Ugh!). Now she wants another baby.

Sabrina got dumped on her wedding day. She ended up pregnant. She got in an accident, gave birth to a towel, then watched the baby die. Now she’s trying to kill Ava’s baby.

Ava had creepy crypt sex with Sonny and now she’s pregnant. Sabrina wants to kill her baby. Nina wants to steal her baby. Sonny can’t kill her until she has the baby. And Morgan? He’s just an idiot.

Starr had a teenage baby (thank you RC) that was switched with a dead baby. Then, the minute she came to GH, that baby was run off a cliff and killed.

Nina, who is a little long in the tooth to be trying to get pregnant, has been out of a coma for a few weeks and now she’s going to steal a baby – and she’s making hit lists.

Sam got pregnant -- maybe with her possible rapist’s baby – gave birth in a storm, had Heather Webber steal the baby and switch it out with Tea’s dead baby. Then Sam got her baby back, found out it was Jason’s baby, and then the kid needed a bone marrow transplant.

Am I missing anyone? Because all of that in a couple-year period is too much.

I probably won’t ever completely give up on GH – and I am still hopeful the soap will return to greatness. I can honestly say, though, I am no longer a daily watcher.

Anyone else having this conundrum?


Blogger -C said...

You are a god. That is all.

October 9, 2014 at 6:20 PM 
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