Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GENERAL HOSPITAL: How would I write things in Port Charles? Very differently

I think it’s time to bring back my monthly ‘If I were writing General Hospital’ column.

There’s no denying that watching the show has become a chore (like a break-me-off-a-switch-
someone-is-going-to-get-a-whooping chore). It’s just painful.

The ratings are starting to show a progressive slide, too.

When Ron Carlivati first took over head writing duties on GH, he raised ratings. How did he do it? It was a combination of things. The biggest being the return of our beloved vets. Fans wanted to see Anna, Felicia, Frisco, and Robert. The vet returns, in conjunction with the One Life to Live transplants was enough to inflate ratings.

That’s not the case anymore.

RC has gone off on some wild tangents, and completely alienated fans. Yes, appealing to new fans is important to keep the genre alive, but you have to do it without turning off longtime fans. All RC is doing right now is turning off dedicated fans.

So, let’s play the game. How would I write GH if I was in charge?

* Once Sonny’s culpability in AJ’s murder is revealed, Sonny goes after Franco. There’s a shootout on the docks, and Franco is wounded and killed (I love Roger Howarth, but Franco is a dud of a character). Sabrina witnesses the shooting and goes to the police. In an attempt to avoid jail time, Sonny has to flee the country. He reunites with Brenda and they move to some non-extradition country. As long as Sabrina is alive, Sonny cannot return. As long as Sonny is out there, Sabrina’s life is in danger. She has to go into Witness Protection and is (thankfully) off of our screens.

* When “Jake’s” memories return, it’s Jason Quartermaine, not Jason Morgan that awakens. Jason
Quartermaine reunites with Monica and wants to make amends for his past deeds. He also wants to cut ties with certain factions – including Carly. While he’ll always be there for Morgan and Michael – Jason Q is not pro-mob. Since it has become obvious that Liz and “Jake” are going to fall in love before Jason regains his memory, I would like Jason Q to move away from both Liz and Sam when he comes around. Everyone knows that Jason Q wouldn’t touch Sam with a 10-foot pole, and I’ve never believed the Liz and Jason “love” story. Let’s give Monica some time with her son, and fans the chance to get used to the new Jason.

* When Robin returns to town, I want her to smack the crap out of Patrick. This is not a stupid man. So, why, given all that he knows about the Cassidines and Jerry Jacks, isn’t he suspicious about Robin voluntarily abandoning her family? Jerry Jacks was one of the individuals responsible for kidnapping her in the first place – and he just shows up again? Really? I want Robin to take a step back from Patrick. He’s proven to be fickle (and apparently stupid) when it fits his needs. How about the romance I’ve always wanted to see? How about Nikolas and Robin get a chance? Put Sam in a triangle with Patrick and Silas and see who comes out standing – and no “back-from-the-dead” women to conveniently muck things up.

* It’s time to kill Ava off in a murder-mystery. I love Maura West beyond reason, but Ava cannot be redeemed. She shot Connie in cold blood. She tried to kill AJ in cold blood. She watched Sonny murder AJ, all the while knowing that he was innocent. She slept with her daughter’s husband. She tried to poison her daughter’s boyfriend. She framed Carlos and sent him to jail for her misdeeds. How, exactly, can anyone root for this woman? She’s not even fun to hate because there’s nothing to like about her. There are plenty of people who want her dead.

* Have Nina revealed as Ava’s killer. I’m sorry. I know Michelle Stafford has fans. I cannot watch her, though. All Nina needs is a mustache to twirl and some rope so she can tie Kiki to the train tracks. The Nina character was completely unnecessary from the beginning – and then to make her obviously crazy and evil without giving fans enough time to even try to like her? Who thought of that braniac idea? Nina is another character without rooting value because she’s just unlikeable. Reveal her as Ava’s killer and send her to prison. She’s a huge time suck – and she has no redeeming qualities. She’s not even funny evil like Heather and Dr. Obrecht.

* Bring Robert back and let him and Anna clean up the mob. This show is called General Hospital.The mob should have never been the focal point. The focus on Sonny, Carly, and Jason is what put GH in constant danger of cancellation in the first place. Anna’s reunion with Duke has fallen flat (is he even still in town?) and Robert and Anna are the team to beat when it comes to bringing down the bad guys. Let them round up the usual suspects – including Julian – and be done with them.

* Give Alexis and Ned an actual romance. These two sparkle together – and you can tell the actor and actress like each other. Alexis’ constant need for a “bad boy” often makes me dislike the character. Ned and Alexis were always fun. Put Alexis back in the ELQ orbit and let her spar with Tracy, and let Robert and Anna roust Julian Jerome.

* Oust Kiki and Rosalie. Neither are acceptable love interests for Michael and Morgan. Bring in
Scott, Lucy, and Kevin’s kids and let the old crash into the new. Those are pairings with history that give the adults something to do.

* Put Milo in the gay storyline. I’m still not sure what the writers were thinking by trying to put
Epiphany and Milo together. There’s no chemistry (even if you could get past the obvious problem with the relationship). The story isn’t believable because the characters have nothing in common. I’ve often thought Milo was underutilized. What not make him realize he’s gay and pair him up with Lucas for an actual love story? Go ahead and keep Brad in the mix, but send Felix out of town with his BFF and call it a day. As it is being written now, the all-male love triangle is tacky and full of clichés.

* Have Bobbie run the Brownstone. This gives Bobbie something to do, and all those shiftless 20-somethings somewhere to live. Morgan, Michael, Dante, Lulu, Britt, Lucas, Brad, Milo, Nathan, Maxie and TJ all need a home. Lulu and Dante’s one-room apartment is too small for them – let alone a baby. Putting everyone under one roof allows for fun and mayhem.

* Bring Jacks back for Carly. He's the only love interest that's ever worked for her. This Franco thing has been a complete dud -- and trying to wedge Carly and Sonny back together has disaster (and ratings upheaval) written all over it. Laura Wright and Maurice Benard have no sexual chemistry. Roger Howarth and Wright do have chemistry -- but Franco is a horrible character. And, say whatever you want about Carly, she would not date the man who kidnapped her child and had her son raped. She's a horrible person. She wouldn't do that, though.

* Send Luke and Laura off into the sunset. The fact that Tracy can’t tell the difference between Fluke and Luke is telling. As much as I like Luke and Tracy – and I do – Luke and Laura pretty much have to end up together. Have her come to town to visit Lulu and realize right away that Fluke isn’t Luke. Have her stay for the adventure storyline, and then have her and Luke ride off into the sunset. If Geary doesn’t want to work a full year anymore, then let him retire. All of Luke’s comings and goings (and, yes, I know this time he had to have surgery and do not fault him for that – I’m talking about all of the other times) wear on the story and the viewers.

What do you think? How would you write GH if you could?


Blogger S M said...

I like several of the suggestions, but would modify a couple of them:

1) I'm a Liason fan, and since the actors appear to have chemistry, I'd like to see Elizabeth and NuJason together as he figures out who he really is after all of his JQ and JM memories return.

2) Pair Milo with Lulu and create a triangle with Dante, but without the memory loss. The baby storylines have gotten old.

3) Ned and Olivia have great potential, so pair the two of them with Alexis as a triangle or just pair Alexis with someone else since she and Ned appear to be better friends than anything else.

4) Bring Ric back if only to wrap up his storyline. I don't have faith that it will be resolved, but hope so for Molly's sake.

October 24, 2014 at 9:11 PM 

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