Thursday, February 28, 2013

General Hospital: A Statement on the Current State of the Show

For a good part of my life, I have been in tune if not always tuned in to General Hospital. It is one of the lasting soap operas and the only one that ABC still airs.

The show is approaching its 50th Anniversary and in preparation of that, has been bringing back a lot of characters and a lot of stories. It is very refreshing and endearing to me when a show pays homage to its history. When it revisits a storyline from long ago without totally ruining it with change. I am looking at you All My Children and the Erica Kane abortion storyline that you ruined by having the fetus transplanted into another woman. Shame on you for that. Shame, on, you!

The parade of beloved character returns began with Duke Lavery & Caesar Faison in a battle for Anna’s love.

Perhaps the most entertaining has been Lucy Coe and the Nurse’s Ball/Port Charles tie in. I have absolutely loved that they worked in the Port Charles/Caleb/Livvie/Vampire/Lucy the Slayer connections. I am impressed with the explanation they have given for “Caleb the Vampire”. It is refreshing if you watched Port Charles when Michael Easton played Caleb and Kelly Monaco played Livvie, as Easton now plays John McBain, and Monaco plays Sam McCall. Very well played by the writers.

It was also lovely that they brought in Jon Lindstrom as Kevin, Lucy’s estranged husband, who doubled as her “Doc”, shrink.

Frisco Jones, might be the most surprising return. I can’t remember when Jack Wagner was last seen as Frisco and I certainly did not expect him to return. I must say that his character has been a little on the creepy side with relation to his daughter Maxie. Almost a little lecherous if you will. I am sure it is not on purpose & I am not the first to notice it.

After Genie Francis was ushered off of The Young & The Restless, it seemed certain that she would reprise Laura Spencer on GH and to the relief of many she did. She was last seen recovering from a catatonic state and heading off to treatment with former husband Scotty Baldwin. It was really no surprise when he returned as his portrayer Kin Shriner has been an all time favorite. It was also no surprise that they are engaged to be married. Of course with Luke recently kind of blown off by Anna, there is sure to be a bit of a battle for Laura’s love.

Tied in to Luke & Laura is the revisiting of the Ice Princess storyline as their daughter Lulu was gifted a replica of said Princess.

Speaking of Lulu, her portrayer Julie Marie Berman has left the show and the role is going to be recast. Upon hearing this, my first thought was, “I wonder if they will bring Jen Lilly in to fill that role.” Lilly was a fan favorite when she subbed for Kirsten Storms as Maxie Jones. Remember, if they land Lilly for this role, I speculated it here first.

Earlier this year they brought Sean Kanan back as AJ Quartermaine, just after the departure of Steve Burton as Jason Quartermaine. I have to say that I absolutely love the change in the character and really believe that AJ has changed his ways. I am happy that they are letting his biological son Michael develop a relationship with him and not having him being poisoned by Sonny & Carly, not for them not trying of course.

Also coming back soon is Rick Springfield as Noah Drake and he is bringing his son Liam along as an undercover cop. I am thinking that the 50th Anniversary is going to culminate with the Nurse’s Ball, a past favorite arc that has been missing for several years. I am expecting Springfield to perform, perhaps Jessie’s Girl, as part of the event.

Rumors were swirling that they were also trying to bring back John Stamos as Blackie Parrish, adopted brother of Laura Webber-Spencer, who has been imprisoned on a manslaughter conviction. I read where Stamos is very open to returning, but the tone has to be right. He is not interested in just playing drums to back up Springfield’s Noah. The tone of the article made me think that he would be open to a longer stint with some meat to it. I would totally be open to that as well.

Jackie Zeeman is also set to return as Bobbie Spencer, Luke’s sister, Noah’s ex, and Carly’s biological mom.

Also rumored to be possibly returning is Antonio Sabatto Jr. as Jagger Cates, brother of Michael “Stone” Cates, who succumbed to AIDS, which was the center cause for the Nurse’s Ball.

The new era of show runners seem to be very much committed to reexamining the past and mixing it with the present and future.

I for one am very grateful for the direction the show has taken. It seems that they are trying to break free of the “mob mentality” if you will. In the mid 90’s soap operas started to turn to a younger cast, a teen cast to draw in the younger viewers who were home more during the day, especially in the summer. I hated that change. I have been a viewer of soaps since I was under the care of my Granny while my parents worked, and later when my Dad was home during the mining shut down. I remember watching One Life To Live and then taking our nap. When my mom was a stay at home mom for a time, she turned me on to Days of Our Lives and Another World. My sister was responsible for me tuning into As The World Turns.

When I began watching soap operas, they didn’t have the need to cater to a younger crowd. We were already there and we didn’t mind that the story lines were all adult. It worked perfectly. There was no need for shirtless men every other scene like there is today. The story lines were better, not as preposterous. So yes, I am all for a show revisiting characters and stories that made them great. I am not a fan of glossing over the past or changing it to suit the here and now.

I should also note, that while I no longer watch Days of Our Lives, I don’t believe there will ever be a need to revisit the Marlena Devil Possessed storyline.

Do you watch the soap operas? What is left of them anyways? Are you a GH fan and loving or hating the storylines? Hit the comments and let me know. I am very interested to hear your thoughts.

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