General Hospital Reaches a Storyline and Ratings High

 

” …let them speak now or forever hold their peace …”

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Last week General Hospital reached a very admirable ratings high, scoring 3.3 million viewers, its highest numbers since 2007. The timing for this benchmark is something the show had long been leading up to: the revelation to Dr.  Patrick Drake that his wife Dr.  Robin is still alive.  Of course, this being soap opera, that revelation came right in the middle of Patrick’s wedding ceremony to Nurse Sabrina.

A key to this ratings spike was the fact that Patrick and Robin (“Scrubs”) have long been fan favorites.  After all, Robin has been on the show since she was six years old.  But the real secret behind the ratings high was that GH did everything it could to prolong the reveal of Robin’s survival.

They gave Robin more than two whole months in town before her existence was exposed to her widower.  During that time Robin had to formulate a miracle cure for Jerry Jacks, the same cure she had found for Luke’s plutonium poisoning.  Along the way there were many near run-ins between Patrick and Robin.  At Halloween, Robin wore a costume to disguise herself at the hospital.  In fact, Sabrina’s ex,   Carlos, actually ran into Robin in the lab.  He recognized her from a picture in Patrick’s house.  When Carlos tried to warn Patrick Robin was still alive, Patrick didn’t believe him.  Ava also tried to convince Patrick of the fact that Robin was alive, but he didn’t believe her either.

GH upped the ante by slowing down time as Patrick and Sabrina’s wedding approached.  Sabrina took forever to choose her wedding gown and finally got her mother’s gown from her visiting cousin Juan.   The day of the wedding, Robin came to the church and watched the ceremony from the doorway. The show let almost the entire ceremony (and an entire episode)  go by until Emma saw Robin standing, fully alive, in the back of the church.  

Dragging out the revelation to Patrick and Sabrina that Robin was still alive created a lot of anticipation for the audience.  It also deepened the pain of the situation.  After all, there were no villains here Robin was taken from her family innocently, and Sabrina fell in love with the man she knew as a widower.  Losing Patrick would be a true tragedy for Sabrina, even though the reunion was a pure thrill for Scrubs fans.

The dragged out drama was rewarding in that it afforded opportunities for some great acting. The moment that Patrick saw Robin, actor Jason Thompson  captured perfectly the pain his character was feeling, down to his very soul. Likewise, actress Kimberly McCullough projected both the joy in Robin’s reunion with her husband and the character’s ambivalence about breaking up Patrick and Sabrina.  And actress Teresa Castillo did a masterful job of showing Sabrina’s great pain at seeing all her dreams come unraveled.

 All in all, this was one of GH’s finest hours. It was soap opera at its best and well worth waiting for.

Comments

  1. Kevin says:

    I don’t think Kimberly McCullough, Jason Thompson, Finola Hughes, etc. can be given all the praise for “General Hospital” being the hottest show on TV right now next to “The Walking Dead.”

    Yes, they are probably 75% of the foundation but you have to admit that the fallout from Maxie’s baby reveal has been epic. All of the actors — Storms, Anderson, Rylan and Zamprogna have been on their A-Game. And the truth is is that I never liked any of the actors and their characters until this baby story line came into fruition. They should be praised, too.

    AND I have even heard from fellow soap fans overseas that they have tuned back in (I wasn’t aware you could watch “GH” in Europe) because of the additions of Maura West and William deVry (that one stumps me).

    Needles to say though the show is at a creative and entertainment zenith. I am loving it.

    • Deb says:

      I totally agree with you! It takes more actors than just the three mentioned to make this series a hit! Got to give praise to all of them!!

  2. Wendy says:

    I’ve found the Maxie/Spinelli baby reveal to be a little bit frustrating. Bradford Anderson did amazing work, absolutely amazing. But the story has been frustrating. I guess it all has to lead to KS’s maternity leave and BA’s departure.

    I have to admit that I’ve found Sebastian Roche to be delightful in every scene, with every scene partner. The rooftop scenes with Jerry, Bobbie, Luke, and Carly were kind of fun.

    But this week, it’s been all Kimberly McCullough for me. She has been terrific.

    • Wendy says:

      Oh man, I can’t believe I forgot to mention Finola Hughes. She has been incredible this week! And absolutely right regarding Faison, if you ask me.

  3. JONNYSBRO says:

    Marlena this is an awesome article. How did GH go from an almost cancelled show in 2012 which was signed sealed and delivered to a red hot blaze of fire? ABC wisely fired JFP back in 2011 after the show became a dark dismal mob show. When Frank and Ron came on in 2012 it was thought they were brought on to wrap GH up. What they wisely did was reverse the decision JFP did was to kill robin onscreen and keep her alive. Then throughout last year they showed her captive and kept us glued in. They did things reminding me of the way Jim Reilly did on days draw it out and get the big ratings climax. For two years we waited for this big huge climax and GH delivered the goods. GH had a very good year with a big 50th anniversary, brought great vets back, brought maura west on who is rocking and created a buzzed worthy hot blaze of fire. GH is looking like it could live for years now. What a comeback.

  4. janet says:

    I think the real reason the ratings went up was a lot of The Scorpios on a roll.Anna and Robert in the lab , they were great and now we find out he won’t be returning ,just stupid Frank.Why didn’t they give him a contract. I have never read anywhere that some one didn’t like him and Anna.Duke even Luke whom I have come to dislike lately brought their A game. Emma running down the aisle to her mommy all the open mouths./ The show needs to give credit where it is due The vets were back and when people heard this, they turned in. every one likes a fav returning and Robin was that. Patrick has been sort of dead without Robin, now I suppose we will have to wait till they drag this out until Kimberly gets a directing job and will be going again. We know soaps no one is EVER happy for long . If FrankenRon want to keep these ratings they had better find more characters the fans want to see and stop with the mobs.. To much mobs winning I DVR and FF away them and the commercials. Is it to much that we get a month of great soap *November sweeps* ,then we get double the mobs.?I take the good with the bad when its all bad I ff the bad.Almost all the actors in the November sweeps brought their A game so congrats to them They even let uncle Mac say hello to Robin WOW.

  5. Johnny says:

    It just makes me sad that the show can be THIS good by focusing on beloved veterans…then urn on a dime and still cram Sonny and his band of merry hooligans down our throat. Sonny is a greasy, manipulative, self-pitying, misogynistic, self-rigteous, hypocritical, violent, murdering thug. The fact that he has been presented as a hero for 20 years continues to disgust, shock, and appall me. I don’t know in what universe is this character supposed to be likeable or entertaining. He is a villain. Some of the things the writers have him say and do truly amaze me. He shot a cop at point blank range with no remorse. He threatened to murder the mother of his children when he thought she had put out a hit on someone and it went awry after he himself called off the same hit. He kidnapped a child from its biological father and raised him. He had that father hung on a meat hook to sign away rights to the child! And yet he walks around town calling him and other people names like “lying piece of garbage!”. Once a year (give or take depending on the regime) we are subjected to more Sonny “woe is me” when someone he loves dies. Yet he makes no attempt, and has had countless opportunitiea…to get out of the mob and change his life so people he loves don’t get senselessly murdered. He is emotionally and physically abusive to women. He orders hits on people like other people order a hamburger. He demands loyalty yet offers absolutely none in return to anyone. If this character was presented and portrayed as the villain of the show it would offend and bother me much less. He monopolizedand dominated the show for over a decade under Guza and Phelps and while his screen time has diminished under Cartini…the time he does get he is even more disgusting of a person. Soaps were most successful when they were basically morality plays. We suffered along with the good guys knowing that the bad guys would get their comeuppance eventually. When an unrepentant murderer is allowed to run free like Sonny it diminishes enjoyment and sucks the life right out of the show and the viewing experience. I could tell you how I REALLY feel about Sonny but that’s my rant for the day.

  6. Deb says:

    I think the actress who plays Sabrina did a awful job of acting to be hurt! Her crying was terrible and at times made me laugh because she was so awful! The worst crying scene ever! My 7 year old does a better job of pretend crying than she did!!

  7. James says:

    Chere Marlena,

    What a fantastic week of GH it was. The Robin reveal kept me riveted to the TV. Yes, we knew it would happen during the wedding — it’s soap opera, so naturally it had to happen there. But they played it beautifully, making it a great payoff for an exceptionally good storyline. All that build up on Cassadine Island and then at Wyndermere, the hilarious antics of Faison and Obrect, Robert and Anna’s escape, even Bobbi’s return to inadvertently free Jerry Jacks. Great TV.

    And we’ve got so much intriguing story still to come. Who will Patrick choose, Robin or Sabrina? What will Julian Jerome once he finds out about Lucas? Where will Jerry strike next? What did Robert and Anna do with Faison? So many questions to keep us tuning in tomorrow. Just what good soap opera should be.

  8. janet says:

    Johnny That is word for word exactly the same way I feel about Scummy Coruptous. hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. You said it so much better.I shut the show off for years because of him.We know if they go back to the Guza years the great new rating will be flushed. I think FrankenRon are so full of themselves they think they did this all by themselves. Ha ha.If they keep up with the self centered mobs they will find out. If Subrina wins Patrick after dragging out the Robin scenes ,I will be gone also. frankenRon I would pat you on the back for this BUT, your hands in the away.

  9. DS0816 says:

    What has made “General Hospital” so riveting is demonstrating once again the importance of having the stakes be high. So many characters are caught in some type of web. With a picture of Kimberly McCullough’s Robin gracing this blog entry, there’s the incredible inconvenience of Jason Thompson’s Patrick having moved on with his life after the supposed killing of Robin. Yes, it’s flashy and traditionally twisty fare—to have the dead spouse emerge as being not so dead after all—but it has worked because of the execution. The storyline has played marvelously.

  10. Tony says:

    While I have enjoyed some GH a lot this year, i really have to echo what others have said about Sonny. The fact that an organized crime-lord is portrayed as sympathetic and even a hero really turns me off. It was one of the main reasons I gave up on GH years ago and only really came back this year. It annoys me to no end that the cops are portrayed as inept bumblers who constantly botch the simplest cases while Sonny’s “coffee” business thrives.
    But the real issue I have with GH this year is the total waste of Genie Francis. I really wonder why they bothered to have her back at all. What percentage of viewers tuned back in to GH50 to see a Luke and Laura reunion and remarriage? And what were the viewers given? Laura’s ridiculous, totally unbelievable and laughably idiotic remarriage to Scott Baldwin which collapsed in short order and was quickly followed by Laura’s complete disappearance. No matter how compelling the other story lines, I am finding it increasingly difficult to stay with GH. Sad, because I wanted to LOVE GH again. There were things I DID love this year. But I find my viewing experience has been soured by the incredible missed opportunity they threw in the garbage with Luke and Laura.
    Just my opinion.

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