General Hospital at 50: They’ve Only Just Begun …

Marlena says:  It’s a special time at General Hospital.  The 50th anniversary is coming up April 1 and it’s been just about a year since headwriter Ron Carlivati and executive producer executive producer Frank Valentini took over a dying show and made it must-watch TV.  Marlena’s dear friend and veteran journalist Ed Martin, who first started watching GH in the glory days of the early 80s, expresses the feelings of many avid fans at the current state of the show in this column, reprinted from his regular gig at TV Worth Watching. Ed’s been a guest columnist here many times, and I’m so happy to share his latest GH thoughts with you.

By Ed Martin

April will mark the 50th anniversary of ABC’s General Hospital. I’ll be marking my 35th anniversary as a steady GH viewer just a couple of months after that. One year ago, I was almost certain that neither anniversary would come to pass, what with the show in a death spiral after more than ten years of dreadful mob-based stories that had gutted virtually everything [Read more...]

Is General Hospital’s Vampire Story Too Much? Do The Bold and the Beautiful’s Taylor and Eric Deserve a Little Romance? Is Days of Our Lives Tops?

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

General Hospital:  So what do you think of GH’s vampire story that features characters from that soap canceled a decade ago, Port Charles?  Because it’s not over yet, I’m not going to conclusively  judge the storyline that already involves one murder (Allison Barrington’s)  and has “mad”  Lucy as seeing John McBain and Sam McCall Morgan really being vampires Caleb and Livvie, the characters Michael Easton and Kelly Monaco  played on Port Charles. I surmise the story is a means to an as yet unspecified end, providing suspenseful sweeps month mystery and excitement and introduction of a new character, Rafe (played by Jimmy Deshler), the teenage son of murdered Allison. He seems to be a future love interest for Molly. [Read more...]

General Hospital: Cuddly but Problematic

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

With all the cancellations these past few years, this old soap enthusiast  is thankful to have at least one soap to look forward to, and yes, cuddle up to in my afternoons. That soap is General Hospital, a doomed show I really want to see live on.  I watch

The biggest soap opera of all is the on-going cliffhanger of what will become of GH itself. I still want to have one involving  soap to look forward to every day, no matter how much I bitch about it.

every day, basically liking the day to day writing and production of the  episodes and the  performances . But of course as a critic, I still have objections to some of the overall stories.

For example:  Maxie is impulsive (such as when she slept with Franco) but she is not stupid.  She’s way too shrewd to have gone to trial and to jail for any man, let alone Matt the amnesiac killer of the long dead Lisa Niles. Except for the wonderful Spinelli-ness (fighting to clear Maxie’s name) of our adored Bradford Anderson, this story was a big, drawn out waste.  I’m so glad it’s over. Then we have Jason staying emotionally away so long and being separated  from the pregnant wife Sam, in effect blaming her for rape by his twin-brother Franco.

Do I detect misogyny in that part of the Sam pregnancy story?  Sure, I knew the separation was a plot device to give Sam more time to bond with John McBain.sam and john  And even though Jason eventually came around and told Sam he could accept the baby (after the baby was delivered and “died”) Jason distancing himself emotionally from his wife for so long  because she conceived the child (supposedly!) of his nemesis Franco, via rape, was essentially a whiff of something I never wanted to smell on an ABC soap again.

For a change, Jason is at least paying for something (as of this writing) by losing Sam after she found out that his thugs beat up McBain just after the delivery, causing, as Sam believes, the death of “her” baby. But will Jason ever be punished for his insensitivity to his pregnant wife? How long will Sam and Jason be apart?  Also, do you really think Jason will ever pay for the death of Franco?

Oh well, I can’t help asking this question even in the middle of a friendly review: Think about it — has GH really changed at its core since Guza left? Oui, mes amies, it’s better written, more entertaining and less blatantly offensive.  But Guza still casts a long shadow: witness more misogyny and the same old [Read more...]