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« Hope Floats | Main | The Long and the Repetitive »

April 11, 2012

Generally Happy

When I see General Hospital, or any soap opera, for that matter, being discussed in the mainstream press, it makes me anxious. And when I see General Hospital in a headline alongside the world "cancelled" when I am quickly skimming the news, it makes me gasp a most melodramatic gasp, complete with widened eyes and a hand over heard maneuver that would do the terrifying Kate Howard/Connie Falconeri proud.

But then I remembered that reading comprehension is a thing, and paid attention to what I was looking at, which was a headline touting the news that The Revolution was cancelled and General Hospital was not. And I sighed a sigh of relief (...while rolling my eyes again, some more, at Brian Frons and his decision to cancel two legendary daytime dramas to make room for a bargain basement version of a TLC reality show that barely made it past the eight week mark. A dramatic middle finger may have been involved) because I simply cannot imagine my life without this show. You know, without this show's storylines, and without this show's beloved characters, and without this show's immense helpfulness in expanding my vocabulary of words and phrases that include expletives. I would be...empty.

Am I jumping the gun in celebrating, because the show still doesn't have a time slot this fall? YES. Considering ABC Daytime's history of stupidity, is there a chance that things will go haywire? YES. Do I care? NO. And is that the same response I had to Maggie's statement today?

Maggie: I haven't seen you in weeks!

YES, it is. "NO!" I said. "Why won't you stay gone?"


I miss OLTL.

I can't help but wish THE REVOLUTION had debuted before THE CHEW because then maybe OLTL would still be on the air.

Ron Carlivati and Frank Carlivati are doing some good stuff over at GH but the never ending mobster crap totally puts me to sleep and only makes me miss Viki, Clint, and the rest of my Llanview favs all the more.

I am glad GH is staying around for another year. You can guarantee that if Frons and Co. were still running things, it would be gone too. What is tripping me out is so many people are disappointed that it is staying. Some from a fan base that thinks they only way they will get a reunion is if the show is cancelled (KMc NEVER said she would come back if the show was cancelled, that was all fan speculation and rumor)or from people who don't like the OLTL people (most of them coming are TEMPORARY)so they want it cancelled. Here is what I say to that. I have said it before and I will say it again......STOP WATCHING IT. If it is so bad to you that you want it cancelled, TURN IT OFF. It's just that simple. There are a lot of us that are ecstatic that it got a reprieve. Those that are not happy, I do understand but, like I said, you can always turn it off. I will NEVER understand the mindset of wishing people out of work just so something like a fictional couple could get back together can happen. :/

I don't understand the concept anyway of the people who would rather see GH cancelled than have OLTL characters come over. They wouldn't be up in arms over brand new characters, so what exactly is wrong with fleshed out characters with years of history? Especially when they are way more likable than most of the existing characters on GH?

I forgot Maggie even existed, figuring her exit had been just her fading out...my first thought was "Who is that?"

Dawn - Well said! I agree 100% with you. I'm thrilled with the news. I can't believe there are people who want the show to be cancelled just so that old favorites can come back....?? I'm as big a fan of Scrubs as you can get....however - do I wish JT & everyone else out of a job because there is a chance that KMc will come back for the finale? NO!! People need to keep in mind that this is a TV show & these are people's jobs on the line. As far as I can see the OLTLers are a positive addition to the show (still trying to get into Starr, but McBain has me won over)! I did not watch OLTL, but I can imagine the fans pain over losing it....but taking their anger out on GH is not helping and will not bring it back. If you don't like GH - don't watch it. There are storylines that I'm not crazy about, I ff thru them....if the day ever comes that I'm ff'ing through the whole show - I'll know it's time to give up. As long as people still have their own tastes & opinions there will always be storylines & characters we don't like. There are still plenty of fans who are rooting for it to succeed and wishing for the best.

I was very happy to read this, and though I was a OLTL fan (am?) I am also a GH fan and am hoping that this show can be turned around enough to keep it going.

I know the history of the OLTL characters (or many of them anyway) so it's no problem for me to get into their stories, and I'd really recommend those who don't know them, and would like to know the history, to go take a look at the history of them.

Watching the old shows on youtube is highly entertaining. It's really amazing to watch the old stuff and see how great it was back then. . .AND it doesn't interfere with my hubby's viewing of the hockey playoffs or baseball season opening. A win win!!

***My following statements may be inflammatory.

I don't think it's the OLTL fans who are complaining...I think it's the GH fans. I watched both shows (and AMC) and familiar with how pessimistic GH fans are when compared to other soap fans. I know it's a generalization and I am treading a slippery slope but I think OLTL was the best of the ABC soaps. All should have been preserved and improved. It's great GH will be around to celebrate its 50th but OLTL was better in quality and ratings. OLTL was campy but also very funny and compelling. Most of all, it had an abundance of likable characters (to offset Robert Ford).

GH is predictable, unfunny and lacks likable characters. The most likable character on GH right now is John McBain! The featured four (Sonny, Carly, Jason and Sam) are some the most vile characters I have seen on soaps who aren't "villains" yet we, the audience, are asked to root for them! Seriously, I'd take Viki, Clint, Natalie, Bo, Nora, Matthew, Blair, Todd, Tea, Roxy, Destiny, Shawn and David Vickers any day over the characters on GH!

Well I watched both and loved almost all the oltl characters you mention, but I can't agree. GH has likeable characters; Alexis, Patrick, Robin, Edward, Mac, Anna, Elizabeth, Lulu, Maxie, Tracey, Matt, Epiphany and though I share your feelings for the unfab four, there are times when even some of them are likeable (mostly Carly, or Jason when with someone other than Carly, Sonny, Sam or Spin).

I don't think GH lacks likeable characters, it's just those characters haven't had really good stories in the last few years. I am enjoying the addition of McBain (didn't know much about him cuz didn't watch oltl for about, oh, eight years) and Starr is starting to settle in a bit, and is definitely making Michael more watchable imho.

There are lots of possibilities for GH. . .lots of directions they could go. I think if they can begin bringing these other likeable characters to the game more, and build good stories for them, the show has a real chance to continue to improve.

I'll reiterate what I said before. .build up the Q's again! Bring Dillon back to be a foil for Dante and Lulu or for Michael to fight over ELQ with. . .bring back Lila-Rae, and her mom Skye! She has history at least with Todd and Starr . . . it would make sense to bring her back. Maybe Alcazar can be one of Tomas' aliases. . . that should bring on a great story. . .How about Ned? What about bringing back Lois and the music biz?? There's lots to be done!

As for villains you are asked to root for, Todd Manning anyone?. . . could there be another character so awful, messed up, twisted, angst-ridden, hateful, irresponsible, impulsive, painful to watch, and yet so completely loved?

On the other hand, us loyal GH fans know which characters we "hate" and which we don't. I'm sorry, but I'd rather have Ingo or Lexi back than have more OLTL characters on my screen.

If McBain can't take down Sonny, or get Sam to leave town then what's his function. I don't want Natalie to come to town. There are plenty of people in GH worth watching and rooting for: Liz, Tracy, Patrick, now Anna, Alexis, sometimes Matt.

I am beyond excited that GH was renewed, and I don't mind new characters, but I don't want half of Llandview moving to Port Charles.

How I wish The Chew AND The Revolution had bombed and we were able to KEEP all 3 of our soaps!

For all intents and purposes, I count as a new GH viewer. The last time I was watching GH was so long ago, that to me, Anna Devane is an AMC character.
I started watching GH COMPLETELY because Frank V. and Ron C. were taking over the show. Although I certainly didn't love everything they did - and detested some storylines - think all things Ford, and Jessica's last D.I.D. storyline in particular - it has always been clear to me that both men both have a feel and a love for the genre. I knew that if anyone could make GH watchable for me, they could. And, I wanted to support the last of the great ABC soaps.
For me, GH has been a (mostly) very pleasant surprise. Although basically unfamiliar with the characters, I quickly knew I would like Tracy and Alexis, Mac, Edward,(don't throw stones at me here), Elizabeth, Patrick, Robin, and others. Olivia reminded me farrrrr too much of Kwak Carey from AMC for me to like her, Steve is portrayed by a, at best, mediocre, actor, and although I wish no harm to Maurice Bernard, I have never cared for his acting since his AMC days. And I'm not a fan of the soap staple of violent storylines that had become far too prevalent in the past 10 years or so on all the soaps. But I knew that GH would NOT have Ryan Lavery or Greenlee, NOT have the Fords, but would have some very good actors, and characters with history. In the right hands some of the damage to those characters could be undone, and for this new viewer, a good deal of it has.
OLTL was my favorite soap, even though AMC was for a longer time, but it went downhill for a long time before it bit the dust. OLTL kept up the quality till the end, for the most part.
I don't see the OLTL characters being shoehorned in with only lip service paid to GH, for the most part. McBain has been a wonderful surprise, since I like him now and mostly didn't on OLTL. I know I'll enjoy Roger Howarth, and Florencia Lozano was a favorite of mine. If Trevor St. John joins the show, I suspect that both his and Florencia's tenure will be temporary, since he's made it clear he didn't want another long term soap committment, and she's made it clear the west coast is not for her, long term. I'd like to see Kassie de Pavia join the show, but that's pretty much it for who I can see doing successful GH transplants long term. I share your pain regarding Starr, but I think she's part of Frank V. and Ron C.'s - along with Michael - to build a young female fan base, which they were very successful doing on OLTL.

I'm being long-winded, but what I want to say is that I'm enjoying GENERAL HOSPITAL (think the devine Heather Webber for example), not just the OLTL characters in PC.

I do not feel like I'm watching OLTL 2.0 - I'm watching GH with some "new" characters to Port Charles who happen to hail from Llanview, new characters I'm familiar with.

I'm in it for the long haul. And I hope that fans like me who have signed on to GH can help save the show along with all of you have loved it and followed it for so long.

Nicely put boes.

Hi all. I apologize if I ruffled any feathers with my last comment. Perhaps, I was a bit too reactionary. I am still in a "post-OLTL-stress" state ;-) I agree with the eloquent statements of boes, bethie and Lucy D.

Now, I do think GH has improved from last year but the show still has no heart. OLTL had a lot of its heart and it was beating strong by the end. Hilarity from Roxy or David. One look from Bo to Nora. Todd flirting with Blair. A speech from Viki.

I think I'd feel differently if the focus was on The Quartermaines, Audrey was still around, Lucy returned, Scott Baldwin and Felicia Jones would appear. I have watched GH for over 15 years but it's nearly unrecognizable in it's current state. I co-sign bethie's suggestions for improving the show!

I'm in total agreement with soapbaby and am one of the (apparently) few around here who is displeased to hear that the worst soap out of the three is saved (albeit, for now) while the best one (OLTL) and the better one (AMC) was tossed in the trash.

To be frank, GH should've been the first one to go and the fact that ABCD still believes that it is worth saving (despite the welcome presence of OLTL characters) is deplorable.

+++Hi all. I apologize if I ruffled any feathers with my last comment. Perhaps, I was a bit too reactionary. I am still in a "post-OLTL-stress" state ;-)+++

Soapbaby, you couldn't ruffle my feathers if you tried. You have a fierce affection for the shows and the genre and that comes through loud and clear. I appreciate that so much. It's true of so many of the people who follow the awesome columns here at Serial Drama.

And like you, and Cleophus and so many, I miss OLTL like hell. Not a day goes by.....I thought that's how I'd feel about AMC, but so much damage had been done to that show by Frons and Co. that it needed more time than they gave Broderick to fix it, considering how many body blows it had taken due to Pratt and that sorry excuse for a human being, Frons. I was never so glad that in the end, OLTL suffered less damage because Frons didn't care about it. I think GH suffered as badly from that soulless interference as AMC did, from what I hear.

One thing the asshats at ABC did was destroy fans of the network, and crystalize that instead, we're fans of the genre. If GH can survive and prosper, it won't make up for the loss of OLTL or AMC, but it will one deep-seated pleasure, maybe the last, that we can know we had at least a hand in saving.

I don't think TPTB EVER anticipated the damage that angry and betrayed soap fans could inflict. And if they mess up GH again, they'll feel it - again.

^^ Aww, shucks boes! You're awesome and very generous. I literally began enjoying soaps while in diapers! It's such a stigmatized and maligned area of entertainment. It should be celebrated for its longevity, creativity and productivity (employing and inspiring scores of people.)

Clearly, you get the machinations over at ABC and I agree about the fact that we were spared Frons interference with OLTL! I really tried with AMC but felt it's cancellation was a "mercy killing" of sorts as the show had been a shell of its former self for years. (AMC improved in it's final months when Lorraine Broderick and Agnes Nixon took the creative reins.)

Still, I have to side with Cleophus about GH being the weakest of the three latest ABC soaps. It's really an "anti-soap" soap. It fancies itself a daytime version of a primetime soap (IMO, a poor knock-off of The Sopranos) when it should represent "love in the afternoon." Luke and Laura's love story put GH on the map! I grew up with family who adored Robert/Anna, Frisco/Felica and Sean/Tiffany. I FLOVED the young love story of Lucky and Elizabeth.

I know GH will not return to its former glory but I wish to feel emotionally invested in the characters and stories as opposed to feeling annoyed. LOL.

I'd say the same thing I said when Garin Wolf took over from Guza the Luza. If this show thinks Sonny and Jason are its heroes, it has no chance of fixing itself. If it figures out they need to be dropped, it has a chance. That simple.

Even the people who like those characters tend to agree that they're played out and have nowhere to go unless they radically change, and we know that Steve Burton in particular will never allow that to happen. So that's what it is.

So far, I'm not seeing a lot of positive signs, despite obvious improvement in writing and the return of Finola, etc. That's all good, but it won't fix the fundamental problems.

No feathers ruffled Soapbaby. I always enjoy your perspective. I myself was a bit tired of reading here and on another site about what GH needs is more and more people from OLTL.

I don't disagree that there are far too many people with no soul in Port Charles, but I think there's already been a change in direction since Frons and Phelps left and Ron and Frank arrived.

I don't like the characters of Jason, Sonny and Sam because they're predictable and one-note. We all know what they're going to do before they do it. I don't care who Sam's baby daddy is, but if it's Franco I fear weeks and weeks of JAAAAAAson.

Carly for some reason (maybe it's the performance of LW), like Johnny is far more nuanced a character--which it seems is what they're trying to turn Michael into.

@Lucy, it is actually JAAASIIIN! :)

LOL, Dawn. Thanks--I stand corrected.

I'm glad they got a reprieve, but I'm guessing it won't last long. My theory is they did this to keep Katie Couric's show from getting daytime fan backlash. I don't think ABC wants to be in the soap business anymore. I think they'll let GH get to 50 and then pull the plug.

KatR, that's what RavenBeauty just warned us about. According to her, Katie put pressure on tptb to save GH so she wouldn't have the pi$$-poor ratings of the Revulsion as her lead in.

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