Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column
Our thoughts on General Hospital and The Bold & the Beautiful were featured in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest, currently on newsstands.
by Mallory Harlen
Yes, it’s true that the season of eating, drinking and merry-being is winding down and the weather isn’t getting any warmer, but the upcoming weeks have their own special charm. Think about what the next month affords us: a new year, a fresh start and the opportunity to dream big. Anything can happen—even in Port Charles! And in case the writing staff needed a few prompts to get their creativity flowing, I’ve come prepared. You’re welcome, GENERAL HOSPITAL. It’s the least I could do.
Has anything brought the GH audience more soapy glee than the assorted adventures of the Scorpio family? The return of Robin has been quite nearly perfect: her search for a polonium poisoning cure (I love when they show her being smart), her bonding with Nikolas and getting the Cliff’s Notes version of what’s gone on in Port Charles since she “died”) (I love that the show remembered that they were friends), her reunion with her parents (do I even need to specify that I loved it? Robin’s “Daddy” to Robert and Finola Hughes’s wordless reaction shot to glimpsing her were both so amazing that I still get goosebumps thinking about it. And I think about it often, as I plan my own campaign for a Daytime Emmy nod for Hughes. The way she played Obrecht playing Anna was so genius that an Emmy might not even be enough recognition). It has all been so great and so old school soapy that I hope the show makes the Scorpios a centerpiece of the show in the coming year. And not just Robin; don’t get me wrong, I am so looking forward to her return upending Patrick and Sabrina’s great romance (those two words were supposed to be dripping with sarcasm. I don’t get “love” from Patrick as much as I do “You’re kind of okay. I don’t dislike spending time with you”) and perhaps spurring Sabrina into having an actual personality outside of being a shiny happy babysitter. But I want meaningful and frontburner stories for Anna, too. Surely that’s not too much to ask?
My hopes for the Franco…issue (that was diplomatic, right? “Issue”?) are more of a pipe dream. Look, I get that behind-the-scenes tussling necessitated a recast for Roger Howarth and I also get that Howarth works astonishingly well with Laura Wright and that his new character would need to be paired up with Carly so as not to waste their chemistry. But it still perplexes me that Franco was what the writers landed on, especially since they could have brought Howarth back as any character in the world (ANY ONE! A recast Steve Webber. Tom Hardy, the fictional doctor. Tom Hardy, a fictionalized version of the British actor) who didn’t have a sordid history filled with crimes against the people Carly loves most. I can’t watch their scenes together without wondering how Carly, who holds a grudge more seriously than anybody, could stomach even being in the same room as the person who so badly hurt Jason and Michael, no matter how brilliant an artist he is or how sad he is about his parentage (and honestly, would it kill the show to give Scott a child who’s not a psychopath? You could make this up to him by bringing Serena into town, writer. I’m just saying). So please, for the sake of your audience—keep them apart. Or else 2014 is going to be a long, gross year for us all.
My Take, Too
by Louise Schwarz
Confession time: I haven’t watched a soap since August. Throughout the summer, I’d only been keeping an eye on OLTL until that flew sadly out of our lives once again. By that point it had been over three months since I’d seen any other shows and I was a little too emotionally exhausted to jump back in and figure out what I’d missed. Now I’ve done a bit of an experiment and recently watched two episodes each of GENERAL HOSPITAL and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL just to see what they were looking like these days (and to see if I even recognized half the characters!).
Because B&B was doing its sentimental holiday episodes, it was tough to follow. Rick and Caroline are getting happily married now? Did she have another personality transplant and how did he fall out of love with Maya after all his many declarations that it was True Love Forever? Clearly Hope and Liam have reunited, since obviously we’re not lucky enough to be off that see-saw for good. It remains a mystery which Logan sister is this minute’s object of affection for Bill Spencer, but I imagine that vacillates on a regular basis. Has Marcus abandoned Dayzee to spend all her time with his insane family and all their drama? How has she not developed a drinking problem yet? And while I have no idea who Quinn or Wyatt are, I’m always overjoyed to have Rena Sofer on my screen. But the biggest takeaway from my visit? Pam and Charlie are my very favorite new onscreen couple! I’m loving that Pam doesn’t always have to be a joke and that someone finally appreciates her. Alley Mills is way too good to just trot out for bad lemon bar jokes over and over.
Over at my GH visit I got to see a little more action as the citizens of Port Charles were distracted from holiday festivities. You know how it is when you’re trying to fix turkey and stuffing and there’s yet another hostage crisis or a loved one coming back from the dead. Also, too many latex masks can really ruin a good potato dish. Sabrina seems to have just as much of an annoying Cinderella complex as she always did and is now best friends with Emma, the only real peer she has in town. Maxie appears to be setting herself up to make her standard terrible, terrible choices to ruin her chances of ever seeing her daughter again. And is Britt becoming a Real Girl at last? I hope so! I always thought she had potential for being a classic bad girl who gets redeemed (but not all the way, I hope she keeps her edge!). I really had the greatest timing for things that are relevant to my interests as I tuned in just in time for Robin to finally reunite with Anna, Robert, and Duke. You can bet I’ll keep following the aftermath of that, and not just because I am evil and look forward to Sabrina’s heartbreak and inevitable downward spiral. I hope.