Our latest thoughts on General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and One Life to Live were featured in our latest column in the November 22nd edition of Soap Opera Digest.
by Mallory Harlen
DAYS OF OUR LIVES has always been the subject of sneers and rolling eyes; for some reason, people have long memories when it comes to stories about demonic possessions and entire towns falling victim to a serial killer for approximately three minutes. But when the show is on, as it has been for the past few months (…well, for the most part, anyway. The pacing, as always, leaves something to be desired; I was able to pick the show back up after an extended hiatus in a matter of minutes.), it’s really on and the rest of the soap world—ahem, GENERAL HOSPITAL—could stand to learn a few lessons from it.
Legacy characters in Salem aren’t merely brought out for cameo appearances during big splashy events and holidays: they are the heart and soul of the show. Victor Kiriakis has been hatching evil schemes since I was a toddler, and Jack and Jennifer started their epic romance decades ago and yet it is their stories that I excitedly fast forward to (no offense to the younger set, of course. They’re entertaining, too. Just less so). Too often, soaps make the assumption that “veteran” is a polite way of saying “stale” and cast aside compelling characters for something new and fun, so it’s wonderful to see the DAYS writers try new things like putting Victor and Maggie together, which is one of my favorite soap twists in ages. Meanwhile, GH’s lone couple of a certain age is Luke and Tracy, whose latest story has seen Tracy sexually blackmailed by Anthony Zacchara which, according to the uplifting score in all of their scenes, is supposed to be hilarious. Because what’s funnier than watching talented actors in an offensive story far, far below them? Anything. Anything is funnier than that.