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« The End Is Nigh | Main | I'm Optimistic! »

March 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary, GH!

Tomorrow General Hospital celebrates its 45th anniversary.  Happy b-day, show!  Remember when you weren't consistently disappointing?  Good times, those.

I'm so bitter about this soap that I can't even read what I think was intended to be a nostalgic, complementary article about the anniversary without going all uber-bitchy and hypercritical.

"You don't get to 45 years just because you're lucky," executive producer Jill Farren Phelps told The Associated Press as the cast and crew celebrated GH's April 1 birthday with punch and cake on the show's hospital set at ABC's Prospect Studios.

"But at this rate we'll be lucky to make it to 50," she added. 

"I think we're walking a fine line," said Phelps. "I'm very proud of all of the stuff 'General Hospital' is doing, especially the CGI. It's very cutting edge. We're trying to give a new look to this medium but without putting off our audience and making them wonder, 'What have you done to my show?'"

You are failing.  Oh, and by the way, what the eff have you done to my show?

"I'm always looking to see how to get more people to watch our soaps," ABC daytime President Brian Frons told the AP. "As part of that, later this year, 'General Hospital' will finally premiere in France. For us, it's not just about viewers on the broadcast network, it's about viewers around the world."

"International viewers, especially ones for whom English is not their first language, will take much longer to figure out the extent to which the show sucks now," Frons further explained.  "France was an especially important target for us, because people there think Jerry Lewis is hilarious and find Gerard Depardieu sexy.  We think sex symbol Sonny Corinthos, moral center Jason Morgan, and bestest mother and woman ever Carly will be big hits there."

Seriously, 45 years is impressive.  And while the most recent of those years has been about 80% awful (and that's being generous), this show had some fantastically great years.  Decades, even.  Let's reminisce!  Post your favorite GH clips or watch others' and remember why you started watching this once-fantastic soap.  And of course, remember to raise a toast on this big anniversary.  If you're like me (and Kelly Monaco, I suspect), it will be something along the lines of


"Cheers!  Or whatever.  I hope you suck less soon."


Yes. Yes, that's it Jill. The "special" effects are the reason why we look at the TV and say "WTF?" on a daily basis. Not the crappy writing, not the constant violence, not the range of emotions from outright boredom to confused bewilderment that go through our minds during any given hour. No, no, it's the Barbie Dream Bridge Sam was hanging from.

*sigh* Whatever. Happy Anniversary, GH. Let's hope that a milestone like that finally slaps some sense into you.

Wow. Jill Phelps and Brian Frons are both delusional. But regardless 45 years is a phenomenal accomplishment. If they make it to 50 I will be shocked at the rate they are going. And France. WOW is that how ABCD is making up for their loss of viewers and revenue here? How sad that this once GREAT show has fallen so far and I continue to miss the GH I fell in love with but regardless, Happy Anniversary and here is hoping Frons, Phelps, and Guza see the unemployment line very soon.

Wow. France. The French have always hated us now we give them more reasons to point and laugh at us(yes IA with the Jerry Lewis stuff). Wait until Osama Bin Ladin gets a look at Sonny, Jason, and Carly. This will prove to the Muslim world just how morally bankrupt America really is. Did we really need GH worldwide to prove to the world how ridiculous this show it.

Regardless - Congrads GH. IA with the prior poster. All 3 stooges at GH and ABCD deserve to be collecting unemployment.

I think the international market is perfect for GH. The movies that make it big over there are always the ones with the most carnage.

I can't believe JFP thinks the CGI is a big deal. It's distracting and stupid...just ask Steve Burton in that video you posted. The people behind GH are truly delusional; they have lost all perspective on why people watch soaps. Are they just movie/primetime wannabees who think these media are interchangeable?

There were some great moments in GH history. My favorite storyline was the romance of Holly and Robert, ruined a few years ago, of course, with Holly's cavalier attitude about the antidote for the epidemic.

And, of course, the story of Luke and Laura, ruined, of course, by the Luke/Tracy talk of how only Tracy makes Luke the man he really can be.

If you're not in the entertainment industry or a long time Los Angelino the kind of delusional thinking above by JFP, BF, and Guza seems unbelievable. Sadly it's the norm.

Insiders know this insanity and delusion is how must people survive in LA.

A place where mother's look younger than their grown daughter's and brag about it.

A business where the product is irrelevant as long as the promotion works and the opening weekend is a success.

A city where pet psychics not only make six figures with celeb clientele, but also get three picture deals after their reality series gets good ratings on TLC.

All while talented writers get passed over year after year script after script for movies with so little dialogue and so many explosions both 14 year old boys stateside and the Asian market will love them and see them more than once. (the lack of words and story make these movies simple to translate and cheaper to dub)

A city and an industry based on fantasy. A fantasy they all desperately want to live, and many do. Whether it's good for them or not and even if they cannot afford it.

Being delusional and out of touch with reality is business as usual in LA. Every entertainment exec. at all levels surrounds themselves with "yes" men at home and at work so they are constantly the hero or god of their own live's movie. The world punishes them and they conquer it with their so called art and fiscal success. And when they fail it is NEVER their fault. It's all spin and on to the next studio, network, or film.

So don't go crazy wondering how the three people responsible for GH know nothing about GH or the people who watch it or used to watch it or may watch it in the future. This is how Hollywood works for the most part.

Sarah - brillant post but ratings don't lie. at some point the yes men catch up with these execs when ratings fall, movies flop, tv shows are cancelled. Anne Sweeney is not stupid and Iger I think is a brilliant man and I can't believe with Disney';s success, these 2 fall into that 'delusional' bucket. ABCD has been spinning ratings for ages and they continue to fall with no action. Have Sweeney and Iger been brainwashed also? I hated Eisner but he at least gave a crap about ABCD. These so called 'genius's, appear to be buying Fron's load of dung.

Regardless happy 45th to GH. Gloria Monty must be rolling in her grave.

"Cheers! Or whatever. I hope you suck less soon."

Hear, hear.

My favorite clips were from the Natasha scam/Alexis' banishment. Actually, I still like watching any of the Cassadine storylines on DramedyQueen. Comparing JohnClaudia to StefLexis is the only thing getting me through the current episodes.

I want to be excited that GH is turning 45 but instead I am so sad. I used to watch this show every day for 25+ years and now I can no longer watch it. It's that bad. What planet does Phelps live on? She is truly delusional.

I'm not surprised GH isn't doing anything to celebrate this big milestone. Any sort of flashbacks would make NuGH look awful in comparison.

I love the romance and supercouples of the past: Luke & Laura, Robert & Holly, Frisco & Felicia and Duke & Anna. Now, that was LOVE in the afternoon.

And yes, Gloria Monty is rolling over in her grave. Happy Anniversary anyway, GH! I hope by the 50th, you'll have new management!

sarah, please do not blame the failings of abc daytime on los angeles. i have lived here all my life, and this stereotyping is drving me insane. there are a lot of smart and intelligent people who live here who are not all obssessed with their looks. and if they r, then so what? LA is a very diverse and wonderful place to live in. I have never posted here before, but this drove me up the wall. I have already seen a few posts like this before. People do not believe the hype that u see on tv, everyone is not a model or actor or in the entertainment industry.

Kim - seriously? I almost bought your "there are alot of smart and intelligent people who live here..." until you finished with "obsessed with their looks, and if they r, then so what?". Smart and intelligent people UNDERSTAND that looks aren't everything and hence, are not obsessed with them. Kim - that isn't a defense you put up - that there is what "intelligent" people call an oxymoron.

As for my fav GH era - Robert/Holly, Luke/Laura, Bobby and her Aunt... the old lady that ran the restuarant... Blackie (HELLO John Stamos)..... geez the 80's either were great or I'm old and reminiscing... Oh the Quatermanes? LOVED them....I mean the first generation - this generation running around aimless - Edward is spinning in his grave.

Happy 45th GH and you better celebrate it - because I got the odds and will take ALL bets you aren't going to see 50.

France is a big market to you??? Huh?????!!!! France isn't a big deal to ANYONE but themselves. Oh I get it - self absorbed people LIKE other self absorbed people.... the more I blog the clearer this quagmire becomes.

JHP, Frons, Guza - this show sucks. And if you don't believe the VIEWERS - ask Dr. Drew if you can audition for the next Celebrity Rehab because honest to God - it isn't that drugs kill you - it's you may live and become a complete idiot. All 3 of them are toeing THAT line...

Wow. I remember when GH celebrated their 35th with a big prime time special hosted by Tony Geary. Now? Nothing. That sounds about right. Oh, my poor show -- what has happened to you?

My favorite GH storyline will ALWAYS be original Liz/Lucky. I was just the right age to be COMPLETELY enthralled with the story, and Jonathan Jackson was so dreamy. That storyline is the reason I can never hate Liz, either.

Ohhh Roxanne...happy memories...happy memories..

my all time favorite scene will always be Luke and Laura going to identify Lucky's body in the morgue...and then Laura going all grieving mother on Jason/Sonny and hissing "Muderers!" in their direction. Chills....and good for the Sason hating soul.

I'd say Happy Anniversary GH but that would imply I'm wishign you many happy more.

JFP, Frons, and Guza are all delusional. Guza's only talent is to deconsruct every character until there is total destruction then kill them or change them so much the audience no longer cares. That is, of course, unless the actor is a member of the sainted group of Sonny, Carly, St. Jasus, and Liz. History means nothing to this group and of course there won't be a 45th tv special because there's been nothing but violence, destruction, mobs, explosions followed by St Jasus solving every problem in Pt Charles because he is superman. He and Sonny are the moral compass and Carly's relationship with Jason is beyond normalcy. Seriously, what spouse would put up with that? There's nothing memorable to show. There's no emotional connection with the characters. Guza writes sex, not love, so all "romances" (used liberally here) arc in 6 months. It's like watching Melrose Place. I loved GH: loved the Q's, loved Ned and Lois, the real Holly and Robert Scorpio, Tony Jones, loved Scotty and Dominique (his real love not the revision that it was always Laura), loved Luke and Laura, their adventures and conflict with the Cassadines. There's nothing left for me. I do enjoy Luke and Tracy, but not as love interests because I never saw Luke as a lapdog or gigolo and Tracy is a strong willed scheming woman who has nothing to do without Luke's presence. Can't they be rivals? Can't they plot something? I can and never will accept this revision of the LnL story. I liked Lulu but she bores me me and has nothing to do and no purpose. This Lucky is not the son of Luke and Laura. Where's Nedley? Monica is pretty much in the Q house alone. No Alan, Ned, Emily (even though I did not think much of NL's acting ability). The tuhmuh story of Nik has gone on way too long. Bore, bore, bore. . . My GH totally has been totally ruined by the trinity of JFP, Guza, and Frons. Too bad.

CHIgirl, Bobbie and Luke's aunt was Ruby.

Those were the days, weren't they? I remember when Alan approached Susan while she was a hostess at The Floating Rib and asked her to be his mistress...

The Left Handed Boy, the Ice Princess, Robert Scorpio and his accent and that hair...

I even remember when Scotty proposed to Laura the first time around!

You know that Guza wrote for Melrose Place, don't you Priscilla?

Anyone else find it funny that GH's anniversary date is April Fools Day?

Irony...thy name is the Cruel Cruel Soap Gods.

Kim I hate to disagree, wait, no I don't.

I lived full time in LA for nearly 13 years. And I commute there regularly for work and family. I lived in several neighborhoods and speak from vast personal experience.

The vanity there is a nightmare for all. And your "so what if they do obsess about their looks" proves it even more.

I never said EVERYONE there is a model, actor, or in the industry. But it is an industry town. And that affects the residents, all of them, to some degree. I have a million stories from tragic to hilarious that illustrate this but now is not the time or place.

I never said everyone there was stupid. On the contrary. There is plenty of intellectual life in LA. But it often falls to the wayside for Reality TV Stars and surf culture. And I personally like surf culture, on weekends. But intelligence doesn't drive the entertainment industry. Money does. And when they find a new way to make or save money art suffers.

Yes LA is diverse. Very diverse in the large sense. Which is great. It is a multiticultural city. But not in the way other major US cities are. Not that integration is anywhere near balanced in NY, Chicago, or SF etc....but in LA block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood race and socioeconomics are easily seen and seperated by said streets. Many sociologists say this is becasue there hasn't been a traditional "downtown" from the beginning so to speak. LA began as farmland, agriculture reigned before Hollywood. A downtown is needed, it's where all new immigrants and newcomers live and work together to improve their lives. LA has a real downtown scene now and it is thriving. But it is quickly gentrifying. There are people who live their whole lives in East LA or South Central LA who have never been to the beach. The neighborhood boundaries can be imprisoning.

The genre of Daytime Dramas is dying on network TV. Too expensive to produce for such low advertising revenues. It's business. The business of LA. That is why TIIC are trying cheap shlocky CGI, firing expensive older vets who they aren't really writing for anyways, and hiring young cheaper sexy actors w/ little or no contracts. They think it will bring in new and younger viewers.

And it's cheaper and easier than retooling the whole show and staff. To get back what made GH so successful in the past. Finding, hiring, and supporting a creative team to rescue and revive GH with history in tact and a style for the future takes time, passion, money, and power.

And Frons, Phelps, and Guza aren't going to waste their power on a dying industry for passion or even pride in their shows, if they even have any for their work to begin with. Because when daytime dramas do die on networks they want to get new jobs, better jobs. And fighting the corporate gods in charge won't get them primetime shows or huge development deals. Saving their careers as entertainment executives comes way ahead of saving their art. Sadly, that is a very large part of LA.


You guys, I have been meaning to tell you this for a while, and I guess now is the right moment. I am . . . a Californian. Born and bred. But wait, Los Angelenos, lest you think I will leap to your defense, I'm from northern California and was therefore brought up to hate you. But I think you're getting unfairly painted with a broad brush here. What to do, what to do?

I think the best way to resolve this is not to talk about LA. Let's get back on topic, which is of course the myriad ways in which GH sucks and does not live up to the potential of its great cast and rich history.

And if you want to chat about how the networks treat soaps (a worthy topic indeed, just a bit out of place here), there's a great thread in the forums for that.

Thanks for keeping it real[ly topical], yo.

Fave GH moments? Little Robin Scorpio, surrounded by weeping mourners, stoically following her parents caskets out of that church. Heart. clenching. And MyStone, MyRobin&Stone, oh, how I miss thee-again, heart. breaks. just thinking about them. And original LL2, after the rape, when Lucky "died"-OMG, the "murderers" line from GF? She SHOULD have won her supporting Emmy THAT year.

Oh Marianne. GF would never be allowed to say such a thing on today's GH. Call Sonny and Jason murderers. Sacrilige. How about someone calling Jason an Emily killer. Oh I forgot Monica did and then was resorted to groveling back to him.

But honestly, I can't wish GH a happy happy happy aniv because that would mean I would wish for many more and I don't. This show needs to crash and burn more than it has already.

I was rewatching that clip last night of the hissed "Murderers" and I had forgotten the next line Laura berated the two of them. "God help any of your children. Oh that's right. You don't have any." And it was during the Cottage Hell craziness when everyone thought Jason WAS Michael's father....

Don't mess with Momma Spencer....she'll make sure destruction comes your way. I'm just saying...all the issues heaped on Sonny's "children"? I think they can be traced to Laura.

sorry, to keep talking about this, but the majority of the selfabsorbed people are not from LA. They r people who came to this city with their warped point of view about the city. I think if you grew up here you are more grounded and look at these people with amusement. They were
twisted before they got here. I said so what because if that is how you want to live your life then whatever. I really don't give a damn.

Ohmigod, you guys! This is seriously tragic. We've all gotten so wrapped up in Northern California vs. Southern California, East Coast vs. West Coast, Obama vs. Clinton, Obama vs. McCain, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Blair vs. Jenny, Pete Doherty vs. Sobriety that we aren't remembering the real issue in all of this: General Hospital sucks AND blows.

Let's stop arguing about Los Angeles and stereotyping and global warming and, to borrow a phrase from Sinead O'Connor, fight the real enemy (please picture someone tearing a picture of Jill Farren Phelps/Bob Guza/Brian Frons in half) and focus on the show, not each other.

Was the anniversary montage at the end of the show a cruel april fools joke? it was like they just decided to completely piss on the work of all the performers and other people who worked on the show when it was actually good! i mean don't get mad at the people who came before you because you ran their show into the ground!! I seriously hope Gloria Monty goes poltergeist on everyone responsible for this montage!

Here's a recap if you missed it:
20 out of 45 seconds was dedicated to things that happened in the last three years!! the TMK bridge confrontation and the cannery explosion were included, both of which happened in the last 3 weeks. like anyone needed or wanted a recap of that craptasticness!!

and seriously FIVE clips of sonny!! Five in a 45sec montage that was supposed to cover 45 years!! are you frickin kidding me w/this!!

and there was a clip of anna and noah kissing which pissed me off to no end because it should have been either anna/duke or anna/robert or bobbie/noah or anything else as long as it wasn't that! how in any way, shape or form is the incredibly brief anna/noah pairing a memorable moment?

and the only quartermaines in the whole montage were dying emily with borg-jason at her bedside of course, jason saving sam, and a mini clip of lila. no alan, monica, tracy, or edward!! i mean no Alan and Monica in a GH tribute montage that's just stupid!!

they left out a ton of memorable characters and storylines to make room for crap!! and it looked like the clips at the end were picked out of the 10,000 episode montages. they're same clips, slowed down exactly the same way and just thrown together really sloppily!! can you say Lazy!

GH officially no longer exists for me, I am so done with their ridiculousness!! From now on I choose to live in the 70s 80s and 90s when writers could actually write, the people who made decisions about the show were smart, the characters were cared about because we knew them for more than 30 seconds and they had connections to other characters, and the actors were capable and allowed to actually act!!

so i'm kind of excessively dumb and just realized that i was talking about the montage that aired on ET to promote the montage that aired after the April 1 show. i don't have to recant most of what i said because the montage after the show wasn't much better than its preview. it was set to music but still only 45 seconds long and it used basically the same clips rearranged a bit, with a few new ones thrown in (happily alan/monica, tracy/lila were among them). and you can all breath a sigh of relief because none of sonny's five clips were taken out, i know you were worried they wouldn't adequately display his greatness.

It's apparent that Guza had input on this one because a jason/liz makeout scene was added (glad i didn't eat before watching) as was the clip of jason shooting up the church. and the last three clips were of Carly/Jax, Jason/Liz, and Sonny/Brenda-the holy trinity of the mob!!

Here's a vocab lesson for the people that made these montages: a memorable moment is something that is WORTH remembering. not crappy cgi effects that were part of a crappy storyline that had crappy dialogue!!

"It's apparent that Guza had input on this one because a jason/liz makeout scene was added (glad i didn't eat before watching) as was the clip of jason shooting up the church. and the last three clips were of Carly/Jax, Jason/Liz, and Sonny/Brenda-the holy trinity of the mob!!"

I'm just surprised Guza didn't fit in the Good Friday Massacre. Or at least one Copkilla Eyeroll.

I began watching GH in high school at a friend's house. She would explain the storyline, back story and relationships to me. I didn't care until the day Robert Scorpio walked into ELQ. The dark good looks, the Aussie accent, I was hooked. There have been times when I didn't watch (the first time Lucy Coe left, for example)but I've always come back. I don't mind the "anyone can be killed at any moment" mindset on GH of late, But I do mind the lack of fun and adventure. When I watch the old clips on YouTube, I'm reminded of how much fun GH used to be: Luke and Laura's summer adventures, Lucy Coe's endearing wackiness, Robert and Anna's banter, Sean and Tiffany's wedding—--the absolute best and funniest TV wedding ever. The WSB was corny and over the top, but it was great because you could tell that no one was taking themselves too seriously. And sure, characters who died always seemed to come back, but after awhile away. In barely the last year, characters have died but we still can't get rid of them: Alan is a ghost, Carly went to purgatory, Emily is a hallucination and Luke went on trial for his life. There's no fun anymore, no adventure, no pure escapism. I love to get all choked up over the Port Chuck folks as anyone else (I still cry when I watch clips of the BJ's heart storyline) but I want the writers to put the fun back in GH. As for them not showing any kind of 45th anniversary clips or tribute, it makes perfect sense. By showing us GH's past glory, it would have only pointed out how tarnished the show has become. All you have to do is watch an old clip on YouTube of a traditional Quartermaine Thanksgiving, see the mansion filled with family, pizza, and loopy joy to lament the good old days and see the problems that have beset GH.

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