General Hospital

In noticing the awful ratings this past week and how GH has come in LAST in pretty much every category and lost 300,000 viewers is quite upsetting. Whether you watch or listen consistently or you’ve finally tuned out, these ratings should hit a bit hard. The reality of how much ABC hates the soaps, didn’t support them and is now allowing the feather in its daytime cap to implode is very sad to say the least.

The last time GH was in the toilet was back in the lat ’70’s when they hired Gloria Monty to finish out its tenure. But, also, she turned it around, ratings shot up and GH became a critically acclaimed daytime drama that even was able to boast “Luke and Laura” gracing the cover of Time Magazine. Gloria made a dead-end show into something magical and amazing. I can recall RUNNING home from school or the bus so I wouldn’t miss even a minute of my favorite show. I loved Luke & Laura, Robert, Tiffany, the Cassadines, the Quartermaines, the Jones family and everyone else in between. There were characters you absolutely loved and then those delicious characters you loved to hate. There was family, friendships, romance and adventure. They were incredible times that took us from our every day lives to escapism, GH style.

Times changed, new regimes came in, along with new characters and different tales. but, the recipe Gloria Monty left was still in use. Claire Labine, head writer under, EP Wendy Riche took GH into a heart and soul era, timely tales of breast cancer, BJ’s Heart and HIV/AIDS and weaved those stories into the fabric of what has made GH great all these years. Each story was an umbrella story that wove all smaller stories into the one because of how the characters interacted together and how their lives would overlap. Almost always from the ’80’s and ’90’s, at the end of each week, many of the characters would end up at the local waterhole, whether it was Dellafield’s, The Outback or Luke’s Club, they came together and had a good time. Things were not blown to bits nor was someone maimed each week.

Once Frons took over ABCD, things for the soaps took a turn for the worse. The promotion for daytime dramas seemed to disappear where as under Angela Shapiero, they flourished in the ’90’s. That should have been our first clue as to what ABCD/Disney wanted to do with the soaps, they wanted them gone. During the next 10 years of the new millennium, bit by bit the soaps were dismantled and criticized. Not just by ABC, but by all 3 networks. The soaps were disappearing and viewers were becoming jaded and quite critical of behind the scenes happenings. Fan faves were being replaced by cheaper, younger, green actors. Pieces of the fabric of the shows (GH in particular) were getting lost and it caused a disconnect between the fans and their favorite show.

I look at now. I look at All My Children leaving the daytime line up and The Chew taking it’s place. The past few weeks, the ratings have been in the sewer for The Chew and ratings have dropped for OLTL and GH (GH has lost the most footing) and I blame the loss of AMC as their lead in. I, for one, would put on my local 12 Noon news broadcast and just leave ABC on until after dinner. Not anymore. I turn off ABC at about 8am and put cartoons on or one of the major news channels until 2pm. But, I find that I am not as invested in any of the shows any longer. I get to 1pm and miss my show and I know in January my OLTL is gone.. Then there is GH. GH with how it is written, edited & directed makes it seem like it is just about already gone. At least with the other two shows, at this point they were pulling out all stops and really bringing the drama, romance and sense of family & friends back to their canvases. But, TPTB at GH really don’t care at all about how the show is perceived, if we watch or if we even LIKE the show.

The things I feel are wrong with the show are these:

No adventure, no intrigue, no friendships, no family, no romance, no love, no heart, no soul.

All there is discord, choppy stories, stories that have been dropped, stories that have been changed every 5 minutes, and a lack of anyone caring a fig about the show one way or the other.

The show cannot be fixed. The show will not be saved. Katie Couric is already slated to be in the GH time slot in many major markets, starting next September. That time has been given back to the affiliates to do with as they see fit in many markets.

I would like to see a very strong writing team come in and fix the darn show! I want GH to go out on a high instead of in the crap factory! I absolutely ADORED this show for the majority of my life. I could not get enough for more than 20 years. I FLOVED the show!! But now, I am just so sad when I watch. The characters just sit and talk so much that much of what they say gets lost because it’s all redundant, drawn out and we, the viewers, get board, eyes glaze over and just can’t believe the lack of any movement in any scenes. I don’t wish to ever see Luke or Lucky cry again. Forget the drugs! That storyline sucks ass and is so depressing and low. I’m not sure who exactly Lulu belongs to because other than looks, she’s nothing like Laura or Luke. I’m not interested in seeing Sonny in a relationship at this time. He needs to have a relationship with himself before anyone else. I am underwhelmed at the Dante/Olivia/Kate/Sonny speculation. I think Garin Wolf is Bob Guza in badger clothing continuing to ruin this once wonderful show with drab, boring, bleak and redundant storylines.

I wish I could explain to you all how much I loved this show. I wish I had a snapshot to share of how great it once was. Amazing stories, talented cast, fabulous editing and thoughtful writing. I carry my memories of this show and savor the past, take the present for what it is worth and worry about not only GH’s future but the future for the soap genre in general. Yes, they are continuing online. It won’t be the same and there are no details as to how exactly we will view them, if they will be daily, weekly or an hour or 30 minutes. Things will be quite different in many ways. Perhaps, the medium will grow and continue to evolve as soaps did once before from going from radio to tv. We’ll have to wait and see how progress continues or fails. I hope changes will be for the better and eventually my soaps, our soaps, will grace tv, internet and wherever else they could possibly pop up again in the future.

For now, I do hope for our show that some GOOD changes happen to interest the current viewers and attract new viewers to the once magnificent show. But, I hear through the proverbial grapevine many changes are to come and none that we, the viewers will like. I wonder how much further the ratings will drop and if anyone will care when the final announcement comes about GH’s future?

TTFN xoxo~Ro

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