Once in a while, I like to pop in as a guest blogger and have Ro post a Lo’s blog for me. I normally don’t have a whole lot to say that is relevant, other than normal bitching and moaning about GH, so I try to just keep my rants to Twitter (follow me @Lisa_Lois), where they stay under 140 characters and nothing gets too out of control. But today, after a few glasses of chardonnay, I have some things I want to say.
First, I want to applaud ABC Daytime Television. I know I may be giving you kudos too soon, but I hope and pray that you exceed my expectations. Firing Jill Farren Phelps may have been the best thing you have done in the past 10 years, other than bringing back Vanessa Marcil-Giovinazzo and letting Bob Guza walk away. I also want to applaud you for bringing on a new head writer. I’m sure very few will argue with me when I say that the writing has been total crap. It brings great hope to know that someone who has respect for soap history will be writing Robin’s exit.
And that is what brings me to the topic of this blog. History. The History of General Hospital. This is more important to me than anything. I want to see history respected. I do not want to see history rewritten every 10 minutes for a plot point. First, I am going to speak as a fan of General Hospital, and then I am going to speak as a Sonny and Brenda fan.
As a fan of General Hospital, I have to say lately, I haven’t been much of one. Why? Because the show isn’t even a shade of what it once was. Yeah, the characters are still there, but the content is really lacking. I’d be surprised if it could hold the interest of an 8 year old, but then again, most mothers these days wouldn’t let their 8 year olds watch General Hospital because it is too violent, boring, you pick an adjective. It’s quite sad.
To talk about GH, you need to know my GH history. I started watching General Hospital when I was 12 years old. Santa Barbara was cancelled 1/15/93 and I tuned into GH on 1/18/93. I was mad at NBC, I wanted to get back at them and I thought by switching stations (even though I still watched Another World) would get back at them. Hey, I was 12, I didn’t say I wasn’t naïve. One of the first storylines that I got thrown into was Scotty and Dominique. She had brain cancer and was dying. Lucy was carrying their baby. It was amazing. I was hooked. I couldn’t look away. And then came Brenda, Sonny, Luke & Laura returned with Lucky, Ryan Chamberlain was trying to kill Felicia, his twin brother Kevin was brought on…the excitement and adventure was amazing. This show was bringing storylines I never even dreamed of when I was watching Santa Barbara. I was hooked! And then, Claire Labine brought in Stone, Robin, and the AIDS storyline. It was one of the most beautifully written and poignant pieces ever played out on daytime television. Not only did it involve Stone and Robin, but also their best friends, their families, and even people they barely interacted with. We saw an ensemble cast come together as one and bring something so amazing to the TV that I don’t think it could ever be recreated.
At that time, the veterans were shown respect. They were given actual stories. They weren’t just brought out for one line and then thrown back into the closet like they are now. They were what GH was centered around. It was once a show that had such a capacity to give almost every fan what they wanted. We had adventure in Luke and Laura, we had passion in Sonny and Brenda, we had sadness in Robin and Stone, and we had stability in Edward and Lila. Now, those memories have faded away and things like ELQ and the actual hospital part of General Hospital are almost a distant memory. Anyone remember when Jax and Sonny both held shares in ELQ and how mad Edward would get when someone he disliked got a hold of ELQ shares? That was quality entertainment. When was the last time we saw an ELQ board meeting? I don’t remember, either.
This is my point. This is the stuff people want. Chasing away veterans like Jonathan Jackson, Kimberly McCullough, and all the others that are “recurring” (and by recurring, it means we dust the cobwebs off of you long enough for you to get your Screen Actors Guild health insurance) is not what people want. People want to see not just Sonny and Jason, but also Mac, Edward, and Monica. Bring everyone to the table. Keep the cheap newbies, but please, give us the characters that we want! Yes, the actors are getting older but we don’t care! Look at OLTL…no one is complaining about Viki Buchanan and Dorian Lord being too old.
As a Sonny and Brenda fan, I want my couple honored and respected. I know that isn’t always going to happen because Brenda is currently off the canvas. (I also want to note that I know Sonny and Brenda are not real people, but only characters written on a show. It has come to my attention that some believe S&Bers are delusional. Well…we aren’t). Anyway, because Brenda is not on the canvas, I expect Sonny to have other interests. That doesn’t mean I want him to sleep with the first recast that hits the canvas, but hey, I don’t always get what I want. However, the fact that they have brought a character like Kate on the canvas, not once, but twice with two completely different back stories (and actresses I might add) is what is appalling to me. Not only are they disrespecting Sonny and Brenda by trying to say that Kate was Sonny’s first love (come on, anyone who watched GH from December 1993 – September 1997 & Aug 2002 – Feb 2003, and Aug 2010 to Aug 2011 knows different….and also in 1998 when Brenda died and Jason told Sonny that Brenda was dead), but they also are disrespecting those that were fans of Sonny and Kate by rewriting the history that had already been rewritten. Keep in consistent, people! If you want us to like a couple, you have to make it believable and the fact that you are making a mockery of the first Sonny and Kate pairing is keeping people from supporting it. Also, I just have to point out that just because I do not support the Sonny and Kate pairing does not mean that I do not support Maurice Benard. He is amazing and I will always support him, but some storylines I do not agree with and by telling me that I am a bad fan for not supporting it isn’t going to make me want to support it anymore. I love Maurice…I always will. I will not love Sonny and Kate. Stop trying to intimidate me into doing something I don’t want to do. End of story.
I hope that with this new headwriter and executive producer, you find what the fans have been looking for. Listen to the fans for once. Give us, the fans, what we want. All we want is to have our show back to what it used to be when it was on the tail of Y&R’s ass in the 90’s. ABC Daytime, you may wonder why soaps are dying. It’s because of you. We stopped watching because you stopped listening.
A special thank you to my Lisa-Lo who was able to put into words what I couldn’t. Her view is similar to mine on this and I hope that if GH is truly cancelled, our show gets repaired and goes out on a high note. We deserve the show to be better, the actors who have to deliver the lines deserve the show to be better.
Here’s to a better year or season.. No matter how long or short, let’s hope we can all start watching again and enjoy what the new PTB are bringing with them. That is creativity, fresh stories and cast interaction. *CHEERS*
TTFN xoxo~Ro 🙂