Friday, January 15, 2010

Why I Only Watch GH These Days

Okay, so the title is an unexpected play on words, but still true. From the time I was about five years old and at home with grandmother in the afternoons after school, I discovered soaps and have been a fan throughout my high school and college years. At one time, I watched All My Children (AMC), Another World (AW), Days of Our Lives (DOOL), General Hospital (GH) and Santa Barbara (SB).  I was able to do this because of how they staggered the times of the shows.

As I grew up and my tastes changed, I began to appreciate the depth of certain characters and complexity of plotlines.  As much as I hated the fact that Santa Barbara and Another World ended, I now really appreciate the wisdom of that choice.  The writers could have kept them going instead, and wrote pitifully stupid storylines, just as DOOL and AMC has done, but they didn't.  They chose to end good stories on a high note.  I remember that SB ended with the marriage of two characters BJ Walker (Sydney Penny) and Warren Lockridge (Jack Wagner).  Now, I couldn't remember the full character names after all this time, but I did remember the actors involved.

For example, I remember when I first saw Nancy Lee Grahn, who most of us know as the feisty lawyer on GH.  However, I remember seeing her first as Julia Wainwright on SB.  If memory serves, she landed on the beach of the Lockridge estate in a Cessna...  Anyway, Nancy was just one of a host of top notch actors and actresses filling the streets of Santa Barbara.

Sure, the characters were devious and there was family rivalry and some love triangles, but the storylines were always good and carried off as believable.  Kudos to the writers of AW and SB for ending two great shows with a bang!  DOOL and AMC can only wish to be so lucky.  I keep catching glimpses of the current storylines and go, "They are so hard up for viewers that they're going to the bottom of the barrel for this one!"

Seriously, one of the worst storylines DOOL writers ever came up with was that whole Bo/Carly/Lawrence triangle.  After the viewers at the time were so happy that Carly and Lawrence left town, hopefully never to return, DOOL writers do the boneheaded thing and bring them back.  The reason they bring them back is the dumbest storyline in the history of dumb storylines.

Longtime fans know Bo and Hope as the one remaining super couple left on DOOL - reconstituted after Hope supposedly died in a vat of acid and returned as one of Stefano's pawns with no memory named Gina.  All through his string of loves during the time of Hope's supposed death, he always carried a torch for Hope.  In fact, when in the midst of a relationship with Billie, he was ready to drop her when Gina surfaced, because of the fact that not only did she look like Hope, Bo knew in his heart that Gina was Hope.  He loved Billie, but Hope was always the love of his life, and he wanted to be with her, unfortunately, Billie was pregnant and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Anyway, it was at about this point that I quit watching because, well, I thought the storyline of Hope coming back from the dead was bad enough to begin with, but everything else just went downhill from there.  I'm sorry but Bo is not Luke Spenser and never was, and it seems that DOOL is trying to create the magic that GH has, but is failing miserably.  Of course, you have to have magic to begin with, and DOOL never really did.  However, when you take a guy like Bo, who is fiercely loyal to Hope by nature, and start having him cheat on her and thus destroying the only super couple the soap really ever had (other than Hope's parents Doug and Julie), then you destroy any credibility as story tellers.  Bo and Hope were childhood sweethearts and loves.  Bo has never been a cheater, and it was never in his personality, so when they first made Bo a cheater, I quit watching. I happened to catch Thursday's episode of DOOL only because I missed Thursday's episode of GH and thought I would catch it on Soap Net rather than the Internet.  DOOL is on after GH in the lineup, so it was just on.  To top off bad storylines, they added a troop of bad actors from Passions (the worst soap ever!) into the mix.  It just happened to be the death of Mickey Horton, so I watched as much of it as I could tolerate.

Honestly, with as bad as some of these storylines are, I'm surprised that DOOL and AMC are still on the air.  People may complain about the recurring mob theme - one that's been part of GH for as long as I've been watching and can remember - but at least the storylines are believably complex and the characters' reactions to their situations feel real.  The writers may have brought back Luke and Laura, and may have split up Luke and Laura, but at least the way they did it was believable and realistic to follow.

The only knock I have with GH deals with the characters of Carly and Jax.  Carly has turned into this whiney, irritating person, and Laura Wright doesn't do much for me, and Jax hs become this hypocritical jerk.  He can't stand Sonny and doesn't want him in Michael and Morgan's lives, but yet he has repeatedly helped his no-good brother Jerry again and again.  Jerry is 10 times worse than Sonny ever could be.  Sonny has a real excuse as to why he turned out the way he did.  What was Jerry's excuse?  Too much money growing up?  This is just one set of characters I wish would just go away!

On a better note, Jonathon Jackson has reprieved his role as Lucky Spencer!  Since his return, I have been able to appreciate the character of Lucky again.  Lucky finally has more emotional range than angry.  Even during the so-called love scenes, when Lucky was played by Greg Vaughn, Lucky seemed constantly angry.  Now, with Jackson at the helm, Lucky can be happy, in love, exasperated, irritated, annoyed, angry, confused and a host of them I can't quite think of at the moment.  Jackson makes the character of Lucky so much deeper than he has been in such a long time.  I know this is the second blog post on this topic, but the fact that I can say this after having watched the show since Jackson's return, means that GH has gold, and they best keep it!!!

I found this you tube video that someone made from an old clip of Luke and Lucky.  It is so funny, I had forgotten about that dancing episode!  It was classic and definitely a sign of the 80s!  However, I think that Tony Geary (Luke) might have thought this was lost, ha ha ha, NOT!

The gold that GH has isn't just in it's actors, but in it's writers, too.  Okay, so I don't like some characters, but that doesn't mean it's bad writing.  Now, if GH writers decide to blow up Robin and Patrick, they might make me mad.  I don't get how a guy like Patrick who worked so hard to save Robin when she was suffering from PPD, only to have him cheat on her.  If he was that way, then why would he go to all that trouble?  I hope they do not opt for this direction.  People do stay married and do not cheat in this day and age, even if it is rare.  Why can't they be one of the rare ones?


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