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GH: Let Me Count the Ways I Despise Thee

GH: Let Me Count the Ways I Despise Thee

I’m dumbfounded as to why the writers of this show are only capable of telling two major stories right now. This show has a large, talented cast that’s being used to prop one of these two stories, and not only is it exhausting to see all the talent wasted, but it’s beyond annoying.

Oh, General Hospital, you wound me so.

I’m dumbfounded as to why the writers of this show are only capable of telling two major stories right now. There’s the never-ending father and son battle, which has moved into a murder trial, and Elizabeth losing her mind because she thinks she’s in love with two men. I say think because I have my opinions on who she loves and who she doesn’t, and one of the men is nothing more than a pathetic crutch that she needs kicked to the curb. May Shadybrook save her as well as all of us. 

This show has a large, talented cast that’s being used to prop one of these two stories, and not only is it exhausting to see all the talent wasted, but it’s beyond annoying. The only plus side to the stories on the show are that actors who didn’t used to appear invested in their story are finally stepping up and showing interest in their material. That said, good acting can only carry a story so far, and it isn’t enough to keep a story continually interesting.

Maybe it’s my lack of patience for seeing Sonny grieving over missing so much of Dante’s life, but I think this story peaked around the time that he shot his son in the chest. It was interesting to see Sonny’s reaction to not only shooting an undercover cop, but to learning that the man was his son. We saw a side of Sonny we weren’t used to seeing, the vicious mobster who was willing to go to great lengths to protect his business. This should be second nature to him, but on a show where the mobsters are the heroes, we see Sonny attempting to hug it out rather shoot it out unless it’s a sweeps month.

This sweeps started with a shooting that spawned an entire month of story, and while it was somewhat interesting, it got old fast. I don’t want to see upstanding characters, who value honesty and the right side of the law jump in line to beg Dante to forgive his father. Kristina is the only person who seems to have a sense of what an awful man Sonny is, and I wait for the day that she suddenly finds his halo again and sets it atop his head. She’ll forget how cruel he was, how he almost took his own son’s life, and I’ll go back to disliking her like I do any character that defends Sonny.

Case in point, Robin, who I understand has a deeply rooted history with Sonny because of Stone, one of the most beautiful love stories ever told on the show. However when you only pull out that love story to prop a character, it comes off cheap and taints the classic beauty that was Robin and Stone. Was I the only one who thought Patrick had every right to snap? For once, I just want the bad guys to own their title, and the good guys to actually get a chance to shine instead of having to stand behind these men. When you have men like Patrick and Jax, who could definitely use some soaping up to get them out of their vanilla story lines, why is more time being wasted on Sonny crying over another spawn and Jason complaining about how he did this to Michael? It’s just so boring.  

Even the Nikolas/Elizabeth/Lucky triangle has lost my interest, and Elizabeth and Nikolas were the pairing that pulled me back into watching the show on a daily basis. Over the last week I found myself feeling like I was watching a more poorly written version of the Lucky/Elizabeth/Jason story from years ago. It’s so annoyingly obvious that the writers haven’t the slightest clue who they want Elizabeth to end up with, and if they do, they’re going to try and work these three in a story for as long as possible.

Newsflash writers! This story was old the second Lucky spent two weeks getting drunk and spewing to anyone who would listen after learning about his fiancé’s affair. I realize that some of the writers have the memory of a goldfish, but this is a genre that thrives on history. Soap operas are all about the stories of the past and how they create the present. This don’t mean that you recast a character (coughLuckycough) and play on a storyline (coughElizabeth’s rape cough) that happened when Jonathon Jackson was on the show ten years ago and attempt to completely negate all the awful things he did when he was being played by someone else. All this does is really piss your viewers off even more than you already have.

How much sympathy are viewers supposed to garner up for a man who consistently slept around on Elizabeth in this past? Despite the halo you’ve placed atop his little head, Lucky Spencer is no angel, and the viewers know this. We watched him sleep with Sarah, Maxie, and Sam, the latter of which he openly rubbed in Elizabeth’s face. Why are they trying to make it seem like the affair was one-sided? Elizabeth and Nikolas slept together because they wanted to, and they kept doing it because they liked it. Don’t try to place more blame on one of them to make the other look worse because we remember exactly how it played out onscreen. You should too considering it wasn’t that long ago. When does being indecisive get to be too much for Elizabeth? It’s about time this damn woman got a change of pace. Soap opera or not, being torn between men is so overplayed for her. As much as I love this woman, her inability to make a choice between two men is why she’s in this mess.

I guess my biggest issue is that I doubt this story is going to have any real payoff. This is where I remind myself what I’m watching, and I wonder why I ever expected one in the first place. Triangles are the soapy goodness this genre is made of, but they always fall flat on this show. They can’t seem to keep the writing even or flesh a story out well enough to keep the viewers interested. The sparks only last for a short while and fizzle long before the story takes off, and we’re forced to watch it drag on and on for months on end.

That’s probably the biggest complaint from any General Hospital fan. When was the last time that you – yes, you reading this – felt like you got a clear payoff from your favorite story? When did you last walk away feeling satisfied with what was on your screen and not tell yourself that it doesn’t get any better than this? And when you find something you do like, are you hesitant to get invested because you know at some point it will be blown to pieces by terrible writing and storylines that don’t make any sense?

Jason and Sam fans anticipated their couple being reunited for a long time, and now that they’re together, they don’t have a story at all. Other than the occasional romantic gesture to suppress the viewers, Sam spends most of her time getting coffee or reading magazines on his couch while Jason worries about Michael or Carly or Sonny. There’s always the promise from Guza for Sam’s story, who despite my personal feelings for the character, has potential and could carry a story of her own, but she’s never been given the chance. Is it so bad to want a woman to have a story outside of her boyfriend?

Not to mention that it would be nice to see some kind of growth from Jason, who desperately needs to find something outside of Sonny, Carly, and Michael. His life has been about them for over ten years, centering around them and keeping him from truly getting one of his own. He’s about as stilted as they can possibly come on GH, and it’s crazy for me to think that he used to be my favorite male lead because now all I want to do is kick his face in whenever he’s on my screen. Too much? It must be a bad sign when a show incites uncontrollable, violent thoughts.

I won’t even touch on the fact that this show has the word hospital in the title, and the hospital staff has virtually no story. Every viewer online points out how frustrating this is. Patrick and Robin are one of the strongest couple on the shows, and in my opinion, two people who more than deserve a good story. The writers made a mockery of Robin’s postpartum depression last year and totally dropped the ball with having a character who had an HIV pregnancy. How could they skip on the potential of showcasing HIV in favor of having a couple make blogs about one another? It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t even cute. And it was one of the many things that made viewers want to throw their televisions out the window.

Sometimes I tell myself that somewhere at Prospect Studios someone is laughing hard and playing a terrible joke on us. I tell myself this is not supposed to be a legit soap opera, but a complete and total mockery, and until they start taking their show seriously, I’m not going to either.

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About the author

Amber Cunigan

Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.