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Iceberg Ahead: What’s Behind ‘General Hospital’s Ratings Collapse?

GENERAL HOSPITAL - Anthony Geary (Luke), Genie Francis (Laura) and Holly Gagnier (Jennifer Smith) in a scene that airs the week of June 22, 2015 on ABC's "General Hospital."   "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.  
(ABC/Michael Yada) 
ANTHONY GEARY, GENIE FRANCIS, HOLLY GAGNIER
GENERAL HOSPITAL - Anthony Geary (Luke), Genie Francis (Laura) and Holly Gagnier (Jennifer Smith) in a scene that airs the week of June 22, 2015 on ABC's "General Hospital." "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Michael Yada) ANTHONY GEARY, GENIE FRANCIS, HOLLY GAGNIER

For the past 11 weeks, ABC’s General Hospital has struggled in the ratings, reaching record lows in the coveted demographic. In my newest column, I take a look at some of the areas I feel are affecting the creative and ratings success of the longest running soap on television.

The Nielsen ratings system has never been a proper barometer when it comes to measuring the quality of television series. Not when said quality is subjective to one’s personal likes and dislikes; when one week can spell doom for a show and the very next can offer cause for celebration. I tend to groan when the ratings reports come out each week, knowing that many will tie the quality to positive or negative ratings trends. I see one show excelling in storytelling and depth remaining steady, while another drowning in weak, misogynistic plot driven storylines continue to surge. And somewhere in the middle, there’s General Hospital.

Using that logic, The Bold and the Beautiful should be on top of the ratings game, but it’s not. What I find to be great television, another could find to be the opposite. It’s all subjective. Before continuing, I want to make one thing clear — I don’t presume to speak for the general audience. I can only speak on my likes and dislikes as a fan and critic.

New Low

For the past several months there has been a serious decline in GH’s ratings in the coveted Women 18-49 demographic. Not only compared to the previous week, but also the previous year. According to the most recent report by TVByTheNumbers.com, General Hospital is currently in their 11th straight week at a low. This comes as no surprise for many watching the series on a daily basis. More often than not I have found myself struggling to make it through a full episode and when I do, I am usually distracting myself with other things. Whatever it takes to get me through an entire episode of silly storylines, ridiculous characters and half cocked plots. Apparently I’m not the only one feeling this way. After endless weeks of basement numbers, fans took to Twitter to air their grievances. What manifested was a brilliant #WhyRatingsAreLow hashtag filled with insight and humor alike. Of course there were also a number of people who used the hashtag as an opportunity to complain about the wrongdoings to their favorites characters, but there was also an abundance of legitimate criticisms fans have been stating for months, if not years.

My criticism isn’t coming from a place of malice or spite, but from one of concern. As a critic, my role isn’t to only write about the amazing job being done, but to also highlight when it’s not. While some opt to forego critiquing all together, I choose to examine some of the areas I feel that are affecting the creative success of General Hospital, in the hopes that someone will acknowledge and address them.

  1. Network Ignorance

Let me begin by pointing out that I don’t think the state of GH lands squarely at the feet of the show’s powerhouse duo, head writer Ron Carlivati and executive producer Frank Valentini.

Just as much as fans have accused Sony and CBS Daytime of interfering in the stories at The Young and the Restless prior to their most recent regime, I think the same can be said about the powers that be at ABC. They seem to have this misconstrued idea of what General Hospital was, is and should be. As evidenced by the previous decade, they want the daytime version of The Sopranos. They want big boisterous action packed melodrama that sets them apart from the other shows. And that’s exactly what they have, but at the cost of all the other key ingredients that make a soap a soap.

  1. Non-Revolving Door

General Hospital currently has 29 cast members on contract and anywhere from 27 to 35 listed as recurring (if you count children and guest stars) making it the largest cast by far in daytime. Someone like me, who is easily bored with repetition, might find this to be a good thing — mixing in and changing characters around to keep it fresh and new… if that’s what they were actually doing. At least 2/3 of these characters are rarely seen and when they are it’s usually as a prop, like say the Nurses Ball. The thing about revolving doors is that they have to swing back at some point. Don’t mistake this as me advocating for actors losing their jobs, but if they are only seen once every 6 months anyway, they aren’t driving stories and the audience isn’t invested.

  1. Bridging The Gap

This directly ties into number 9. With a cast the size of Noah’s Ark, it’s no wonder why characters and entire sections of storylines disappear for not days or weeks, but months at a time. By the time they finally remind you of where the story left off, you don’t care. Example: Rosalie and her secret, that Kevin/Lucy/Scott/Bobby quad that lasted a year but was seen for maybe 5-10 episodes, Brad and Lucas’ entire relationship. It’s as if they want to have B and C storylines, but give them the D-list treatment. I’m sure there are valid reasons behind some of the disappearances — actors book outside projects, contracts have limited dates, etc., but there’s a way to address it through storytelling without dropping the characters off the face of the earth.

  1. Tiny Tots

The way GH uses its younger set is baffling. The only teenagers on the show are Molly and TJ, but they haven’t really had a story to themselves since they tried to have sex a year and a half ago. Meanwhile four 10 year olds have been in a love quad for that same amount of time. Children on other soaps are rarely seen, and if they are, it’s usually involving a custody battle or them being cute little co-signers to their parents. CI9e0vPUAAAjFR8The kids on GH are driving storylines and have pages upon pages of dialogue that their veteran counterparts can only dream of. Not only have these scenes with Cameron, Emma, Spencer and to an extent Josslyn been overdone, they have more often than not been disturbing to watch. All four of these kids are great actors, so I completely understand the desire to use them, but the manner in which they have chosen is unnerving and quite frankly, annoying. Also annoying is that we can’t seem to go a solid 6 months on this show without another baby storyline.

Love triangles for 10 year olds are not cute. Period.

  1. Selective Diversity

I say selective for a reason. Whenever I have brought up the subject of diversity on this show, I am always met with, “The star of the show is Hispanic!” There’s so much about this statement that annoys me. First of all, I’m not sure the writers, nor Sonny himself, remembers his heritage.

The show has been doing well on that front. Sabrina Santiago is finally becoming a viable character after months of white washing, and months sidelined after being placed with the wrong partner. Even Rosalie Martinez is getting in on the fun, albeit with a secret that the audience doesn’t care about, mostly due to the fact that they haven’t been given a reason to care for the character or her secret, but that’s an issue for a different column.

Since the Wards were reduced and sent packing, there hasn’t been a strong black presence on the show. Enter Shawn, TJ and sjt4Jordan. Shawn was treated as a mob lackey (and part time BLT guru) with horrible aim, then shipped off to Pentonville. TJ has had little to no story until a few weeks ago when, we all held our breath in hopes they were actually going to give us a socially conscious and relevant story about race, only to have it turn out to be a plot point to have TJ side with Sonny and take Shawn’s place as Sonny’s latest apologist. Then there’s Jordan, one of the best casting choices the show made in 2014.

Vinessa Antoine is really everything I could have wanted for this character. The problem is they spent a year wasting her in a storyline in which she must have said the word “boss” no less than 10 times per episode. There was very little focus on her romance with Shawn, and even less with re-establishing her relationship with her son, other than constantly painting her as a bad mother. They hinted at the possibility that Shawn was TJ’s father in November 2014, dropped it completely and then revealed it to be true 7 months later as a throw-away as Shawn was leaving the show. While there have been bright spots in her friendship with Anna and brief alliance with Ava, little has been done to establish Jordan’s characterization outside of her profession. Now they have her as yet another thankless, unable to solve crimes commissioner with no real personal life. That is until they fulfill their latest casting call for a black male role.

About the author

Ashley Dionne

Ashley Dionne joined the TVSource Magazine team in December 2014.

  • Karen

    It is hard to enjoy a storyline when you get invested then they jump to another story and spend a month on it with very little scenes of the one you were liking. By the time they get back to the other storyline you lose interest. They need to work more on integrating stories instead of only focusing on one group or storyline at a time. For instance I was not in to the Morgan/Denise/Kiki/Ava scene. Nor was I interested in the Rick and Nina story. so when that was the focus I just stopped watching because I did not enjoy it and I knew I was not going to see anything else for a while. RC tried to bring the concept of storyline Arc’s to GH like he did at OLTL

  • Karen

    Interesting that you use Elizabeth as an example of rape. Basically Sam married 5 men under false names, slept with them and stole their money. She had sex with them under false pretenses which means she raped a lot of men if you want to look at it like that. I understand the stupid fan base war and attacking Elizabeth but that is a ridiculous comment

  • mlvlatina

    This is one of the best GH articles I have ever read. Now that RC is finally gone, I hope the new writing team will breathe new life into one of my former favorite shows.

  • susan b.

    i am un happy with gh because they seem to be killing, then bring backs. you killed sylis off, you changed kiki (such a bad choice). but please keep jake and rebecca together. it is such a great deal. now you bring in haley, where did she come from? if you need to kill someone off, do RIC! and haley. they make such a great couple. all of this like a price game. kill off people to pay for cheaper pay for new people!

    any way, i have been watching gh for i guess 45 years. i came home from school and watched gh when you your still a 1/2 hour. still love the show, but i didn’t care for the ice age era. so i stopped for a little while. but I’M back!! thanks for keeping gh on. don’t cancell like all the others that i have been watching since you have been on. good work gh writers.

  • Guest

    They should have never put Liz in the JaSam reunion story yet again. I also hate how the writers just ignore the history of the show. They do things that dont even make sense.

  • Alyssa

    Tracey, I understand your situation, but it’s entirely different. In your case, you were aware of your identity. You know who you are, you knew who you were. Something was being kept from you but it wasn’t your identity.

    In this case, Elizabeth knows who she is sleeping with, so she’s sleeping with Jason but Jake doesn’t know that he’s Jason while consenting to this, he thinks he’s Jake, some random guy with amnesia and he believes Elizabeth only knows as much as he does. She’s withholding information to get her so called second chance, while he has no idea that this is her motive in the situation.

    The bottom line is that he’s not consenting as the person Elizabeth knows he is and by definition, Person A consenting to a sexual relationship without full knowledge of the situation while Person B has complete knowledge is rape. There’s a major imbalance of power and knowledge in this situation, so the consent is invalid.

  • Tracey Daniels

    Alyssa, I can tell you are serious because of all of the time you took to make your point. So let me ask you a question. I have a once boyfriend that I engaged to having a pleasant affair with while I was in school, but only after I realized that his friend had no interest in me. So, well I had to move on. Later, I found out that not only his friend had an interest, but he wanted my once boyfriend to speak to me about him. When I found that out I was miffed. I told this guy that I wished that he had spoken up for himself because I knew who would have been my choice. I asked my once boyfriend why didn’t he tell me? His answer: Why should I tell you about some other guy when I wanted you for myself? I thought about that and realized he really wasn’t being too unreasonable. That once boyfriend is my husband. Now, do you think that I was raped by my husband because he didn’t give me information that he should have and he knew that I would have chosen the other guy? When we first committed in that special way, I willingly consented, but I knew even then at the time if this other guy would have come along I would have left my once boyfriend in a heart beat. (Not now I wouldn’t, but then, in a split second and he knew it). Now, are you telling me that my husband committed rape upon me?
    I think rape is what rape is, UNLAWFUL sexual intercourse, sometimes being FORCED upon an unwilling person. Jason maybe unwilling, but Jason wasn’t FORCED and although it was probably unhanded, there was nothing UNLAWFUL about it.
    All’s fair in love and war…….

  • Tracey Daniels

    Alyssa, I can tell you are serious because of all of the time you took to make your point. So let me ask you a question. I have a once boyfriend that I engaged to having a pleasant affair with while I was in school, but only after I realized that his friend had no interest in me. So, well I had to move on. Later, I found out that not only his friend had an interest, but he wanted my once boyfriend to speak to me about him. When I found that out I was miffed. I told this guy that I wished that he had spoken up for himself because I knew who would have been my choice. I asked my once boyfriend why didn’t he tell me? His answer: Why should I tell you about some other guy when I wanted you for myself? I thought about that and realized he really wasn’t being too unreasonable. That once boyfriend is my husband. Now, do you think that I was raped by my husband because he didn’t give me information that he should have and he knew that I would have chosen the other guy? When we first committed in that special way, I willingly consented, but I knew even then at the time if this other guy would have come along I would have left my once boyfriend in a heart beat. (Not now I wouldn’t, but then, in a split second and he knew it). Now, are you telling me that my husband committed rape upon me?
    I think rape is what rape is, UNLAWFUL sexual intercourse, sometimes being FORCED upon an unwilling person. Jason maybe unwilling, but Jason wasn’t FORCED and there was nothing UNLAWFUL about it.
    All’s fair in love and war…….

  • Valerie Burroughs

    Part of some fans not watching is because some of us miss an episode and try to catch up before watching it ‘live’ and now ABC has been taking all episodes off the internet and charging you to watch them, thus not being able to catch up so I can watch live!!!!

  • na1997

    I started watching General Hospital in middle school about 10 years ago and but than in 2013 when Genie Francis left GH I stop watching GH because I like Genie Francis’ Laura with Scotty and I knew Genie Francis was gone from GH I know writers of GH would put or at least put Scotty with someone else. Than now when Genie Francis came back to GH I continued to stop watching GH because of the huge Luke storyline because I don’t like when storylines on any soap operas getting bigger and bigger. I miss watching GH I hope the writers of GH will change GH very quickly.

  • Most definitely! I agree that Lucky would’ve told Jake who he really is, no matter the expense. I certainly don’t think they stayed true to the character in that way. And Lucky didn’t even say good bye to his kids! He wouldn’t have just left. Further example of the haphazard writing. Just bringing characters back to make an appearance…an awkward appearance. :/ I don’t like this last memory of Lucky just walking away from the front door. I would greatly appreciate the writers doing their homework and actually understanding a character rather than make shit up. That’s why we are getting these new characters now (Ava, Franco-as a main stay, Silas, Julian, Jordan, Shawn, Nathan, Sabrina, Felix, etc). So the writers can basically start as fresh as possible. They can be lazy and not get to know the legacy characters. And the only thing they can do with those is either repeat history for the millionth time or write them in some awkward, out of character fashion. It’s disturbing to watch and they are really working my nerves! I also don’t like how they follow a story line for a couple of days and then it just drops off. They work on a different story line with different characters for a couple days then drop off. It’s hard to keep interest. The whole mob crap is over done. I don’t really care for anyone involved in those stories. I like that Michael is running ELQ…out of the ‘mob life’ around him. Morgan and Kiki are fairly irrelevant themselves. Ava/Denise idea is absurdity at its best! I could go on and on. :)

  • Jessie

    Do you think Ron and Frank completely shit on the character of Lucky? It’s completely out of character for him to just leave Port Charles without telling Jake he’s Jason. Lucky is not selfish like that to say “Oh I’m fighting these demons in my head and see Little Jake playing with Jason who doesn’t know he’s Jason so ill just leave” its bullshit and not at all what Lucky would do! He’s and honorable man who would have told Jake he’s Jason!

  • Jessie

    It is really going to suck if General Hospital gets cancelled. I think Ron and Frank are ruining the show. I’ve watched since I was young. Jonathon Jackson is the reason I started watching. Right around the time he started I started watching. I’ve had a huge crush on him from day 1 he started. I was so happy to see him come back but then was really unhappy with the way he was written. Lucky would have never left Port Charles not telling Jake Doe he’s actually Jason Morgan. In my opinion Ron completely shit on the character of Lucky. Also, dropping the bomb that Lucky feels this darkness in him and is trying to fight demons within himself like Luke was rediculous since JJ could only tape for 2 days. Don’t get me wrong it was great to see Lucky and Luke together again. But they gave him zero one on one scenes with Laura but then have Nik tell him Jake is Jason and have him just leave town?! This makes me almost want to stop watching. But I won’t because 1) I want to see how the send Luke off 2) I want to see the Jason reveal and 3) I love GH and couldn’t imagine not watching. I really hope the fact that the ratings are getting lower and lower that RC and FV will wake up and start listening to the fans. If they don’t they are going to run GH right off the air!

  • Jessie

    Wow I never looked at the Liz knowing Jake is Jason like this. Now reading what you think of it makes me look at it in a whole new light. You are 100% correct. Thank you for opening my eyes to this. I think I may tweet Ron and Frank about this!

  • Alyssa

    A+ article but can I add in the fact that one of the things that’s turning me and a lot of my friends away from gh is Ron completely ignoring sexual assault issues? For example; the Jakeson/Elizabeth thing. There’s a huge lack of consent on Jake/Jason’s part in this. Elizabeth knows that she is having sex with Jason but he’s only consenting as Jake, not Jason, who has turned her down in the past. By definition, that’s considered rape because he’s not consenting with full knowledge of the situation.

    Other fans keep saying things like “does that mean when Jason Morgan had sex with Sam, Liz, Carly, etc that they were raping him because he didn’t remember being Jason Quartermaine?” and the answer to that is no because when he was consenting to sex with them in those situations, he had full knowledge that he was once Jason Quartermaine and that he had a past that he cannot remember. Jake’s consent issue is completely different because one party (Liz) knows that he is Jason and she knows that she is having sex with Jason, but he’s consenting as Jake, and has no idea he’s Jason.

    A few people have brought this up to Ron and Frank through twitter, just to express concerns with sexual abuse storylines (this storyline, the one with Luke and Frank Smith’s daughter, etc) but they won’t listen. Victims who are triggered by this are being laughed at by Ron and being blocked for addressing their concerns, and then Ron is directly tweeting his fans to go attack those victims, which is incredibly gross.

    So, for me, a huge reason why I can barely watch the show anymore is because of that. Ron refuses to address the lack of consent in various situations and because Jason is a male, this storyline probably won’t be considered rape and it’ll be thrown out the window and that makes me and many others incredibly uncomfortable.

    But anyway, thank you for addressing a lot of my issues with the soap in this article because I feel the same and haven’t been able to word it quite as nicely.

  • Maria

    Ashley, thanks for the great article. I wrote something similar for my own site but nothing as eloquent.
    One major problem I see is the definition of 18-49 – that covers 31 years, and no one ever thinks to ask at ABC just which of those 31 years is actually watching the show.

    The show brings “young people” to the cast during the summer apparently to pick up an audience that is out of school. I have news for them. Their audience has been out of school for some time. The audience for GH is 35+. That means instead of giving Nancy Lee Grahn and William DeVry the summer off, they ought to be on the show.

    Romance and relationships are critical. More critical? Writing character-driven stories, not stories necessitated so the writers can shoehorn in some plot device.

  • Dylan/SBu Fan ♡

    Great article Ashley. I agreed with all your points, but I especially chuckled at the sub heading ‘vet cemetery” how truly fitting. Sigh.

  • scoma60

    I agree with everything you wrote. I’d add a few more.#1– It is appalling that in 2015 they write characters as lazy moochers. Maxie, Morgan, KiKi, Franco, Nina, LuLu, etc…are all unemployeed and directionless. #2–It also infuriates me that women are shown to toss their integrity in the shredder for a man. Examples: Carly,Jordan and Alexis screwing murderous men and placing their kids in harm’s way. Elizabeth having such low self-esteem she’d live a lie to keep a man. A man we saw her move on from years ago.

    #3–The exit of Luke has been ridiculous. Why bring Laura back if you’re going to have Luke moan and groan about Tracy all the while having him treat Laura as a stranger. This rewrite of Luke&Laura is beyond sickening. Totally rewriting what viewers saw and vividly remember is a sure way to alienating a viewer. #4 –The pacing is killing the show. You write this moving return on Little Jake only for the storyline to vanish. We haven’t seen him meeting his siblings, difficulty acclimating, etc… Where’s the scenes of Nik coming to see his nephew and being supportive of his best friend Liz? How do they expect a viewer to invest when a heavy story vanishes and beats are skipped?

  • Guest

    Jiz has ruined the show for me. Its been like a year,why doesnt Jason know who he is already,and why are the most important people to Jason STILL in the dark?! Then we have kid Jake also coming back to life…really?… so stupid.

  • Doctor Bombay

    In addition to all the reasons already cited here, I think one of the reasons ratings are low is that I don’t see anything on GH right now appealing to the next generation of potential viewers. In the summertime, teenagers are out of school, they have the time to watch tv, but there is nothing to draw them into watching GH. TJ and Molly being the only teenagers is a real problem, and they don’t have a storyline. Having 20 something actors and actresses who behave immaturely and seem to have no job or purpose in life is no substitute. (Yes, I’m looking at Kiki and Morgan.) Teenagers eventually grow into this target 18-49 demographic, but the ratings are going to continue to sink if there’s nothing to make them want to tune in.

  • Susan M. VerHalen

    What used to be great in General Hospital was how everyone’s lives and stories were interconnected! What happened to one character effected so many others. Now, many of the stories are disconnected and so much time takes place for some secret to be revealed that you are so over it before it finally comes out! Maybe these writers are actually doing what they have been paid to do? Getting the ratings to drop, so it will be cancelled like all the other ABC soaps have been. It is very sad, because I have been a long time viewer since I was a child. Now, the show is like a shell of its former self, and with very little continuity, and very little left to care about. Some of my favorite veterans to the show have been killed off entirely (like Duke), and we are stuck with characters no one cares about like Ava, Nina, and Franco, and Nikolas and Elizabeth have gone evil and selfish, which makes them totally unlikable. The writers do seem like they have a dissociate personality, for short periods focusing on a story, then noticing someone else, get focused on that, and the next something else. Stop making so many stories about babies, and dead people coming back! It has happened too much, and we are given too little reason to care about them, anymore!

  • Linda Cookingham

    How to have a great show? Step 1: Listen to fans. Drop the ego. The only reason soaps continue is because of fan loyalty and that comes from: a). The character that we love and even the ones we love to hate. b). The actor playing the character (although I know the writers have no control if the actor doesn’t want to stay…so make them want to stay!) c). If a role must be recast, DON’T do it to a loved character/actor. Yes, sometimes it works. Example, the original Carly. But it took something like three Carly’s to get to the one. And that was done without flimsy character changes. No stupid plastic surgery, no brain tumor, just the right acting. Step 2: Stay true to the character and that reflects back to (c). Yes, I get that times change and I get that we want to shake things up but come back to the character we love and the relationships that made the soap No. 1 (you remember the one we wanted to talk about).Hint? Luke and Laura. I don’t care if sadly Tony Geary stated “that was thirty years ago, get over it.” Shame on him and his loyalty to fans. Luke and Laura were THE couple and for Genie Francis to return and all Luke can say is that that ship sailed long ago, spits in the fans faces. Why not tie it up with a bow and give the fans a nice present? Bring Luke and Laura back together. Tracy was comic relief not the love of his life. How about another hint? WTH did they do to Jason? Sure, Billy Miller is a good actor so much that he deserves his own role to make not take over for someone who can not be replaced by something as dumb as the way they picked to it. Ask yourself why Jason was so popular. Um, could it be not only his character was intriguing, edgy, and out of the norm, but the actor portraying the character for years and years also created a change in that role that fans accepted and were fascinated by. Now they destroy that and make him not only unrecognizable in the face (What happened? Jason also had his amazing Steve Burton eyes replaced too?) but his voice (oh, right, His vocal cords were injured), his height, built, and attitude – all that made Jason edgy – are gone. Step 3: Take characters from another show, toss them in, and then use them to become totally different characters from the ones they were…forget it. I’m dizzy just trying to figure that out. Bottom line? The characters we were invested in leave, change, disappear, have no closure, return from the dead only to be completely different, and we can’t even mourn them. The story lines that worked in the 50’s and 60’s when my grandmother watched the show doesn’t fit now. Whose baby? Cover up paternity? No one pays for crimes. No wedding without a shooting. Hey, I believe in recycling, but when the quality is gone, its time to invent something new.

  • herefromthestart

    i remember when gh used to feel like a small town. everyone knew each other, and had probably been involved with each other on some intimate level. life was like a close knit family. story and emotion came from within that circle.

    now the group dynamic is like an apartment building. the characters run into each other, but never really bond or interact. sad sad sad. without that intimate family feel there cannot be that really deep connection. more sad.

    i should have cried over jake’s return nope. i should thrill at luke last adventure. nope. i should understand why nik really wants the q’s money. i should care. nope.
    and the new jason return, except for a few minutes at the beginning, boring.

    i long for a good storyline. i long for real use of great actors. i long for a pov the has faith in themselves and the show.

  • Rebecca Roldan

    I’m so glad someone finally printed this. I’m outraged at the fact that I’ve watched this show since back in early 70’s and never missed an episode until these jokers called writers started messing with it. I can barely stomach watching some episodes. I’ve read Cartooni’s twitter responses and he’s all ego and mentioned he doesn’t give a sh*t about the fans. He thinks he’s doing well. Of course he only does that when GH ratings are high for a week. If they don’t clean house fast, the ship will sink. And that’ll make me and many very sad. Maybe this can be forwarded to TIIC.

  • Jennifer Brooks

    I do agree with a lot of what you said. However, having said that, I still really enjoy this show most of the time. It’s still a LOT better than the hot mess that has become Y&R. Not even any comparison. I actually love the kids on GH. Not the love/triangle stuff, that is creepy and should stop. But I like that we see them and they are not just trotted out for custody disputes. I like that they have personalities and can actually act. If we get invested in them now, and the show actually lets them live until adulthood, then we become invested in them.

  • Mary

    Great piece, but I would also add lack of core families, lousy pacing, unfinished stories and a heard of new characters who are not given a proper introduction and who are not fleshed out accordingly. Therefore, we don’t care about them or their stories. If you write good characters, the stories will follow. And the stunt casting is horrid. Are we really supposed to be excited about Donna Mills? Who’s next? Morgan Fairchild? No one cares. And making a kidnapper, torturer and sadistic, attempted murderess, the hospital chief of staff is just wrong for so many reasons.

  • Cici R Rae

    I left the show for 10 years when it became a bad rip off if the Carly, Jason, Sonny star in the Sopranos. I returned in 2013 when we were.told the vets with real history depth aND connections were coming back. Since then they have become wallpaper and it is infuriating. They waste air time on pointless one dimensional characters and kill off the vets. This is not the show I love and remember

  • BunE22

    Excellent article, someone needs to mail it to ABC.

    The saddest thing is that when viewers articulate what is wrong or what they would like to see changed, such as more romance, less mob, more 18-35 characters, faster paced stories, they get attacked on Twitter by Ron and his sycophants. It’s very childish and unprofessional.

  • Amy’s

    Totally agree. Genie Francis should have also been mentioned as a returned vet and storyline they totally screwed up 2 years ago. And, what about this pathetic sign-off for Tony Geary? The story doesn’t even connect between Frank Smith kidnapping Lucky and Helena having little Jake. I am still trying to figure out WTH one thing had to do with another. Or how Ethan and Holly got involved. Not to mention, no love whatsoever between Luke and Laura. They blew it! Time for new writers.

  • GHJasamfan

    Agree with the article! I would add in the lack of romance. Michael and Sabrina have so much potential, as do Jason and Sam when all is revealed. Hope the writers start giving us better couples.

  • nljonez

    I loved your article. It’s touched on the points I’ve been thinking for months about the show. I’m so disappointed with most of what goes on and the little I do like has more to do with magnificent performances by outstanding actors that actually loving the storyline. It’s like these writers write without actually having some type of story outlines but from day to day and whim from whim which usually gets them in such a tangled mess and then very outlandish ways to get out of them. Storylines are started and never finished or dropped for months until I either have I no interest or no longer remember (which is sad cuz that probably means I thought it was a stinker). There’s absolutely no continuity. Thing’s are never explained or the explanation makes absolutely no sense. Why not write for the characters and not to push plot points.

  • Alex33016

    Everything you said I have said 1000 times on Twitter. The Kid Quad is ridiculous when there are adults that need storylines. Sonny is Hispanic…LOL and who cares about Rosalie’s secret at this point? I said I loved Bad Michael….I would have loved Bad Michael with Sabrina as his moral compass ala Edward and Lila Q. The fact that there are 10,000 characters does not make watching easy. I actually see a character and think, “Oh yeah, so and so is still on this show.” That is NOT a good thing. It feels sometimes like there is NO direction at all for storylines. Like if 15 people are each writing a paragraph and putting it on screen. The WORST is when they have something happen with a character and the next day, they have that person have lunch with someone and they recap to that person what the character did the night before. WHAT THE HELL!?!? How are you moving the story forward by retelling someone what you did the night before? It is so sad that I have watched since I was a kid and that it has been relegated to half stories, dropped stores, and no substance…does anyone remember that Felix had a sister that disappeared (no that I minded), she literally didn’t even bother to write her out or maybe I missed it, and that Felix had a secret too. I would have thought that they would’ve had a great and relevant storyline with what happened to TJ but nothing…NO more Ava in a wig. The producer and head writer should be held accountable before they cancel the last soap on ABC.

  • PrettySure77

    I agree! Kiddiemance is utterly ridiculous! Lately, all I’ve really liked is having Jonathan Jackson back. I love most things Lucky! His relationship with his siblings, Elizabeth, his parents. I don’t like that he left again. I was surprised at all the returning characters they got to intertwine into the Luke’s exit storyline. But they were brought in haphazardly. That entire thing didn’t even make sense. And to resurrect Jake…come on! I love that kid and cried like a baby when he died. His resurrection is very awkward. The Jason storyline had potential I guess, but they drag it out so long, I lose interest. I don’t like this side of Nik and Liz. I do really enjoy the humorous dialogue that much of the cast has now. That’s the only thing that keeps me interested. Sonny & Carly are so over done! Boring! TJ & Molly are fairly irrelevant. Dante’s quick-to-judge is very out of character. I liked what this new team was doing at the beginning of their reign…but now they are just all over the place. Character’s inserted in weird places and storylines not making sense, are ludicrous or take forever to come to fruition. Not a great recipe for success. Back to the drawing board boys!

  • Joel

    I thoroughly enjoy this post, and have to say, I agree with 98% of everything that was written. However, I cannot help feeling the over-glazed attempt to not call-out Ron Carlivati directly, which should have been done. ABC has yet to hold him accountable for the lackluster storytelling that’s been going on for the better part of his reign on the series. People saw him as someone to save GH in the long-term, but in reality, he was a temporary fix, and it’s time his temporary reign be ended by the network. The series is inconsistent at best, and the recent resurrection of Jake Spencer, to me, feels uncalled for and messy.

  • babs

    Why are these two considered a power house duo? They were at the helm when OLTL bit the dust and now this one is at record lows? I don’t consider that very successful. They have taken a show I have loved for 35 years and have made it unrecognizable and trashed characters that I love and grew up watching, The NB which had meaning and was socially relevant for years was reinvented first as a vehicle to use for a newbie Cinderella Ball and now as a two bit talent show. I will agree the use of kiddiemance on this show is disgusting. The HW seems almost proud of pissing long time fans off from behavior exhibited on social media. I feel nothing for this show anymore.