Soaps

‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: All The Young Dudes

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November Sweeps began this week and General Hospital is off to a good start with affairs being exposed and identities about to be revealed. Thursday and Friday’s episodes in particular were very solid. With a few story lines having gone on a little too long, it was nice to see some movement towards resolution.

The past week also brought some sad news for GH fans when it was finally confirmed that Jason Thompson would be hanging up Dr. Patrick Drake’s scrubs.  I think Thompson is a wonderful talent and I wish him the best in his future efforts. I’m sure fans will see him popping up somewhere else soon. This is a huge loss for GH though for a number of reasons. Number one on that list being that GH has lost who should have been its next generation leading man, the one who should have ushered the series into the next era. I feel like GH has spent so much time the last few years trying to hang onto its past and what is no longer that it neglected the now and future.

Though sometimes I get frustrated with GH, I do love the show and its amazing cast. I want it to do well. GH is somewhat famous for reinventing itself. Yet for some reason recently it has shied away from doing that. In many aspects, it feels as though it’s attempting to recapture the General Hospital of prior decades and that doesn’t really cut it anymore. GH, and soaps in general, need to invest more in their future.

As far as young leading men go, GH has a great group of actors whose characters can be nurtured and developed. Yet a lot of them have been left underused. Michael (played by 28-year-old Emmy winner Chad Duell) is being written as Carly and Sonny’s teenage child rather than a grown individual; his brother Morgan started out good as a sort of romantic rebel, the black sheep of the family, only to fall victim to some rather obnoxious choices. There has been a failure to follow through with Lucas and Brad’s story line despite Lucas being a legacy character. GH pulled some major stunt casting by bringing Billy Miller into the icon role of Jason Morgan but then gave him uneven writing and characterization. Dillon Quartermaine was brought back to Port Charles and dropped into major story line before really defining the recast. Dominic Zamprogna has been given something to finally really sink his teeth into after a few years of being reduced to supporting despite his popularity in the role of Dante. Then there are characters who just haven’t been given enough to do such as Felix, Nathan and TJ.

Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman are very good at writing the younger set. This was clearly evident from the first day that they took the reigns at GH. I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to bring a little TLC to the next generation of GH soap stars. When given the right care, younger characters not only appeal to the coveted younger ratings demographics but all viewers.

A lot happened this past week on GH and I wasn’t able to share my thoughts on everything. If you want to share your thoughts or get my take on anything I did or did not mention, feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me and we’ll chat!

General Hospital Week In Review is for the episodes that aired between October 26th – October 30th, 2015.

Dante’s Inferno

Dante did a very, very bad thing and the guilt has been eating away at him. This past week, he confessed his sin to Sonny. The scenes were actually for the most part really good. I loved how Dante verbally expressed how wrong sleeping with Valerie was. He knows the weight of his betrayal. Lulu trusts him and he had to earn that. The issues Lulu’s parents have had left her skeptical about marriage and family; Dante had to win her over on the concept. Now he’s destroyed that. Sonny advised Dante to do the right thing which I liked but I have a bit of a nitpick at how it was done. This would have been a good opportunity for Sonny to self-reflect on his past transgressions and utilize that as the inspiration for why Dante should be honest. I would have loved for Sonny to have said, “I’ve made this mistake in the past and I handled it in a way that hurt others. You need to be better than that.” Instead we got kind of a Yoda-Sonny divulging out sage advise.

Unfortunately for Dante, before he has the chance to do the right thing, Dillon gets the wrong impression and channels his inner Franco. Port Charles residence should just avoid any sort of party at the Haunted Star if they’ve cheated on their significant other. Instead of playing the sizzle reel of his movie, Dillon plays the recording of Valerie confessing she slept with Dante. The scene did a good job capturing everyone’s reaction at the crowded Halloween party. Valerie and Dante know that Lulu’s going to be devastated and their relationships with her aren’t going to be the same. Maxie now knows what the secret was that Nathan was keeping for Dante. TJ and Molly where shocked and Kiki likes martinis.

Dillon was a jerk for doing this. If he had wanted he could have played the recording for Lulu in private but his goal was less about helping a friend and more about breaking up Dante and Lulu so that he could get the girl. He took his father’s advise and I don’t think things will work out the way that he had hoped for. Lulu should be as mad at him as she is at everyone else. He is part of the list of individuals who knew about Dante’s affair and didn’t tell her. With Johnny on the way back to Port Charles, I think seeing Lulu turn toward the bad boy after her good guy wasn’t so good to her would make for interesting material. It would be sort of a Laura Spencer thing for her to do. And Dante would struggle to tell Lulu that Johnny isn’t good for her after what he’s done.

As far as Dillon goes, I feel like he needs to be moved around the canvas a bit more and do some chemistry testing. I initially took to Robert Palmer Watkins as a Dillon recast – I really enjoy him opposite Jane Elliot and Richard Burgi. But the writing has started to fall a little flat. I feel like he needs more playfulness and he’s been written as being a little too serious. He hasn’t interacted with his cousin Michael very much and they live in the same house. It could be an interesting Quartermaine story line if he started to have feelings for Sabrina. He could be played more with the always quirky Maxie in a setting outside of the filming his movie, maybe he could make friends with Lucas or start a fling with #DrunkKiki. Dillon needs something to give him a bit more edge.

About the author

Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop is TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.