When I was in my teens and early twenties General Hospital was the soap to watch. It had it all; love and adventure; family relationships and family angst; drama and comedy.
Luke and Laura stole our hearts when they were on the run or saving the world from a weather machine (cheesy I know, but they made it work). With Alan or Monica Quartermaine, either one was having an affair, trying to kill each other, or divorcing one another or remarrying each other. Who can forget Tracy Quartermaine withholding Edward’s nitroglycerin pills as he lay on the floor suffering a major heart attack? Or Sean Donnelly and Elsie May Crumholtz (Tiffany Hill)’s wedding? Those were just some of the characters and moments that made General Hospital the number one soap at the time.
I am now 34 and my soap has changed just as much as my hair style over the last decade. At least my hair improved, my soap is in the toilet. Many producers and many writers have come and gone. I have always believed that on every soap, the familial relationship is one of the most important aspects of the show. Fifteen years ago the Quartermaines, the Scorpios, the Jones, the Cassadines, and the Spencer’s were inhabited much of Port Charles. Today if your name isn’t Corinthos or Zacchara, I hope that you don’t plan to put down roots in Port Charles because more than likely, you will be gone.
Arguably one of the best stories in the last twenty years on soaps is the story of B.J. Jones death and Maxie Jones receiving her heart. The two were young cousins. Their fathers, Tony and Frisco were close even though Frisco was in the WSB and rarely made it back to Port Charles. Frisco’s and Felicia’s daughter Maxie had a heart problem and needed a new heart or she was going to die. B.J. Jones was in a horrible bus accident that left her brain dead. This story encompassed the entire canvas and every actor and actress involved made the story plausible and believable. We the viewers, felt Felicia’s pain as she told Bobbie that they had a heart for Maxie and when the realization that the heart was B.J.’s, we cried along with Felicia. We cried when Tony bent down to hear his daughter’s heart beat for the last time in her chest. Everyone from Lucy Coe to Alan Quartermaine to Robin Scorpio was affected.
What kind of story does General Hospital offer us now? The family interaction is mainly between the mob families. The last story told about a child, Michael Corinthos, getting shot. He is now in a deep coma. The same child, Michael, also accidently shot his father’s girlfriend. His parents, mob king Sonny Corinthos and his ex wife Carly Jacks decided to cover it up instead of punishing him. Oh and when they brought Michael to the long term care facility and dropped him off, on the way home they had sex in the back seat of the limo. This is what my soap has become.
We also have Jason Morgan, once Jason Quartermaine, who, after being in a drunken driving accident with his now deceased brother AJ, tells the woman that he loves, Elizabeth that they can’t be together. Jason also can’t acknowledge his son Jake. Because mob life is too dangerous.
Every story that General Hospital tells is mob related. Where is the love I ask? I am not talking about sex in the back seat of a limo. I am talking about real love. Romantic love. Love between two people who long to be together but something or someone is preventing them from being together. Looks at Luke and Laura. Laura was married to Scott Baldwin. She ran off with Luke because she loved him. Look at Sonny and Brenda. The two of them had so much passion that it almost melted my television! The only couple that even comes close to the romantic, passionate love that I am talking about is Lucky and Sam. And you know what? We see them what, maybe two times together? We have a love scene once a month if we are lucky.
Every person has different reasons to watch soap operas. Maybe it’s because of an actor or actress, or because you just always have. A lot of my friends watch because it is an escape. It’s a reason for us to spend 60 minutes a day in Port Charles. Maybe we want to be swept off our feet by Nikolas Cassadine or be as bold and have a take no prisoner’s attitude like Maxie Jones. But who would want to spend even a day in Port Charles now? You are more likely to get shot at or be involved in a violent crime than meet the person of your dreams.
There is no love left in Port Charles. No long looks. No butterflies in the stomach. No couples to root for. General Hospital, please do me a favor. Bring us back to the time of Love in the Afternoon.
Discuss this news and more at the TVSource Magazine Message Board. Click HERE to visit.
Contribute content to TVSource Magazine Content: Fans wishing to send-in news items, previews, show recaps, interview recaps, or anything else newsworthy can now do, with any desired credit, via e-mail by CLICKING HERE.