General Hospital, ABC
This was a fairly easy choice to make. Everything General Hospital did in 2012, the good and bad, was an upgrade over the last 10 years. Coming into the New Year, Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky) had just departed the show; Kimberly McCullough was on her way out of the door, and the soap was filled with dark, depressing storylines involving rape, murder and revenge.
However, upon the arrival of the soap opera producing super duo known to fans (and haters) as “Cartini” (Head Writer Ron Carlivati and Executive Producer Frank Valentini) things quickly turned around. While the dark and depressing storylines continued to play out, with more finding their way onto our screen, (can you say thunderstorm dead baby swap?) things quickly began to balance themselves out. The mob, a driving force of the show over the past decade, was relegated to the backburner. Characters such as Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan were no
longer the leading super heroes destined to always save the day, as that role was handed back over to those working for the Port Charles Police Department (PCPD), specifically that of the flawless former super spy Anna Devane.
The numerous shocking returns – Tristan Rogers as Robert Scorpio, Finola Hughes as Anna, Ian Buchanan as Duke Lavery, Kristina Wagner as Felicia Jones, Sean Kanan as A.J. Quartermaine and Anders Hove as Cesar Faison – kept us on the edge of our seats, always questioning who would show up next. This in addition to the introduction of the One Life to Live characters helped to creatively recharge the batteries of the entire canvas. Suddenly you had the great and powerful Sonny bouncing off the ever-so-witty Todd Manning, while the duo’s kids embarked on a slow burner forbidden romance. Meanwhile with John McBain transferring to the PCPD, we finally had a fully competent police force actually capable of solving a crime, something that hadn’t happen in a very long time (or at the very least had to be solved by the overworked Dante).
The rebirth of the Quartermaine family has been a pure treat to watch, as fan favorites came down from the attic and showed us why this family is so iconic to General Hospital. It was with the passing of John Ingle’s in real life however that we got one of the most touching and awe inspiring tributes that daytime fans haven’t seen in a very long time as the Quartermaine patriarch Edward passed away, and was able to walk up the stairs with his beloved wife Lila one final time, while his family and friends gathered around to pay their respects on Thanksgiving day.
However that isn’t to say the show was perfect, to be quite honest it was far from it. While we grew to enjoy the One Life to Livers, their initial introduction was rocky to say the least. McBain’s convoluted backstory revolving around a never-before-mentioned sister was beyond forced and disappointing. Todd Manning ‘s introduction wasn’t much better but the way in which he jelled with the entire cast allowed us to suspend our disbelief that an alleged murder could so effortlessly get off and wander around town without any question, and don’t even get us started on how awful Starr’s ‘tragic’ entrance was.
Then add on the lack of any REAL romances, that gave us the iconic love in the afternoon corner stone that the genera was known for, with random LSD induced visions and a multiple personality story that, while providing some good and entertaining performances, feels like it will never come to a conclusion, General Hospital is our most improved show, but misses out on being our best show for 2012.