General Hospital Summer Evaluation: The Hits and Misses

Photo: ABC
Sean Kanan (AJ Quartermaine) and Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) in a scene airing on ABC's General Hospital. | Photo Credit: ABC
Sean Kanan (AJ Quartermaine) and Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) in a scene airing on ABC’s General Hospital. | Photo Credit: ABC

[mediumheader]GH Summer 2013: The Hits[/mediumheader]

The Battle for ELQ
Using ELQ to put the Quartermaines front and center was one of the best creative decisions. Edward’s death last fall set off a chain of events that resulted in quite the few power shifts and temporary alliances. Jane Elliot (Tracy) excels at everything she does and it’s nice to see Tracy focusing on something other than Luke for a change.

The storyline pulled together threads from other stories to form an umbrella: AJ & Elizabeth’s blossoming romance, the search for Kiki and reintroduction of the Jerome’s, Michael and Kiki’s ‘forbidden’ romance, the return of Franco and subsequent murder of Connie Falconeri – it all tied back to ELQ. When done correctly, GH can bring the corporate storyline heat while tying it back to the families of Port Charles.

One of the best aspects of the story featured AJ and Michael working side-by-side to restore their grandfather’s company back to its former glory. It was a great way for the two to bond and get to know each other without things feeling forced.

Sonny Corinthos
It’s amazing how far this character has come since the summer of 2011. Former head writer Garin Wolf tore down the character with the intentions of rebuilding him, and Ron Carlivati continued that renovation by crafting stories around Sonny, the person. Sonny, the mobster, hasn’t been appealing in a very long time. Somewhere along the way, Sonny lost his humanity; his appeal and charm. Instead, his positive qualities were bastardized as a plot for whomever Sonny was seducing at the time.

This summer saw Sonny on a quest that unfortunately led to an unfortunate end. He was a man in love, trying to support the woman he loved during a trying time. He was a father struggling to balance a delicate relationship with his sons, each as stubborn as he in their own way. He was a man rebuilding a power structure that’s been weak since the murder of his best friend and number two, Jason Morgan.  He was a person first, mobster last

With the death of Sonny’s love Connie, the show is embarking on a dark path for Sonny, as he spirals deep into his depression. When Maurice Benard is handed a bat and steps up to the plate, he does what he does best – makes you feel for Sonny. Give it to him more often and he’ll hit you a home run.

Dynamic Casting
Casting director Mark Teschner has been on his ‘A’ game. 2013 has seen a mixture of newcomers and veteran faces, tapped to plug the holes in an ever changing canvas.  Newcomers Jimmy Deshler (Rafe), Samantha Logan (Taylor), Bryan Craig (Morgan) helped flesh out GH‘s underdeveloped teen/young-adult scene. Rounding out the new additions are daytime vets Emme Rylan (Lulu), West (Ava) and deVry (Derek/Julian).

Bryan Craig’s been a favorite of ours since day one, but his work opposite heavy-hitter Benard (Sonny) proved that this guy is a star. We’re hoping GH really pushes Craig with something meaty post-Morgan’s inevitable breakup with Kiki.

Maura shows just grossly misused she was at The Young and the Restless. Their loss has been GH’s gain in every way imaginable. A veteran in every sense of the word, Maura West commands your attention without even having speak a single line of dialogue. Whether Ava’s scheming or manipulating, we love the internal conflict Maura projects. You can’t help but feel the pain Ava feels when she’s hurting those she loves the most.  What do we have to do to ensure Ava doesn’t end up six feet under? There hasn’t been a female villain that has taken the show by storm since Cynthia Preston’s Faith Roscoe.

Emme settled in very nicely as Lulu, bringing her own flavor to the role that has made us love Lulu than we did before. It’s always a challenge – for fans and the actor – whenever someone new takes over a role; even more difficult when the predecessor is a fan favorite. Bringing Emme in as an amnesiac Lulu was a great creative decision. It allowed Emme to gain her footing and not force a happy reunion as she was still finding her chemistry with Dominic Zamprogna (Dante). With the surrogacy storyline about to kick into high gear, fans will be able to see what kind of energy Emme can bring to an angry Lulu.

The Teens
The love triangle between TJ/Molly/Rafe became interesting the moment Taylor set her sights on Molly’s boyfriend. It’s filled with typical teen angst clichés, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Rafe’s innocence, charm and enduring sense of optimism has made him one of our favorite characters. His personality and overall adorableness has us rooting for him to get the girl.

There’s something special between Molly and Rafe and we hope the show capitalizes on it this fall. It’s nice when teens are written realistically. They’re not jet-setting around the world or solving a murder mystery, they were falling in love and pining for someone they can’t have. That makes all the difference.

Sam’s Father Revealed
The identity of Sam’s father is a story line that we have wanted to be told for a long time and we’re glad that it is finally happening.  It’ll no doubt provide some great material for Kelly Monaco, but we are most excited about the story that it is creating for Nancy Lee Grahn‘s Alexis.  Between Alexis’s painful break-up with Sean and her tearful confession to Sam that she didn’t know who her father was, NLG will have a lot to choose from come Emmy submission time.  The potential of new romantic pairing with another handsome bad boy also has us excited.  Having Alexis and Derek become lovers and then find out that they have a child together would be soap gold.

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6 comments

  1. I have to disagree with the casting of Emme Rylan as “Lulu”. As disappointed as I was with Julie Berman leaving, my hope was that that a recast Lulu would be *that good* to make me forget about Julie’s amazing run as Lulu. Not only in the chemistry with Dom Zamprogna, a leading man. But more importantly as Lulu playing against daytime royalty as Tony Geary, Jane Elliott, Genie Francis (recently) also to include more recent players as Kirsten Storms and Bradford Anderson. Sadly, many of Julie’s former co-stars such as Steve Burton, Jonathan Jackson, Nathan Parsons, Brandon Barash have left for other comparison. ER continues to come across overwhelmed. I also disagree w/ the storyline of “amnesia’ to bring her on and see it nothing more as a cop-out for a supposed veteran to take on such a role. Frankly I would have more respect if she was literally thrown into the role- similar to Jen Lilley’s portrayal of Maxie. One needs to play the role rather than “re-define” a role, which was ER’s goal to begin with. Her words, not mine. Also Mark Teschner was not involved in the casting process. As ER did not audition for this role, but was literally phoned in by FV. Because of supposed Soap experience and a following.

  2. I agree with most of the article except the teen scene didn’t like that at all loving Ava surprisingly Franco and Carly is growing on me Roger and Laura just have that awesome chemistry the writers really need to take their time with this story

  3. This post echos my sentiments exactly.

    And if I hear or see anymore of Canco, I’m going to scream. They’re disgusting and no self respecting woman would dare even think to date the man who got her kid raped. On paper, in person, on TV, gag.

    And I like Roger, but I swear it’s the obnoxious and ongoing praise he receives for this ludicrous acting and storyline that makes me closer and closer to turning in my fan card.

  4. Excellent Summary … you hit my joys and concerns with the show very well! Loving the addition of the Jeromes and awaiting their battle with Sonny & Company. Also looking forward to Robin’s return and all the story it will bring with the super villains. I’m glad they have toned down Franco and giving people more time to adjust. Giving Franco back his Art is great, Roger & Laura work so well together, it’s always a joy and I love the progression of Franco/Carly story. Time to give Kiki a rest. Would love to see Michael work on clearing AJ from murder charges. The baby stories have been too much, but have enjoyed moments. Can’t wait for Maxi to claim her baby with Spinelli. Will we ever get Ava’s secret why she kept Kiki’s paternity a secret? Biggest problem is such a large cast and so many stories – this rotation is killing the momentum as you pointed out.

  5. The show had definitely hit a lull after the nurses ball but it has come back with a vengeance. I absolutly love Franco and Carly. I was worried in the beginning that we wouldn’t see the connection e did with Todd, but this pairing has the potential to be better, deeper and more complex. I also like Silas and Sam. I don’t care for Michael and Kiki but I see many people that do so that is fine. Morgan is phenomenal and the other stories are dynamic and keeping my attention. Loving GH these days.

  6. Who evaluated this? RC? FV? No real GH fan would have come up with some of these conclusions.
    For us, the show is tanking swiftly. The newbies are up front, vets passed over, and the pairings are horrendous. Maybe not the potential of Alexis & Julian. But Sam& Silas? Carly and Franco/Todd?
    No way, not ever! Smoldering chemistry?? In what universe? Characters are OOC, and not the least of them is Patrick, and Sam, and Carly,Michael, Spinelli……….list too long. Fans are NOT happy, and
    those watching now are themselves newbies. It’s OLTL version #2, and to put it simply, it stinks.

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