General Hospital Summer Evaluation: The Hits and Misses

Photo: ABC
Pictured: (l) Emme Rylan (Lulu Falconeri) and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri); (l) Kristina Wagner (Felicia), John J. York (Mac), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie) | Photo Credit: ABC
Pictured: (l) Emme Rylan (Lulu Falconeri) and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri); (l) Kristina Wagner (Felicia), John J. York (Mac), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie) | Photo Credit: ABC

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

Pregnancy Shenanigans (Dante/Lulu/Maxie/Britt/Patrick/Sabrina):
Maxie and Britt both spent the summer pregnant and lying about their unborn babies. While this has become an umbrella story, and has the potential to become even larger once we learn whose baby Britt is really carrying, the beats were not being played out enough before the babies were born. How many times did Lulu catch Maxie talking to the baby like it’s hers? If we’d played a drinking game every time Sabrina or Felix claimed Patrick was not the father of Britt’s baby, we’d all have liver disease. There is a lot of potential here and so many talented actors involved, but was hard for us to form an attachment when it felt like the story was simply treading water. We’re happy it’s picking up now, but it was a very disappointing buildup to get to this part.

And while we’re highlighting Sabrina, we pray an interesting backstory develops with the introduction of Carlos.  It was entertaining to watch her transform from “the ugly duckling” to “the swan” but her character development has stalled.  We are holding out hope that a bad girl side emerges to make her interesting on her own without Emma or Patrick in a scene.

Michael and Kiki’s Forbidden Romance
We loved Michael and Starr. We love Chad Duell and Kristen Alderson. We’re finding it difficult to warm up to Michael and Kiki for a variety of reasons. It’s hard to believe that one conversation about Michael’s rape suddenly created this intense connection between the two of them. Why are they attracted to each other? When was this deep-rooted connection formed?

The triangle between Michael, Kiki and Morgan started out well (to an extent), but took a major nosedive after the false reveal that Kiki was a Quartermaine. The ‘forbidden love’ trope was boring – mainly because Duell and Alderson lack the same chemistry they did as Michael and Starr. The execution lacked depth.

Not a lot was done to establish their ties enough to warrant rooting for Michael and Kiki to be together. If we don’t understand why they would be in love, then we can’t understand why Michael would try to steal his brother’s girlfriend. In the end, we feel sorry for Morgan, dislike Kiki and are irritated by Michael’s disloyalty.

Franco Overload
It’s no secret we’re big fans of Howarth. Our executive editor wrote a highly controversial column regarding the re-introduction as Franco and the endless story possibilities that could come from it. Our initial response to Franco was good, and we still enjoy him, but he was overexposed for most of the summer.

Pictured: Roger Howarth (Franco) and Laura Wright (Carly) | Photo Credit: ABC

Having the character front and center before the audience could acclimate to him was a risky move that had mixed results. He worked really well as a supporting character in Quartermaine family drama. He was even better as he tried to bond with Kiki. His instant ascension to leading character is what we had the most trouble with. Part of us feels the show should have gradually integrated him into the canvas as they did with Silas; but we understand why it was easier to get all the backlash out of the way instead of dragging it out.

Writing out Franco temporarily as he recovered from surgery was the break the show and fans needed. He emerged from his hospital stay a different man, with an actual future. He has a clean slate. Yes, blaming everything on the tumor was meta and we rolled our eyes, but it was also amusing to have characters channel fan reaction with their outraged and sarcastic comments regarding his excuse.

Howarth excels with characters that are quirky and witty, but Franco should continue to be toned down. Maybe look at this fresh start as a chance to reinvent himself as Robert Quartermaine. Anything to distance nuFranco from original recipe Franco would be a positive.

Of the three reintroduced former OLTL stars, Howarth is one of the few who still has chemistry with everyone he interacted with before – especially love interest Laura Wright. On paper, Franco and Carly just scream, “Oh my god no!” It may be difficult for some of the audience to accept, but if it’s done right, it could work.

Kiki Loses Her Edge
This element divided the staff. Some loved feisty Kiki, some preferred the more toned town version. What we did agree with is that Kiki has become more like Starr than we thought she would. For some that worked, for some it didn’t.  Can there be a happy middle ground? We don’t expect Kiki to act like a mob princess, considering she doesn’t even know that her family’s in the mob. However it would be nice to see the sardonic, ‘I get what I want’ girl that first surfaced in May.

Follow Through
When characters disappear for weeks at a time with no real explanation, it’s jarring. We understand that stories are rotated around – with some being the focus of more time while others take a break, but when major developments happen and then they aren’t picked up until almost 3 weeks later, it kind of makes it hard to maintain interest. Where’s Lucy Coe? Where are Mac & Felicia? Whatever happened to the new Deception? Did Scotty already file for divorce? Just saying…

The Baby Plots
There should be a moratorium on sick babies/pregnancies/who’s the daddy/who’s the mommy for the foreseeable future. We were hit with a 1-2-3 combo and it made us dizzy. It’s not that we didn’t enjoy the stories, because we did, it was just too much at one time – Maxie secretly carrying her own child instead of Dante & Lulu’s baby; Britt lying about her baby’s paternity (presumably which is Dante & Lulu’s); Daniel developing cancer.

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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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