For this edition of Week In Review, I’m going outside the box a little and am going to focus on the soap opera that happened off screen this past week. Unfortunately that was more entertaining than what was happening on General Hospital anyways. The week began with a controversial exit interview from soap icon Anthony Geary and ended with the announcement that head writer Ron Carlivati had been let go. Award-winning veteran soap scribes Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman will be taking over as head writers for the long running sudser.
Luke’s exit has not been the celebration I had hoped. I’ve never been much of a Luke fan. His appeal is a little lost on me, but I wasn’t watching during the Luke and Laura heyday so that could be a contributing factor to my indifference for the character. Regardless of my feelings about Luke, I expected something more celebratory for his exit. Characters and actors that I enjoy were returning for Luke’s send off which I thought would bring a lot of hurray. Needless to say it hasn’t lived up to my expectations. To add to my frustrations, Tony Geary’s exit interview was posted earlier this week.
Michael Logan’s interviews are always a fun read. He never shies away from asking the tough questions and is a great interviewer. I love seeing an actor’s personality seep through and Anthony Geary’s interviews always end up very…Anthony Geary. He seems like a bit of handful or as Logan put it “a cuss.” I’ve never met him so it would be unfair of me to talk about him as if I know what makes him tick so I won’t.
Most of the interview was nothing new, I already know that Geary is not a Luke and Laura fan, that he’s great friends with Jane Elliott, etc. What stood out in the interview though was that the thespian didn’t have anything good to say about “the writer.” He blasted the silliness of his exit story line, most notably the back-from-the-dead returns of Frank Smith and Jake Webber Spencer. He also complained about a lack of trust given to the actors and a focus on physical appearance rather than talent.
This past week Luke and Tracy had their final break-up, Luke contemplated suicide, said goodbye to his little sister Bobbie and decided to leave town as he has done so many times before. The scenes had some good acting (Jane Elliott has a new Emmy reel) but left me feeling a little hollow. But hey, GH made The Soup again!
We’ll always have Hallowedding
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve already read some of my thoughts on the ousting of head writer Carlivati. But sometimes you need more than 140 characters to fully express what you feel and on this particular subject I have very mixed emotions. Some of the story that has come out of Ron’s tenure has been among my favorites. He was able to change what had become a very dull show into something that was fun again and for that I am thankful. I wish Ron the best of luck in the future.
I’m not as upset about the writer shake-up as others might be. The new writers aren’t bad choices at all. Sure it would be great if soaps brought in new perspectives instead of always going for those with the long resumes but that’s not to say that Passanante and Altman aren’t good at their jobs. These ladies have worked with GH recently as well as in the past. They have an understanding of what the show is about and its characters. It’s not a situation of someone with no knowledge coming in and gutting the place.
Readers, it saddens me to say this but I haven’t been enjoying GH as must as I used to lately. It’s lost some of its spark and fun and most importantly sensibility. As much as I’ve appreciated what Ron has brought to the show in the past, I’m not really appreciating what he’s brought to it now. As a critic, the current state of the show gives me much to debate, dissect and write about. But my basic needs as a soap fan are not being met.
So instead of looking back at the past, I’m going to look ahead. I decided to focus this week on two things I hope that the new writing team can bring back to GH – romance and family drama.