A miracle happened for me this past week while I was watching General Hospital. I actually enjoyed the Jason story line. After struggling through this creative nightmare for over a year, it has finally become not only watchable but good. The characters are telling this story now and I couldn’t be happier.
GH has a lot of plots that have been left dangling in storyline purgatory for too long. Right now there are so many twists and turns and secrets left to be revealed. Having Jake finally learn he’s really Jason has helped but there is still a lot of other loose ends that need attention. The writers have made a noticeable shift towards character-driven storytelling and the result is paying off. The characters are connecting to each other more which is moving stalled story forward in a natural and smooth pace. While the Jason reveal is hitting its climax, other story lines are being set up in the background. So instead of starting and stopping story, there will be clean transitions from one to the next resulting in a better quality show.
Unfortunately, GH has had some backstage drama this year which has overshadowed a lot of the drama onscreen. I hope that doesn’t deter viewers from giving the new writers a chance to prove themselves. The issues that GH may have are not their fault and I really believe they have a good vision for the show.
November sweeps have been a success not only creatively but in the ratings. GH had big gains in its week to week numbers. In the ratings game, it’s the trends that are important and this could be the start of an uptick. Time of course will tell.
GH took us on quite the ride last week and I wasn’t able to write about everything. If you want to share your thoughts on anything I did or did not discuss, please comment below or tweet me and I’ll chat with you!
General Hospital Week In Review for the week that aired November 9th-November 13th.
I’m going to be honest; I really didn’t think this story line could be salvaged. After dragging on for more than a year and one irritating plot point after the other, I just wanted GH to throw in the towel. It felt like the only real option left was to admit this was all one big mistake, kill the story quickly and then move on as if it never happened. It’s nice to be wrong sometimes.
What has finally given Jason’s return some purpose was the switch from plot-driven storytelling to character-driven drama. It was what all the effected characters felt when they learned Jake was Jason that finally pushed this tale forward. Liz worried as she watched the happy-ever-after she had created for herself being threatened. Jake was excited that he already knew the truth and the adults were going to quit being weird about it. Carly and Sonny had an odd sort of feeling of salvation that was quickly squashed by rejection. Monica was happy and hopeful. Patrick and Emma felt uncertain about the future of their family. Then there was Sam who was completely crushed.
The scenes between Jason and Sam reminded me of the ending of the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away . I’m going to spoil it right now so consider yourself warned. In the film, Hanks’ character Chuck is stranded on an island for many years. When he is rescued and brought back to civilization, he finds that all his loved ones have moved on. His girlfriend Kelly has gotten married and has a child. Kelly tells Chuck that he is the love of her life and she never believed that he was gone but everyone told her she had to move on. They kiss in the pouring rain, Chuck tells her he loves her too and that she has to go home then drives her up to the doorway of her house.
Sam went through a period of disbelief when Jason “died” years ago. She struggled to move on after losing the love of her life. She has a beautiful family with a kind and loving fiancé. Now that Jason’s back she wants what she once had those years ago but can’t have it because her life has moved on and Jason isn’t himself anymore. It devastates her that the man who said he would love her forever doesn’t love her anymore because he has no solid recollection of their life together. As for Jason, he has another life now with a commitment to Liz and their family together.
I hate the fan wars but I like the set up for this quadrangle between Patrick/Sam/Jason/Liz. Knowing that Jason Thompson will be exiting the series means that Patrick and Sam aren’t going to be walking down the aisle in the end. That will leave Sam and Liz vying for Jason’s heart. The fact that Jason doesn’t remember Sam and is now in love with Liz makes this more complex. Sam wants to know that she meant something to the man she loved so much. She’s looking to recapture a past that isn’t there anymore. Meanwhile, Liz is looking to create a future for herself that she feels she is owed. What happens if Jason suddenly remembers his past? What happens if he never does?
Outside from the romantic stakes that this situation presents, there is Jason’s reaction to his family and friends. Readers, I can not tell you how happy I am that we did not have to beg for months for a Jason and Monica scene. They may have been only a few minutes long but they were so important to the viewers. The scenes from earlier this year when Monica told Jake about her lost family were a highlight amongst a then topsy turvy story line. I think it says a lot that this was recognized. There seems to be a sort of reverse to the story that was told many years ago when Jason switched from Quartermaine to Morgan. Instead of running to Carly and Sonny’s arms, Jason met their joy with repulsion. This makes sense because “Jake” is now a caring family man. Why would he be comforted by a broken godfather’s tale about how he use to kill for profit? Jason’s reaction to Monica was also awkward but, having learned from the past, she knew not to push him for what he can’t give her right now.