The Stories That Defined The Year
As mentioned before it was a rocky year for GH creatively. With the head writer shake up among other things, the soap doesn’t quite look the same now that it did when 2015 began. Some of the story arcs that got the most screen time and attention didn’t necessary garner positive feedback from fans. Overall stories lacked cohesion, identity and follow through. There were a lot of great moments but not really story as a whole. Whether good or bad, these are the most memorable stories of 2015.
Luke Leaves Port Charles
The biggest story line of the year was also the one many want to forget. After 37 years, Anthony Geary decided to say goodbye to the series he’d called home for decades. This exit could have and should have been good. It wasn’t.
The mystery involving Luke’s imposter turned personality disorder began in 2014. The story was uneven and messy due to lack of creative commitment. When fans guessed the resolution to the poorly constructed tale, that Fluke was really back from the dead Bill Eckhart, the ending was rewritten. The new ending involved the reveal that Luke had some sort of mental disorder similar to that of DID brought about by the fact that he murdered both his parents when he was a kid. The reveal was done through a beautifully crafted episode that connected the tale to the first episode of GH. Had it ended on this high note, all would have been forgiven. Alas what followed was more nonsense.
The exit story we ended up getting was clearly the result of dueling egos. Fans were “treated” to some odd returns like Frank and Jennifer Smith, strange creative liberties regarding characterization (How’s that darkness doing Lucky?), awkward last ditch attempts at redemption (Hi Jake!) and no montage to take fans down one last stroll of memory lane. Perhaps the most ridiculous thing about this exit was the lack of emotional beats brought about by the insistence on playing Luke as a virile adventurer instead of an aging lothario reflecting on his past triumphs and mistakes. I care not what the writer or the actor wanted. The biggest loser in this was the viewers.
Dante and Lulu’s Break-up
2015 was a big year for Lante. The pairing needed a shake up and Dante’s affair provided that (while creating a lot of discussion), though it’s been one riddled with more misses than hits. Dominic Zamprogna and Emme Rylan put in really great performances, even when their characters made choices in stark contrast to established characterization, and much to the consternation of fans.
A favorite scene of mine was when Lulu came home after a family adventure with her parents and Dante, having gotten the wrong idea and done the wrong thing, confronted her. The actors rocked the material. Seeing Dante struggle with his mistake and fear that he had ruined the life that both Lulu and he worked hard to create was enthralling. And seeing Lulu emotional destroyed when she later learned the truth was heart-wrenching. The follow up though has left a little to be desired. Lulu is using her ex-boyfriend Johnny to attack Valerie; meanwhile, Dante is going through the motions with the hot chick who he really has no permeant romantic aspirations with. It would have been great soap to watch Dante fight for Lulu and for Lulu to use her head and direct her anger where it belongs.
It feels like there has been a lot of missed opportunities with the others involved in the story line as well. Val was plopped into the role of interloper before the audience was given a chance to know much about her or grow to like her enough to sympathize with her. We are seeing more of her personality now after the fact but it would have been nice if fans had been allowed to connect with her prior to putting her in such heavy story. With Dillon, the writing hasn’t really been there to support much of his attraction to Lulu. It was a situation of dropping him into story line because of a connection the two characters had years ago. It fell flat since we weren’t given an explanation as to why he was pining for Lulu now in the present.
The highlight of 2014 was the reveal that Sonny had murdered AJ and Michael’s rejection of all things Corinthos. Having been years in the making, fans were left very satisfied. The story line also earned Chad Duell his first Emmy. Unfortunately the follow-up was not as good, leaving many, especially me, more than a little sour. Sonny went to prison and stopped dying his hair for awhile before getting his super powers back and leading a jailbreak. He was later pardoned for his crimes by the dayplayer governor for saving his dayplayer daughter (and others) when he heroically dived into the PC Harbor with a bomb obtained. In honor of this bravery, viewers were subjected to a parade of Sonny apologists referring to Michael’s anger toward Sonny as unreasonable, with Michael ultimately apologizing to his father for
doing what was in the best interest of his sister and removing her from an environment that could result in her being subjected to being blown up, shot at, kidnapped, actually shot in the head or worse taking custody of Avery and calling him a bad father. It was extremely forced, haphazard and cut short an angle that could have driven story for years to come.
Under the pen of the new writers, Sonny is now playing the part of lovable family man as he struggles with paralysis (after being shot by a rival). As with any plot, there are pros and cons to the current direction of the character. The pro (and this really is a BIG pro) is that “Sonny the father” is less mob-y than the territory obsessed gangster usually written. Having Sonny’s story revolve around his family instead of his thug life is one way to make steps towards GH being less mob-focused, even though it’s still very much a part of the show. It’s jarring, however, because we didn’t see Sonny’s journey to get to this point. He didn’t earn this spot as adored father figure, so watching his kids come to him for advice seems more cheesy than touching as a result.