My enjoyment of the Jason saga really depends on which point of view is up to bat at the moment. Three-time Emmy winner Billy Miller is handsome and talented but when the story focuses on Jason’s unclear wants, needs and general Jason-ness, the story is frustrating. The development of Jason 3.0 has been clunky and undefined. A lot of this falls on the fault of wishy-washy writing and a dragged out story.
The real reason to watch this tale is Sam and Liz. Not Sam vs. Liz but the characters separately. Sam had a happy life with Patrick before Jake was revealed to be Jason. Due to Thompson’s exit, we weren’t able to see her spend as much time struggling with which life she would ultimate choose but what we did see was very real. Sam and Jason’s courtship was a wild ride, often charged with a lot of pain and tragedy. It is the high points, the small and fleeting moments of happiness, that Sam desperately longs to get back. Kelly Monaco plays the tragic heroine very well.
As far as Liz goes, she hasn’t been this fun to watch in a long time. Soap Opera Digest voted her most ruined character of 2015 and their assessment was spot on. However, Rebecca Herbst was able to make the material oddly relatable. What Liz did was wrong. She did something very beneath her to get a guy who is beneath her. We’ve all done this (though not in this sort of extreme soapy fashion) and that’s what makes this story compelling. What will this drastic mistake mean for Liz as she tries to move forward while still clinging to the past?
This is a late in the year submission, and though the storyline has only just begin, it was much needed. Female-led businesses have been a major part of GH’s canvas for decades, that is until the last 10 years or so. Passanante and Altman highlighted the lack of jobs for the characters as one of the aspects they intended to change ahead of their debut. They’ve devoted a lot of time to cleaning up the carryover storylines from the previous regime, but the return of Crimson is a bonafide #JellyOriginal. Crimson adds much needed light and fun to the canvas, but did so in a way that created a vehicle for many characters to move from islanded interactions (ie only interacting with those involved in their isolated story) to ones that expand across the canvas. Nina and Maxie make a delightful force to be reckoned with as they try to restore the once powerful fashion magazine to its former glory. Dillon now has a purpose that fits in better with his environment. Julian has conflict that doesn’t involve mobsters and guns. Not everything the new writers pen will be golden ( case in point Sabrina’s baby daddy retcon), this is true of every writing team, in every form of entertainment. However, if this is a sample of what they can bring to GH, then the outlook for 2016 isn’t as dire as some believe.
The Hairdresser From New Jersey
I love Maura West. She earned the Emmy she won this past year. She’s the kind of actor who puts in a great performance no matter what. No. Matter. What. Let’s talk about that. The writing for the character of Ava in 2015 is an example of what not to do to your actor after they win an Emmy. One can’t even fathom the thought process behind having Ava Jerome return to Port Charles in disguise and claiming to be her long lost twin sister named Denise. West played it masterfully and there were definitely fun moments but did anyone take a moment to look at how this would impact the character’s future story line? It ruined her relationship with Kiki and made the romance with Morgan just plain weird. Mostly it was just too campy. The puzzling creative choice prompted TVSource Magazine’s editorial piece Camp and Skipped Emotional Beats Hurt ‘General Hospital’s Denise Story.
The Denise story line intertwined with the month long murder mystery surrounding the of death of Ava’s ex-lover Dr. Silas Clay. It reached its ending when Scotty exposed the ruse in the courtroom in Perry Mason like fashion. After some prodding from Scotty, Ava became her own undoing when she confessed. The courtroom scenes were extremely entertaining, some of the best of the year. Scotty and Clark Kent Lansing know how to work a courtroom while Ava and Scotty play off each other well.