Soaps

‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: Standing At A Crossroads

If I didn’t know about the situation with General Hospital star Rebecca Herbst’s contract negotiations, I would have the impression that she was finally being treated as the leading lady she was meant to be. I would have posted silly polls on Twitter asking fans who should be her next love interest – Griffin, Franco, Nik or Sam. I would have praised GH’s new focus on characters that viewers both new and old value. It saddens me that I can’t do that.

Since Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman took over the reigns as GH’s head writing team, Elizabeth Webber, and most importantly Herbst’s portrayal of the legacy character, has been steadily becoming the reason to watch the long running serial drama. This was never more apparent than these last few weeks. After 19 years, Herbst has emerged as GH’s leading lady, a fitting place for such a talented and adored actress whose character is so tied to the show’s rich history. As thrilled as I am with Liz’s current story line, it’s also very bittersweet when considering the now confirmed rumors (thanks to an unfortunate social media mishap) that contract negotiations with the soap star are at an impasse. How is this possible? How can those in charge fail to see Herbst’s value? The only thing that is clear about this is that somebody needs do the right thing. Herbst is irreplaceable as Liz and losing her would hurt.

Three time Emmy nominee Herbst joined GH in 1997 as Liz Webber, the granddaughter of original GH character Steve Hardy and daughter of Jeff Webber. She is the step-granddaughter of the beloved Audrey March Hardy, who has been played by Rachel Ames since 1964. Since joining GH, Liz has been an important part of GH’s canvas and identity. She’s been the center of some of GH’s defining story lines such as Liz’s rape when she was a teenager and the hit-and-run “death” of her son Jake. Herbst’s Liz has also been a part of some of the soap’s most talked about couples, being paired with Emmy winners Jonathan Jackson, Steve Burton and Rick Hearst. Liz has three sons, legacy characters that will help build the series’ next generation. Both the character and actress’ history with GH are important.

As our Editor-In-Chief has noted, there seems to be some confusion around what Herbst’s contract negotiations being at an impasse means. It means that Herbst wants to stay. It means that the contract that she was offered wasn’t good and that’s what is causing this situation. Herbst does not have a reputation for being difficult. Despite the fact that she is so essential to GH, the general opinion has always been that she is undervalued. If GH lowballed her after bringing in expensive actors with no ties to the canvas, it’s insulting and classless. If you want to call the comment line to voice your support for Rebecca Herbst, dial (323) 671-4583.

Even though I’m not enjoying the behind the scenes drama, I have been enjoying GH. No, it’s not perfect and there are still things I could do without but it has more heart now than it has in a long time. There’s some nice emotion beats and layers being played. I’m really enjoying the character development that many of my favorites have been recently given. Things seem to be moving in the right direction creatively. If you want to share your thoughts on anything I did or did not discuss in this week’s review, please leave a comment or feel free to tweet me and we’ll chat.

General Hospital Week In Review is for episodes that aired February 8th-12th.

Jason to the rescue?

I know a lot of fans get irritated by little illogical details such as private discussions loudly taking place in public areas and five minute plane flights across the world. I have never been one to get bothered by any of that but Monday’s scenes with Jason’s casual rescue of Sam were grating. I joked on Twitter that maybe the slow pace was designed to make the scenes look normal on fast forward, but what an unemotional climax to give fans after a week of build up. There’s a fire what do you do? Call 911? How about urgently try to find the fire and put it out? Or quickly search the area to make sure nobody is in the house? Apparently, you slowing and quietly meander about as if it’s not that big a deal. I don’t know if it was the result of directing, editing or an odd acting choice but these scenes lacked the impact a big romantic rescue should have.

The good thing that came out of it all was that the fan war triangle between Sam, Jason and Liz appears to have been snuffed out. May it never rise from the ashes like a phoenix again! Jason chose to reunite with Sam and work on creating his family with her. Even though it hurt, Liz decided to let Jason go when the realization sunk in that pursuing him has caused more damaged that it was worth. Call me optimistic but I’d actually like Sam and Liz to eventually become friends. They seemed to have gotten to a point of civility anyways. Sam and Liz were probably as exhausted of fighting with each other as viewers were of watching it all.

Friday’s Jasam scenes were nice. They didn’t wow me by any means but it was cool seeing Jason in less brooding character with his wife and young son at the penthouse. Billy Miller certainly has gotten his accolades for his acting ability but lately watching him has been like watching someone try to force a square peg into a round hole. He isn’t Stone Cold. He needs to emote and be allowed to show warmth. Hopefully GH has finally settled on who Jason 3.0 is and some more interesting stories can take center stage again.

About the author

Jenn Bishop

Jenn Bishop was TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.