‘General Hospital’ Week In Review: What’s Bad Is Good

Jax and Alexis confide in each other.

I’m not sure if I’m in the minority or majority but I liked last week’s General Hospital. After a long, rough week at the office, I got to watch some of my favorite actors show off their talent in stories that have me engaged and I enjoyed it. So for me, the soap did what a soap is suppose to do.

I love a lot of GH’s villains and anti-heroes but to quote Bonnie Tyler, “Where have all the good men gone?” GH does have some really likable good guys – Dante, Nathan, Griffin, Kevin. It just doesn’t feel like enough. With Nik gone (let’s just pretend the dark Nik stuff never happened okay?), GH really needs another white knight of that caliber. It’s all the more obvious with the dashing Jasper Jacks in Port Charles. It has been a breath of fresh air to have the charming hero back in Port Charles. GH desperately needs this type of character. Can we keep him please?

I wasn’t able to write about everything that happened last week. If you would like to share your thoughts on anything I did or did not mention, please leave a comment below or tweet me and we’ll chat.

General Hospital Week In Review for the episodes that aired November

Finding Mr. Darcy

Josslyn plays matchmaker for her parents.

Josslyn plays matchmaker for her parents.

So it turned out that Sonny wasn’t suicidal. Instead he confessed to planting the bomb that killed Morgan. He didn’t need the gun to confess nor did he need to do it at the funeral in front of grieving loved ones. He could have let his wife and children have their moment to mourn and then turned himself over to Jordan afterwords sans gun. The strange bait and switch made Sonny appear unsympathetic. I wanted to be proud of him for having the self-awareness that his choices indirectly cost his son’s life. I didn’t get that.

Sonny’s confession came before Jason could tell him that it wasn’t his bomb that blew up Julian’s car. Sonny is now in jail and Carly feels like she has reached her breaking point. Loving Sonny isn’t good for her or her family. Jax is though. I’m really glad that GH is making good use of Ingo Rachmacher and Laura Wright’s chemistry this time around. The actors are so good at bringing longing and regret to their scenes with each other.

Joss doesn’t want her mom going back to Sonny and decided to play cupid with the help of Jane Austen. Comparing Jax and Carly to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy was a neat trick. A triangle with Sonny, Carly and Jax would be really good. A quad with Brenda, Sonny, Carly and Jax would be even better. A girl can dream can’t she? Brenda or no Brenda though, there are plenty of ladies who Jax would pair well with. Jax and Ava would be all kinds of hot for example.

“We’re Good.”

In my last review, I mentioned feeling a bit cautious about the Tom story line. So far I’m happy to report that I’m liking the story and the majority of my enjoyment is because of what the actors are bringing to it. GH’s casting director Mark Teschner proved yet again why he has so many awards with Don Harvey as Tom. Harvey was great opposite Roger Howarth, Rebecca Herbst and Nancy Lee Grahn. I always enjoy it when my favorite actors get to play with worthy screen partners. I loved Franco going after Tom and threatening him. The action in the scenes played very real and Howarth can play calm intimidation well. The situation is certainly making Franco have to take a look in the mirror and I’m intrigued to see what will happen.

The story is using history to drive what’s happening in the present. I want to see how Tom’s presence will effect Liz’s new relationships. I loved the way Herbst played Liz’s panic upon learning that Franco went after Tom. What happens when Hayden finds out why her sister was so on edge? I wonder how their relationship will develop as they learn about each other’s past. It would be cool if they could eventually become each other’s support system.

Friz hug.

Friz hug.

Even though I’ve watched the Friz hug a million times and am on board with this story, I do have some criticisms about the tale. I don’t understand the choice of having  Franco lie to Liz. First of all, when did Liz become so anti-lying? Second of all, one of the foundations of the pairing is that they feel comfortable being honest with each other. Why challenge that so soon? The timing of it seems off. Franco and Liz haven’t said “I love you” or slept together yet and this is kind of heavy material to throw at a pairing that hasn’t fully solidified. It’s like the writers jumped forward a bit in the journey. GH did something similar with another pairing I enjoyed when they made Sabrina pregnant with Carlos’s baby instead of Michael’s before establishing that the pairing loved each other enough to overcome those odds. I have no doubt that Franco and Liz will eventually take the next step in their relationship but I think fans would have enjoyed it more if it had happened before Tom showed up.

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.

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  1. Another fine column, Jenn! I do enjoy reading your take on GH each week with your fair and thoughtful perspectives on this show which we love but which also can frustrate us.

    I especially connected to your question “Where have all the good men gone?” I related as well to your comments about the untimely interruption in Franco and Liz’s romance with the Tom story. Like you, I think the acting in this story is excellent and that, once again, our GH cast is showing us that they can save lesser or difficult stories. One my biggest issues with the current writing is not that we have dark stories, but that GH is full of so many of these in both tone and content. I enjoy some measure of these in-depth visits to darkness, loss, sadness, revenge, conspiracies, evil and villainous acts – BUT I also want more light and more heroes to balance this darkness.

    I want those white knights of which you speak. I want the uninterrupted flow of the sweet parts of a love story without the interjection of darkness so soon.

    The type of light we need is following through on the lovely build with the portrait scene in which Liz wanted to paint Franco for her class. Let there be some sustained joy and light before turning to the dark side. Our GH writing team seems to be overly-focused on capturing attention with extreme actions and negative conflicts without first building the positives which sustain us and our characters through these extremes. Michael and Sabrina are a good example of this kind of damaging interrupted writing; and, for a while, I wondered if Kiki and Dillon’s sweet budding romance would meet the same fate. They do seem, however, to be righting themselves and I hope that positive direction continues.

    Now, with Franco and Liz, I don’t think they will sustain long term damage because of this timing of the diversion into Tom’s story – even if fan enjoyment has been derailed for now. In the considerable imbalance on GH with the writing for couples and characters, Franco and Liz are on the plus side as being among those who receive ample screen time to hit story beats and to develop both character and couple POV. These on the minus side receive much less screen time and attention to detail and, are, therefore, less able to withstand sometimes unfortunate timing. So, with Franco and Liz, I predict that they will come out of this stronger and that there might also be positive growth in the sisterly relationship between Liz and Hayden.

    Thank you for the section #IfYouWroteGH. Reading through these suggestion, I noted the generally positive tone – some references to stories for stronger women … some improvements in character development and integration … some family-based stories … some examples offering retribution … some filling in of past mysteries or dropped stories … some plausible intrigue and adventure that doesn’t involve brutal murders and emotional abuse. Perhaps our writers need to be paying more attention to such suggestions. Just a “suggestion.”

  2. Thank Goodness Jax goes home Monday …can’t handle someone who pretends to be so perfect while covering for Jerry…
    Carly just burned all her credits with me…forgot the grief and just jumped The ever boring Jax.
    GH does a fantastic job of making you root for thr bad guys ….at least they don’t pretend…

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