The last two weeks of the year are reserved for our "Best and Worst" columns, and since it's the week of Christmas, I want to begin with the "Best Of" and talk about the gifts GH gave us this year.
I spend a lot of time nit picking over the minute details and inconsistencies, just because it's funny - but in reality, you must know, I love this show. I started watching GH in (drum roll) 1976, so next year will mark 30 years of viewership for me. You don't watch a show for 30 years that you hate.
The best reason to watch GH has always been the relationships, and it still is. Whatever plot they come up with, Hotel Fires, or Train Crashes, or Brain Tumors, or Mob Wars, it's all just backdrop for Love in the Afternoon. We like to see people in love. We like to see people who are passionate and daring and loyal. We love to see love triumph in the midst of mountainous obstacles; we love happy endings. Sometimes we get them, and when we don't, we know the nature of soaps is circular so we wait for the happy ending to come back around to us after we watch our beloved characters sweat it out for a season. We know eventually they will triumph. They HAVE to. And we believe they will, because it helps us believe that we can find happy endings, too. When one of our soap family finds a way to make an impossible love work, we see hope in our own impossible situations. When a character has to face grief over losing a baby or battling cancer, we use their strength and grace to deal with our own trials. Soaps are entertainment, but for many of us, me included, they are therapeutic.
I love it when the writers honor the history of their characters, because the fact is, we do remember. I was delighted to see the return of two old fan favorites, Dr. Noah Drake, played by the still foxy Rick Springfield (and I used Foxy on purpose, I am after all, a child of the 70's) and Kimberly McCullough's Robin Scorpio. The flashbacks alone of her and Jason, and her and Stone were enough reason for me to give her return a "thumbs up." I have a little bit of weirdness in that although I know in my head that people are actors, and in fact I spent 3 years doing theatre and was an actress myself, once someone has been on soap, I always and forever attach them to that role. I watch Las Vegas, for instance, and see Vanessa Marcil and I know her character has a name, but in my head, I think "Cool. Brenda is on." So even though I know these 2 had other things they were doing since they were on GH, it felt like a homecoming to me to see them back in Port Charles, NY.
I also am thankful for the gift of Laura Wright taking over the role of Carly - when Tamara Braun left, it was a sad day, she is such a delight- and then that other chick took over whose name I can't mention until I do next week's "Worst Of" column - and since Carly is such a pivotal character, I was so happy to have a Carly I can watch with joy again.
Another "Best Of" even though not technically connected to the show was watching Kelly Monaco dance her heart out on "Dancing With The Stars" even thought GH used it to come up with that lame plot about Sam's twin and such, but again, that's in next week's review.
Liz and Lucky's wedding was a romantic highlight which made up for all the false starts they had before finally saying "I do" , and Lucky's Dad marrying Tracy Q was one of the comic highlights of the season. The first time he called her "Spanky Buns" I laughed for a good long while. That's another thing GH does well - comedy. One of the funniest scenes just happened this week when Dillon found out her had to move back home and rigged it to look as if he was hanging from a noose in the Quartermaine foyer, only to have the whole family walk by and glance at him casually and never even comment. They just went about their business as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.
If I were to cast my vote as to which was the very best scene of the year, and I know there will be great debate on this issue, for me it would be the scene where Lucky was comatose and on life support and Luke was by his bedside singing "Don't Fence Me In" trying to decide whether or not to pull the plug. Nothing in any form of media moved me more than that, maybe because I have loved Luke as if he were real for 25 years or so and I am so invested in his heart - that was brilliantly written and soulfully acted out - a perfect and memorable scene.
I loved Jax and Courtney together, after a long buildup they finally got married, but before the ink was dry on their marriage certificate, they were apart again. The two of them had great chemistry and I thoroughly enjoyed their romance, while it lasted. I also enjoyed Sonny and Reese up until Reese became Charlotte, and it was all downhill from there.
Dylan Cash came into his own this year when he had some serious scenes during the kidnapping and subsequent therapy sessions - when a kid that age can hold his own against the powerhouse adults, you have to sit up and take notice. Michael Corinthos held his own in scenes with AJ, Faith, Sonny, Carly, Jason, Sam, and a host of others. I predict he will have a long acting career ahead of him.
Then we get down to the hard parts - Emily's rape was hard to watch, but powerfully acted. So while it wasn't my favorite storyline, I have to give credit to the actors involved - Natalia Livingston as Emily and Tyler Christopher in his brief stint as Nikolas look alike Connor Bishop.
Jason and Sam made me happy every time they were on, she's a con artist and he's a hit man, but I just love the way they love each other. Also on my "A List" - the friendship between Jason and Carly which I always applaud because like Carly, I have a friend like that and it's a better world when you know someone living in it actually has your back, without question. Their friendship makes no sense on paper, Carly is insane and Jason knows that and loves her anyway. Jason is a hit man and Carly knows that and would throw herself in front of a bullet for him - and since he's a hit man, that isn't just a nice thing to say.
The Train Crash/Explosion in the Tunnels storyline was riveting and I didn't use my fast forward button the whole time it was on - every minute of that week was packed with action and drama and angst and heartbreak and love and wonder - it was delightful to behold, it's what I had been waiting months to see and I wish to thank anyone who had anything to do with it. The culmination of so many relationships all colliding was like some magnificent jigsaw puzzle that we finally had all the pieces to and got to see the magnificent picture when it finally came together.
I have to admit that next week's "Worst Of" column will most likely be much longer than this, because GH had a few serious missteps this year, but that having been said, I love the show and I will watch it as long as it's on the air, without doubt. GH is part of who I am and I like it that way.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Emily and Sonny share a New Year's kiss at midnight? Will Manny have his tattoos laser removed in 06? Will Jason take the bandage off his ear since his surgery was on his brain? Will Robin tie her streaked hair back next time she is observing in surgery so someone doesn't get a bleach blonde highlight in their cranium? Will Carly take her profits from the Metro Court and buy controlling interest in Rose Lawn so next time she goes nuts she can fire her doctors?
Only tomorrow knows dear readers and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.