Have I mentioned to you how much I love General Hospital? I started watching GH in high school. I am now 47 and still watch it. I can't stop. If they cancelled it tomorrow I would be on YouTube every day watching reruns. Call it being a fan, obsessed, a freak, a geek, whatever. I simply love Port Charles and its wide array of citizens.
I like writing about GH. I love reading your letters about it and discussing it and guessing what will happen next. I love feeling brilliant when I am right. I like getting angry and indignant when they kill off characters I love. I like swearing I will stop watching, but then I never do. Kind of like when I keep saying I am going to start a low-carb diet and then eat chocolate cheesecake at a Christmas Party.
Why do I love it? Why do I keep watching? A hundred reasons, really, but here are just a few…
I watch it because of Tony Geary. Tony is the dude who channels my favorite of all characters, Luke Spencer. If Luke is with Tracy or if Luke is with Laura, he's still the coolest guy in all of Port Charles. His best scenes in 2008 were with Genie Francis, but really, is that a shock? The reason the two of them turned into a cultural phenomenon all those years ago was because they were sheer magic together. They still are. But I will hold off on ranting about Genie's limited engagement until next week's 'worst of' column. And his scenes with the divine Jane Elliot are nothing to sneeze at, either. Whoever thought about putting Luke and Tracy together should get a bonus every time they are on screen.
G.H. has a great knack for casting multi-faceted actors who are as well versed in comedy as they are in drama. I don't know of anyone who pulls that off as well as the genius named Bradford Anderson. As Damian Spinelli, he can make me laugh until my neighbors bang on my wall to shut me up, and he can make me cry until my dog comes up in my lap and licks my face to comfort me.
Pairing Maxie Jones with Spinelli was another act of genius. When we lost our beloved Georgie Jones last December, we could not have predicted the "Bad Blonde One" would end up as the perfect partner for "The Jackal." But the two of them together have made a highly watchable team.
When I heard ABC hired Sarah J. Brown to come back to General Hospital to play someone other than Carly, I couldn't picture it at all. I saw her as the "real" Carly and was certain I wouldn't be able to accept her as another character. Color me wrong. Claudia Zacharra swept into town with a sultry one-night stand with Sonny, a bit of a wink and a nod to those of us who were around to see her as Carly version 1.0, and she has made Claudia her very own character, not a watered-down version of Carly, as I feared. Claudia Zacharra is an absolute mess, and inasmuch, is endlessly fascinating to watch. She wore black to her wedding! She is at times tough and no-nonsense, like when she went into clean-up mode after she thought Johnny killed Logan. At times, she is tender and vulnerable, like the night Sonny took her out of the Metro Court after Anthony verbally abused and humiliated her.
I wasn't sure Sarah could play a new character in such a way that I wouldn't look at her and see Carly. I was wrong; she and the writers pulled it off.
Part of the reason reintroducing Sarah Brown worked was because our current Carly, the wonderful Laura Wright, is so strong in the role. Her work this past year as a grieving mother after Michael's shooting was Emmy worthy. (I will ignore the ridiculous limo grief sex until next week…) While I hated the fact that this storyline ever played out, the actors involved gave it their utmost, and the three key figures in Michael's life, Sonny, Carly, and Jason all played the hell out of the material they were given. The guilt and remorse, the anger and blame, the sorrow and shame, it was all so tangible and raw, absolutely beautiful in its ugliness.
While I hate, hate, hate the constant mob violence in Port Charles, I liked that this year it actually had consequences. Michael was shot, Jake was kidnapped, and Jason and Sonny finally had to admit that their criminal choices cost the people they loved. Sonny lost custody of his children, Kate was shot, Olivia was stabbed, and even 'Sweet Polly Purebred' Elizabeth Weber had to gun someone down to keep her kids alive. It's an ugly world and the powers that be not only let us see that with our own eyes, they let the characters themselves finally accept it. The scenes where Elizabeth realized her lust for Jason had put her kids in danger were brilliant. And several characters had epiphanies (no, not the sassy nurse) this year about how their actions caused terrible things to happen. Wonderful writing, wonderful acting-and very realistic. We all soul-search from time to time and find that we almost always fall short.
Although this went on way too long, the initial storyline was very clever…Nikolas' brain tumor and subsequent visions of Emily were an incredibly romantic tale. He was nearly willing to die to be with the love of his life, even though she was a figment of his imagination. Nadine talked him into living and yet, I confess, the more I see of Nadine, the more I miss Emily. (Next week and I will tell you exactly how I feel about Nadine)
And we did not have one, but two of Laura Spencer's kids who saw visions this year. First, Lulu had visions of Dead Bloody Logan, and yeah--you guessed it -that's fodder for next week's column, but she also had visions of Laura, which turned out to be… not visions! I like it when the writer's pull one over on me. First, I thought Laura was really awake, and then after no one saw her but Lulu, I thought no, she must be a hallucination. Then a doctor came in and talked to Lulu about Laura's condition and I thought it was real again, but then when Lucky and Nikolas came in, and Laura was comatose again and the doctor was nowhere to be found -- well they had me on the edge of my seat. And when Laura really did wake up? Wow.
I like when the writers pay homage to the past. When I first started watching GH, there was no Luke. Laura was in love with Scott. I loved that Scott Baldwin blackmailed Laura into running off with him by keeping Lulu out of jail for killing Logan. Having the two of them retrace the steps of their past was a joy for long-time fans like me, and a fun ride for fans who missed it the first time around. The animosity between Luke and Scott is there for a reason. Scott and Laura were happy together until Luke arrived. Scott will always blame Luke for the downfall of his life. Seeing the three of them in that endless triangle again was good TV plain and simple.
Any list of the best of 2008 can't leave out our tech guys. The FX were incredible. Remember the Text Message Killer, the previously deceased Diego Alcazar? Think about those creepy underground tunnels, and the car dangling over the bridge with rushing water below-with Sam and Liz's lives hanging by a thread. If no one has thanked the magicians who brought all that to life for us, allow me to be the first. Thank you!
In a moment that can only be considered "Circle of Life" material, Carly's mortal enemy Ric saved her life back in March. Why is that significant? Because years back, Ric, who was bent on vengeance against Sonny, held Carly prisoner chained to a wall in a panic room. He planned to take her unborn child and then kill her. His plan was thwarted, but to have him rescue her was a redemptive moment for Ric in forgiving himself for the sins of his past. While Carly survived, her unborn child did not. So she didn't lose just one child in 2008, she lost two. And people wonder why she's so intense.
I am on page three and still have a plethora of things to mention, and so I will just list them. If I leave anything wonderful out, I hope you will write and tell me *your* favorite moments of GH 2008.
More good stuff…
Cameo roles…Vincent Pastore as Maximus Giambatti was a hoot.
Girlfriends…Carly and Olivia hitting it off was a delightful surprise. Carly hasn't had a girlfriend since Courtney died.
Romance…Robin and Patrick struggled a bit before finding their groove, but the two of them and baby Emma make a fine family.
The Quartermaines helping Luke woo Tracy back so she will stop being so mean.
The discovery that Matt Hunter is Patrick's bro and Noah's secret love child.
The comedy stylings of Max and Diane.
Anthony Zacchara, the evil genius, as played by the amazing Bruce Weitz.
Jason and Sam are speaking again.
And most recently, Jerry's game of DVD hide-and-seek at Sonny's house.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? What does 2009 hold? Will Aunt Raylene have an invention that makes Nadine less annoying? Will Olivia go home and spend Christmas with Dante, or keep mooching off of Kate? Will Lady Jane wonder where Jax's wife and kids are? Will Sonny throw something else and break it once he realizes he threw a precious ornament Michael made and broke it? Will Liz make Lucky brownies for Christmas? Will Edward Q read the Christmas story from the Bible in Alan's place or will that tradition go the way of the Thanksgiving Pizza?
Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of soapcentral.com or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen, what has happened, and to take a look at the logistics of it all. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same view point.