This week, Tamilu shares with you her picks for the worst of GH in 2008.
You might recognize the title as a line from a great song. Sure. But it's also what I have to do on a routine basis when it comes to viewing General Hospital. I look at people and soaps and life in a completely unrealistic way. I do not see them as they are, I see POTENTIAL. I see what could be, where things could head, how life could unfold in the most ideal circumstances. I used to do that with GH. I see something on the horizon that could be a great storyline. But many times, that seed of something wonderful never grows or reaches its potential. Even worse, they do things that are absolutely unthinkable.
For instance, the writers decided to shoot Michael Corinthos in the head. Why? Did Dylan Cash get a zit? The kid was a great actor, a key character, and had been on the show since he was a toddler. Did they merely want to give Carly and Sonny a lame reason to have sex? I have used a lot of dumb a** excuses in my life for ill-conceived hookups, but "We were unable to control ourselves from having sex in the back of a limo because we were grieving over institutionalizing our son after he was shot in the head," never crossed my mind. If something horrible happened to one of my kids, sex would not even be on the radar of my brain.
But in the end, that fateful grief sex played a role in getting Sonny away from Kate, so it's not all bad. Their romance was a serious snooze. Every time Kate started talking about what goblets she wanted at the wedding, or barking latte orders at Maxie and Lulu, I HOPED Sonny would cheat on her just so she would go away. Kate/Connie started out with so much potential and her portrayer, Megan Ward, is a very gifted actress, but they didn't give Kate much to do. When Olivia blew into town for the wedding, and we discovered that Sonny had a son with Kate's cousin, it kind of took the wind out of Kate's sails about being Sonny's first love.
Not only did Sonny and Kate break up, Sonny's "bromance" with Jason ended, too. That was the saddest breakup of them all. In truth, Jason and Sonny were the super couple of Port Charles for a decade. And like most breakups, it was over something stupid. Sonny blamed Jason for siding with Carly about giving up custody of his kids. But Sonny himself was the one who was always assigning bodyguards for his family and packing them up and sending them to the island when things got dangerous. It was not as if Michael's shooting was the first time he realized his kids were in danger because of his criminal lifestyle.
Jason and Liz teetered on the edge of romance all year, and we never got any payoff. Every single time Liz and Jason were about to make a go of it, tragedy struck. It was like baiting a hook and pulling the bait away every time the fish bit. It wore me out trying to root for them.
This left Sonny vulnerable to the Russian mob, which, as usual, appeared out of nowhere. I love how all the big mob guys never go to NYC, where the real action is, but instead set up shop in poor little Port Charles, which only had one diner that burned down and now no one has a place to get pie or chili.
But why would you want pie when instead you could spend millions of dollars to buy pills that would help you…keep…a brain tumor. Prince Nikolas decided in 2008 that, rather than be cured, he would try to prolong a brain tumor until he died, just so he could hallucinate about his dead fiancée. I know insanity runs in his family, as evidenced by the fact that Laura and Lulu both spent a great deal of time in Shadybrooke this past year, but really. Nikolas decided he preferred daydreaming about Dead Emily to living his life.
After Lulu killed Logan, she also hallucinated, but it wasn't like the happy love fantasies Nikolas was having of Emily. Lulu instead saw Dead Bloody Logan who stood and gave the stink eye in silence with an eerie glow about him, like when Wayne holds the flashlight on himself and tells Garth he's the scary Leprechaun and Garth squeals like a little girl.
When Nikolas finally decided to let go of his hallucinations, he supposedly did it for his son, Spencer, whom we have not seen one time since Nikolas got well.
And that is one main flaw with General Hospital…Follow-through. They have the imagination to cook up the original idea and vision, but then it sinks to the bottom of some creative black hole. They brought on Cody, an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD, and dropped the whole storyline to have him become a toady for Jason. Then there was Logan Hayes, long-lost son of Scott Baldwin, with a magnificent amount of potential for both characters, but they killed him off and had him spend months being a bloody visage to Lulu. We last saw Scott stowing away on Laura's plane to Paris with no explanation. Apparently no one in town noticed he was missing, or not at his job, or ever went looking for him. Cooper Barrett died leaving the hint that he might have been related to Brenda Barrett, but that was left unresolved. Diego Alcazar sprung back to life after being presumed dead, and was revealed to be the Text Message Serial Killer. The writers had to rewrite history to make that backtracking work. Tristan Rogers finally came back to Port Charles for a big and long-awaited storyline on… not General Hospital. Robert Scorpio's character was in a full-blown storyline for the first time in over a decade, but on the wrong show. Many viewers didn't get to see it and, boy, were they peeved. I know that because they wrote and told me. Many viewers either live in an area that doesn't carry SOAPnet, or only got basic cable, and thus felt extremely cheated by the character they adored returning to a show they could not access.
Another disturbing trend in Port Charles is people who are not Robert or Anna, but instead idiots who want to pretend they are spies, most notably Sam and Nadine. "Hey, I think some extremely dangerous people are selling counterfeit drugs. Maybe I should try to solve the case even though I have no training, or weapons." Or "Hey, even though my current boyfriend is a cop and my ex is a trained assassin, I will wander off into the woods to take on the Russian mob alone without telling anyone." I like for the writers to write the women as brave, but not as brainless.
Sam not only took on the Russian mob alone, but Jerry Jacks as well. And it's not as if she didn't realize how dangerous Jerry was after she lived through the Metro Court hostage crisis last year. She of all people knew what Jerry Jacks, a.k.a., Mr. Craig, had no moral boundaries, but still toyed with him. Of course we thought Jerry was dead, but since he is apparently playing a game of cat and mouse with Claudia via DVD, he might still be alive. As we all know, the soap rule is if you don't see a body, they aren't actually dead. And even that doesn't always hold true, like Robert and Anna, or my favorite, Stavros Cassadine, who was supposedly cryogenically frozen in the bowels of GH. (Man, I miss Helena.) If you are not a detective, stop investigating crap.
Another thing I hold against the powers that be in 2008 is that they don't know us, the viewers, well enough. We remember things that happened in the past, we like a sense of history and continuity; we care about the core characters. We don't want them to kill off Emily and shove the terminally quirky Nadine down our throats. I kept hoping that cow would kick Nadine in the head during those milking scenes. She could be silently in a coma next to Michael, and never saying the words "Aunt Raylene."
I don't want them to hype the return of Genie Francis for months and only keep her around for a couple of weeks. Does she cost too much money to keep her on full time? You'd think with all those product placements, ABC would be swimming in money.
I don't want them to replace the annual holiday episodes with something else. Although if I had seen the Jingle Jackal episode last week before I wrote the "Best of" Column, Monica getting special glasses that allowed her to see Alan would have been on the list. Even though I liked that episode, I missed hearing the Christmas story.
Daytime viewers are following characters and stories. If you kill off characters we are rooting for and drop storylines midstream, people will leave.
I have said this ten times, but since GH/ABC hasn't heard me yet, I will say it again in a different way. The first soap I ever watched was The Young and the Restless when I was 12. I spent the night at a friend's house and the next day her mom was watching it. That was in 1973. Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor was one of the main characters. Today, in 2008, Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor, and now 80 years old in real life is still one of the main characters. She currently has a riveting front burner storyline and a budding romance. The Young and the Restless trounces GH in the ratings year after year. I truly believe it's because they respect their actors and their characters' history. They haven't retired Katherine Chancellor or Victor Newman and replaced them with vapid 20-year-olds.
Luke and Lulu were both in the hospital and Bobbie didn't visit. Ned and Dillon didn't come to see Tracy for Christmas. Laura woke up and her mother, Leslie, only made a brief appearance. Jax and Carly lost a baby and neither Lady Jane nor Bobbie called to wish their kids condolences. Michael is in a coma and everyone promised to go and visit him, but no one has visited him since the day he was admitted. Alexis fought so hard for custody of her kids, but never sees them. Pretty soon, baby Emma will vanish, too. Patrick and Robin are about to be married but "Noah can't be found" in Doctors without Borders. So what, he didn't buy a cell phone with international service before he left Port Charles? Of course, his doppelganger Eli Love dumped Anna because she was about to be a granny, so it was most likely that Rick Springfield wasn't available.
They got rid of one of our favorite sets. Kelly's Diner, the meeting place of Port Charles residents for decades, is now a goner. Sonnybucks has also been destroyed, so Jason has to do business on his sofa.
Other random stuff that bugged me:
Jax buying Spoon Island
Alexis and Diane, two smart and competent women, picking out such idiots to date.
The whole sags of Johnny, Lulu, and Lourdes with the piano lessons.
Carly being able to single-handedly pull Sonny out of the water when the Russians had him weighted down with anvils and chains.
Robin whining about her baby not liking her because it cries.
Luke and Laura parting ways.
Carly and Jax parting ways. For heavens sake, you two lost a baby and Michael. Go get some grief counseling and work it out.
There was a lot of good, and a lot of bad on GH 2008. But here I still am watching. What was your most despised moment of GH 2008? I would love to hear from you.
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.