I have watched GH ever since I can remember. I used to spend my days with my Grandmother and we started our afternoon with Ryan's Hope and did not turn the TV off until the end of The Edge of Night. I have been thinking about what I would write if I got the nerve ever since I read that Eye On Soaps was looking for new muse writers. I do not claim to be witty or funny, but I have given GH lots and lots of thought over the years, and this is what I have to say.
I have a pretty good memory, and I remember the "glory days" of GH. If a specific scene captured my heart I can recall it like it was playing on a TV screen in my head, almost to the point of describing the clothes the actors were wearing. That being said, I remember Luke and Laura's wedding. I remember the very first scene between Robert and Robin, before he knew she was his daughter. I remember the first time Frisco met Felecia, crawling out from under his bed. I remember a lot. Sadly, there have not been too many scenes worth remembering lately on GH.
My biggest disappointments with GH are the same ones I have heard voiced many times lately, especially in columns on this site: they rush through stories and (until last week) every story is dark and depressing. What makes it even worse it that GH has so much potential. But every story is rushed through and then forgotten. There are significant plot lines and events that were over and done with so fast that I have forgotten them. There have been several things from the past few years that the characters have mentioned lately that I absolutely cannot remember and for a long time fan like me, that is very upsetting. There are big stories or events like the train wreck, that could and should be fodder for stories for years to come, but the fallout is dealt with in a few days and then usually never mentioned again. On other shows, a good forbidden romance story line can drag on for a year or more. On GH we are lucky if it lasts 3 months. There is not a slow burn in the building of relationships. There is no anticipation. To paraphrase the topic of a column I read here a while back, everyone is about to have sex, having sex, or just finished having sex. There is little or no romance. There is no point in investing in a couple when more than likely the two characters will not even have a scene together in six months. That is why I cannot get invested in Sonny and Emily. After all this "pain" their being together will cause the other people in their lives, I am sure they will be split up by Christmas and all will be forgotten. While I really enjoyed Courtney with Nikolas, she went from Jax to Nikolas so fast that even my head was spinning. I had more second thoughts when I traded in my last car. I am afraid to get excited about the Nikolas and Maxie pairing that is undoubtedly coming because it has so much potential (I'll get to that later) and I just know it will be rushed and ruined.
The next topic I planned to address was the lack of fun on the show. When GH became "The Sonny Hour" it became so dark and depressing that it was rare to see someone smile. Everyone was dying, killing, or worried about dying and killing all the time. I don't even think the actors were enjoying what they were doing. Any scene with Luke was the exception. Just as I was preparing my tirade, what did GH do but give me some truly enjoyable scenes with Carly and Max. The scenes between them at the MetroCourt and when Carly was trying to find out where Sonny and Emily had gone were the most fun Iíve seen anyone except Luke and Tracy have in a long time. Laura Wright seems to be having a blast and I am truly enjoying seeing Carly have something to do other than obsess about Sonny. I do not know how Kelly Monaco physically does her job. She deserves an Emmy, because my eyes would fall out if I had to cry as much as she does. I do not remember the last time Sam had more that one scene where she got to laugh or smile.
However, I did not go to all this work just to moan and bitch. Remember, I said GH has potential, and this is what I think they should do with it.
First, give Maurice Bernard a 6-month vacation. I loved Sonny the first few years, but he has been shoved down my throat to the point I automatically fast forward (God, I love my DVR) about every scene he is in, especially if Emily is in the scene too. Let me miss him. Send Sonny away for a few months or just let him fade into the background. Let some other stories develop and then bring him back. Let us see what happens without him. I bet if I was allowed to see what things were like without him, I would appreciate him more. Sonny and Maurice are both wonderful but I need a break. After a while, too much of any thing gets on your nerves.
Next, keep bringing back veterans! Some of them are terribly missed. I actually trembled when Robert Scorpio appeared on my screen. Even in the middle of the epidemic, he brought fun back to GH. You could see the twinkle in his eye. He and Luke positively sparkled. And, although Anna was mentioned, shouldnít there have been a scene of Robin calling to say "Oh, Mom, by the way, Dad is alive." Or shouldnít Robert have mentioned notifying her before she found out on the news on TV? Tony Jones died and Lucy wasn't even at his memorial. We need Lucy. Lucy is fun and based on what I saw last week, GH is trying to have fun again. I consider the Nurses Ball a fun veteran and I miss it too. I want Lucy and Frisco and Felecia and Mac and I want them now. Don't worry; I have a story planned for them.
Here are the stories I would write if I could:
Nikolas/Maxie: Let them have a romance. If Mac objected to Dillon and Jesse imagine the reaction he will have to Nikolas. Let them have a long slow burn of a courtship. Let them sneak around. Let us anxiously await the first kiss. Let them go on the run for some reason, ala Luke and Laura and countless others, maybe to get away from Helena, then they come back to town and have to face Mac and Felecia and everyone else and only come out stronger and more committed. THEN let Nikolas find out he is John's father and see how Maxie, the wild child with a heart of gold deals with being a mother. especially if it turns out she cannot have kids due to something with the transplant. Or let her be the one to find out John is Nikolasí son and they work together to get him away from Jax. I could get very excited about a good old-fashioned soapy romance.
Sonny/Emily: I honestly cannot think of one story I would want to see them in right now. Nothing. Sorry. I have been done with Emily even since she screwed Zander over.
Luke/Lucas/Lulu/Bobbie: That is right, Luke and Lucas. If Lucas doesnít get a story soon he will be gone because he will be trapped in to "gay" stories. We have all seen it happen to other characters on other shows. Just think about this: Lucky is a cop and is not interested in following in Luke's footsteps. What if Lucas was? How would Bobbie react to her "perfect" son becoming like her idolized but deeply flawed brother? As much as she loves Luke, I cannot imagine she would be happy to see her child gallivanting around the world involved in one hair-brained scheme after another. The fact that Lucas is homosexual could just be an added part of the story, not the reason for the story itself. Wouldn't it be fun to see him run a scam with Luke where he had to keep some girl distracted so Luke can sneak in somewhere but the whole time Lucas is making eyes at the girl's boyfriend or brother or any other cute young guy? Lulu has already proven that she is a worthy successor to Luke. Let her vie with Lucas for Luke's favor. She could be jealous that she finally has her father's attention and now he has to share it with someone else, then there would be the guilt to deal with because she is jealous of Lucas spending time with her father when his father is dead. Throw Lucky in the mix too. How will he deal with Lucas replacing him as the Spencer "heir"? Then they could bring Laura back. If Genie Francis will not return (and who could blame her), then recast with a daytime or primetime veteran, no newbies please. How will she react to Luke "corrupting" Lulu and Lucas? Let Luke and Laura fight to get their marriage back. Imagine the scenes between Lulu and Laura. How would Lulu and Lucas adjust to a normal teen-age life again after the excitement of a life with Luke? Would Lulu be happy to have the mother she never knew or would she resent the end of the adventures with Luke?
Liz/Lucky: I am scared for them right now. Lucky is a legacy character for GH. Finding a story for him should be easy, but he and Elizabeth have been written in to such a corner that they are now only used to support other characters' stories. Liz is quickly becoming the new Amy Vining. If something doesn't change, they will be gone soon. Liz has the goods on Lorenzo because she saw him switch Skye's and LuLu's charts during the epidemic. Let her get sucked in to Lorenzo and Skye's world, maybe something to do with the baby but anything exciting and a little "bad" would do. No one can be as pure as Liz and exist on a soap. I love the actress and the character and I would hate to lose either one of them. How would she deal with Lucky's jealousy of Lucas, especially if Lucky decided to forget the police force and claim his place as Lukeís son?
Mac/Felecia/Frisco: Bring back Felecia. Try to get Kristina Wagner to return but if she wonít, then get Sandra Ferguson who is playing her now on a recurring basis. Reestablish Felecia and Mac. This is the key. It is ridiculous that Maxie almost died (again) and Georgie got married and we havenít seen Felecia. Make her a presence in her daughterís lives. I bet she could give Tracy a run for her money as a meddling Mama if she wanted. Let us know what is going on with Felecia and Mac. Are they back together or just co-parenting? Let them find their way back to each other. Make them a solid couple again. Let us care about them and accept the new Felecia if they have to recast, THEN bring back Frisco. I totally understand that there is no way to get Jack Wagner but recast with a daytime or prime time veteran who is already a familiar face. (Can you tell I am tired of newbies? I am greedy and I want a powerhouse actor, because one would be needed to pull off any of the stories I am suggesting. I think it would be hard to find an unknown actor with the needed level of ability.) Anyway, then Frisco, Felecia, Mac, and the girls would have to deal with his abandonment. Who would Felecia choose? The father of her children and her first love or the man who has stood beside her all these years and helped to raise her children. Would she be able to withstand the allure of the adventure and excitement Frisco would bring? How would Frisco react to the way the girls have turned out: one an almost tramp in love with a Cassadine and the other an underage bride to a Quatermaines? How will they react to him after all these years? Will they be happy to see him or just angry? They must have abandonment issues to address. What about Frisco? What could make him quit the WSB? An injury? How will he deal with returning to a normal life? This story will only work if the reestablish Frisco, Felecia and Mac and make us care about them again. Then, Lucy could pick up the pieces of which ever manís heart gets broken. Throw Bobbie in the mix and it gets even more interesting. Bobbie hates Lucy and Felecia used to be friends with both women. Let them fight over the guys and then snipe at each other for years, like Carly and Robin.
Robin/Noah/etc.: I am enjoying Noah and Robin. I like the fact that they did not immediately fall into bed like most GH couples. What I am enjoying most is that they did not automatically put Robin back in the mix with Jason. Been there done that and did not really enjoy it the first time around. I love the bickering between Carly and Robin and could happily enjoy most any scene with those two at each otherís throats for years to come, kind of like the Quatermaines. I am anxiously awaiting the promised Robert and Robin reconciliation but I am afraid to get my hopes up.
Jason/Sam: I love Jason. I love Sam. I even love them together, but for some reason they are not doing it for me lately. Something has to change, but I am not sure what. This whole thing of Alexis being Samís mother has so much potential, but once again it is being rushed. It seems the Powers That Be at GH are more into instant gratification than I am. Where is the anticipation? It will be interesting to see Alexisí reaction when she finds out and of course, Sam will eventually want to embrace her Cassadine heritage. I wonder if Helena will see Sam as another chance a control of the Cassadine Empire. If she canít control Nikolas, wouldnít pitting him against Sam be the next best thing? Kind of hedging her bets. That will create plenty of conflict for Jason and Sam. It just might tear them apart and I do not want Jason and Sam to split up. I would like to see them have a baby. I would love to see Jason with a child of his own. So much of his existence these past years has been protecting Sonnyís children. After all the misery Sam and Jason have had to deal with, I need to see them happy or I may start to not care about them so much. I need a payoff for the time I have invested in this couple. On a side note, it was nice to see Jason tell Max to deal with Carly on his own. Max cracked me up. I said it before, but it was nice to see some fun on GH.
Jax/Carly; I think I could enjoy this Jax/Carly thing simply because Laura Wrightís Carly makes Jax tolerable. They look like they are having fun. What lengths will she go to to help him keep John? What lengths would she go to to protect John and keep Jax and John in her life? We all know what she did to keep Michael from AJ.
Please, give me more Quatermaines, especially now that John Ingle is coming back. The saddest thing about Lilaís death was that I never got to see the "real" Edward mourn her. I felt cheated. Lila loved her rose garden. The roses will be blooming soon. Let me have a scene of this Edward in the rose garden remembering Lila. And I canít wait to see him butt heads with his new son-in-law, Luke.
Georgie/Dillon/Lulu: I love Georgie and Dillon, but I enjoy him with Lulu too. Diego would be better used spoiling things for Skye and Lorenzo. Lulu could be the biggest threat to Georgie and Dillon and I for one would be torn. While Georgie is dealing with the return of her absentee father, let Dillon start to look for his. If I know Tracy, she knows exactly where Paul Hornsby is. Didnít he leave town to look for Tracy and Dillon after he married Lukeís cousin, Jenny? I think she was Lukeís cousin. Please correct me if I am wrong.
As a side note, could someone please do something about the hair department at GH? I do not know if this country has a big enough supply of hair gel for them to keep doing what they are doing to Lucas and Dillonís hair. I have a hard time enjoying the acting because I am distracted by their hair.
After I wrote this I started to discuss this with a friend who is a recent viewer of GH. She had no clue about most of what I was talking about. When I told her my reaction when I first saw Robert after all these years, she told me her reaction. "So what? Whoís Robert?" Maybe GH is satisfying to new viewers because this is all they know. Long time viewers, like me, are frustrated because we remember what GH is capable of. Anyway, GH is like sex or pizza: disappointing GH is better than no GH at all.
To write to Helan about this
column click here.