The return of Jason to General Hospital and the impending fallout has ended 2017 on a good note. The cast proved once again that they are the best in daytime and there have been some very enjoyable episodes this year. However, when looking at how those episodes connected, or rather disconnected, and the overall story arcs…let’s just say 2017 will not go down in history as GH’s best vintage. I love GH and think it’s important to focus on the positive so this was hard to write. I do think GH has improved and my big wish for 2018 is that it continues to get better. Putting together a Best and Worst list can be a bit tricky for years like this one but here are my picks of the highs and lows of 2017 for GH:
Best Story – The Jasoning™
GH’s best story of the year came courtesy of Jason’s big return. It turned out the man that Port Charles’ residents had been calling Jason for the past two years was actually his twin brother Drew with the real Jason having been held captive. This story continues to have a lot of emotional stakes involved, connecting a majority of the canvas as they deal with the fallout. At the heart of it is Sam as she grapples with the decision to either move forward with Drew or embrace her old life with Jason, setting up what could be an epic triangle in league with Sonny, Brenda and Jax. I confess that I had forgotten how much chemistry Kelly Monaco and Steve Burton have. This triangle will not have a clear outcome and those are the best kinds of triangles. Meanwhile, the mystery of just who is behind the switch and why is still unfolding. Though I was initially cautious, “The Jasoning” has given GH a much needed jolt after a stretch of non-stories.
Story That Should Have Been Good But Wasn’t – Man Landers
In theory, the Man Landers tale should have been a light-hearted Hallmark movie of a story. Ryan Paevey after all has made quite the name for himself starring in such romantic flicks. Unfortunately, there were a lot of major missteps in the execution. The biggest being placing the focus on dayplayers instead of the characters that the audience cares about. I like Amy. I think Riza Dorkin is an absolute doll. But it would have been better to give the leading lady honors to Maxie. I also really like Chet but he’s basically the dayplayer brother of a dayplayer. So while I should have felt something about Amy and Chet’s plight, I really couldn’t.
Most Disappointing Story – The Chimera
Hudson West is a talented actor and I’d been dying to finally have Jake’s time on Cassadine Island explored. Unfortunately, the only parts of the story I enjoyed were Franco and Jake’s singular therapy session, making fun of the many pronunciations of the word “chimera” while tweeting gifs of cats dressed as lions and Liz’s heroic moment at the end. This story just didn’t do what it was suppose to do which was to make sense of why Helena took Jake and faked his death. Why would the Cassadine Queen take a small child from his parents for several years just so that he can release a biotoxin named after a kitten two years after he’s returned home? She’s evil not illogical.
The “You Really Wrote That?” Award – Sam’s Toxoplasmosis
I’m all for medical drama on a show called General Hospital but does it have to be so gross? First Tracy Quartermaine was given brain worms and then Sam Morgan was given toxoplasmosis a.k.a. the kitty litter disease. While Kelly Monaco did a great job with the material, the story had zero lasting impact and devalued Sam’s concerns about Sonny’s criminal lifestyle. She didn’t have to be sick in order to want to protect her husband and children. In the end, her feelings ended up dismissed as delusional. Had Sam’s need to focus on her family’s welfare been written as valid, it would have not only provided character growth for her but it would have brought a lot of understanding to her current struggle between Drew and Jason.
Group of Characters Most In Need Of Story – The Twentythirtysomethings
GH has a quality cast of youthful actors. Unfortunately, none of them have a lot going on as far as story goes. Dante didn’t have anything to do this year outside of being a talk to and supportive husband. Dillon has disappeared, leaving Kiki with little story other than the few interactions she gets with her parents and mentor Dr. Bensch. Fans were ecstatic when Serena Baldwin finally made an appearance but the actress has never been brought back despite her strong performance. While Matt Cohen has been heavily used in promotions for GH, the writers seemed uncertain as to what to do with Griffin until finally giving him a sexy romance with Ava. Michael and Nelle have had frontburner story line but their only real interaction is with each other and his parents. They have no friends, no confidants, no drinking buddies. My hope for 2018 is for some solid investment in GH’s next generation.
The “Find A Cure For It Already” Award – Baby Rabies
A story about a couple wanting children is a bit of a soap staple. It can be really thought-provoking and relatable to the audience when done right. Sadly, Lulu and Nina’s obsession with little Charlotte was neither of those things. Instead of these women being shown as sympathetic, they engaged in childish tug of war while their husbands sat on the sidelines for the most part. It would have been much smarter to have Nina and Lulu understanding each other’s plight instead of yet another GH story about women attacking each other. And don’t get me started on the completely anti-climatic and confusing custody court case. Thankfully, Lulu is now getting into misadventures with her BFF Maxie and Nina is focusing her attention on the mysterious woman from her husband’s past. Hopefully, this means the end of everyone fighting over Charlotte.
#GHOffscreen Story I’d Most Like To Watch – Brad and Lucas Adopt
I love Brad and Lucas and I’m not alone. But despite the legacy couple’s fanbase, it’s a rarity that we ever see them. I think GH has really missed the boat in not telling their story onscreen. The tale of a gay couple trying to expand their family is a powerful one. The HBO series Six Feet Under did it with David and Keith. They went through the different options. Keith wanted a surrogate, David did not. Their original plans to adopt a toddler, turned into adopting two brothers with abandonment issues. We could have seen this sort of back and forth with Brad and Lucas with Lucas being more sold on the idea of having children than Brad.
Most Missed Character – Robin
Kimberly McCullough has moved on to bigger things and she’s certainly my hero for taking that plunge. But there’s still a big hole where Robin used to be and attempts to fill her shoes (Sabrina, Griffin) haven’t stuck. What Robin brings to the GH is a bridge between the hospital and the mob scene in a way that adds some heart to the canvas. She was very much needed to connect stories when it came to Jason’s reveal, vocalizing what Jason couldn’t about the life he missed while held captive and relating it to her own experience. She also provided a great sounding board for her friends which allow the audience to hear some much needed point of view from characters such as Liz. Here’s hoping that we get a few more visits in the near future!
Couples of The Year – Franco & Elizabeth and Jason/Drew & Sam
Looking back at the year that was, the two major couples were Franco and Elizabeth and Soap Digest’s pick for Couple of The Year, Jason/Drew and Sam. Although these couples didn’t have perfect storytelling, they had enough of the right ingredients to solidify their places as the couples to root for. Both have wonderful chemistry and a very classic “us against the world” soap couple vibe. Franco and Liz are a Beauty and the Beast tale. He wants to be a good man for her and her boys while she has gained the confidence she has been missing for roughly a decade. “Jason” and Sam were the perfect soulmates. They had a baby together and vowed to start a new life, one that would protect their family. Then it was revealed that “Jason” was really Drew, turning their world upside down. The road ahead is a bumpy one for both of them but their fans are ready for the ride.
Worst Couple – Michael and Nelle
There’s not really a delicate way to say this but it would have been a much easier to sell this couple to the audience if fans hadn’t already invested in the idea that they may be related. Viewers thought that Nelle was going to be Carly’s long lost daughter until it was revealed that she was just Carly’s adoptive father’s daughter who had been conned. It was a huge misfire. The actors are very talented and their latest story is wisely focus on Nelle’s scheming rather than an attempt at sweet romance. But they were not fun to watch and took up way too much screen time for the majority of the year. Maybe next year will be kinder to them and the viewers.
Couple Most In Need Of A Reboot – Alexis and Julian
Julian and Alexis were a sweet love story about a boy and a girl finding each other years after one fateful night and falling in love. It was something for fans to admire. Then the writers decided to have Julian hold a knife to his beloved wife’s throat. Yikes! The attempt to fix the mistake only made things worse as the blame was placed on Julian’s sister rather than a mental break. I don’t think this couple can be fully returned to what they once were. Rather than trying to fix the unfixable, it may be best to redirect their story on new obstacles to overcome. Either way their fans deserve a better 2018 for this once happy couple.
Best Triangle That Never Was – Parker, Kristina, Valerie
It’s unfortunate that Parker, Kristina and Valerie’s story was cut short due to scheduling conflicts because the set up of this modern day love story had fans talking. Kristina exploring her sexuality felt very timely. Adding in the fact that her sexual awakening came courtesy of an affair with her older, married professor and a flirty Valerie’s possible bi-sexuality, gave it the right amount of complications and scandal. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more.
Best Friendship – Lulu and Maxie
I really wish that GH had more friendships however, they have managed to strike gold with Lulu and Maxie. Emme Rylan and Kirsten Storm’s real life friendship translates well into genuine and playful onscreen chemistry. Their shenanigans are always fun, giving GH a nice shot a light during the more darker times. Hopefully now that both gals are in the media business, we get to see more of them.
Photos courtesy ABC.