Unlike the CBS soaps, General Hospital has been able to maintain around the same level of ratings that it had prior to its hiatus. There are a lot of factors involved of course but I think a lot can be owed to a greater focus on some of the show’s strong female characters. It’s nice to be able to take an hour a day to escape with some badass women as they overcome obstacles and ultimately become the heroes of their own story.
I wouldn’t say that GH’s boys club has finally been disbanded by any means. In fact, the female point of view still needs a lot of work. Sam has zero story. Liz’s parents are still MIA despite years of fan interest and, for whatever reason, she is never allowed to be the heroine. Willow has become too naive to be likeable while Sasha has become a cokehead. Maxie isn’t using her common sense and has been stuck in a horrible pairing for years. I could go on. However, I have to give the writers some much deserved kudos for the recent frontburner stories featuring fan favorites Olivia and Alexis.
Dante is back and, if we’re lucky, ready to takedown the universally hated character he was previously sidelined for. Robert Scorpio is doing his best James Bond with help from his should-be-son Ethan and has a new rumored romance on the horizon. But the real reason this is arguably the best of the stories that GH is currently offering is because of the lady at the center of it. Olivia has been a blast to watch. She got to go on a spy adventure with a charming hero and save the guys from a sexy villain all while her handsome, rich husband paid for it. The audience wanted to be her. It’s the type of escapism that soaps need to provide more often.
In addition to the female badassery, Olivia’s story is also one with a lot of romance. Ned and Olivia are amongst my list of favorite pairings on GH despite the lack of screentime. Lisa LoCicero and Wally Kurth look good together and are one of the few pairings on GH that have chemistry. They’ve been given some pretty major obstacles now with the drama surrounding their kids and the family business. Olivia’s crush Robert and Ned’s fellow “gatekeeper” Alexis are unintentional interlopers as the husband and wife continue to clash. What direction will these new and rekindled relationships take and will Ned and Olivia’s marriage survive it? This feels like a very Quartermaine type of marriage story and is cementing Olivia’s place at as the matriarch.
Alexis is another female character that GH has been giving the cold-shoulder for far too long. Her very large fanbase is certainly happy for her to have a story again though imperfect as it may be. Sadly, it all began with her love interest dying of an overdose after a night of passion. Death is a bit of a dark subject nowadays but the shocking twist has lead to some much welcomed interaction with Valentin. Though the duo previously thought they were brother and sister, the dynamic between the two hidden Cassadine offspring is something new and has piqued a lot of fan interest. What made Valentin fall for both Anna and Nina was their kindness towards him and that is what is behind his current interest in Alexis.
There seems to be more to the story regarding Neil’s death than thought and this could possibly lead to a bit of a mystery down the line. For now, it is a catalyst for Alexis’ hitting her latest rock bottom and drowning her sorrows. When Alexis drinks, she makes mistakes. Ned and Alexis are both feeling pretty low right now and just happened to be drinking at the same bar at the same time. Needless to say, things got a little intimate between to the two former lovebirds. I have no doubt that she will regret her actions later but it’ll be interesting to see what story comes from her recent poor choices. Everyone loves a messy Alexis.
I suspect Ned misbehaving with Alexis while Olivia is off playing her spy games will eventually connect the two stories together. Olivia and Alexis don’t share scenes very often but the next time they do, I’ll have my popcorn ready.