General Hospital: When Last We Left Our Heroes

There has been an unfortunate lack of enthusiasm regarding General Hospital’s stories this year. While actors seem anxious to get back to work and the show’s diehard fans are eager to see new episodes, there isn’t really a lot of positive discussion regarding where GH left off prior to its hiatus. The most frustrating part of GH’s current storylines is that they all should be good. The writers became their own worst enemy by focusing on the wrong characters, rewriting important history and not properly pacing story.

I know all this sounds very critical and you’re probably thinking this article is going to be a major bummer to read. But I felt I should acknowledge that GH has been struggling creatively before saying that there is a lot to be hopeful about.

GH has a few upcoming plot twists that I think fans will find intriguing. While some stories that probably should have been dropped continue, the downtime did provide the option for GH’s writing team to smooth out some rough patches. To top things off, the show has arguably some of the best actors on TV who will no doubt have fun with any material if given the proper opportunity to play.

This article is not just a reminder of where the stories left off in May but also a look at the creative direction I think the stories should take now that production has resumed.

The Fight For Wiley

The custody battle between Michael and Nelle has way too much going on. Coco Chanel famously advised, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The writers need to apply this rule to this story and start removing a few pieces.

Nelle convinced Brad to switch out his baby who tragically died with her baby and now that the truth is (mostly) out. Nelle and Michael are fighting over who gets custody of their son. For reasons unclear, both parties decided that they needed to get quickly hitched in order to win the judge’s favor. Michael’s girlfriend and best friend manipulated him into marrying Willow, the seemingly pure former sex cult member with a criminal record who was fired from her teaching job after letting one of her students get abused. Nelle blackmailed known former mobster Julian Jerome into tying the knot. So…yeah these people aren’t very smart.

The courtroom shenanigans were just beginning to heat up and will continue next week. The part of this story that I’m personally most interested in is the reveal that Nelle has the other half of Nina’s necklace and is her believed to be dead daughter. Nina is taking the stand on Nelle’s behalf next week. Will she help the daughter she doesn’t know she has or will she destroy her? I feel like the writers try to ignore Nina’s darkside nowadays so she’ll likely be driven by some unexplainable bond and take Nelle’s side. I hope she doesn’t though. There is a lot more story potential if Nina and Nelle’s future relationship as mother and daughter starts out with Nina not being the perfect parent.

One of the biggest complaints that critics and fans have had about the Wiley story is that Lucas and Brad are painfully absent from the fallout. How is Lucas handling having his family destroyed by the love of his life? We don’t know! Nobody cared about Carly’s reaction to this overused trope and yet she has been given the most attention. It would be wise of the writers to have Carly focus more on one of her other many stories and give the audience a peek into how things are doing for her beloved brother. If I wrote GH, Cyrus would be connected to the Wu family and help Brad get out of jail. Lucas and Brad could long for each other while being caught up in their families’ conflict.

The Dark Arts

Nik and Ava are plotting against each other for the Cassadine family fortune. The only way for either of them to get out of their fake marriage with the most coin is if the other one cheats. Ava has set her sites on temping Nik with his friend and former lover Liz while Nik thinks he can get Ava to reignite old feelings for Franco. The Webber-Baldwins are unaware that their pals are attempting to break up their marriage for the sake of material gain.

The scheme-filled quad set up between Nik, Ava, Franco and Liz started in 2019 and then sat in a waiting mode with the intent of ramping up again for May sweeps. Poor pacing killed the story before it ever had a chance to actually hit the ground running, making four of Port Charles’ smartest people look stupid and pathetic in the meantime. What could have been good use of Emmy winners and soap superstars, ended up a neglected mess.

I think this story could be salvaged – lord knows the actors have the chops to fix most of the writing mistakes – if the writers simply just start giving the audience what they want. Nik and Ava’s marriage should be chalked full of unavoidable lust leaving fans wondering when they will finally succumb to their desires. The writers should stop lying to fans about Franco and Liz’s financial situation. They’re not broke. There was big story just a few years ago that explained in detail how they became to not be broke. Franco and Liz’s angst should instead be about addressing Liz’s insecurities and how her poor choices with past lovers have shaped her.

I’m not sure how GH will film the planned party at Wyndemere given the new normal but I think that would be a good time to get the story back on track. The party should be fun, humorous and very revealing. I would have Nik and Ava become too obvious with their intentions making Liz and Franco finally catch onto their tricks. Once their plan backfires, Nik and Ava could either give into their feelings, move on to a new game or both. Liz and Franco, realizing they are more solid than they thought, could move on to other things such as searching for Hayden.

The ELQ Takeover

Valentin is out for revenge on the Quartermaines for reasons I can’t quite remember. He is currently going around Port Charles buying up as many shares as he can so that he can gain controlling ownership of ELQ. Tracy stopped by briefly to warn the family of the potential takeover but now it’s up to Ned and the rest of the family to save the day.

Is it just me or does it feel like Valentin should have Jax’s story and Jax should have Valentin’s story? Jax is a corporate raider and has attempted to take over ELQ in the past. He has the better motivation. Meanwhile, the overpromoted romance between Jax and Valentin’s former raison d’etre Nina has failed miserably to connect with viewers. This is one of many examples were the current writing team didn’t value the characters enough to give them the right story. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like there is a way to switch these stories around to the right character now without creating a complete mess.

A more clear motive needs to be given to Valentin’s need to take ELQ away from the Quartermaines. What does he think he can gain from this? Why is he choosing to attack the Qs rather than going after Nik for taking his fortunate and family heritage away from him? His actions feel very misdirected. Also, he should be doing more in the romance department either by being more active in attempting to woo back Nina or by getting over her by getting under someone else.

Maxie May Be Pregnant With Peter’s Baby

Nope.

To Err is Davane

With the hint of a decent triangle set up between Robert, Anna and Finn coupled with an upcoming wedding, I’m not sure why we’re seeing so much of Anna fussing over Peter instead of getting her groove on. Not only is Robert and Finn’s snarky banter fun to watch but I think fans would love seeing Anna weigh her options. One man is her past, one is her present and only one of them can be her future.

This is another story that will be challenging to do with social distancing but even if we don’t get any sort of big wedding, the three characters can go on an adventure and band together to take down some bad guys. Life and death situations have a way of bringing out what is important to someone and it could be a great environment for this triangle.

The Mob Story

I’m not sure whether to give the writers kudos for choosing to do a big mob story or shake my head. I like Jeff Kober who plays Cyrus. He knows how to be an entertaining bad guy. However, I find it really hard to care about a random rival mobster coming to Port Charles and making Sonny feel insecure about his territory. As I stated above, it should be Brad’s family going up against the Corinthos. Not only would the Wu crime family have been good use of history but it would have added some much needed diversity. As far as Jordan’s part in this story, she could have done the same thing to one of the Wu’s as she did to Cyrus. This story would have been elevated by simply giving it to the right characters and using the show’s history.

I think it would be interesting to make a connection between Cyrus and the Wu family. This would set up a Romeo and Juliet scenario for Lucas and Brad. Jordan’s part of the story could involve her friend Anna (I miss their friendship). It would also potentially give Mac and Felicia something to do as Felicia was involved with the original storyline. Maybe Maxie could even end up a target and Curtis could save her.

The world has changed a lot since this story started. I believe the writers want us to see Jordan as a complex hero but she’s very unlikeable. While the fact that she is so driven for justice that she feels she can justify treating others as expendable has been a consistent flaw for her, the writers’ appeared unawareness that her behavior isn’t heroic isn’t good for…well any character on the show. With the Black Lives Matter movement currently going on in the real world, I think the writers need to be cautious of the potential messages this story could send.

No Love For The Davis Girls

Alexis and her new lover Neil have both lost their careers thanks to their forbidden night of passion. Sam’s parole officer has ordered her to keep her distance from Jason. Molly cheated on her longtime beau TJ with Brando. I think Kristina may just be bartending at the moment…I don’t remember.

I like that GH has a matriarchal family unit like the Davis girls. I’m glad that they are starting to interact more again and getting some interesting entanglements. I would like to see what Alexis does now that she isn’t a lawyer. Being a lawyer has been part of her identity for so long that I’m not really sure what else I could see her doing. Maybe Neil and Alexis could get involved in a Cassadine mystery since he has an interest in Russian history. Or maybe she could continue to be a fighter for justice in other ways such as starting a non-profit or charity.

I admit I feel some sympathy for Sam fans right now. There’s just a lot of nothing going in her life at the moment. The continued obstacles that are keeping Jason and Sam apart yet together aren’t fun for Jasam fans or nonJasam fans. I hope that the writers have finally decided what they want to do. I think playing Sam with her family and letting her have some of her feistiness again would be a good start.

I love that Molly is finally getting story but this isn’t really the story I wanted for her. Even though TJ and Molly were rarely seen, I really enjoy the pairing. Fans have begged for years for a story for them. I don’t like that the only way they seem to be able to get any screentime is by Molly cheating on TJ with some random white dude named Brando. I know I’ll get a lot of people disagreeing with me but I’m not a fan of this story choice. I hope that Molly’s unintentional affair is used to grow her as a character as she learns from her mistake. I would love it if she started writing again.

 

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