Originally posted June 21, 2018
It’s no secret that Steve Burton’s hyped return to the show last fall has fizzled out. After a relatively promising start (there was about two weeks where it was can’t miss television for me) sometime in December/January, the story started to take a turn. It became a story about Franco’s past, about Anna’s past, about Nathan’s past.
What it hasn’t been is a story about Jason or Drew. I have lots of ways I would have written this story, some of which are in progress, but if I wanted to hit some of the same beats the show did — i.e. turn this into a major umbrella story that revisited the back stories of popular characters, here’s how I would have done it.
It turns out that Jason isn’t really Jason — he’s Jason’s twin brother whom Heather gave to Betsy Frank to raise along with Heather’s son Franco. Jason has been kept in some sort of captivity for the last five years in a Russian clinic. He is freed by Ava, returns home to dig out the truth, learns about Danny and Jake. Meanwhile, the Jason in Port Charles finds out he’s a missing Navy S.E.A.L. named Andrew Cain. Their story should involve Andre, Anna, Faison, and Nathan along with the rest of Jason’s family. Franco should also play a role in this story.
Continue reading “If I Wrote GH: Jason Really Has A Twin”
Originally Posted January 23, 2018
This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few months, and particularly the last few weeks as criticism of General Hospital’s casting methods has been highlighted.
In case you live under a rock on #soaptwitter, beloved icon of daytime, Genie Francis was unceremoniously dumped off contract and basically forced out, igniting the rage of pretty much everyone. Love or hate her, Laura was in the middle of an intense front burner storyline and running for mayor with her history as her platform. To lose her in the middle of this story without warning was simply stunning. At the same time, new characters have been introduced with either questionable acting skills or little purpose in the story (Peter August and who ever the hell Greg Evigan is playing, I haven’t paid enough attention to care about his name).
Look, writing for soaps is hard, y’all, and I’m the first person to admit it. It’s easy to throw stones from our couches, but under the best of circumstances, juggling a huge canvas is ridiculous hard and it’s clear that many of these new characters are top-down decisions. I don’t see the writers going to management and saying hey we’re writing this story, we need someone — it’s clearly “Here’s someone. Fit him in.”
Continue reading “Introduction of New Characters”
Originally posted January 21, 2018.
If you know me in real life, the first thing you usually learn about me is I am obsessed with history. I study it in graduate school, I’m pursuing it as my teaching certification, and historical fiction and nonfiction are my favorite genres.
I can actually pinpoint the moment that I fell in love with history. It was July or August 1992, and I had just turned eight years old. I was at my grandmother’s house, and my uncle popped in a VHS of North and South. Not the amazing BBC production, but the fantastic 1980s miniseries with Patrick Swayze, James Read, Robert Mitchum…and Genie Francis.
Continue reading “How Genie Francis Inspired My Life’s Work”
Originally posted June 6, 2018
Note: This is the inaugural entry in my new series: If I Wrote GH. I write fanfiction as almost a third job, haha, and I’m always thinking about what I would do differently. Even when GH was really good (my favorite years in the 1990s and the mid 2000s), I still think about that. I don’t have the time to write the fanfiction, they’re not hiring me to write GH, so here we are).
Let’s assume that my story assignment was the following:
Nelle gaslights Carly into thinking Morgan might be alive, making her appear to be unstable and fragile to those closest to her. This culminates in Nelle throwing herself down the stairs, framing Carly for her assault, and Carly being sent to Ferncliffe after being found not guilty due to insanity.
Continue reading “If I Wrote GH 1: Nelle Gaslights Carly”
Originally posted December 17, 2017.
Note: If you like Franco and don’t enjoy hearing criticism of his character, you’re gonna wanna turn away. I’m not in the mood on this subject. We can debate his redemption story all you want, but I just can’t anymore with this sexual assault crap.
The other day, General Hospital’s Twitter feed asked if Franco deserves Elizabeth’s love. I responded that no, he didn’t. He’s a sexual predator and I’ll never buy the tumor storyline.
I get it. The show wrote him a redemption storyline that worked for a lot of people. Good. That’s how fiction works. Something works for you. Doesn’t work for everyone. And for a lot of us, there was no redemption that could be written to make the Elizabeth and Franco pairing palatable. We don’t have to debate that. My reasons are my reasons, and I’m allowed to have them.
What absolutely drives me crazy is the response to the statement that Franco is a sexual predator, because it’s often a variation on the same theme. The “Yes, But Your Boy Did This” Defense. It exists in real life, and we’re seeing constantly to deflect from sexual misconduct accusations.
Continue reading “The “Yes, But Your Boy Did This” Defense”
Originally posted December 5, 2017.
Born in the mid 1980s, I have a handful of early television memories. I remember wearing out the VHS tape watching Bambi, begging to rent Lady Lovely Locks from the indie video store my aunt worked at, and Katherine Bell being poisoned on General Hospital some time in 1993. According to my mother who started watching in the heyday of Luke & Laura in 1979, I’ve been watching General Hospital since I was in the womb.
General Hospital is a member of my family. I love this show because it’s been in my life since birth. It’s part of my family tradition. We also have fights and long estrangements, and I often disapprove of the hella poor life choices my family member makes, but you don’t get to pick your family. That’s the magic of soap operas and why the medium refuses to die out. It’s why fans who love the show bitch about it and still watch.
I already had a decent history with General Hospital by the time Rebecca Herbst showed up as spunky spitfire Elizabeth Imogene Webber on August 1, 1997 when I was fourteen years old. I had watched Audrey get brain surgery earlier that summer when Port Charles premiered and had rolled my eyes as Sarah Webber came to town, and for some reason, Lucky Spencer and Nikolas Cassadine feuded over her.
Elizabeth was a troublemaker who never took any shit from anyone. She went after what she wanted. Lied, manipulated people, and even cheated to make people look at her and not her perfect sister. She wanted Lucky and went after him.
I loved Elizabeth Webber from the second she came on screen.
Continue reading “The Elizabeth Webber Conundrum”
Originally posted May 8, 2019.
Believe it or not, I’m actually not a difficult soap viewer to please. As long as the show is watchable and I have the time, I’ll watch any story even if my favorite couple or character aren’t at the center. I’ve always been a fan of the ensemble nature of these shows and I like to think I’ve been flexible on my couples.
I usually use three measures to decide what makes a soap story watchable. Does the story make sense? Does it serve the characters? Is it entertaining? The best stories hit all three marks, but they’re rare. They’re the Metro Court Hostage story on GH in 2007 or the hospital quarantine of 2006. In my short time as a Days viewer, I thought Kristin’s return hit all three but I didn’t really know to measure it in terms of character because I didn’t know those characters yet.
This immigration story is a bust on every single question.
Continue reading “The Failure of the Immigration Story”