How Would You Fix Your Favorite Serials?

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  • robbalto
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    #1202191203

    While we all have our favorites, it’s difficult (for me, at least) to watch a serial without thinking about how I would change or restructure it. Since I keep with all four, I will offer my thoughts on each.

    The Young & the Restless
    Y&R is in pretty good shape. I would jazz up the younger set a bit by bringing on Snapper Foster and/or Greg Foster’s children to mix it up with the current 20-somethings and teens.The show needs to be a bit steamier. I would not bring back Adam; his character has run its course. Current story lines with Cane and Mariah show us the good that can come with moving forward.

    The Bold & the Beautiful
    Adding Zende, Nicole, and Maya to the canvas has increased the show’s diversity; now the show needs to step it up by giving these characters more air time and bigger stories on a consistent basis. I also think that the character of Rick has been underused. The current weak story lines will soon run their course, so I won’t go on about those. I would like to continue to see a lot of air time for Wyatt, Liam, Steffy, Quinn, RJ, Coco, Sally, and Saul.

    Days of our Lives
    I like Ron Carlivati’s work thus far, and I feel like it’s almost too early in his tenure to offer any suggestions. While I greatly enjoy the humor to Ron’s stories, I would encourage him to maintain the integrity of the characters, and to remember that we fans want to love the characters.

    General Hospital
    This is the show where I would make the most drastic changes. I would refocus the show on the hospital (rather than crime) and restore the core families of the Hardys and the Quartermaines. In order to accomplish this, I would bring back the character of Tom Hardy Jr. as a young, married doctor whose wife is also a doctor. I would also bring on two sons of Jimmy Lee Quartermaine, also as doctors. I would also bring on a few other GH staffers to create a steamy and compelling medical drama. Once these stories and characters were in place, I would gradually eliminate many of the current characters.

    So, how would you change these shows? Or would you change them at all?

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    Sean Phillips
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    #1202192086

    Speaking of the Hardy’s on GH, do we know about the son Rick Webber adopted (Mike) and his son with Ginny (Rick Jr.)? They could very easily be added to the canvas as anything.

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    robbalto
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    #1202192193

    Sean: “Speaking of the Hardy’s on GH, do we know about the son Rick Webber adopted (Mike) and his son with Ginny (Rick Jr.)?”

    Interesting question! To the best of my recollection, these children were not mentioned when Rick returned briefly in the early 2000s (and have not been mentioned since). They would be logical candidates for return engagement if the show wanted to beef up the Webber contingent. Mike would be in his 40s now (and could thus have teen children) and Rick, Jr. would be in his early 30’s. And of course Ginny was played by the fabulous Judith Chapman!

    The reason for the Hardy-Webber connection is that Jeff Webber was revealed to be Steve Hardy’s son. That is why Steve and Audrey are Elizabeth’s grandparents. So that also means that Hayden (Rebecca Budig) was Steve Hardy’s granddaughter. GH could have mined this connection but instead chose to more or less ignore it in favor of focusing on the criminal contingent. In a short period of time, GH has written off one of the last remaining Hardy-Webbers (Hayden) and one of the last remaining Quartermaines (Dillon).

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    zkrons
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    #1202192240

    Robbalto, I admire your choices, but I want to contend that sometimes soap operas must move on and I think General Hospital has moved on from the Hardy/Webbers save Elizabeth. I think the Quartermaines still have some life to them, but the Hardy/Webbers don’t. As painful as it may seem, the Corinthos family is the integral GH family now, so we may as well work with what we have. Yes, they should cut back on the mobbiness of Sonny, and stick with the legitimization of buying the land with ELQ once he recovers. Maybe, with Steve Burton returning, he’ll be Jason Quartermaine (pre-accident), and will go to med school. I don’t know what will happen to Billy Miller. Perhaps, Kristina could become a doctor or a nurse & I think Kiki will soon do the same. They should focus more on ELQ & the Quartermaines. I like the idea of bringing on Jimmy Lee’s kin, but I don’t know if they need to be doctors. The show needs to get rid of Franco. And make a decision on Valentin: is he good or bad? I think either he has to be the “bad guy” or it will be Ava and/or Julian. Getting rid of Dillon was really stupid…they need to sign Wally Kurth & Lisa LoCiero & Leslie Charleson to contracts to have a semblance of the Quartermaines. They can get rid of Jordan & Curtis & Aunt Stella…TJ & Molly can move away and come back in a couple of years. Nathan & Maxie need to be on the show in the same place & stay together. And most importantly, Michael needs to be the lead of the show. Chad Duell is too talented to continue sitting in the background of the show. He also needs a stronger pairing than Nelle (she can leave too), which may be the only benefit of Dillon leaving b/c maybe the writers will put him back with Kiki. Can you imagine ELQ CEO Michael Quartermaine/Corinthos with Dr. Lauren “Kiki” Jerome in a couple of years? That sounds amazing.

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    Sean Phillips
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    #1202192589

    Oh duh that’s right. Sometimes I need a flow chart to keep up. Fun fact: Mike Webber was played by the same actor who played Sly Stallone’s kid in the so deliciously awful it’s good arm wrestling classic “Over the Top.”

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    Sean Phillips
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    #1202193184

    I’d also like to point out the most recent Tom Hardy Sr., Matthew Ashford, is currently available. GH already has two shrinks in residence (Kevin and the oh so boring Andre) but he could easily be brought in as a board member or something.

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    youngsoapfan
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    #1202193191

    Matthew Ashford is returning to Days of our lives for at least a stint if not longer, so not “completely” available.

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    Sean Phillips
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    #1202193196

    Doesn’t that shoot like months in advance? After all, Wally Kurth does both.

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    robbalto
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    #1202193204

    Zkrons, thank you so much for responding! It’s fun to have someone challenge me a bit!

    Zkrons: “Sometimes soap operas must move on.”

    We are actually very much in agreement on this point. We just have different ideas about what moving on should look like. I do not think GH has moved on at all. They are basically doing the same show from 10 to 15 years ago with a dash of 1980s thrown in here and there. My thought about bringing back the Hardys is meant to refocus the show in a way that honors its history, but I am looking for a show that’s younger, steamier, more contemporary, and more relevant.

    Zkrons: “As painful as it may seem, the Corinthos family is the integral GH family now.”

    Yes, it is painful. In fact, I no longer watch the show as a result. I finally gave up and stopped watching in January! So I guess I should defer to people who actually still watch.

    Zkrons: “So we may as well work with what we have.”

    This is where we disagree. But again, I would suggest a gradual change. Newer characters and story paradigms would need to be in place and successful before making any major changes.

    Zkrons: “Michael needs to be the lead of the show. Chad Duell is too talented to continue sitting in the background of the show.”

    I completely agree with this. But I really only care if he is Michael Quartermaine. I have zero interest in Michael Corinthos.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #1202193482

    GH has so many problems it’s hard to know where to begin, though that’s partially because so many of the problems stem from wasted potential and missed opportunities. But I think most of the suggestions have been good. In my eyes, the show basically needs a reboot. They can’t get away from writing stories for and around not only Sonny and the criminal contingent of the show. It would be one thing if these stories were working and people were loving them, but I’ve seen no evidence that that’s the case. The show just seems to be stuck there, and there’s a faction that would love, like robbalto, to go back to a hospital-centric show focusing on the core families that were established decades ago and another group that prefers a return to the well-planned drama of the 90s (a longing to return to the greatness of the 90s is a recurring theme for all of the remaining shows, more or less). In either event, GH is the one show where people seem most completely dissatisfied with the current and recent quality of the show.

    I think I’ve suggested this before, but I’d start with a catastrophe and work from there. Refocusing the show around the hospital is a good idea, if not because that is ostensibly what the show is meant to be about then because it gives fans an alternative to the criminal focus that seems to only play out at the expense of the law enforcement characters and with little clear indication of who actually is good or bad and why. You generally know who the show wants you to root for in a given moment, but with little to back up that support. So I’d say either find a way to wipe the slate for some of these characters who are basically still around because of their portrayers despite being terrible characters in some regards at this point (Ava, Julian, Nina, etc.) or just get rid of them. Create a big umbrella story that moves the show in a new direction. Imagine a huge mob storyline where some enemy of Sonny’s and the Jeromes’ bombs and destroys much of the hospital, leading someone with more firepower than the PCPD gets really involves and makes it clear that organized crime in Port Charles is just done. The characters who were involved with that struggle to move on, either by coping or leaving, and the focus goes back to rebuilding and re-establishing the hospital and to the Quartermaines, as a family and as a business with ELQ.

    There is so much than can be done with GH and there are so many aspects of it that bug me that it’s hard to even make specific suggestions.

    With B&B, I’d say the show needs to do a better job of not being repetitive and also do a better job with cast rotation. The show only runs about three storylines at a time (I think they could stand to expand this a little bit — do a better job with long-term planning and let a couple of C level stories be developing more while others are getting the majority of screen time), so they shouldn’t be things we feel like we’ve seen time and again on this show. Decide on who the lead characters, and write stories and allocate screen time based on that, letting others play supporting roles in an alternating fashion as the story allows. For example, Steffy is one of my favorite characters on the show, but she is often heavily featured during weeks when the character is just there to talk about what Sally/Thomas/Ridge/etc. is doing. The amount of screen time should be commensurate with the role the character is playing in the story. I also think someone in the writers room could be advocating for the characters better. Sometimes behavior is so clearly storyline dictated, and if the storyline isn’t worthwhile or doesn’t make sense, that’s incredibly frustrating.

    DAYS seems a little too in flux to really make many suggestions on right now, but I do think robbalto’s point about the characters is a good one.

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