Soap opera productions have shut down out of precaution during the coronavirus pandemic, so “General Hospital” star Nancy Lee Grahn, who has played lawyer Alexis Davis on the ABC serial for more than 20 years, has taken to the web. On March 20 she and co-host Kaore Bonell shared the first episode of their at-home talk show “Soaps in Quarantine” where they interview colleagues James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine on “GH”) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers on “The Young and the Restless”). Watch above.
“We’re all sitting home with nothing to do, and because we’re actors and writers and performers, we don’t have an audience, so we need to do this or we’ll go mad,” Grahn explains. They discuss, among other things, whether soaps should address COVID-19 on-air when they go back in production. “I was reading Twitter comments, and people really don’t want any of the shows to address it,” said Bonell.
Grahn is “quite certain that is not going to happen … Some may think, maybe the responsible thing to do is to [address it], but what would we do? I’d have to put a glove on before I slap somebody across the face?” But she does game out the storyline possibilities. “I think because the show is mob-centric, on ‘General Hospital’ I think there would be a black market for toilet paper.” Bonell thinks mob enforcer Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) could just shoot the virus to death.
“GH” might be uniquely well-suited to deal with the disease since it’s hospital-centric in addition to mob-centric. But the show has been there before. A viral epidemic swept through Port Charles in 2006, claiming the lives of characters Tony Jones (Brad Maule) and Courtney Matthews (Alicia Leigh Willis). Dealing with a real pandemic might hit too close to home for soap fans who would prefer escapism. But what do you think? Should the shows address these current events when they’re able to go back into production?