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The General Hospital Thread (Part 1)

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  • Sean Phillips
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    #1203026614

    I don’t know how I went so long without realizing Lisa LoCicero’s husband directed Drop Dead Gorgeous. MIND BLOWN.

    EmmyLoser
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    #1203029429

    ^^^Whoa, I didn’t realize that! I love that.

    To me, the interesting thing about the Franco story is that this is the first time it’s really threatening the existence of a character who seems to matter somewhat. Drew has always felt very, very expendable. Even when he was supposed to be Jason, it’s never felt like it mattered all that much what happened with his memories. Steve Burton came back and made Drew even more marginal as a character. But now that Drew’s memories have overwritten Franco’s entire personality, it feels like all the issues they’ve been dealing with since Drew showed up will have to be resolved.

    I don’t think the show has quite lived up to the promise of Hayden’s initial return appearance. I could watch Rebecca Budig all day, and any Hayden/Finn scene is a stark reminder of how much better these characters work as a pair than Finn does with Anna, but everything surrounding what is ostensibly her primary goal for being back in Port Charles doesn’t really work.

    And I tend to agree — I don’t want Alexis back with Julian either, but that seems to be the unending, undeniable pull for the two of them, and especially for her

    FreemanGriffin
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    #1203029564

    I am finding the Franco story compelling due to the actors and not the story, and that is true for most of the compelling stuff on soaps right now. The writing is subpar but the acting and the love for the characters is so strong it can overcome the weak material.

    Hayden’s return so far has been a bust for me. It doesn’t help that we have a fake Nina and not the real one in the storyline.

    I think the solution for “Julexis” is for Julian to permanently leave town. I remember he was fired a few years ago but they brought him back ): They conveniently forget that Julian tried to murder Alexis – so much for loving her. Only on soaps can characters be in love with people who have raped them and/or tried to murder them! Ugh!

    I am watching The Doctors circa August 1978 and those are the stories and “my soap” right now! A pregnant teen about to give birth in a cabin in the middle of nowhere is compelling – no sci-fi plots, just real people (characters) who are complex and interesting dealing with real situations.

    Sean Phillips
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    #1203030657

    I have not much liked the Hayden return but I am LIVING for the scenes she’s had with Herbst. There’s been a nice natural chemistry between the two that’s been really lovely. Also good to see the Curtis and Hayden scenes. I’ve always liked it when they had friendships of opposite sex that didn’t hint at anything romantic because that’s how the real world is.

    Sean Phillips
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    #1203030667

    Now we need to talk about Nina:

     

    The problem is this character was always written as a Daddy’s girl who grew up rich and a bit spoiled and then lost 20 years and none of that entitlement. Stafford always put the character across as having a bit of a haughty diva air which was appropriate. Watros doesn’t do that. In fact I don’t know after over a month exactly what take she has for this character or if she even has a handle on the role. I can’t see Watros playing her crazy at all. And it’s a shame. But this character needs to go off canvas as this is hard to watch.

    FreemanGriffin
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    #1203033043

    Michael E Knight, 3-time Emmy winner for portraying Tad Martin on All My Children, will be joining the cast of GH. Not sure if this is a guest stint or if he will be sticking around? I think it’s part of the Shiloh/Drew story they are dragging out interminably.

    Lisa LoCicero did good work reacting to Lulu’s news about the divorce. I wonder if she will start to be utilized more and get more air time?

    I wish Rebecca Herbst would stop putting her hands inside of her sleeves; it’s distracting! (;

    Earlier in the year Jon Lindstrom was my pick for Best Actor but now I am leaning towards Roger Howarth. It’s really a tie for me! But JL is now a supporting player rather than a lead ): I do wish they would give Kevin – and Ryan – more to do!

    EmmyLoser
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    #1203071654

    I was away for a few weeks and am still catching up on both GH and DAYS, but since this thread hasn’t had any new comments in weeks (eek), I can jump right in.

    Other than having some of these stories dragging out for a ridiculously long time, I think the show has at least done a decent job of balancing the characters in terms of screen time. People like Kevin and Laura were on really heavily at the start of the year, then it was a lot of people in the Chase/Will/Shiloh area, and now it seems like most things are revolving around Franco and him thinking he’s Drew. While I think Roger Howarth did a good job in the scenes where Franco rescues Cam and takes his place with the memory transfer, I haven’t been impressed since then. Mostly Howarth just seems to me to be playing NotFranco. I don’t feel any connection to Drew, and the way the character is being both written and played feel really remote from what we know about him, including the weird accent Howarth has thrown into the mix.

    Overall, I’m enjoying the show enough, but I kind of wish they were writing all different stories. No more Shiloh’s reign of terror. More Chase/Willow/Michael scenes. More Lisa LoCicero, doing whatever. Less discussion about memory transfer. Less peril and heartache for Joss/Cam/Dev/Trina and more fun. I’m loving having Mac on more, and would love more of Dustin, which I’m hopeful we’ll get, since school is starting back up. Watros’s Nina has been a bust, and I would do without that character hanging around. Better story for Hayden — it seems like the show has several options they’ve been not using in favor of this business with Jax. Maybe just less of Alexis in any love story right now? I’d be fine with her and Dr. Byrne being together, I think, but I’m tired of watching this kindling attempt to catch fire, and as terrible as some of what he did was, it would be much more interesting if she were getting involved with Julian again. (I consider that stuff with trying to kill her to be a terrible decision on the part of the writers and not something he should be held accountable for forever. It has so little connection to the character now or shortly before all that happened.)

    The show has made, I think, extremely poor decisions in terms of characters/actors leaving the show and how they handle it. It seems like their favorite option is to have the character leave for something where they’d be back in a few weeks, and then having something weird happen so they just don’t come back (Drew, Dante, possibly Stella). They recast Nina, when it’s clear now that they had plenty of time and could have just written her off. They recast TJ with an actor who feels jarring as Molly’s boyfriend or Jordan’s son. They only recent departure I think they did well was Valerie. They got a recast to play out the rest of a story that really didn’t center on her, and then they just sidelined her.

    Hopefully I’m liking the storylines a little better by the time I get current. (Seems unlikely, but I can hope.)

    FreemanGriffin
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    #1203086908

    GH is the only show I am enjoying right now. Yes, it is flawed, and some of it makes no sense and they really need to end the Shiloh story now, but… it’s the only show I am finding bearable to watch! The characters and actors have me hooked on it. I loved Elizabeth’s confrontation of Kim, Michael’s scenes with Sasha work for me, Maxie and Spinelli are always fun together, Alexis telling Kristina that she is dating her therapist! (Florence Henderson married her therapist, so it can happen!), Peter being involved in the Drew back story is an interesting twist and raises the stakes for him and Maxie (Peter and Maxie are my favorite couple), and I am enjoying the Franco/Drew switch.

    I do wish we would see more of Kevin and Ryan. Jon Lindstrom needs to be utilized more.

    I am totally sick of Shiloh! He needs to go! He is holding the show hostage! Grrrr! (;

    Still, I am finding more to enjoy than to criticize and this is the only one of the 3 shows I still watch I can say that about.

    Sean Phillips
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    #1203089213

    Things that make me bang my head against a wall:

    -Shiloh would never have been on the stand in an orange jumpsuit; hell he wouldn’t have been in the room that way. Any attorney would have made him wear a suit and it’s his right or it’s prejudicial to the jury.

    -Non convicted felons are held at the jail during trial NOT a prison.

    -How could Sam not expect her past to come up? It’s a solid defense! She has not had an IQ lately. And did we not discuss the FREEZER incident? Or how Cam was kidnapped at gunpoint or the assault on Franco? What is this?

     

    Just kill the character please. No one wants him and we need a whodunit because everyone wants him dead at this point.

    EmmyLoser
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    #1203097965

    All good points, Sean. I try not to let the procedural stuff that soaps always just flub for convenience irritate me, but Shiloh coming to court in the jumpsuit and people being silly about the trial stuff is annoying.

    I saw late last week that Coby Ryan McLaughlin is FINALLY out at GH, which hopefully means someone will murder Shiloh soon and we’ll get a couple of months of fun story out of it. I think McLaughlin’s a good actor (he’s certain inspired a lot of hatred for his character), and he’s got a great body, but I wonder if I’ll ever be able to see him in other things and not just think of him as Shiloh and be instantly annoyed.

    I also saw a commercial last week touting an edge-of-your-seat hook-up between Franco and Kim, which is pretty disgusting.

    The above notwithstanding, I agree that GH is better than DAYS right now (and I don’t care what’s happening at B&B or Y&R).

    robbalto
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    I may be in the minority, but I am enjoying the story where Franco now has Drew’s memories. It has provided compelling, complex drama. Friends Liz and Kim are now pitted against one another. And Roger Howarth is doing a great job in that his Drew feels like a totally different person than Franco.

    Another interesting aspect for me personally is that my mom and I have taken opposing stands on the story. I feel that Franco is gone, and that Liz must accept that a new person now inhabits his body. I think that Kim is the only one who understands that, and that Liz is heinous for having Franco committed and for wanting him to get a risky procedure against his will. My mother, on the other hand, sides with Liz and thinks that Kim has it all wrong.

    There really is no legal precedent for this since, as far as I know, no one in real life has ever had their memories erased and replaced with someone else’s. This does, however, remind me of 23 years ago when Jason lost his memory. It was very difficult for his family to accept the new Jason, but eventually they did.

    Franco’s story is part of a bigger, convoluted story that has been playing out for years. I am very frustrated with the bigger story in that it never reaches any resolution or payoff. There is one huge payoff they have yet to play: let Jason get back his Jason Quartermaine memories (and it’s fine with me if he completely forgets his life as Jason Morgan).

    So overall, I want Jason to get back his Jason Q. memories, but I do not care at all if Franco gets back his Franco memories. I never liked Franco. I think he should keep the Drew memories and change his name to Drew Quartermaine. But the writers will probably let Jason keep his Morgan persona and return Franco to being Franco, because they almost always do the opposite of what this fan wants.

    Sean Phillips
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    #1203101358

    I’m actually with Liz because legally she’s right. Sorry, I have a law degree. :p

    robbalto
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    #1203101662

    Sean, Liz is legally right if you accept the notion that Franco is mentally unfit. However, I do not agree with that assessment.

    It’s great that we disagree! That’s what makes this story so interesting.

    EmmyLoser
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    #1203103063

    It’s hard for me not to feel like Kim is violating Franco by hooking up with him (even if that’s unfair). I just saw the episode where they had sex, and my skin was crawling. A large part of this is probably that just a few weeks ago Kim drugged and nearly raped Drew, so she feels predatory to me, even in her extreme grief. It’s also hard to tell whether Kim is interested in forging a relationship with Franco’s Drew (should he continue to be a Drew) in the way he’s interested in forging one with her, or if she’s just seeking a nostalgic bit of comfort and not really considering the consequences beyond that, for him or anyone else.

    I generally agree that in stories where someone loses their memory, unless there’s a clear and present way to get that memory back, you have to proceed as if the memories are gone and just move forward. (When Drew was Jason and the story was focused on trying to regain those memories, it got very tired.) But the Franco situation feels outside of that for a couple of reasons. One is that Franco’s actual memories have always seemed pretty attainable, both because of Andre coming back almost immediately and because no one was even sure Franco would wake up without his memories. The other reason is that the story doesn’t present like an amnesia story, but more like a DID or a brainwashing story. As cutting edge technical as the show makes it sound, what Shiloh did to Franco feels the same as what Stefano has been doing to Salemites to make them think they were other people for decades. In a story like that, the right answer is always to restore the person’s original memories.

    None of which is to say I don’t like the story overall. I don’t really like Roger Howarth’s version of Drew, which feels very remote from actual Drew, what I know about Drew, and any current relationship anyone has with Drew. The lack of connection makes it hard for me not to just want Franco back, which is funny because six months ago I wouldn’t have cared what they did with Franco. But there are interesting aspects to the story, which I think would be more interesting for me if Franco’s Drew were less stand-offish and more compassionate to Franco’s people. If we didn’t have Andre there to attempt restoring the memories, and instead the story was more about Franco’s Drew, Elizabeth, Kim, and others trying to cope with the situation in a more grounded way – and Fracno’s Drew was at least trying to understand Franco’s life rather than insisting on leaving Port Charles, I’d like the story more. I have enjoyed the scenes between Liz and Kim (and the one between Liz and Sam that Hayden interrupted), as well as the presence of Franco’s Drew disrupting Kim and Julian’s relationship.

    Jason getting his Quartermaine memories back would be cool. At this point, I wouldn’t expect a massive personality shift as a result, but it would give him a deeper connection to Monica and the Quartermaines and open up some other storyline avenues for him.

    FreemanGriffin
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    #1203103626

    I really loved Parry Shen’s scene today in the chapel. He could add it to other scenes in an Emmy reel; I was quite moved by it.

    I find myself on Liz’s side but probably because I really like Franco and Liz together, and like the relationship he has forged over time with Cameron as well.

    Kim has become a rapist. I felt that Stefan was a rapist on Days and Kim has become one now on GH. She has lost my sympathy with her crazy behaviors.

    I felt Wiley’s plight was under-utilized though. This ending for Shiloh isn’t what I was expecting and for me at least it’s not very good either ):

    Where are Ryan and Kevin? Earlier in the year I felt Jon Lindstrom was a lead actor but now he’s not even a supporting actor on the show!

    The show lacks balance ):

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