Dear Readers, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that this was my 40th year watching GH. I started watching in the 70s when I was 17, and now I'm 57. Yikes. How did that happen?
When I started watching, Laura was about my age, and now, Laura is still about my age! We have grown up together, in a manner of speaking. Or maybe we just grew older, because we are both still a little wild as Grandmas go. Having Genie Francis as Laura back on canvas is one of the bests for me in 2018. She's the reason I started watching. She's one of the reasons I keep watching.
As each year passes and more and more of my old favorite characters leave, it feels less and less like the show I fell in love with. It's always a plus for me to see characters like Scotty, Laura, Bobbie, and Monica with actual storylines -- it keeps me tethered to the show. Daytime only works and continues on if it's a multigenerational affair. When I was 17, Scotty and Laura were the Joss and Oscar of the day -- the teenage love story that enticed high school girls to start watching. My mom, on the other hand, was more interested in the Monica, Alan, Rick, and Leslie generation. (For the record, I sucked her into GH, not the other way around.) I understand the system. I know we have to have a mix of old and new characters to keep the long-time viewers coming back and to entice a new generation to pick up the habit.
But right now, there are a few characters I am not yet invested in. If Willow disappeared tomorrow and I never saw her again, I wouldn't care. If I never heard Aunt Stella's crabby ex-boyfriend Marcus yelling at Sonny to keep his dad away from Marcus' wife, no loss. Chase seems like a nice enough guy, but he's not Dante, and that's the cop I want to see. At least I get to see Nathan (Ryan Paevey) on Hallmark movies.
I wish Ryan Chamberlain had killed off one of them instead of Kiki. But how can I say that when the storyline of Kiki's death propelled us into one of the best performances of the year? Maura West is a powerhouse, and her scenes after Kiki's death have left me weeping on my sofa. The day she went through all the Kikis she loved age by age, I was crying so hard I couldn't catch my breath. Whoever wrote that scene knows the reality of grief. Those gut-wrenching scenes should win Maura West a Daytime Emmy, but really, do they even matter anymore?
No TV network even broadcasts the show, and with all the drama surrounding the Daytime Emmys and talk of boycotts, what do Daytime actors have to shoot for? If they give an Emmy-winning performance and get an Emmy that no one sees that they can't pick up, what's the point? Art for the sake of art is a lofty and beautiful thing, but I feel sad that the great performances of Daytime TV aren't being celebrated or valued as they once were.
I would be remiss not to mention the great performances this year by Michele Stafford and Kirsten Storms after the death of Nathan, and although she typically provides us with comic relief, Kathleen Gati as Doctor Obrecht can also emote the hell out of a scene when given the opportunity. GH has a wealth of talent and an embarrassment of riches in their cast, and so many of their performances this year took my breath away.
Another of my favorite things of 2018 was the fall from grace and slow climb back to redemption for Peter August. Wes Ramsey is a wonderful addition to the GH canvas. I love the chemistry he has with Maxie and basically with everyone on the show. He's extremely likable. I do have a slight problem with the revisionist history that says he is Anna and Faison's son. As sick as Faison was, I can't believe he wouldn't have used Peter's existence get into her head (or her bed) if he had that chip to play. He tormented and stalked Anna for decades and never mentioned that he was raising their love child? Hard to swallow.
But GH changes its mind mid-story a lot…
First, it was that Sonny buried a body for Scully -- then, suddenly, he himself was the killer. Then Margaux was hellbent on taking down the man who killed her dad, then gave him a free pass when she found out her mom had an affair.
Let's not forget that Cassandra woke up from her coma but was kidnapped by someone…Who? Why? We don't know; it was just dropped. Why did Valentin have to stop conjuring up a fake daughter for Nina when he knows that Nina was complicit in Cassandra's coma? Speaking of that, if Sasha is not Nina's daughter, is there a real daughter? Did Madeline tell the truth? Is Nina's real daughter out there somewhere?
Then just the SORAS inconsistencies… It bugs me that all of the kids who used to be the same age are now all different ages. Spencer used to play with Josslyn and Cameron; now they are in high school, and he's still little.
But not so little that he couldn't have fixed an election -- whatever happened there? Are they still recounting all the votes? Will there be a runoff election in January? If so, why aren't Ned and Laura campaigning? It was just dropped.
Who was Mary Pat? What was her connection to Carly? Was she related to Nelle? Why did she torment Carly over all her other patients? We'll never know now because she doesn't have a head.
I already covered a few of my "Bests" -- Laura, Ava, and Peter. Here are the rest!
Valentin and Nina: God help me, but I love their love story. I love how much they love each other and how often they mess it up and get it wrong but keep clawing their way back to each other. I love that Valentin does horrible things for all the right reasons. I love that Nina forgives him every time, even though there's like a 75% chance he is lying again. I know she will discover he lied about Sasha being her daughter. I know it was a dumb thing for him to do. But I love him for doing it and for trying to fill her heart up in all of its empty places and for trying to make her dreams come true.
Nelle: Chloe Lanier is a great actress. I absolutely despise Nelle, and that's exactly what I am supposed to do. But every now and then, I find myself feeling sorry for Nelle, too, and almost believing her and forgetting she's the villain. Sometimes I root for her redemption, although I am 100% sure she doesn't want or think she needs to be redeemed. Having Dr. Obrecht out and about and onto her secret presents a real problem for Nelle. Although Liesl said she wouldn't tell anyone -- someday, she will need something to blackmail someone with, and Nelle's baby will be the thing.
Brad and Lucas' baby, Wiley: I like Brad and Lucas being parents and to see the support they are getting from their family. I like that Brad reached out to Julian for help, but I know when this all comes out, no one will believe he didn't know it was a Corinthos family baby, and there will be hell to pay. I like that Michael and Willow met in grief support, and only one of them actually has a baby who died.
Nathan's death: Just like with Kiki's death, I hate that Nathan died and is not on the show, but the storylines it set into motion were fantastic. The split of Lulu and Maxie's friendship, the outing of Peter as Faison's son, Anna's secret being uncovered, Maxie's grief and bonding with Nina, the birth of Maxie's beautiful son James -- so many wonderful moments came after Nathan died, but I still hate that he's gone.
Me Too: Kiki's #metoo storyline was well timed and beautifully executed. It showed the creepy behavior that so many women in the workplace have experienced and put up with for decades. It was hard to watch James DePaiva in such a sleazy role, but he certainly embodied it and got the "eeewww" factor down pat. Kiki won her case but lost the war, since she died just a few months after her hard-fought victory.
The introduction of Cassandra James as Dr. Terry Randolph: The very first transgender actor to play a transgender role on daytime. At first, I thought she was going to be used as a prop, but GH surprised me and integrated her into the fabric of the show, making her Liz's friend and now Oscar's oncologist. Her presence brings joy to an underrepresented population, and she made history doing it. Hooray.
Franco's abuse storyline: The unraveling of Franco's past gave context to who Franco became and gave him room to grow and become a better man. Roger Howarth shined liked a beacon in that take on repressed memories, childhood trauma, and eventual healing. I also like that he is still working on becoming whole, even though he is unaware that his current shrink is a fellow (unreformed) serial killer. I also loved the aspect of this storyline that left Drew and Franco as brothers of sorts and helped them heal the divide between them. Drew holds Jason's memories of Franco's evil deeds, but now also knows the underlying cause, and they found forgiveness.
Mike's Alzheimer's -- with exceptions: Max Gail is absolutely slaying this storyline -- his performance as a man in and out of reality, fighting to keep his memories and stay grounded in reality while battling Alzheimer's, is brilliant. All awards and kudos he can get, please. The exceptions? The dumb mob turn of the mystery of Croton, which fizzled into nothingness, and the hospital romance that reminds me how good The Notebook was because Ally didn't fall in love with another patient instead of letting Noah read her the Notebook.
The bullying storyline: GH has done a magnificent job all around this year, hitting hot topics and taking on relevant topics. Aiden being bullied by seemingly innocent and adorable Charlotte was on point. As was Nina's reaction -- the "No, not my little angel" -- but let's face it, every school bully is someone's little angel. Maybe yours. Poor Aiden keeps drawing himself the size of a peanut in his family drawings, but even after Charlotte's apology, he didn't seem to perk up. I think after the New Year, the GH writers have more in store for us with this storyline. I have my guesses of where this is heading, but I will have to wait and see if I am right. A few clues dropped make me think Aiden might be questioning his gender. Do you agree?
Anna and Finn: Their romance moved slowly, but I enjoyed watching them fall in love step by step, and although it took Emma's push to get them to move in together, I'm happy they are together. (For the moment, at least…)
Ryan Chamberlain's return: The body was never found. We assumed he'd be back someday. I didn't think it would be 25 years later, but hey, at least we got resolution. But now, get Kevin out of the straitjacket and back to his life, and let Ava end Ryan for real this time.
Jason and Sam: Oy with the stalling… So, you take this supercouple who are supposedly destined to be together, aligned by the angels, and the greatest of soul mates, and let them just exchange sultry glances for a year. Wait. What? Consider that Sam refused to ever believe Jason was dead when all evidence pointed to his demise. She could feel him out there in the universe. Readers, do you recall that Sam was so invested in that belief that she was willing to accept a story from a brainwashed imposter when he showed up in town? Yet, when the real flesh-and-blood love of her life literally fell through the sky and landed at her feet, she pushed him away for an entire year for reasons no one understood. What a freaking snooze. All that buildup of Jason returning, and no reunion! What a waste of a good storyline.
The same goes for faux-Jason, a.k.a. Drew: What kind of fool leaves Billy Miller without a love interest for an entire year? Sure, I understand that he would mourn the loss of his marriage to Sam. And now he is focused on his son's cancer. But there was that whole in-between part of the year where they left him in limbo. There was a brief flirtation with Margaux (played by the sensational Elizabeth Hendrickson -- former Chloe to his Billy on The Young and the Restless), but that fizzled when she tried to blackmail him. Now, a scene here or there that makes me think they are going to reunite Drew and Kim, but so far, no actual romance.
Margaux's relationship status: So, if they aren't giving Margaux to Drew, then who? They decided to drop her in Sonny's lap instead when they rewrote original story -- how long will it be before he takes her to Puerto Rico to buy a dress? Carly's vow to never forgive Sonny if he cheats again made me cackle, because she would totally take him back, every time, without fail.
Drew's memories: Drew spent months looking for the flash drive with his memories. Now he has it and he's just carrying it around in his pocket. I get that he could lose the memories he made the past two years, but dang, Drew, keep a journal and find out your history! Who is the rando guy who suddenly showed up looking for Drew after he's been gone for years?
Kim and Julian are no Julexis: They're sweet, but they don't sizzle. I'm still rooting for Alexis and Julian to reunite. I might get my wish on New Year's Day, since Julian came back to the party, forlorn after seeing Drew kiss Kim. Maybe Alexis will give him a New Year's kiss that reminds him what he's been missing.
Dante's vanishing act: Either kill him off or recast him. Like Frisco before him, they took a devoted family man and had him abandon his kids and wife for the sake of the badge. I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now. Also, I very much dislike Maxie and Lulu possibly crushing on the same guy. A hard no to the two of them competing for Peter. Just don't do it!
Aunt Stella: There are two Aunt Stellas. One, the kind lady who cares for Mike Corbin and coaches Sonny on handling a dad with Alzheimer's. Her, I love. Then there is Aunt Stella, the woman who spent a year bellowing about how she wasn't going to Curtis' wedding. If I were Jordan, I wouldn't have invited her to my wedding in a million years.
Kristina and the cult: Or is it a cult? Is Daisy the one blackmailing Sam? Is she just a nice girl who knows massage techniques, or is she recruiting converts to some creepy cult? I understand Kristina is lost and unsure of her future, but I can't imagine someone as strong-willed as Sonny's daughter getting lured into a cult.
Nu Jordan: No offense at all the to the actor who is portraying her -- Brianna Nicole Henry is lovely -- but she doesn't have Vinessa Antoine's fire, and that's what made Jordan, Jordan. Sometimes recasts work, like three out of four Carlys -- but then, there was that one Carly that just didn't fit the role. If you think I'm dead wrong and you love her, tell me I'm wrong and why.
The tease of Hayden: So, Finn had to get a message from Hayden saying she wanted to talk to realize he loved Anna? Curious. We know that Hayden has Finn's baby, and he will someday be sorry he didn't talk to her. When she shows up someday with a twelve-year-old kid, and he says, "Why didn't you ever tell me?" she can remind him that she reached out and that he never showed up.
Kiki and Griffin: I knew it was coming, I called it months before it happened. But, gross. I am never a fan of relationships where a parent and a child share a lover. Yuck.
A general lack of romance: Too many couples estranged and broken up. Not enough fire and passion. The only couple that met my vicarious viewing needs this year was Valentin and Nina the few times they were allowed to unleash their desire.
What will happen in 2019, dear readers? Let us find out together, sitting on the edge of our seats! Happy New Year!
Only tomorrow knows what is coming, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
What are your thoughts on General Hospital? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.