Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, hold onto your seats, because it looks like we are in for a bumpy ride. It's been a crazy week with huge behind-the-scenes shake-ups, and sudden changes in direction of storylines, which are sure to break the hearts of many longtime GH viewers. This week has been chockfull of ups, downs, twists, and turns, so let's right dive in. Friday, December 02, 2011 will live in infamy among every ABC soap fan on the planet, because it was the day that our jaws collectively dropped to the ground when news hit that Brian Frons, also known as Public Enemy One to most of us, was out of a job at Disney starting January 2012. Ironically, earlier that day we learned that our unemployment rate had dropped to it's lowest level, 8.6%, since March 2009.
Genie Francis (Laura Spencer) summed it up best when she heard the news about Brian Frons on Soap Central Live this week: *Gasps* "He resigned? ...Wow. Wow."
That was pretty much my reaction when I read the news for the first time. I honestly thought that he was a made-man at Disney. After all, he had been given the power to decimate the ABC soaps, and replace them with garbage like The Spew and The Revulsion.
By the way, if you didn't catch Dan's show on Friday, with Genie Francis and Denise Alexander, then please treat yourself to a truly wonderful interview after you finish reading this column. You won't regret it. Both ladies were absolutely amazing, charming, and gracious. The love between them is genuine.
Now, back to Brian's sudden, and unexpected, resignation. I will admit that I question whether he truly resigned or if he was given an offer that he couldn't refuse, because the day before we learned that executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps had been let go and replaced with One Life To Live's executive producer, Frank Valentini. Frank became available after his deal with Prospect Park, as the new Vice President of Serial Drama on The Online Network, fell through.
Why? Because Prospect Park decided to scrap plans to save the two beloved ABC soaps, One Life to Live and All My Children.
Oh, but wait, there's more. On the heels of that announcement, we received word that current head writer Garin Wolf will be replaced with OLTL's head writer, and Emmy-winner, Ron Carlivati in January 2012.
If I were Anne Sweeny, Brian Frons's partner-in-crime, I'd be checking the Help Wanted section of the paper this weekend, because she, too, might be out of a job come January 2012.
What do all of these changes mean for General Hospital? I don't know, because right now the show is hemorrhaging key characters like Nikolas, Lucky, and our latest casualty, Robin. I was absolutely crushed when I learned that Kimberly McCullough had decided to leave the show, so that she could focus on her directing career. I don't blame her; these are dark times for ABC daytime soaps. However, that doesn't lessen the pain of seeing another beloved legacy character leave. And it looks like they are going to have Robin leave in the most heartbreaking manner possible.
As much as it pains me to think of Robin being killed off, I want it done right, and with the respect that the character, and actress, deserves. We always knew, from the day that Robin found out that she was HIV-positive, that she could develop full-blown AIDS and die. The possibility was always there, which is why there were several times throughout Robin's life that she developed complications from having the life-saving cocktail of medications, that she took daily, withheld from her. The last setback occurred after Robin had escaped from the cabin, where Lisa had held her captive, and then stumbled into a well.
I suspect that we will learn that Robin discovered that her T-cells had not bounced back to the level that they should have, following her recovery from being stuck in the well. It will also explain why she had lab work done in secret, and why she had told Mac on Stone's bridge, "But I used to be a fighter, you know, and I let [Lisa] win. I let her destroy my life and destroy my marriage."
I don't want Robin to die, because I want that door to be left open for her return. Not just because I love Robin, but because it also means that everyone is committed to keeping this show going. However, as I told a friend recently, it's a soap, so they can always find a way to bring Robin back if Kimberly ever changed her mind.
So far, I appreciate the effort that is being made to do this story properly. The poignant scenes of Robin on Stone's bridge, and his parting whisper of, "I see you, Robin. I see you," was definitely a step in the right direction. If this is the path that they insist on taking me down, I want to see Anna and Robert along the way too. It's only fitting. Nothing, even death, would keep Anna and Robert away from their dying daughter.
If anyone can undo the damage that Brian and Jill's reign of terror created, it's Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati. I'm a fan of their work on OLTL, so I'm confident that the changes that they will make to GH will improve things. GH just needs the right people in place to take it to its former glory, so I have my fingers crossed that Frank and Ron are the ones to do it.
I think that we all should expect some major changes for most of the characters. I'm fine with that, because there are some aspects of GH that I do not like right now, starting with what is happening between Jason and Sam. Jason's rages seem to be about more than just the possibility that Franco might have raped Sam. Don't forget, Jason was seeing things, and acting strange, even before Franco drugged Sam, so clearly that operation, to remove an embedded piece of the dashboard from his brain, triggered something in Jason, which has caused him to see things in mirrors, and have outbursts of anger.
Right now, Sam assumes that it's all about her possible rape. Understandably, she is preoccupied with battling her own demons, so she doesn't realize that something is off with Jason. Will it affect Jason and Sam's relationship? It might, because now there's a strong possibility that Franco's diabolical plan had been to impregnate Sam with his child. Would Jason, who is already unstable, be able to raise the child of a man who was responsible for Michael and Sam's rapes? This will be a true test of Jason and Sam's love, but with so many behind-the-scenes changes on the horizon, we can't be sure if they'll pass it or fail.
I would like to think that Jason and Sam will survive this, because I honestly believe that they belong together. At least as long as Jason stays in the mob and remains an enforcer for Sonny. They complement each other, because Jason is always surrounded by danger, and Sam is a self-proclaimed danger junkie. That is evidenced by how she wandered around Port Charles alone, hunting a man who attacks women, while a serial killer, who has already gotten to her, was on the loose.
If Sam is pregnant, I have absolutely no doubt that she will keep the baby. She's wanted one for too long to terminate her pregnancy, or give the child up for adoption. It's true that a baby changes a woman, but Sam will remain drawn to danger, because your core personality remains the same no matter how many kids you have. Look at Carly. She has three children, one of whom was repeatedly targeted by the aforementioned serial killer, yet she flounced around work as if she didn't have a care in the world. If Josslyn were my daughter, I'd have that child glued to my hip, and a small army of guards around us at all times.
Yet, Shawn had to hunt Carly down at work. She seemed more concerned about getting Shawn into her bed than keeping her daughter safe. Now mind you, I find Shawn to be quite sexy, too, but the woman should have her priorities straight, and right now Josslyn's safety is more important than anything else. Can't Carly have an assistant drop off important paperwork? Olivia looks like she has more than enough time on her hands, what with her cooking a Thanksgiving meal fit for a small army, and then hanging out at the hospital with Steve and NuLisa. Oh sorry, I meant Maggie.
I do not like where this redux of the Patrick/Lisa storyline between Steve and Maggie is going. If Maggie is going to be a bad girl, then please find a more original storyline, and make her spitfire-bad, rather than evil-bad. Evil-bad can only end one way -- just ask Lisa Niles, Faith Roscoe, and Mary Bishop.
And please, don't pair Maggie with Patrick. That would just be too creepy, especially if it turns out that Maggie is Lisa's long-lost sister or something. This is pure speculation, not spoiler. I only suspect that Maggie is linked to Lisa, because Maggie fondles that article about Lisa's murder like it's her lucky charm. I would rather see Patrick end up with someone like Liz, rather than Maggie.
On a lighter note, we finally have confirmation that Olivia is not pregnant! Halleluiah! If there was one thing that I did not want to see, it was a hormonal Olivia.
I'm delighted that Ethan finally met the lady in white, although it was somewhat anti-climactic, because we don't know who the heck she is. Also, I was more interested in finding out who that guy sporting the fabulous six-pack is, because he seems dark and tortured and brooding. What can I say? I'm Team Edward.
By far, my favorite scenes this week involved Ethan, Alexis, and Molly. I howled with laughter when Alexis revealed to Ethan that she put a GPS tracker on Molly's new phone, and then checked it to confirm that Molly was at Spoon Island. I continued to laugh as Ethan cautioned Alexis not to tell Molly about the footprints at Wyndemere, because it might scare Molly. Alexis' response was both hilarious and true. "Scare her? If Molly knew there was a stranger living in the tunnel in Wyndemere, she'd bake him cookies and take it to him," Alexis replied without blinking. Molly practically lit up like a Christmas tree when Alexis warned Molly to stay out of the tunnels, because someone was lurking in the castle.
Bless Alexis' heart. I know that she means well, but that woman practically draws a map for her daughters to find trouble. I chuckled when she told Mac that Molly was grounded, yet there Alexis stood at the police station, while Molly was heaven knows where.
Before I sign off, I'd like to turn the spotlight over to the readers. Most agreed that it was time for Liz to move forward from Jason and Lucky.
Feedback on Greg Vaughn returning to his role as Lucky Spencer was mixed, but most preferred that Lucky's role not be recast:
Many readers wanted changes behind-the-scenes, so I suspect that the news this week is most welcome:
Well, that's it for this week. I love hearing from everyone, so please keep those emails coming.