Click here to read Liz's take on 2014 in part two of our special General Hospital Year-In-Review
I didn't know how General Hospital would be able to top its blockbuster 50th anniversary season, and yet, somehow it did. Year 51 (not to be confused with Area 51, since Casey the Space Alien hasn't come back yet) was a whirlwind of drama, intrigue, and romance. We even witnessed miracles! People rose from the dead and awakened from 20-year comas! And in news of the odd, at least one person suffered brain damage and memory loss exponentially and was brainwashed by a previously dead madwoman! And, all pregnant women in Port Charles gave birth well before their due dates under extreme duress. God help me, but I love campy soap plots more than almost anything.
I didn't use my fast-forward button very often...except for the curious case of Levi Dunkelman. He made my skin crawl. It was an unbelievable plot for me because I can't imagine that Maxie would have fallen for such an annoying poser. Oh wait, I just remembered all the creeps I dated in college, so I'll stop being Judgey McJudgerton.
Perhaps the reason I hated him from the day he walked in is because from the day Maxie walked out, leaving Nathan to sublet her apartment, we knew that they should be together. I assumed that as soon as she got home, they'd be together, but even now, as of the time I write, Nathan and Maxie still are not officially a couple.
And therein lies my biggest general complaint: the storylines that took for-ev-errrrr to come to any sort of satisfying conclusion.
Luke. Fluke. Nuke. Will it ever end? I went to Macy's today and saw Santa and told him all I wanted for Christmas was to know who was under the Fluke mask. He looked puzzled, but I got my mini candy cane, so, score. I first started whining about the Fluke plot dragging on too long in April. I fear it will be April 2015, and we still won't have answer. I do understand that Tony Geary had surgery and was unable to work, but I suspect that even if Tony had been the picture of health, they'd still be dragging their feet. I say this because:
• Ric has been in witness protection forever.
• No one knows Jake is Jason yet.
• We still don't know the paternity of Ava's baby.
• Maxie still can't see her baby.
• We don't know Rosalie's deep, dark secret that Nina was using to blackmail her
• Robin vanished and was never heard from again
• ...And a plethora of other unfinished stories.
I like things to take enough time to unfold at a casual pace to build intrigue and to let me try to figure out the mystery, but when the mystery is still going on a year later, my ADHD kicks in, and I am scanning the room for something shiny to look at instead of the same old conversations repeating on a loop.
But, as I look back on this year, I have made a list of the best and worst things on my beloved show this year. I'm starting with the worst, so I can end on a positive note because, in truth, I loved this year on GH so much I would marry it.
Rafe going from shy, sweet teen to drug addict/dealer, somewhere off-camera, and dying needlessly. I really liked his character, and there was so much to explore there. Maybe he will come back as a junior vampire. Of course, we barely see Molly these days, so he would be down to zero friends.
People and storylines that vanished into thin air. Lucas and Brad? Where did you go? Felix? Are you locked up in Crichton-Clark with Robin? Sabrina vanished but showed up again this week. Who's watching Emma while Patrick is chasing Sam around, trying to get her forgiveness? Is Felicia the new mayor or not? Is Mac the First Man of Port Charles?
Yes, Nicolas Bechtel, who plays Spencer Cassadine, is one of the cutest kids who has ever been on TV ever, so I understand the writers' glee in writing for him. But the Spencer/Emma/Cam/Joslyn quadrangle was a bit overused and made me remember why I never volunteer to teach Sunday school at my church.
Did A.J. really have to die? We finally got back a Quartermaine after years of ghosts, and A.J. and Michael were just starting to bond. Imagine if A.J. was still around when Jake/Jason woke up and they could start anew! Maybe Jake would have really liked A.J. as a pal, and then after he got his memory back, they could work through years of bitterness? But nope, shot dead in his prime. On the other hand, it ended up being a blessing for Sean Kanan because he's got a much meatier role on B&B as Deacon.
While I have villains on my list of Best things on GH this year, the whole Unfrozen Caveman Stavros plot with his thermos filled with spermcicles totally creeped me out. So happy Lulu never endured that torture.
The love triangle of Scott, Bobbie, and Lucy, where three AARP-aged people acted like they were 16-year-olds instead of 61-year-olds. I seriously can't imagine a scenario where a 60-year-old woman would still be cat-fighting a rival for a boyfriend. I say that as a 53-year-old woman, and women my age are kind of at the "I don't care" phase of life, and nothing boy-related really gets us that riled up anymore.
Jordan's "undercover" assignment, which has been discussed multiple times in public, where anyone could hear. Parks, diners, the Port Charles Police Station with open doors -- just this week, Anna looked back over her shoulder when uncuffing Jordan to see if anyone was looking in the big glass picture window at that exact moment, not thinking someone might walk by a minute later? Please. And how can the various thugs she has worked for not wonder why she never goes down for all the crimes she admits to committing for them? Did she even get a traffic ticket for running down Jason?
Speaking of Jordan, she makes my list twice. The whole confession to T.J. by Jordan and Shawn made no sense. If it had gotten to the point that Shawn was T.J.'s dad then, okay, I could accept they would tell him the whole story, but as of right now, they swear that's not the case. There was no reason behind that confession. And it was another vanishing plot, never mentioned again.
The PCPD jail needs more cells. This year, almost everyone in town was in jail at some point. Madeline, Liesl, Franco, Nina, Britt, Carly, Ava, Julian, Ric, Duke, Sonny, Carlos, Johnny, Faison, Levi, and A.J. Am I missing anyone? Probably, because the jail was like a revolving door. How on earth will Sonny ever get out of jail? Rumor has it that the writers don't intend to give Sonny an easy out this time -- he's not going to get out because someone forgot to read him his rights. So, will he have to make a deal? Become a double agent for the WSB? I'm dying to find out. But seriously, please let at least some members of the Port Charles community become law-abiding citizens.
In my vote for most disgusting scene on GH this year, I would go for Crypt Sex. Never in my life have I been so turned on that I had to drop right there and make it on someone's grave. If Michael ever forgives Sonny for not only killing A.J., but also making love to Ava on his grave, I will never forgive Michael. That's just nasty.
In my vote for the very worst thing on GH this year, and maybe in any year, I will only say two words because my seething hatred of this being cannot be fully expressed in a family-friendly way... Levi Dunkleman (i.e., he makes me want to cuss).
Tony Geary. Am I weary of the Fluke storyline? Heck, yeah. But I can tell that Tony Geary loves the challenge of playing someone else pretending to be Luke. I suppose as an actor who has played the same role for years, it might get boring. So for his sake, I am glad he's gotten to mix it up a little. He's gotten to do some accents, like with the Faison version of Fluke, played some downright evil scenes, played a letch grabbing Kiki's butt, a mad man drooling in a straitjacket, and various other things that must have been fun. Tony, I am sorry that we all want the real Luke back so much, but it's your fault for making him such an incredible, rich, multi-faceted character for decades.
Billy Miller. Coming into a role for a character as beloved as Jason could not have been easy, but Billy Miller made us fall for a whole new version of Jason. Is "Jake" a mix of the old Jason Q and the more recent Jason M, or is he a totally new version of Jason yet to be seen? It's hard to say, since Helena is programming his brain, but I am so willing to take that journey with him and find out. And he has chemistry with everyone. His scenes with Liz, Sam, Carly, and Michael all have left me giddy, imagining the possibilities ahead when his memory finally comes back. GH has had great success poaching YR stars -- Emme Rylan is wonderful as Lulu, and Michelle Stafford is the next person on my Bests list!
Michelle Stafford and Roger Howarth are absolutely golden together. Nina and Franco answer the question, "Do two crazies make a sane?" Yes, yes they do. Franco has done unspeakable and unforgiveable things, but when I see him with Nina and the tender way he cares for her, I do indeed forgive him. Their chemistry is off-the-charts, and although they are both in jail (of course), I hope maybe Franco has another brain tumor just big enough to play the get out of jail free card again. Maybe Nina can get some meds to regulate her crazy, and they can live crazily ever after together. GH scored a gold mine when they hired Michelle Stafford. She can do anything. Her scenes have run the gamut of every human emotion this year: fear, anger, love, vengeance, vulnerably, and pain, and every one of them was wholly believable.
Donna Mills. I used to watch Donna Mills on Knots Landing in the 80s. How on earth can she still look exactly the same now? Was she locked in Helena's cryogenic lab? That woman is so gorgeous. She's like a model for a Barbie doll. But, me being mesmerized with her beauty isn't why she's on this list. Casting her as Liesl's sister and Nina's mom was a stroke of genius. Finding out the delicate socialite Madeline was really Liesl's sister Marta was a delightful twist, and I can only imagine how much fun they had in those scenes. And that brings me to...
Kathleen Gati -- Readers, I absolutely love the character of Liesl Obrecht. On any given day, she can be the comic relief, the villain you love to hate, the lovesick woman who breaks your heart with her angst, a doting mama who would give up her dreams for her child, a brilliant doctor, or a mad scientist. Whoever cast her should get some special Emmy for picking the absolute perfect person for a role. I hated to see Kelly Thiebaud go, but I am happy Liesl didn't get on the boat with Britt and Faison.
Villains. I know that admitting this might taint my character, but I love me some villains. Jerry, Victor, Faison, Heather, Larry, and the queen of all, Helena.
Britt and Spencer. Oh, how I loved the motherless son and the sonless mother bonding together to scheme and adore one another. The bond between them was so touching, and I'm sorry it's over.
Liz outing Britt about Ben/Rocco. Ladies, have you ever just known another girl was a bad seed and couldn't get your guy friends to see the truth? Yeah, this plot line satisfied that itch in me. I was sad Nik and Britt split up, because I was semi rooting for her, but I loved that Liz was the one who got to shine the light on her crime.
Lulu and Dante getting their son back. That first day, snuggling on their sofa bed with their son, was so precious. But really, Falconeris -- it's time for you to get a bigger apartment. Someday your baby will want his own bed.
Sam and Patrick. I really loved the two of them connecting this year. Both were wounded and in similar ways -- Patrick lost Robin, and Sam lost Jason, so they both understood how hard it is to let go. Patrick also lost a child this year, and Sam knows that pain, too. Two wounded people finding comfort together and healing each other's deep scars with affection and friendship was perfect. Just as they danced the line of romance, Patrick confessed that he knew Jason was alive, and he and Sam have split, but here's hoping for a full reunion and some mistletoe for them by Christmas.
Ned. Wally Kurth is a charmer, and I like him with Alexis, and I like him with Olivia. I just like him period. He's always been one of my favorite GH characters. He's the kind of guy a woman would actually like to meet but only exists on soap operas and Hallmark Christmas movies.
Lord Ashton -- Ned's father, on the other hand, is a drunken lout. But oh, what a funny drunken lout he is. I hadn't seen or thought about his character in years, but as soon as he returned to Port Charles, he quickly made it onto my "never fast-forward" list because the way they wrote for him was just hilarious. If only they would put him and Liesl in some scenes together. I wouldn't be able to have beverages while watching because I'd spit them on my sofa, laughing.
Spencer saying "Chupacabra."
Chad Duell. The week that Michael found out Sonny killed A.J. was must-see TV. The confrontation scenes he had with Kiki, Morgan, Carly, and Sonny were powerhouse performances that ripped our hearts out watching. Chad should get a truckload of awards this year for those scenes, and if he doesn't, the system is rigged.
Julian and Alexis or, for the soap-savvy, Julexis. Readers, I admire a lot of the actors and writers on GH, but hands down, my favorite is Nancy Lee Grahn. If you do not follow her on social media, I feel sad for you. She is funny, smart, outspoken, political, sassy, all the things I like in a person. I adore her. And I love Alexis, too. For years, she has languished in the love department, only a few awkward arranged dates with Mac under her belt, but finally, this year, she has a full-blown grown-up romance with Julian, and he is a honey. Sure, he's a criminal, but seriously, wouldn't you overlook that if you were Alexis? I would.
Ava. Here's the thing. Ava could have been on either list. She's the worst, and she's the best -- sometimes on the same day. You know why? Because Maura West is phenomenal. Ava has gunned people down in cold blood, tried to kill someone else and missed, slept with her daughter's husband and then his father, stabbed her brother in the back to appease Sonny, and a host of other despicable things. But honestly -- don't you still love her? I do. She has this vulnerability, and you get the sense she had to be tough to survive. She's a good mom and a caring person (when it doesn't cost her anything), but she has no problem dropping someone who is a threat. I hope when they hand out Emmys this year that she gets one.
Alice's heart transplant. I love when a long-term minor character finally gets the light shined on them. Bergen Williams has always been a joy as Alice, and I am so glad she got a full storyline of her own this year. Sure, Tracy only found Alice a heart to try to bribe her to stay quiet about what she knew, but even Tracy secretly loves Alice, just like the rest of us.
Lulu and Maxie's renewed friendship. I have a lot of surface friends. I have a few close friends. Losing one of the people I trusted would devastate me because I can count them on less than one hand. I hated it when Maxie and Lulu parted ways and was delighted when they forgave each other. Here's to a 2015 of girl talks, fashion choices, boy advice, and baby talk. (Maxie will need mothering advice when the evil judge finally relents and gives her permission to see her daughter.)
YOU. The viewers of GH showed up in droves. Ratings went up, the show got its mojo back, and the press started giving it rave reviews. It seems like the fear we had of losing our beloved show is gone for now, and we owe that to the brilliant storytelling and love of GH history of Ron Carlivati, his team of writers, and the brilliantly talented cast of GH. Merry Christmas, Port Charles.
What will happen in 2015? Will Ric ever get out of the trunk or will the president keep making speeches during GH time? Will Ava go brunette to compliment the orange jumpsuit? Will Sonny and Johnny keep playing Sharks and Jets in Pentonville? Will Carlos start fixing cars at the Mob Garage? Will Port Charles get a new Italian restaurant now that Mob Pasta is closed due to fact that all of its staff is in prison? Will Carly get Sonny a new toothbrush for Christmas, since he turned his old one into a shiv? Will Johnny remember he's a kinder, gentler Zachara and use Julian and Sonny's territories to open a music studio where he offers piano lessons to poor kids? Will Heather and Nina bond in Shadybrook?
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.