Dear Readers, I am ready to send 2016 off to hell. Seriously. Just this past week, losing Carrie Fisher; her mother, Debbie Reynolds; and George Michael tops off the sorrow we have experienced this year. David Bowie, Prince, John Glenn, Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman, Florence Henderson, and a plethora of other losses have been hard to take. Not to mention GH's Lady Jane Jacks (Barbara Tarbuck) from the soap world and Joseph Mascola (to me, Massimo).
To be honest, it wasn't such a great year in Port Charles, either. Morgan died, Nikolas died, Julexis blew up, Franco lost his mind again, Paul became a serial killer, all the gay people vanished from Port Charles, Alexis began hitting the sauce by the gallon, and many storylines started and stopped without any resolution. Where do I begin?
I'll start with the storyline I hated most: Julian tried to kill Alexis. The writers decided to take a beloved couple that GH fans are mad about and completely ruin their relationship. A couple can bounce back from mistakes, from infidelities, from human flaws, but from a murder attempt? Not so much. The storyline as it's playing out now is trying to rewrite history. They are trying to paint Julian as Alexis' savior from her alcoholism, but that does not absolve him from holding a knife to her throat. Seriously, writers, you'd better have something better than that up your sleeve.
Also, just the fact that confident, brilliant survivor Alexis is suddenly an alcoholic? She has endured countless heartaches and trials over the years and never turned to booze for comfort. It rings untrue that a woman as strong as Alexis would wake up at age 58 and start guzzling vodka for breakfast. Certainly we have seen her drink before, but not for months on end. Sure, Julian tried to kill her, but I've seen Alexis push people over balconies before, so...she has other coping skills.
But let's backtrack...why did he try to kill her? Because she wore a wire to entrap him. We all saw how that worked out for Brenda, right? An underlying problem of many of the worsts is that instead of writing new and innovative, groundbreaking storylines, soaps are recycling old plotlines and doing them worse the second time around.
For instance, the Nelle storyline. When Sarah Joy Brown first blew into Port Charles as Carly, she befriended Bobbie and her husband, Tony; seduced Tony; and ruined her Mom's marriage as revenge for giving her away as a child. Doesn't it appear that Nelle is following this same dark path?
She has what we believe to be Carly's baby rattle. She clearly has it in for Carly. She didn't actually seduce Sonny, but she led him to believe she did and is patiently waiting for the precise moment to blow up Carly's life. Why? Who is she related to? Whose kid is she? It appears she may be Carly's child. But if so, why did Carly never mention this before to Jax or Sonny or Jason or Bobbie or anyone at all? I don't know, but I know I have seen this storyline before.
I really like Chloe Lanier, and I think she's a great addition to the show. I hope when the writers finish this rerun storyline, they'll weave Nelle into the fabric of Port Charles. Maybe she can actually becomes a teacher and have Spencer and Emma in her class. Maybe she can become Maxie's second assistant at Crimson.
Last time I wrote, I proposed that we all play a drinking game and take a swig every time Nelle played with the rattle. If any of you took that bad advice, you should sober up sometime around February.
Next up on my worst list, the bizarre disease that can only be cured with giant needle injections filled with bearded dragon DNA. Seriously? This sounds like a Scooby-Doo plot.
I understand ABC's dilemma to keep Michael Easton after foolishly killing off Silas Clay and being legally not allowed to use John McBain at the time. I even like Hamilton Finn. (Because he is played by Michael Easton, and let's be clear, that's the only reason.)
For months, Dr. Finn was slumping to the ground, injecting himself with what we thought might be some Jekyll and Hyde potion. It went on far too long. He'd been working on a cure, presumably for years, since it killed his wife. Then, in an even more ridiculous twist, Dr. Finn broke the vial with the deadly disease in it, and Hayden marched into it in stilettos and became infected. Within three days, he found the cure by looking at his lizard, which is with him every single day. The whole thing was just nonsense. The only compelling part of the story was the friendships of Tracy, Finn, and Hayden and the odd little family they have formed. That part of it I genuinely loved. The backdrop of why they were together left me bored.
When I wasn't bored, I was perplexed. Kristina came home from college because she'd been kicked out of school for trying to trade sex for grades with her female professor. The storyline deepened, and Kristina explored her sexuality and had lovers both male and female, then one day, Kristina, Parker, and Aaron all just vanished and were never heard from again.
In like manner, Brad and Lucas were finally able to marry (after resolving whatever Rosalie's secret was that we never found out), and then they, too, vanished for months and just reappeared on the canvas this week. I don't understand why all the gay characters disappeared for months. Did ABC lose sponsors? Did they get too much negative feedback from viewers? I don't believe people who are gay offend the majority of Americans. I do believe, however, that the people who are offended are unbelievably loud. Even writing this paragraph, I know I will get hate mail, as I do every time I mention the topic. It was noticeable to me that all these characters vanished. I can't imagine how terrible it would be if that happened in real life, because I have many gay friends, and I don't want them to vanish, or feel that they don't belong, or believe that their stories aren't worth telling.
Are we really okay with telling the stories of criminal murdering mob bosses, serial killers, and mentally unstable psychopaths, but not loving same sex couples like Brad and Lucas? I hope that's not the case.
In other perplexing happenings in Port Charles, where are all the kids? Olivia never, ever has Leo with her anymore. Avery makes an occasional appearance. Liz's kids haven't been seen in months. Cam and Aiden have been missing longer than Jake, who we saw at art therapy a few times. Spencer must never get a break from boarding school to come visit Grandma Laura, even at Christmas. While Lulu is fighting for Charlotte, where is Rocco? I have only seen him twice in the past six months.
Speaking of Charlotte, is this really her final set of parents? She went from Claudette and Nathan to Claudette and Griffin to Claudette and Valentin to Lulu and Valentin. Do I even trust that this is true? Should she? What a scary childhood to have five different parents in five weeks! Not to mention wannabe mom Nina.
I know it's horrible to say this, but I'm rooting for Nina and Valentin in the custody hearing. I know I shouldn't. I know he's the villain. And yet, I find myself cheering for them. Sorry, universe, sometimes I dig the bad guys.
But not when they suddenly become serial killers like Paul Hornsby. Seriously? What the heck was that? Paul Hornsby, formerly played by Paul Satterfield as a Jax-like good guy, morphs into a serial killer? Ugh. I hated this storyline. I know GH had to trim the cast, but instead of Sabrina, they could have taken gossipy Amy. At least Sabrina was a real nurse, and we could see more than one working nurse in a show called General HOSPITAL.
Now on to the truly ludicrous. Franco. Tom. Dog cage. Shock collar. What a disturbing and horrible storyline. GH has spent the better part of a year trying to convince us that Franco is not a serial killer anymore and is becoming a hero, only to turn it all upside down and convince us he is mad again.
I really like stories of redemption. I'm a church girl. I like to see drastically changed lives where someone really does reform and become a better human. I know it's possible. I have seen it up close and personal. But you remove the power from that sort of story when the person works so hard to be good and then locks a person in a dog crate and zaps them with a shock collar. To me this erased the entire year of Liz learning to trust Franco and see him in a new light. The writers leveled the entire buildup of their relationship. Maybe they want Liz with Griffin, and they blew this couple apart on purpose. Of course Griffin is still pledged to God, so good luck with that, Elizabeth!
Helena's will. Oddly executed, and we still have no clear understanding of the master plan of our most calculating villain. All those strange gifts Helena bestowed, and we still don't know why she gave anyone anything. Did Helena know Julian would use the dagger to try to kill Alexis? Maybe it is cursed with a spell. Who knows? Laura and Kevin combined couldn't unravel the code Helena left for Laura. Maybe this will spill over into 2017. Maybe not. Maybe it, too, will vanish in hopes we won't recall it ever happened.
Ava, the fake pills, and Morgan. Remember when Ava was in love with Morgan, and he was the only friend she had? Oh, I hated this storyline so bad. Seriously, what kind of mom would be so controlling as to drug the guy her daughter was dating, hoping to make him have a mental breakdown? What a despicable storyline.
Carlos' boring twin brother, Joe. I kept hoping we'd find out right at the end that it was really Carlos masquerading as Joe, but no such luck.
This past year, the writers crossed lines with characters that can't be uncrossed. The worst part is that there was potential in these storylines to tell genuine, heartfelt, groundbreaking stories. But they opted for the path of least resistance.
I miss Patrick.
The Nurses' Ball was a little underwhelming this year.
Let's start with Couples, and not just the romantic kinds.
I love the pairing of Nina and Valentin. I feel certain she is going to get her heart crushed, but I hope I am wrong. I hope it's a case of two wrongs make a right. Michelle Stafford and James Patrick Stewart have endless chemistry, and I can't stop watching their dance. Their impromptu wedding this week was a delightful holiday surprise.
Next up, although it was brief, I loved the unexpected pairing Ava and Nikolas. I keep hoping that Tyler Christopher comes back, proves Valentin isn't a killer, and picks up with his new partner in crime. They both come from treacherous families and understand one another's twisted roots.
Huzzah for Jason finally regaining his memory! He and Sam finally reunited (and it feels so good). They are expecting a baby of undetermined sex. What will they name it? How will their lives unfold? What will Jason do if he doesn't go back to being a mob enforcer? That leads me to...
The newly formed P.I. partnership of Jason and Curtis. I enjoy the two of them working together on investigations. I hope Curtis declines Jordan's job offer and sticks to slinking around in the shadows with Jason.
Lulu and Dante finally getting over the Valerie incident, buying a house with more than one room, and finding their way back together.
Maxie and Nathan. But the wedding issues angered me. Seriously, what sort of Nyquil did Maxie take that knocked her up into such a deep sleep she had to be dunked in a shower to wake up? (And where can I buy some?) Also, how did her hair get soaked, yet her makeup stayed perfect? Add to that Spinelli and Ellie's flight being stranded and the small fact that Nathan is still married to Claudette. Seriously? Maxie has the worst New Year's Eves ever.
I liked the revelation that Liz and Hayden are sisters, and I want to remind you, I called that way before it happened. However, I knew Jeff Weber wouldn't come when Liz called about Hayden's ill health, since he has never shown up to support Liz though any crisis or health scare in decades.
Ned and Olivia reuniting. For four whole seconds. Lisa Locicero is great, and Olivia used to be a vibrant, interesting, and compelling character before the Heather LSD incident, when they turned her into a cartoon that has visions. If Wally Kurth will be back for any length of time, I hope they put them together for real and let Olivia be the girl who first blew into town from Bensonhurst.
Laura and Kevin slowly falling in love, even though he secretly wrote some tell-all book about her private secrets after years of being a shrink who adamantly protected people's secrets.
Kiki and Dillon, who might actually get a happy ending before this year ends. I genuinely understand guilt and feeling you did something that contributed to someone's death. I understand why Kiki pushed Dillon away. I understand her feeling that her love for Dillon is the thing that pushed Morgan over the edge. I'm not criticizing the writing here at all. I just kept wishing she were making different choices. But as of this week, they are on a bus together, there is Champagne involved, and they have confessed their feelings to one another, so there is hope.
Hayden and Tracy. They make a perfect unrelated mother/daughter type duo.
Jordan and Andre. Or Jordan and Curtis. Is it wrong that I can't decide? Andre if she decides with her head and Curtis if she decides with her raw animal passion. This is still a bit of a triangle, and I like both pairings and can't decide which one I should be rooting for.
Heather, always Heather. A woman whose idea of maternal support is to murder people to clear her son from being charged with murder. She is evil but funny. Wacky but treacherous. You'd never want to be in a room with her, but from afar, she lights up the screen. Robin Mattson is brilliant.
Griffin -- he's a doctor. He's a priest. He got shot sleeping with another man's wife. He prays but also wants revenge on his dad's killer. That makes him interesting. He's not a one-dimensional character. And let's face it -- he has the face of the sun, a beautiful ball of light. Let's get him a love interest this year. He doesn't have to lose his faith to be in love!
Obrecht. Kathleen Gati makes every scene she is in better and funnier, and I can't take my eyes off of her.
The SORAS'ed Josslyn. Eden McCoy is lovely, and I believe from our few glimpses of her that she has potential to become a core character. I'd love to see her work to reunite Jax and Carly. As soon as Nelle drops her bombshell on Carly about her (faked) affair with Sonny, Carly will be ripe for the picking, and new Josslyn is just the one to make it happen!
Tracy and Laura bonding. Women of a certain age, who have both loved Luke, becoming friends. I enjoy that very much. I am also a woman of a certain age, so it resonates with me that the two of them would find common ground with Luke out of the picture. I'd like to see this friendship deepen.
The aftermath of Morgan's death. I didn't want Morgan to die, but the storylines that followed his death were captivating. It's true to life that every person in Morgan's life blamed himself or herself in some way for his demise. A lot of Emmy-worthy performances during this storyline, for sure, but I'd still rather have Morgan back.
Bobbie being wise to Nelle. She's seen this movie, too, as Elton John would say. Bobbie's radar for BS is on point. Nelle had best heed her warning, because if Nelle opts to blow up Carly's life, you can bet Bobbie will not hesitate to blow up Nelle's. So glad to have Bobbie back on canvas and working at GH again!
The hospital closing. This is relevant and timely. I have friends who work in hospitals, and many are in danger of closing due to lack of funding . GH has such an opportunity to tell a real story here and to show the impact of this on our nation's health care system. I doubt they will tell that story, but the potential exists.
Julian's secret boss, who we believe will be revealed as his presumed-dead sister Olivia Jerome (Oscar Jessup?), potentially played by the magnificent Tonja Walker. Stop teasing us and bring it!
What will happen in 2017, dear readers? Which couples kissing at midnight will still be together by next New Year's Eve? Will Finn's cure take hold, or is he shedding his skin as we speak? Will anyone find the children of Port Charles? Will someone tell Nelle that big girls don't play with rattles? Will anyone believe Franco didn't kill Tom? Will Charlotte pick Nina over Lulu for her new mommy? Will I make it through the day without eating any more Christmas chocolates?
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.