Dear readers, I'm going to start today with a discussion I'd like us to have. What constitutes a villain? The Random House Dictionary defines a villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness and crime; a scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot."
So, who were the villains this week on General Hospital? Was it Cyrus Renault (played by Jeff Kober)? Cyrus was just sitting in Metro Court, answering Lulu's probing questions for the Invader. Yeah, we know he's an evil drug dealer, and he will definitely do wicked things again soon.
Don't read the next sentence if you are anti-spoilers...
Rumors suggest that Cyrus will target Lulu and that Valentin may be the one to rescue her from Cyrus and become a hero. Perhaps his heroic act will soften their contentious relationship.
But I'd like to propose that this week, the villains of the show were Chase and Sasha. Were they cruelly malicious? You betcha. Were they the characters in the show who "constituted an important evil agency in the plot?" Absolutely.
It doesn't matter if they had Michael and Willow's best interests at heart. They chose to fake an affair designed to manipulate and control Michael and Willow. Chase and Sasha knew their actions would hurt the people they love. I'm unhappy with this turn of events. I know the writers wanted to get to a place where Willow would agree to marry Michael for Wiley's sake, but I'm not crazy about the way they are getting them there. Sasha was right in saying Willow will marry Michael just to save Wiley, and then she will fall in love with him. That will absolutely happen.
But then what happens to Chase and Sasha? Do they just magically end up together? I hope not. I'd rather see Chase with Lulu and then have Dante comes home and slug him in the face.
Or what about this? Chase sees Nelle actually trying to better herself to be a good mom to Wiley and marries her to help her custody chances! Wouldn't that be rich?
I am one of those viewers who thinks Nelle can be redeemed. Sure, she's a magnificent villain -- and we love to hate her -- but let's remember that many of our favorite heroines came to town as villains! Sam and the Dead Man's Hand, Carly seducing her mom's husband, even angelic Elizabeth Webber was a surly teen when she came to town. And then there is Nina. Nina stole Ava's baby! I realize that all of these ladies have committed multiple crimes, but we don't have the time here to list them all. For fun, go to Soap Central's Who's Who in Port Charles character profiles and read all the sins of your favorite characters. You're quarantined! What else do you have to do?
If it turns out that Nelle is Nina's daughter, that gives Nelle roots in Port Charles and anchors her to town. She will have someone in her corner, rooting for her, mentoring her, and helping her to become a better person. And it keeps Chloe Lanier on the canvas in Port Charles, which is where I want her. I think she's fantastic. Love Nelle or hate her, you can't take your eyes off of her.
So, readers, let me check in on you. How are you doing out there? Our nation is going through such a dark time. Hundreds of thousands of people are sick. Over 50,000 people have died already. Millions are unemployed and struggling financially. I know that every person reading this column has been somehow impacted by COVID-19, and I want you to know, I care. The whole Soap Central team cares, and we wish you good health and for things to turn around soon. I am glad that you are here reading this column. I appreciate GH more than ever right now and that it is giving us all an escape. For one hour each day, we can find a way to let GH whisk us away to Port Charles and not have to think about all the sorrow.
While The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful are moving to air all classic episodes, I applaud the editors at GH who are digging through the files of scenes and editing the old scenes cohesively into new scenes to keep us going a little while longer. This does two things: 1) it extends the new episodes a bit longer, and 2) it helps catch up new viewers. And there are new viewers! The soaps have their highest ratings in ages. With so many people quarantined at home, they are coming home to the soaps they once loved or discovering them for the first time.
This makes me happy because, over the years, I have heard people say that soaps had gone out of fashion. Clearly, that's not true. It's just that soap lovers work for a living, and not everyone has a DVR or a TiVo -- or cable, for that matter. ABC used to be a free network that anyone could watch over the airwaves and now, to get ABC.com and watch soaps online, you have to have a cable subscription. It's not that people don't want to watch soaps; it's that they have jobs, and watching after hours isn't as easy as it was in the days of taping it on your VCR over the free airwaves or when SoapNet was on cable. I'm happy to see ratings up, but we are almost at the end of new GH content.
I floated an idea on Twitter the other day. Do we have any Grace and Frankie fans in the house? God, I love that show. Last week, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and the rest of the Grace and Frankie cast did a live table read of an upcoming script, all from their homes, lined up in squares like The Brady Bunch. It was hilarious. It was light. It was fun to see the stars in their own homes, some in makeup, some not. Some computer savvy, some not. It cheered me up. It lifted my spirits. They did it to raise funds for Meals on Wheels, and so many people tried to donate that it crashed their website!
I would love to see GH do this. Take the next script in sequence, and have Maurice Benard at his house, Laura Wright at her home, and Steve Burton at his house read us the scene. Let us see your kitchen and do it in your pajamas. Make it a fundraiser -- I know the GH cast has built houses with Habitat for Humanity in the past -- raise funds for them and cheer up your weary viewers all at once. What do you think of this, ABC? Is this worth a try?
And here's the thing. When the show airs again, I will still watch the episode, even though I already know what happens, just as I will definitely watch the Grace and Frankie episode they did on YouTube. In this crazy time, thinking outside the box is a must.
Next up: I do not believe Holly Sutton is dead. I think it's a ruse from Peter August to get Robert out of town and off his trail. I think Holly is holed up somewhere in an evil lair with Faison (I believe he is still alive because I love Anders Hove). I am also hoping that means we will get to see Emma Samms when Robert eventually rescues her. Why do I think that? We saw Peter making a phone call and telling someone on the other end that Robert was still a problem and to set their plan in motion, and then suddenly, Robert gets a call that Holly is dead. Nope. Not buying it.
I loved the scenes with Tristan Rogers and Bradford Anderson -- the best new comedy team on GH. I want them to catch Peter so Liesl can be freed, and Kathleen Gati can make me laugh again. I am missing my Mutter.
GH can make me laugh, but it can also make me cry. Mike Corbin (played heartbreakingly by the fantastic Max Gail) seems to be nearing the end. Though I know it has to come, it makes me sad. There will be no last-minute miracle cure for Mike, and Sonny will lose him forever. GH did a spectacular job on this Alzheimer's storyline, and I cried over it every time. My Uncle Bob had Alzheimer's, and I watched this play out in real life.
He was the kindest man. The guy in my family who was always the host of family BBQs, standing at the grill, laughing and joking, and flipping burgers. He had a secret recipe for his BBQ sauce, and he would play frisbee and croquet with the kids. He was a dear, dear man, gentle, kind. He never spoke a harsh word to anyone.
Then the disease gripped him. He became surly. He didn't remember his four sons and began lashing out at everyone. My aunt, his wife of over 50 years, didn't like the care he was receiving. She brought him home and cared for him herself while she was in her 80s. My entire family was brokenhearted, watching his decline. Seeing Mike's decline reminded me of the good days and the bad days, the days when there would be a flash of the guy we remembered and our hearts would soar, and just as quickly, he would disappear again into the fog. Max Gail and Maurice Benard have just absolutely nailed the ups and downs of this disease. They've played it brilliantly. And because they did, it broke my heart, and I'm going to weep when Mike dies. Special mention to Rebecca Herbst this week -- the talk she had with Sonny to get him to accept that he needed to make some decisions on Mike's behalf was so tender and perfect. Liz has always been one of my favorite characters, and this week reminded me why.
Okay, a few more items to discuss...
Valentin and Charlotte: Valentin knew right away that Charlotte was the culprit in the big snake mystery. I love their relationship. But now that he knows she saw him push Ava, what will he do to keep her quiet? Or will she blackmail him to get her house and her stepmom back? I am anxious to find out.
Brando: I don't generally warm up to new characters right away, but I really like Brando already. Since Brando met Molly's sisters and had a little run-in with Kristina, I'm thinking "love triangle." I know you're saying, "Kristina is gay!" But actually, I think she is bisexual, since she has had relationships with both men and women in the past. Time will tell, but I think a sisters' love triangle could be a juicy storyline, especially if Molly ends up pregnant.
Next: Neil and Alexis. Okay, they are free to be together. Now what?
And lastly: Flashbacks of Sam and Jason. Those old scenes of Jason and Sam laughing, being playful, and falling in love -- oh, the romance! God, I miss that. Ever since Steve Burton returned to GH, which has now been three years ago, he and Sam have not been able to be happy. And I am so over it! Please, put them together and let them be happy together again or break them up for good and let them move on. This constant angst is depressing as hell to watch.
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Felix get his own storyline? Will GH take my table read idea? Will ABC bring back OLTL and AMC now that they see there is still a market for soaps instead of cheesy daytime talk shows? Will Valentin save Lulu and bond with Charlotte's mommy? Will Charlotte purchase more scary pets to terrorize Ava? Will Nikolas begin to see that he and Ava are perfect for each other? Will Jordan turn herself in and go to prison for her crimes? Will Willow and Michael get married before we run out of new shows?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows. (And this time, there might not be for a little while due to the production stoppage. But keep checking in because we might have some creative ideas for the writers for when our shows are back on the air!)
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.