Change can be good for the soul -- and the show

For the Week of June 22, 2020
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Is there a character who makes you see red? Is there a pairing that you wish you could break up? This week, our columnist delves into the 5 things that she'd like to see change when the show returns. Will you agree or will your favorites be on the list?

Have you been watching the reruns? I sure have, and I love seeing all my old favorites, including Ric Lansing (I know, but I love Rick Hearst), Sebastian Roche (Jerry Jacks, where are you?), Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio-Drake), Natalia Livingston (Emily Quartermaine), and, of course, Stuart Damon (Alan Quartermaine). The Metro Court hostage crisis episodes were such a fantastic reminder of how fantastic -- and tragic -- that storyline was. I'd love to see GH return with a big storyline like that. I'm a sucker for mystery, so you mix that in with medical drama (Robin's gunshot and Alan's heart attack), and I'm glued to the television.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am a superfan. If you ask my family and friends what I love, what I'm passionate about (besides my loved ones), nestled between my dogs and reading would be General Hospital. I love my soap, and I feel blessed to be able to write an opinion column about it. If given an opportunity, I'd spend hours talking about all the characters, various plotlines, and how different writers have shaped the decades.

However, as much as I love GH, there are a few things that I'd tweak to make it better.

At the top of the list is Peter August. I love Wes Ramsey, but Peter is a hot, steaming mess, even by soap standards.

It started with the decision to make him the son of Anna Devane and Cesar Faison. It's not that a secret love child is unheard of, especially on soap operas, but of all the men in the universe, the idea that Anna once seduced the man who would go on to stalk and terrorize her in the most heinous ways for several decades just seemed a bit tone deaf, especially in the #MeToo era.

Don't forget, Faison once wore a latex mask to pass himself off as Duke Lavery, so he could seduce Anna. Just one of the many disgusting ways Faison violated Anna over the years.

I know these are fictional characters, but wrong is wrong, whether it's real life or soap opera life. This plot twist felt wrong, but I'm not a writer on the show, so I accepted it and moved on.

Then it was all undone with an even more fantastical plot twist. Anna was part of a twin experiment with her sister, Alex. In a mad science experiment that involves jump drives, injections, and electrodes, Alex's memory of seducing Faison was transferred to Anna, along with Alex's memories of being pregnant for nine months. Nothing else about Alex's life during that time period transferred over, just the seduction, pregnancy, finding a midwife, someone to facilitate the black-market adoption, and birth.

Anna realized that she was in fact, not Peter's mother; she's his aunt.

I was delighted that Anna never seduced or slept with Faison, but I was disappointed that Peter was not Anna's son. His link to Anna was one of the things that I liked best about him. If they had to undo something, why not his paternity? That was the part of Peter that I least liked.

Worse, it was around this time that Peter started ordering hits on characters like Andre Maddox and Drew Cain, helped Shiloh escape, and framed Sam McCall for a murder that in real life would have been ruled justifiable homicide. While all of this was going on, Peter was declaring his love for Maxie and moving in with her and sweet baby James. It's all just too much, and I've gotten to the point where I would prefer that the writers just go for it and make him a villain.

I can no longer believe that any part of Peter genuinely wants to be a good person.

I've mentioned it in previous columns that our ranks of villains have been woefully depleted over recent years with the deaths of Helena and Stavros Cassadine, and even Faison. Sure, we have a suicide squad sitting in prison with Olivia Jerome, Heather Webber, and Ryan Chamberlain, but they are a different kind of evil. We need super villains like Helena, who was able to torment her victims while thwarting the authorities. The kind of diabolical villain who can carry out their reign of terror and make a clean getaway before the law can catch up with them.

Helena wasn't insane. She was cunning, organized, and wealthy. Peter can be the same, especially if he teams up with Jerry Jacks. First, though, Maxie needs to be set free from this disastrous relationship.

This is the one pairing that I find the most toxic and unrootable, especially when Maxie starts defending Peter. Now that Spinelli is back in the picture, and Ellie is invisible, I'm hoping that Spinelli rescues her.

Speaking of things that need to be set free, let's talk about that bowl of moss in Sonny's kitchen.

Is it horrible of me that I'm hoping someone left a silicone pack -- or 50 -- near that bowl during quarantine, and that it dried up and turned to dust? It's not that I have anything against moss. In the woods or near a river bank, it's perfectly fine. Heck, I have a Betta fish that has three marimo moss balls that he plays with. However, they have a purpose in Neptune's tank; Sonny's fuzzy green balls do not serve any purpose on the island or in the kitchen.

I'd love to see the moss replaced with something a bit more appealing. A little lemon tree or even a fish tank. That's where I keep Neptune, which is only unsettling to him and the family when I make fish for dinner.

Also, since we are talking about odd set pieces, what is up with Sonny's badger in his office? Is there some kind of hidden meaning? As far as I know, Sonny is not a hunter. If he were, that is not something that I would picture him stalking in the woods or on the Serengeti.

Honestly, Sonny struck me more as the Big Mouth Billy Bass type. The one that sings "Take Me to the River."

Since Cary did such a great job updating the living room, perhaps she can turn her attention to the kitchen then Sonny's office. In that order.

Another character that I'm having an issue with is Cyrus Renault. Don't get me wrong, I think Jeff Kober plays a great bad guy. My problem, though, is that Cyrus hasn't done all that much since taking out Marcus Taggert. Not that I think Taggert is dead. I'm certain that he's the one that Jordan called from that burner phone when she was trying to decide whether or not to reveal an edited version of their dirty little secret that landed Cyrus in jail.

Cyrus walking around making veiled threats is great and all, but it actually makes Sonny look weak, because if Sonny were as powerful and ruthless about holding onto his territory as we are led to believe, Cyrus would be eternally napping in the Pine Barrens by now. Instead, Cyrus is house hunting and lunching at Metro Court Restaurant.

I like the idea of Sonny having a thorn in his side, and he definitely needs a nemesis to give him someone to battle, but so far, it feels more like Cyrus is the one with the upper hand, not Sonny. However, where is all of his money and power coming from if his shipments aren't going through, and what is the story with his overseas partners?

We have a lot of great characters, and not all of them get the attention that they deserve. I'd rather Cyrus be sent on his way, in whatever exciting way the writers choose, if they aren't going to do more with him other than have him skulk and menace.

Finally, there is Dev.

If you read my column on any kind of a regular basis, you will know that I've never been much of a fan of this character or his storyline since he appeared on Sonny's doorstep after running away from the WSB when they offered him a new life and new identity. Dev explained that he didn't trust the organization, despite the fact that they are the good guys who take down arms dealers and criminal masterminds. Instead, Dev trusted the mob boss from New York.

I hate that Dev is here illegally when it's so unnecessary. Couldn't the WSB have given him a new identity and citizenship before shipping him to Sonny? I also don't like that Sonny knows pretty much nothing about the kid living under his roof and getting close to his family, especially his stepdaughter. Another strike against Dev is his ambition in life to get rich by hook or by crook. It's the latter that I take issue with.

Other than Dev's dark good looks and his incredible language skills, there isn't much redeeming about him. As a mom, I can't imagine why Carly isn't demanding that Sonny run an extensive background check on Dev and his family. If a young man lived under my roof with my teenage daughter, I would want answers. Doubly so if he had a massive crush on my daughter, which I'm certain Carly is well aware of.

I know some have speculated/are hoping that Dev is Brenda's son, which would explain why Dev might be drawn to his mother's ex-husband and arguably the love of her life. However, Jax left town with Brenda and Alec, so if Dev had been Alec, Jax would have recognized him. That doesn't mean that Brenda didn't have another child.

It's a soap opera. Eventually, everyone has a long-lost secret love child.

Dev has been around long enough that his character should be far more developed than he is. Given the situation that the writers are now facing, I will totally understand if the writers can't give this character a little more attention while they are trying to get the show up and running again -- although Brenda showing up to track down her wayward son would certainly have fans tuning in.

Until a decent backstory is ready, I wouldn't mind if Dev headed off to boarding school.

An observation

It's time to release Shawn Butler from jail. I don't care if he decides to move to Hawaii and take up surfing, becomes a world traveler, or takes up modeling. Just. Get. Him. Out. Of. Jail. Everyone knows that it was Nikolas' hit man that shot Hayden, and that Shawn's bullet went astray. It's downright wrong for Shawn to remain in jail when people like Nelle and Cyrus have been freed from the very same prison.

Also, Shawn's first stop when he leaves Pentonville better be at T.J.'s apartment. I have waited forever for T.J. and Shawn to share a scene as father and son -- without a partition between them.

From one of my readers on Twitter: "As a person of color and audience of General Hospital, it saddens me the serial has ignored in bias the impression of an African American imprisoned for a crime not committed can have on a community." -- Merrick K. Williams

Reader feedback

I would love to see some of the more classic episodes from the nineties before DVRs and On-Demand! -- marlene

One thing that really jumped out at me for the 2019 Ball is how far out of DoDay Kristina was by then. But still just recently we heard her family yell at her that "Sam went to jail to save you." -- Mary Keeley

Wouldn't it be great if we saw the whole Metro Court story -- Robin getting shot, Alan's heart attack, Luke wanting Lucky to help save Lulu & Liz, Jason (of course) getting inside. That would be a terrific rerun. -- Lucky Lady

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment below. Take care and happy viewing,
Liz Masters

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.

Liz Masters
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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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