Dear readers, oh, how I've missed you! And I have desperately missed new episodes of our beloved GH and all the kooky citizens of Port Charles and their hijinks. It's been a long, lonely spring and summer for me without being able to see our soap (because my viewing service didn't show the classic episodes), and I am so thrilled they are back to their usual shenanigans!
It is an honor to be writing this week about the goings-on in the fictional land where there is no COVID (at least yet) and where people can roam the streets freely.
Things look a little different in Port Charles right now...and I want to start with the hair.
Over the years, I have been envious of my soap sisters: the goddesses who have eternally perfectly coiffed manes, the porcelain-skinned angels who never have a wrinkle or a zit, the ones whose age never shows. The elegant ladies who are always dressed to the nines make me feel tragically frumpy compared to their exorbitant glamour.
But post-quarantine, I feel a little better about my 50-something self. I saw a few dark roots, and some dark circles under the eyes. A few crow's feet made their way on camera, and I confess it made me just a tiny bit happy to know that my soap sisters don't look perfect every minute of the day without the hair and makeup people. With that having been said, they are all still gorgeous.
The other difference is that a few faces have changed. Sam McCall is temporarily played by Lindsay Hartley, and Brook Lynn Quartermaine (BLQ) is currently being played by Briana Lane.
Sometimes recasts are jarring. However, in the current circumstances, with an extended period of time away, starting fresh, the new faces don't seem so catastrophic. Since we spent many weeks jumping decades and plot lines, this just feels like another jump.
It has been reported that Kelly Monaco is in a 14-day quarantine and that Amanda Setton is pregnant. We know why both of our regulars are temporarily missing in action and understand that GH had to fill the roles for the story to continue. I was desperate for the story to continue, so you will hear no complaints from me.
Frankly, I think we hit the jackpot of recasts! Lindsay Hartley is absolutely killing it as Sam. She is full of passion and has breathed new life into Sam. I accepted her in the role instantly. She has had chemistry with her scene partners and given Sam a burst of energy, breaking into the part like she was born to play it. I am not sure how much longer she will be there, but I will certainly appreciate her take on Sam McCall while she is with us.
Also, I think Briana Lane is filling in nicely for Amanda Setton. She jumped right into the thick of things as this week was the week it came to light that Brook Lynn sold her shares to Valentin Cassadine to jump-start her stalled music career. As an added bonus, Briana has a lovely singing voice, so we will be in for a treat when she has her big debut at the GH Nurses Ball next week.
I entirely support Amanda Setton's choice to stay home and protect her precious baby from this scary moment in time! Knowing her role is in great hands and that she can focus on her pregnancy must be a real comfort to her. We will welcome her back with open arms when she returns!
We all speculated about if there would be a time jump or of we would pick up where we left off during the break, and that question has been answered. We are precisely where we left off and picking up the storylines that were in play.
One of the biggest cliffhangers was the custody of baby Wiley, and this week, that was resolved. Michael and Willow got sole custody of Wiley, and they are rejoicing, but Nelle has her fake passports, her half-heart necklace, and her GPS stuffed animal tracker ready to vamoose with Wiley as soon as she can snatch him.
There are several storylines right now when we see glimpses of good in characters drawn to their dark sides. There was a moment in court where Nelle replayed Nina's words in her head, wondering if she was the problem instead of all the people she felt had wronged her. But Nelle always snaps herself out of it when her good angel speaks, and she instead listens to the devil inside. I wonder if the writers will ever try to truly redeem Nelle and if viewers would accept her if they did. I would love to see Carly mentor her -- "Here's how to stop being an evil witch and turn your life around."
The rest of the quadrangle in this storyline, Willow, Michael, Chase, and Sasha are still reeling due to the group heartache caused when Chase and Sasha pretended to cheat.
Readers, I still have an issue with this storyline because both of these couples had honest and open communication throughout their respective relationships. Thus, fake cheating never rang true to me. Sasha and Chase should have just gone to their beloveds and said, "We are choosing to step out of the way, so you two can marry and get custody of Wiley." It would still have had an emotional impact -- the gesture's sacrificial nature, the temptation to secretly meet their beloved on the sly, etc.
But because it went down the way it did, it allowed for the development of the side storyline -- Sasha getting hooked on drugs. Sadly, with Cyrus gaining control of the hospital and drugs starting to flow into Port Charles, I fear that Sasha may be our token drug overdose casualty.
Back at the Q mansion, I think there is an excellent chance that Michael and Willow will fall in love and begin to form real family bonds. Which, of course, will make Michael all the more guilty if he finds out about Sasha's sacrifice after she ODs. Mind you, all of this is just my speculation and I don't read spoilers, so don't assume these to be the facts.
Switching gears, earlier, I gave kudos to our temporary fill-ins, and now I want to shine the light on one of our beautiful GH veterans: Lisa LoCicero. Her performances this week have been spectacular. At times, she has been relegated to the back burner, an afterthought, barely seen, and without a compelling storyline of her own. This week, she reminded us (and hopefully the writers) why she deserves to be front and center.
Olivia's angst over Dante, her inability to get Ned to understand her heartbreak's depth, and seeing her mama bear protectiveness of Brook Lynn all moved me to tears. She never phones it in. Even when the writers give her ridiculous storylines like visions of Maxie tripping over a puppy, LoCicero plays it for all it's worth. She is beautiful on-screen, and her passion comes through the airwaves like rays of the sun.
I hope that her reaching out to Brook Lynne to give her a room at Metro Court changes the dynamic between them and offers Brook a safe place to land in the cold, corporate Q family. Brook needs a mama, and Olivia needs someone to mother until Dante returns home.
Another lady who could use her mama right now is Maxie. She's pregnant and only has her bossy friend Lulu to confide in. Felicia, come home! I feel sad for Maxie already because we know that Peter is the bad guy. We know his evil deeds and shady dealings. Maxie was conned by Levi, lost Spinelli to Ellie, lost Nathan to a bullet, and will lose Peter soon, too. Some people just never get to be happy in love. Here's my hope: once Maxie has this new baby and Peter is incarcerated in WSB jail, Grandma Liesl will step in to provide support, and Spinelli will dump Ellie so he and Maxie can raise Georgie and new baby together. Please, give us some happy endings, I beg you.
Okay, I know that some of you will come at me over this, but I want to think Brando is a good guy. I do not want to believe he sabotaged Jason's bike. I know that Cyrus was there, so I'm choosing to believe that Cyrus or his toadies wrecked Jason's bike and then came in pretending he wanted to talk to Brando. I may be wrong. Cyrus has shown he is willing to hurt people's loved ones to get them to comply, so perhaps he has Brando's mother, Gladys, hostage to force him into submission. On the other hand, it could be that GH is going to trim the cast after months of no work, and this is the way to get rid of Brando, Cyrus, Gladys, Mike, and Dev in one fell swoop. What do you think?
Next subject: I have a question. Is there something wrong with me? I ask because I find myself rooting for villains. This week, I was giddy when Valentin snaked ELQ out from under the Quartermaines. I wanted him to win. It's not that I want anything bad to befall the Quartermaines; I do not. I just want something good to happen for Valentin.
I want his reign at ELQ to be a massive success. I want him to show the world that he's a legitimately talented businessman and to gain the respect of the community. I want him to overcome having Helena for a mother and all the other heartaches that have touched his life. I want Nina to see him in a new light. I want Jax to go back to Brenda and make Sonny crazy and cause Nina to look at the reimagined Valentin and go home to him and Charlotte. (And possibly Nelle, because eventually, she will realize that the other half of her necklace is in Nina's hands.) Won't that be a fun day of GH when the big mother-daughter reveal happens and those two crazy gals pull each other's hair and do some severe face slapping?
I am also rooting for Ava. She is on the verge of doing the right thing and ending her marriage to Nikolas, forfeiting the 90% of the Cassadine estate and helping him reconcile with Spencer. And when that happens, I want Nikolas to remember the woman he met and was initially drawn to all those years ago. I think they would make a very dynamic couple. If nothing else, I want them to consummate their marriage and have one night of hot sex before they break up because their chemistry is too strong to ignore. Come on, writers, I have been quarantined since March, give me some gratuitous sex scenes to brighten my dreary days.
I am tickled that Spencer is in cahoots with Nikolas. It gives me hope that Nicholas J Bechtel will eventually find his way back on the canvas. He's such a joy and always adds comic relief to the show.
I am missing Kathleen Gati's Dr. Obrecht for the same reason. I am rooting for her to break out of prison and do a little surprise number for the Nurses Ball next week.
Readers, I am dying to know, what in the world is on Franco's canvas that made everyone at Ava's portrait debut gasp in horror? Did Franco paint a monster or a heroine? Is his brain tumor back? Did he paint CO77X on the canvas? I am dying to know. I'm not thrilled with the forced friction between Liz and Franco. She knows his past, and it seems she would want him to move forward into portrait painting and reviving his art, being an artist herself. I hope they are back on track soon. I have to wonder if the writers have a flip in mind -- Ava/Franco and Liz/Nikolas? What do you think?
It was great to see Dante this week. Dominic Zamprogna was a sight for sore eyes -- even though it's abundantly clear that Dante is still not okay. But let's be honest. Is any of us all right right now? I'm not. Are you? That's a real question. Write to me. Talk to me. How are you handling this crazy period in American history? Are you managing? Is it helping you to have your soaps back for a little bit of escape?
What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Cyrus fire the whole GH staff and start from scratch now that he's the board's chairman? Will Carly convince Jason to keep his head stitches so he can be a convincing Frankenstein for Halloween? Will Hayden show up at Anna and Finn's wedding and cause a scene? (Here's hoping.) Will Mike get back safely to Turning Woods and find his eternal peace, or will he get a miracle cure?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows. (Which I have now proven because we had months of no 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.