The same Coke, the same soap
For the Week of August 31, 2020
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Kidnappings, throat slittings, falls from grace, and the ultimate cliffhanger. Did the action leave you on the edge of your seats? It's time to dish the highs and lows of the General Hospital week gone by.

This week, I begin with one of my favorite quotes. We used to have this on our wall in California.

"What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coca-Cola, Liz Taylor drinks Coca-Cola, and just think, you can drink Coca-Cola, too. A Coke is a Coke, and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same, and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it." -Andy Warhol

Why am I starting with a Coke quote? Because I want to talk about the world right now and how soap operas can act as a bridge. Our country seems hopelessly divided between Democrat or Republican, masks or no masks, guns or no guns, Black Lives Matter vs. Blue Lives Matter -- on and on. We have been led to believe that you can't feel both things. For instance, I believe Black lives matter, and I also think police lives matter. I don't have to pick one or the other. I can hold both feelings in my heart at once. But despite all the divisions we are facing, there are things we agree on.

Both Democrats and Republicans enjoy baseball, going to the beach, the Beatles, French fries, soap operas, and a plethora of other things. We have more in common than not.

These things are equalizers. Like the Warhol quote above, Liz Taylor liked GH, and I like GH. Her GH and my GH were the exact same GH. When soaps were on hiatus for COVID-19, we all missed them. My Democratic friends and my Republican friends have said to me, "I miss General Hospital so much!" We both cared about whether or not Nelle would get away with Wiley. We care about Dante in the WSB hospital, trying to get better for his family. We care about Brook Lynn and whether or not she will sing again after using the vocal cords that she wasn't supposed to use to save Wiley.

Our country is locked in this fierce battle over a heated election, and I just want to use GH to remind you that the other side isn't your enemy! The person on the other side of an argument you are having could be eating tuna on Ritz Crackers with a Diet Coke, watching GH, just like you. I notice that regularly on social media. If I post any political opinion, people line up and start a battle. However, if I post a poll on what will happen next on GH, there is a spirited conversation, but we are all laughing as we debate. So, next time you meet someone who is your political opposite, ask them if they are a soap fan and try to find common ground!

Now, let's jump in. (But not over a cliff like Nelle.)

Dear readers, I love it when I get to say, "I told you so!" As I predicted, Taggert is alive. While I'm happy to be right, he came back at the most inopportune moment possible. Julian was about to end Nelle, but Taggert popped into the scene and thought she was a damsel in distress. At least, that's what I assume happened. Our satellite went out for five minutes. First, Julian had a gun on Nelle, then it went to a black screen. When it came back on, Taggert was on the ground, and Julian tossed his weapon into the Port Charles river.

What I didn't suspect was Epiphany's involvement in faking Marcus' death. She has been of help to the mob before, so I am not shocked that she participated. I was delighted, though, because Sonya Eddy is so magnificent. I wish she had more front burner storylines. Can she please get more airtime?

Sometimes I neglect to give kudos to our GH veterans because they are always perfect in my eyes. But right now, I want to really shine the light on some of this week's most riveting scenes.

When Laura Wright joined the show as Carly, I loved her immediately. I also loved Sarah Joy Brown and Tamara Braun in the role when they had it, but now I can't imagine anyone but Laura as Carly. I find her wholly mesmerizing. I can't take my eyes off the screen when she is on. Sometimes, I agree with what Carly is doing; sometimes, I think she's nuts; but Laura Wright never phones it in. She is always fully present, the light in her eyes turned to a high beam, and she draws us in. If she is screaming loudly or softly crying, I care.

Her scenes this week with Chloe Lanier were enthralling. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat as they had their showdown in the woods. They have powerful on-screen chemistry. Chloe plays a spectacular villain. She is electrifying in nearly every scene, but never so much as when he's in scenes with Laura Wright. Knowing the two of them are friends off-camera makes me giddy.

Carly clearly hates Nelle, but even in arguments, Carly is always trying to gently help Nelle make good decisions. Nelle never does the right thing, but you can tell in her eyes that sometimes she is thinking about it. The root of bitterness has grown so deep in Nelle that she can't bring herself to make a positive choice if she believes it would mean Carly winning. Her hatred has blinded her judgment, and she chooses to hurt her son, herself, and anyone else to keep Carly from getting the upper hand.

I know half of you will yell, "NO!" when you read this line, but I am rooting for a Nelle redemption story. I'm rooting for her. Like Carly, I see a small speck of good in her. I know that Nelle, in her present incarnation, is treacherous. Still, if the writers took a slow-burn approach and let Nelle, little by little, find her soul and sanity again, I would be a fan of such a storyline. But, at the moment, it appears she may have died. But, without a body, it means no death in the soap world. And, as in Taggert's case, even with a body, you can't be 100% sure.

My husband, who pretends he doesn't watch GH, said he is hoping that Nelle's fall landed her on "that bridge that everyone always falls off and no one dies." He wants Nelle to live and get sent to a hospital with Heather Webber for a roommate. He really wants them to join forces in their evil. That's one sick man I married. His other plotline suggestion is for Drew to come back from the dead uber-wealthy and get rid of Cyrus on the hospital board and take ELQ back from Valentin. (He suggests this all while holding a book in his hand, pretending not to watch and sneaking peeks over the edge.)

But back to reality. A big welcome back to Kelly Monaco, and a fond farewell to Lindsay Hartley. Since Lindsay was so well received in Port Charles, maybe they can find another role for her, a long-lost cousin con woman of Sam's. I truly appreciated her work and the passion she brought to the role, knowing it would be short term. That having been said, I was delighted to see our one and only Kelly back on set.

I look forward to seeing Jason and Sam's story play out now that Sam has an understanding parole officer who allows her to see her children's father.

Since Steve Burton returned to GH after his stint on The Young and the Restless, I still don't feel we have ever gotten that real Jason and Sam reunion we craved. Earlier this year, when ABC aired classic episodes, we were reminded of how playful and fun Sam and Jason used to be. I find myself still missing that dynamic. We can't get to that place with Sam and Jason until the writers allow them to live in the same apartment again! To reignite as a couple, they need to be in the same room. Not in Shiloh's cult, or the prison visiting room, or sneaking to meet for five minutes in the hospital elevator. Fingers crossed they have a date at Noodle Buddha soon.

However, I also haven't forgotten how much I loved Sam and Drew and the sizzling attraction between Kelly Monaco and Billy Miller. If my husband's daydreams come true and Drew really did come back, I wouldn't know which couple to root for. But back to the start, I am delighted to see Kelly back and healthy. I was worried about her, and I know you were, too. It's a weird year.

Another veteran GH actor I want to heap praise on is Wally Kurth. Before his baby girl got her throat slit, Ned channeled Edward Q, disowning his daughter and kicking her out of the house. But those powerhouse scenes Wally did both with Olivia and Brook after her attack should be the scenes he submits for his Emmy reel.

I loved his tearful trip down memory lane, and the reminiscences of Tracy and Edward and their shenanigans. I don't suppose I ever considered that little Ned was overhearing all of the family fights and taking that all in. The look on his face when he realized that he has carried the family curse into a new generation was heartbreaking. Ned cried, and I cried with him. He poured his heart out to Brook while she was unconscious, and she woke up, but I am not sure she heard all of those tearful confessions. She is still reliving his painful words in her mind, so I think her daddy needs to repeat every repentant word once she is fully coherent.

Now, after all my gushing, one negative comment...Brook Lynn is supposed to be this stupendous singer. The former Brook, played by Adrian Leon had a spectacular voice (here's a sample https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpz3kWa9ywg ). Since the character returned, played by two different actors, we still have yet to hear her sing. That's a big miss for me. If I had heard Brook's angelic voice, it would have impacted me twice as hard when she had her throat cut. Not that it wasn't horrifying enough, but if it had happened after her big debut at the Nurses Ball, I think it would have been more devastating.

Of course, GH is still under its Covid-19 dialed-back filming. I suppose it just wasn't feasible to do a massive musical number at this time, so I will give the writers a pass. I'm just thankful they are back at all. My biggest daydream for the Nurses Ball was for Dr. Obrecht to bust out of Steinmauer and give us a little tune from Jailhouse Rock or Chicago. I am missing Kathleen Gati.

Okay, here's an unscientific poll. Who is Nina's daughter? Is it Willow, or is it Nelle? Or, as some of my dear readers have suggested, could Nelle and Willow be twins? The good and evil? The yin and the yang? Nelle has the necklace, but maybe that's just a red herring.

Now that several people know that Taggert is alive, how long will it be before poor Trina and Portia find out? While I understand the choice he made, I can't imagine how betrayed I would feel, if I were Trina, to find out my dad let me grieve. Readers, I am still not convinced that Curtis isn't Trina's real dad. What do you think?

If you are a longtime GH viewer, could you ever imagine a day when Taggert, Sonny, and Jason would be on the same side?

Jason, the mob enforcer, offered to assist Jordan, the police commissioner, with her Cyrus Renault problem. Strange bedfellows, for sure. Briana Henry plays really well off of Steve Burton -- I really enjoyed the vulnerability of her scenes with him. Jordan is indeed stuck, and she is trying to keep everyone she loves safe while doing the bidding of an evil drug lord.

In contrast to my earlier comments, I don't want to see Cyrus redeemed. I want him to either go to jail or take a ride to the Pine Barrens with Max and Milo. I like the actor just fine, but the character is pure evil. Like Sonny, I'm not a fan of drugs, so I rarely find any sympathy for drug dealers. Like Cassandra Pierce before him, I just want him to go far, far away. It's hard for me to believe that Sonny has let Cyrus roam the streets of Port Charles for so long.

Port Charles is very low on cops these days -- Mac is AWOL, Dante is in WSB treatment -- so it's just Chase and Jordan. Until today, when NuValerie finally appeared again out of the blue. It was nice to see her -- after Brytni Sarpy left for Y&R, they introduced the new Valerie Spencer, and then she vanished. I was glad to see she's back, and hopefully, she will get some more airtime.

When they offered Dante the chance to go back home to Port Charles to do some mission involving someone he knows, I have to wonder who... They can't have him play Dominic again, as Sonny already knows Dante is his son. Maybe Dustin isn't really the nice guy that he seems, and he latched onto Lulu on purpose? Perhaps they wanted to send Dante after Cyrus by way of Sonny and Jason? Maybe the WSB is after Jordan? Peter? Anna? Robert? Who knows? I guess I will have to be patient. I am just excited to have Dom Zamprogna back. It will be a wonderful reunion once he gets those nightmares under control.

This week, I posted an article on GH characters from the past that never really caught on. One of them was when they brought Tony Geary back as Bill Eckert. No one wanted Bill. People wanted Luke. Nothing they did could convince the audience to stop wanting Luke and start digging Bill. From a writer's standpoint, I understand having an idea and being disappointed when it doesn't resonate with your audience. But those still happen today.

Right now, the coupling that I just can't get into is Neil and Alexis. Neil seems like a perfectly pleasant guy. But the two of them together aren't making me swoon the way Valentin and Nina did. Or Alexis and Julian. (I will never give up, Julexis fans!) I just haven't caught the spark with Neil and Alexis. I haven't written them off -- maybe this new chapter where they are both unemployed and have to find themselves and start again might be more engaging. I'm willing to try. What about you, dear readers? Do you like them together? What couple would you switch around if you were in charge?

Here's a couple that the writers want to break up that I (think I) want together -- Ava and Nikolas. Now that Elizabeth and Franco are onto their scheme, maybe they will Parent Trap Nik and Ava and lock them in the Wyndemere horse stables until they admit their attraction and make love.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Dante come home right after Dustin and Lulu elope at an Elvis Chapel in Vegas? Will the GH Camera Crew come up with more clever non-kiss kisses where we see them go in for the kiss and see them coming out of the kiss, but never see the actual lip-lock? (Which, by the way, I am in full support of! Keep everyone safe and healthy!) Will Nelle be presumed dead by Carly and Jax but then show up around Halloween, pretending to be Morgan, and haunt Carly again? Will Michael and Willow fall in love? Will Sasha be the sacrificial lamb of the drug storyline? Will Taggert come back someday and give Sonny a "get out of any crime free" card?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.
Tamilu

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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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