Sixty years of soapaliciousness

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Is this week the most exciting in GH's 60-year history? So many secrets and surprises, and so much sudsy excitement this week, we need a very lengthy Two Scoops to discuss every juicy tidbit!

Dear readers, I am pretty sure I invented that word. I started my own blog years ago called "Magically Soapalicious," which still lives out there somewhere because some days I wanted to write about GH when it wasn't time for a Two Scoops!

Thankfully, it's my week to write, and there is so much to say -- about this week of shows filled with bombshell revelations, about the GH 60th primetime special, and about a certain someone popping through a door in a black leather jacket as we all squealed with delight. I don't know where to begin!

I shall start with a full-on love letter for GH's 60th. Dear GH cast, crew, and writers, I love you. I just can't quit you. I would never even try to quit you. If the story is riveting, or if it's a little bit of a snooze, I stay. I may whine occasionally when things aren't going exactly as I hoped for in my imagination, but I won't leave you. The story is endless, and I will never tire of you telling it. I love these families of Port Charles, the Spencers, the Quartermaines, the Corinthos clan, the Jeromes, the Davis girls, the Scorpios, the Ashfords, the deliciously dark Cassadines -- each and every family that came before. I will still be here, if God allows, when Wiley is the heartthrob of Port Charles, but I hope he changes his name back to Jonah Corinthos.

This week, the GH Twitter account asked questions like "When did you start watching GH?" and "How did General Hospital change your life?" I'll answer some of those questions here!

When did you start watching GH?
I have been watching GH since 1977 when I was 16. The girls at my high school started talking about Scotty and Laura, and I didn't know who they were and needed to be in the loop. The minute I saw them, I was mesmerized. Laura was my same age! And she had romance and adventures! Oh, how I adored her. (And still do.) My school bus didn't get home until 3:15, and GH started at 3, so I made my mom watch the first 15 minutes of the show every day so she could fill me in on what I missed at the start of the hour.

How did General Hospital change your life?
In college at the University of Akron, I took an elective class called "American Pop Culture." One of our semester assignments was to pick one network, watch all its soaps, and write a paper about its impact and value on society. Since I had already watched GH, I chose ABC and watched Ryan's Hope (which I had also already watched from the first episode) and added All My Children and One Life to Live to my repertoire. Yes, you heard that right: I took a college class that had me watching soaps all afternoon.

My parents were not thrilled with this elective because it was not "serious." Years later, when I was writing for Soap Central, I reminded my mom of that conversation and noted that I had gotten an actual writing job as a direct result of my soap expertise from that frivolous class I took but that no one had ever hired me because of my algebra class. We laughed and laughed.

Watching GH, writing about GH for decades, meeting GH-loving people, and enjoying the show together have enriched my life tremendously. But deeper than that -- watching Monica survive breast cancer helped me when my own mother battled breast cancer. Watching characters survive grief, illness, breakups, humiliation, and tragedy moved and healed my own hurts. Watching Spencer and Trina fall in love reminded this AARP-aged woman what young love feels like and thrilled my soul. Watching Nina finally get the door slammed in her face reminded me how good it feels when the jerks of the world finally have to account for their jerkiness. I just love it. I pity people who write off soaps because they miss out on So. Much. Fun. This soapy tribe of ours is a constant joy to my heart.

But now, to GH this week!

All I can say is WOW. We have waited so long for so many things to happen, and in this first week of 2024, they are all happening simultaneously. It's dizzying and delightful. My heart is pounding. I am screaming at my TV like a lunatic.

Nikolas is back, played by hunky Adam Huss, and he and Ava absolutely sizzled in their scenes together. You know what? I think I can truly let myself love him.

I'll be honest. I have never been able to fully embrace another person as Nikolas because I was always, in the back of my head, holding out hope that Tyler Christopher would be back. I always treated any other Nikolas as a placeholder. "Well, he's okay until Tyler is back." I loved Tyler. I wanted him back, not just to play Nikolas but because I wanted him to be home, healed, and in a safe place with people who supported him. I know Maurice Benard and his wife were very good friends to Tyler. When Marcus Coloma was let go, I was sure it was because Tyler was on his way back. I was wrong. Sadly, we lost him completely. I will never forget his beautiful work, and I will always cherish his time at GH.

When I saw Adam Huss in the role, I knew I could genuinely let myself love this Nikolas without betraying my favorite of all Nikolas Cassadines. I know it's a little nutty to have felt that way, but I did. He and Maura West looked so beautiful together on-screen; the chemistry was already there. Nikolas proposes a revenge plot on Esme to Ava. Still, the fire they both have in their eyes tells me the revenge plot may be a turn-on for them that ends up in a steamy reunion.

My soap daydream is that everyone discovers Esme has her memory back, and she finally has to pay for her crimes. Nikolas will get custody of Ace and reunite with Ava, and the woman Esme tortured ends up being her son's stepmother. And since Spencer wants to be with Ace, he will have to make nice with his father to gain access to his brother, and they will make up, too. Make it so.

Now, something more controversial. Half of you will yell, "Hip hip hooray," and half of you will be peeved with me. But oh, my heavens, Sonny slamming the door in Nina's face was the most satisfying thing I have seen in eons. When Ava asked, "Where's Nina?" and Sonny snarled out the word, "GONE," I was in utter glee. I understand some people out there support the Sonny and Nina pairing. If you read this column regularly, you know I am not among them. Now that the Nixon Falls spell has been broken and Sonny finally sees Nina for the liar that she is, I hope he never touches her again. He eventually forgave Brenda for wearing a wire, so he might forgive her down the line, but I hope it takes years.

When Nina came to "apologize" to Carly and Drew, it was a fiery scene. Drew suggested that if Nina was a man, he'd punch her. And a lot of you lost your damned minds. May I remind you that this is a fictional TV show? Drew is not real. Nina is not real. Fictional characters often do terrible things. Ever seen Game of Thrones? It was exceptionally violent but watched by millions. In like manner, Succession was filled with selfish, vulgar, and immoral human beings, but also a huge hit. Weeds? Drug Dealers. Billions? Corporate raiders. The Sopranos? Violent mobsters. We watch all these shows because we can watch people do bad things on TV and in movies and recognize that it's pretend.

This goes all the way back to Shakespeare. Consider Hamlet -- I toured in a theatre group with this quote on our buses: "The play's the thing wherein we'll capture the conscience of the King." What does that mean? In the context of Hamlet, it meant that he hoped if they did a play that mirrored Claudius' suspected crimes, Hamlet would be able to tell if he was guilty by how Claudius reacted to the play.

But here, in GH land, in Port Charles, GH dramatizes all sorts of things that decent human beings would not do. Like keeping a pregnant teenage girl locked in your creepy castle. Like letting a family believe their husband/father/grandpa was dead while he was alive and tending a bar in some suburb 100 miles away. Like withholding your father's heart medication until he changed his will to ensure you'd get your inheritance. Like hiring a total stranger to pretend to be your wife's long-lost daughter. Like being married to two women at once, playing both a rock star and a CEO.

Need I go on? GH is filled with flawed human beings doing all sorts of reckless and shady things. If you are deeply offended by broken fictional characters who regularly make terrible choices, maybe GH isn't your show. But me? It's my show. I am not offended by any plot GH has ever aired. Even that one. I would suppose that 40 years down the road, things happening on GH today will be very controversial to future audiences. We don't know what future generations will deem unacceptable. Watching a show and loving it does not mean you would condone that character's behavior in the real world. I used to adore the show 24 and loved watching Jack Bauer interrogate terrorists. But do I want real agents to use those tactics? Nope. It's all pretend. I saw Ana Farris on HGTV last week, and she said, "What do I do for a living? Say other people's words and make faces." And it cracked me up.

I think unhindered storytelling is essential. We can tell stories of bad people; sometimes, bad people can be redeemed. Sometimes, in real life and fiction, people who do terrible things get second chances. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't have gone to church all my life, since that's the basic message of my faith, "You can be forgiven." Our hymns say, "Just as I Am" and "Amazing Grace." So, if I believe in redemption, I'm okay with my soap characters having a shot at redemption, too. I think Nina can be redeemed. It may take her losing everything. I think Cyrus can be saved. Although I don't believe him yet. I think Esme can be redeemed, and I think she's halfway there, but she's on the verge of slipping back into her old evil ways.

Back to Cyrus. When Sonny was at Code Red level of anger, Cyrus told him that he knew Nina's secret, too, and Sonny pummeled him in a church. Right after, he lit a candle and prayed. Cyrus made no move to defend himself. Why? Allow me to speculate... Do I think Cyrus is an angel now and would not fight back? Nope. I hope he wants to change, but I am not convinced he has changed. A redeemed man doesn't pretend to be a priest and hear someone's confession to blackmail them with it. But I do think he didn't fight back on purpose. He's going to use this against Sonny.

I thought that perhaps there were cameras in the church. I thought Cyrus might withhold the evidence and use it to blackmail Sonny into another deal with Pikeman. I was wrong. Cyrus is in the hospital, and Sonny has been arrested and may be sent to Pentonville, where Cyrus' "Bible Study Group" can torment Sonny. I am very intrigued to see how this plays out. But who on earth can take the reins at his organization with Sonny out of commission? Certainly not Dex. Not Brick. Carly? His ex-wife? Not a chance. The only possible solution is ...JASON!

When Steve Burton walked through that door in his Jason Morgan black leather jacket, I screamed out loud and woke up my family. I am thrilled he is back. I know many people have opinions about his return, but I'll give you mine -- Huzzah! I am excited. I missed Jason. We need Jason. With the fantastic news that Steve Burton is returning, my only question is when?

Will he be back for Bobbie's funeral? Oh, I can see it in my mind: Carly, sobbing over the loss of her mom, and her best friend walks in, back from the dead, at the exact moment of her darkest despair. I'm crying just thinking about it.

Readers, there is no way that Laura Wright isn't going to get a Daytime Emmy this year. The scenes that have aired so far are material enough, and there is so much more to come next week with the two-episode funeral for Bobbie Spencer. When Carly said, "If I had known it was our last conversation, I would never have hung up the phone." Every person who has ever lost a parent sobbed with Carly. That is precisely how it feels. I'm crying as I type this. I am well acquainted with grief.

But Carly isn't Bobbie's only child; I was thrilled to hear that Ryan Carnes is returning as Lucas, and I hope it's not a short-term gig. I would love to see Lucas and Brad reconnect after all these years. I hoped that Brad Maule might make an appearance and talk about Tony and B.J.'s death and Maxie's heart transplant storyline, which was, to my years of soap viewing, the saddest storyline in Daytime history.

Readers, it pained me to see the fill-in Maxie and the fill-in Joss instead of Kirsten Storms or Eden McCoy here for Bobbie's funeral. Nothing against those two actresses; it's just disconcerting. I am still mad that we didn't have the right Edward when Anna Lee died, and Lila was mourned by a stand-in Edward. But I understand the whys -- I know that Eden is grieving a personal loss, and filming a sad funeral would be too heartbreaking. I have lost my own mother, so her time off is understandable. However, the scene with Maxie telling Cody about Bobbie and Tony giving her B.J.'s heart just didn't hold the same power it would have if Kirsten had been there. I'm so sorry she missed this.

Another line that leveled me this week was when Kevin asked Laura if she was thinking of Bobbie, and Laura tearfully said, "I'm thinking of all of them." As soon as that sentence passed her lips, tears poured from my eyes. That's so true of grief; each loss reminds you of all the others, and your brain lines them up in a sad parade of memories. Laura talked about losing Luke, Bobbie, Lulu in a coma, and Lucky trying to find his way; she has lost so many people. And in this case, the GH stars lost people, not just on-screen but also real-life friends.

A side note: if you want to be dazzled by the lovely person Jackie Zeman was, I wholeheartedly recommend you go and watch the interview that Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson did with her on their "That's Awesome" YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/yR6ry1ESNsQ?si=eUvlJoNyaIOpWaTQ

Having Jason Morgan back is going to upend a lot of things. How will Jason's return impact Carly and Drew? Let's not forget Jason and Carly married one another before he "died." How about Sam and Dante? Wait until Danny sees him! Liz and Finn? I bet Jake will be thrilled to see his dad back in town. What will happen to Dex when Jason steps back into his old role? Will Jason save Sonny from Cyrus and Pikeman? Where has Jason been all this time? Who has been holding him captive? Oh, I have so many questions and am ready to embrace any answers the writers provide. I will suspend my disbelief to the moon and back to have Jason back on GH.

I have been critical sometimes of the GH writers when I was impatient and felt a story was taking too long to unfold. But I will shut my mouth now because this entire week has been "Must-See TV" from start to finish. I must keep reminding myself there was a writers' strike for months, and so many things were in limbo, on hold, or rewritten by the fill-in writers. But now the real writers are back with a bang, and I am left breathless. Every word of every scene was riveting to me this week. I did not fast-forward anything. I didn't want to miss a single glance or word. It was glorious.

Also, I can't forget to talk about the Ashford family and Curtis' upcoming surgery, which Portia is pinning all her hopes upon. Will this be the miracle that gets Curtis back on his feet? Donnell Turner has made the most of every moment in this storyline- between finding out he's a father of an adult daughter to losing his use of his legs and learning to navigate life in a wheelchair, he has turned in some stunning and heartbreaking performances. The Ashford family is now a rich core family on GH, and I am happy about that. Watching Aunt Stella and Marshall kiss during their holiday celebration was a shock, but not so much. I would welcome a relationship between the two of them. They have both lost love and been alone for so long! They can be the GH version of the Golden Bachelor couple. Now that Portia (the gorgeous Brook Kerr) has seemingly laid off Spencer and is trying to accept him, I'm no longer peeved with Portia, either.

I am thrilled to have Rena Sofer back as Lois. I am glad she's the one who blabbed Nina's secret to Sonny. The thing that is most important to Sonny is loyalty, and the thing that is most important to Lois is honesty. She's been lied to and wouldn't want to do that to anyone else. People keep saying, "But Sonny was so happy!" Sure, but his happiness was built on a lie that could blow up at any moment. Will he open that bottle and take a drink? Will he go off the deep end again? Will Ava be the one who pulls him back from the brink right now? Side note: if I owned that pink suit with the feathered cuffs that Ava was wearing, I would wear it every day, to the grocery store, to pump gas, and out for martinis -- I loved that suit so much. Someone call Diane, pronto. Sonny is going to need a lawyer immediately.

Just when I thought GH was done dropping bombs for the week, Felicia got the DNA test results back and now knows that Cody is Mac's biological son. How will that impact him, since he signed a paper saying he was Leopold Taub's son and just told Maxie of his plan to get Serena back the estate that Dominique once owned? Will Cody be in jail with Sonny?

And let us not forget that I rightly predicted that Tracy would catch on to Lucy and Scotty's plot and double-cross them. When she saw Scott and Lucy huddled together, she immediately said, "Gotcha," and realized that Scott's flirting was merely a plot. How will she play this? My guess is that Tracy will pretend to fall for Scott and scheme her way into owning all of Deception. Lucy won't even have her 49% anymore. She should have known better than to mess with the master.

I hope you watched the GH 60th anniversary special, and if you didn't, it's on Hulu. Seeing that old classic scene where Tracy withholds Edward's heart medication to get him to change his will was just too brutal to watch all these years later! We later learned Edward was scamming her just to see how she would react, but at the moment, it was so hard to watch, knowing she was willing to let her father die rather than lose her inheritance. Jane Elliot is a soap diva goddess, and I am so thankful she is here this year for all the fun and fireworks.

The opening of Friday's episode was heartbreaking. As the camera panned over GH's memorial wall with Edward, Lila, Steve Hardy, Jessie Brewer, Alan, Amy, Tony, Epiphany, Rick Webber, Gail Baldwin, and Britt Westbourne, we knew that next week, there would be another photo added to that montage, our beloved Nurse Bobbie Spencer, and the gorgeous face of Jackie Zeman. It's going to be a teary week for all of us, so stock up on tissues, my dear soapy friends.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will we ever find out where drunken Taggert went months ago? Will baby Ace take a shine to his real daddy? Will Adam sober up and finally tell us who his elusive parents are? Will Sonny's bloody and bruised knuckles heal in jail, or will he be punching walls in his cell? Will Drew recover from his time in Pentonville just like he recovered from being held captive by Victor Cassadine, or is this the thing that finally breaks him? Will Carly wait for Jason to get his leather jacket off before she jumps him, or will she control herself for Drew's sake? Will Sasha have a better 2024 with less abuse and torture?

Will GH find a new role for Amber Tamblyn after the lovely piece she wrote about her visit back to GH? Will we have five more temporary recasts next week until I don't recognize anyone at all without name tags? Will Nina learn that if you are genuinely apologizing to someone, you shouldn't blame them for why you had to do the horrible thing to them? Will Sonny have to double his donation to Queen of Angels this year? Will GH please make another entire special of just old clips, wedding dresses, and bloopers?

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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