Happy 61st anniversary, General Hospital: 6 + 1 reasons to watch the show right now

Posted Monday, April 01, 2024 3:45:52 PM
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General Hospital premiered 61 years ago on April 1, 1963, and changed the face of daytime television forever.

As General Hospital turns 61 years old, it's going through some growing pains, but it still feels like there's more story to be told with better days ahead. To commemorate GH's milestone anniversary, here are 6 + 1 reasons to come back to the show -- or keep watching.

Jason Morgan is Back

Steve Burton began his tenure on GH as Jason Quartermaine in 1991. Four years later, a car accident that left him brain-damaged morphed Jason Q into Jason Morgan, and he hasn't looked back. Now that he's returned to Port Charles, anything can happen and probably will.

Turning Jason into an FBI informant on the right side of the law is pure genius after his nearly 30 years in the mob. His loyalties are now divided, as Sonny thinks he's been betrayed again, and Jason tries to navigate his way through a new life in Port Charles. He also has to deal with two teenage sons he was barely there for as they were growing up. One idolizes him, and the other one wants nothing to do with him -- and that's the GH Jason story that needs to be told.

Valentin's a Villain Again -- Or Is He?

Valentin Cassadine seemed to lose his edge over the last few years. Sometimes the love of a good woman will do that to you. We have no doubt that Valentin's love for Anna is very real, but he's certainly been hiding a big secret. He's much more involved with the Pikeman Group than he ever let on, and now he is running the company -- with plans to drive Sonny crazy by messing with his bipolar meds.

Or is that all just a ruse? His conversation with Jack Brennan was both enlightening and vague. We know that Anna is still his Achilles heel, but could he also be deep undercover, trying to bring down Pikeman from the inside? Possibly. And that's why we have to watch -- so we can get to the bottom of this.

Ava's a Vixen Again -- Or Is She?

Ava Jerome is another character who seemed to lose her edge, constantly needing a man to come to her rescue during the last few years. That's not the Ava we were introduced to in 2013 -- a mob heiress who could play in the big leagues.

Ava's newfound closeness to Sonny didn't pass the smell test, and now it turns out she is definitely up to something. She hid Sonny's phone and a text about Dante's condition and has a suspicious look on her face whenever she eavesdrops on Sonny's conversations. It seems murky at the moment whether she is working with Valentin and messing with Sonny's meds (just as she did with his son Morgan's meds), but again, that's why we have to watch -- to find out.

An Embarrassment of Teenage (Boy) Riches

GH has always had a fairly realistic teen scene, and unlike other soaps, it casts age-appropriate performers in the roles. Right now, GH seems like a high school boys' locker room filled with testosterone and boys who want electric shavers for their birthdays. One might think they are interchangeable, but they all have something different to offer.

Jake and Danny both have different opinions of their dad, Jason. Rocco is just relieved that his father is out of a coma while his mother remains in one. And Aiden is still baking away after telling his mom, Elizabeth, that he has a boyfriend named Tobias. These kids all lend a bit of realism to a show in which the world was nearly frozen by a weather machine (again) a year ago.

Careers Made Right Again

Just like in real life, soap opera characters are often defined by their careers. Some change lines of work at the drop of a hat, but others are identifiable by what they do. Anna is in law enforcement and fights the bad guys. As a lawyer, Alexis stands for truth, justice, and the American way, fighting for the little guys whenever she can. And Nina? She runs a fashion magazine, and that's that.

Over the last few years, Alexis became a journalist, Anna had no job at all after being forced to quit the WSB, and Nina lost her job for reporting a crime. Now, those wrongs have been righted. Anna is the police commissioner again, Alexis is fighting to get her law license back, and Nina is once again the editor of Crimson.

A Maxie and Spinelli Redux

Ever since Nathan died in 2018, Maxie has been flailing in the love interest department. They were a popular couple, and the attempt to pair her with Peter August was a disaster from day one. Sadly, it took GH nearly four years to figure that out.

However, before Nathan was in Maxie's life, there was Spinelli. He was her first true love and the father of her first child. The show toyed with putting them back together at the end of 2022, but nothing ever came of it. However, they didn't waste any time as 2024 began. Spinelli is back as Maxie's man, and they may be more mature but are as delightful as ever.

Bonus: A New Lease on Life for GH

As GH's 62nd year on ABC begins, it's a whole new ballgame. A new writing team took over in January, and their work started airing in March. So far, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte have turned the ship around quickly. The scenes are longer, the stories are more cohesive, and our faves are being written much more in character than they have been in years. There's still a lot that was wrong that needs to be set back on the right path, but so far, it looks like GH has a whole new lease on life at just the right time.

What do you think? What is your favorite GH story right now? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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