Feedback then turned to the storyline. Luring Jason Morgan's Port Charles connects with a party invite donning the presumed-dead hitman's image, Franco presented video evidence that he in fact didn't rape Samantha Morgan & never intended for Michael Corinthos to be raped in prison. He claimed previous footage indicating otherwise was planned to mislead and distress Jason. Franco also denied committing any murders for "artwork." Swiftly moving onto his shares at ELQ and moving into the Quartermaine mansion, he professed to be a changed man trying to make amends & reconnect with his daughter, Lauren Catherine (AKA “Kiki”). The once deadly “artist” now had a cleaner rap-sheet than Dr. Steven Webber. Some fans saw the "clean up" as a way to help the character be able to stay on GH, as Franco the way he was would make it hard for him to remain a free bird and function in Port Charles. Others felt Franco was made "too clean” and too easily moved into the Q mansion, implying the head-writer (Ron Carlivati, also formerly of “One Life”) was twisting things to the OL actors advantage. This advantage theory was first posed shortly after Carlivati and OL producer Frank Valentini took over in early 2012. Ratings for GH went up, but long-standing GH followers supposed the soap was becoming an OL spin-off. I saw where these viewers were coming from, but I was hesitant to believe there was any character favoring until Franco, Lauren & Silas came on the scene.
Speaking of Sam (played by Kelly Monaco), just like Lacey Chabert couldn’t make fetch happen in “Mean Girls,” the writers are struggling to make Easton and Monaco happen. It feels just as forced, if not more than before. Instead of giving Easton a completely brand new character like his co-stars, the writers decided to be uninventive and redundant and create yet a third incarnation of John McBain. In a short span, Easton portrayed McBain, who had an inappropriate attraction and borderline fling with Sam that ended his OL marriage (a plotline that’s a part of Prospect Park’s breach of contract suit with ABC), then a man physically identical to McBain (Stephen Clay) who kidnapped Sam because she’s his dead wife’s doppelganger and now Clay’s twin, who is trying to take Sam’s foster child (Rafe) and will ultimately be the magic key to Danny (Sam’s biological son) surviving leukemia. Really? All of this because Easton and Monaco’s characters were a couple on the GH spin-off “Port Charles?” Homage to the defunct spin-off in the 50th anniversary year has been paid; let’s move on. Its bad enough they wrote Sam talking about her recently killed husband like he was a road-block to her next great love for Easton, which brings me finally to the advantage theory.
In relation to Corinthos affiliates, as I mentioned in my “General Hospital in 2013” post, the writers opted to transition out of the mob era by going to the extreme of downplaying , if not eliminating, its associated characters (then replacing their influence with OL actors). Jason nor Kristina have been recast and Bradford Anderson’s (who portrays Spinelli) contract has mysteriously dropped to recurring when there’s a huge bomb to be set off in his storyline. The long-awaited aged return of Morgan (Bryan Craig), Sonny’s sole biological child with Carly, seems to have only served as an entry vehicle for Kiki. Instead of a meatier (or more interesting) storyline where he was actually targeted by the Jerome mob family in GH history (Ava still does not appear to be related to them), he was assigned the role of smart-mouthed, annoying little brother with a gambling issue, while Kiki was immersed in one familial plot twist after another. The (again, more interesting) dynasty war we all hoped to see since Genesis between the real Corinthos heir and his half-brother Michael has turned out to be a childish and grossly incestuous love triangle that’s all about who? Kiki. I imagine it’s going to be even more about Kiki as AJ (Sean Kanan) won’t fall out with Michael because of something regarding substance abuse, Sonny or Carly (Maurice Bernard, Laura Wright), but blackmailing Kiki with the secret that she and Michael kissed. Yep, I’m guessing that he’ll manipulate Kiki’s board vote with that information and when Franco eventually finds out, he’ll make AJ pay, make extra head at ELQ and earn Kiki’s affection. There are additional subtle things fueling the “advantage theory.” When GH was announced for “Outstanding Drama Series” at the Daytime Emmy’s (June 16th), the clip that was played featured OL’s Tea` Delgado (Florencia Lozano) and Todd Manning (Howarth), not GH’s actor nominees ( such as Jason Thompson as Dr. Patrick Drake or Julie Marie Berman as Lulu Spencer-Falconeri) or characters who were prominent in 2011 or 2012 (ex. Monaco). In response, one person tweeted “foreshadowing.” Another thing I noticed was a GH Facebook link thumbnail for the article “General Hospital Nominated for 19 Daytime Emmys!” that displayed Alderson, Easton & Howarth. When you post a link on a fanpage, the computer offers suggested thumbnails based on images it finds on the page. On the nominations article, there was also the 50th anniversary cast portrait and a thumbnail of Luke & Tracy (Anthony Geary, Jane Elliott). There were 3 photo options, and the one with OL actors gets picked over vets? Hmm… Ron Carlivati is starting to look suspect.
Carlivati is also putting a bad taste in the mouths of fans online. If you watch his Twitter feed long enough, you will come across a sarcastic, if not a flat-out rude or condescending tweet to a fan from Mr. Head Writer. Granted, some viewers instigate a salty response by tweeting Carlivati insults, but I believe even those cases, things should be handled with grace and professionalism. You don’t even have to tweet Carlivati directly to get sassed; he sometimes tweets fans who use the “#GH” trend hashtag. He’ll also watch and comment on your personal feed. Some Twitter users have said they’ve gotten blocked after asking Carlivati simple questions like “why aren’t there more characters of color on GH?” Although GH’s social media pages have encouraged feedback and interaction (along with Valentini), Carlivati’s actions have made viewers hesitant and afraid to critique storylines. What’s a fan to do? At a time when ratings are so crucial and sensitive to the life of a soap, it looks like we’ll just have to sit back, watch and hope Port Charles doesn’t turn into Llanview? What are your thoughts?