General Hospital (1963– )
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Alan and Monica, played by Leslie Charleson and Stuart Damon, Frisco and Felicia, played by Jack and Kristina Wagner, Robert and Holly, played by Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms, Sonny and Brenda, played by Maurice Bernard and Vanessa Marcil, and Luke and Laura have showed every other soap opera the definition of a "love story". Though never simple, always intense, always unforgettable.
General Hospital has also shown amazing technique in storylines that are not love stories. Such as Monica Quartermaine's heartwrenching breast cancer storyline in 1994, or the amazing storyline of two little girls dying, yet only one miracle came out of it. I could only be talking about Bobbie Spencer's and Tony Jones's daughter BJ giving her heart to Frisco and Felicia's daughter Maxie, in the last moments to save her life. These stories touched many viewers and there are so many more.
Some of the most precious moments on daytime television have occurred on General Hospital, and the highest rated moment on daytime television was Luke and Laura's wedding in 1981. It was said to be the only wedding ever to rival Princess Diana's. General Hospital has created feelings, storylines, and characters that go beyond words. I thank Genie and Tony who play Luke and Laura for bringing out the fantasy we all have about how love should be. Though they are General Hospital's greatest achievement, I don't think General Hospital's done with them yet! And we know that Luke and Laura are not the only life changing storyline they've come up with! Thank you General Hospital!
Now Phelps is killing off Alan Quartermaine who has been played faithfully by Stuart Damon for 30 years. I'm concerned that she is going to lose one of the show's best attributes, the Quartermaine Family. She and the network practically drove Anna Lee out over a contract dispute. Even with John Ingle's welcome return, the shadow over the show is still different. I don't blame cast members like Leslie Charleson and others for being so vocal about Damon's departure. It's as shocking as it comes. This is what you get when you have somebody like Phelps at the helm.
Maybe in the future GH will regain it's backbone. Maybe draw clear lines between good and evil like it did in it's hey day.
Tristan Rogers and Finola Hughes were incredible as Robert and Anna in the 80s and 90s where GH was filled with action,adventure and romance.
The highlight of the 1990s included storylines of the family. BJ Jones's death, Monica Quartermaine fighting breast cancer, Stone and Robin's love story and their AIDS storyline. Plus the amazing chemistry and connection that made Sonny&Brenda soulmates.
GH hit a rough patch in 2000-2001 with many backstage changes but it is improving in 2002. One of the most promising current storylines is the AJ Quartermaine and Courtney Matthews relationship. Billy Warlock and Alicia Leigh Willis have phenomenal chemistry that makes watching in 2002 a must.
In the early 90's, when Claire and Matthew Labine took over head writing duties, General Hospital spotlighted so many fantastic, heartwrenching, and honest stories. I mean, what fan of this show will EVER forget Stone and Robin's love story. Stone, dying of AIDS-blind due to it...takes his last glimpse of his love, Robin by a window and hapilly says "I can see you"...then passes away. Or will the forget the Breast Cancer storyline, when Monica cuts her bandages off to see that she has no breast, and she just begins to cry uncontrollably. Or, the revolutionary and GUTSY storyline when young Maxie is dying from a heart condition, and is need of a transplant. At the same time...her cousin Barbara Jean (B.J.) is rendered brain dead in a school bus accident. Tony and Bobbie decide to donate her organs. Meanwhile Felicia (Maxie's mom), gets the news that a donor heart has been found. So she goes to Bobbie happy that they have found a heart for her daughter. Her happiness turns to horror when she finds Bobbie crying. Instantly, Felicia knows...
"Noooo. Not Barbara Jean. Not Barbara Jean's heart."
And she collapses to the floor, crying. I cry now as I think about it, and this was ten years ago. And then the scene where Tony hovers over Maxie, as she recovers from the transplant. And he leans down and places his ear over her chest to hear the beating heart that belonged to his deceased daughter. Oh man...
This was OUTSTANDING TELEVISION!
Sadly, GH has regressed so much under the watch of Bob Guza, Jr. I don't care what anyone says....it's BLASPHEMY to put a Spencer with a Cassadine!!! To me...this show is long gone. With the loss of some of my favorite actors (Johnathan Jackson, Amber Tamblyn, Kimberly McCullough, Sarah Brown), and some truly horiffic writing, storylines and pairings....I can never watch this show with the same enthusiasm as I did ten and twenty years ago. For me though...there are few saving graces for this show. The Quartermaines': John Ingle...whom not only has filled the shoes of David Lewis' "Edward Quartermaine" character...but has greatly improved on the original (and this is saying A LOT, as David Lewis was FANTASTIC as Edward), Leslie Charleson, Stuart Damon, Anna Lee, Jane Eliot (always a good watch when she returns from time to time), and Robin Christopher (GREAT). Maurice Benard as "Sonny" still delivers the goods. And of course, Tony Geary as "Luke Spenser". I just wish the material was better. Sadly, unless the Labines come back, or someone can be the second coming of Gloria Monty...I'll just be a viewer on occasion.
Also the hospital thing known as scrubs as the daily scoop of the inner workings of the hospital. Hence the title! In upper NY! Like doctors, nurses, cops etc.
Set the star thing for future superstars like Demi Moore, Rick Springfield, John Stamos among them. A treasure!