general hospital ryans hope references exciting but wrong
Credit: ABC (2), George De Sota/JPI, ABC screenshot, ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

ABC’s lone remaining daytime drama is keeping alive the memory of Ryan’s Hope… but, weirdly, slightly, tarnishing it at the same time.

If you read our recent article celebrating the anniversary of Ryan’s Hope’s debut, you know very well how enamored of the smart, funny 1975-89 soap we remain. So as you can imagine, we are thrilled anytime General Hospital incorporates the much-missed sudser into its goings-on, whether by bringing on Ryan’s Hope MVP Ilene Kristen as Ava’s mother, Delia, dropping by Ryan’s Bar in New York City or hinting that Joey Novak maybe, just maybe is related to the Joe Novak that the late, great Roscoe Born once played. (Joe and wife Siobhan Ryan did have a son, though they named him Sean.)

Sincerely, we thank you, General Hospital. Your Ryan’s Hope references perk up our ears and swell our hearts. Heck, they even give us hope that somebody out there is listening when we lay out our master plan to revive the show, to this day our pick for the most intelligent in daytime history. But…

And yes, there is a “but.” If you’re going to go there — and we hope you will continue to do so — could you really take us there? Don’t go to Ryan’s Bar and reference matriarch Maeve singing “Danny Boy” if you’re not going to show it; that’s just a tease. Go to Ryan’s and have Dee pouring the beers. Introduce her son, Johnno, as the hot, hot (corned-beef and) hash slinger. Have reporter Ryan Fenelli turn to mentor Jackie Templeton for help with a story.

While we’re on the subject, perhaps General Hospital could get the facts straight. We’ll let slide that General Hospital has played Delia more like portrayer Kristen’s Roxy from One Life to Live than the Delia that we knew and loved. But c’mon, it only takes a Google search to check that Ryan’s Bar was across the street from Riverside Hospital, not New York Methodist (though we suppose it could have come under new management after all this time… Hey, there could even be a Seneca Beaulac Memorial Wing in John Gabriel’s honor.)

In short, we love what you’re up to there, General Hospital. Just, you know, get it right. If you do, the foundation that you lay for Ryan’s Hope to rise from the grave will be extra structurally sound when Dee decides to open a franchise in Port Charles. What better place for the mobsters to meet to have indiscreet conversations about “the business,” right?

While you’re here, stop off at the photo gallery below for a primer in Ryan’s Hope history. You’ll see pretty quickly that its past could integrate beautifully with the future of General Hospital — and ABC Daytime.