Holy [Bleep]! General Hospital Just Put Every Other Soap on Blast — and Deservedly So
One twist after another left fans asking, “Wait, did that just happen?”
Ask haters of the soap genre, and they’ll joke about how you can easily skip a week or two and pick things up right where they left off. And we’ll admit that there are definitely times when that’s proven true for some of our favorite dramas. But General Hospital just proved that when a soap is firing on all cylinders, the phrase “miss a day, miss a lot” is far more applicable.
And that’s particularly true if you missed the episode which aired on February 16. Already, General Hospital was rocking February sweeps. Curtis and Portia’s wedding — complete with gorgeous production values and a secret threatening to derail the entire affair — was downright swoonworthy. Ava had bonked Nikolas on the head and stashed his (supposedly) dead body in the stables. Ryan and Heather were plotting to escape and take secret daughter Esme with them.
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And then, everything exploded in spectacular fashion. What started as a seemingly typical episode slowly cranked up the tension. Suddenly, in an almost casual fashion, Ryan revealed to an uncharacteristically terrified Esme that she is his daughter. Then, in quick succession, Trina found out Curtis might be her dad, Mac was knocked unconscious by Ryan, Sam and Dante found out the truth about Ryan’s connection to Esme, and — in the closing moment — Ava and Felicia opened Wyndemere’s front door to find their mutual stalker, Ryan, on the other side!
“Is it tomorrow yet?” the audience was left yelling in unison.
The episode was thrilling, compelling and everything that we want from a soap. And truth be told, it was everything we’re simply not getting from the other soaps. Bold & Beautiful gave us the wonderfully unexpected moment of Douglas asking to live with Steffy, but as with every other storyline on this soap (including the intriguing Bill/Sheila plot), it quickly devolved into various characters endlessly talking about the twist. Young & Restless has become a show revolving almost entirely around business, which isn’t necessarily a pleasure. And Days of Our Lives is revisiting the devil plot after “killing off” three fan favorites who nobody actually believes to be dead.
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To be clear, General Hospital is not a perfect show. It’s had pacing issues for years, struggles to land payoffs and has so struggled with romances that we can’t help but worry about current teen dream team Spencer and Trina. But what General Hospital is, on an almost daily basis, is entertaining. That seems obvious and basic — of course a show that wants us to tune in five days a week should be entertaining, right? Yet the other shows seem to have forgotten that, at least at the moment.
Like everything else, soaps are cyclical. When they are in rough periods, we, the fateful, continue to watch because we know they can do better. Six months from now, there’s every chance that General Hospital will be more miss than hit and we’ll be writing a similar article, but singing the praises of Bold & Beautiful or Days.
But right now, all we can do is say, “Bravo, General Hospital” while we wait with bated breath to see what happens next.
As General Hospital approaches its 60th anniversary, dive into our photo-filled flashback covering the history of Port Charles, including pics we’re willing to bet you’ve never seen before.