Deconstructing GH: Why I’m Enjoying the Return of Ryan Chamberlain
This week instead of the regular Deconstructing GH column I decided to focus on Ryan Chamberlain. While many viewers saw no need for the return of his character, here are five reasons why I’m enjoying him and his storyline and looking forward to what is to come.
It relies heavily on history
It’s always nice to see soaps revisiting and acknowledging their history and past storylines. Bringing back villains the viewers thought were long dead is something we’ve come to expect from soaps, and the choice of Ryan over one of the many Cassadines who have come back more times than we can count was good move. The writers have also craftily woven his return into the 25 anniversary of his original murder spree, so it doesn’t feel like it’s just a rehash of a storyline that’s been done before but instead a natural extension of this story.
It utilizes the vets in an exciting way
This story has given many of the vets on the show more work than we’ve seen from them in years. Soap characters grow older just as the actors who portray them do, but in the real world we don’t ignore these individuals and only pull them out for weddings, holidays or other special occasions. So why do this on soaps? Yes, the soaps need new and younger blood, but let’s not abandon the characters who first drew many of us to watch to begin with. This storyline has given Jon Lindstrom amazing material to work with as both Kevin and Ryan, Laura (Genie Francis) finally has more to do than be Lulu’s sounding board, and we’ve seen more of Felicia (Kristina Wagner) and Lucy (Lynn Herring) in the past two months than the past few years. I hope we see more of Mac (John J York) as the storyline heats up.
It can rely on fun flashbacks
While we now have the ability to go on YouTube and dig up past memories of our soaps, the further back one looks the less available clips there are, and the ones that exist often aren’t of high quality. This storyline has already allowed GH to pull out some of the older clips to fill in newer viewers on the original storyline, and I’m hoping we see more! Reminiscing is so much fun, and it’s hilarious to see the characters, their hairstyles and the fashions from years pasts.
It’s perfectly timed with the season
Though they have dragged this storyline out for a while, it now seems to be moving along and Ryan’s latest murder was perfectly timed for Halloween and the fall season when we often celebrate all things spooky.
It’s had twists and the suspense is building
Even before it was confirmed Ryan was alive, viewers began speculating that he was the mystery patient in Ferncliff, or that possibly Kevin was locked in the cell next to Carly and Ryan had taken his place. It kept us on our toes waiting for an answer, and the writers kept us guessing until the reveal that it was always Ryan in the cell until he finally got the upper hand on Kevin and switched places with him. Since then we’ve been waiting and speculating who he’ll kill first, and who will finally figure out the truth about Ryan and Kevin. Mary Pat was his first victim, and given how horrible she was, it was a delight to see her go. Her head appearing in the bobbing for apples tub at the Floating Rib was twisted yet hilarious. I speculated Mary Pat would die, but I also noted in last week’s Deconstructing GH that Daisy and Sasha are expendable characters too. However, it’s when the killer takes the life of an established character that these storylines shock us the viewers and leave lasting effects on the other characters. Which major character, or characters, will die is what some are eager to find out!
These are only my thoughts. Please leave your own in the comments. I’ll be back dishing on the good and the bad with the usual Deconstructing GH column next week.