This is to long-term fans of GH. I've been watching soaps since I was a small kid in the 70s. I was always more of a fan of the NBC and CBS soaps. However, I do remember watching GH in the late 70s/early 80s like most every other daytime fan. I honestly haven't watched an episode since the early 80s and just tuned into the current show and the marathon on SoapNet for the 50th anniversary. I'm a sucker for soap anniversary shows. Anyway, some observations from an extremely casual fan. I hope I'm not offensive:
1. General Hospital's premiere episode was surprisingly intriguing to me. Heavy on character, light on plot which is the way I usually like my stories. It actually had me wanting to see the next episode and see what happened to the charcters. Unfortunately, there was a 15-year gap in what we saw on SoapNet. I have a suspicion that the 60s and early 70s(the "missing" years) were pretty awesome storytelling. They were for most soaps during that time period.
2. This will probably be very unpopular among GH fans: I think the Luke/Laura storyline kind of killed daytime soaps. A lot of people blame women going to work and the OJ trial and various other things for being the death of daytime soaps but I really pin the start of it to the Luke and Laura storyline. Ironically, the Luke and Laura wedding storyline brought in the biggest ratings to daytime drama ever, but it started a trend with the campy stories(the Cassadines, the Ice Princess or whatever, etc.) that pushed daytime soaps into a realm of campy, silly, unrealistic storytelling that had each soap trying to outdo each other with the camp in order to get the big ratings that Luke and Laura got. Character-driven, realistic(albeit melodramatic), storytelling got pushed to the wayside on most soaps to the point where years later we had clones, aliens, demon-possessed people, time travel, etc. People tuned out in large part to the absurdity of the storylines.
3. Having said that, I'm actually a fan of camp and I liked watching the wedding episode again. I haven't seen it since it originally aired. I honestly remembered nothing about it except Scotty catching the bouquet but I remember that very vividly. This was before VCRs and I saw that it originally aired in November. I must have pretended to be sick like every other person on that day in 1981! It was great seeing characters I haven't seen in decades. I always liked Lesley. The actress and the character. Whatever happened to them both?
4. I loved the character of Amy! She always kind of bugged me as a kid, but I really liked watching her as an adult and I wish I would have seen more of her. I was very happy that they gave a nod to her and Jessie at the nurse's ball.
5. I think I could watch Steve, Audrey, and(to a lesser extent) Jessie all day long. What likeable characters!
6. Watching the anniversary episodes is very disturbing for someone who hasn't watched since the early 80s. I didn't have the time to gradually get used to the plastic surgery changes over the years like long-term fans did.
7. Elizabeth Taylor's scenes at Luke and Laura's wedding were bizarre. I think she was only paid for five minutes of work. They just stood her by a door and had her give three or four 1940s-style Nora Desmond dramatic expressions. I think she may have had one line and didn't interact with anyone. What was the point? Did she have a camera crew come over to her house and film this in her bedroom?
8. I'm sorry, but I just didn't buy Luke and Laura as a couple. First of all, I can't get over the fact that he raped her. Secondly, the actor seems very homosexual. Especially back in the early 80s. I'm not sure if Anthony Geary is gay and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that if he is, I'm just saying that there seemed to be more sexual tension between Luke and Scotty than Luke and Laura. Of course, that could have been the time period. Everybody seemed a little gay in the late 70s/early 80s.
9. The Alan/Monica/Rick/Leslie storyline was so good that I still remember it after all these years. That was some good storytelling!
10. Although I haven't watched, I've semi-followed the course of the show over the years. It made me sad when they drifted away from the original premise of the hospital and got mob-centric. It always makes me sad when soaps neglect vets and core families. However, GH was never about that as much as it was about the hospital. It seems like GH lost it's way when it drifted from the hospital. They seemed to get back to that. At least for this week. That was nice to see.
Edited by mochilero, Apr 6, 2013 @ 2:13 AM.