Wednesday, 8 October 2014

General Hospital

I was doing my laundry the other day, in the communal laundry room at my complex. There’s a large room there that can be reserved for large group functions by any of the residents, or, if empty, used while waiting for the laundry to be done.

Rather than walk back home for the hour of dryer time, I come prepared with a book or my crocheting to while away the time. Sometimes I meet a neighbour and make it social time.

There’s a television in the common room but it only has basic cable service and I realize when I’m there that most of the stations I watch are not in the basic listing. So there I was, all by myself and not in the mood to read with an hour to kill. I ran through the available stations twice before settling on General Hospital, for old time’s sake.

I remember being a serious fan of this show when my daughter was in her teens and early twenties. We would watch the show together, talking about characters as if they were real people. After all, we invested and hour a day to follow their lives, they were like friends and neighbours.

Just in case you don’t know, General Hospital is an American based daytime drama, commonly called a soap opera that is based on the loves, lives and fortunes of the people of the fictional town of Port Charles, New York. It’s the longest running drama, in production, on television today, premiering in 1963.

For awhile, I’ll admit, I gave up on General Hospital and watched As the World Turns. Maybe it was the time slot, maybe the characters, who knows. This was also a long running show, having been 54 years in production before it was cancelled in 2010.

The reason I mention As the World Turns is that it was the cause of much confusion for me that day I was watching television in the common room.

I was lost in the current story lines, but recognized many of the characters.

Sonny, who is head of the mobster/crime Corrinthos family, and his right hand man, Jason. As I watched a bandaged and injured Jason was being transported by his old friend, Robin, to the hospital. It’s my understanding that everyone back in Port Charles has believed for 2 years that Jason is dead. Somehow it’s all Helena’s fault, as she’s been the resident evil queen for decades.

Robin talked about her husband Patrick, so why then was he with Sam, who was Jason’s ex. What the hell had happened in the years Jason was gone, I wondered. And what had happened in the more than fifteen years since I was a regular viewer.

Carly, Sonny’s ex-wife and on again/off again lover is currently on again with him, or so her current husband/live-in lover/fiancé? believes. His name is Franco and he has been an on again/off again character for many years, the role originally played by James Franco who has moved on to other things.

This is where I got confused. It was a few minutes before they called the character by name, so I was thrown back to what I remembered about this character, and then they called him Franco, which didn’t fit at all. I realized I was remembering him for his previous role of Paul Ryan from As the World Turns, not his current role as Franco.

At any rate, Franco thinks Carly is sleeping with Sonny, and he’s angry, needing to know for sure.

Then the scene changed and there was a blonde woman, Ava, supposedly pregnant though she didn’t appear to be. A couple of Sonny’s thugs arrive to take her to Sonny when she doubles over in pain. Oh, the drama. Funny thing is this actress is also a transplant from As the World Turns. In that show her name was Carly Tenney Munson Dixon Snyder Lowe Snyder.

And that alone tells you what soap operas are all about. Tales of the trials and tribulations of a small town, stories of love found, love lost, love lost and found over and over again, with the added spice of some sex, some intrigue, some adventure and you have an hour of television to take your mind off your own set of woes. Unless your woes are about a cheating spouse, evil matriarchs, mobsters and the day to day happenings of the hospital and its patients and staff.

The buzzer sounded for the completion of my dryer’s cycle so I turned the TV off and left them to it. I’m more of a crime junkie, thank goodness there’s such a thing as syndication to save me from talk shows and daytime drama.

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