Hi. My name is Tenillypo, and I have a problem: I can’t stop watching General Hospital.
I can’t stop watching it even though it’s an absolutely terrible excuse for a show, a traditional soap opera in name only, and generally irritates me to the point of rage on a daily basis. I can’t stop watching it even though I loathe most of the characters and believe the writing staff at this point has to be either actively trying to suck or so grossly incompetent that they may possibly have been replaced by a team of llamas at some point in the last five years. Brain damaged llamas addicted to crack.
But here’s the thing: I can’t cut General Hospital out of my life any more than I could shut the door on a deranged family member who’s fallen on hard times and always shows up at Christmas drunk and asking for money. I’ve watched this show for about sixteen years now, through Dominique’s death, BJ’s heart, and Stone’s last sight. I held my breath through Monica’s battle with cancer, and laughed at Lucy losing her dress fifteen times a night at the Nurse’s Ball. I sighed when Karen and Jagger finally reunited, Jason carried Robin off the stage, and Brenda and Sonny made out on the beach in Puerto Rico. I watched Laura defending her home with a shotgun, back when random mob violence still felt shocking and meaningful. I fell in love with early Liz and Jason, and held doggedly onto that couple even after the writers did everything they could think of to ruin them. I gasped at Clink/Boom. I cried at Lucky Spencer’s funeral.
Now I cry when I see the core families devastated by senseless deaths and beloved veterans tossed off screen and brought back as comic relief. I despair to see the hospital reduced to a place where mobsters get patched up between bouts of endless misogyny and repetitive violence. These days, the show isn’t just bad. It’s not just stupid. It’s boring. And that’s perhaps the worst crime of all.
But by God, Port Charles and the stupid, boring, awful people who live there are part of my life, for better or for worse. Since it’s been far more worse than better for far too long now (and far worse than I could ever have dreamed possible), ranting on the internet is the only way to stay sane. So, welcome to the winter of my discontent with ABC Daytime and everything they’ve done to a once great soap, now diminished, sad, and entertaining only to hate.
If you, too, can find solace only in mocking the current state of affairs in Port Charles: welcome. Join us in pain.