Some choice quotes:
“The vagueness of the story has somewhat amused me. There are no real specifics here. Holly says one thing then another. Luke wants to be the father but he’s rather challenged when it comes to parenting skills. I mean, it’s a hard sell when it comes to being an engaging story.”
Substitute “annoyed” for “amused” and that’s pretty much where I’m at with this story. When Luke finally — FINALLY — brought up the possibility of a mail-away DNA test the other day, all I could do was roll my eyes in exhaustion. Any possible drama from the revelation has already been leached out of this story by the hoops they’ve had to jump through to keep Ethan’s paternity in question.
“I mean GH doesn’t garner much interest at any level these days. The fact that this would ignite controversy and get the boards posting and this would in turn get people watching had to be a prime factor in this story moving ahead. Whether this is reflected in the ratings is hard to tell. As long as the fans are watching, I doubt that TPTB care what they say or think.”
I think there’s a good chance he’s correct about the motivations for setting this story in motion. What the GH Powers That Be continually fail to recognize, however, is that while controversy may get people tuning in for a day or two, they’re not going to stick around if the rest of the show is complete crap. With the exception of Robin’s satisfying (if completely unrealistic) return from therapy, there is literally nothing appealing about the current story lines on General Hospital. Why on Earth would a jaded long time viewer tuning back into the show out of outrage or curiosity over this retcon want to keep watching once they saw how utterly boring and stupid every single story is?
But Tristan really says it best:
“But I feel the backlash has more to do with the on-going failure of the show rather than indignation of the messing with history….again. If the show was making the grade with stories that hooked people in, I doubt there would have been the uproar. But when you see your favorite show constantly going in directions that are counter to what a large portion of the fans want, then it gives them another reason to scream.
Can I get an “amen, brother!”
“The constant drop in ratings over the last three or more years has picked up because the ‘foundational viewer’ sees nothing to engage or compel them to watch. They have no investment in any of the new characters, and can’t relate to the stories. Why would they watch? At some point, all of those viewers will be gone and the show will have noting to support it.”
I have nothing to add to this but a slow clap of appreciation. Mr. Rogers? I salute you, sir.
I think what I hate most about this Ethan story line is that, as is so often the case on this show, there have been so many missed opportunites where it could actually have been good.
I wasn’t in love with Nathan Parsons at first. And his marblemouthed delivery and greasy hair still make me twitch. But when they allow him to interact with characters other than Luke and Tracy, I can see potential there for a compelling character. Ethan’s hurt and anger with Holly rang very true, and his genuine eagerness and vulnerability with Robin charmed me more than a little. Plus, now that they’ve toned down the smugness and contrived animosity with Lulu, I think the two of them have more potential romantic chemistry than she’s had in any of her numerous prior failed pairings.
All of which is to say: there is room for this guy on the canvas. As Robert Scorpio’s child, we could have had a promising love interest for Lulu, a new family member for Robin to interact with, and — if done carefully — a retcon that respected and expanded GH history.
Of course we can’t have that!
Then there’s Luke and Lucky. What ought to have been the focal point of the drama — Lucky’s continuing disillusionment with his father vs. Luke’s inability to accept the way his son has chosen to live a very different lifestyle from his own — has instead been completely pushed to the side.
It drives me batty to hear Luke whining that he has no idea when he and Lucky grew so far apart. Hello, rape reveal! Not to mention that hilarious year that Lucky spent imprisoned and brainwashed at the hands of one of Luke’s enemies. (Oh, how we laughed, right Luke?) The reasons for the gradual rift between these two are not at all mysterious. They also haven’t ever really been dealt with in a meaningful way by the text — and that’s where the drama now really lies. So, naturally, the writers are ignoring that background almost entirely.
Then there’s Luke’s claim that he wants Ethan to be his son because he likes the idea of having a child who wants to learn from him — I’m sorry, is Lulu invisible? Because the last time I checked, her central arc with Luke since being SORASed into a young adult has been resenting his disinterest while desperately seeking his attention and approval. If Luke wants a child to look up to him and learn at his knee, then all he has to do is start paying attention to one of the ones he already has. If he wants a son to look up to him, well…that’s another “Guza is a misogynist hack” rant in the making, isn’t it?
The end result is that this story fails to engage or entertain on just about every level. Shocking, I’m sure. But, no, I’m sure this will be the one that brings all those lapsed viewers back.
After all, nothing says “ratings” like disrespecting your audience’s intelligence and spitting on their beloved memories of a time when the show didn’t have to rely on cheap stunts to create drama!