Six things that keep me tuning in to General Hospital
Gallery: General Hospital-6 Reasons to Watch
1) The Mob - Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is like Michael Corleone; in fact, his real name is Michael! Sonny rules Port Charles (which may or may not be Buffalo, New York) and his number one enforcer is Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). They're always fighting to protect their territory (currently going up against the Zacchara family) and they've both survived all kinds of assassination attempts. If you're the type of person who watches The Godfather (and The Godfather, Part 2) every time you see it on TV -- like me -- you'll like GH's whole Godfather vibe.
2) Big Events - When other shows do big events, it'll usually be a party or a ball, and GH has had its share of those. However, at least once a year headwriter Bob Guza writes a story in which things blow up (or like they used to say on SCTV, "Blow up real good!") There was a train derailment, a blown-up building, and a pseudo-24 hostage crisis done in real time (16 hours in 16 episodes). This year they used CGI to send a car over a cliff. For daytime action, GH is the show to watch.
3) Interesting Men - On soaps, you sort of expect certain types of heroes and villains. There are at least a few guys on General Hospital that don't fit the mold; they're more interesting. Kin Shriner's Scott Baldwin has always been a complicated mess of a man: funny, troubled, evil and watchable. Jerry Jacks, as played by Sebastian Roche, is a villain that Hitchcock could love -- smart, twisted, erudite. You haven't seen anyone quite like him on daytime. On the other side of the coin, there's the Jackal, a.k.a. Damian Spinelli (Bradford Anderson). He's a cyber-geek with a vocabulary all his own, but if you blink you might think he's an elf or a leprechaun. Like I said, interesting men are found on GH.
4) Remembering the Past - All soaps say they honor their past. Some are better than others when it comes to keeping track of who's on the show now and who's gone and completely forgotten. GH has sinned in some ways, but they're pretty good at remembering that Robin (Kimberly McCullough) is HIV-positive and got it from Stone Cates. Her mother and father -- super spies Robert and Anna Scorpio -- actually come back now and then to visit. The Quartermaine family never forgets matriarch Lila, even though she's been dead for years. And to this day, Laura Spencer (Genie Francis) is an important character. Luke, Lucky and Lulu never let the audience forget that Laura is institutionalized with a mental illness that's incurable.
5) Feisty Women - There are many great female characters around the dial, and General Hospital seems to specialize in the feisty, fiery hellion. Carly Corinthos Jax (Laura Wright) epitomizes the up-from-the-gutter variation of this type; she's been a bitch-on-wheels and a beloved heroine, often both at the same time. At the other end of the spectrum is Tracey Quartermaine (Jane Eliot). She's a blue-blood who has had every advantage, and she's a real piece of work -- a hard-to-handle woman who is the ultimate ballbuster. A recent addition has also added spice to the females on the canvas: big mama, tough-as-nails nurse Epiphany Johnson (Sonya Eddy), who everyone knows not to mess with.
6) Luke Spencer - Anthony Geary is a great actor...on General Hospital. He may never do another thing in his career to match this iconic character, and even after all these years, he's still damn brilliant at Lucas Lorenzo Spencer. There's a good reason he's won five Emmys as Luke. No matter how inane the plots have been at times, he's always pulled off his part of the story and made viewers care about this man. Any day Geary is on is a day worth watching.