Deep Soap: Why Does GH Lack Cliffhangers?

Dominic Zamprogna on GH (ABC)

Dominic Zamprogna on GH (ABC)

Why Has ‘General Hospital’ Jettisoned Cliffhangers?

Friday’s ‘One Life to Live‘ ended with Eli (Matt Walton) blowing up a warehouse with numerous people inside.  Yes, I will be tuning in Monday to make sure that everyone but the actor whose departure has already been announced will be fine.  ‘The Young & The Restless‘ ended with Victor catching Nikki in bed with Deacon — and Nikki unaware that she did not actually have sex with the bartender who is conspiring with her assistant to ruin her life.   I am actually looking forward to Monday morning so I can see the fallout.

General Hospital‘ ended with Sonny (Maurice Benard) offhandedly observing that Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) was looking at a photo of Brenda (Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo) in a magazine.  Tune in Monday to see if Dante gets a paper cut!  Why, if Sonny learns that while working for the NYPD Dante briefly served as Brenda’s security guard several years ago, he might be appalled that the taxpayers were stuck with the bill for a celebrity’s personal security?  Actually, he’d be grateful that his son took good care of the Love of His Life.  Since the most dramatic aspect of the drawn out Dante and Brenda flashbacks so far is an exhaustion related fainting spell, I figure it will be another month until we find out whet their Big Secret is — and that it will turn out to be medium sized.

This has been happening a lot on GH lately.  Episodes do not end so much as stop.  I am not entirely sure that they’re over until my DVR asks me if I’d like to delete the episode.  I find it baffling.

It’s not as though there were not some potentially dramatic scenarios in Friday’s episode.  It began with Carly (Laura Wright) kissing Jason (Steve Burton) — a playoff of an actual cliffhanger in Thursday’s episode — because she was convinced that sleeping with Jason was the perfect way to make Jax (Ingo Rademacher) jealous, which would somehow keep Jax away from Brenda.  The laws of soap operas dictate that Jason’s girlfriend Sam (Kelly Monaco) should have walked in on them and misinterpreted the moment, or that Brenda would have caught them in the act and raised hell.  Instead, Brenda did not show up until after Jason had talked Carly out of her latest hare-brained scheme.  They had a thirty second tiff because Brenda overheard Carly accuse her of planning to go after Jax, “like a heat seeking missile.”   A true confrontation between these two women could have been a great way to end the episode, but instead it was over in one scene so viewers could be treated to the excitement of Spinelli worshipping  Brenda  and Claire accusing Carly of trying to get her and Sonny back together.  It’s not as exciting as it sounds.

Watch Full Episodes Of ‘General Hospital’ On XfinityTV

Why is ABC’s flagship soap not even trying to gives viewers a reason to tune in tomorrow?  I truly would like to know.  Is the show just complacent because it knows that its future is not in jeopardy? Have last minute, network-dictated story changes left the writers scrambling?  Or does everyone think that just having Brenda, Sonny, and Jax on screen with some promise that eventually something interesting will happen when the Balkan comes to town is enough?  Ending episodes on a moment of suspense, however small or lame, is an important part of the soap genre.  Without cliffhangers, GH just seems like it is not even attempting to be interesting or exciting.

Y&R’s Nikki and Deacon Make Falling of the Wagon Sexy

Speaking of cliffhangers, if wanting ‘The Young & The Restless’s’ Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) to dump Victor (Eric Braeden)  for Deacon (Sean Kanan) is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Yes, Deacon is part of an evil scheme to ruin Nikki and Victor’s relationship and is helping Meggie (Sean Young) turn Nikki into a drunk.  But many soap romances have began with one character conning another.  Nikki has not had this much chemistry with a man since the short-lived Nikki and Bobby flirtation several years ago.  Deacon is sexy slime. (I love that Y&R’s set decorators decided he was living in room 13 to highlight that he is bad news.)   Victor is just slime.

Over the years, Victor has cheated on Nikki and belittled her intellect.  In the past two years alone, he has lured a psychopath with plastic surgery to Genoa City for the express purpose of getting revenge on a business rival, bribed a Japanese government official, had his daughter arrested on her wedding day, and taken money from his children’s trust funds to pay a fine.  He doesn’t have much of a moral high ground.

The contrast between Victor, searching for a missing Nikki in his Relaxed Fit jeans, and the younger, virile Deacon was immense.  Agewise, Nikki is about halfway between the two men.  She looks great with Deacon. It is believable that he would be genuinely attracted to the curvy blonde.  The two actually have a lot in common. They are both alcoholics from the wrong side of the tracks who have worked hard to fit in with the upper crust.  After all of the times Victor has dated women young enough to be his daughters, it is only fair that Nikki gets to be a cougar.  I hope that eventually this storyline will build to a turning point where Deacon will realize he has developed real feelings for Nikki and turn against Meggie.  I also hope that Y&R has the courage to do the unexpected and write a real romance for the two of them instead of just having Victor rescue Nikki from Deacon’s clutches and resume their dull life together.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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