Deep Soap: Stars Return to ‘General Hospital’ and ‘Bold & the Beautiful’

Robin Mattson. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

Break out your legwarmers. “General Hospital” is bringing the 1980s back. Robin Mattson, who played bad girl Heather Weber from 1980 to 1983, is returning to Port Charles in late March. Heather is Steve’s (Scott Reeves) mother.  Their relationship is less than loving. She sold him on the black market when he was a baby, then secured a job as the nanny for the family that purchased him, among her many other crimes. Heather returned to GH in 2004, conned Edward into marrying her and plotted to murder him for his money, before being declared insane.  This time, she is sure to stir of trouble for Steve and Olivia.

Mattson joins other returning stars from the show’s 1980s golden era, including Tristan Rogers, Finola Hughes and Emma Samms. Mattson is one of those rare actors who has played iconic roles on multiple shows. She has legions of fans from her years playing Gina on “Santa Barbara” and Janet on “All My Children.”

Joanna Johnson is making a brief return to “The Bold & the Beautiful.”  Her character, Karen Spencer, will bring her never before mentioned twenty something daughter Caroline (Linsey Gofrey) to Los Angeles and help her secure an internship at Forrester Creations. Caroline is named after Karen’s deceased twin sister, who was Ridge’s first love.  The identity of Caroline’s father has not been revealed, though B&B’s publicist claims that he is not anyone currently on the canvas. Caroline is Bill’s (Don Diamont) neice and Liam’s (Scott Clifton) cousin. Based on her age, she could end up being a love interest for Thomas (Adam Gregory) or Marcus (Texas Battle) or, if Steffy’s (Jacqueline Woods) love for Spencers has no gender restriction, Steffy.

Box of Disappointment

It should be a rule that the longer a secret is kept, the more explosive it is. For months “Days of Our Lives” Hope (Kristian Alfonso)  and Bo (Peter Reckell) have been investigating the secret connection between the saintly, deceased Alice and the evil Stefano (Joseph Mascalo). There have been weeks of breathless talk about what could be inside Alice’s safe deposit box. Stefano warned them that if they continued their investigation, countless lives would be ruined. Then, once the box was located, there were two days of Hope and Bo agonizing about whether or not they should open the envelope that they spent months trying to find. At this point, I was hoping it would turn out that Alice and Stefano to be partners in an international drug ring in which cocaine was disguised as the powdered sugar on Alice’s famous donuts. That would have been shocking. Instead, the secret was that John (Drake Hogestyn) and Hope are still legally married. (They were briefly together when Stefano brainwashed Hope into believing she was Princess Gina, jewel thief.) The consequences of this: as far as I can tell, filling out their income taxes will be more complicated this year. The two supercouples, John and Marlena and Hope and Bo, have both remarried numerous times since then. There is no lingering attraction between John and Hope. So what if two couples who thought that they were legally married are now only married in spirit? Millions of gay couples make it work. According to spoilers, John and Hope will find their lives complicated due to the Aremid divorce laws. First of all, since all four live in Salem now it shouldn’t matter. Second, why not just ignore the information and continue living together without a piece of paper?  As many times as both couples have divorced and remarried, the legal aspects of their relationships seem completely irrelevant. This storyline, which started out with so much potential has turned out to be both ridiculous and anti-climactic.

Two Quick Happy Endings

General Hospital” is in clean-up mode. New headwriter Ron Carlivati’s first episode airs February 16th. This week marked the end of two of the shows worst stories — and of the poorly written villains who drove them. Sam (Kelly Monaco) learned that Jason (Steve Burton) not Franco (James Franco) is the father of her unborn child. It’s ridiculous that a plot about a woman who was possibly raped on her honeymoon A) was written in the first place and B) became a who’s the daddy storyline, with the emphasis on Jason’s anger that somebody else touched his woman, not about the woman’s trauma. But Sam got good news from her doctor, and Jason killed Franco, so it appears that this awful plot will never be mentioned again. We’ll never learn whether Sam was actually raped or merely drugged by Franco, but I am more than okay than that.

Even better, Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) exit storyline will not have her dying of AIDS or abandoning her family. The third new medication protocol she tried after her HIV protocol stopped working proved to be the charm. A character who has been part of the show for nearly 30 years, whose groundbreaking HIV positive diagnosis inspired a generation of real life women to practice safe sex and get tested, will not die because a psychopath switched her medication with placebos off camera. If Robin’s problems with her medication had just been presented as a routine issue that many patients deal with, it could have been educational. Unfortunately, HIV medication is not like taking a multivitamin, and requires constant management and adjustments. But having a crazy woman murder Robin by turning her disease into a weapon was as insulting to the show’s long time viewers as Luke’s constant statements that his marriage to Laura was an oppressive prison. Robin got the good news realistically, albeit without much drama, when she saw the results of her medical tests. Watch her share her joy with Patrick (Jason Thompson), and you’ll actually smile while watching GH.

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

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