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The Mannings Take Port Charles By Storm
The “One Life to Live”/”General Hospital” mash up is, so far, proving to be a successful experiment. When Todd (Roger Howarth) and Blair (Kassie DePaiva) came face-to-face in the hospital hallway, I realized how much I had missed them. Their dialogue assured me that life in Llanview is still happening even though the cameras are no longer recording it. Everyone, including Todd, still thinks that Todd killed Victor. Everyone who loved Todd turned against him, and Blair got back together with Tomas. This is exactly what would have happened if the story had played out. My crazy theory is that Alison Perkins found Hope alive and well in a ravine, and is now holding both her and Victor. (It was never established where she and Victor were. Why not the outskirts of Port Charles?) I’m sticking to it until proven otherwise, since the Port Charles PD hasn’t even bothered to look for Hope and Cole’s bodies.
I was concerned about how the Mannings would fit into Port Charles. As much as I hate the decision to kill off Hope, it quickly connected them to the canvas. It gives Todd a motivation to declare revenge on Sonny, who he believes is responsible. If crazy Kate turns out to be the culprit, Todd, as the sibling of someone with DID, will be uniquely equipped to understand how it happened. Now that Howarth has signed a longterm deal with the show, I am eager to see how a villain who hates the mob fits into the canvas. DePaiva better be sticking around too. While Todd and Carly have proven to be entertaining co-conspirators, it would be gross to attempt to pair them romantically, given that their children Starr (Kristen Alderson) and Michael (Chad Duell) are clearly going to be paired together. The only college aged characters in Port Charles already have a complicated connection. She’s grateful that he attempted to save Hope, yet angry that he could not, and she, too, wants to pay Sonny back. Michael will be torn between his loyalty to his father and his urge to help Starr. It’s a thousand times more interesting that Michael and Abby were.
I am not sure how the Mannings play to viewers who did not watch OLTL. The dialogue about Tomas and Viki must have been confusing. The scenes of the Mannings together probably are not interesting, no matter how well acted and written they are. However, the previous headwriter Garin Wolf introduced just as many new characters, and they all flopped. I don’t think Ron Carlivati is attempting to turn GH into OLTL. He’s trying to save GH by bringing in a few characters with fan followings that will enhance the show. This crossover reminds me of the greatest soap crossover of them all, when Sheila (Kimberlin Brown) moved from “The Young & the Restless” to “The Bold & the Beautiful.” That storyline dramatically, permanently improved B&B’s ratings. Let’s hope this crossover brings back enough viewers to GH to keep the show on the air for another year.
Hope Finally Has Sex, Earth Fails to Move
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It seems fitting that “The Bold & the Beautiful’s” Hope (Kimberly Matula) finally lost her virginity — a plot point that has taken up more airtime than Robin Scorpio’s death and Will Horton realizing he’s gay combined — the day before International Woman’s Day. For Hope has proclaimed herself a role model for young girls, who allegedly are inspired to not have sex by wearing her line of clothes, yet she is the precise opposite of an empowered woman. She has spent what seems like decades fighting with her rival for a man. She decided to have sex with Liam (Scott Clifton) not because she changed her mind about the evils of pre-marital sex, but because she’s scared that she will lose him again if she makes him wait six months for his divorce to be final.
The deflowering (hey, it seems like a word Hope would use) scenes were camp classics, as Hope put on a symbolic white nightgown for the occasion. As she and Liam got down to business, she was tormented by flashbacks of Steffy (Jacqueline Woods) telling her that if she slept with Liam, she would be committing adultery. Her thoughts of Steffy during her big moment lend credence to my “Hope is a repressed lesbian” theory. Afterwards, as they lay in bed disappointed, after the less than amazing sex, it was easy to imagine cartoon thought bubbles floating above their head. Liam: “Who is responsible for the cultural myth that sex with virgins is hot? She had no idea what she was doing!” Hope: “This was nothing like “Twilight!”
Young women with sexual hang ups — have long been a staple of the Bell shows. As a teenager, “The Young & the Restless” Victoria (then Heather Tom) was so traumatized after being caught having sex with her slightly older boyfriend that she became frigid — and attempted to cure her hang ups by posing nude for a magazine. “The Bold & the Beautiful’s” Caroline (Joanna Johnson) was a twenty-something virgin until she was raped. Y&R’s Christine (Lauralee Bell) was even more annoying than Hope in her quest to be the posterchild for virginity. These characters, like early Britney Spears, sexualize abstinence. However, because they aren’t making ridiculously catchy dance hits, a substantial portion of the audience ends up rooting for their “slutty” nemesis by default because they aren’t self-righteous and are capable of talking about something other than the sex that they are not having.
What sets this story apart is the rest of the characters on the show obsession with Hope’s virginity. The rest of the Forresters are practically speculating on what Hope’s favorite sexual position will turn out to be. Imagine these sort of conversations happening in your family. I laughed out loud when Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) dropped by to ask Hope to describe the loss of her virginity in graphic detail and Hope burst into tears. I think most of the audience is on the verge of crying because this story will never, ever end.