Deep Soap: ‘General Hospital’ Resurrects Robin; ‘Young & the Restless’ Resurrects Classic Storyline

Kimberly McCullough plays Robin on "General Hospital." (ABC)

Reports of Robin Scorpio’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

You can’t keep a Scorpio down. The big soap plot news this week is that “General Hospital’s” Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) is alive and on the way to being well. The writers gave themselves an out with Robin’s body being burned beyond recognition.  Monday’s episode ended with a cut between Patrick (Jason Thompson) scattering what he believed were Robin’s ashes to Robin in a hospital bed, her skin surprisingly great considering that she was supposedly blown up when the lab she was working in exploded. Tuesday, we learned that she was fine mentally, though too weak to walk. She had no idea where she was. A nasty nurse gave her an injection before she came face to face with the actual person who somehow got her out of the lab and brought her to what is, as of now, an undisclosed location. She had a flash of recognition, though the audience did not see who it was. The most obvious suspect is Faison, who made everyone think her parents, Robert and Anna, were dead via an explosion in the 1990s. There have been persistent rumors that Anders Hove is negotiating to return to the show. Other possible suspects include Lisa, which is unlikely both due to Brianna Brown’s busy primetime career and the audience’s disinterest in her. The most interesting (and unlikely) speculation that I’ve read is that Robin is in the hands of “All My Children’s” Dr. David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) who brought back numerous characters from the dead shortly before the show’s finale.  David was paired romantically with Anna when she crossed over to AMC and they had a child who died shortly after she was born. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, headwriter Ron Carlivati reveals that Robin’s death via Maxie’s purse (sigh…) was already in the works when he joined the show, and the revelation that she was alive was his idea. Though it seems that we will not see much more of Robin unless McCullough decides to return to the show ,I definitely feel better knowing that she is alive. Also his idea, presumably, was keeping the plot twist under wraps, in contrast to the old school GH style of revealing detailed episode-by-episode spoilers weeks in advance.

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Three Stars Return to The Young & the Restless

It turns out there was a reason that Tristan Rogers return to “General Hospital” was disappointingly short. Soap Opera Weekly reports that he is returning to “The Young & the Restless” as Colin for what is deemed an “indefinite” length of time Perhaps the powers-that-be finally realized that he was the interesting Atkinson. Here’s hoping that Colin and Jill (Jess Walton) get a substantial storyline this time instead of an instant wedding.

Y&R is delving into its history with the return of Lauralee Bell (Christine) and Michael Damian (Danny.) This will be the first time both of these characters have been on the canvas at the same time since the 1990s. TVGuide reports that the two of them will both return in mid-May for a substantial story involving one of the show’s long dropped storylines, Phyllis’s attempting to run over Christine with her car, and hitting Paul (Doug Davidson) instead. I wonder if Ricky, annoyed that Phyllis is not giving him credit for his tabloid scoops at Restless Style, will dig up the evidence for revenge.

Days of Our Lives Takes the Slow Lane

Last week, I complained about “Days of Our Lives” poor use of returning cast members. I stand corrected. DOOL has good plans for its returning veterans, it just takes too long to reveal what they are. This week, we learned that Billie (Lisa Rinna) is actually working undercover to prove that the DiMeras framed John (Drake Hogestyn) for the pension thefts. We also learned that Stefano still is obsessed with Marlena and that Ian came to Salem to win Kate back, not to stop his wife, Madison, from becoming engaged to another man. Best of all, Sami (Alison Sweeney) and E.J.(James Scott) had scenes where they acknowledged their attraction to each other that portended more interaction. I bet that down the road, there will turn out to be a significant reason why Lucas returned to Salem.  Now, I am interested in the show for more than just Will’s (Chandler Massey)coming out saga.

I just wish the show had engaged me earlier. The reveal that Billie is working for the ISA should have happened at the end of her first episode. Sami and E.J. should have been having scenes together at least once a week since their grief sex. Madison (Sarah Brown) and Brady’s (Eric Marstolf)romance would have been interesting from day one if the audience had always known she was married to an older, powerful man that she feared. As much as fans complain about plot driven writing, character-driven scenes without any sense of the overall story lack drama. DOOL’s attempt to go back to its roots is the right idea, but that does not need to include a 1970s pace. Hitchcock argued that suspense, which occurs when the audience knows more information than the characters usually creates more narrative tension than surprise. (Yes, I loved the surprise that Robin was alive on GH, so there are exceptions to this rule.) In the 500 channel era. DOOL needs to give viewers a reason to invest in characters and storylines right away.

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

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