An Open Letter To Those Responsible For Bringing Us Our New & Improved GH…
To: All Those Involved In The Recently New and Improved General Hospital,
From: A Loyal Fan, Dedicated To Doing Her Part In Keeping Our Soaps On Air
First, I want to thank you; all of you. Thank you for getting it so right! General Hospital has been everything I watch soaps for…it has been am escape, it has been uplifting, it has been drama and adventure, romance, and as of late, it has been Love in the Afternoon.
For several months, we were worried about our beloved soap. It was frustrating, it was hard to understand, and even harder to stay interested in. Yet, I tuned in and watched, and blogged about it just about every day. Why? Loyalty.
I want you to know that I hung in there when our stories seemed to be missing pieces, and when our characters all seemed to systematically suffer from amnesia spontaneously, and without warning. I held on during those long weeks when everyone on the canvas was talking about Brenda or The Balkan, or both, even when both names made me break out in hives. Why? Dedication.
I believe in positive reinforcement. It was the premise on which I began this blog almost two years ago. I believed that if I could get just one other person here and there to turn their negative reactions into positive interactions with all of you behind the scenes at GH, then we could make a difference. Since October 2009, we have committed to call in, write in, email, tweet, and take to facebook to let you know what we want more of. That sounds like a long time ago, and during the first few months of Brenda’s return it seemed like eons, since we felt as though no one was listening, but we still held on.
Over the past few days, you have made me a stronger believer than ever in positive reinforcement! You really have been listening! Our Port Charles is starting to look familiar again. There is marked balance in the storylines and in the screen time some characters get, and everyone seems to have found their connection to everyone else in our favorite harbor town!
What we are most thrilled about is that Jason and Sam have finally gotten their own story, and Steven and Kelly have finally been given the kind of material that allows them both to shine!
I have been feeling so proud to be a General Hospital fan as of late, and judging from all of the readers I hear from, I am not alone! There really is nothing as satisfying as having your faith in something pay off. So, we thank you!
Thank you, Mr. Frons, Ms. Sweeney, and Mr. Guza! Thank you for handing down a story arc that feels new and different, while still familiar, and something that would allow your actors to remind us why they are the best on daytime. Thank you for remembering so much of Jason and Sam’s history, and for showing us not just the wonderful things that have stayed the same – such as Jason being Sam’s rock, but also for showing us the things that have changed – such as the fact that this time, Alexis and Jason each respect and honor their places in Sam’s life, and are working together while staying by her side. It just shows how far each of them have come in their relationships, and what can happen when everyone is motivated by love! What a great thing to rush home to every afternoon!
Also, we want to thank you for remembering something none of us will ever forget, and that’s the connectedness of everyone in Port Charles. Soap fans will always expect people in a small community to be affected by the things that happen there. It was great that everyone, from Sam’s sisters to Luke and The Quartermaines, to the detectives at the PCPD, were all talking about what happened to Sam; and not just what didn’t happen to Brenda. (FINALLY!) I loved that Michael told Morgan that Jason wouldn’t leave Sam’s side, and I loved that Lucky showed up to check on Sam, and even that he would offer Jason insight on a woman they have both loved. That made sense because Sam and Lucky, just like Jason and Lucky, have reached a comfort level in their relationship that resembles friendship. Thanks for not forgetting those kinds of details!
I have been a soap fan for a very long time, and I remember reading something years ago about the Young and The Restless that I’ve never forgotten. The article stated that Y&R was Number 1 because they never failed to provide a map to its viewers showing the connections within Genoa City. I felt that GH did that over these past few days in Port Charles. I, and every new viewer, got a chance to see that Jason and Sam have connections in Port Charles that run deeper than the mob and each other. We are headed in the right direction!
The other thing that made me hopeful is that I don’t care how much danger and adventure we all love, the reason we still run home form work, DVR, and tune into daytime television still is for the Romance. Love in the Afternoon still holds the same appeal to us all! We all want to watch characters that feel more like family than fictional figures fall in love, and even occasionally STAY in love! Sure, there are struggles, and of course there will always be angst, but for failed relationships none of us can believe or have hope in, we need look no further than reality TV or a talk show. Who needs more of that?
Deeply buried under cynicism and jaded views on romance, there is, I strongly believe, a hopeless romantic in every soap viewer. One who believes that love can still conquer all. Sure, not every couple works out forever, but what a great thing when the really great couples do. It does still happen in real life, and it should still happen in soap life!
Wasn’t that the magical draw of Luke and Laura before contracts became an issue? They made huge mistakes, forgave, accepted, and loved each other, all while taking us all on a wild and wonderful ride! So many of us really believe you have struck that kind of gold again…in Jason and Sam.
That brings me to my next thank you. Thank you to whomever made the decision, not just the first time, but this last time, to bring the sparkle to our screens in the form of Jason and Sam. Many of us knew from that first meeting at the PCPD back in 2003 that Jason and Sam were perfection, but obviously others needed more time. We want to thank the persons who first pitched the idea of moving Sam from Sonny’s orbit to Jason’s, those who put together that first story arc that gave us the amazing story of Sam’s baby loss, and those who have worked to bring us every story since. Most of all, we want to thank those who gave us back our Jason and Sam, and gave GH back it’s wow factor after that devastating breakup that never felt right.
Our nest thank you is for the fabulous script writers, like the talented Michele Val Jean, Tracey Thomson, Mary Sue Price, Nathan Fissell, Dave Goldschmidt, Karen Harris (whose last script we recently enjoyed), and anyone else on that writing team whose name I am not privy to. Thank you for writing the moments that make us cry, and the moments that make us smile. Thanks for writing the moments that remind us of the past we never want to forget, and thank you even for writing the moments that make the past easier to recall. I cannot even count the number of times where something you’ve written in the present has healed an old hurt from the past. That’s part of the magic of soaps, but you all are the best magicians! Thank you for writing each character as a person that someone will connect with, understand, love, and accept. Whether they are our heroes or our resident evil, each character is so unique and so uniquely General Hospital. We just want you to know that has never escaped our notice. Most of all, thank you for writing a stone-cold hitman exterior to our favorite heart of gold. We love that past the chilling stare, Jason is vulnerable, romantic, and even kinda kinky. Thank you also creating his soul mate in the form of a tough as she is tiny ex-con who made the worst of mistakes, sometimes for the best reasons, and still managed to steal Jason’s heart – and ours. How can anyone not love the fact that the couple with the longest rap sheets are probably the most decent citizens in Port Charles?
Of course, what kind of a thank you would this be if I didn’t thank the incredible Steve Burton and the phenomenal Kelly Monaco for giving us the most believable couple of my soap watching history? As someone who has been a fan of Lance and Laurie, Josh and Reva, Victor and Nikki, Ridge and Brooke, and all of those other huge “supercouples”, I often marvel at the fact that so late in my soap-watching experience, I seem to have found the couple I am most invested in!
And I’m not alone. So many of my friends here on Bella Mafia have been lifelong soap viewers like me. We often recall the moments where we learned some of Life’s hardest lessons on tough topics like infidelity, addictions, rape, and loss, not from our own experiences, but from the experiences of those characters we loved, and loved to watch on our favorite soaps. Novices we are not. We know great chemistry and believability when we see it, and Steve and Kelly bring both to their roles and to every scene as Jason and Sam. We thank them for giving us a couple to root for, believe in, fight for, and invest in. In this era where soaps are being called a dying genre, that is quite a feat!
Lastly, I want to thank all of the actors on General Hospital who provide a healthy outlet for so many of our emotions. Whether we love them or love to hate them, General Hospital makes us feel. Whether it’s joy or anger, frustration or satisfaction, it’s been a rare day lately when we can walk away not feeling something. Every time an actor makes us react, they are doing exactly what they get paid to do. The fact that General Hospital’s actors do that so often is a testament to all of the talent they are lucky enough to have.
I am excited about today’s episode of General Hospital. It gives so many of us something to look forward to, something to share, and something that makes us all part of this fantastic family called Soap Fans! Thank you, GH for introducing me to all these great people I may never have met if not for our common love of Jason and Sam, or our shared fondness of Port Charles!
I owe you…and intend to pay up with my continued loyalty and support of this thing you all call “work.”
THIS DAY IN JASAM HISTORY
2008: http://bit.ly/gi6wsY Watch and listen to Jason’s reaction to realizing that Diego has Sam! OMG! And…even when Max only mentions seeing Liz with Diego, Jason says, “He’s got Sam!” He wsa so singleminded about Sam! And (this was in the middle of the big Jiz fiasco!)
2007: http://bit.ly/gp7xHA Really, really great scenes for Kelly here! Not just with Jason, who licks his lips so sutely after Sam kisses him, but with Alexis (they talk about Sam not being able to have children and forgiveness, but also with Edward) Kelly is an OUTSTANDING actress! I love it when they give her great stuff to work with!
Make it a COMMITMENT to keep asking The Writers to keep adding to the FABULOSITY that is JaSam’s Love Story!
Making A Difference For JaSam…Every Day!
VOTE: UPDATED LINK: http://abc.soapsindepth.com/2011/02/cast-your-vote-10.html (Don’t get lazy on voting here, friends! We need to be religious about voting, and we need to vote from every available electronic device 😉)
Call: ABC: 818-460-7477, Press 1, then 2, then 3, then 464, GH LA: 323-671-4583
TWEET OUR FAVORITES: Tweet Steve and Kelly and try to counteract all of the negativity dumped there daily! Let them know what real fans look like, and let them know how much we enjoy ALL OF THEIR scenes, ESPECIALLY JaSam Scenes! Steve’s Official Twitter Is: @1SteveBurton Kelly’s OFFICIAL Twitter Is: @KellyMonaco1
SOAPNET: Go on SOAPnet.com and share your favorite JaSam Storyline! http://bit.ly/azJAkN Please make a commitment to this project! Especially since the “other side” is filling it up with GARBAGE!
Facebook GH FEEDBACK PAGE: http://on.fb.me/cpmSpo FLOOD THAT PAGE WITH POSITIVE JASAM LOVE DAILY! THIS is the page that gets attention from those who matter! PLEASE, please, please remember not to make it only about wanting JaSam – that gets overlooked as “fanbase crap”. Use solid, honest, but tactful language letting them know what you think the strengths were on that particular day, and if that’s Steve and Kelly, that’s fine – but this is NOT the place to go all ga-ga because we got some make-out time. Remember to use their names (character/actor) separately, i.e. Kelly and Steve instead of Stelly, and Jason and Sam instead of JaSam. You can also calmly state what you think the weaknesses were, such as overused characters, storyline inconsistencies, or not enough use of the history of our dearest characters and vets. EVERY PHONE CALL, EMAIL, FACEBOOK POST COUNTS – SO REALLY GIVE IT YOUR ALL!
Snail Mail: Remember to GUSH, THANK THEM, and SHOW LOVE for what we’re getting with our JaSam! PLEASE: Leave out frustrations, bashing, anger, and other couples!
Bob, Guza, Head Writer
Jill Farren-Phelps, Exec. Producer
Elizabeth Korte, Editor
4151 Prospect Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90027
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair
Disney Media Networks Division
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
Our couple is counting on US!