Focusing On The Things That Keep Us Watching

RESPECTING THE BRAND

Oh, Dearest GHers and Friends,

It’s always hard to balance my personal feelings about our beloved soap while trying to maintain a positive voice who encourages all of you readers to find The Beauty of GH daily. I do read all of  your comments, emails, messages, and even those 12 page texts, like the one I got today. LOL! I want to make sure you understand that I hear your concerns, and yes, I even share them.

That being said, I find that because of the way some people have approached the actors, writers, and now even the executive producer of GH, it’s a fine line between being able to share some of those deepest and most worrisome concerns while being taken seriously, and sounding like a “fangurl”. 😉 In my head, I want to believe that the actors, writers, and producer all still want to hear honest feedback from respectful, sincere fans, even when what they are hearing is, “WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING?”

When I started this blog, and met all of you wonderful people, I truly had one goal in mind: to help people realize that our words have power – not just in my adored preschool class – but even on all of these incredible, new avenues with which to communicate with those who have brought us the best kind of entertainment for decades. It worried me when I signed up on Twitter three years ago and saw people attacking actors, like Steve Burton, who was taking time away from his family and kids to chat with us, and wishing GH canceled because they weren’t getting what they wanted.

I thought that if we could only do our part as fans of the Soap genre, and use our own communication to spread a positive message, then maybe we could drown out all of that negativity. Sure, it was a bit Pollyanna-istic of me, but, I think over the years, we’ve done that pretty well. I am proud of The Bella Mafia family. I am proud of every soap fan who uses their words to build up and encourage, instead of to tear down and attack. Which is why a day like today is so hard for me.

So many of you shared your frustrations with me after today’s episode, and I appreciate the fact that everyone is trying to vent among friends. Even more, I am honored you consider me among those friends. As your friend, and more than just a blogger, I wish that I could offer a different point of view for today, where I could tell you about something I saw differently. But I can’t. Not this time. Not today.

It was like watching a horror flick – and you guys know that I just don’t do horror flicks. I watched and found myself covering my eyes, covering my ears, and wanting to avoid whatever “popped out at me” next. Yes, I have to describe it as “popping out at me” because everything was so unexpected, so abrupt and seemingly impetuous, that it literally scared me. The way a horror flick would.

There. I said it.

It was not very The Beauty of GH-ish of me, I know, but more than anything I would think you want me to be honest. And honestly, I don’t know what to make of what is going on with our GH.

So many of you thought that Maxie’s continued torture of Mac and Robin’s family as they are still reeling with her painful loss with her continued song and dance about having killed Robin is beyond bizarre, and that it takes her self-centeredness to an all-time low. I get it. You’re right.

Others think that while Carly will get no sympathy from them ever again, it is really sad that she has become this cold, calculating sex-maniac, who has forgotten about her kids. Anyone remember just how the despicable character of Carly, who slept with her (iconic GH character) mother’s husband for revenge, was transformed into a rootable character? I do. They turned her into a fierce, loving mother, who would defend her kids with her life. Some of my favorite moments of Carly through the years have involved Michael, Morgan, and Joss, even though they have been almost non-existent lately. Somehow, she has reverted to the same Carly she was back then. All that’s missing is a blonde Sarah Joy Brown.

It’s never easy – or okay with fans when their characters morph right before their very eyes, into people they don’t recognize. However, I don’t know that there has ever been such a flagrant case of that, as there has been with Jason and Sam since Jason woke up from his surgery. I knew that Mr. Carlivati would probably give Jason and Sam some layers we hadn’t really seen before, because let’s face it – he’s the new head writer, and that’s what head writers do, and Jason and Sam are a new love story TO HIM. Yet, what I have seen happen to Jason and Sam lately cannot be described as added layers – it can only be described as being buried by said layers!

I think I have thrown my support behind Mr. Carlivati, and trust me when I say this – no one wants him to succeed more than me, because I cannot imagine a world without General Hospital. But he makes it so hard on days like today…with dialogue like today’s! I understand that we have to allow for  creative license here, but when you change the very essence of something, I believe that creative license has gone too far.

There was this restaurant I loved growing up. It wasn’t just about the food, though I have never tasted a still-bubbling dish of manicotti like theirs in my entire life; it was also about the atmosphere, the owners who watched me grow up, right along with their own kids, and knew me by name, and the memories I’d made there over the years with generations of family and friends. Then the owners decided to retire and go live the life they had dreamed of since the first dish of manicotti they ever made. “Don’t worry,” they would say to all of us faithful patrons upon breaking the news to us. They were handing the business down to nieces and nephews, since their own children would follow them wherever they went, but everything would be the same. We believed, though our hearts were broken. We wanted their legacy to live on, even through the unknown nieces and nephews, because this place was a part of our family history.

We kept making reservations, and we kept ordering our favorites, hoping the “new team” would finally get it right. Instead, they changed the decor. Gone was the jukebox with the John Lennon classics and Bon Jovi’s first hits, replaced by some new contraption that played current Top 40’s. There was no more piping-hot bread served fresh from the oven while we waited for our food, and they sold soda by the can, instead of bringing it in big, glass pitchers. And the world-famous manicotti? It was replaced by something that looked, and tasted, like something they picked up by the mega-box at Costco. It didn’t even bubble when served in its carton-like dish. It hurt me, but we went less and less often, until one day we drove by and saw that it was closed; the building for sale. Just like that – a lifetime of memories was gone. They had changed the “brand” of what that place had been for us all those years, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t help but be offended by the new brand they were suddenly trying to sell us.

The thing about a specific brand is that we can expect it to stay true to itself over the years. We buy the same brand of soap because of the way it smells, we use the same brand of lipstick because we know how it look by midday. We count on a specific brand of shoes because we know they will last longer than most. Brands are a huge part of our society – just pay attention during the commercials between scenes of GH to see how advertisers count on our understanding of brands in order to make the most money.

Jason and Sam are a very specific, and successful brand.

Amazingly, with all of the writing changes GH has had over the years, the JaSam relationship has stayed pretty true to itself over the years. Except for the disaster that came as a result of TPTB thinking that Kelly Monaco was going to leave GH in 2007, the couple now known as The Morgans has always been written, and therefore branded, on a very simple, and extremely successful, premise…from the very beginning: JaSam 6/17/04: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVBalityNfQ Credit: mk200019, JaSam 9/13/04: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3zvGReFJMM Credit: LoriJoGH  &  JaSam 10/25/04: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7MR-hHayak Credit: NickyM96

They know, understand, and accept each other. Just. As. They. Are. 
JaSam January 11, 2005: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCorYfJ87cA Credit: kjewel13

And They Always Have! 
JaSam January 14 & 17, 2005:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImcxHJb12BI Credit: apac114

They have never tried to change the other, and I do mean NEVER!
JaSam July 6, 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN0ZZbRnsvY Credit: ashleycramni

They have never tried to get the other person to be anything except the very safest “them” they could be, and therein usually lie their only issues. (I don’t even want to remember those times!) 

This is why Jason and Sam have been able to overcome everything that has happened, everything they’ve been through over the years, and why they are still so in love. That has been the brand General Hospital has sold us on all these years.

Mr. Carlivati and Mr. Valentini need to know that it is not okay to mess with that brand. I am not talking about freaking out because John McBain is sharing screen time with Sam, or because Jason said Liz’s name in the sanctity of the penthouse. I am talking about something much more serious, and much more dangerous. I am talking about changing who Jason and Sam are. That’s just not okay! It’s not okay to have Jason, who made us all fall in love with the beautiful and gentle way he treated Sam during her first pregnancy, screaming at his pregnant wife and making her upset, and then have Sam telling Jason she wonders about Sonny being sent away so that “they could be free” and have her now questioning how his work affects their life with the baby coming, a la Brenda!

I nearly fell off my chair! Who the hell do these writers think is watching the show? America’s Alliance of Amnesiacs ? I was completely floored, and just plain angry that they would suddenly mess with the “brand” and the magic that has worked so wonderfully over the past eight years, as if we knew nothing of it! (I also had painful flashbacks of the jukebox being replaced!)

This is not okay with me. I know it’s not okay with you. Meaning we must use our voices like never before in order to make it so that it must not be okay to happen. Ever again.

Loyalty comes when you can trust the brand. I am almost sure that this new team appreciates loyalty, especially at times like this for our soaps. It’s time to save the brand! It’s time to save JaSam’s Legacy of Love and Acceptance!

Let TPTB know not to mess with what works! I don’t ever want to see GH shut down because they’ve lost their loyal “customers”.

Share your favorite “JaSam Brand” moment with them…help them to get to know the Magic and the history that has made you so loyal!

Do it for the love of JaSam…

Angelique

**************************************************************

Call: GH Comment Lines: 818-460-7477, Press 1, then 2, then 3, then 464, GH LA: 323-671-4583

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/generalhospital

Email: http://abc.go.com/site/contact-us

Snail Mail: Ron Carlivati, Headwriter / Frank Valentini, Executive Producer
c/o ABC-TV General Hospital, 4151 Prospect Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90027

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18 responses

  1. Connie Hernandez

    Oh Angelique, I couldn’t believe what I saw and heard from today’s show. It was heartbreaking for me to see familiar faces yet unfamiliar in many ways. I was seeing SAM but it was like hearing a totally different person. And that hurt me to the core. Jason yelling / screaming at Sam, brushing her off at the church was something I couldn’t take…. In my mind I was like , “Where have The MORGANS gone?” These are Not the JASAM I know and love.
    I wish you could just post this exact blog of yours in those writers’ and producers’ faces and make them see and realize the WRONG they are doing .. . YOU BEST SAID IT, SAVE JASAM’S LEGACY OF LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE. I hope you don’t mind if I SHARE THIS PHRASE to the world… All for our JASAM LOVE.
    THANK YOU ANGELIQUE. ALL THE BEST TO YOU ALWAYS.
    LOVE,
    Connie ( @einnoc115)

    March 29, 2012 at 2:06 am

    • Karlene

      Co-sign w/ everything you said, Connie 🙂 Where is the Jason and Sam that we all fell in love with? There was a reason that we all love them so much and an even bigger reason that Jason loves Sam: she has always accepted him for who he is. He said it himself on Valentine’s Day 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbZDIa-z55o around the 2:45 part. I don’t understand what the writer’s are trying to feed us but we sure as heck know better. I will continue to watch every day and make my videos but I will not be okay with them trying to completely change the very thing that I fell for when Sam became my favorite character on the show. Sam was always independent but she always has accepted Jason and Sonny for who they are b/c they always accepted her. We really don’t need a repeat of 2007 when she was completely OOC. Love you always, Angelique. We will get through this together.
      JASAM Love Always,
      Karlene( @scooter5117 and scooter5117 on youtube)

      March 29, 2012 at 3:42 am

      • *holding hands*
        We will get through this together, Karlene!
        But I think I am going to need one of your fantastic vids to help me get through it… LOL!

        March 30, 2012 at 6:54 am

    • Share away, Connie! Share away! 😉

      March 30, 2012 at 6:52 am

  2. Scarlet

    I have been reading your column for several months now and I truly enjoy it. I felt the need to comment today, first to say thank you for you positive and refreshing perspective anout our show and second to say that I am so disturbed by what I see happening with our beloved couple. I called the comment line to say the magic of Jasam is that they have always accepted one another and that’s why they are so popular and why we keep watching. Again thank you for your wonderful blog.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

    • Thanks, Scarlet!
      I’m proud of you for using your voice for JaSam, and for taking the time to make the call!

      March 30, 2012 at 6:55 am

  3. I got to watch people get upset on Twitter before watching it and after watching yesterday’s clips 3 times I don’t think Sam was saying she was against the mob, least not totally. She is concerned for Jason’s safety. We also have to remember that Pregnant Sam does not think rationale. I was watching 04 clips last night and in episode 8/6/04 Jason says to Sam “You’re pregnant, you’re having mood swings, and you don’t know what you’re saying.” Jason said this after Sam was confessing to the murder of her Mom to protect Danny. Even though it seemed she was going to take Sonny down with her, he lied on the stand for her, she didn’t. I just think that the two episodes and events are similar.

    I am going to have faith in Ron and Frank that they have a reason going the way they do. I am going to remember Ron’s words that he knows that Jasam is a popular couple and hope that since he knows that they are popular he won’t hurt them too badly. I am going to sit back and see what happens and know my favorite couple can make it through anything, even writing that may not make complete sense at first.

    Thank you for always taking the time to share your thoughts.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

    • I thought that was how Jason saw it – that she’s still terrified about the prospect of losing him, and that she is pregnant and hormonal and tired.
      I am going to hope for the same thing – that the writers will realize just how popular they are, and won’t mess with them too badly!
      Thanks for the comment…
      😉

      March 30, 2012 at 6:57 am

  4. samjase

    Good morning Angelique! No words for yesterday’s dialogue from Sam! Who is this person? Then it dawned on me! This is Ron C. rubbing his hands together in glee to cause FAKE, CONTRIVED B.S. ANGST FOR JASAM. He wants stumbling blocks for them? He might try something a little more believable than a 100% “about face” for the supportive and accepting of Jason by Sam. THEN IT DAWNED ON ME! Maybe..just maybe..Ron C. will show an “about face” for Jason. He never changed for ANY OTHER WOMAN OR REASON BEFORE. Maybe we’ll see Jason wanting a safer life with the woman he loves and the child they want so badly. We’ll see!

    March 29, 2012 at 9:35 am

    • From your thoughts to Ron’s “pen”, Darlene!
      I am hoping that is the way he’s leaning.
      I’ve always said that people want to change the most for people who want to change them the least.
      *fingers crossed*
      Luv ya! 😉

      March 30, 2012 at 7:00 am

  5. Traveler

    Thanks for today’s Blog!!
    *Sighs* I dont even know what to say or think about GH these days. Im still in a bit of shock over some of the changes The New Powers That Be are making… Especially when it comes to changing “both” the Jason and Sam I fell in love with. 😦

    March 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    • I am conflicted, dear friend!
      Let’s get each other through this latest “storm.”
      Hugs…
      😉

      March 30, 2012 at 7:25 am

  6. OK JaSammers, don’t quit now! We all need to write to RC and the others and tell them all the things we feel…but nicely, please, as Angelique would tell us to. And find a way to send them this blog, so they can read her words and understand. We can’t give up now, because, as Sam told Jason, we’ve overcome too much and come too far. I am hoping for the best even while I am terrified they will mess up our couple and our show. Let’s not let it happen, ok? Thanks, Angelique, we really need you now!

    March 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    • Giving up is NOT an option, my sweet Sarah!
      I need all of you as well!
      😉
      Let’s keep sharing our thoughts with TPTB daily – and yes, nicely, please!

      March 30, 2012 at 7:01 am

  7. alwaysaromantic

    Hi Jasammers,
    I read this Blog early this morning and as always Angelique your insight makes me/us take a step back! But I am seeing things a little different! When I watched the dialouge between my favorite couple I was stunned but not broken hearted! I understand where my girl Sam was coming from! I would have been surprised if she had not had this conversation with Jason! Their children to be does/will change their Lives! As a parent you want to give your children the Best of you! Sometime we succeed sometime we do not,thats Life. If you are Blessed enough to have the Parents on the same cord it makes it a little easier to be Parents.Sam has something that she has wanted for a very long time,to be a mother,to have a child with Jason! So here she is pregnant and exhausted,scarred,concerned and wondering! No I do not want Sam to change I Love her character! I have always been in awe of her love for Jason! At times I have questioned how much Loving this man has cost her! But Sam LOVES Jason! Sam has always excepted him for him! But now that she is getting ready to be a Mother she is thinking and wondering………………what if! I appreciate that Sam had this conversation with Jason! Not her mom,Spinelli or even John McBain she had it with Jason! She is trying to figure this all out! Sam apologized to Jason for hitting him with this at that moment but she is trying to figure this out!
    Now! Jason on the other hand……………….. I know he loves Sam but how many times has he left us scratching our heads with the things he has said or done! Most recently the way he disrespected Sam when all she was trying to do was look out for him! I could even except him being disappointed but talking to Carly and Liz about Sam is what pissed me off! I am STILL not ok with that whole situation! I do not want this couple TESTED they have been TESTED enough! And so have their fans! In a recent article the new head writer said “he wanted to shake things up”! He also mentioned the fan base of Liz and Jason! If they want to rewrite history Good Luck with that! Thank Goodness for YT! Jason and Sam have a History that is so Long and Endearing there are not enough words to describe the Love they have fought for again and again! This should be a time of Joy for them not this BS we have seen!
    I hesitate in writing this but I shall. I was not a everyday viewer of OLTL but I did watch occasionally! I liked John and Natalie and no other pairing really worked for either of them! I still believe that tearing them apart was a mistake! At THE END they are back together! I DO NOT want GH to turn into OLTL why would I! I do not want to see Jason and Sam turn into Natalie and John! Iknow this is a Soap and they can stretch things a BIT but PLEASE stop stretching our Jasam before we do not even recognize them!

    March 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    • I agree with you!
      Stretching them out a bit? Yes.
      Stretching them to the point of distortion? NO!
      And sweet heavens – that John and Natalie crapola of splitting them up – putting them with other people and the dog controlling the paternity reveal? THIS IS NOT OLTL! Please don’t try to change that!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 😉

      March 30, 2012 at 7:13 am

  8. soapfanfiction--STEPH

    Hmm! I watched before me two Sam’s the one of our history and legacy and the one in the hands of Cartini.

    I saw my Sam who has watched Sonny rule the mob world and Jason’s on pure emotion, anger, psychosis, revenge, pettiness and destructive nature that has created a world for children of being shot, kidnapped, car bombed, beaten, raped, jailed, brain washed, and a part of a world of violence and merry-go-round relationships and court battles for custody that would make the WWE proud.

    Sam has a had a front row seat, being a participant, a cause and effect, a champion and a hero to four pretty incredible kids considering.

    But along the way she has wanted, wished, dreamed and fought to be one thing a MOM. She I felt as this new Sam was not saying throw Sonny under the bus, or get out of the mob, she was saying a simple thought out loud to her husband WHAT IF? What if you were in charge and our lives were more stable for us and our child. What if the Mob was run the way it was under you as a business with rules that are kept and honor that is given to every one guard, minion, mob family or enemy. What if I didn’t have to worry that you will go to prison to pay for Sonny’s next impulse control chaos or Carly’s new scheme or bed partner/enemy.

    I feel the problem with the scene was it deserved to be a scene not a cutaway between commercials where they did not express both sides of this discussion that they TOTALLY need to have. Sam of 04 was still reckless and impulsive and met a guy who allowed her to be herself, didn’t judge her and together they would parent her child. I believe that Sonny would NEVER have let Jason be Dad to his daughter and would have gotten in their way every step. With Hope a part of Sam knew it would not last and so she could plan and dream and HOPE because as she says ‘Nothing Good every lasts for her.

    Cartini do not know our JaSam and depending on what clips and storylines they are going by we were a couple that was more about Carly and Jason or Sonny and Jason or Michael and Jason these last few years and of course there is his unrequited one night stand nightmare that even they are intrigued by this bond…WHATEVER…

    I did not agree with the way that Sam said the words written but I saw a MOM who is hormonal, exhausted, tired, terrified, that she is in the end going to lose Jason and have to raise her daughter alone. She will lose him to illness, revenge, jail or his own need to Save and Protect every person in his life whether it is feasible or in his ability to control or not.

    Jason is the one that needs to STEP UP. He needs to stop letting his loyalty to the past, dictate his future. Sonny and Carly are wearing thier big boy/girl diapers if they make a mess Clean it up themselves. He learned to let Michael go, try, do and be his own person. Time for CarSon to do the same. He needs to realize that Sam has sacrificed her heart, dreams and even her body to stand by Jason and his “family” now Jason needs to stand up for his FAMILY the Morgans and put her concerns, welfare, needs and heart first.

    And a Thank you for Saving my life would be Nice……
    Most of you guys are Moms…would you want your future to remain the same as your past or would you like to see alterations and changes that allow for new dreams, new people and a new future.

    JaSam Baby Bubble still lives…Long Live Baby EggRoll Morgan

    xoxo Lady Bella……

    March 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

  9. My dear, dear, Steph,
    I agreed with EVERYTHING you said, but what you said about the way the scene played out – a few seconds before leaving? Uh uhhhhhh.
    Whatever happened to the days where Jason and Sam had those incredible conversations? When I look back at their beginning, there were so many of those.
    I only wish this conversation had allowed for Sam to share the thoughts behind her words, so that there was less speculation about what is going on in Sam’s mind, and more understanding.
    And amen to Jason needing to STEP UP…and needing to offer our Sam a very heartfelt “Thank you for saving my life.”
    I want all of those new things for Baby Morgan – but I would love for Sam to be able to share her dreams for their baby with Jason other than in passing!
    *kicks rock*
    Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom, love!
    😉

    March 30, 2012 at 7:24 am

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