There was a lot that happened in Port Charles in 2010, some of it good, but most of it embarrassingly bad. Between a creaky storyline involving a mysterious crime figure and a domestic crime figure who consumes every Port Chuckian’s every waking moment, there was little to cheer about on “General Hospital” this past year. However there were a few gems that (barely) made “General Hospital” tolerable. Here are some of the misses of 2010:
Most Embarrassing Female Character: Claire Walsh
Federal prosecutor, Claire (Dahlia Salem) came in cold as ice and ready to play hardball. She was on a mission to succeed where so many others before her had failed: be the woman to bring Sonny (Maurice Bernard) to his knees. Yea, well, she brought him to his knees alright, but not the way we were hoping. Claire fell under Sonny’s spell and into his bed and even tried to barter with him for his sperm, albeit the old-fashioned way. Worse, she managed to get every charge brought against him tossed out (you’d have thought she was his lawyer, not the government’s). Every time she threw herself on her sword for Sonny, Claire became one step closer to being a total embarrassment to women everywhere; she was ready and willing at every turn to debase herself for a few rolls in the hay with a bipolar mobster who’s been a pox on every woman he’s come across. For her trouble, she got tossed aside for Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) and the offer to be transferred to Alaska.
Biggest Snooze of a Storyline: The Balkan
Oh, how bad this storyline has been. I can’t even begin to count the ways. Infinite, tiresome scenes of every character in town either invoking his name or how Brenda had to be protected from this evil, faceless entity. Countless utterances about how his son was murdered by Brenda in 2007. Days and days of plotting and planning to “draw the Balkan out.” Ambushes that went nowhere. And so on and so on. Granted, the reveal that the Balkan has been masquerading as a hypochondriac/seasoned trial lawyer is a twist I never saw coming. Time will tell if it’s enough to make this story interesting in 2011, because in 2010, it was a deadly bore.
Biggest Martyr: Robin Scorpio Drake
Watching Robin (Kimberly McCullough) careen through the halls of General Hospital, screeching to anyone who will listen about what a “psycho bitch” Lisa (Brianna Brown) is, it’s hard to believe she has the blood of two super spies coursing through her veins. Yes, Patrick cheated on Robin and yes, Lisa has been terrorizing Robin for months, so yes, she is clearly the wronged party. However, Robin’s hyperactive tantrums in her efforts to prove what Lisa’s been doing makes her look like the unstable one. It’s time for Robin to get creative and beat Lisa at her own game. Remember when her mother Anna (Finola Hughes) put her own troublesome blonde, Olivia (Tonja Walker) in an elevator to extract a confession about her crimes? Hey Robin, strap Lisa to a gurney, spin her around until she throws up and let’s see if we can get somewhere.
Worst Kept Secret: Sonny and Car Bomb
Poor Mac (John J. York). Is the only reason he’s the Commissioner of Police is because his brother, Robert (Tristan Rogers) previously held the title? Robert would have had Sonny behind bars before the detonator went off. Sonny tried to blow Johnny (Brandon Barash) to bits as retaliation for what he believed to be his dalliance with his underage daughter, Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth). Problem is, she got caught in the crossfire, but local law enforcement (and every other Einstein in Port Charles) pointed their radar elsewhere, since Sonny would never dare pull the same type of stunt that killed his first wife. Well, Sherlocks that exactly what he did. Everyone managed to convince themselves it was the work of some unseen enemies of Sonny, but deep down, they’re not all that stupid. It was only when a lone wiretap came to light that all of a sudden everyone was just so shocked at Sonny’s duplicity. Oh, please. Of course in the end it didn’t matter, since Claire got the charges dropped and yet again, Sonny gets a pass.
Biggest Waste of Talent: Kirsten Storms
If I forgive that unfortunate straw haircut that Maxie (Kirsten Storms) hasn’t been rockin’, does that mean our favorite fashionista can find her way back to a meaningful storyline? Ever since her break with non-husband, Spinelli (Bradford Anderson), Maxie’s had a ho-hum romance with the ill-defined and underused, Matt (Jason Cook). Mostly, their relationship has consisted of sex in the medical supply closet and her inability to decide if she wants to use him to make Spinelli jealous or if she really likes him. Do we care? Not really. When she’s not in the closet with Matt, the rest of her time is spent joining cousin, Robin in her Shriek-fest against Lisa. Do we care about that either? No. Storms is one of “General Hospital’s” brightest stars, an adept comedienne who can also handle heavy drama. How about making the Matt, Maxie and Spinelli story a real triangle that will allow Storms to shine?
*Bonus: Most Squandered Treasure: The Quartermaines
For decades, the Q’s entertained us simply by being. Edward’s (John Ingle) bellowing and plotting, Lila’s (Anna Lee) sweet disposition, Alan’s (Stuart Damon) philandering, matched by wife, Monica (Leslie Charleson) and later the exploits of Ned (Wally Kurth). The Quartermaines have been decimated to the core, with Lila and Alan both dead, Ned MIA, Monica relegated to wandering around the hospital looking efficient and Edward doddering around trying to keep Luke out of his cigar stash. About the only Q that sees any real action is Tracy and all she does is bicker with Luke about him fleecing her, which gets old pretty fast. Not even the arrival of Ned’s daughter, Brook Lynn (Adrianne Leon) has been enough to reinvigorate the clan and indeed something is missing from the “General Hospital” canvas with the family’s reduced presence. Here’s hoping Edward’s cunning proposition that Ethan and Maya stay married for a year, all so Edward can groom Ethan to take over ELQ, is the first step towards a renaissance for this beloved family.