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yowsah1

The Event That REALLY WILL Change Everything: Should GH Reboot

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In 1985, DC Comics had a problem. The continuity, story, and character backgrounds of it's comic book lines had become way too convolouted. Backstory had ceased to be a useful tool to generate new stories or illuminate characters, and instead had become a dead weight dragging everything down. In response, DC came up with a radical concept. They launched a crossover storyline entitled CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS that brought together all the different characters under all the different titles they had. Now, the big crossover thing wasn't the radical concept - Marvel Comics had beat them to this particular punch with SECRET WARS, which had been launched the year previous.

 

The radical concept was that this crossover event was used to wipe the slate clean for the DC comics universe and start all over from scratch on everything. Characters were re-introduced to the readers as if they were brand new. Writers picked and chose what backstory applied and what now had never happened. Adopting a term from computer types, they refereed to this radical overhaul as a "reboot".


Since then crossover events and reboots have been common not only in the comic book world but in the culture at large. But reboots have never been attempted for soap operas.

 

What if we could, though? What if we could press the reset button on GENERAL HOSPITAL and give it a fresh new start? How would we we do it? What characters would we keep, what characters would we bring back, what characters would we change? What bits of backstory or retcon would we get rid of, what would we keep, what new bits would we add? How would we go about doing it - would it really work in a daytime idiom to have a big worldshaking event that leads into the reboot? Or should audiences be introduced to the reboot “cold turkey”?

 

Is a reboot even a good idea?

 

Let's talk about it! :)

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At this point there's an Issue of availability. We only have the actors that are currently on contact and I feel like any reboot undertaken under RC would be about further integrating his characters instead of fixing the mess he and his writers have made of pre-RC GH characters. 

But, if we got competent GH-focused EP & writers?  I'd start a reboot at AJ's death* because I think that was the beginning of RC's complete shit spiral and I think it's an easy place to change a lot without being so flexible in the past that it's impossible to do fill-in flashbacks

 

I'd be fine with a recast so long as he has the right kind of chem with LW, BH CD and BM

Edited by Oracle42

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If I were going to reboot, I think I'd do it similarly to the way Prospect Park soaps did: have a big dramatic event - maybe the cast gathers someplace and a bomb goes off - and pick up some time later - a year, five years, whatever - and just introduce the "new normal" as if it were a new show.

As for specifics of that new normal: Whittle down the cast. Center stories around the hospital. Romances and rivalries among medical staff. Multi-generational storytelling. Have the Quartermaines (including a living AJ!) jockeying for power with ELQ and the hospital board.  Make Laura an administrator or social worker or something. Get rid of the Cassadines. End the mob (Jeromes and Corinthii are gone, Jason and Sam are gone), or if there is a crime element, the heroes are absolutely the police or good-guy WSB and the criminals are not rootworthy or contract players.

Pretend Franco never existed.

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21 minutes ago, Melgaypet said:

if there is a crime element, the heroes are absolutely the police or good-guy WSB and the criminals are not rootworthy or contract players.

I don't mind a permanent criminal element in PC. You need good guys and bad guys on a soap. The problem is that Sonny and his family have become the moral compass of the show while still being mobsters, and no one is allowed to genuinely find any of them reprehensible. That's the frustrating part for me.

Edited by dubbel zout
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I don't know if they should be professional criminals though. I think if you have an actor who plays a mobster on contract, it will always mostly turn into a Sonny situation where eventually he gets the bulk of sympathetic writing.

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Right, exactly. I'm just so sick of fucking mobsters - murderers - that we're supposed to care about. Let the "bad guys" - the ones on contract, anyway - be unethical doctors, or cutthroat-but-mostly-legitimate businesspeople.

Edited by Melgaypet
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I think if you had a criminal without the violence, it could work. Or at least have the violence be used sparingly and for a very good reason. GH has been way too casual about violence for way too long. 

I think Sonny could actually be pivoted successfully to be a sleazy businessman, but I doubt MB would want to play that, since the hero edit would be gone. 

Edited by dubbel zout · Reason: Yikes, posting run amok
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Sadly, I think at this point it's a Kill It With Fire! situation, and the show cannot be saved.

For me, for any reboot to be successful, the show would have to jump back in time and pretend everything under Ron's tenure and after never happened ... well, some of Ron's earlier stuff didn't completely defy the laws of time, physics, character history and decency, I suppose.  But anything involving the hammy shit with Dr. O and the Legion of Doom, Robin's eternal kidnapping, Duke and AJ turning up just to get murdered again, Crazy Luke, and the ultimate abomination of Franco is so frankly embarrassing that most of that shit has to be blotted out of GH canon for the show to really reboot properly.  Oh, yeah, and the ultimately pointless Undead Jason / Jake story that ruined a bunch of characters!  

Even with the Ron-Never-Happened-Reboot, the show would have to pull WAY back from the mob shit.  Like, fine, Sonny can still exist, but the whole Jerome family resurrection needs to not have happened, and people need to be able to start shunning Sonny and Sonny needs to start feeling some consequences ... and he can only take up about 15 to 20% of the show, max.  And then we could get back to unethical doctors screwing each other in the hospital and mystery stories.

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4 hours ago, Melgaypet said:

Right, exactly. I'm just so sick of fucking mobsters - murderers - that we're supposed to care about. Let the "bad guys" - the ones on contract, anyway - be unethical doctors, or cutthroat-but-mostly-legitimate businesspeople.

Yes!  Soaps in general have seemed to done away with the gray hat schemers, who scheme for money or to get someone in their bed, but aren't rapists or murderers.

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4 minutes ago, TeeVee329 said:

Yes!  Soaps in general have seemed to done away with the gray hat schemers, who scheme for money or to get someone in their bed, but aren't rapists or murderers.

 

And those were the best soap characters, too!   Because they could be convincingly redeemed if the story was written well.  

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11 hours ago, SlovakPrincess said:

 

And those were the best soap characters, too!   Because they could be convincingly redeemed if the story was written well.  

Yes I miss when those were the worse characters GH had.This the mobsters are heros is ridclous and one of the reasons I've tuned out.

I Remeber when marrying someone for there money or being greedy was considered bad but now compare that to how Sonny is treated who is all about money and power.

Edited by Harmony233
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I think most of the RC and post-RC stuff just needs to disappear. I think the only thing I really liked was AJ's resurrection and his interactions with everyone and Robin not being dead. Everything else could disappear into the reboot void and it would not be missed

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There's no point in rebooting unless Jelly and most of the other writers are fired. I might keep Frank around but there needs to be someone who can keep him in check, the casting director needs full autonomy to make casting decisions, and the EP will only create a character or bring back an existing one when they feel it's necessary, not because Frank wants to give someone a job. 

Everything that happened during Ron and Jelly's tenures is removed from canon. Select characters and stories from the Ron era can be reintroduced.

The new EP and the new/remaining writers will be forced to consult detailed character bios for all characters before they're allowed to write anything.

The new EP will be forced to create a show bible detailing at least nine months worth of story. Frank and the writers can consult but it ultimately needs to be approved by a "guardian" from the network - someone with knowledge of the show and who cares about it succeeding. 

GH will not be used to keep OLTL (or AMC) alive. Some actors from OLTL can go through the audition process like everyone else for roles that have already been created, but not for a couple of years. That well has been poisoned thanks to the numerous characters ME and RoHo have been given and the audience needs a break. 

The EP won't have full autonomy until they prove themselves. Even then the network "guardian" can step in if they start going off the rails.

Producing 250 episodes is no longer sustainable. Even the most talented people are going to burnout within a few years at that rate. I would reduce the number to about 150 at most. 

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On 2/6/2017 at 3:56 PM, Melgaypet said:

If I were going to reboot, I think I'd do it similarly to the way Prospect Park soaps did: have a big dramatic event - maybe the cast gathers someplace and a bomb goes off - and pick up some time later - a year, five years, whatever - and just introduce the "new normal" as if it were a new show.

I remember seeing a post on TWoP where someone pitched an idea where a ship in the harbor near Port Charles turns out to be smuggling some sort of terrible poison gas, and Sonny and Jason et in a shoot-out on it and release the gas.  There's a whole bunch of scenes of all the characters on the show keeling over and dying from the poison gas...

... and then Jason wakes up in a hospital bed with A.J. sitting at his side.  The big reveal is that Jason was in a semi-coma ever since he was in the Car Accident That Changed Everything (and made him into The Borg) and that everything the audience had seen on their screens had been the hallucinations he had during his time "asleep".  Some of it had actually happened, but most of it hadn't.  Then there are a few episodes establishing the "new normal" and away everybody went. 

I think something like that would work really well for a reboot, although if the show so fr were to be anybody's hallucination, it should be Sonny.  I mean, c'mon, it's exactly the kind of hallucination a narcissist like him would have - Sonny always wins!  Sonny lures Jason away from the evil Quartermaines!  Sonny shoots A.J. and gets away with it!  All the wimmins want to take a ride on Sonny's magic pole!  Everyboy loves Sonny!  No one is allowed to even mildly dislike Sonny!  It's a typical 13-year-old's fantasy.  Then, when Sonny comes back to the "real world" (a la the reboot) it will turn out that things are not quite the way he imagined them...

8 hours ago, LeftPhalange said:

Producing 250 episodes is no longer sustainable. Even the most talented people are going to burnout within a few years at that rate. I would reduce the number to about 150 at most. 

I had an idea once when the notion of a "portmanteau" soap was being bandied about of breaking up GH into 3 different parts (GH:  THE HOSPITAL, GH: THE CORINTHOS, GH: EVERYTHING ELSE or some such thing) plus OLTL and AMC, and giving each component 10 weeks a year to do their story arc (a la Netflix), with 2 weeks off.  The same could still be done with just GH - break it into 5 component parts, with each part getting a 10 week story arc that has a specific beginning, middle and end.  Actors featured in 1 10-week story arc could serve as supporting players in the other arcs.  This might be way more do-able than what GH has now.

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On another note, any reboot of GH should involve making it so that Port Charles is located on the West Coast between Los Angeles and San Diego. That way all the female characters traipsing around in sleeveless blouses and mini skirts in the middle of January would be a little less ridiculous.

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On 2/8/2017 at 4:09 PM, dubbel zout said:

Eh, all the women newscasters in NYC go sleeveless year-round, as do the women on Fox. That seems to be a thing.

They at least have the excuse of being in a temperature-controlled television studio under hot stage lights.  GH will show scenes that are supposed to be outdoors in the middle of January and the ladies are traipsing about in t-shirts!  (The menfolk, poor delicate creatures that they are, at least are shown wearing jackets, although said jackets are far too lightweight for the East Coast in wintertime).  Rebooting and making Port Charles into a city somewhere on the southernmost West Coast would at least obviate the need for such silliness.  

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I think they should try a telenovela format- after doing a reboot.  Keep one version on ABC daytime and put another on Netflix  (along with classic episodes of OLTL,  AMC,  and Loving).  or move it all to Netflix.   Obviously,  there are Corinthos fans who want to see MB, etc.  So either make a separation of shows or do a telenovela format that allows each major family to get a story.  We would get to see Lucas, etc.  

To reboot completely, I'd have Sonny do insane things, like worse than normal.  Also,  recast Morgan, but don't reveal it is Morgan quite yet.  While this is going on, someone purchases the MC under Carly- as she's dealing with Sonny and Morgan possibly being alive.  Its revealed that BC's Morgan was not  the real Morgan.  As Sonny gets darker,  Carly loses more of her life.  Someone seems to also be stalking Jason and Sam, but theyre helping them.  Franco is killed.  Michael is also stalked by the same helper.  It turns out that AJ is alive and Monica has been helping him, as well as Tracy.  During the Anti Gun Ball of whatever, AJ is revealed alive, as is Real Morgan.  Dante recognizes him.  Sonny goes insane and holds everyone hostage.  Its then revealed that he's in the psych ward and has been since Jason died and AJ came back.  Everything that happened since then is his hallucinations.  Franco never returned, Jason is still dead, and Morgan isn't a moron.  Silas McFinn never came to town.   John McBain is the commissioner, we dont know who Sam's dad is, and AJ is alive.  Avery is the child of Carly and AJ,  who reunited.  

And begin there.

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On 2/22/2017 at 5:22 AM, jsbt said:

Re: the OP question - No.

I am presuming you are replying to the question of if a reboot would be a good idea and am curious to hear why you think it would be a bad idea.

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Because whenever you choose to 'reset,' you are still wiping out countless generations of history. History and family are what soap fans invest in, good or bad. The continuing history and story.

Further, multiple generations have little to no vivid memory of all the pertinent events of 1995-1996 and have zero interest in rewinding the clock to retcon and wipe out everything since almost 25 years ago, countless romances, families, marriages, children - myself included. They'd tune out en masse and so would I. It goes against what soap opera is and it just doesn't work. It would be a tremendous insult to years of loyal viewing - more than anything done so far.

It's much easier to rework the show as it is today than to try to return things to some idealized moment. If the show were to go online it'd be easy enough to do that with a timejump a la AMC 2.0, which jumped five years later when it moved to Hulu with a mix of old and new cast. Would you ever have everything just so? No, but you never will anyway.

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I also don't agree with show not being in Upstate New York anymore. Yes, the show has issues dressing people in terms of the weather (read: cold weather), but I think the fact that its set near Buffalo makes it unique, even if it ironically is taped on the West Coast. 

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On 2/8/2017 at 1:58 PM, yowsah1 said:

On another note, any reboot of GH should involve making it so that Port Charles is located on the West Coast between Los Angeles and San Diego. That way all the female characters traipsing around in sleeveless blouses and mini skirts in the middle of January would be a little less ridiculous.

I'm with UYI, I think this is a cure worse than the disease. 

And on that note, I don't know if, in this hypothetical reboot, I would spend a lot of time trying to explain what did and didn't really happen. A lot of terrible stuff can just be ignored, really. Franco, for example. If he's not around and no one talks about him, why go into a huge deal explaining why he never existed? 

So maybe I'm thinking less of a reboot and more of just taking the show in a different direction. You know, a non-shitty direction. I still think a time jump into a new status quo would be the easiest way to do it.

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6 minutes ago, Melgaypet said:

A lot of terrible stuff can just be ignored, really. Franco, for example. If he's not around and no one talks about him, why go into a huge deal explaining why he never existed? 

I don't think Franco shouldn't be ignored—that also ignores a decent chunk of GH history—but a quick line explaining he's in prison for life without possibility of parole or decided to leave town, never ever to return, is sufficient. Then he can become Ugh!That Guy and everyone can agree how terrible he was and move on with their lives.

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If it comes up, yeah. I was just thinking that a big implausible explanation for how he's been retconned out of existence would be unnecessary. But in my vision of the show, he wouldn't come up and all the moving on has already been done. (It helps that I'd get rid of a lot of others, like Franco fangirls Nina and Liesl, for example. Jason and Sam would be gone, too.)

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6 hours ago, Melgaypet said:

So maybe I'm thinking less of a reboot and more of just taking the show in a different direction. You know, a non-shitty direction. I still think a time jump into a new status quo would be the easiest way to do it.

Yeah. And actually I think you can take a lot of crap that happened in the past and work with it, if you have good writers. I remember when JJ came back, people were like oh no how are they going to reconcile what Lucky did with this Lucky and they should say GV was an impostor, but JJ and the writers made Lucky's non-played-by JJ history work. I remember there was a scene after the Niz reveal where Lucky was unloading on Ethan and telling the whole story and nothing seemed out of character or egregious when the writers bothered to give Lucky motivations for his past actions.

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I actually think that a decently recast (and written) Lucky could be just the thing to take the show in a better direction, incorporating some of the above suggestions.  And it would probably bring back some viewers - me included.  (I say recast because as much as I would prefer JJ, I'd rather have an actor who would stick around.)  Lucky and Liz, with their parents, siblings and kids pretty much touch on most of GH's history. 

Honestly though, Franco is worse than Sonny when it comes to revolting things that I just can't watch (and I was a passionate OLTL/RH fan). Making him go away would make a reboot less necessary. 

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If Franco becomes Liz's Mac because of Lucky's absence, I will eat my socks damn it. Or maybe just mush them up and throw them across the room.

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On Wednesday, March 01, 2017 at 1:17 AM, ulkis said:

If Franco becomes Liz's Mac because of Lucky's absence, I will eat my socks damn it. Or maybe just mush them up and throw them across the room.

Same.  And I like Roger.   But Franco is garbage.  

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On 2/26/2017 at 10:12 AM, jsbt said:

Because whenever you choose to 'reset,' you are still wiping out countless generations of history. History and family are what soap fans invest in, good or bad. The continuing history and story.

Seriously. Dallas (classic '80s recipe) only wiped out a single season as Pam's dream, and I thought that that was a terrible decision. People associated with the show would defend it in later years, saying, "Oh, we'd gone in the wrong direction and were stuck in all these bad stories, and it was the fastest way to get back on track." No. People felt like chumps for watching, and even in a "bad" period, there's going to be some good. You play the hand you have been dealt, or have dealt yourself, try to minimize losses, and move on to the next round. The Dallas quick fix was not worth the derision it rightly earned, and the blow to that show's prestige.

It would take a good new producer/writer tandem two weeks to a month to make General Hospital a vastly better show without wiping out of existence a single thing. I'll be even bolder: It could be done even without immediately dismissing Roger Howarth, Michelle Stafford, Maurice Benard or anyone else. Really, it's not a bad daytime cast at all that they have. I'd even call it an above-average one, and one of the strongest groups in my time with GH (since about mid-1990s-ish).  

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Ah, well, I agreed with you till the last sentence. :) I do think if someone forced MSt and RoHo to cut out all the b.s. tics they could work, but I think since FV came on (aside from actors who were big from other soaps) all the new actors have been, in general, mediocre.

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It's easy.  We know Sam always falls down, Sonny gets shot, water is wet..  They just say the past couple years were a result of the poisoned water.  All the history is there, but with none of the bs.   No Nina, no Franco,  no Dumb Morgan, no Liz held Jason captive.... And no Jake.  They all hallucinated, whatever.  Hell,  if they could erase Connie, the ruination of Dante,  and Silas.... I'd be okay.  If they want to keep the actors, put them in better roles.. meaning not playing trash pandas we're supposed to root for.  I tried.  I did, but Franco is a trash panda and I can't like him.  He could single handedly revive AJ,  kill Sonny, and then bow before Tracy and I'd still be like nah.  

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On 3/6/2017 at 1:25 AM, Asp Burger said:

Seriously. Dallas (classic '80s recipe) only wiped out a single season as Pam's dream, and I thought that that was a terrible decision. People associated with the show would defend it in later years, saying, "Oh, we'd gone in the wrong direction and were stuck in all these bad stories, and it was the fastest way to get back on track." No. People felt like chumps for watching, and even in a "bad" period, there's going to be some good. You play the hand you have been dealt, or have dealt yourself, try to minimize losses, and move on to the next round. The Dallas quick fix was not worth the derision it rightly earned, and the blow to that show's prestige.

 

Not only that, but it left its spin-off, Knots Landing, on a different line of continuity forever. From that point on, Bobby remained dead on that show, while on Dallas, of course, he was still alive because of that shower, which leads to questions as to whether or not KL's entire last few seasons was a dream or not, too.

Yeah, a reboot would be a disaster, in more ways than one. 

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I think if they had done a reboot immediately in the wake of RC's firing and just wiped out everything after his first year we wouldn't have lost much worth keeping

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The Metro court needs to catch on fire claiming the lives of Carly, Sonny, Jason, Sam, Finn, kiki, Julian, alexis, Nina and Franco. 

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On 2/26/2017 at 10:12 AM, jsbt said:

It's much easier to rework the show as it is today than to try to return things to some idealized moment. If the show were to go online it'd be easy enough to do that with a timejump a la AMC 2.0, which jumped five years later when it moved to Hulu with a mix of old and new cast. Would you ever have everything just so? No, but you never will anyway.

I note that ONCE UPON A TIME has just done a "soft reboot" where they time-jumped approximately a decade or so (to make the little kid character an adult who is now the lead of the show).  I wonder if GH could do something similar.  It's ridiculous how next generation characters like Michael who should be driving plot are relegated to the sidelines while the completely worn-out Sonny Corinthos is on his 550th go-round of "the Mob War That Will Change Everything" or "Sonny and Carly On The Outs".

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I say have a giant mob war that kills.  Get a name actor from CW/Freeform to play Morgan, Cam, Aiden, Danny.  Recast AJ and Dillion with better name actors.  Slowly phase Sonny/Carly/Jason/Sam to the background.  Give Sonny/Carly a Nicki and Victor Newman type role in the show. Let Jason be a bad guy or get a job.  Focus on the hospital by giving characters actual jobs there besides candy striper, janitor, etc.  Then there's a slow reset that won't anger fans and will bring in new ones.  

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So many good comments. Get rid of the Cassadines - absolutely. Whenever they showed up, it was to throw a smoke screen over consequences of Spencer family action/inaction, or to make their "oops, ya caught me" moments seem excusable by comparison. End the mob, absolutely. Hard to disagree with too much said here, except for "because whenever you choose to 'reset,' you are still wiping out countless generations of history. History and family are what soap fans invest in, good or bad. The continuing history and story." I'm on the Kill It With Fire bandwagon. Countless generations of GH history has already been wiped out systematically since BJ's death in 1994. It may have been wrong for Dallas, but if there was ever a show that would actually benefit from the whole mess being a bad dream, it's GH. Just resurrect everyone in the Port Charles cemetery. I've often thought GH should be renamed "All My Dead Children." 

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