Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James Franco on General Hospital: An Informal Survey


My friends! Who's ready for my worlds of professional and nonprofessional web writing to collide? I know I am!

No, this post is entirely extracurricular from my work at SOAPnet. It's just that I've been really curious as to how this James Franco guest arc -- which concluded on yesterday's show -- has been received by the public, and particularly by the kind of curious pop culture watchers who make up my readership here.

So I'm asking you to take to the comments here and answer these questions for me. For my own edification and enlightenment as well as just some fun discussion between us.

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?
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30 comments:

Huma said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

I watched from 2000-2008. I stopped on the day that my favorite couple, Jason and Elizabeth, got engaged because their story was just soooooo unbelievably trite and dumb.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF though for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

I did tune in. I caught a couple minutes live, sometimes I saw scenes on YouTube if my friends emailed me about them, saying they were funny or his hair was weird or he was totally dying to have buttsecks with Jason.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

He is a GREAT actor, but for GH, it's like he forgot that. I'm sure he was purposely trying to take it WAY OVER the top, though, in the name of art. He's definitely been doing some weird things for GH.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

The rest of the show sucks. Sonny, Carly, Jason, and Sam are teh worst characters individually and together. Their storylines are awful. Jonathan Jackson is good as Lucky, but nowhere near as good as he used to be. Elizabeth is being SUPREMELY stupid and it's no wonder that the fans are turning on her. Nikolas is okay, it's nice to see him getting more airtime. The kid who plays Michael is way overexposed. The rest of the cast is forgettable.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

They have all gotten much, much worse. Well, Nikolas has gotten better. Spinelli's about the same, as is Maxie. Sam is the worst, and Jason's character somehow manages to surpass her in horribleness. I really really wanted Franco to kill Jason, because he's a terrible character. And Carly, too. She's been eating up this show for far too many years.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

HAHAHA YOU COULDN'T PAY ME TO KEEP WATCHING GH.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

I don't need 1-2 sentences, 1-2 words will do it: Shitshow. Shit-show. Shit show. Depends on your syntax.

Lisa said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

I've watched GH since I was 5. My mother was a die hard fan and I continued the tradition all through high school and college, scheduling my classes around GH.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

He was just another character, it didn't alter my viewing habits in any way.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.
I enjoyed the character, but only wish he was going to be around longer. I don't understand why they introduced him and this intriguing story and then *poof* he's gone. Would loved to have seem him end up being Jason's half brother....we all know Alan slept around so it wouldn't be that shocking. I hate that there is no more to the story..what was the point?

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

I adore Lulu, Carly, Maxie. HATE the new character Lisa...boring...love the whole dominic/dante/olivia/johnny/lulu/sonny storyline. Also hoping Sam's paternity storyline will develop. And hoping the rumors of Vanessa Marcil returning are true!

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

n/a

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?
of course..

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

n/a

The Bloody Munchkin said...

1. I never, ever watched GH before the arc, and haven't been a soap watcher in general, except when my kid is in the hospital and I need something brain-numbing to pass the time (The Steve Wilkos show is only on one hour a day. I had to find some other way to pass the time).

2. I was completely curious and so I was trying to find some way to watch it. They only way I could was by the SOAPnet weekend marathons, which I DVR'd, because no way could I do all of that in a five hour sitting.

3. I liked it. I thought he was having fun chewing scenery and taking names. It wasn't enough to keep me though. Why? Because of G'damned cloyingly obnoxious Maxie and Rainman Spinelli. Grrrrrrr.

4. Everybody else on the show was either annoying or confusing. I find all the interconnections interesting. Like Lucky being a cop but having familial and friendly ties to Sonny and all the other little interconnections were mildly intriguing. But I petered out midway through the arc for a variety of reasons. 1. I remember the dude who plays Jason from way back in his "Out of This World" days and I remember as mildly cute but a completely bad actor. It's been 20 some odd years and his acting hasn't improved. And could they have found anyone more bland and uninteresting and wooden to play Dominique or whatever the hell his name is? You're playing an undercover copy with friendship ties to a mob boss. At least show up for the part. The list could go on and on.

5. NA

6. No. Unless Maxie is somehow killed off and Spinelli is struck by lightening and learns how to talk like a human being, and even then it would be a stretch....

7. A mildly interesting shark tank that you only partially watch to see who gets eaten next.

or -

A slightly entertaining experiment in scheadenfraude (SP?) if the person who's pain I should be deriving pleasure from is Maxie's, cause seriously! I mean, I don't know if her character lives or dies right now, but can not! Stand! Her!

Joslynm said...

Awesome! Here goes:

I used to watch GH back in HS, so around '92-'94ish. Maybe even for a bit before then. Then got back into it in 2003 when I had a job that allowed for TV during the day. Back watching now that my current job does as well. I can't watch/listen too closely - it's more on in the background. But I do try to follow along whenever possible. So: a lapsed viewer who would have come back anyway, but was definitely more intrigued once I heard the Franco news.

I don't DVR or watch eps on SOAPnet, I just catch what I can on the TV in my cube. If lunch just *happens* to fall at 3pm so I can listen more closely, so be it. But if I caught Franco on screen I would definitely pause what I was doing and try to pay closer attention.

I love soaps for their campy escapism, so the Franco arc to me was DELICIOUS. Absolutely ridic in all the best ways. His performance was totally bizarre - if you didn't know he was a "movie star" I think you would have to label him one of the worst actors on the show, but I think that was all intended somehow. And watching the terror and confusion in some of the other actors eyes in reaction to James Franco ("OMG it's James Franco. What is he doing HERE? Is he going to make me look terrible? Is he...wait, WTF is he DOING here?") was sort of the perfect reaction to the character Franco. On the other hand, my aunt who has watched the show for 30 years apparently, emailed me to say she thought he blew all the other actors out of the water. Personally I think that's the halo of the "movie star" label distorting her view, but you know: tomato, tomacrazytoe.

Also, liberal use of Adam Lambert doing Gary Jules' version of Mad World just felt like a wonderful personal shout-out. To me. Brilliant.

Other than Franco, I'm really only actively interested in a few of the couples on the show [insert angry "shipper" denouncements here, fully deserved and earned]. Mostly Liz and Lucky, as those crazy kids were together back in my early days. SO not a fan of Liz and Nicholas. I loved Nicholas and Emily, back when she was married to that one guy and also in the coma for a while. I love that original flavor Lucky is back, though that horrible face scruff needs to go.

If I did DVR the show, I would definitely be FFing through most scenes involving Sonny, and Spinelli, and that kid with the bug eyes. Sonny because like many long-time GH watchers, I'm over the mobster stuff, and the other two because to me they are, as you put it, particularly unappealing. And I really only watch Jax/Carly scenes to hear them talk about the baby with my name.

I'll definitely keep watching GH for now, and I hope the Franco arc brought some new viewers into the mix. I have a lot of affection for soaps, and GH in particular. Really looking forward to other responses to your survey!

Maret said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

Current viewer of GH since I was 13,s o almost 20 years. I am indeed pathetic.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

I DVR the show, and watched it the same as always during Franco's turn.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

I liked the idea of the big Jason/Franco nemesis because it's always fun to watch Jason be frustrated, but Franco's performance I thought was no different from any other soap actor. I don't know if that was intentional on his part, but in general, I think he's a better comedic actor than dramatic, and this performance did nothing to change my mind. And I'm super annoyed the Maxie slept with that guy.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

Fave characters: Sonny, Jason, Carly, Jax, Maxie, Spinelli, Alexis, Lucky (now that Jonathan Jackson is back), Robin, Patrick, Luke, Tracy, Lulu, Domenic/Dante.

Least fave characters: the current generation of kids (Michael, Christina, Morgan, Christina's dumbshit boyfriend who's name I can't remember. The Elizabeth/Nikolas story is making me insane (STOP BROODING AND KILL YOURSELF ALREADY NIKOLAS) but normally I like Elizabeth. I'm over Johnny, Kate, Olivia. Although Kate and Coleman are kind of hilarious.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

N/A

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

Yes because I'm pathetic.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

N/A

Anonymous said...

1.I've watched from December 2003 to the present.

2.I was already tuned in but was really intrigued at the story they were promoting for Franco's celebrity guest stint so I was rather excited. I DVR the show and also watch on SoapNet. I usually watch daily and then tune into the marathon on Sunday as well. I find the rwd button much more useful lately. Especially the Franco/Jason or the Franco/Sonny scenes. The writers really gave James Franco some great one liners.

3.It was really fabulous...right up until the end. The end was a let down as GH has been doing with so many of their big stories in the past few years. It's like full steam ahead & then they lose their footing or change directions or just don't play it through. In the end, there were too many holes in it. Franco was really intriguing. The plot to make Jason Morgan face his actions as a killer and see someone that idolizes his "artwork" when Jason himself is questioning everything having to do with him being a hitman. Add to that the creepy feel that James Franco spun into his character and you could really believe Jason's fears about this guy. For someone who's watched the show for years, there were a few holes that made no sense though. First up, Franco knows everything about Jason's life and deeds over the past few years but does not know about Elizabeth and Jason's son Jake. Jason and Lucky are friendly and cooperating with each other with regard to Franco. Jason tells Lucky that Elizabeth is safe but then tells Robin (another former lover prior to Elizabeth) that she should be careful because he's going after those he cares about. Sam gets very easily kidnapped by
Franco with really no signs of struggle but 4 months ago escaped a huge man while handcuffed to a bed. Then they don't make the final choice Franco is making Jason choose be Carly and Sam...bff or girlfriend.

Finally, what exactly was the point of the black lady from Las Vegas and Lost?

If GH follows through (which I won't hold my breath on) and fills those holes while playing out the arc of the story and its rippling effects...I'll be plesantly happy even if it started out like a rocket taking off and then the ending bang was more like a defective fire cracker.


4.Unfortunately, Luke Spencer should have been involved in this story once Lulu was...also the Quartermaines (Jason's estranged family) They love Lulu and should have been there to make Jason see that Lulu is priority. Sam, in this story has been dumbed down again. It's like the writers want us to think she's the greatest but don't follow through with showing us how great she is. Maxie's story AFTER sleeping with Franco was disappointing. Trying to convince your boyfriend that you two will be okay if and only if he sleeps with someone to even out the fact that she cheated by sleeping with Franco. Sonny, while disappointing, was no surprise, they have truly killed his character and now he is just plain selfish. Lucky, Jason, Lulu, Dante have really been great and the actors have been spot on with their performances. Not to mention that James Franco was fabulous in his performance as well.

5.N/A

6.Oh yes, unless we go back to late 2008 early 2009 writing, I'll be sticking around. I just really really hope the writers don't drop the ball on this story and even though Franco is out of it, continue to play the ripples of this storyline and it's effect on Jason and those around him.

7.Okay, pretending I hadn't watched...LOL The show is diverse with all the soap staples playing out on screen by a mostly stellar group of actors. Beautiful men and women in stories ranging from action, suspense, intrigue, humor, lust, love, secrets and family drama which is exactly how a soap opera is supposed to entertain us.

Alison (alikat)

Carrie Ann said...

1. I started watching GH in the summer of 1992 when I caught a scene of Jonathan Jackson crying in his mom's hospital room. I watched religiously until probably 1999. For probably the next five years, I tuned in a few times a month, and for the past five, almost never.

2. I heard about Franco first, but hearing about JJ's return really sealed the deal for me. I set the Tivo. At first, I FF'd through anything that wasn't Lucky- or Franco-related, but I got caught up in all the storylines pretty quickly.

3. James Franco was pretty horrible, let's be honest. I hope, and mostly believe, that that was intentional. At least he's pretty.

4. My impression is that the show has improved in general, because in the past few years, when I would catch an episode, it would be so bad that I would shut it off within minutes. Now, I really like the new set of kids, and I LOVE Lulu, Dominic, Olivia, Tracy, Alexis, Lucky. I find Maxie and Spinelli tiresome separately and together, and I do find myself ff-ing through any scene with Robin, Patrick and especially that new Lisa character.

5. The biggest change I noticed was that Sonny, Jason, Carly, etc. are written with a more even hand now. All of them acknowledge their own faults, and they are no longer simply lionized all the time. They're allowed to be more fully-realized characters, with senses of humor and even some humility.

6. Sigh. Yes. I'm hooked again. But if JJ left, I'd probably drop it from the Tivo.

7. n/a

LibrarianPM said...

1. I'm a lapsed viewer. Fervent fan during the 1980s, off and on in the 1990s. Rarely in the 2000s unless they were bringing back an old favorite from the 80s.

2. I was curious, but not enough to tune in. Figured I would watch it online, but then never did put the effort in to find his clips. Once I figured out he was going to be mixed up mainly with Jason and the Mob storyline, I lost interest. And I *love* James Franco, from back in his F&G days. If he had been mixed up in a Scorpio/Spencer/Cassadine adventure storyline, or even Quartermaines, I would have at least given him a chance. The mob stuff is a deal-breaker for me. I think that's really what drove away GH's viewers to make in the low-rated junk it is today.

3- 7. N/A

Couch Baron said...

1. Yes, but not since the late 80s. I followed it fairly religiously for a few years, especially in high school (along with AMC and OLTL), but I gave them up and basically never looked back.

2. Yes. I DVRed a few episodes off SoapNet and only watched his scenes (which all took place in the same room; I forgot how slowly time can move on a soap).

3. Dude. If I'm being charitable, I'd say that he was overcompensating for the fact that his scene partner made a block of wood seem animated. But it was like he took Sally Field's most overstated moments and threw in some speed and a bit of performance art. What a mess.

4-7: NA, with the footnote that I didn't recognize anyone as I was FFing.

Alice said...

I live in the UK, so can't participate in this, but just had to chime in to say that I'm FAR more excited to find out original Lucky is back than I was to find out about Franco's guest starring stint.

I was an avid GH watcher for about 5 years, but next time I'm in the US, the return of JJ as Lucky will definitely make me turn in again.

liz said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before...
Yes. From 1993 - 1998, then 2003 - present.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in...
No, but I was curious. I dvr always or watch online (sniff, no soapnet). I ff through any scenes with people/current stories that annoy me.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance...
Wasted. Could have been good, but they crammed too many ideas in too quickly into one arc. The part I enjoyed most? That it ended (?) with Claudia's body being found. Too short. Ooh, I like what someone said about wishing he was Jason's half brother.

4. Aside from Franco's character...
Love that original Lucky is back, wish they would figure out a storyline for Elizabeth that didn't involve her falling for a guy she knows she shouldn't fall for or doesn't even like, hate Sam, am tiring of Jason (holy crap I can't believe I just said that), am always charmed by Dominic/Dante (Jammer, heh), enjoy Maxie and Lulu, miss Carly being more than Michael's mom, wish the WSB was still around and that Robin or someone would go off and be a super spy, you know ABC has some old costumes and sets from Alias they could borrow.


6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH... yep, been watching since I was 8, hooked since Jagger rolled in on his motorcycle, I'll be watching when I retire. It's a soap, it has good moments and bad. I just wish they had more good "BIG" moments, though last year's hospital fire and the metrocourt bombing from a couple of years ago were pretty good.

Tom said...

1. Yes, last watched from 1999-2004. I gave up during the Sam/Jason/Jax/Sonny baby mess.

2. Watched a few on SoapNET.

3. It was fine. To be honest, I was more interested in checking out the show as a whole then I was about seeing how Franco did -- even if he was the reason I went in the first place.

4. Really, I was sad to find out that Emily had died and the Elizabeth/Lucky/Nikolas stuff mad me sad even if it wasn't the right Lucky.

5. It seems like it's still Corinthos & Co, which is mostly why I got out.

6. Probably not.

7. Daytime mobster show with some other stuff.

Jenn said...

1. I've been watching since 1996. I think the day I started watching faithfully was exactly the day AFTER Lily died.

2. N/A

3. What Huma said - I've always thought he was a great actor, but I wasn't impressed with his work on GH. A lot of the time I felt like he was overacting.

They could have done something great with Franco, but it was just another women-in-peril storyline. Why have Franco sleep with Maxie and then never have another scene with her? Why have him take photos of the scene of Claudia's death and never have them leak out? And yesterday was so disappointing and anticlimactic. Why tease that Dante was willing to blow his cover to help Lulu, and then never have it be necessary?

4. I want to go on record as stating that I've never liked Elizabeth, and now I hate her more than ever. Every time she shows up on screen, I groan. Can't stand her.

I'm extremely happy that Jonathan Jackson is back, but I think the writers are doing a lot of things that they wouldn't have done if Greg Vaughan were still around. GV's Lucky would NEVER work with Jason. It's like as soon as Jackson came back, the writers remembered that Lucky and Jason were actually friends once.

Love Dante and Lulu; love Patrick and Robin; want to see Lisa die a horrible, bloody death (though this actress is better than the last one); can't wait until Sonny inevitably blows Kiefer's head off; miss Quartermain wackiness; so glad Natalia Livingston is finally gone (hopefully for good this time); see no reason for Ethan to be around anymore; used to adore Jax but now can't stand him; think Megan Ward got the shaft and the writers are wasting her potential; would totally be fine if budget cuts required the dismissal of all actors except Nancy Lee Grahn and Carolyn Hennesy, leaving us with "The Alexis and Diane Show." (And how long do you think they would argue over who gets first billing?)

Jenn said...

Oh, and I used to hate Sam, but now I like her, and I'm not ashamed to love Jason and Sam together. I know a lot of people hate Jason, but I just can't.

Carrie said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

No, I'm a fan of James Franco & started watching just for him. I started watching about a month before Franco arrived right around the time of Claudia's death.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF though for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

Certainly

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

I enjoyed his arc, but thought his performance wasn't up to his usual standards. (I think he's a very talented actor in general). He certainly demonstrated the difficult nature of 1-take acting. Most of his co-stars out performed him, in my opinion.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the show in general. The first week I laughed at the show & found the acting and writing just atrocious. But over time, I forgot that initial impression & just enjoyed the show. I can't stand several of the storylines (Elizabeth & Nicholas, Robin & Patrick), but really liked some of the others. I don't come at this as a long-term viewer who has seen the show become all about the mob, so it doesn't bother me that that is the current focus. I certainly became a fan, in general.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

Not applicable.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

Yes, but not every day. Can see it as a TV show I tivo & put on over the weekend while I'm cleaning.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

I think GH is mindless fun.

The Movie Queen said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

Yes I have been watching since 2001.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

I was a fan of James so when the announcement came I was truly in shock. I DVR the episodes and watched on soapnet. I skipped the Elizabeth and Nicholas scenes.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

I thought it was good. very creepy and convincing. I could tell he loved it.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

Jason. Steve Burton really has done a good job. And Michael (Drew Garrett). I am not liking Elizabeth and Nicholas.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show? NA

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

Yeah I would like to see how the Franco story affects Jason plus to see if Franco does come back.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?
. NA

KatieT27 said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

I have watched GH periodically over the years. I had recently returned the show when Jonathan Jackson returned as Lucky.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

I was excited when it was announced James Franco was going to guest star on the show. I am a big fan of his film work and I liked the idea of him wanting to work in soaps. I definitely was curious to see what his character was all about. Though I have watched on GH on Soapnet, I primarily watched dvr episodes. I watched all the Franco scenes and FFed through other characters I wasn’t interested in.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

Oh lordy…I started out enjoying James’s performance. GH really sucked me into the plot and I was desperate to find out the connection between Franco and Jason. I was also eager to watch the scenes with Franco/Jason. After the first few weeks, the story began to drag and I lost interest in wherever the plot was taking me. I am actually glad the storyline has ended. As for James Franco’ performance, I enjoyed it at first, but it ultimately felt over the top and down right cheesy towards the end. His performance during his scene with Sonny was way too much for me.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

GH isn’t the same show I remember from the early, mid 1990s. I feel like the characters now really dissect everything that happens throughout the course of a story arc far too much. During the Franco arc, I FFed through many scenes of Jason and Sam analyzing the same topic day after day. I don’t feel as invested in the plot or characters as I was many years ago nor do I feel like the acting or writing is of the same quality that it had been. The characters that I remain invested in are the Lucky/Liz/Nicholas triangle (even though I hate Liz and wish Lucy would find out already), Luke, Lulu, Sonny/his family, and Jason. Can’t stand Maxie, Liz, and this Robin/Drake/Blonde Doctor story arc. Love Robin, but this story is boring.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

I will continue to watch GH for the moment, but I have a long history of leaving and returning to the show so I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens again.

Anonymous said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed? I WATCHED IT FOR A FEW YEARS IN THE 90'S. HAVEN'T WATCHED FOR 10 YRS AT LEAST.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes? YES I WATCHED FOR FRANCO. I TAPED SOME EPISODES. MOSTLY WATCHED ON SOAPNET AND YOUTUBE. MOSTLY FF THROUGH FOR FRANCO SCENES—PERIODICALLY WATCHD OTHER SCENES TO SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH CHARACTERS I KNEW.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out. WELL, IN TYPICAL GH FASION IT WAS DARK, BUT I ENJOYED THE DARK HUMOR AND THRILLER ASPECT. I THINK IT GIVES JASON (AND MAYBE SONNY) THE CHANCE TO GO IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS—MUCH NEEDED. THE WHOLE MOB THING IS OLD—NEVER A BIG SONNY OR JASON FAN. IF IT DOESN'T DO THAT, THEN IT WAS A WASTE. I WAS SOMEWHAT DISAPPOINTED IN FRANCO'S PERFORMANCE, BUT THOUGHT HE WAS A HOOT IN MANY SCENES, ESPECIALLY FIRST MEETING W/ JASON. HE WAS PLAYING A PSYCHO WHO MIMICS NORMAL BEHAVIOR W/O FEELING HUMAN EMOTIONS. NOT SURE HOW YOU PLAY THAT. I DID LAUGH OUT LOUD AT A LOT OF FRANCO'S DIALOGUE.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing? IN THE 7-8 WEEKS I WATCHED, I GOT TIRED OF THE WOMEN IN JASON'S AND SONNY'S LIVES ENABLING THEM. LIKED LULU AND LUCKY BEST. NOT FOND OF OLIVIA. A LITTLE OF MAXIE AND SPINELLI GOES A LONG WAY. BTW FRANCO'S SEDUCTION OF MAXIE WAS HOT. WOULD HAVE LIKED FRANCO TO PLAY A MORE TYPICAL SOAP HUNK.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show? I'M SORRY THAT NANCY LEE GRAHN AND TONY GEARY DON'T GET MORE AIR TIME. CAN'T BELIEVE LUKE IS MARRIED TO TRACY. ODD COUPLE.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished? THE ARC ISN'T FINISHED, SO I'LL WATCH PERIODICALLY UNTIL FRANCO'S RETURN IN THE SPRING. AFTER THAT, NO. SOAPS JUST AREN'T MY THING ANYMORE.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences? IT'S DARKER THAN THE TYPICAL SOAP, BUT STILL TYPICAL OF THE GENRE: SO-SO PROD VALUES, MELODRAMATIC, SLOW AS MOLASSES. PERSONALLY I THINK IT WAS A MISTAKE FOR SOAPS TO EXPAND TO 60 MINS--TOO MUCH TIME TO FILL.

brandy said...

Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

I have been watching everyday since about '94.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

I watched most of the episodes on DVR and the rest live. I was very intrigued by an actor in Hollywood coming to Daytime and Franco is not only a good actor but such a dish!

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

I was pleasantly surprised!I knew he would be good but I was not sure how the flow of the show would go with his presence, but he was really good!

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

Very glad that Jonathan Jackson returned! His performance of late is amazing!I am very tired of this Michael storyline. I like the character of Michael, but geez can we move on???!!! Kristina and her boyfriend Keifer.....love the fact they are addressing violence, but come on why hasn't anyone picked up on this more!!??!! Not happy with Nikolas and Liz either, but then again I also hated the pairing of Jason and Liz too!!!

The bright side had been Lulu and Dominic. I like them together and I was overjoyed when Sam and Jason got back together.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

n/a

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

Of course. I was watching before and will continue.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?
.
n/a

Anonymous said...

1. I watch GH everyday, but was excited James Franco was coming to the show.
2. No, and I dvr it everyday because I am at work when it airs. I watch the full episode.
3. I thought it was fabulous-his character was so intense & creepy-you could not figure out what was going on in that mind of his.
4. If I did not like the show I would not watch it eveyday-sure it has it's moments, but all in all it rolls right along. Jason is always my favorite, esp now as they chip away at the "Stone Cold" persona.
5. The characters never change.
6. Of course
7.Good stories. Great cast!

Anonymous said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed? Yes, I always watched GH and November is when I first heard of Franco.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes? I watched like I normally do, but I REALLY liked what Franco brought to the show. Great Talent.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.He played crazy so well. He was a hot, fresh new face and I'm looking forward to GH bringing him back on and on..due to the character. I'm hoping he's not killed off the show.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing? I love GH and he made it even better.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show? I still don't care for Elizabeth nor LuLu. Everyone else I love!

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished? Yes, but I would definitely like him to come back as Franco or a twin lol, gottta love soaps!

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences? Tons of drama, great actors and a lot of great story lines.
.

Christian said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

Yes

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF though for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?


I did all the above.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

Well, I didn't really watch or know that much about James Franco until he was on the show and I have to tell you I am a fan now. As far as his performance he made me feel all types of emotions for Franco. He is a wonderful actor and will watch him in all movies, tv or anything else that he does from now on. I have to say I miss him on the show and hope that he comes back to have some closer to the show line.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

I like almost all the other characters on the show. I am sick of Elizabeth & Nikolas storyline. I also like the new character/storyline of Dante.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

I have always watched.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

I will be watching everyday.


7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

Good storylines.
Good actors.

Emma's Mom said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

No, I had never watched GH. The only reason I tuned in was for James Franco. I watched religiously through Monday (his last day). I have no reason to watch any more.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

Yes, I DVR'd every episode and watched only his scences. I have no interest in any other characters on the show.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

I think he's brilliant in everything he does. He was so creepy!

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

I only watched Franco's scenes so I don't know all the characters outside of his storyline. I will say the person that plays Sam is a horrible actress.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?
I never watched the show before.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?
Nope.

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

I don't know...I was only watching for James. He was awesome; the rest of the show and the actors didn't leave much of an impression.

Stephie said...

I didn't watch it, but he wrote an essay (for the NY Times, maybe?) explaining that he did it as performance art. The art was in our reaction, not his acting. So his approach, no matter how terrible/intense/overdone, was probably intentional.

Judi Sunshine said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November? Were you a current viewer or had you lapsed?

I watched religiously back in '85-'86 for Jack Wagner, and got drawn in by Terri and her murderous husband and Jake and the double jeopardy. Plus, Lucy Koh! Since then though, no.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity? Did you DVR episodes? Watch on SOAPnet? Did you just FF through for the Franco scenes or did you watch the full episodes?

James Franco is one of my only celebrity crushes, and I really wanted to know what in the world was going on. So I flipped back and forth between SOAPnet and "Still Small Voices" on Lifetime this past Sunday to watch Franco's scenes.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show. Let it all out.

I thought he was awesome, and adjusted well to the soap, and seemed to have a lot of fun with it and not take himself too seriously.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was enjoying the scenes without Franco. I liked the actors. It scared me that now they were the "adults," because they were my age and younger. I liked that girl, don't know her name, but she was the one Kelly Taylor yelled at for looking in her closet while eating disordered for those couple of episodes? It's pretty cold to sleep with your husband's brother, and I enjoyed watching her scenes.

5. If you had previously watched the show and had lapsed, what did you think of the characters you remember from before who are still on the show?

Robin is all grown up, yet looks basically the same.

6. Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

Maybe from time to time if I'm watching TV anyway. But I can't sign on for a new addiction right now!

7. If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

N/A

Rbelle said...

1. I've watched GH off and on since I was 10 or so, but haven't been a viewer since 2004, at least.

2. I tuned in to one of his first episodes, and I did watch almost the whole thing, except the Jason/Sam scenes. Although I did pause to wonder why Sam was wearing her underwear OUTSIDE her clothes that day.

3. The little bit I saw, I liked, and my enthusiasm was only dampened because I knew he wouldn't get to kill anyone important. But I loved the little smile and wave he gave to Jason on first seeing him. Equally entertaining was Jason realizing that he had seen! that! wave! before!

4. The show is as abysmal as I remember, and I continue to hate it for all the reasons I left it to begin with - glorification of crime and violence, misogyny, the sabotaging of multiple characters so that Sonny and Jason don't look so much like the assholes they are (sniff - I miss you, Rick Hearst!), and a repeated line of vacuous female characters brought on as love interests for Sonny because none of the long-time characters can stand being around him anymore.

5. I think maybe I already answered this question, but I find most of the characters insufferable, with the exception of Alexis and Jonathan Jackson's Lucky - I love that they made him a cop, and I wish Jackson had been around for that whole arc, instead of Greg Vaughn. I also like that they gave Sonny a son who was a cop, except that I expect him to go bad long before they ever make Sonny go "good."

6. I get updates from my friend who still watches - I find that's all I need to remind me why I don't watch.

7. Before or after James Franco, I think the only way to describe GH these days is sociopathic.

Kevin C.W. Lockett said...

1. Yes, I am loyal viewer since the Luke and Laura days. I try to watch it on Soapnet at 10 PM

2. I watched the whole show.

3. I think they wasted Franco's talent a bit. Over the holiday ABC aired his first meeting with Maxie. That first week, he displayed a crazy, sexy cool vibe that went away as the plotline continued. I think if was just a wacky artist and then he acccidently saw jason kills someone, thus became obsessed might have been a better way to go. if that now, they should've had Franco just seduce eevery chick in town and leave some carnage when he left. Maybe they will adjust if James Franco comes back (and stay a little longer to create a more enticing storyline).

4. I'm glad Jonthan Jackson is back. No offense to Greg Vaughn's version of Lucky, but JJ and Tony Geary just have a real bond. I'm also a big fan of Robert and Patrick. For non mob fans (even Steve and Maruice are fine actots), Robin and Patrick is probably the closet you will get toold school GH. Finally, I really would like to see the Coleman and Kate pairing on screen. That pairing is so intriging, but we never see it!?!

5. My biggest question is when are they going to change the opening, just about everyone is gone. (Where are Alczar and Justus)

6. I'm a loyal fan, so I'll keep watchng. But this decade, they have to decide what to do with the mob angle.

7. Fine show, but they need to study shows like OLTL to create better storylines.

www.soul88.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/kevinlockett

Cara said...

1. Had you ever watched General Hospital before James Franco appeared on the show in November?

No, I'd never seen the show before. I actually had no idea that he was going to be on it until one day I was flipping through channels and stopped on soapnet. I saw James Franco and started watching.

2. Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity?

Absolutely. I ended up watching it during its regular time slot and on soapnet, and now that I'm at school I've been tuning in to episodes on abc.com, youtube, and hulu. I mostly watched the full episodes, but occassionally I fast forwarded to the Franco scenes.

3. What did you think of Franco's arc/ performance on the show?

I thought he was amazing. Some people say that he was a little over the top, and I agree, but I also think that being over the top was part of the character--the artist Franco was over the top in everything he did just so that he could feel something--adrenaline, probably, since he admitted to feeling nothing else. I also adored seeing James on the soap opera every week. Because he or his storyline was on for weeks straight, James seemed much more accessible to me; unlike in a movie where you can watch it over and over again, with a soap opera you can keep watching it for weeks and he'll constantly say or do something different (in a movie, the lines, the actions, the ending, etc, are always the same no matter how many times you watch it). It was nice to have him for such a long period of time.

4. Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors stand out to you as particularly appealing? As particularly unappealing?

I liked the rest of the show, but some of the storylines are boring (I always skipped through the scenes with Olivia and Claudia's brother, the scenes with Sam's mom and Sonny, and the scenes between Olivia and Sonny). Franco's appearance really spiced up the show, since the only good thing about it is Jason Morgan and Lucky Spencer (I adore Jonathan Jackson!)

5. N/A

6.Do you think you'll keep checking in on GH now that Franco's arc is finished?

Since they are still talking about Franco's character, yes, but I don't know how long I'll keep tuning in. The only reason that I might keep checking in on GH is to catch glimpses of Jonathan Jackson.

7.If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show General Hospital in 1-2 sentences?

Only 1 or 2 of the plotlines are actually interesting, and the others are predictable and annoying (Elizabeth and Nick disgust me).

Patty M. said...

I haven't watched since the days of Luke & Laura, so it's been a really, really long time. I meant to DVR the Franco episodes, but I forgot. Grr.

Isa said...

1.Had you ever watched General Hospital before...

Yes, since the 80s with a few lapses. Now, I FF storylines I don't care for.

2.Did Franco's presence cause you to tune in out of curiosity?...

Sadly but true, I didn't know who JF was before this. Yes, I have been living under a rock for the past 5 yrs. However, a big movie star wanting to try his hand at soap acting intrigued me. I am thankful for that because I got to learn about this talented and versatile actor who craves learning and experiencing new and different things. He is a lover of art and most recently, performance art. His GH role is an expression of that art. But that's only part of his journey. He has so many different projects coming up.

One could even consider his 'journey' performance art. I definitely would, and I have a feeling he would too.

3.What did you think of Franco's arc/performance on the show? Let it all out.

Let me say that acting on a soap is unlike any other form of acting. It cannot be compared. In my opinion, he played his role very well. The monologue, in particular, was unforgettable.

Did anybody notice the paradox? Franco is alone in his studio and confides in the ‘camera’. Ever since he can remember, he has felt nothing. He sees people laugh or cry. He doesn’t understand it. A typical sociopath. Here’s the paradox. As he speaks, his eyes are filled with tears as if at any moment they will crash onto his cheeks…but they never do. For me, that is art.

4.Aside from Franco's character, what were your impressions of the rest of the show? Did any characters or actors…

I would say Kirsten Storms could have done better; however, her lines could have been written better as well. Another point to be made is that an actor can only be as good as the other actor in the scene. Reaction is a HUGE part of acting.

Some well-acted scenes that stick out in my mind are when Luke and Sonny first met Franco, when Franco approached Carly at the Christmas tree lot, and when Jason finally sat down with Franco and explained his brain injury and why he does what he does. But even without JF, there are great scenes...Carly finally getting Michael to open up and show remorse and guilt, Luke and Lucky at the Haunted Star reminiscing, and Sonny asking Lucky what made him become a cop.

7.If you hadn't watched the show before tuning in for the Franco arc, how would you describe the show...

I see GH as a show with lots of potential and multi-dimensional characters, good actors (for the most part), but in desperate need for better writing.
___________________________________________________

A great writer should not only be able to create imaginative and intriguing stories, but should truly ‘know’ the characters in order to accurately write how they react to betrayal or good news, what they would say, how they would say it, what mannerisms they have. If you’re not intimately familiar with a character, how can you write scenes for him?

That’s not to say a character cannot change and grow, but show us a reason for it and the progression of it.

Examples of characters whose behaviors lately have been very ‘out of character’ are Sam, Jax, Claudia, and even Sonny to an extent. The winners, hands down, are Nik and Liz. And what they did to Claudia's character was just pitiful to watch. The only redeeming quality was watching Sarah Brown's talent.

But that’s just my opinion. What do I know?