Monday, January 11, 2010

General Hospital Revisited

Oh how quickly and flawlessly we are pulled back in.

I’m in the doctor’s office trying not to lose my mind. My cellphone is off. I, unlike the others in the waiting room, read and obeyed the sign saying to turn off all cellphones and pagers. Really, can that many people not read, or do they just not care? I have exhausted the copious supply of women’s and golf magazines, some multiple copies of the same issues, and I hear a word I haven’t heard in decades.


Yes, decades. Was it thirty years ago or more? I look up at the TV in the upper corner of the waiting room and see another face from the shadows of the past, Luke Spencer, as played by Anthony Geary.

Memories flood back in a rushing tide and in just one minute I am back on the “General Hospital” bandwagon. Once again it was the summer of 1980. The reign of Luke and Laura on afternoon television and pop culture was in full swing. Everyone was talking about such arcane things like ‘the left-handed boy’ and ‘the ice princess’ and it was a code that only GH viewers were hip to.

I remember one particular afternoon I was mocked by friends because I wanted to see GH and they sat down with me to watch it ... and they were mesmerized by a tale of a madman attempting to freeze the entire eastern seaboard. It blew their minds. That wasn’t what soap operas were supposed to be at all.

Later Luke and Laura got married in a ratings extravaganza that guest-starred Elizabeth Taylor as the matriarch of the evil Cassadine family. A novelty rap song came out about the show. Richard Simmons, Rick Springfield, Richard Dean Anderson and John Stamos all jumped from the soap opera to overnight success.

Soon everybody was into GH and it just wasn’t special anymore. Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, who had played Laura, left the series for a time. The thrill was gone. But here I am, back in the groove. Damn soap operas... just like crack...

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1 comment:

  1. Back when the show was cool!

    (aka Scorpio)