Note: spoilers here for the Friday 10/19/12 episode of General Hospital.
I was never a big Jason fan. Sure, he’s hot — which I suppose is the only component necessary to have made him such a successful character all these years. Other than that, I always thought it was kind of stupid that he was a perpetual tabula rasa, and that he never managed to reclaim any sense of loyalty or identity to the Quartermaines. I never found himself rooting for him, especially with his women — at least, not since he was paired with Robin. But I still respected him as a core character, and I respect his portrayer as an acting veteran of the show. In the end, Steve Burton leaves behind a legacy.
I am a fan of the new direction that General Hospital has taken since the honchos from One Life To Live came on board. Full disclosure: I was also a fan of One Live To Live, but drifted from General Hospital beginning in the late 90s to the early 2000s, when terrible things like Luke and Felicia pairing up started to happen. Or Felicia turning into a bum mom. And the Quartermaines one by one disappearing from the canvas, the slow death of a great core family. Etc.
Meanwhile, One Life To Live rose to prominence with bold, sometimes audacious storytelling that ranged from a gay murderer, to staging dance numbers, and inviting Snoop Dogg (Lion) to do a couple of songs. Perhaps having low ratings was a blessing: the unimpressive numbers provided a cushioning, an oasis, for creative leaps. The gay cop thing was done on Six Feet Under, but that was pay TV. One Life To Live dared to bring this over the free airwaves. (One Life To Live was doing well even when I was still faithfully watching General Hospital. God, how I loved the storyline where Nora was presumed dead in a train wreck — only to later emerge as a prisoner of Dr. Colin MacIver! The scoring to that entire storyline was classic daytime drama. I’ll never forget that beautiful, ridiculously melodramatic music.)
Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini and this hybrid of a well-written but low-rated soap opera transfused to resuscitate a faded centerpiece is the best thing to come out of ABC’s destruction of its daytime lineup. Now, that being said:
What the hell was up with Friday 10/19’s episode? That’s how they’re going to write off Jason?!
No matter how I felt about the character, I think that he deserves so much more than to get shot in the back and crawl in a pool of his own blood along those dark and dank docks. Wow. I am astonished. This could seriously be the first strike that I have against the new regime. Of course, I am looking forward to next week’s episodes to see how this unfolds — particularly since the show still has to address John Ingle’s demise (my God! Jason and Edward!) — and although it is a long shot, I am hoping that there will be more to it than Jason meeting a watery end.