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Saturday, January 17, 2015

GH: The Election Results

General Hospital had a special episode on January 13, 2015, where it was decided who the new mayor of Port Charles would be. Below are my thoughts on the episode.

Warning: My thoughts aren't exactly positive as over the years I've loathed nearly every election story I've ever seen on daytime soaps.

Felicia lost due to a voting controversy where one ballot box went missing. It seemed like everyone was against Felicia winning though the exact reasons weren't fully explained. The Corinthos mob organization didn't want her to win, neither did Helena or Nikolas. They wanted Mayor Lomax to stay in place and Anna also lost her job as police commissioner as Sloan was given her job. Nikolas has become a villain now, or so it seems, but we don't know why. I can't see Britt leaving him or Liz being with Ric as real reasons. Is he "for real" or playing Helena? Spencer thinking he had to changed the election because of his Uncle Sonny was played for humor, and came out of nowhere. I did understand why they did that as a "red herring".

I wish it was done in another way. As a viewer, I get rather frustrated when a story is ignored for months and then wrapped in a day making it feel like an afterthought. I wish even if they hadn't written the story of Felicia's run for mayor, they had shown posters all over town during the summer and autumn. When it was mentioned again around Election Day, I actually was shocked as I thought that Felicia's comment about running for mayor was just a stall tactic to try and help Lucy. They could have easily ended it with a small remark about how Felicia didn't have major party support, and couldn't run as an independent as she hadn't gotten enough signatures to get on the ballot.

Unlike most GH episodes, the show summarized months worth of story in one episode. (This is like a technique Guiding Light used, which they called "Inside the Light" except they did this on a weekly basis.) Episodes of this nature can be a success or fail based on your personal preference and the execution. The execution was a bit off as it was difficult to tell "time zones" within the episode. The characters didn't have extremely visual changes (like how "The Missing" handled their flashback-laden series) as everything happened in the recent past. People didn't have long hair or facial hair or wore swimsuits in the summer and puffy coats in the winter. The past scenes didn't have a tinted effect or a blurry one, which I've seen other soaps use to denote a flashback of memory. For this reason, parts of the episode were unclear as to whether they were taking place in the present or the past. Since GH has such short scenes, it made it harder to follow. It is frustrating watching something and having no idea "when it is".

Even with my issues with the episode, I did appreciate the attempt at something new. I hope it was fun for those involved in the creation and execution of the episode. Hopefully if they do another experiment in the future, they learn what worked and what didn't and make the next one even stronger contextually.

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