Sunday, October 30, 2005

Question Time

Good morning, chickadees!

I didn't get a chance to watch Maternity yesterday. If Best Friend and I are going to do this together, we may have to watch it before the football game today. What football game, you might ask? Why the Redskins playing the Giants, I answer blithely. It's an important game so we might be able to squeeze Maternity in before hand. Given that we here in the US have an extra hour today, that should be a reasonable thing to do....

The question for today is "When did [General Hospital] start?"

General Hospital began in the 60s as a half hour radio serial. When it moved to television, it remained only one half hour and was in black and white. Sometime later, it expanded to one hour and came to us in glorious technicolour!

For an accurate rundown of GH's history check out .

The next question is much more interesting and not as quick to answer, "What was [General Hospital] known for?"

Well. Initially, it was just another Peyton Place-ish daytime drama set in a hospital.

In the late 70s and early 80s, however, GH can lay claim to being the single most watched soap opera in the country if not the world and the show that put DayTime Television on everyone's "to watch" list. When the saga of Luke Spencer and Laura Vining Weber hit the cover of Time Magazine, soaps had officially arrived.

What had been a genre that was snubbed and looked down-upon suddenly grew up and developed some chops.

As the Era of Luke and Laura waned, GH went in other dramatic directions. They began to write "issue" laden plots....most of which worked well, were written well, acted well and had a profound impact on the viewers who had stuck around to see what GH had up its figurative sleeve.

Over the course of a few years, GH tackled the death of a major character's child and her subsequent heart donation to her cousin (the cousin is still a major player on the canvas); breast cancer and HIV/AIDS.

These storylines were handled so brilliantly that fans even coined names for them, "BJ's Heart", "Monica's Cancer" and "Stone's Death".

In my personal little fantasy world, these are the plots that hooked undergrad and med student Greg House.

Although GH has dabbled in major issues since those three, it's never hit stride again. Unfortunately, the current writing regime (Emmys aside) can't seem to invest enough time in any single plot to get the audience hooked. For example, one character had breast cancer for about a week and was cured with a kiss.


How's that for a responsible hospital show that is known for making civic PAs?

Pretty pathetic, if you ask me.

So, for now, I'm convinced that House sticks with the show merely as an excuse to get out of Clinic duty.

Plus, once you're sucked into the vortex that is GH, it's hard to escape. No matter how bad it gets. :-\

Saturday, October 29, 2005

General Hospital Crib Sheet

Quartermaine & Corinthos Families (Coming Soon: Spencers & Cassedines)

Location: Port Charles, NY. This fictional city is based on Rochester, NY, which opens up onto Lake Ontario.

Quartermaine Family

The Quartermaines are the staple family of Port Charles. They own Edward Louis Quartermaine Industries or “ELQ.” ELQ is a multi-billion dollar business with important ties to the shipping industry that keeps Port Charles afloat. The Quartermaines are fabulously wealthy and live in the Quartermaine Mansion which is fully staffed by butlers and maids (especially “Big Alice”) and the infamous “Cook.”

The family is headed by Edward Q. who is a cantankerous old coot but who rules with an iron fist. He is tempered by his invalid wife Lila Morgan Quartermaine who is the love of the entire show. In 2004, Anna Lee and her character, Lila, died of old age.


Son: Alan m. Monica (Susan Moore d.)
(Page d.)

Daughter: Tracy m. ? m.?

Alan's children: Alan, Jr. (“AJ”) (40s) Jason (Morgan) (30s)* Emily (late 20s)**

AJ's son: Michael Morgan Corinthos (10) from a one night stand with Carly Benson.

Tracy's children: Ned (40s) Dillon (early 20s)

Ned's daughter: Brook-Lynn (18-ish)

*Jason is the child of Alan and Susan Moore. Born out of wedlock, Jason was adopted by Alan and Monica when he was tiny. He is every bit as much of a legal heir to the Quartermaine estate as AJ and Emily are. (Although according to the storyline, he isn’t in line to inherit. I’ve never heard of a codicil or any other specific instrument created to prevent such a circumstance but it is commonly accepted that he lives off of a huge trust fund established for him by his grandmother, Lila.)

Monica, for whatever reason, highly prefers Jason over AJ and is very biased about her sons.

EDWARD runs ELQ. (He had one affair that resulted in a child. The grandchild, Justus Ward, is currently on the canvas but comes and goes as plotlines call for his presence.)

Edward and Lila’s children:

Alan is the CEO and head of the Board of Governors of General Hospital. He was the Chief Surgeon until a drug addiction problem made him resign. He has never actually practiced medicine since.

Alan’s wife Monica is the Chief of Cardiology and a practicing heart surgeon.

Tracy currently runs the Board of Governors of ELQ but answers to her father.

Edward’s Grandchildren:

Alan and Monica’s children:
AJ is presumed murdered but is, in fact, on the run from the family and from Port Charles. Sometime after this debacle, AJ was, in fact, murdered in his sleep after committing some particularly heinous crime.

Jason is estranged from the family and works for Sonny Corinthos, the Mob Boss, as his best friend and Chief Enforcer.

Emily is married to Nikolas Cassedine and lives in his mansion, Wyndemere, on Spoon Island in the Harbour. Emily and Nikolas are now separated and she has moved in with Sonny Corinthos to help him with his children while his ex-wife, Carly, is being housed in a mental institution.

Tracy’s children:
Ned is a rock and roll star (under the name, Eddie Maine) and runs L&B Records. His daughter Brook Lynne is a singer under contract with his label.

Dillon is a freshman in college at Port Charles University (PCU) and wants to be a film director. He and Georgie Jones have a rocky but adorable love affair.

Edward’s Great-Grandchildren

AJ’s son
Michael Corinthos is AJ’s biological son but the adopted son of Sonny Corinthos. Michael is aware of his parentage. Michael has a little brother, Morgan, who is the natural child of Sonny and Carly Corinthos.
Ned’s daughter
Brook Lynne is back in Port Charles having been raised in Brooklyn by her mother, Lois. Lois is peripherally involved with Ned again while she pushes BL’s singing career.

Jason and AJ do not get along. AJ, who has a drinking problem, drove drunk and crashed the car. Jason, who was trying to get AJ to stop, was severely injured and suffered traumatic brain scarring. He is now a stoic, serious man with little or no sense of imagination or humour. Upon recovering from the coma, Jason renounced his family and took his grandmother’s maiden name (his middle name) as his last name and is from then on known as Jason Morgan. He still has his trust fund from the Q’s and is fabulously wealthy in his own right.

**Monica is a breast cancer survivor. While she was going through chemotherapy she met and befriended a fellow sufferer, Page. Page did not survive the Cancer and left behind a tiny little daughter. Alan and Monica adopted her and named her Emily. She is not genetically related to any Quartermaines.

***Because little Michael is the ONLY real great grandchild, Edward and Alan are fanatical about getting the child back in the Quartermaine household. Michael is the only valid heir to the estate that extends beyond the second generation. (I’m not sure why Brook Lynne is treated like chopped liver but she does live with her Mother in Brooklyn…..)

Michael lived with his mother in Penthouse 4 of the Port Charles Towers and has been legally adopted by his mother’s husband, Sonny Corinthos. He is aware of AJ as his biological father but cannot stand him and views Sonny as his real father. He views Jason as his uncle. (Which he literally is.)

Recently, Carly and Sonny have split up and Carly, Michael and Morgan are living in a house provided for her by her father, Federal Prosecutor, John Durant.

Michael indicated that he wanted to live in a “real house” and Sonny bought “GreyStone” Mansion on his behalf which is where they now live.

Carly has since had a nervous breakdown and is being kept in RoseLawn Asylum.

Michael’s history: One night in a drunken stupor, AJ Quartermaine slept with a girl he picked up in “Jake’s Bar.” The resulting child was Michael. Initially, Carly convinced her best friend Jason to tell the world the child was his. Since they had been having a very public affair, no one doubted it. Carly suffered post partum depression and ended up in an asylum. Jason raised Michael as his own for over a year. He named him Michael after his best friend, Sonny (Michael) Corinthos.

Eventually, AJ discovered he was the biological father and he, his own father and his grandfather have, ever since, tried to get Michael back into the Quartermaine household.

After several failed attempts to get Michael back, AJ ran off with the Quartermaine fortune and a woman named Lydia.

As Michael grows older, the Quartermaine’s seem less and less obsessed with getting him back. Also, his character is becoming more and more like Sonny’s. Dark, a little mean, and entitled. (The child has been known to try to order hits on people he thinks are threatening his stable family life.)

Most recently, Michael was kidnapped along with his brother, Morgan, and his step sister Kristina. Although the two little children were returned, Michael was presumed dead. Photos surfaced of him shot and left in a Louisiana swamp.

Unbeknownst to his parents, he is quite alive and has been abducted by a very much alive AJ Quartermaine who has returned from his feigned murder to claim his son.

However, when the children were recovered, Michael went into some sort of fugue state (or is just plain evil) and smothered his father, AJ, who was strapped to a hospital bed.

The child is just now starting to remember and have nightmares.

Jason desperately wants to get him in therapy (even though, given Jason’s history with mental problems, he’s very skeptical) but Sonny is balking.

By now, everything has settled down except for the fact that, while trying to help Michael get well, Jason took an experimental drug that enhances memory. It’s completely screwed with Jason’s already damaged brain and we’re just waiting for the decision to either have surgery or go with an even more experimental drug regimen.

Corinthos Family

Sonny Corinthos is a self-made man. He is American of Puerto Rican descent. He is the most powerful Mafia Boss in Port Charles, New York, and controls most of the Upstate illegal activity. His businesses include mainly racketeering, smuggling and gambling. He owns several Casinos in Puerto Rico. His “business” is covered by a legitimate coffee importing company, “Corinthos/Morgan Industries.” CMI controls all of the importing in and out of the docks to include the labour unions, the heavy machinery contracts (cranes and the like), several major piers, and the rest of the Mafia in Port Charles….known as “The Five Families.”

The Five Families call a Meet? Sonny sends Jason. If Sonny calls a Meet? Everyone is there tout suite. (A rival Mob boss died and left his wife, Faith Roscoe, to pick up the pieces. She’s a ruthless woman and in one fell swoop took out all of The Five Families in a warehouse massacre. Now, PC is run by Sonny alone with Faith as a periodic problem. This little “problem” was solved when she abducted Sonny’s sons. That was the final straw and in a very apocalyptic scene, Jason effectively killed her in a shootout in a chapel. Quite the Avenging Angel is our Jason.)

Most recently, Faith was responsible for kidnapping the Corinthos children and Sonny had her killed. Jason pulled the trigger. Even though Faith is dead at Sonny’s hand, his vulnerability has been exposed and the Five Families are regrouping. To maintain his power, Sonny has started a war and so far has destroyed the Sandovals.

At this moment, his biggest rival family is the Ruis clan from Miami.

Sonny owns The Port Charles Towers that overlook the Docks. He lived there with his wife, Carly, and sons, Michael and Morgan in Penthouse 4. A few months ago, before the kidnapping and Michael’s “death”, Sonny bought Michael a mansion called GreyStone where they now live. Jason Morgan still lives in Penthouse 2, Port Charles Towers.


Parents of Michael "Sonny" Corinthos

Sonny's children: Michael Morgan Corinthos (10); Morgan Corinthos (toddling) ; Kristina Davis (toddling)

Mike Corbin m. Janine Matthews

Their daughter is Courtney Matthews m. Jason Morgan (divorced) m. Jasper Jax (separated)


Son: (Sonny's half brother) Rick Lansing

Mike Corbin had an affair with Adella and produced Sonny. Adella took up with an abusive man (“Deke”) who would lock the child, Sonny, in the closet while he beat Adella. Sonny is now claustrophobic, wouldn’t dream of raising a fist to a woman, and is a manic depressive. He suffers from bipolar disease. He is a very controlling and dark character.

Adella died from the beatings but not before she had an affair with one of her bosses, Trevor Lansing, and produced Sonny’s half brother, Rick Lansing. Rick is a pretty serious villain. The show is trying to redeem him, though. Rick is currently the District Attorney and harbours a serious resentment of his brother.

Where does Jason Morgan come into the picture? Jason is Sonny’s Enforcer. His Chief of Security; his Hit Man; his best friend and is considered to be the closest thing Sonny has ever had to a brother. They genuinely love each other.

Jason is Carly’s best friend and soul mate. They also genuinely love each other. When they first met, ages ago, they had a pretty torrid affair, but the relationship has forged into something more profound and the sexual side has ended. Jason and Carly are completely comfortable with each other and with her marriage to his best friend, Sonny.

Years before, when Carly arrived at Jason’s door pregnant by his brother AJ and with no where to go, Jason helped her. When she deserted her child and ended up in an asylum, Jason raised Michael for the first full year of his tiny life. Jason is devoted to that child.

When he saw the love between Carly and Sonny form, he agreed to “give” Carly and Michael over to Sonny because it was clearly in Michael’s best interests.

Carly, Sonny, and Jason make up an unstoppable team. They are united by both family and love.

Jason and Sonny’s little sister, Courtney, have fallen in love and are engaged to be married. (Now married, they are experiencing very serious problems. Courtney is finally owning up to the reality of her brother’s and her husband’s life.)

(Update 12/04) Courtney is now falling by the wayside. Unable to adjust to Jason’s lifestyle, she divorced him. In the process, she never stopped loving him and utterly broke his heart. He never changed. She just couldn’t stand the mob and the idea that Jason is a hit man. (Like she didn’t know ahead of time? Whatevah.)

Courtney married a character named Jasper Jax but that fell apart when they tried to have a surrogate mother bear their child and Courtney felt unworthy. They are now separated.

There are three recurring bodyguards, Marco (the limo driver), Max and Johnny. (The actor who plays Max (Dirk Cheetwood) and the actor who plays Jason used to be roommates when they were first getting acting gigs in LA. Cheetwood is also another actor on the show’s cousin, Tyler Christopher who plays Nikolas Cassedine.) There was an accountant named Benny Eugene Abrams but he died just recently. Sonny is in the market for a new one and for a lawyer.

In further news, Courtney has taken up with Jasper Jax, a fickle shallow blond once-was-beef-cake character who is full of money.

Back during a period of time when I wasn’t watching. Sonny, Jax and a character named “Brenda” (Vanessa Marcil from “Las Vegas”) had an amazing love triangle. (So I’ve been told and have seen on video tapes.)

Because of that, there are thousands of Sonny, Jacks and Brenda fans out there.

Personally? Yawn.

I think Sonny is a prat, Jax is a self-absorbed nuthin’ and Brenda’s brief return last year was a hoot. I really enjoyed her acting and her character.

Jason has taken up with a former girlfriend of Sonny’s, Sam. While that would ordinarily sound pathetic, they are taking the characters slowly, letting the romance build and allowing Sam to have a backbone. The two actors have a modicum of chemistry and seem to hit it off. Yay!

Sonny and Carly are divorced. Sonny has taken up with an FBI agent who is rather soft-porn and kinda….well, kinda soft porn-y. Not my cuppa. Ick. (Lots of tongue action which is just squicky.)

Carly has remarried. She’s now hitched to the rival Crime Boss (who actually runs drugs and money but is SMOKIN’ HOT…..okay, not Hugh Laurie “smart and clever and EYES, people” hot but still SMOKIN’ HOT.) Since this guy, Lorrrrrrenzo Alcazar, is so hot we forgive him for supplying children with addictive narcotics and weaponry.

Lorrrrrrenzo (Ted King of “TimeCop” fame) has a son named Deigo (Ignacio Servichio…roofing dude in “Humpty Dumpty”) who was really, really bad initially but has grown on me and has this unbelievably sexy habit of dropping into his native Spanish.


The Teens of Summer (gotta hook ‘em young!) are Georgie and Maxie. Sisters from a plotline many, many years ago. Georgie’s boyfriend, Dillon, is mentioned above. He’s Tracy Quartermaine’s youngest son.

Dillon is played by Scott Clifton…..who is the breakout Hugh Laurie of daytime, imnsho. He’s just incredible and that he was denied the Emmy tells me that they are rigged.

So there, that should catch most non viewers up on GH.

Paternity; Occam's Razor

Well, I seem to have had a very productive day yesterday! Watched Tape and thought it was very good except Robert Sean Leonard acted rings around Ethan “what the Hell were you thinking!?” Hawke and Uma Thurman.

I’m always fascinated (Laurie, I’m lookin’ at you, mister) by an actor who can completely out-act his ensemble mates and yet never once seem to intend to or even to upstage them.

Some people just have “it” and some don’t.

ANYway, here’s a bit of a formatting idea for this blog. First, I’d like to introduce the uninitiated as to why this blog exists. Then, I’ll try and keep up to speed watching Season One of House in order and update the General Hospital references as I go along.

Additionally, a certified genius sent me a long list of questions that people might have about GH in general and its relationship to the show and the House-ian characters in specific. I’ll try and answer a new question with each entry until I run out of ‘em. Questions, that is. Not entries.

Hey, I’m a lawyer. You can’t shut me up….


Yesterday. “Tape”. Very good. Ethan Hawke: Bizarre and totally unsympathetic. Which made the film a lot less likeable. Uma Thurman: Very good. Her character took a lot of twists and turns in a relatively brief amount of screentime and she got it all in there. RSL? You rock. Someday (soon?) I’d like to see you on stage. You must burn it up. I especially liked John’s hand gestures. Not too much. Not too little. And really amazingly graceful for a guy under so much (imaginary) pressure.

Speaking of hand gestures, that leads me straight away into General Hospital. Kelly Monaco plays Sam McCall, the hitman’s girlfriend, and she’s very, very talented. Except for the overarching hand gestures. Tone it down, KM. Really. Take a lesson from Robert Sean Leonard. Tape. Rent it.

(*warning* Do NOT google images of KM with kids in the room. A number of years ago she did a Playboy shoot and those are the first pictures to come up. So now I know y'all are going to run out and do it anyway. Just don't say I didn't warn ya.)

According to my outline, I’m now supposed to explain General Hospital a little bit and how it relates to House.

The second part is easy. Like the cane and the Vicodin, General Hospital plays a role in House unto itself. On the surface, we’re to understand that House watches the show religiously. But more importantly, it becomes a reason not to interrupt him. Not to bother him. To leave him alone. Or a reason for him to make good his escape from whatever awkward position he’s found himself in. Having a date every day between 3 and 4 can be very convenient.

Take it from someone who knows.

As far as General Hospital itself goes, rather than go into plot detail here, I think I’ll just post my Corinthos/Quartermaine family tree synopsis. It’s the one that I use when I’m pushing GH on other people and they need to figure out who is who and why and wherefore art thou, Romeo?, et-bloody-cetera.

I’ll do that in the next post. So, you’ll get a whole family tree and broad outline of the plot so far. Although that does not really put the “meaning of GH to House” on the canvas, it does supply a good background for the show and, if y’all ever are interested in watching GH in real life, you’ll have a leg up on everyone else who’s just joining in the fun!

Remember, this show has been on the air for over 40 years (not including the half hour radio show that started the whole thing off.) If I were to write the full story, I’d be old and grey long before I got finished. Please don’t expect to know everything about the show upon reading my family tree. Some stuff we’ll just have to pick up as we go along.

Here are some little tidbits of knowledge about the technical side of the GH. On the East Coast of the US it airs on ABC Network 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, at 3pm. It’s one hour long. It’s just after One Life to Live and before Oprah!

While I have no doubt that Mr. Laurie’s labours on House are Herculean, if I hear him complain one more time about how hard he’s working on a nighttime serial, I’m gonna sign him up for a daytime soap opera. Let’s hear it, then. O_O Those people earn their vittles. I’m convinced they are the hardest working actors in the medium.

As for yesterday’s House viewing. My best friend and I have agreed to do this endeavour together and, man, she’s keeping me on my toes! She even had me looking up the ABC affiliate in Princeton, NJ to make sure that House had the right channel. (He didn’t.)

First we watched Paternity. Yes, the one that has that rat-bastard of a tag that ALWAYS makes me cry. Sheesh. I now only have to ~hear~ “Wheels, one eight. Wheels!” and I tear up.


GH notes on Paternity went like this:

Me: I can’t include that! It’s too obscure!

Best Friend (BF): You ~have~ to! This nice person gave you blogspace in the blogosphere and you have to be thorough!

Me: But! Butbutbut, it’s so……..remote!

BF: Do it.

Me: Sheesh. Okay.

So, the first ~potential~ Paternity reference to GH is when House does the mnemonic MIDNIT for determining Dan’s symptoms. House mentions that Midnight is, in fact, spellt with a G and an H. Reference to “Greg House” or, in BF’s mind, General Hospital?

You decide.

Next reference occurs when House enters the very dark lab while Foreman and Cameron are running tests. Foreman is busy. Cameron is waiting around and House hands her the coffee cups he purloined from Dan’s parents. He orders Cameron to perform a DNA test on the cups to determine if the Father really is Dan’s parent. “Hurry up. GH is on Channel Six” he says as he leans over her work.

And here is where we owe another round of thanks to BF since it’s when she insisted that I actually look up the freakin’ stations in Princeton to see if Channel Six is really the ABC affiliate.

It isn’t.

It’s Channel Seven.


Next, BF and I ogled, er, I mean, watched Occam’s Razor which…..amazingly enough……BF had never seen! We got through the teaser and, well, it’s rather steamy. BF says quietly, “Huh. I’m pretty sure I’d have remembered this.”


So, that’s it for today.

Next up is the Quartermain/Corinthos Family Tree. Please remember, also, that people (read, I) get really invested in these life long devotions to soap operas. I have my own opinion of characters and plot directions. Your mileage may vary. While I encourage comments and debate, I’d rather not login to see vitriol. As my Sainted Mother always says, “If you have nothing nice to say, it’s always wise to shut your piehole.” She’s a hoot that lady is.

Question of the Day:

What Network was GH on?

ABC; 3-4 pm Eastern Time; after One Life to Live and before Oprah! Channel 7 in Princeton, heh.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Welcome to the General Hospital Observation Lounge!


Many months ago, I was asked to annotate (and comment on, mwahahahaha) the many General Hospital references in the television show, House.

I do have some street cred, given that I started watching soaps when I was but a wee tyke. My grandmother and I used to curl up in front of "Edge of Night" (remember that one?) and I moved on to "Days of Our Lives".

Soon, though, with the advent of college and "group think", I found myself tuning in to General Hospital. I avidly watched Luke and Laura fend off the evil Cassedines, get married, hit the cover of Time Magazine, and run off on adventures with Anna Devane and Robert (sigh) Scorpio of the WSB.

Real Life reared its ugly head and I had to take a break. I returned to find a wounded Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) in a boxcar with his friend Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) attempting to nurse him back to health.

Yes, I missed "Casey the Alien" and many, many Nurse's Balls (thank God) but I was back in time for the fateful November 30, 1999 Sonny/Carly hookup.

I don't think I've missed an episode since.

And to make up for my lapses, I managed to track down many tapes of Sonny/Jax/Brenda and other highlights of my missing years....including the very powerful Sonny/Jason/Robin/Stone storyline.

So, welcome to the blog and here we go on a little tour of House, Season One, General Hospital references and scenes.

Just to get this started off on the right foot...House introduced himself into my living room via the UnAired version of the Premier that was sent around in the magazine, Entertainment Weekly. Interestingly enough, in that one we get a totally bogus shot of GH at first and then in the tag, we get real footage of Dr. Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson) as she channels Cuddy, "We're doctors. When we make mistakes, people die."

In the ~aired~ version, however, we get authentic footage of Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Jason (Steve Burton) at the Nurse's Station initially and then the tag shot is bogus.

I'm wondering why.

Ciao for now!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Welcome, Cap

---from the editors of