When Port Charles debuted in the summer of 1997, the show had potential and hope. Put seven interns in a hospital and Lucy Coe in her own element and you have the perfect material for a half-hour show. After The Cullingtons left the series, I really felt like the show lost it's identity: doctors in a hospital. Their workplace, what they do, how they function, what are their emotions if they lose a patient, what are their consequences if they act out of poor judgement.
Then, came Courtney Kanelos, Rachel Locke, General Homicide and DV(four things I cringe at when I think about the show) and you have a big trainwreck. Storylines that once focused on the characters, now centered on the plot.
I didn't really care if DV was Scott's dad or that Rachel came to town with a chip on shoulder. That is, until after Executive Producer Wendy Riche left PC, some bright genius decided to replace Riche with Julie Carruthers. Upon her arrival, Ms. Carruthers let the weak link Scott Hamner go and replaced him with Karen Harris. She put the hospital and the drama BACK into PC, where it belonged. And thank goodness, someone had the sense to turn Rachel into the town pariah rather than a Sheila-copycat!
PC became a community under this format, storyline developed, moved at a fast pace and ended, but there was always a new chapter for the character.
I liked the storylines under Carruthers/Harris: All American Guy who could contract HIV? Pill Popping Doctor revisiting her sleazy past? Rich bubbleheaded hospital voluneer seeks gangster with a heart of gold? Down-to-earth careerwoman competing for a board seat against a slimy therapist?
It was good TV folks. If you hadn't seen PC during the past three years it was on the air, then was the time to tune in.
But, some nutcase at ABC decided that Guiding Light's resident hacks, Jim Brown and Barbara Esenten, could perform emergency surgery on PC, a show that didn't need saving. Now, everything is plot, plot plot. "Screw character development. The audience is too stupid for that." I suppose they concluded.
The book format is so dumb, words can't describe it. Isn't the purpose of watching a soap to see DIFFERENT characters? Ian, Kevin, Eve and Lucy are front burner constantly while leaving talented actors who deserve a shot at a good storyline(Nolan North, Marie Wilson, etc.) out in Storyline Siberia.
For all this was worth, ABC should have kept The City. The plots seemed interesting on that show and they were actually beginning to gel until ABC decided to cancel it for this drivel.
Once can only hope when someone at ABC will decide to pull the plug.