When looking at the best and worst plots on General Hospital in 2012, it is difficult to sort them out. Larger plots impact smaller plots and vice versa.
That being said, let's look at some of the stories General Hospital gave us this year. I haven't listed every plot, just major ones.
Bad News First: The Worst
Yes, General Hospital rose like a phoenix from the ashes of ABC soaps in 2012, but even so, a couple of story arcs hit some off-pitch notes. Bear in mind, some of these stories were developed by Ron Carlivati in order to clean up plots devised before he took over. So some of them took a wild turn, some were cut short, some were just dropped. This is understandable since he needed to end them or change the outcome.
Possibly the most heinous was the Woman in White, a story so pathetic that it was truncated by having Helena shoot Cassandra aka Irina (the aforementioned W in W) dead. This was a story that began in 2011 and carried over into 2012. Cassandra was hiding out in the Cassadine mansion and turned out to be a patient of Dr. Keenan's. She was also Helena's daughter. Anyone at any age these days can have a baby, this we know, but the fact that Helena had to have given birth in her fifties didn't contribute to making this storyline better.
Second worst, though in reality I had to flip a coin - I can sum it up in two words - Mob Princess. What were the writers thinking about? They bring in a new, completely different Kristina (Lindsey Morgan) who, as revenge for her father using his connections to get her into Yale, decides to participate in a reality show.
Mob daughters have written books and had reality shows - look at Growing up Gotti. But before the cameras crashed into her home and started filming, each family member had to sign a release. People are too knowledgeable today to accept reluctant people, one of them an attorney (Alexis), in front of a camera airing family problems.
The third worst - the stripper assaults. Or was it killings. What the heck was it. I guess this plot was in order to get rid of Ronnie the bad cop. There were plenty of opportunities to strip Ronnie of his badge without inventing a story that somehow also seemed to involve policewoman Delores Padilla's husband Eddie.
The viewers had no investment in Delores, Eddie, or Ronnie, and they never saw strippers beat up. To make matters worse, there was nothing done with the character of Delores on the show; now we are told she's "gone to New York." Since the actress who played her, Rebeka Montoya is a singer, maybe she'll stop in for the Nurses' Ball.
The Death of Robin - The fact of the "death" of Robin and the reaction of those who loved her was extremely poignant. But that lab accident - I complained about it already, so I won't bore everyone again, I'll just refer you to my blog. Happily, what I feared would happen to the show did not.
The change in status for Claudia Zacchara Corinthos - Brandon Barash said when he first read that Claudia was now his mother, he thought something like, well, we have to make it work somehow. I'm actually not sure why this back story was added. Anthony Zacchara was evil and crazy enough and Johnny had plenty of reasons to kill him. It seemed silly and totally unnecessary.
Kate-Connie - I'm not crazy about this. I'm used to it, but I don't really like it. It's confusing because the alter is supposed to be Connie when by all rights it should be Kate. Also, not only do I think this has gone on too long but I think there's going to be a third personality.
Jason's Rejection of Sam - Ridiculous, and not the kind Jason, so in love with Sam, that we had come to know. He had reason to believe his wife had been raped and he acted like a jerk.
Heather's Kidnapping of Luke - How many times is Luke supposed to be kidnapped. And why when Anna had a whole team out there searching did they not go into that shed? Dumb.
Robert Chasing after Ethan - Okay, you can't bear to go to Robin's funeral. Better that and a juicy dramatic scene than this poor excuse to get him out of town.
Connie's Back Story - Connie gave birth to a child, Trey Mitchell after being raped by Joseph Scully, Jr. -- Sonny worked for his father. The writers have decided the whole thing was a bad idea since they've killed off Joe Scully and are in the process of pulling the plug on Trey.
Dr. Britt Westbourne - This character needs to go - now. We've been putting up with this type of evil female for way too long. Originality, people, originality.
In general: The writers need to not rest on their laurels. The show needs some fresh problems: enough car accidents, untreatable viruses, bioballs, and fires. Have a building fall in because of faulty materials or something.
There's also been enough DNA switching and jealous women to last a hundred years.
General Hospital had some great, fun, sad, and outrageous story arcs this year. A crazy plot that involves the viewer with characters with whom they have an investment will work fine, where the exact same plot won't work and will have holes poked in it when viewers don't care about the characters.
A plot also won't work if you do unrealistic things in a realistic setting about which viewers have some true life awareness. A good example, the lab door that can't be opened, a trial where the jury is comprised of the defendant's friends, that type of thing.
The best of the best: For me, anyway, it was Edward Quartermaine's death, and I pull into this John Ingle's final scene of giving Emma Drake the antidote. Ingle's final appearance, Tracy's monologue at the end of that show, the tribute episode, were all brilliantly and beautifully handled, and drew plenty of tears from the viewers, myself included.
Another Favorite - I will get some flack on this, I feel certain, but I loved Faison as Duke. High camp, ridiculous, I found it entertaining and suspenseful. Character-wise, granted, it wasn't handled well. Robin accusing "Duke" in the hospital of being a fake when she was at his mercy, Anna not being a tad more suspicious. Still, it had its charms.
And now, more bests, in no particular order:
The search for information on Jason's birth - which brought back Heather, one of the great returns of the year;
Anthony Zacchara's moving body - it had humor galore and serious repercussions.
The murder of Lisa Niles - I liked that it was used as a way for Jason Cook (Matt Hunter) to leave the show; I also liked the fast marriage so Maxie didn't have to testify; and what I really loved was Maxie's admission that she saw him do it after a protracted time of claiming she did it. Quite excellent, not only the admission but the placement of it at the end of the episode.
The baby switch - Viewers hate this cliche but they can't help becoming involved in the story arc.
The ransom of Port Charles - One of those big, outrageous story arcs that made General Hospital a popular soap in the early '80s. Crazy, yes, but it had a some interesting moments (see above), particularly the appearance of Jerry Jacks, always welcome.
The Return of A.J. - Cleverly done using a back story that at least lines up with GH history.
The fight for ELQ - a good idea, and it has involved A.J., Lucy Coe, and Tracy -- and the more of Lucy and Tracy, the better.
Olivia's hallucinations - This gives Lisa LoCicero something to do and her hallucinations are great and not always obvious.
Maxie as Surrogate - This promises to be very interesting.
The Return of Jax - Please let this happen again.
Tracy's marriage to Zacchara - The writers put two fantastic actors together and added a third, Tony Geary, for some real shenanigans.
Tomas as Alcazar - I'm waiting for something to happen with this, like the return of Ted King. If nothing does happen, it will be on my BAD list at the end of the year.
Todd and Carly - This could be good, but I don't know how she's going to forgive him for the various secrets he's kept.