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2002 PC Articles

Suzanne's Opinion

Why Port Charles' Book Format is not working

Written 6/10/02 by Suzanne originally for Bella Online

Port Charles started the book format in February 2001. Here are the reasons why I think it's not working, it's a bad idea, and it's damaging General Hospital as well.

1) The ratings are not going up in response to the new format. They may never go up since the problem is that ABC lost many of its affiliates for that time slot back when "Loving" aka "The City" was canceled and haven't been able to get them back. Also, many major cities show Port Charles at an odd time such as 1 am.

2) The format does hurry the story along, but so far it's been at the expense of everything else. In order to have such fast-moving stories, you have to accelerate everything. Primetime soaps try to do this same thing, and the result is that you either have to bring in lots of new characters very quickly, or have your old characters constantly jumping in and out of bed with each other (this is, after all, a soap). Also since they try to make it more "exciting", they have to put the characters I jeopardy. So either your favorite characters are going to die, or there is no suspense at all because you know that certain characters probably will never die, such as Lucy, Scott, or Kevin. So it gives the show some short-term storyline boost but in the slightly longer run, it makes you stop caring about the show or its characters. It's essential to keep the audience for the long haul because that's what we want in our soaps.

3) It moves the show further away from the mother ship, General Hospital. We don't have the Nurse's Ball this year, in part because they didn't feel like working with Port Charles' new shooting schedule. The schedule is not the same as the book format (it's to cut down on costs), but it is certainly related.

There are fewer crossovers with General Hospital now, and since Port Charles has become this new Dark Shadows-like show, there are few scenes in the hospital as well. Why even bother having the show if you are going to ignore or destroy our favorite characters and change the show so drastically that we don't even recognize it. I don't mind the occasional supernatural aspect, but after awhile it becomes a silly sort of "how can we top ourselves" scheme.

I never thought I'd actually miss the General Homicide killer!

Page updated 6/3/10

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