ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID AND NEVER A BRIDEÖÖ
is how the old saying goes. This brings to mind the issue of ratings and General Hospital. As you well know, The Young and the Restless has occupied spot number one for as long as I can remember, and Bold and Beautiful has been safely nesting in the number two spot for a really long time. GH, during the February sweeps, gave B&B a real run for the money. As the ratings escalated, it seemed like there was going to be a tie at one point, but I donít recall that happening, and I just wanted to delve a bit into why that doesnít happen. I donít watch Y&R anymore, but I do watch B&B ever day. I know this website is ABC friendly, but I must give credit where credit is due.
Last week for the first time in years, I had no real interest in watching GH. I did fast forward through the five shows in a record half hour tops. Apparently a lot of viewers are in the same situation because the ratings have dropped steadily since sweeps. But, I watched every minute of B&B and here is why. GH has an excellent and talented cast, and during sweeps there is always a little more effort to do something different and potentially exciting (i.e. the ď24Ē format). But on the whole it is just the same old, same old more or less. Storylines are rehashed and never in better form than the original. Dialogue is monotonous. There is never anything really exciting to look forward to the next day because it is so predictable.
Bold and Beautiful, on the other hand, is only thirty minutes, so even if something is uninteresting, before you know it the show is over. The talent is there, especially due to Susan Flannery and Jack Wagner. SF shows us that you donít have to be young and undernourished to be interesting. She is always in the middle of any storyline and is always a dynamo. Jack Wagner, our beloved ex-Frisco Jones, has aged extremely well if at all, and has evolved into a truly excellent actor. His part suits him perfectly and he oozes chemistry with all the ladies. Sure, they recycle the same old triangles and scenarios year after year, but there is always something fresh about it, not stale. A veteran actress like Betty White for instance, is brought on board, given well written dialogue, and is astoundingly good. Often new actors are added to the cast and quickly dropped if their characters are not working. In a brilliant move, Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbot from Y&R) was brought on and not only fits like a glove, but a flashback with her and Victor was even shown. A lot of thought goes into what they put on the screen and it never looks sloppy. I never have to think about how long it took someone to get from place to place in numbingly non-realistic time. There is no mob or Tony Soprano wannabes. The police, and rarely are they involved, are treated with respect and allowed to do their jobs in an intelligent fashion. Everyone has a real job.
I would love to see GH attain that coveted second spot but it would really have to earn it. Ten minutes of quality time in a one hour show isnít going to do it. Ignoring big draw characters like Robert and Anna Scorpio when the storyline just plain cries out for them isnít going to do it. Contriving something interesting for an uninteresting character like Sam McCall isnít going to do it. Ignoring big egos and listening to the faithful viewers once in a while might help.
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