Since numerous insiders have told me the dying industry we love pays absolutely no attention to us pesky "online fans" (Yeah, because a paid focus group attendee provides such a better barometer than someone who takes the time to name themself Liason69 or JaSamlover and engage with other diehard fans online), I decided to check out where ousted General Hospital star Rebecca Herbst (Liz)fell in the magazine polls for their Feb 1, 2011 issues. Now remember these polls came out before the announcement that the 13-year GH veteran and new mommy had been unceremoniously fired for "storyline-dictated" reasons.
According to this week's Soap Opera Digest poll, Herbst was selected GH's Favorite Actress. Yep, that's right, enough Port Charles lovers logged onto www.soapoperadigest.com/polls to select underdog Herbst as their fave. Oh, it doesn't stop there, Wanna know who Digest readers selected their fave couple? Jason and Elizabeth, aka Liason, won that honor and they haven't been together in a dog's age. Imagine that.
Moving over to this week's ABC Soaps In Depth where Herbst was selected Number Two among ABC's Top 5 actresses for the week. She was immediately behind fellow GH star Kelly Monaco, yet ahead of superstar Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo.
A quick glance at SID's couples poll and Liason was Number 2, just behind JaSam at Number 1. Now I ain't never proposed to be a statistician, but it would stand to reason the Liason vs. JaSam triangle is still the hottest thing GH has going long after it was ripped apart, allegedly because of network-level meddling. I'm sure glad the exec in question wasn't around to get his hands on Rachel/Steve/Alice at Another World. #YouHaveNoEffinInstinctsRetireAlready
You know, I started this week off wanting desperately to be positive about something concerning daytime soaps, which is why I wrote a piece raving about Jamie Luner's recent, inspired performances on All My Children. After the last few days, however I'm reminded just how clueless and self-destructive the people running this industry into the ground really are.
As popular as they have to know Herbst is—whether they want to admit it or not—how can they even contemplate killing her character off? It's insanity, complete and utter insanity, but really it's nothing new for this regime, is it? GH executive soap opera slayer Jill Farren Phelps has made an arrogant sport of killing off soap's most beloved heroines, from Maureen Bauer on Guiding Light to Frankie Frame on Another World. What's one more in Liz Webber?
Then there's head writer Bob Guza. While I've been a fan since the days of "Clink, Boom", the fact that he picked off the Quartermaine family one-by-one disgusts me to no end. Guza's narrow vision for this soap has helped erode viewers and frustrate fans for years now. I can no longer place all the blame on his former writing partner Chuck Pratt, or even ABC Daytime exec Brian Frons.
Yes, my sources told me Frons was the person who wanted the Liason pairing axed, but it was Guza who couldn't manage to come up with a decent story for Liz post the breakup with Jason, yet he gets paid in the neighborhood of $30,000 a week, reportedly.
Sorry Bobby, as of this "fans be damned" stunt, I'm done being your apologist. Oh, and when you get through killing off all the characters we love, leaving the show a dismal shell of itself— just like they did at AW, GL and ATWT years before we ever heard the phrases "subprime lending" or "automobile industry bailout"—and General Hospital is cancelled, I will be right here to point out why it happened, and I won't use the phrase "the economy" not even once.