The sometimes dicey combination of journalism, film-making and heinous crimes is dominating the pop culture conversation. HBO's The Jinx shocked the world by netting an on camera murder confession. Netflix's Making of a Murderer is all anyone can tweet about. That is, when we're not eating up every detail of movie star Sean Penn's Rolling Stone interview with drug lord El Chapo.
ABC's General Hospital is in the best position of the four daytime soaps to capitalize on the current true crime/docudrama phenomenon. For almost two decades now, organized crime has supplanted hospital drama at the center of the show's storytelling — much to the chagrin of some fans.
The current regime at the 52-year-old sudser wants to slowly shift from mob-based storylines. They've even mandated prop guns be used less frequently.
This has made for an awkward transition, considering mob boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and his amnesiac ex-hit man Jason Morgan (Billy Miller) are still pretty much the stars of the show, as opposed to the medical-based characters. Without his piece, Jason basically spends his time growling and punching princes. Not exactly as riveting as watching his previous incarnation shoot up a church, while trying to take down a vicious mafia lady boss.
GH should have filmmaker Dillon Quartermaine (Robert Palmer Watkins) begin working on a documentary entitled Making of a Hitman. The project would be based on the events which led his once sweater-clad cousin down the path of mafia violence. If done right, such a potential umbrella story would help GH reach significant, far-reaching goals.
To properly tell the story of how Jason became a hitman, Dillon would have to trace his subject's origin story dating back to Jason's birth. Imagine him interviewing Monica (Leslie Charleson) about the moment she decided to go down to the gatehouse and become a mother to Alan's (Stuart Damon) bastard son, complete with flashbacks.
Dillon and his film crew would next head over to the funny farm for an on camera chat with Heather Webber (Robin Mattson), cousin of Jason's biological mother Susan Moore. Heather could cryptically inform Dillon of Jason having connections to the mob long before the fateful accident and Sonny's influence, stretching back to before Alan's younger son was even born. After all, Jason's birth mom was once the mistress of corrupt District Attorney Mitch Williams. Tracy's (Jane Elliot) husband was killed by a mob hit.
This revelation could lead Dillon (and newer audience members) into a deeper exploration of how the mafia took over Port Charles. His mother and aunt would definitely have a thing or two to say about that. Quartermaines hate the mob! I cringed during those dreadfully out-of-character cordial scenes between Monica and ultimate mob moll Carly (Laura Wright) at the holiday ball, but I digress.
Next, Dillon would pay a visit to his brother Ned (Wally Kurth). It was the Quartermaine family gatekeeper who helped cloak AJ's (Sean Kanan) sins following the accident that originally left Jason brain damaged. Ned could fill Dillon in on how the Cane and Abel rivalry between their cousins played a part in Jason morphing from a mild-mannered medical student into a cold-blooded killer.
Ned might point Dillon in the direction of Jason's first girlfriend, Keesha Ward (Wishful Casting: Brooke Kerr). Jason woke up after his accident with no emotional connection to Keesha, or the Quartermaines. She ended up with AJ (Billy Warlock) for a time before leaving town. How did losing Jason Quartermaine shape the course of her life? I imagine Keesha would bitterly inform Dillon how mob violence in Port Charles cost their mutual cousin Justus Ward (M'fundo Morrison) his life.
Of course, Dillon would need to get Dr. Robin Scorpio Drake (Kimberly McCullough) on camera about Jason's transition. She had a front row seat to it as his first post-accident girlfriend.
That brings us to Carly (Laura Wright) and Sonny (Maurice Benard) — the two people who benefited the most from Jason pledging his very existence to violently protecting their way of life. Would Mr. and Mrs. Corinthos want to tell their side of the story, or risk the Quartermaines having the final say on what went down?
In a direct rip-off of the Sean Penn/El Chapo situation, maybe Dillon tracks down some of Sonny and Jason's on the lam enemies — the ones who lived to tell the tales. The Alcazars (Ted King), Manny Ruiz (Robert LaSardo) and Faith Roscoe (Cynthia Preston) are all dead, but Sebastian Roche and Brandon Barash always seem down to bring Jerry Jacks and Johnny Zacchara back for respective visits.
Speaking of fun, how awesome would it be for Dillon to fly to Europe to interview Jason's frenemy-turned-faux wife Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil)? Jason kept a room in his penthouse pink in honor of the fabulously feisty supermodel!
Sonny and Carly's children would need to be on camera. Mob violence has impacted all of their lives, and Jason has pretty much served as their protector since childhood, save for Dante (Dominic Zamprogna).
The people who have been less-than-successful keeping law and order in Port Charles would also need to have their say. Mac Scorpio (John J. York) was police commissioner for much of Sonny and Jason's reign. His sister-in-law Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) lost the love of her life to mob violence. Ex-D.A. Scotty Baldwin (Kin Shriner) hates Jason and Sonny and would provide colorful commentary no doubt. Knowing Scotty, he'd probably find a way to blame it all on Port Charles' original mob antihero Luke Spencer (Tony Geary)!
The mothers of Jason's sons, Elizabeth Webber, R.N. (Rebecca Herbst) and Sam McCall Morgan (Kelly Monaco), could offer a kinder, gentler side of the man, the myth, the mobster. As for Jason himself, he has no memories of his life before or after becoming a hitman. When he learns of his cousin's project, he'd likely be angry at first but then would come to see it as a way to get the answers he so desperately needs.
This would finally allow GH the chance to play all of the beats they've missed in the year and a half since Jason returned. The guy learned who he really is months ago. Shouldn't he be thirsty for this kind of knowledge, instead of engaging in a silly, plot-driven feud with Nikolas (Tyler Christopher)?
Making of a Hitman wouldn't serve as simply a trip down memory lane. Powerful people would want the documentary stopped at all cost. Most opposed to it ever seeing the light of day would be Dillon's dad, Paul Hornsby (Richard Burgi).
What if Dillon gets too close to discovering the District Attorney's underworld dealings, while researching organized crime in Port Charles? I'd imagine the Five Families wouldn't be too keen on such a documentary either, putting Dillon and Maxie's (Kirsten Storms) life in danger.
Oh yeah, Maxie! The fashionista would love the idea for Dillon's film so much she pitches it to Crimson's new editor Nina (Michelle Stafford), who decides the magazine is going to finance the high profile flick and publish a series of print and online interviews. Crimson publisher Julian Jerome (William deVry) would get on board once he realizes underwriting the film will give him the opportunity to cut out anything that might incriminate him and/or his sister Ava (Maura West).
Ah yes, Ava. What if Dillon and Maxie stumble upon the fact that it was Sonny and Carly's latest foe who ran Jason down the night he returned to Port Charles? Game meet changer.
At the climax of the story, Dillon and Maxie would go on the run from dueling hit men dispatched by Ava and the Five Families. Think Luke, Laura (Genie Francis) and the Left-Handed Boy, only with film footage replacing that infamous little black book!
The FBI and local authorities, specifically a jilted Detective Nathan West (Ryan Paevey) would want to get their hands on Making of a Hitman, so they'd also be in hot pursuit. The law enforcement types would hope to use the film to take down the House of Corinthos once and for all.
I'd love for Jagger Cates (Antonio Sabato, Jr.) to return leading the charge. The Fed went to high school with Jason and hates Sonny for putting childhood sweetheart Karen Wexler (Cari Shayne) on a stripper pole!
Dillon and Maxie would be on an against all odds journey to reach the doorstep of the one person who can help them — her dad, WSB head Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner). What do you think? Should General Hospital cash in on the Making of a Murderer craze? Sound off in the comments!