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General Hospital's Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor Dish Penning Port Charles Plots

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In a year of unprecedented challenges, General Hospital took the bull by the horns and turned out some amazing television. The show's co-head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, hit the ball out of the park. The dynamite duo sat down with Michael Fairman TV to reflect on some of their soap's standout storylines.

One standout storyline involved Mike Corbin (Max Gail) passing away from Alzheimer's, a heartbreaking turn of events.  Van Etten shared of the plot's pacing:

So that to tell the story too expeditiously would really deny their experience and would take away from their appreciation of the show as a reflection of reality. Of course, soap operas don’t do that in every sense on every episode, but when you’re telling a story about a disease that people experience every day, you have an obligation to reflect the real-world experience. So, by bringing it to a close too fast and by doing it in a way that didn’t honor what at times is the horror of the disease, felt like it would be a cop-out. 

A triumph was bringing on Kim Delaney as Jackie Templeton, journalist extraordinaire and mama to Josh Swickard's Chase. The pair interwove Jackie's return with current storylines. O'Connor explained:

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Jackie Templeton is a character who has been an Easter egg on the show for many years now. Whenever we needed to namedrop a famous journalist, she was always our go-to. It always felt like the character was in the ether of Port Charles for awhile, and we were excited to bring this take-no-prisoners character back and explore her history with Robert (Tristan Rogers), and at the same time, we were finally teed up to tell the story of Finn’s (Michael Easton) falling out with his father and step-mother, and we realized we had a great opportunity to have the character serve both stories and collide with not just Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn, but Robert as well. Those three played wonderfully with each other. When we heard that Kim Delaney was interested in playing with us, we were just over the moon. 

Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine) and Maura West (Ava Jerome) also sparkled on screen together. Van Etten looked back on the characters' slow-burn romance, saying:

That’s what makes Ava and Nikolas so delicious is that from one moment to the next, you don’t know if they’re going to hatch a plot against each other or fall into bed and ravish each other. That’s what I think we hope to continue to play as we go forward because they certainly have very strong, passionate feelings for one another. When you’re talking about Ava and Nikolas, these are two people who do not have a lot of fans necessarily in Port Charles, and there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily want to see them achieve happily ever after. Knowing that there was so much initial mistrust and suspicion between the two of them could really provide the foundation for their own undoing or their undoing from someone who does not want to see them happy.