As daytime fans have watched this week as their beloved Dr. Robin Scorpio Drake has somehow burned to a crisp in her own laboratory and perished (although we have not seen any semblance of a body) due to the departure of legacy series star, Kimberly McCullough, this is also the first week of episodes that both components of the new GH regime, executive producer, Frank Valentini and new head writer, Ron Carlivati episodes are airing. And with it, a lot promise, hope, and a heavy weight falls on the guys shoulders to resuscitate General Hospital and take it off life support and turn it into the powerhouse soap it has been in the past.
So with a new perspective and outlook, The Daily Beast’s, Maria Elena Fernandez takes a look at the steps Cartini is taking two lure viewers back to the series, and answers some of the questions fans have been questioning over the last few weeks … namely how the death of Robin was handled, why bring OLTL’s Starr Manning to the canvas, and much more. The piece interviews, Frank Valentini, Laura Wright (Carly), Emma Samms (Holly) as well as Kimberly McCullough (Robin). Here are some excerpts below!
Daily Beast: “Looking for ways to spice up life in Port Charles, Valentini and Carlivati hatched a plan that would bring back some of the show’s shining stars to help deal with a story thread set in motion before they took over the show—the death of fan favorite Robin Scorpio. The transition may have been handled awkwardly—episodes overseen by the Valentini and Carlivati regime began airing Tuesday—but Robin’s death was hastened because it serves as a catalyst for the return of other characters who helped General Hospital hit the cultural mainstream in the 1980s. Emma Samms reprises her role as con artist Holly Sutton-Scorpio beginning Tuesday, and a broken-hearted Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) returns to Port Charles on Wednesday to deal with his daughter’s death. Rick Springfield’s Noah Drake also will set foot in Port Charles in March, followed by Robin Mattson, who plays villain Heather Webber, in April.”
Kimberly McCullough on Robin’s ending: “I was of the hope that we would do something where the character was fulfilled. I was intent that I wanted Robin to die but, because of the way it all went down, I wasn’t comfortable with that anymore. I didn’t feel it was earned. There wasn’t a good lead-up to it. The history of soaps is that you have a meaty story before you leave.”
Frank Valentini talked about how Robin’s death was import to facilitate bringing back the fan favorites to the series: “Because of where we were in the story when I took over, I think it was really important to have those characters come back. They’re all such talented actors, and they have such wonderful connections to the present actors and that’s really fun for the audience.”
Emma Samms on how Valentini changed her mind about coming back to resurrect Holly after she was disappointed on how her character was written the last time she returned to the show: “Deep down Holly’s a con woman, she comes from a family of con artists, but the thing about her is that she always had compassion. And I think it completely disappeared the last time around. So I made sure I would not be an unrecognizable Holly. Frank is a very hands-on producer, right there on the floor with us. He obviously knows the characters and cares about the history. If anybody can save the show, I think he can. He’s really pushing in the right direction to make it doable and make it financially feasible. It would be such a shame if it came to an end.”
Laura Wright on working with the new GH creative team: “I’ve been working with them and it’s been so exciting to have them on set. They come with their history established and they come knowing how to do things. The way that Frank and Ron have weaved their characters in with ours is perfect and everybody has a high stake in it. I grew up working at my dad’s gas station and watching Loving and General Hospital on a little black-and-white TV in a little booth, and Frank has brought back the Friday cliff-hanger. It’s all just very exciting again.”
So what do you think about the plans for General Hospital? Are you looking forward to the big returns? Starr and the One Lifers crossing over to Port Chuck? And, what do you think about the way Robin’s exit story had thus far played out on air? Let us know!