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11 May 26th, 2011 Tristan Rogers reflects on Bob Guza’s reign as GH head writer & daytime’s demise!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The talented and outspoken, Tristan Rogers (Colin, Y&R & formerly, Scorpio on GH & GH: Night Shift) posted a thought-provoking and compelling blog post on his website Titled, “The Going of Guza”  Tristan takes a look at the tenure of recently fired long-time General Hospital head writer, Bob Guza, and how it impacted the direction of the series.  Next, Rogers reflects on how the soap genre was in deep trouble years ago, and how changes were not made soon enough to fix the model of daytime dramas so they could have staying power in today’s times.   Here are a few riveting excerpts below!

Tristan on Guza’s time as head writer on GH: “Many things have been said regarding Bob’s writing some of them fair and some of them less so. Let’s have a look at what will probably be regarded as his legacy. We have a “mob influenced storyline” and the fact that he had little respect for women. And then there’s the systematic dismantling of most of General Hospital’s legacy, including that of Luke and Laura, to be replaced by the noble deeds and example set by a bunch of “bargain basement criminals”. I am sure I will get some flack for that statement but the fact remains that whatever thoughts, you the fan harbor in your mind and heart about this relationship the show itself has done everything possible to trash and disassemble it. I don’t think there’s any legacy or standard on GH that has been untouched, in some way, by this wholesale “story slaughter”.

Makes you look back on the eighties and wonder if they ever happened at all. Now the general consensus is that Guza’s to blame for this and no one else. The fact is that Guza was just one of those involved. I mean, come on, does anyone think for one second that Guza could have single-handedly changed the direction of the show without the permission and cooperation of other significant people? As to who the others are I remain “mum”, but think of the endless hours you’ll all have exchanging views on who else could be involved!”

Tristan on the demise of daytime: “I have commented before that the demise of ABC Daytime has been on the table since the eighties. It was never a case of “if” but always “when”. And now it’s happening. What will happen and can it be reversed? IMO not at a Network level. The shows could/might be picked up by someone else and re-engineered. Cost is a major factor to be addressed and so is the overall way the shows are structured and managed. Daytime has been stuck in a time warp since the early eighties and needs to be completely re-invented. It needs to look at how prime soaps have evolved and try to grasp why Reality shows are so strong and learn something from them.”

Make sure to read Tristan’s entire blog post here.

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  1. Webbie says:

    Tristan has always had his finger on the pulse of daytime, and his comments are spot-on. He can call it as he sees it because he was there for what I call the honeymoon period of soaps. The perfect storm of writing, acting, and producing was in effect and the viewers were the happy recipients of great television. How sad for Tristan, and for us, to have to watch it disappear.


  2. DaisyADay says:

    The main reasons I watch the show is Sonny, Carly, Jason, Sam, Alexis and her girls, Maxie, Matt, Robin and Patrick. It is the only soap that I watch the same day I record it. GH has the good mob guys (Sonny, Jason) and the bad mob guys (Johnny and Anthony). According to the good mob guys they don’t deal in drugs, pornography or prostitution. (OK, a little poetic license here) ;-)

    My leas favorite storyline was the Laura and Luke “rape me, I’ll marry you” …..I stopped watching when pitiful Laura was enamored of her rapist….what a sad message to send to to young girls and women.

    Just recently, Luke – driving drunk – killed Liz’s and Jason’s son, raised by Luke’s son, Lucky. Again, GH writers are sending the wrong message…Luke should have been charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence…GH decided to send him to rehab instead of having him serve prison time for a year or two and then do community service. Geary likes long vacations.

    One of Mr. Guza’s biggest blunders was bringing Brenda back…there is no chemistry between Sonny and Brenda. If another male PC resident would have proclaimed his love for Brenda or she would have giggled once more; I would have shot my TV set. That entire storyline was a snoozefest.

    I loved the “spy” era….same as the “mob” with badges….


    GHfan replied

    The Sonny, Jason and Carly show is what has helped destroy GH. Check the viewer ratings if you don’t believe me. Please explain to me what kind of msg is being sent to young girls and women when a Mob Boss, Hitman and the town TRAMP are the main focus of a soap opera where the criminals and a mean, vindictive, ruthless whore are ALL glorified?

    The story of Luke and Laura is what made GH number 1 in the 80′s. They have been titled the number 1 super couple of ALL time in daytime. The genius of the writers in those days took a rape story and turned into the most popular love story in the history of daytime. Tony Geary and Genie Francis are daytime royality.

    Lastly, bringing Brenda back was the smartest thing GH has done in years simply because of the tremendous fanbase Brenda has and Sonny and Brenda have as a couple. The week of their wedding proved through the ratings how many fans came back to GH for this event. Where TPTB messed up was in the writing for this phenomenal super couple.


    myesan replied

    Thank you!!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself! Brenda and Sonny’s story has been so full of turmoil there hasn’t been time for the hot romance they are known for. Heck we’ve maybe gotten 4 kisses and they’ve been married for almost 4 months!

    LoraleiS replied

    Yes! You get it! Bringing back Brenda was the best decision tptb made in years, but the writing for this super couple wasnt there. I think out of the entire year, there were maybe 3-4 scenes that got it right. A total let down.

    Michaela replied

    Sonny and Jason were “good mob”? Are you high? There is no such thing as good mob. They are organized crime. They are mobs. They are thugs. They kill for business. This is what went wrong with this damn soap opera.


  3. kay killgore says:

    Right on Tristan !!!!! At least we get to see you and Genie back on a show that hasn’t turned into a Mob Show!!


    Shane replied

    I agree with Tristan totally. I don’t accept the notion that Sonny and Jason are “good people” as was mentioned in an earlier comment. GH makes them out to be that way in the storyline……..but everyone is familiar with what actually takes place in the mob, right? How do you think Sonny makes his money…… The truth is the show is too mob-centered and it will become more so without the non-violent characters of Nikolas (Tyler) and Jax (Ingo), who have now both been fired.


  4. dominicsmythe says:

    Agree 100% with Tristen. the mob was sexy and augmented story when it was a *part* of the show under Claire Labine in the early 90′s. But Guza’s misogynistic rendering of so-called story with a mob obsession spat in the faces of history and characters.

    One commenter said bringing Brenda back was a mistake. WRONG. She was the only character I came back to GH to watch — and that because of her history with the show and interaction across the canvass. Vanessa is a fine actress. Maurice was too until he got bored with Guza’s writing and indifferent in his acting. THAT was the reason for the change in Sonny & Brenda’s chemistry. Maurice Benard got back in gear at the phenomenal S&B wedding, however. Brenda’s return was the perfect example of how much Guza could mess up a cash cow. Brenda always, always brought ratings to GH. Even when Guza messed her 1st return in 2002-03 she brought back ratings, but this time in 2010-11 it was just too much. Guza had thoroughly massacred so many characters.

    GH will die and soon. Garin Wolf is better because anyone is better than Guza, but he’s not Claire Labine or other great soap writers. He’s on board to end the soap and the genre altogether will soon be a thing of the past.

    Kudos, Tristen, for speaking the truth!


  5. Reney says:

    I agree 100% Gh fan 35 years. Late 90′s and especially 2000′s was exciting. The viewers were expanded to the males and younger adults. I love soaps, I have to work during the day so most are recordings, soap net or other means. I really think the viewer ratings are off. I nor my family , friends actually stopped watching. I would not ever want to see a time when soaps don’t air. Reality tv sucks and is the reason I don’t watch prime time tv anymore. Guza did destroy all super couples including Jasam. He could not come back from that mistake as far as I am concerned. Mob / action is key and it’s what separates GH from other soaps. Don’t bore me to death. GH is boring right now .
    Gh always- reney


  6. Reney says:

    Luke and Laura and all the past storylines were good in its time. The show has to continue and move on. They could not possibly be as popular now, just like Brenda triangle. It ran its coarse, time to move on. GH once had variety of storylines, doesn’t anymore. GH also let too many characters go. Missing Jason, Lucky, Jax and the mob. Glad to see Nick back. The mob didn’t have to take over entirely. The mob and bad guys have always been part of GH. All I see now is long drawn out , boring storylines from actors I can care less about and oldies.


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