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As the title suggests, create your own ideas of what kind of arcs could have been created for PC after The Gift. The following are my ideas:

 

-The Crisis: Livvie is conflicted over carrying Caleb's child, Rafe and Alison are now expecting, Jamal wants into Imani's world, and Lucy, continuing her quest to eliminate vampires, discovers a witch's coven.

-Parallel: Serena discovers a gateway to an alternate dimension where her mother is alive, but every other character is acting differently

-Exposure: PC/GH crossover arc (events influence each other in both shows) in which Caleb and Sonny become allies of convenience, and Lucy receives unexpected help from Stevie Nicks

-Dark Shadows: Lucy and the others uncover a shared secret history of Port Charles being connected to Barnabas Collins and his world

-Desperation: Caleb extends his aims to the entire ABC Daytime universe, and the characters of all shows interact with each other, with events spanning all series

-Hope: The "proper" finale of PC, where all remaining threads are fully resolved so as to wind down the action.

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Why did the critics respond much better to the show when they switched to the arcs? Arguably, the show became much more talked over and the critics gushed over it, including a great deal of Emmy buzz. In addition, the show switched from being GH's kid sibling to having an identity of its own. I see only two real reasons the ratings didn't improve: the show was still stuck in an awful time slot (who in their right mind thought a young show should go head to head against Y&R and be able to win that?), and a lack of crossover material with GH. If events in both shows impacted each other, that would have made more people tune in.

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The show was awful minus the original GH characters and a handful of others, notably Eve and Chris. These two succeeded mostly due to the actors’ charisma. It would not have lasted even with a better timeslot. The writing was contrived and uninspired for all but a brief period in early to mid 2000.

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Then why did the critics rave over the show, especially during the arcs?

 

Tainted Love was reviewed as such by Star-News in Wilmington: "Its well-placed edginess always underscores the danger. It was riveting. So was this story. We did not want it to end." The Youngstown, Ohio Vindicator said: "The series clipped along at an amazing pace and viewers became intrigued as more fantasy elements such as vampires and time travel were added to the mix. The show became the Dark Shadows of our time, and although the ratings remained low, it continued to grow."

 

How do you explain that?

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I don't know how successful (or even practical given the production model) to have a story that went between all the show. I believe there was suppose to be a story during the arc after "Tainted Love" (was it "Surrender?") where GH and PC crossed over but it was scrapped. 

 

I kind of like the idea of Parallel. Was Serena still appearing during the arcs? I've seen a lot of Serena and Neal during the Karen Harris era, but I barely remember either one of them during the arcs. 

 

Kiko Ellsworth planned on leaving the show had it continued so I'm curious if the show would have recast or simply dropped Jamal. 

 

I tried to watch "The Gift" to participate more in the discussion, but it just felt so empty. Neither the stories nor the characterization were compelling. The actors didn't appear to have much energy either at this point. I had similar problems when ABC announced it was cancelled. I tried watching to see how it ended, but I just didn't feel it. 

 

I've always wanted to see a Rosemary's Baby type story where Allison realized her baby was Satanic and she realized that if she raised the child it would ruin the world. 

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During some of the pre-Tainted Love arcs, yes, Serena was there. Appearances did become a bit more sporadic afterwards.

 

I can understand what you thought regarding The Gift, but I think it was in the last two or three weeks that it began heating up once more, especially in ending with Caleb and Livvie's wedding (part deux), Rafe and Alison's wedding, and Jamal discovering Imani and her being a werewolf. These were all interesting threads, and, if I'm being honest, I was pissed at how GH tried to revisit this in 2013. It pleased the pre-arc PC fans in saying "yay, no supernatural crap!", but it really irked those who felt the arcs were when the show got really good. After all, the show did get talked about more during the arcs, and the critics gushed over it, especially after Tainted Love, so they had to be doing something right. I seriously doubt ABC would interfere so much to get paid or canned reviews when everyone was praising it to heavens like this.

 

Honestly, arc-era PC is my favorite soap ever. It's the show that intrigued the most to where I felt "I want to see how this turns out and stick to the end," compared to everything else. Maybe it's because it reminds me of what was done in the past with Hercules and Xena, or in the future with American Horror Story, so PC appealed to those sensibilities of mine. I could honestly see where, if somehow the show was revived in the future, it would actually be easy to pick up exactly where it left off and ignore the 2013 GH storyline altogether.

 

P.S. The idea for Parallel isn't entirely mine, but it came from a YouTube video where someone made a custom PC intro, and this was the idea for a fanfiction that was either never written, or is now lost because many PC fan sites no longer exist. And of course, the Stevie Nicks idea came from seeing this exact scenario happen in AHS Coven, which is my personal favorite season. The Rosemary's Baby scenario also played out in the current season, AHS Apocalypse, which is a crossover or Murder House and Coven.

Edited by Toxic34
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Yeah, I tried rewatching the last week of "The Gift" and I felt it was incredibly hollow. I know they were not aware that things were ending, but I think the overall feel of the show was so lifeless. It felt like a mercy killing.

 

I didn't mind some of the arcs. I liked "Miracles Happen" and "Secrets." I was watching daily between those two arcs and continued through "Superstition," but grew tired of the show very quickly. My problem with a lot of the later books were they were typically vampire tales that didn't really embrace the telenovela feel, in my opinion. 

 

I don't watch "General Hospital," but I know of Ron's MO. As a "Ryan's Hope" fan, I didn't like the Delia connection. I believe I said on the "Ryan's Hope" thread, it's a shame that even in death these cancelled soaps couldn't find any peace. In the same manner, wouldn't your suggestion about having a crossover throughout ABC daytime infilitrate the supernatural element into the other series? How would that be different than the undoing of PC on GH?

 

The reviews for "Tainted Love" didn't overly impress me. I was initially really intrigued by the Father Michael angle, Eve's pregnancy, and Chris and Eve planning on raising the child together. Even the Caleb / Michael angle was intriguing. I know Donna Swajeski joined the writing team in a significant role during "Tainted Love" and many attribute the success of that arc to her. The entertainment press have never liked typical soaps so anything that was different (Port Charles and Passions) has received positive press. I don't think ABC wanted PC to fail, but I don't think the show was kept on because the reviews were good. I just don't think the show was solid enough to last long term. 

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I can imagine that for the crossover idea, there would be definite red herrings and misdirection, and the hints about Caleb would be more subtle in AMC and OLTL, but more blatant when entering GH proper. This way, there's just enough deniability for the "non-supernatural" people. The crossover main appeal would be in seeing the characters of the different shows interacting and being on each other's turf. Surely that would've been a ratings bonanza.

 

I'm also under no illusions that PC wouldn't have lasted anywhere near as long as the big 3 soaps. But getting it to a solid decade sounds about right.

Edited by Toxic34
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I thought it was ridiculous for them to tape the whole year in 6 months and be off 6 months, but with DAYS taping 6+ months in advance for an ongoing basis now, I guess it’s practical from a financial standpoint, to the detriment of the overall quality and ability to flex to the viewers’ response. 

 

Their arc format could’ve worked with a more solid foundation to begin with. Plus in the year 2019, it may be just what the doctor ordered (no pun intended). Binge-watching an arc could almost be a possibility. Almost. 

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