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Wendy Riche on "If the AIDS story on GH originally was told through A.J. Quartermaine!

What if the character of A.J. Quartermaine would have been the main character that  drove the thrust of  the AIDS story that ended up being told through the love story of Robin and Stone on General Hospital back in the early 90’s? That is something that is discussed in part two of Wendy Riche’s interview at We Love Soaps.

Riche, the former executive producer of General Hospital, who was at the epicenter of many of the fantastic socially relevant stories in GH’s deep history, admitted that their originally was a bit of a dispute between then GH, head writer, Claire Labine, and Riche, as to what character would lead the AIDS story.   Here are some compelling excerpts!

Riche: “I wanted to do a story about AIDS when I first got to GH.  AIDS was on the rise, a non-discriminating disease that didn’t care who it attacked.  I felt it was an issue of great importance and wanted to find a way to interface many of the characters of Port Charles with the hospital.  At first, I thought it could be a story for A.J. Quartermaine.  I thought, what would happen if A.J. had another drunken night in college, one of many, and explore what would happen when a friend, a male friend, from college shows up at the Quartermaine mansion wanting A.J.’s help since his family threw him out because he had AIDS.  And A.J. doesn’t remember who had sex with who, and what he did during so many drunken orgies.  They could have both had sex with a woman who was a drug addict. The intention was not to make them gay, but the implication might have stirred up a lot.  We could have asked, “Why does everyone care so much if he was gay? Why does he care? How would Edward Quatermaine react and what would Lila do to bring the family back together?”  We could have looked at it all.  But it wasn’t about being gay, I didn’t want to be, “Oh those gay people, of course they screw around so much…” of some B.S. like that.   AIDS is a non-discriminating disease, it doesn’t care who you are are or what your sexuality is.  If you do stupid things, have unprotected sex, you risk getting it.  If we had done it with a gay character we would not have gotten the message of urgency across.  So the intention was to have a smart person who was not gay but made stupid choices get AIDS.  I didn’t have Claire at the time, and I don’t know if Claire would have even wanted to do it that way, but the network did not want to do that story. They didn’t want A.J. to be in question of having AIDS, or maybe not being 100% heterosexual, they just didn’t want to go there because he was a Quartermaine, which of course, is exactly why I wanted to go there.

I talked to Claire about this, and she came up with Robin and Stone.  She was not ready to do this story at the beginning of her run on GH.  But one day, a year later, we were at a company retreat dinner and she looked at me with that twinkle in her eye, learned over, and whispered, “I think I’ve got it.”  She told me the story in two lines and I loved it.  It was everything I hoped for.  We were so excited, we told Pat [Fili-Krushel] right then and there and she said to go with it.  Claire and I had driven up to Connecticut together for the retreat and what was wonderful is that we had the long trip to talk about it.”

So what do you think if the story had gone to A.J. instead of Robin and Stone?

General Hospital

Nancy Lee Grahn Debuted 25 Years Ago Today as General Hospital’s Alexis Davis

Back on September 26th, 1996, (25 years ago today!) the new character of Alexis Davis made her debut on ABC’s General Hospital, and brought to the iconic soap opera, the talents of Nancy Lee Grahn.

Grahn, had already made a name for herself with her captivating portrayal of lawyer Julia Wainwright Capwell on Santa Barbara for which she won a Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy in 1989, in a tie with AMC’s Debbi Morgan.

Back in April, General Hospital, marked this milestone with a special episode for Grahn, that could be remembered come next year’s Emmys.

Alexis, or shall we call her “Natasha”, was introduced on GH as the daughter of Mikkos Cassadine and his mistress, whose throat was slit by Helena Cassadine, which has played into Alexis’ story for many years to come.  At the time of her entrance to the show, Wendy Riche was GH’s executive producer.

Through the years, viewers have witnessed Grahn’s portrayal of: a tough legal eagle, an honest depiction of a woman battling the bottle, failed romances, while all the time being a loving and faithful mother to her three daughters, Sam, Molly, and Kristina.

Nancy won her second Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy, this time for her role as Alexis in 2012, and has been a multi-nominee in the Lead Actress category for her performances on the ABC daytime drama series.

Kate Grahn, Nancy’s daughter took to social media within the last few hours since we posted this story to share a video on how thankful she and her mom are to GH fans and Nancy’s time on the show which afforded her the ability to have and raise Kate.  Check that out below.

Here’s to Nancy for giving us 25 years of her on-screen work as Alexis!

Congratulate Nancy and tell us your favorite Alexis Davis moments via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Comes Home as Jason and Carly Begin Their Wedding Night

Monday’s episode of General Hospital continued to set the stage for major payoffs in the long and winding road tale of everyone in Port Charles believing Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is dead.

Only now, with his memory in tact, Sonny is very much alive, no longer living as “Mike” in Nixon Falls. and back in the town which he ruled as the mob kingpin.  Problem is: his wife, Carly (Laura Wright) just got married to his best friend, Jason (Steve Burton) and they are about to have their first night together as newlyweds.  And without all the subplot and subtext, Sonny has no idea that they were first brought together to be a united front to save Sonny’s territory from the ‘Five Families’.  Only now, the two have admitted they truly are in-love with each other.

In story, after the bomb that went off was proven to kill mobsters Buscema and Novak, and not its intended target – the newlyweds – thanks to a double-cross from Ms. Wu – Jason, Carly, and Ms. Wu discuss Cyrus Renault’s (Jeff Kober) involvement and that Wu is happy for Jason and Carly.

 

At the wedding reception, Michael (Chad Duell) gives a touching speech about his mom and Jason and gives the official toast.  Later, Jason and Carly head out after Carly throws the bouquet which Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) catches.

Meanwhile, back in Nixon Falls, Sonny gets out of dodge and away from Nina (Cynthia Watros), thanks to Jax’s (Ingo Rademacher) plane, while Nina gets a visit from Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) and Anna (Finola Hughes), where she admits that Peter (Wes Ramsey) was in Nixon Falls, and caused the fire, and is going to go after Maxie (Kirsten Storms) and the baby.  She does not tell them what she did keeping Sonny away from his family for 9 months.

Anna and Peter split up to find Peter, and Peter’s exit ride hasn’t show up yet to get him out of Nixon Falls, so Anna catches him, gun drawn.

Later at the Corinthos home, Jason and Carly are alone together in the bedroom with wedding night jitters, but Jason says there is no rush as the two kiss, just as Sonny arrives home, smiles, looks around, sees photos of himself with Carly and the family, and heads upstairs!

Will Sonny find the two in each others arms and not tell then he is alive?  Will something call him away? Will Jason and Carly have sex? When will Nina get payback for all that she has done to Carly and Sonny?  Will Peter get away from Anna? Let us know your theories in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Tells Nina He Knows Exactly Who He Is; Jason & Carly’s Wedding Comes to an Explosive Conclusion

Is it game over for Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros), or does she have another trick up her sleeve to keep Sonny (Maurice Benard) to herself, now that he remembers who is he?

On Friday’s dramatic episode of General Hospital, “Mike” looks to be gone and Sonny has come back in full force complete with a super hero moment escaping from being trapped underneath the beam that had fallen on top of him inside the burning Tan-O.  Sonny makes his escape after inhaling so many fumes, that he needs medical attention and is rushed to the hospital with Nina going along with him.

Inside the hospital, once given the all clear, Phyllis (Joyce Guy) tells Nina, “Mike” is asking for her, while Jax (Ingo Rademacher) pleads to let the doctors handle this situation.  But, Nina heads inside the room to see Sonny.  Then came the dramatic moment that many GH fans were waiting for.  As Nina calls him “Mike, he rips off his oxygen mask in anger and says that his name is Sonny and he remembers everything!  Nina does a pivot, knowing she is caught, and says the name may have have been a fake one, but they cannot deny the way they feel about each other.  She tells him that she honestly loves him and Sonny defiantly tells her NOT to say that.  Meanwhile Jax confirms to Phyllis that Nina always knew that “Mike” was Sonny and hid it from her and Sonny for months!

Back in Port Charles, Jason (Steve Burton) and Carly’s (Laura Wright) wedding comes to a conclusion! No one interrupts the wedding and the two look lovingly at each other to start their new life together as husband and wife.

Courtesy/ABC

After the ceremony, mobsters Ms. Wu, Vincent, and Charles have a moment where she says “be wary of tomorrow”.  Jason and Carly have a moment alone where Jason looks truly in love with Carly now and all of those feelings he had buried for years have now come back to the surface. How will this all play out when Sonny comes back into everyone’s lives, alive and well?

After the reception had ended, Jason and Carly get in their limo to drive away as newlyweds.  She asks Jason what Ms. Wu whispered in his ear at the reception, he says she confirmed something he already knew.  Meanwhile, Vincent and Charles get in their limo.  Charles shares the world is about to be a better place without Carly and Jason in it.

Next, Carly tells the driver to start the car, and we see a bomb device under a car and the chapel blown up as the show comes to its conclusion.

Our bet is that the Novak/Buscema car was blown to bits, not Jarly’s limo thanks to a Wu double-cross, but we shall see next week! Great performances from Maurice Benard, Cynthia Watros, Laura Wright, and Steve Burton throughout this one.

So, what did you think of the moment Sonny told Nina he remembered who he is? What did you think of Jason and Carly’s nuptials? What do you think will happen next? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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Laura Wright as Carly

General Hospital

Airdates: 9-9/10- 2021

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