General Hospital: 8 Storylines New Writers Need To Shake Up

In July 2019, "General Hospital" then-co-head writer Shelly Altman — who had been with the show since 2011 — retired. Dan O'Connor, a breakdown writer for the sudser, replaced her and worked alongside existing co-head writer Chris Van Etten. The two amped things up storywise, and there were many edge-of-your-seat moments leading up to and beyond the show's 60th anniversary in April 2023. Although it was highly entertaining, the story in which several of Port Charles' heroes saved the world in Greenland, failed to live up to its potential as several characters weren't used to their fullest in what should have been a truly action-heavy storyline.

On January 22, 2024, Soap Opera Digest reported that O'Connor and Van Etten were surprisingly out as the head writers, and Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte would be replacing them. No word was given on why this has happened, and it's well within the realm of possibility that when the show used scab writers during the 2023 writers' strike, it derailed O'Connor and Van Etten's momentum. Mulcahey previously worked as a scriptwriter, breakdown writer, and associate head writer in the late 1990s, while Korte started working on the sudser's writing team in 1994, and has been script editor since 2008.

During the previous writers' run, several characters became romantically entangled, a few that fans didn't like, and others had great potential but got derailed. Some characters have also been woefully underused, so there's a lot the new head writers need to fix.

Michael and Willow need to become interesting

Watching paint dry or even a golf tournament is far more interesting than when Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell) and Willow Tait (Katelyn MacMullen) have scenes together on "General Hospital." She didn't tell him she had leukemia when she was pregnant. He didn't tell her that he knew her bio-mom Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros) had turned his mother Carly Spencer (Laura Wright) and Drew Cain (Cameron Mathison) into the SEC for insider trading — and that he blackmailed Nina with that info to keep her away from his family. They just keep lying to each other for no good reason.

Together, Michael and Willow are about as uninteresting as meal postings on social media. Michael is almost as duplicitous as his mother, but all of the schemes he's put in place affect his family — like hiring Dex Heller (Evan Hofer) to take down his dad Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), only to turn around and tell Dex to protect Sonny. He needs a story where he schemes against a business rival or an external threat.

Willow is a heaping helping of milquetoast who has just been blowing through life like a leaf in the wind. Now that she's a nurse, she needs a good, meaty hospital-oriented story that isn't about herself. If the writers don't do something interesting with these characters soon, the viewers are going to tune out to watch a lecture on the history of aluminum foil.

Sonny and Nina deserve a chance; Carly and Drew don't

Carly Spencer and Sonny Corinthos got divorced for the umpteenth time in 2022. Now he's married to Nina Reeves and Carly's dating Drew Cain. Many fans feel that Sonny and Carly will eventually get back together again, but hasn't that well dried out yet? Sure, everyone is rather miffed that Nina reported Carly and Drew for committing a crime, but it would be nice if the new writers would have Sonny find it in his heart to forgive her. Sonny and Nina are cute together and they have decent chemistry, so their relationship needs some time to find its way.

Carly and Drew, on the other hand, are more mismatched than purple corduroy flares and a paisley top. Carly's biggest "who cares" moment was her journey to Florida to deal with an issue about her adopted mother's grave. After that very unexciting excursion, she swore she would become a better person — a very tall order.

Now that Drew has fired Nina as editor-in-chief of Crimson Magazine and installed Carly in her place — who walked into the room with a smarmy grin — it doesn't look like her scheming days are in the past. Carly and Drew simply don't work together, although they're trying to make him more interesting by having him become darker. The chemistry police need to intervene and split these two up for good.

The writers need to give up on Finn and Elizabeth

You can't hammer a square peg into a round hole, but that sure seems to be the case as Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton) and Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) keep getting back together on "General Hospital." Their latest attempt at romance is definitely a head-scratcher because we have another case of zero chemistry here. When they first worked together to save his brother Harrison Chase's (Josh Swickard) life, as well as hiding the body of the presumed-dead Peter August (Wes Ramsey), there were a few sparks that had fans thinking they could hook up.

Then they did, and everything fizzled out. It didn't help that Liz recovered memories of being inadvertently involved in the death of Finn's former wife, Reiko Finn (Mele Ihara), which drove them apart in a storyline that seemed to have muddied up and retconned a portion of the show's past. Okay, so there's a 10-year difference between the actors, so she could have been in her early teens while he was in his early twenties and married at the time, but it was still all very confusing.

These two need to be broken up and find better partners. The biggest mistake was killing off Liz's husband Franco Baldwin (Roger Howarth) because everyone adored them together. Both Easton and Herbst are great actors and beloved by the fans, but their characters' relationship needs to be drawn and quartered.

Esme needs more complexity

They're finally doing something with the formerly evil Esme Prince (Avery Pohl). For almost a year, she became more pathetic than Squidward on "SpongeBob Square Pants." At least he thought highly of himself. She started out as a villain that you loved to hate, with that evil glint in her eyes, but after losing her memories, she was like a leaf in the wind with no purpose in life. Her character had kind of set out upon a redemption arc, but it's hard to redeem someone who can't even remember their litany of crimes.

Now that she has her memories back, along with the good advice and support she got from Laura Collins (Genie Francis), she should combine those aspects to become even more craftier than ever. While Spencer Cassadine (Nicholas Chavez) suspects she's got her memories back, it's going to be hard to prove that. We'd like to see her become more clandestine in her actions and more calculated in her schemes. She's already a master manipulator, but now she could shed her impulses to make everyone know how much contempt she has for pretty much the world, and focus on getting her baby, Ace (Jay and Joey Clay), back from his kidnapper/father Nikolas Cassadine (Adam Huss).

There's a lot to be explored with Esme who should now be infinitely more complex and interesting, so hopefully, the writers help find a fun, dramatic path for her.

Spencer and Trina need to catch a break

Once hailed as the new Luke and Laura, Spencer Cassadine and Trina Robinson (Tabyana Ali) seem to have constant hurdles between them. This being a soap opera, that's to be expected, but he continues to do stupid things — like giving baby Ace to their father, Nikolas. Trina has an opportunity to spend the Spring 2024 college semester in France, and although it didn't look good for the couple, Spencer planned on going with her. Now that he gave his baby brother away as if he were regifting the child, his schedule should be clear, right?

Sadly, it's painfully obvious that his actions are going to cause a lot of turmoil, and Trina may not be able to forgive this one unless he convinces her that Esme has regained her memories and has jumped back into her evil ways. If the writers don't find a good story where Spencer and Trina work together, instead of getting pulled apart, this fan-favorite romance is going to go down the drain faster than soapy water.

It's high time "General Hospital" had a couple that can actually stay together. Felicia and Mac Scorpio (Kristina Wagner and John J. York) have had a lasting relationship, but they're so underused it isn't funny. Trina has aspirations in life, which is interesting. Spencer is a rich boy who doesn't do anything all day, and that needs to change.

Robert Scorpio should not be treated like a buffoon

Once the greatest police commissioner Port Charles had ever seen, Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) has been portrayed like a buffoon lately. First, his former love Holly Sutton (Emma Samms) comes back to town and throws a monkey wrench in his burgeoning relationship with powerhouse attorney, Diane "Killer" Miller (Carolyn Hennesy). Rightly so, Diane didn't want to come in second to Holly when Robert waffled on which woman he wanted to be with. For someone who used to be a superspy with the World Security Bureau, and has had a few sizzling romances over the years, Robert seems to suddenly have zero intuition when it comes to women.

The fact that the show retconned his character and came up with the lame concept that somehow he got a law degree in between dispatching bad guys in the past, shows what little respect the writers have for this legacy character with an amazing history and unbridled potential. Watching him fumble as he tries to get a relationship going with Diane isn't funny, it's downright uncomfortable and embarrassing. 

This is a guy who worked with Luke Spencer to thwart many a villain and was perhaps the most successful commissioner considering that after he left the job, the Keystone Kops had solved more crimes than the Port Charles Police Department. Robert needs a good mystery to solve, or they at least need to stop writing him as very unfunny comic relief.

Jason's return should be dynamic

The return of Steve Burton as mob enforcer Jason Morgan has been thrilling news for "General Hospital" fans. He's a stoic hitman who protects those he loves, and we all knew that a mere cave-in in 2021 wasn't going to kill him. It'll be nice to see him come back, much the same way he did in 2017 when he was known only as Patient Six and burst onto the scene through a skylight. We're hoping he doesn't get romantically involved with Carly like he did when they thought Sonny was dead. Most fans would argue that he should get back with Sam McCall, but they constantly broke up because of his dangerous life.

We're also excited to see him reunite with his pal, Damian Spinelli (Bradford Anderson), who's been severely underused the past few years. An unlikely friendship, Jason had come to rely on Spinelli for his computer skills that have helped save lives time and again. Not to mention that Spinelli's almost Don Knotts-like nervousness and clumsiness have been sorely missed as true comic relief on the show. His character has become something of a wayward soul since Jason's death, and his return will be much needed.

Although it looked like between Pikeman and Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober), Port Charles was headed for an epic battle, that seems to have fizzled out too. Jason's going to need a superior action story to keep the fans engaged.

Anna and Valentin deserve better

The one "General Hospital" romance where fans literally cheered when they finally consummated their relationship was that of Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) and Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart). And then it flatlined. Before they had any real chance of seeing where love would take these former spies, Anna's life was blown up by a stalker. To complicate matters, there were actually two stalkers: one was a former WSB agent ordered to kill her, and the other was Valentin's daughter Charlotte Cassadine (Scarlett Fernandez). The young girl had been brainwashed by her grandfather Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy) to believe Anna was a threat to her family.

It didn't help that when Valentin learned of Charlotte's activities he didn't inform Anna, who subsequently shot the girl thinking she was an assassin. Needless to say, Anna and Valentin have since broken up because of his lies — or lies of omission. When this couple first got together, they understood that they had been trained as spies their whole lives, so lies and secrets were the norm. However, it took shooting a child to make them realize that was probably the wrong expectation to have.

Anna and Valentin had more fireworks between them than a Fourth of July celebration, with chemistry that would make Louis Pasteur jealous. Charlotte needs to be deprogrammed so that these two can get back together and show the world what a powerful force their combination would be.