What You Need To Know Before You Start Watching General Hospital

Perhaps you've had your fill of "Days of Our Lives" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" and want to try a new soap. Or maybe you've heard so much about "General Hospital" over the years that you think it's time to check out these continuing storylines about the human condition told in an over-the-top way and see if it can beat out reality TV for drama and pathos. As soap stories can be intricate and seemingly go on forever while sometimes diving deep into past plots from years gone by, you need to know what's going on in this series before you start your "GH" viewing.

"General Hospital" ended 2021 with a New Year's Eve bash that propelled several hot stories forward to get 2022 started off to a roaring start. If you want to learn about a whole new cast of characters in a fictional New York state town, then there are some things you should know before turning to ABC in the afternoons or Hulu at night, where "GH" streams (via ABC.com).

The Nina/Sonny/Carly Triangle

Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) spent most of 2021 with amnesia living in a fictional Pennsylvania town called Nixon Falls rather than his own fictional town of Port Charles (via Soaps In Depth). Calling himself Mike, he worked as a bartender and met Nina Reeves (Cynthia Watros), a woman he did not think he knew, but one who definitely knew him. Nina was ready to tell the presumed-dead Sonny she knew who he was the second she saw him, but he didn't want to know — plus, she was angry at Sonny's wife, Carly (Laura Wright), so she kept his identity a secret and fell in love with Sonny as a man named Mike, who fell for her, too.

Then, Sonny got his memory back, became furious that Nina kept his identity from him, returned to Carly and Port Charles, but then couldn't stop thinking about Nina because there was a part of him that still had feelings for her, according to Soaps In Depth. When Carly learned about Nina and Sonny's relationship, she was furious, kicked him out of his own house, and put Nina on notice, telling her to stay away from her husband. Nina also put Carly on notice, telling her that if Sonny comes to her, she will not turn him away. This all occurred just as bipolar Sonny chose to go off his medication, so anything can happen in 2022 as this story heats up.

Maxie and her missing baby who is not actually missing

For nearly two years, Maxie Jones' (Kirsten Storms) family and friends warned her that her romance with Peter August (Wes Ramsey) was going to end in nothing but danger and heartache (via Soap Hub). Unfortunately, a very pregnant Maxie learned of all of Peter's many crimes at their wedding, so she called the ceremony off and decided she was going to make sure Peter never got a hold of her baby by giving the infant to Brook Lynn Quartermaine (Amanda Setton). Brook Lynn was faking a pregnancy, telling Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) he was the father in order to get her family's company back from him; she needed an actual baby and Maxie's little Louise fit the bill. Brook renamed the baby Bailey and presented him to Valentin, according to Soap Hub, and Maxie knew her daughter was safe while Peter remained on the run trying to find the child.

Eventually, Valentin learned he was not the father, but not that Brook Lynn never had a baby. Harrison Chase (Josh Swickard) is now Bailey's fake dad (via Soaps.com), while Brook's grandmother, Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot), figured out who Baily really is. Maxie, Brook, and Chase are trying to keep it all a secret as Maxie's mom, Felicia Scorpio (Kristina Wagner), and godmother, Anna Devane (Finola Hughes), both detectives, try to figure out what really happened to Louise (via Soaps.com).

The Cassadines are weaving a tangled web

The Cassadine clan was introduced to "General Hospital" back in the early 1980s when Mikos and Victor Cassadine tried to freeze the world with a weather machine. Through the years, they have been in and out of Port Charles. In 2022, the family is enjoying a resurgence with Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy) back from the dead and back in town wreaking havoc wherever he goes, including the family Thanksgiving dinner, according to Soap Hub. Niece Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) is trying to keep her distance from her crazy family, nephew Nikolas Cassadine (Marcus Coloma) is trying to hide the fact that he knew Victor was alive for years, and grand-nephew Spencer Cassadine (Nichola Chavez) is just happy that his uncle managed to get him a lighter criminal sentence for stalking Ava Jerome (Maura West).

Meanwhile, Victor is determined to bring down his old enemy from his world-freezing days, Mayor Laura Collins (Genie Francis). Laura's half-brother and jailbird, Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober), is doing his best to warn her it's Victor who is trying to kill her and not Cyrus' mafia organization (via Soaps.com).

Budding romances in Port Charles

Love stories are the bread and butter of soaps, so there's always some new romance brewing on "General Hospital." In 2021, the soap even broke up some of its most popular couples and tried them with new people. For Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) and Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna), it seems to be working as they are now an official couple after she broke up with Jason Morgan (via Soap Opera Digest).

For years, Anna Devane and Valentin Cassdine were enemies who resisted one another, then they became friends and finally blossomed into a true romance after a New Year's Eve kiss that seemed to last for minutes. That same New Year's Eve party also brought Curtis Ashford (Donnell Turner) and Portia Robinson (Brook Kerr) together again, according to Soaps.com

Other potential romances that are just getting started on "GH" include a relationship between recently widowed Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) and Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton). And, as Harrison Chase and Brook Lynn Quartermaine pretend to be Maxie's baby's real parents, they are also developing feelings for one another. So, love in the afternoon is still alive on "General Hospital" after nearly six decades on the air (via IMDb).