In Depth Cover Story

ABC Soaps In Depth - - Contents -

In the movie Steel Mag­no­lias, Dolly Par­ton’s char­ac­ter de­clared that “laugh­ter through tears is my fa­vorite emo­tion.” And there’s a good chance that’s how GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL fans will feel as the show cel­e­brates a ma­jor mile­stone by hav­ing Sonny throw an un­for­get­table party that he hopes will help dad Mike re­gain some of his lost mem­o­ries.

A Fam­ily In Cri­sis

These are tough days, in­deed, for the Corinthos clan. Even as Sonny is try­ing to deal with his fa­ther, Carly is keep­ing a big se­cret from her hus­band, and Michael is at­tempt­ing to ex­tri­cate him­self from the war zone that ex­ists be­tween Nelle and Carly!

“Sonny has a lot on his plate right now,” says co-head­writer Shelly Altman, “so Carly de­cides that she should find out more about the strange things she’s ex­pe­ri­enc­ing be­fore pil­ing that on top of ev­ery­thing else.”

Michael, mean­while, has had about as much as he can take of the ten­sions be­tween his mama and his baby­mama. “He has his eyes wide open where Nelle is con­cerned,” says co-head­writer Chris Van Et­ten. “But at the same time, she is car­ry­ing his baby. So while he has his own con­cerns about Nelle’s char­ac­ter,

As GEN­ERAL HOS­PI­TAL turns 55, Sonny plans a mem­o­rable bash for dad Mike

he re­ally wants his mother to back off.”

Doesn’t that seem… a tad un­likely?

“Some­how,” laughs Van Et­ten, “Michael doesn’t seem to get that his mom is not the back-off type!”

Since liv­ing un­der the same roof as

Nelle is send­ing her the wrong mes­sage and ag­gra­vat­ing his mom, Michael makes a big move… lit­er­ally! “He de­cides mov­ing out makes the most sense,” ex­plains Altman. “Nelle is ex- tremely dis­ap­pointed, to say the least!” This could, of course, have a con­se­quence Michael didn’t pre­dict: Nelle step­ping up her plan to gaslight Carly!

Sonny’s Worst Night­mare

At but the watch same as time, his fa­ther’s Sonny can sit­u­a­tion do noth­ing con­tin­ues to de­te­ri­o­rate. “It’s very dif­fi­cult for him to watch his fa­ther slip­ping away from him,” says

ques­tion the kind of re­la­tion­ship they had and what it can be, even now.”

An Act Of Love

Although Sonny is hop­ing to help his fa­ther re­claim some of his lost mem­o­ries, the task is prov­ing more dif­fi­cult than he imag­ined. But prov­ing the im­por­tance of fam­ily, it is Dante and Michael who point their fa­ther in a new di­rec­tion! “While do­ing some re­search on Alzheimer’s,” sets up Van Et­ten, “Michael reads an ar­ti­cle which in­di­cates that some­times, cre­at­ing a com­fort­able and fa­mil­iar en­vi­ron­ment for the pa­tient can be a pos­i­tive, ther­a­peu­tic ex­pe­ri­ence. He and Dante bring this up with Sonny, and they hit upon the idea of a party.”

“We thought, ‘This party is a great op­por­tu­nity to bring a lot of fan fa­vorites to­gether!’”

Con­ve­niently enough, this worked out well from a be­hind-the-scenes per­spec­tive, too! “We threw around so many ideas when try­ing to fig­ure out how to do some­thing spe­cial for the show’s 55th an­niver­sary,” says Altman. “And the more we thought about it, we re­al­ized that this story worked beau­ti­fully! We thought, ‘This party is a great op­por­tu­nity to bring a lot of fan fa­vorites to­gether.’ We’re hop­ing it will be a won­der­ful gift for the fans!”

And so, watch for Sonny and his fam­ily to recre­ate a spot that holds a spe­cial place in the hearts of both Mike and many fans. “The Corinthos fam­ily brings all of Port Charles to­gether for a night of cel­e­brat­ing and look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture,” teases Altman. Will fa­mil­iar faces help trig­ger Mike’s mem­o­ries of the past?

“There’s no good prog­no­sis where Mike’s sit­u­a­tion is con­cerned,” ad­mits Van Et­ten. “He has good days and bad days, but they know that ul­ti­mately, things are only go­ing to go down­hill.”

Will Sonny‘s plan help Mike re­mem­ber some of the good times he’s had in the past?

Will Michael’s at­tempt to make things bet­ter be­tween Carly and Nelle have the ex­act op­po­site ef­fect?

“Carly doesn’t want to bother Sonny un­til she knows more about what’s go­ing on,” says Altman. She does, how­ever, con­fide in Ja­son!

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