In Depth Cover Story
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!