How General Hospital Ruined The Legacy of Robin's Groundbreaking HIV Saga in One Episode
Disgusting and depraved are generally not words you would ever think to use in a sentence concerning anything associated with beloved General Hospital heroine Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough).Today's episode of GH, however, was quite possibly the most horrifying, unnerving hour of daytime television I've ever witnessed — and not in a good way. Viewers tuning in for a little love in the afternoon were instead treated to Robin and her husband Patrick (Jason Thompson) being terrorized by a psychotic Lisa (Brianna Brown), wielding a needle filled with Robin's HIV positive blood.
We've seen a lot of groundbreaking soap stories pissed on over the years, but this disgusting sequence takes the cake. Who thought it would be a good idea to use Robin's HIV status as a weapon — a plot point in pre-Sweeps stunt? Does new head writer Garin Wolf really believe making a mockery of Claire Labine's classic, heart-wrenching tale of a woman who lost her first love to AIDS, only to be diagnosed with HIV herself, is the way to get more young women to watch this endangered soap? I find this plot twist appalling and tragic to say the least.
GH made a daring, game-changing decision when they decided to have "Little Robin," who millions of fans had watched grow up, contract HIV from her boyfriend Stone Cates (Michael Sutton) in 1995. The storyline was timely, provocative and relatable to the soap's millions of viewers, who were either petrified, uninformed or both, about what was still a very mysterious and lethal disease.
Through Robin, fans realized HIV didn't have to be a death sentence. Her story became one of hope and courage that kept in lockstep with the real-life advances in HIV and AIDS treatment. We watched Robin go on her drug cocktail, find love several times, become a doctor and ultimately have her viral load become so undetectable she was able to give birth to an HIV negative child. Yet in one episode, Wolf has threatened to wash all of that progress away.
Is this really the message soaps should be sending to the impressionable young viewers who still watch these programs? If you can't be with the one you love, kidnap, terrorize and try to infect them with a life-threatening ailment? Wasn't Wolf championed by actors and on magazine covers as being the savior of GH? Where is this "pro" women writer fans were promised?
One of critics biggest complaints about Wolf's predecessor Bob Guza was that his writing was too dark, and to be quite honest, more times than not it was. Even as a fan of Guza, I thought he pushed the envelop too far when he allowed Lisa to even toy with Robin's HIV medication, but today's episode of GH just had to take things one vile step further. I think Garin Wolf, GH's executive producer Jill Farren Phelps and ABC Daytime President Brian Frons should be ashamed of themselves for today's episode of GH, but something tells me that isn't the case.
Photo credit: ABC