There was once a time when the months of February, May, and November were the holy grail of the calendar year for soap fans. They are the television ratings periods where shows both daytime and primetime have traditionally pulled out all the stops to get people tuning in to determine advertiser rates. In February of 2023, it looks like only General Hospital remembered that sweeps are a thing.
Where Was The Action Outside Port Charles?
Watching The Young and the Restless has been like watching paint dry for way too long now, and February was no exception. Everyone talked, nobody took action, and the month ended with Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope) dreaming about what life would be like with both Adam (Mark Grossman) and Nick (Joshua Morrow), depending on which brother was her baby daddy. Snore.
Over at The Bold and the Beautiful, we got to watch two selfish parents force a little boy to decide who he wanted to live with, so he chose his aunt to get away from these people who would do that to him. Okay, interesting and emotional, but sweeps worthy? Probably not.
Days of our Lives took us on a journey through some weird version of heaven while the children and grandchildren of the allegedly-dead women worried more about their love lives than their lost loved ones. We also got to see a mad scientist try to deprogram a man he brainwashed by using spare kitchen appliances. Alrighty then.
If You Wanted Sweeps, You Needed General Hospital
Thankfully, we had ABC’s lone soap that is going to turn 60 in a month offer a little bit of something for everyone all month long, telling us it remembered it was February sweeps, while also remembering it’s a soap opera.
If you were a Carly (Laura Wright) fan, it was an amazing month. She got away scot-free with keeping a massive secret from both Willow and Nina for a full nine months, after already keeping a massive secret from Nina (Cynthia Watros) about her other daughter, Nelle (Chloe Lanier), back in 2020 and early 2021. If you were a Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) fan, you got to take an emotional journey as she learned she only had weeks to live and both her mother and her newborn daughter couldn’t help her with bone marrow or stem cells.
We even got to see Willow go towards the light and meet Harmony (Inga Cadranel) in heaven. Whether you liked Willow or not, it was hard not to tune in as some wondered how Harmony even got into heaven in the first place.
If you were a Vanna fan, you didn’t get oodles of excitement as they spent their time hiding out in a safe house just outside Port Charles, but the show still found a way to fit in some romance and give us a little taste of how wonderful Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) are despite Stuart’s limited tape schedule due to his role on the Disney series The Villains Of Valley View. While their story didn’t move forward much, it was still delightful to watch Anna haunt the duplicitous deputy mayor.
If you were in the mood for traditional soap messiness, Curtis (Donnell Turner) and Portia’s (Brook Kerr) wedding delivered the goods. Portia nearly interrupted her own ceremony to tell Curtis he might be Trina’s father but went ahead with things anyway. However, when that bouquet landed at Trina’s (Tabyan Ali) feet after her talk with Stella (Vernee Watson), the real drama began, and we got to see a glorious (possible) paternity reveal between a guilt-ridden mother and her devastated 20-year-old daughter. This all led to that long-awaited kiss between Spencer (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) and Trina, and it was well worth the wait, so score one for the Sprina fans during sweeps.
Then There Was Wyndemere
If you wanted true non-stop soap sweeps action in February, Spoon Island was the place to be. It started in that hospital chapel where Spencer let Nikolas (Adam Huss) know he saw that video in which Nikolas (falsely) confessed to pushing Esme (Avery Kristen Pohl) off the parapet and became more precarious when an unspooling Nikolas threatened to take Avery from Ava (Maura West). That resulted in her clocking him over the head with a statue and believing he was dead. As of this writing, she still believes she needs to move his body to a new hiding spot on Spoon Island to keep the police from finding him. Whether Nikolas is really dead remains a soapy mystery.
Over at Spring Ridge, pregnant amnesiac Esme got to know her crazy mother, Heather Webber (Alley Mills), as we watched both Heather and Ryan (Jon Lindstrom) fall further off the deep end than ever before as they amused and entertained us while leaving us on the edge of our seats wondering what they would do next.
When Felicia (Kristina Wagner) made her way over to Spoon Island during Ava’s second eventful night as Lady of the Manor, we knew what glory was to come. Heather and Ryan had already kidnapped Esme and escaped Spring Ridge, and Ryan made his intentions clear about a pit stop at Wyndemere to bring Ava along on their little adventure. When Ava and Felicia opened the door to Ryan, and he realized he hit the jackpot with both of his obsessions in one place, the look on his face told us everything. We were in store for one heck of a final week of sweeps.
And what a week it was. Heather hooked Austin and revealed herself as the serial killer, Ava shot Ryan in the shoulder, but Mac (John J. York) got the kill shot, Esme gave birth on the living room floor, and Spencer finally learned he had been had and both Ryan and Esme had targeted him to ruin his father’s life.
As February turns into March, all of these stories have new threads to unravel and keep us watching, while making it clear why General Hospital is currently the longest-running, still-airing scripted drama in television history. Happy 60th, GH.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
For more about what’s happening on your favorite soaps, join the conversation over on our Facebook Page, check out our Twitter feed, or look for an update on our Instagram stories. See you over there!