General Hospital Commentary January 14, 2024


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GH gives a fitting farewell to Bobbie Spencer & Jacklyn Zeman

The GH company gathered to pay tribute to the late, legendary Jacklyn Zeman.

General Hospital Commentary January 14, 2024
GH paid tribute to a beloved character and actress.

General Hospital crafted two especially touching episodes that paid tribute to her late character Jacklyn Zeman and her character, Bobbie Spencer. Not only the residents in Port Charles that needed to grieve Bobbie but as well the millions of viewers who watched her from the moment her debut on the scene nearly 45 years back. Through these two shows, GH helped viewers say goodbye to a character they loved and hating to hate to lose.

Bobbie Spencer Bobbie Spencer: Love and Laughter

Soaps are known to restrict their number of actors to participate in episodes due budgets, but the show seemed to have no limits for the quantity of actors who attended the event to honor Bobbie. There were of course family members of her — her daughter Carly (Laura Wright) as well as her grandsons Michael (Chad Duell) and Josslyn (Courtney Fulk) and long-time acquaintances Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), Laura (Genie Francis), Felicia (Kristina Wagner) as well as Scotty (Kin Shriner) who was the man Bobbie was once more interested in than anything else.

The show invited actors and background artists who appear as nurses on the show to attend the service, which enhanced the authenticity of the memorial. Also, the show was not complete without the character of Bobbie’s son Doctor. Lucas Jones (Ryan Carnes) as a character. The actor portrayed a subtle sadness to his character when Lucas grieved the loss of his mother who is now with the parents Tony (Brad Maule) and sister BJ in the realm of the beyond. Wouldn’t it be wonderful that Bobbie’s son was able to return to the staff of General Hospital?

The show was not able to erase Liz’s (Rebecca Herbst) relationship with Bobbie in the way she assisted her in the aftermath of her brutal sexual assault. “Bobbie never made me feel ashamed,” Elizabeth said. “She gave me unconditional love and encouragement,” adding that Bobbie encouraged her to become nurse.

It was fitting to Laura as well as Scotty to pay tribute to Bobbie since they’d known her the longest, and at her most dazzling as well as her worst. Their triangle of the latter part of the 1970s played a significant role in bringing GH into the upper echelons of charts. Laura mentioned the times where she used to be a candy striper (actually she wore the blue smock she wore and was employed in the hospital’s the bookroom) as well as Bobbie was an (student) nurses. Their early days were full of tension and angst. Once, Bobbie relentlessly taunted Laura until she slapped her, attempting to send her to a reform school. The plan failed, and as time passed the two women became sisters and friends’ courtesy of Laura’s wedding to Bobbie’s brother Luke (Anthony Geary).

In Sean Dolly’s (John Ryan) memorial ceremony a couple of years in the past, GH invited his portrayer’s real-life daughter, Caitlin Reilly, to play Annie who was who was a WSB agent. The show also came up with a innovative method to make Bobbie’s funeral more memorable by introducing the role as AP journalist Angela Brighton. Experienced viewers and keen social media users quickly recognized Angela as the actress Brighton Hertford, who played Bobbie’s daughter BJ who passed away nearly 30 years ago in an accident on a school bus. BJ’s heart was donated her deceased relative Maxie (Kristen Storms).

It appeared that Hertford’s character was exactly what she claimed she was reporter working on an article about Bobbie who was assisting trafficked women from Amsterdam get refuge within The United States. This certainly explains Bobbie’s lengthy stay in the US. Lucas, Liz, Lucy (Lynn Herring), Laura, and Scotty told their tales of Bobbie with Angela in order to assist her in finishing her tale of the loving and tireless nurse.

A large number of actors on a show can be costly, as adding flashbacks to assist in telling the story. But, GH spared no expense in providing memorable moments from Bobbie’s life for viewers to revisit these moments. Bobbie is seen threatening Laura by saying that she could not enter Scotty’s home because of plans, and “three is certainly a lot of people” is one of her crueller scenes. We also witnessed flirty times among Scotty and Bobbie and Bobbie threats to Tracy (Jane Elliot) to leave Lucas at home as well as Felicia and Bobbie suffering from the grief of BJ’s tragic death.

Written in the hands of Kate Hall and Dave Rupel, GH gave us not only a heartfelt celebration of Zeman as well as Bobbie but also many other touching moments in the two episodes. There was Anna telling Robert of the fact that Bobbie was among the people who assisted in raising Robin (Kimberly McCullough) in the days when Anna as well as Robert were believed to be to be dead. There was also Lucas as well as Felix (Marc Anthony Samuel) having a touching moment following the funeral; as well as Tracy (Jane Elliot) and Lucy (Lynn Herring) agreeing to a truce in their ongoing battle for the sake of Bobbie.

GH wrote a lot in the two episodes. There was Bobbie’s funeral. characters recounting tales about Bobbie in front of journalist Angela as well as Carly and Felicia travelling to Amsterdam and then Canada to assist in completing one of Bobbie’s last objectives — aiding a woman named Cornelia (Ellie Darcey Alden) who was at risk of being a victim of trafficking, gain refuge in America. Felicia as well as Carly also discussed the past and developed an entirely new relationship between the two.

There were twists and turns, too. Maxie could not find any evidence that pointed to an “Angela Brighton” working for The AP within Amsterdam. Who was this mysterious woman? It was not “Angela” but was rather the angel BJ to be precise. Who better to attend Bobbie’s funeral than the daughter she adored so much and lost in such a sudden and unjust manner? Special thanks for GH the head writer Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor for inventing the idea and to GH for finding Hertford after more than three decades, and also to the actress for returning to visit the GH family.

In a separate way, Felicia and Maxie, who held her hand over her own heart (BJ’s heart) and each realized what Angela was. Outside of Kelly’s home, Angela said to Lucas “Champ” (which is BJ’s nickname for him. He turned to her, but Angela disappeared.

The idea that BJ would come back to earth as Angela is a notion soap enthusiasts can grasp. Felicia and Carly travelling so fast between New York to Amsterdam to Canada and then back towards Port Charles — perhaps not so much because Carly was wounded in the head in the final portion on her trip. She didn’t even stop for an incision until she made it there at General Hospital.

It was ideal to have seen an episode of a flashback Geary and Zeman for their portrayal as brothers Luke as well as Bobbie Spencer was among the most realistic brother/sister characters in the daytime drama. Bobbie was involved with a variety of love interests throughout her career which included Doctor. Noah Drake (Rick Springfield), Roy DiLucca (Asher Brauner A Martinez), and Dr. Tony Jones. It would have been wonderful to have seen some of those scenes.

In the end, GH decided to have Kelly’s name changed to “Bobbie’s” to pay tribute to the character of Zeman. It’s important to note that the show didn’t change Kelly’s name to “Ruby’s” following the fact that Ruby (Norma Connolly), Bobbie and Luke’s aunt who died in 1999. In the future the characters will announce that they’ll go to “Bobbie’s” rather than Kelly’s. We’d like to see people not arrive at the old brownstone Bobbie resided in back to the mid-1980s! What happens to the cups? Kelly’s social media channels will need to be updated as well.

In all seriousness, Kelly’s is a staple on GH since the 1980s in which viewers got introduced Paddy (Frank Parker) and the wife of his Rose (Loanne Bishop) and his child Joe (Doug Sheehan). The ownership transfer was from the Kelly family onto Ruby after the family moved to Ruby family after Rose Kelly left Port Charles. The name change may require some time to get used to.

Perhaps a more fitting tribute to Bobbie could have been to name an area in the hospital after her? In all likelihood, she spent longer at General Hospital tending to patients than Kelly’s restaurant serving the best coffee and pie. In any case, we are likely to hear the word “Bobbie’s” frequently since the restaurant now bearing her name is an established Port Charles mainstay. This is a good thing.

GH paid tribute to Bobbie in these shows with a reminder that her character represented happiness, love for family as well as optimism and compassion like Zeman did. Bravo to all involved in giving tributes to Barbara Jean “Bobbie” Spencer as well as her portrayer Jacklyn Zeman.


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