Did you hear it? The thud occurred at 3:53 p.m. EDT, Friday, March 13. It was the sound of swooning General Hospital (GH) fans caught completely by surprise as the fierce, bitchy, self-destructive Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms) declared her love for socially inept, Shakespeare-speaking geek Damien Spinelli (Bradford Anderson).
Last summer, ABC Daytime ran a promotional campaign using the song "Believe" by The Bravery. The promo urged fans to “believe it can happen” — “believe friendship could become love” and “believe nice guys could finish first.” Spinelli and Maxie (Spixie) fans believed like crazy… believed when hope and the long-forgotten summer promo were all they had. For all their believing, last Friday, Spixie fans finally did some receiving, and it was glorious. Thank you, General Hospital and ABC Daytime for coming through and giving fans “something to believe.”
These incredible words, spoken to a speechless Spinelli through Maxie’s riveting tears, heard by a couple million dumbstruck fans, kicks into high gear one of the most unlikely and magnificent love stories on GH in years:
My hopes and dreams? None of that means anything if I don't have you. Don't you know me well enough by now to know that I didn't mean any of those things I just said? I only said them to you because I was scared that I'm going to lose you. Yes, it's all about me. Because I'm selfish, self centered, self involved and all of those self words. But you are my essential person… and of course I want you to be safe, but more than anything I want you to be with me… because I love you, Spinelli… I'll love you forever.
A year ago, many GH fans could barely fathom Maxie and Spinelli sharing scenes, but somehow during the writers’ strike, Maxie and Spinelli captured our hearts and our imaginations. Slowly, carefully crafted, the way stories were in the glory days of soaps, Maxie and Spinelli’s implausible friendship became a love story. Has it been that long since we have seen a love story based on honesty, mutual respect, and trust? Is there room on the modern soap landscape of sleazy angst to tell a story where love makes both partners stronger, builds them up instead of tearing them down or tearing them apart? Have we forgotten what real romance and love in the afternoon looks like? Sadly yes, but that is what thrills fans about the opportunity and challenge of Spixie. The love story of Spinelli and Maxie is General Hospital’s chance to get it right and hit a grand slam with a fascinating young couple who literally light up the screen.
Please, General Hospital, let Spixie simply be young, happy, and in love… at least for a little while. Show us how two such flawed and insecure characters can make it work together. For the past two years, both Kirsten Storms and Bradford Anderson have received pre-nominations for Daytime Emmys. Their portrayals of the fascinating, complex characters, Maxie Jones and Damien Spinelli, are mesmerizing; their comedic and dramatic timing is infallible. With Storms’ Maxie and Anderson’s Spinelli, GH has hit upon the perfect blend of character and actor; with vision and top-notch writing, GH can combine these elements to assure their franchise for a new generation of soap viewers.