I’m a seasoned soap opera viewer. My disbelief has been sufficiently suspended for years now. Picture me on the couch with my diet Coke (it is, after all, the middle of the day), my lips pursed in a knowing scowl, my eyes rolling as I refused to be surprised by the blood clot in Sonny’s brain. This is not my first rodeo.
Just because I’ve been here for a long time doesn’t mean things don’t still stick in my craw, whatever that is. I’m not indifferent. These shows still have the ability to annoy me. That’s how I know it’s true love.
Lately, I’m mostly annoyed by the housing situation. Ever since I moved to the Bay Area, I am more attuned to housing issues—specifically availability and pricing. So when I see people like Dante and Lulu, who have at least 1.5 jobs between them, living in a tiny loft with a toddler in a city whose residents number in the dozens, I am incredulous. Surely, there is somewhere else for these people to live. Even if money were an issue—and I’m not buying that it is—lofts are trendy and therefore pricy so I doubt they are saving money by staying in that loft.
I get the allure of lofts. I’ve still got it bad for Brian Kinney’s loft on Queer as Folk. But when you have kids, you have to make sacrifices. Rocco deserves his own bedroom or at the very least, a room that isn’t also the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room.
Putting aside its inexplicable skyline, Port Charles is not a large town so the abundance of apartment buildings is a little puzzling. Let’s take inventory. There is, of course, the building where Alexis and Molly (and now Kristina) live. Sonny used to live in the penthouse across the hall, which is probably still available. Maybe Sonny still owns it and can give it to Dante and Lulu.
There’s also the building where Johnny Zacchara used to have his own penthouse. That’s one huge apartment for one person to live in while Dante, Lulu, and Rocco are in a studio. Silas Clay’s cool apartment, which I think Patrick used to inhabit, is in another building, and Sabrina and Felix’s apartment is in still another building. Before Michael moved into the Quartermaine mansion, he lived in an apartment in what I assume was still another building, as I was never given any evidence that it was in any of these other buildings.
Meanwhile, in some other building, Brad and Lucas have a studio apartment that is even smaller than Dante and Lulu’s, and they both also have jobs, not to mention that Lucas has rich relatives who would be glad to put up some housing funds.
Many of the denizens of Port Charles make their homes in the Metro Court hotel, which would lead one to believe that there is a housing shortage. However, all of these apartment dwellers not only live in separate buildings but at least some seem to live on the top floor. Who lives on the other floors? Aren’t these lower floor apartments available for the likes of Nina, Franco, Ric, Anna, Sloane (RIP), Scott, etc.? I actually have no idea where Olivia lives right now, but she is the only one for whom it would make even a little sense to live at the hotel. Remember when Jax lived in a fancy penthouse in the Port Charles Hotel? Does this new hotel not have a penthouse?
Speaking of people whose living situation is unknown, where is Jordan living? She keeps asking T.J. to “come home,” but where is that exactly? Is she living at Sean’s? Because that was a) a damn studio apartment and b) in what I believe is yet another apartment building, which brings our unofficial total to seven.
I’d like to propose a storyline in which all of these apartment buildings but one burns to the ground and all of these people end up renting apartments in the one remaining building. They would run into each other all the time and that in and of itself would mix things up a bit.
Of course, some of these people, like Dante and Lulu, should maybe think about getting a house. Elizabeth seems to like hers. It’s good for when you want to shove your kids off screen upstairs.
This is not just a General Hospital problem, though I feel most qualified to testify to the housing weirdness in Port Charles because I have spent the most time there. I have noticed that Ridge’s apartment on The Bold and the Beautiful is a little odd. At first glance, it appears to be a studio since the bed is right there when you walk in the front door, but then your eye is drawn to a staircase in the background. Where does that lead? Maybe the ten years that have recently been removed from Ridge are stored up there.
It also seems like a man of means such as Ridge Forrester could afford a more spacious abode, but since he is clearly going through some kind of midlife crisis, I’ll allow the studio apartment bit to exist for now. There is, after all, no toddler squeezed in there with Ridge and Caroline.
I’m really just looking out for Rocco here, even though I hate pretty much all soap opera children, which is a rant for another time.