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Soap fans hate product placements, but General Hospital doesn’t care

When you think of General Hospital, you don’t normally think of Marvel’s upcoming movie, Doctor Strange. However, Disney, who owns both Marvel and ABC, wants soap opera fans to add the superhero movie to their fall must-watch list.

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On the Oct. 12 episode of GH, Ned (Wally Kurth) and Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) share a romantic moment that takes an awkward turn when the movie is mentioned.

“Well, you know, Doctor Strange is about to hit theaters pretty soon,” suggests Olivia.

“Well, you may be surprised to hear this, but if I can’t see that movie with you, I won’t see it,” Wally replies in a husky voice, “It won’t be the same. I don’t want to pressure you, it’s just, how I feel.”

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That giggle-worthy moment erupts into a hot, passionate kiss. Who knew Doctor Strange could elicit such sexy times?

But let’s take a step back and see what’s really going on here — cross-promotion. While it’s fantastic that Disney has the ability to pitch their latest projects in their theme parks, TV shows and merchandise, can it at least feel organic?

It is unfair to have two terrific actors force a scene like that and it’s not the first time we’ve seen it on soaps. Back in 2010, when things were looking dire for all soaps, Days of Our Lives had some pretty awkward product placements, from Wanchai Ferry Chinese food to Cheerios and Midol. They caught a lot of flak for it from the fans.

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It’s no different this time around either. Viewers are smarter than this and deserve a storyline that is natural. The actors deserve dialogue that is worthy of their characters and the hard work they put in on the set.

There is no doubt that Doctor Strange is going to be a monster hit for Marvel. Do they really need to make GH plug it even more?

Check out these other awkward product placements on soaps:

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

General Hospital slideshow
Image: ABC/Rick Rowell

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