Sure, she’s killed in cold blood and made love in a crypt. She even slept with her daughter’s boyfriend as two different “people.” We didn’t say she was the best PERSON on soaps. We only believe that General Hospital’s Ava Jerome is the best CHARACTER on soaps and here’s why.
She can be bad as can be, but we always want to see what she’ll do next because her bad acts are typically impulsive acts, and though they harm others, they also harm her–and watching Maura West play suffering is always something to behold.
And then there’s that–Maura West. She doesn’t have a whopping NINE Emmy nominations and three wins for nothing. She earned each and every one of those nods and statues since she started on soaps soon after college.
As Carly Tenney on As the World Turns, she showed us how she can play flawed to perfection, as well as grit. Carly was not quite Ava (who is?), but West cut her teeth playing strong women back in New York and brought that skill to L.A. with Ava.
But, back to Ava. Because we just love Ava. We love how she turns to vodka martinis the second she can, how she always has a wisecrack for even the worst situations, and she can even figure things out when other characters stand around scratching their heads over the most obvious things for weeks.
We love how she loves her kids, despite being one misguided parent. Her heart’s there when it comes to her girls. But, her head and morals sometimes take a hike.
However, she’s certainly not dumb. It took her less than five minutes to deduce that ‘Patient 6’ gave her a number for Sonny. Of course, Griffin thought impossible, but he’s not Ava. He may have found her and has a thing for her, but if they ever get together, he’s got a whole lot to keep up with.
Ava is all id and that makes for one fantastic character. Even when she calculates a plot like inventing Denise DeMuccio, it’s all off the cuff. And, no matter how much she wants to be good, she’ll always remain somewhat bad–and that’s the way we like her–or make that love her.
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