Since introducing General Hospital’s Esme Prince, the character has been a one-note villainess. All evil all the time. She’s someone viewers hate but don’t love to hate. That’s why the bad to the bone Esme isn’t working, but she totally could. All it would take is a few small tweaks.
General Hospital: The Bad Seed
Actress Avery Kristen Pohl’s portrayal of The Bad Seed isn’t the problem. She’s spot-on as the spoiled, bratty bad girl. Plus, she easily evokes fear with her menacing stares and scare tactics. The problem is there’s nothing redeeming about Esme, no undercurrent of goodness nor explanation as to why she behaves so abominably. It’s just a dreadful mix of negativity and it makes Esme totally unrelatable.
Acts of Evil
Her first act of evil was torching Ava Jerome Cassadine’s (Maura West) car, compounded by strategically leaving Ava’s late daughter Kiki’s General Hospital badge, beside the wreckage. The move was cold and heartless. Then she started paying cryptic visits to the diabolical Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom), upping the intrigue, yet only making her appear more dastardly than ever.
And, in the interim, she’s alienated all of Spencer Cassadine’s (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) friends – Josslyn Jacks (Eden McCoy), Cameron Webber (William Lipton), and Trina Robinson (Sydney Mikayla) – while making none of her own.
GH: An Explanation Why
Esme has been following the path of a Lifetime movie villain, which might work for a two-hour film, but absolutely doesn’t for a Monday through Friday soap. Daytime characters need to have redeeming qualities, something that counteracts the negativity. Or, at the very least, viewers need to understand why they’re behaving so badly and what triggered it. Were they left at an orphanage as a baby? Abused by their parents?
So far there’s been absolutely none of that with Esme, and it’s sorely needed. Viewers need to see her in a different light. Perhaps the soap could show her in a vulnerable moment with Spencer, revealing a clue or two about her past. Or Trina could come upon Esme alone and crying, and try to get her to open up about what’s troubling her. Hopefully, something is planned that will give viewers a glimpse beneath her cold hard exterior and soon because the character is oozing with potential.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.