General Hospital

How General Hospital Missed The Boat Making Esme A Longterm Villain

Our beloved soaps have a long history of vixen characters, one of the most famous being, of course, Erica Kane on All My Children —…

General Hospital Esme PrinceGeneral Hospital Esme Prince

Our beloved soaps have a long history of vixen characters, one of the most famous being, of course, Erica Kane on All My Children — who entered the scene knowing what she wanted — everything! General Hospital was poised to have quite a hellion on their hands in the former of talented newcomer Avery Kristen Pohl, with her spoiled and entitled Esme Prince — except she seems more from Hell.

General Hospital: Bad Girl…Or Just Plain Evil?

The stage was set right from the beginning when viewers realized she was the one responsible for setting Ava Jerome Cassadine’s (Maura West) car ablaze and then taunting her with the hospital badge of her murdered daughter, Kiki Jerome, left behind at the scene of the crime. This immediately let viewers know she was a character capable of anything!

But that’s probably when the show should have dialed her back a bit so they could humanize her from the cartoon villainess they were on the verge of creating. Did they? Well, General Hospital’s strength these days doesn’t appear to be nuance. Instead, she went gunning for all of her boyfriend ‘Spence’s’ (Nicholas Alexander Chavez) friends, including his new gal pal, Trina Robinson (Tabyana Ali) — one of the most beloved young characters Port Charles has seen in ages.

This last point, framing Trina for committing revenge porn featuring best pals Cameron Webber (William Lipton) and Josslyn Jack (Eden McCoy), had so much ew-factor to it and has for some reason, despite tons of holes in the story, landed poor Trina in jail. There are so many issues on just that aspect that will be saved for another commentary, but watching her machiavellian ways run rampant and unimpeded has been painful enough.

The show then threw in that added ick bonus of a weird daddy thing with Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom), which suddenly took her from being a cruel villain to a possible grooming victim with an actual biological bond or romantic nastiness as a barely-no-longer minor. Say, what?! How, after all of this, can they possibly keep her around a viable bad girl?

And she should have been. Pohl is a wonderful young actress who is very talented. It would have been fun to see her do bad girl things, like fake a pregnancy to keep Spencer or seduce Cam to get back at Joss — things a character can recover from and continue on a show for years.

Those are things an audience won’t feel dirty or enraged watching. Those are classic soapy things that make watching fun. Why couldn’t General Hospital have had that? Why must villains be taken so far past the point of no return (you know who we mean) that they make the audience hate them, rather than love to hate them?

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.

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