Enough with the Ava Hate, GH
General Hospital, like most soap operas, dots its canvas with the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Characters take circular journeys from poor choices to redemption and back again. GH’s Ava Jerome, however, can’t enjoy even a moment’s happiness before an entire village kicks her which they especially enjoy doing when she’s down. I realize that like many of us, the writers at ABC feel exasperated by a POTUS who can neither identify the US Constitution nor locate Puerto Rico on a map, but must they vent their frustrations on a smart capable woman like Ava?
Maura West’s Ava has done reprehensible things that in the hands of a lesser actress would render her inhuman and irredeemable. For example, the mob queen/gallery owner murdered ConnieKate and later tampered with Morgan’s medication thus leading to the irritating troubled young man’s “death.” Ava also had the great misfortune of engaging in crypt-sex with a man she hates, the upside of which led to the birth of namesake Avery. Lest we think that development might bring Ava some happiness, Nina, murderer of Rafe, ripped the baby from her womb and ran off to Canada with her. Somehow this story ends with Nina marrying a millionaire, also a murderer, and Ava losing custody of dear Avery to the aforementioned crypt-sex daddy who happens to be a mobster.
The catalog of Ava’s sins could go on for pages, as could those of Sonny, Franco, Valentin, and Jason yet each of those men has managed to find happiness or at least the illusion of such while Ava continues to embody the town punching bag. Maura West’s talent surely causes some of Ava’s problems. West makes every story soar no matter how cliche or pedestrian and when writer’s grace her with one worthy of her talent she spins it into soap gold.
Just because West has the ability to convey pain, power, and vulnerability with a single look does not mean audiences want to watch a crop of whiny twenty-somethings berate Ava for stumbling into Morgan the Great’s memorial. Forgiving male characters like Sonny for crimes such as murdering A.J., while continually demeaning Ava for hers smacks of misogyny. GH does not need to remind female viewers that the rules are different for men and women. We live them every day in a world where insurance companies can now refuse to cover our birth control pills.
I want to see Ava win. I want to see her crush enemies beneath her designer pumps. I want to see her daughters thank her for protecting them from unworthy boyfriends and criminal fathers. I want to see her find love with whatever half her age hot ex-priest or back from the dead town hero catches her eye. Why? Because she’s Ava Jerome, damn it, and a win for her is a win for women everywhere. Got it GH?
Make it happen.