General Hospital: The Emergence of Ava Jerome, One Intriguing Woman

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

They showed her from her legs up, clad in a drop dead red halter dress.  This week on General Hospital, Ava Jerome was revealed to be the sister of the new power broker in town — Derek Wells. As played by soap veteran William deVry, Derek has a shady past: he really is one of GH’s old mob chiefs.  He was revealed to be the once thought dead Julian Jerome. His “little sister” Ava  has  been in town for a while, gathering power little by little.

Maura West

This reveal was so captivating because it was so well planned. For the past few months, GH has been slowly building up the new central character Ava, as played by daytime superstar Maura West (who became famous playing the wily Carly Tenney on As the World Turns and later the murdered Diane Jenkins on The Young and the Restless.)  Making Ava a central powerful character is a stellar choice by GH because daytime talent doesn’t get any better than West, a very accomplished actress and an expert at playing femme fatales and strong women on soaps.

When Ava came to town, she was a New York art dealer and the mother of Kiki Jerome (played by Kristen Alderson.)  At first Ava was shown to be a conniver, trying to get Kiki to vote her portion of the ELQ stocks with Tracy. Later, Ava was revealed to be the ex of Franco, who was presumably Kiki’s father. (It has since been shown that Silas Clay, another of Ava’s ex’s, is secretly Kiki’s biological father.)

But the GH audience was shown that Ava is much more than all this.  On the one hand she is seen trying to form an alliance with Franco against Tracy, while on the other she is the woman who tried to shoot him, hitting Olivia instead.  Her responsibility for this crime has never been exposed, at least so far. Ava  has been revealed to be an active member of the Jerome crime family, and the spotlight on West as a central GH character is shining even more brightly.

Quite deftly, GH has developed Ava into a very complex character, full of contradictions and mysterious as yet unanswered questions. She’s has become a very intriguing  woman indeed – and much more fun than a conventional heroine.

So, Thinking Fans, what do you think of the Ava as a powerhouse GH character? Are you rooting for or against Ava?  What do you think of West in the role? Discutez, s’il vous plait.

Comments

  1. horselover says:

    I’d rather see Laura, Holly, Felicia or Anna get the amount of airtime Ava gets. Sorry, just a long time GH fan who is tired of seeing actors from other soaps get way more airtime than GH vets.

    • tess says:

      Evidently the characters played by veteran performers isn’t working or resonating with the audience, so the writers are trying out some new characters and conflicts. Perhaps, the audience has grown bored with the vets and to keep viewers engaged, the writers have to bring in some new blood. I like Ava and her brother, Julian. I am pleased that Kate/Connie has been given the heave-ho. I wish they’d replace Kiki and Franco. I find it incredibly jarring to watch Kristen Alderson and Roger Howarth in their new roles. ABC should cut their losses and get rid of them.

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes just let every one know about her shooting Olivia and killing Connie let every one know her dirty dealings kill her off the story about her and Morgan is not to my liking and it upset me get Anna, Olivia and Carly more air time I just tired of her

  2. Chris says:

    I totally agree with horselover — I would much rather see the GH vets too — but SOMETHING has got to be going on with the vets’ contracts. It was Frank and Ron who brought them back, I think they would use them daily if they COULD. However it’s my belief that the vets’ actors’ contracts only allow them a certain number of days/airtime per month.

  3. heidi says:

    Great column Marlena!!! I agree with your thoughts completely! I loved Thursday and Friday’s shows especially because the story is moving along… somewhat predictable but still loving it. Loving how the layers are peeling away on Ava and she is so much more! She plays everyone so well… and she’s playing so many of them! So good to see all the greats on those episodes and I am excited and ready to go along on the ride! Anna and Duke going to Sonny was phenomemal! Luke back with Holly!!! We got Tracy fighting back and Lucy brought back into the mix. Everyone is woven into the Jerome history so well and I really can’t wait! Would love to see Tracy, Carly and Ava have at it!!! While I agree with some above… about vet airtime… I think this story line is going to involve so many and it could be so good!!! I am a huge GH fan and love the cast and yet Maura as Ava is doing so great and as much as I love seeing more Carly, Tracy, Anna, Sam and the other strong veteran women… Ava just adds to it and is delightfully complicated! So very happy to have a had a few days away from Franco, Brit, Brad, and Taylor. Likd that there was less Kiki and Morgan. Loved this week and loving where we are going!!!

  4. Kevin says:

    I’m cool with Ava Jerome getting a lot of air time. Always liked Maura West.

    William deVry, not so much. The guy is a complete egomaniacal, pompous azzhole especially after reading his recent cruel remarks about “All My Children” in a recent Soap Opera Digest. Hopefully Bianca Montgomery will come to town and shoot Derek dead.

  5. janet says:

    I have gone to the DVR,no Mobs for me..I didn’t like MW on ATWTs she ate the show pulled all the dirty tricks and everyone else was the bad guy. No thanks. Jeromes no thanks. enough mobsters. Lets have Lucdy, Laura, Anna, Duke, Doc, Scott . lets give them some screen time besides sitting in kellys eating BLTs. WHERE”S THE CHILLI? FrankenRon stink at running the show. The plots are on one day, three weeks later we haven’t been told what happened. The fans want to see the vets, why do you think the ratings are up, Because the vets were returning. .I would enjoy seeing Tracy and AJ banding together to run ELQ, I do not enjoy listening to Tracy spouting the mean girl lines and all the insults, AJ ruined the compny. Tracy put the dirty mob money in, then went to Connie and had it exposed in the paper. Ron is also a mean girl on twitter he doesn’t listen to anyone who goes to tell him even politely. .How long is Holly back for a month. Another set up to get more of us who had shut the show off ,just to return just like the NB.

  6. horselover says:

    Quote from Tess:
    Evidently the characters played by veteran performers isn’t working or resonating with the audience, so the writers are trying out some new characters and conflicts.

    How do you know this? Weren’t the ratings higher when the vets were on? And can’t the show have BOTH vets and newbies? I guess I see so much more potential with the show if it’s balanced between newbies and vets. JMO.

  7. Marilyn says:

    The show improved this week. Picked up with some major reveals.

    Less Franco, Britt, Taylor, awful Brad, Morgan, and so on. What most of us GH fans really want are some exciting stories concerning our favorite ladies, Anna, Laura, Lucy, Alexis. Anna needs top story because she is simply marvelous at keeping our interest in her scenes, whoever she is with. And how wonderful they taped Luke’s story to carry it on–I was SO glad to see him. It would seem it is possible he will reach that Swiss clinic and my anticipation is running high. Good to see Holly, too, and hope it means we see Robert as well. And Laura must join them soon. She’s as adventuous as any of them. She’s got to be bored bored bored with Scotty.

    As for Ava. Yes, excellent actress. No doubt about that. But I am already tired of her–too much air time, too much switching around in her story, too much repetitious lines. Ava isn’t exactly a character you can like, so her being on constantly is wearing. We LIKE Anna, we like Laura and Alexis and Lucy. And they move plot along, too. So I want to spend lots of time with them and have Ava be the more suspicious character we see just when she is up to something. It’s balance. Ladies we like on more, criminal ladies on less.
    Won’t miss Connie (another who was simply on too much) and if they could just put Sonny on the back burner now, that would be great. But it looks like another mob story in the making, so no luck there. Not fond of mob stories in general.

    Love Roger, but making him Franco was a gamble that did not pay. I hope he wakes up with a character closer to Todd. I don’t mind Kiki as long as she isn’t on a lot and Michael is quite barable, but Morgan isn’t. And Carly has been forced into teeth-clinching, pesky desparation–not pretty. Her’s has long been a case of ‘like the actress, the character not so much’.

    Concentrating on the kids stories was a BIG yawn and was bringing the ratings down. Things look to be picking up now.

    • tess says:

      I enjoy stories featuring young people and I’m in my fifties. I don’t want to see Luke in another adventure. Good Lord, Tony Geary is damn near seventy and he looks like a first-class goofball with his fake accent and getting shot while wearing a bullet proof vest. Michael and Morgan should be playing that kind of story. Sure Luke and Laura and Anna and Duke should have storylines, but they should be age appropriate and I’m not suggesting that they should be in rocking chairs, knitting, whittling, drinking chamomile tea and dispensing sage advice to the young characters. They should be mixing and mingling and raising hell in stories about mature people.

  8. Tony says:

    I agree with Marilyn–enough Ava already. She is an unlikeable character. Why is GH centered on and built around criminals? Where are the good guys? Again I find myself wondering why did they even bother bringing back any of the beloved vets if they weren’t going to use them in any meaningful and substantial way. My patience is nearing its end with this show. It is being run into the ground for no good reason.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The problem I have with Ava is that she is connected to characters about which I could not care less. Kiki’s mother, Franco’s wife or ex wife, and she has had a past relationship with Silas. I can’t stand Franco, Kiki is obnoxious and over exposed and Silas is a character I also don’t care for at all. I don’t know anything about the Jerome crime family. I feel no connection for or empathy with these characters nor their story. In fact, I watch GH less and less these days. Yes, Ava was introduced in a glamorous but, to me, shallow manner. But GH itself feels so shallow these days. I’m sad but whether or not GH stays on the air doesn’t matter much me to moi anymore. Even the best actor can’t make something great out of mediocre plotting and scripting. JMHO.

  10. Eric Henwood-Greer says:

    I am loving Maura in the role, but not much else. I admit, my worry is perhaps unfair–I have seen what the current regime have done before when they’ve incorporated history with new characters which seems to be paying a brief shout-out to an old story, and then little else.

    I’m a bit disappointed in this column–only in that I hoped you would talk about the amazing AMC scenes dealing with Cassandra and her abortion. A story which, sadly, the increasingly conservative networks seem scared to tell on their soaps (where abortion has become a word they are barely allowed to say.) The way the show presented the subject from different perspectives–including Angie’s reasoning for wanting Cass to keep the baby (even bringing in her history with Cassandra from the end of The City) was brilliant and moving, and using the story to humanize the current version of Colby was ingenious. Some of the best soap opera from at least the past decade–absolutely stupendous work. It showed what is missing from GH–heart. We have a story there about a baby slowly dying of cancer, and yet nothing about the story seems remotely moving or relatable on a human level. The show is really suffering from too much plot contrivances and no actual emotional beats.

  11. Steve Stowell says:

    I always liked Maura West as Carly on ATWT and think she’d make a great recast for Liza’s sister Mia on All My Children since she’s always reminded me of Marcy Walker. I have no interest in watching GH at the moment though because I’ve always found the Cartini writing/producing team to be overrated and I gave up after their poorly done Nurses’ Ball.

    ITA with Eric above that AMC is currently airing some of the best soap opera of the past decade and I’m disappointed you haven’t weighed in on the AMC reboot, especially after the awesome Colby/Cassandra scenes. Between Cassandra’s story, the classic set up of Pete/Celia (the new Cliff/Nina) and the charming buildup of AJ/Miranda, it’s been apparent from day one that Agnes Nixon is back!

  12. davleestev says:

    Soaps for thinking fan? Apparently not since these people sit and complain about everything they see or everyone they don’t see on the screen. A collective group of mouthy morons threatening to turn off the tv or turn to another show has given us all of 4 soaps. FOUR!!!! Soon there won’t be any and these same idiots will then want to rally the troops to bring them back so they can start a fresh round of naysaying and complaining. Maura West is a great addition to GH and i’ve yet to watch a show where the whole hour was solely her. Did i miss several one offs on a weekly basis. And why on earth would you pick a GH article with a GH answer expected and start talking about two online soaps that are only online because of silly people like the one’s who responded to this question. British soaps rarely fall under 5 mil. viewers year after year because the britts know even though you complain about your favorite show you don’t turn your back on it and cause it’s cancellation. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

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