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« The Same and the Samer | Main | The Dreary & the Annoying »

May 13, 2012

Mother Knows Best. Or Worst. Or Something.

One of the many things I love about soap operas is the comically low standards the characters and writers have for good parenting. Sonny Corinthos, for example, occasionally says positive things about his children and has only shot one of them, so he's constantly lauded as the greatest parent in all of Port Charles; his ex-wife is probably the runner up, referred to constantly as a great mother because...she seems to like Joss? Which, you know, who wouldn't?! The late and spectacularly unlamented Babe Carey and her equally repellent mother Krystal stole and SOLD children on All My Children and all people could talk about was how these two were the pinnacle of motherhood (the months since AMC's cancellation has not at all lessened my hatred for these two fictional creatures).

But there ARE some good mothers out in soapdom, and in honor of Mother's Day, I'd love to know: who is your FAVORITE soap mom? Biological mothers, adoptive mothers, mother figures, mothers who live entirely offscreen, mothers who are actually terrible but get treated like icons. Let's list away!


Elizabeth Webber.

Blair Cramer, mama bear extraordinaire

OLTL's Viki Buchanan, AMC's Grandma Kate, and ATWT's Emma Snyder.

Honorable mention goes to PASSIONS's Grace Bennett (seriously, who can resist a mom with a recipe for tomato soup cake?).

Hands down.... Alice Horton!

GH-Elizabeth Webber, Laura Spencer, Carly Jacks, and Olivia Falconeri
OLTL-Viki Lord, Dorian Cramer Lord, Natalie Buchanan, Nora Buchanan, Marcie McBain, and Addie Cramer
AMC-Erica Kane, Dixie Cooney, Opal Courtland, Amanda Chandler Martin, and Kendall Slater

Maeve Ryan - Ryan's Hope
Nancy Hughes - ATWT
Emma Snyder - ATWT
Blair Cramer - OLTL
Viki Buchanan - OLTL
Nora Buchanan - OLTL
Alice Horton - DOOL
Ruth Martin - AMC

I would give a slow clap to Brenda Barrett. Although she was a mom onscreen for about ten minutes, she had the where-with-all to realize she needed to get her son the hell out of PC and Sonny's orbit ASAP. Self-sacrifice looks good on GH characters. They should wear it more often.

I agree with Carrie. Brenda was the only "mob mom" that got the hell out of dodge. LIFETIME Achievement award goes to Alice Horton. Kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, neighborhood kids. They all came to Grandma Alice for advice. I haven't watched Days is awhile but last time I saw Maggie was doing a good job of carrying on the tradition.

OLTL- Viki Buchanan (my soap mom, too!)
AMC- Ruth Martin
Guiding Light- Maureen Bauer, Bert Bauer
ATWT- Nancy Hughes
DOOL- Alice Horton
AW-Ada Davis (mother of Rachel- who was originally played by Robin Strasser!)
GH- Elizabeth Webber and loving the Brenda nomination
Y&R- I'm going Drucilla here. Yeah yeah, but at the end she was a terrific mom.

Some faves --

AMC: Mona Kane

That poor lady. I could still see the exasperated look on her face when talking to Erica when she was knee-deep in one of her schemes. Mona wasn't fooled a bit, and was Erica's moral compass. But even when she was scolding Pine Valley's biggest dive, Mona always let her daughter know how much she loved her.

AMC: Myrtle Fargate

The crusty old carny with a heart of gold became Erica's surrogate mother after Mona died. Myrtle had been around the block a time or two, and she could tell when Erica was getting herself in trouble again. She was also a surrogate to many of Pine Valley's "strays" that came to live in her boarding house.

GH: Lila Quartermaine

If there was any shred of decency and humanity in Alan and Tracy Quartermaine, it was because of their mother. Lila was a sweet and kind woman, but she never shied from letting them or Edward know when she was displeased. Died of embarrassment when Felicia decided to write her "memwahs".

Bad moms --
Phoebe Tyler and Dorian Lord: Lived to interfere in their offspring's personal lives. Either drove them out of town or into the nuthouse.

Felicia Jones: Leaving your teen and pre-teen daughters when they need you the most. Really? Plus, it was really classy of her to give birth on a barroom floor.

Heather Webber: Sold her own baby son and then ended up in the looney bin after ingesting a massive dose of LSD she meant for a rival. She's one sandwich short of a picnic.

Irene Manning: If you watched the last year of OLTL, do I really need to spell out why?

Helena Cassadine: Venomous, evil, and deadly. Played favorites with her sons: turned Stavros into a homicidal maniac who lived to destroy the Spencer family. Constantly told her other son, Stefan, that he was a disappointment and a failure. Practically danced on his grave after his funeral.

Favorite Moms from the soaps I watched

AMC - Mona/Myrtle

AW - Ada/Rachel

RH - Maeve Ryan

ATWT - Emma

DOOL - Alice

GH - Anna/Robin/Lila

OLTL - Viki/Renee/Dorian

Loving - Gwyneth

PC - Lucy

happy mother's day to all moms!!

My fans

AMC-- Mona Kane- putting up with Erica-- she was the best
Ryan's Hope-- Maeve
Days-- Alice Horton-- the Hortons mights be best soap family
GH-- Lesley Webber was one of one fans, Lila Q-- loved her

Eden Capwell Castillo - always remember someone threatening her kids and Eden spitting out 'BACK OFF'. This seemed the epitome of awesome mom behaviour when I was a teen.

Blair Manning - mama bear for sure. . . when allowed to know what was going on in her kid's lives by tptb. Also excellent step-mom to Daniella. Fierce and protective!

Tea Delgado - had the good sense to keep her kid away from the father, for the formative years, at least. AND is an excellent step mom to Starr, Jack, and Sam.

Alexis Davis - tried to keep Kristina away from her father, kudos for that. Always wants what's best for her girls, but sometimes has blinders on.

Robin Scorpio-Drake - who wanted Emma so badly and fought through a devastating and poorly written bout of postpartum depression to be the mom we always knew she would be, only to be sadly ripped from her daugher's life.

BUT mom - extraordinaire on soaps has to go to Elizabeth Webber. . this character is portrayed as a mom who is IN her kids lives. Present, sensible, frazzled sometimes, frenzied, busy, frantic. . . all the things I feel about being a mom some days.

Would love to see a mom's day episode with the little people waking the mom's with awful breakfasts, school made crafts and cards, and lots of love! Any soap writers reading???

Dorian Lord -

Yeah, she wasn't a great mom by most standards - after all, most mothers can't be blamed for being all but directly responsible for their daughter's miscarriage - but she was FIERCE and infinitely protective, like a mother and a big sister rolled into one.

But also Vicki Buchanan, who was the living embodiment of maternal - when one of her alters wasn't flirting with one of her sons, at least :) - while not being a Stepford Mom by any stretch. I think her best moment was when she spoke up for Natalie after Roxy came to town to bully her way into Natalie's life.

But yeah, even though Dorian and Vicki were supposed to be mortal enemies they both represented two very different but weirdly complimentary ideals of motherhood.

Worst Mom Ever -

1st runner up - Helena Cassadine - she did all the evil she did to others in an effort to advance her kids and the Cassadine name, until recently killing Cassandra because she disappointed her

Winner and still champ - Irene Manning who seemed to want to advance one son, Victor's happiness and life at all and any costs to her other son Todd's sanity and very existence.

oh and should mention, Irene certainly didn't do Victor any favours either, and it is likely that she is behind his 'death'

I'm going with Anna Devane, 80s version. She would take time out from saving the world to check in on Robin and feel bad for making her child go into hiding. And she was involved in Robin's life. I've always been convinced that there was some writer who had teens that wrote all their scenes. So we got to see Anna frazzled when Robin got the world's ugliest dress as a teen, or when they fought (my favorite was when Robin asked why her father's shirt was at the house and mid fight, an exhausted Anna says, "go to college").

Vicki Buchanan (OLTL)
Rachel Cory (AW)
Karen Fairgate (Knot's Landing)
Maeve Ryan (RH)
Lila Quartermaine (GH)
Laura Spencer (GH)
Blair Manning (OLTL)
Gail Baldwin (GH)

I can't help but think back to the scene in Shadybrook when Scott was threatening Lulu, and Laura suddenly came out of her catatonic state. "Not my daughter, you son of a bitch!" Supreme mother bear awesomeness...

Anna Devane

I would nominate Robin Scorpio even tho she's no longer on the show. She was a good mommy, except of course when she had her breakdown, but otherwise...

Also, Marlena on DOOL. I just started watching the show recently so don't know how she was as a mom to her own kids, but she is an excellent substitute mom to Will. I love their relationship.

Traci Abbott Y&R

They need to bring her back

Jo from Days

Viki Buchanan/Lord (etc etc) on OLTL, hands down!!! Mom to her bio/step children and just about anyone who needed a maternal presence anytime on the show!!! She's everyone's TV mom!!!

Definitely Viki Lord. She's favorite TV mom period!

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