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« Why, Caroline, Why? | Main | Happy Anniversary, General Hospital! Thank You For Being Generally Awesome »

April 01, 2013

Celebrating GH: Our Favorite Characters

On April 1st, General Hospital will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary and we couldn't be more excited. For the returns of much-loved characters. For the copious amounts of flashbacks we hope/politely but firmly request the show air. For the Nurse's Ball. For the show being lightyears better than it was the last time it celebrated a milestone anniversary. We're all jazz hands and celebratory bottles of champagne at Serial Drama Headquarters!

(Okay, we don't actually have official headquarters, but if we did they would be fabulously decorated and also filled with celebratory bottles of champagne)

In honor of the big day, we're going to be taking a few trips down memory lane and indulging in some prime reminiscing and we'd love to hear from you, our wonderful readers! Let's start with our Favorite General Hospital Characters.

But! Before we officially start the reminiscing, a DISCLAIMER: these are only our opinions. We are sure many of you (possibly even most of you!) will disagree with our choices and will roll your eyes at our taste. That is fine! We welcome your commentary and additions. And this list is by no means exhaustive, either--we've probably excluded about a dozen of our own favorites, and forgotten about a dozen more.
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LUCY COE: Bless her heart (and welcome back!). It's been a blast to watch this character's decades-long arc from mousy librarian to scheming femme fatale to wacky ne'er-do-well to Nurses Ball Emcee Extraordinaire to the big-hearted, nutty, self-absorbed but huge-hearted woman we have on our screens today.

Lucy and alan's wedding photo

And for every misdeed and every ridiculous bright red wedding dress in Lucy's soapy journey, she got a chance to show us her depth of feeling when learning of BJ's death or acting as a surrogate for Scotty and Dominique. 

ANNA DEVANE: Let's face it, this is a genre whose viewer demographic is overwhelmingly female. When you're working in that world, while lots of washboard abs and sexy bad boys are key, you can't go without a serious bad-ass chick or two. We present to you one Ms. Anna DeVane -- superspy, double agent, brave and honorable, and with hair that any 80s girl would covet.

Anna devane

Sure, her romances and her relationship with her daughter gave us great stories over the years, but she never needed to be anybody's mother or anybody's wife to drive story. She had lives to save, regimes to bring down, and national monuments to save from nuclear attack by the evil DVX. (And yes, has also served her time as a damsel in distress, but one who is quite capable of handling herself.) We can have our fun battles till we're blue in the face about who is truly the love of Anna's life, but one thing is for certain: she doesn't need any man. She kicks ass all on her own. (Yes, even in her weird two-year stint on All My Children.)

JAGGER CATES: Never before in the history of soaps has there been a character so multi-layered and fascinating as the young Jagger Cates when he... oh forget it. But seriously, you guys. What does it matter? Have you seen him?

Jagger being pretty
What more must anyone say?

CARLY BENSON QUARTERMAINE CORINTHOS ALCAZAR JACKS: Oh Carly. That horrible, terrible, manipulative, narcissistic, hilarious, complicated train-wreck of a woman. Over the past seventeen years, we've gone through a whirlwind of emotions toward young Caroline, from love-to-hate to hate-to-love to hate-to-hate and round and round again.

Early early carly

Girlfriend's been wreaking havoc since the second she turned up in town to get revenge on Bobbie for having given her up for adoption (an evil on soaps akin to murdering someone's entire family, really). With due disgust for the many years in which she prominently featured to the point of pure nausea, when balance is achieved she has been infuriating but rarely dull. We'll all just keep having our battles about which of the actresses played her the best or made us hate her the least (but come on, y'all, we all know deep down Jennifer Bransford was #1, right?), but meanwhile the more she makes us yell at our screens, the more she's money in the bank. (Perhaps "favorite" is less an apt word here than simply "most memorable.")

ROBERT SCORPIO AND FRISCO JONES: Why group these two together? Besides simple laziness, both Robert and Frisco had a similar appeal. Both wry and funny and cocky-but-not-cruel men who did life-saving work for the police and for the WSB and who couldn't resist rescuing women with really pretty hair.

 Frisco and robert

Oh, those eyes! All four of them! And despite the various writing regimes dragging them both through the mud in myriad ways over the years, at their prime they were both unstoppable adventurers and endlessly entertaining heartthrobs (and, hint hint, most certainly can be again!).


BRENDA BARRETT:
Just TRY and name a character more glamorous than Brenda. Really: try! We'll wait here, patiently, for eternity, because there is no topping the world's shortest supermodel.

Vanessa-marcil

Beautiful, fabulous, and blessed with a head of amazing hair, Brenda has lived through just about every soap storyline you could imagine. There was the teenage scheming and then the epic romances (not to mention the best--the BEST! The absolute gold standard for all of television, daytime AND primetime and probably film, too--love triangle in daytime history). She was left at the altar, had a nervous breakdown, throught she had a mysterious mental illness, was presumed dead, was actually not dead, became the obsessive focal point of many a mentally disturbed mobster, dated a famous actor (...it was profoundly difficult typing that with a straight face), had a secret child and scares the bejezus out of Carly. And did we mention the hair and the overwhelming prettiness? We did? Okay. Because it bears repeating.

ELIZABETH WEBBER: Remember when Elizabeth came to Port Charles and was the bad girl? All attitude and plots to humiliate her sister with planted condoms? Adorable!

536529_10150874980578731_82481248730_9835373_913856113_n

In the years since, Elizabeth has turned into a wonderful daytime heroine and someone who could have been--and should have been--the show's leading lady during the dark, dark days that someone had the misguided notion to make Courtney into a thing. Courtney! Liz has been a part of some truly iconic daytime stories and has been half of some insanely popular romances: people are still debating whether she's meant to be with Lucky or Jason and there is still a vocal chorus reminiscing fondly about her relationship with Ric, too. Pretty impressive for someone who has spent an unfortunate amount of time on the backburner reacting to other people's goings on with some fantastic facial expressions (her bitchy faces alone earned her this spot on this list, really. It's just gravy that she's also awesome).

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So what say you, Serial Drama readers? Who are your favorite GH characters of all time?

Comments

I love what you said about Liz, her bitch faces are epic <3 I haven't liked Carly sinc SJB was in the role and Brenda is meh

There's nothing like watching way too much of a 50 hour marathon (thanks TiVo) this weekend to remind you why you love this show. I originally intended to only watch the ones that I didn't see as an adult (70s and 80s) but then I got sucked into the whole "Carly trying to ruin Bobbie's life" thing and it was off to the races. I had forgotten how sympathetic Carly was even though she was pretty much pure evil. Sarah Brown just killed it.

(I also remembered why 6 year old me would try to watch the show when my babysitter's were...underground Cassadine lairs with Tiffany in fabulous dresses ... what more could a little boy want?)

Liking the list, but I definitely think Stefan Cassadine should also have made the final cut. Carly is certainly the most memorable :)

Also something that I was surprised to remember based on this weekend's marathon. There was a whole year and a half between Bobbie finding Carly sleeping with Tony (and Luke finding out that Carly was Caroline) and Bobbie actually finding out. That would never happen today and I think soaps are worse off for it.

If I had to choose one, I think I'd pick Helena "Mrs. C." Cassadine. Constance Towers is a treasure and Helena is the most fun villain in soaps when used correctly.

Brenda and Elizabeth, my two favorite GH characters of all time, being on this list? YES, I AGREE, and THANK YOU!

I love Anna, Lucy, and Robert as well. Still getting to know Frisco, as I didn't watch when he was on full-time, and hate Carly, but know she's a huge character.

Elizabeth was so darned feisty when she first came on the show, and then Guza decided to turn the character into a baby making WTD machine with rare occasions of a backbone. Original LnL2, Liason, and early LiRic (before Ric went all BSC) were once great pairings for Liz. I, too, agree that Liz should have been a Lead Heroine ten years ago.

Brenda, Brenda, Brenda! Heck Yes!

Anna has always been my favorite kick butt Spy!

I loved the spy days of the 1980's, so I think my all-time favorites are Anna and Robert, and I also love Liz and Lucy (hope Robert wakes up soon). I also loved the Amber Tamblyn version of Emily. I know Jonathan Jackson gets points taken off from some viewers for the recent sniffling and tears, and even this JJ fan has to agree, but original Lucky was one of my favorites. He and Liz as teens...loved them! And Robin too. Having watched ever since elementary school in the late '60's early '70's, it's so hard to pick a favorite :-).

Lucky Spencer would be at the top of my list (if we can forget all about that period from 2000-2009, as I am inclined to do).
I LOVED his relationship with his parents when he was a kid, and as much as part of me would love to see that closeness again, I also love that the rape changed his view of his father forever. You can only see those kinds of repercussions play out over decades on soaps, really. And god, was the soap lucky to have a teenager who could play that story. JJ was (and is) such a wonderful actor.

I'd also add Stefan, Bobbie, and Tracy.

I would add Holly Scorpio (to my early teenage self, Robert and Holly's sexy banter was a revelation). And I agree with @grace -- love JJ's Lucky at all ages, but especially with the Spencers in the 90s. And LnL2, Nikolas, and Amber Tamblyn's Emily.

Oh, and Ruby -- loved her with Luke and Lucky. On a trip to Calif. as a teen, I actually met Norma Connolly (Ruby) while swimming in an LA hotel pool -- she was really to a star-struck kid.

Meant to type "really nice"

Stefan is my man.

Everytime the Cassadine horse cloppy music comes on and he's standing there looking evil..

Elizabeth Webber! The reason I started watching in the first place and still watch to this day.

I have been shockingly happy with her story line as of late. Is it possible the current regime actually understands this character??

Laura Webber Baldwin Spencer and Lucas Lorenzo Spencer.

If they had just kept original recipe L&L, things would be much different. There were INCREDIBLE from '79-'82, '83, and '84.

No one could touch the fire, the passion, the amazing connection.

And I loved them individually too. Loved Laura during the "sticky door" years, when she was feisty and went measure-for-measure with Luke.

Those are the days I long for; I don't recognize either of them anymore. But vintage L&L are the characters that have provided the fondest memories.

Anna, Duke, Frisco, Felicia, Sean, Tiffany, Robert, Katherine Delafield, Laura, Luke

Robin Scorpio was my fav character of all times.. From Wee little Robin who was so sweet to my sobbing thru Robin and Stone to enjoying her with Patrick and Emma.. we got to experience her life with her which is what soaps are supposed to let us do,
Carly was my first Hate to Hate character she has never had a redeemable quality no matter who portrays her.

Lucy and Kevin (Ryan, too, for that matter). Robert and Anna, Stefan, Jax, (and Jerry, too). Original recipe Lois. And Alexis. Always Alexis.

Since I started watching back in the mid 70s because of Stuart Damon, I have to say my favorite throughout the years is Alan Quartermaine followed by Tracy (I wanted to be Tracy when I grew up--Jane Elliot used to enter every room like she owned it), Edward and Lila, Leslie Webber, Laura, early Luke, Bobbie, Tony Jones, the Cassadines, Sonny when he first appeared (not so much now), Lucy and Doc, Patrick, Liz, Anna, Duke, Robert, Ruby.

I spent the weekend watching old GH on YouTube--Liz's rape storyline, Bobbie finding out Carly was her daughter, Lucky finding out Luke raped Laurie, Nikolas getting shot outside Luke's club. Those stories were awesomely written and acted.

Edward.Louis.Quartermaine. Period.

Yay! I always love when someone else loves my Liz. She is right up there with Frankie Frame on Another World as my favorite soap characters. That said, I have a fierce love for Tracy also.

I have to say what makes the show so great is that so many of the characters are memorable. If I had to limit it, my all time favorite is Brenda and Jax together- with Chris Isaac's music "She did a bad, bad thing." And I still have a crush on Jax. I probably saw every episode from 1978 to 1998.

Tracy. Angelica. Quartermaine.

Robin Scorpio-Drake and Patrick Drake. Hands down my favorite characters and couple!

Robin Scorpio Drake is my favorite! The fact that she's been through so much in her life and never once turned nasty or jaded is something I really admire about the character!

Brenda Barrett! The funny thing about Brenda is that I never realized how much I adored her until word of her return in 2002 came out. Since then, I've become a card carrying member of the "I Heart Brenda" fanclub.

Ric Lansing. Perfect blend of bad & good boy. BTW, I am one of those die hard Liric fans! I also always secretly hoped for a pairing between Tamara Braun's Carly and Ric Lansing. Loved to see him back in PC!

Mac Scorpio. He stands in the shadows of his brother and ex-wife's first husband, but to me he's the tops! I don't think a person could ask for a better uncle, brother, husband, step-dad, partner or friend.

Maxie Jones. Similar to Brenda, I never realized how much I adored Kirsten Storm's Maxie until she was gone.

Patrick Drake. Sexy committment phobic neurosurgeon turned sexy committed husband and father neurosurgeon turned sexy widow and father neurogurgeon. He's the best catch in PC.

Faith Roscoe. My favorite villian. She was bad to the bones and fun.

Honarable mention: Edward Quartermaine, Tracy Quatermaien, Nik Cassadine, Alexis Davis, Lucy Coe and Liz Webber.

Felix Dubois is quickly becoming a favorite.

Note: I think Sarah Brown's Carly was the best but my favorite was Tamara's Carly.

Sean Donely. They did a great job of redeeming his character after the Aztec Princess storyline. He became a hero & one of Robin's Godfathers after the Asian Quarter story. Made a great police commissioner for a time. John Reilly had great chemistry with every lady he was matched against (Monica, Tiffany, etc.). Why can't one of the new interns be his son with Tiffany?

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