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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!

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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 meant his daughter. I didn't sleep enough this weekend. Too many hours of GH.

Robin Scorpio Drake - came to us as a tiny little girl, daughter of the most awesome Robert Scorpio and we loved her then. . . has gone through kidnappings, watching mom get kidnapped, witnessing her gramma's death, watching her step-dad get blown up, getting trapped in (dropped in) an elevator (can't remember exactly), the alien, FAISON, losing her parents, falling in love, contracting HIV, losing her love - Stone, , falling in love again, being kidnapped again, CARLY, being rejected by Jason and Sonny, pining for Jason for years, finding her mom and dad didn't die, just left her, literal train wreck, curing Jason, being shot, PATRICK, CARLY again, and again, finally finding peace, love, happiness, having her baby, and finally FAISON and whatever fresh hell she's going through now and NOT once has she lost sight of who she is. Robin Rocks!

Watching the marathon, I have a newfound appreciation for Brad Maule as Tony Jones. While I always knew he had some great moments, I was loving the smaller ones as well.

I go way back, to Jessie, Steve, Audrey and her sister Lucy and have loved them all. Keep up the great work GH and here's
to 50 more years.

Tracy.

Heather.

That is all.

Monica Bard Quartermaine is my favorite a loving matriarch but one with real and understandable flaws - with Tracy as a close second. Actually, it's really hard to talk about the Quartermaines as a separate unit since they really come across as one unit so well. And the weird, wonderful thing about them is that as exaggerated as their fights and foibles can be and as unrelatable as they might be because they're billionaires who sometimes fake their deaths, they really come across organically, even realistically as a family.

The Quartermaine Thanksgivings have always been a favorite part of the show. Also I was rewatching the Susan Moore murder storyline recently and I *loved* how at the end all the Quartermaines were joking - to poor Lila's horror - about how they all just assumed one of them did it.

What Ladybug said!

Tony, Bobbie, Lucy, Tiffany, Anna, Robert, Robin, Holly, Tracy, Ned, Lois, Alexis, Brenda, Mac, Heather

Also, was surprisingly joyful to see Alan yesterday.

Heather Webber, Jeff Webber, Annie Logan and Diana Taylor are the reasons I got hooked on GH!

Holly - me too! MD - I so wish Tony Jones could come back to life! Other than I loved all the ones mentioned. It would be a shorter list to name the ones I hated....maybe. ...there were several bad years there!

I've heard Frank and Ron are planning a tribute to Steve Hardy (and his portrayer John Beradino) during the nurse's ball. I'll need plenty of Kleenex!!

Rick and Lesley Webber were my introduction to General Hospital. I have always been loyal to couples who suck me into soaps and I think they were my first. That scene when he found out she had died (and of course, came back from the dead) - I can still remember the music and how his reaction made me cry.

And of course, Robert Scorpio. To this day I have a weakness for men with accents, and I put that fully on Tristan Rogers. I don't get into the debate of Anna vs Holly, I still think his best year was 1989 into early 1990 with Edie Lehmann as Katherine.

I do miss Rick Hearst! I was so sure that TPTB would snap him right up when he was released from B&B. He is a much sexier charming sociopath than Roger Howarth, any day. And now that Jason's gone, it might finally be possible for Ric and Sonny to have an actual sibling relationship.

Isn't it funny how we latch onto a character on a soap and are loyal to them no matter what? (At least I do) For me they are Natalie Buchanan, Brooke Logan, Reva Shayne, Frannie Hughes, Kendall Hart and on GH it is Elizabeth Webber. It's almost creepy how much I adore this character and this actress. Even during the baby machine days, I rooted for her and lamented her lack of air time.

I think 90s Carly was a perfect soap character. Always there to spur the action and stir sh*t up. It's a shame that writers got confused and thought that she was a hero.

Lisa, i am right up there w/you in the Liz love! She is the reason i keep coming back to GH and am obsessed w/YT.

i watched the beginning of L&L, then at some point Phillip and Mindy on GL got me.

but then Liz showed up and i LOVE her no matter what. I'm glad that she isn't a shady character. then w/social media and really the internet, you get to find out that Becky is just as sweet in real life, which makes me love Liz even more!

I does help to know the actress is great too. Maybe that's part of the reason for my irrational Liz love. (high five on the old school GL reference, Julie!)

It does help that she's a good actress who happens to be gorgeous as well!

I think you did a great job with this list.

Liz, Anna, Robin and Brenda... are my all time favorite female soap characters... I also wish that Liz had been elevated to lead....Favorite males are Frisco and Robert...The only one you missed on your list was Robin Scorpio. Personally I hate Carly, but I understand why she made your list. She is iconic.

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