HOLLYWOOD—I sometimes wonder why some of the best of the best when it comes to daytime television, sometimes don’t get the spotlight on the big screen. I have been wowed by actress Maura West over the years. Many of us remember her as Carly Tenney, of the long departed soap “As the World Turns.” She was a villainous character to say the least, but the range that West brought to the character was sensational.
I will NEVER forget that scene where Carly is being confronted about her drinking and she lashes out at her daughter; I immediately thought this woman was getting a Daytime Emmy nomination and boy was I right. Since the soap’s end, West went on to portray Diane Jenkins on the CBS soap “The Young and the Restless,” where her acting talent was wasted, but thank the Gods for bringing this woman to the ABC soap “General Hospital.” Her turn as Ava Jerome is the character that soap fans love to hate, and hate to love.
She is an enigma, and as devious as she can be: she killed a woman in cold blood, slept with her enemy so he wouldn’t kill her, slept with her daughter’s husband and boyfriend multiple times, played with someone’s meds resulting in their death, lit herself on fire, sold herself to the Devil (Valentin) to get a restored face and recently drugged two people to get back at her daughter for sleeping with her boyfriend. There is a lot this woman has battled including near death experiences, but she just keeps on kicking.
Last week, the soap gave West another opportunity to sink her teeth into a meaty performance after learning about the death of her daughter Kiki Jerome. What West did with that scene after coming face-to-face with her daughter in that body bag was beyond stellar; it was jaw-dropping. I mean the hurt, the rage, the anger, the denial; you completely forgot that West was there, you saw Ava Jerome and you saw her at her rawest form. It was haunting, it gave me chills and I immediately pointed out in my head, there cannot be a way that West is not considered a Lead Actress contender at next year’s Daytime Emmy Awards. If she is not nominated it will be an absolute travesty in my opinion.
To be honest, they might as well polish the hardware and hand over the trophy to this lady because I haven’t seen an actress to deliver work this flawless and riveting this year. I may have, but it didn’t resonate or stick with me the way this performance did. I’m constantly asking myself what are the writers going to do next with this woman that they haven’t already done and they never fail to disappoint. This is not just a testament to some fantastic writing on “GH,” but West’s ability to bring that character to life in ways that seem implausible on the small screen.
She brings a level of humanity to this character, where you should be rooting for her to receive her comeuppance, but at the same time you don’t want to see it come to fruition as a viewer. That is a very difficult dichotomy to accomplish on the small screen. West and her scenes with co-stars Matt Cohen, Haley Erin and Jon Lindstorm have been epic in the past week.
All should be contenders at next year’s Daytime Emmys, if not it’s an absolute travesty. My skin was crawling watching Ava Jerome grieve for her daughter; I’m just dying to witness the moment that she realizes that she has literally been sleeping with the enemy who murdered her daughter in Ryan Chamberlain. Get that popcorn ready viewers because when it happens it will be something not to miss. I know Maura West has tremendous range as an actress, but I expect to see some acting so massive, we could be talking about another potential Daytime Emmy win for 2020.
Maura here’s a toast to you because you are making “General Hospital” can’t miss TV right now and I cannot get enough of it!