Let’s face it, most parents on soaps are deadbeats when
juxtaposed against the real world.
Soap kids disappear for days and weeks at a time – and, in the
case of very special soap children, they go up in the attic as five-year-olds
and come back down as 16-year-olds in a span of three weeks or so.\
There’s a reason why the vast majority of soap kids are aged
rapidly – soaps and kids generally don’t mix.
Notice I said generally. There are some very specific cases
where soap stories built around children did work – usually on ‘General
Hospital’ for some reason – but those instances are the exception rather than
This week, Kristina Wagner’s Felicia returned to stand by
her daughter – who is about to be sentenced for a murder she didn’t commit.
Felicia should be inducted into the Bad Soap Parents Hall of
Fame – behind only the errant father of her offspring Frisco Jones.
Several years ago, in the wake of lagging airtime, Wagner
opted to leave ‘General Hospital.’ At the time, the role was recast for a short
while – but the recast didn’t work for fans – and the character was written
Problem was, her two teenage daughters weren’t. Instead they
stayed with their stepfather – who raised three different girls who were
essentially abandoned by their biological parents.
Now, this is a soap, you learn to suspend your disbelief,
but as viewers we know that Felicia was a good mother when she was onscreen
(especially by soap standards). Her abandoning her children didn’t make a lot
of sense. On the flip side, Frisco was never a good father so his abandoning
his children makes perfect sense.
When you compare that with Anna and Robert on ‘General
Hospital’ – who also essentially abandoned their daughter – things become
murkier. At least Robert and Anna had no choice (at least at first). Their
excuse for leaving her to fend for herself in recent years is a whole other
So why do soaps keep saddling their characters with kids
that they just ignore?
That’ a question I’ve asked myself for years. Take GH’s Liz.
She was a young woman saddled with three different kids (by three different
fathers) a little over a year ago. The character never had a chance to have any
fun. Every time actress Rebecca Herbst got pregnant in real life they made Liz
pop a kid out (and each time there was a paternity scandal).
I want to assure the writers of GH, as a fan, I’m more than
willing to pretend the actress isn’t plumping up if it means I don’t get
saddled with another who’s the daddy storyline.
Last year, Liz was so distracted by the DNA results for her
most recent kid she didn’t notice kid number two walk out into the street in
the middle of the night and get mowed down by his drunk grandfather. That whole
scene was ridiculous because the room the two characters were in was the size
of a large closet – there’s no way she wouldn’t have heard him at the door.
All that being said, Liz is probably the best mother on GH –
especially now that Robin is dead. I mean, she’s not purposely raising her kid
in the mob life like the rest of the females on that show. How sad is that?
Over on ‘Days of Our Lives’ – conniving Sami keeps blowing
up relationships (and having kids with different men). Sami’s only saving grace
seems to be that she’s a decent mother – and at least you see her with her kids
from time to time. Sure, her kids are all screwed up and are going to need
therapy – but at least she’s around.
Before GH killed off Starr’s daughter Hope, you rarely saw
the toddler because her mentally ill grandmother was always watching her off
screen. That makes perfect sense – especially since the kid had been kidnapped
a couple of times.
That brings up the other problem, though.
A lot of fans complain about soap characters being bad
mothers because you never see them with their kids, but fans should remember
that soap actors are sometimes doing 70 pages of scenes in one day. When you
add kids to the mix, that only adds to the problems. They also have child labor
laws they have to abide by.
Essentially, having kids on soaps is a tedious and tiring
Even taking all that into account, though, there had to be a
better way of writing Felicia off than making her the world’s worst deadbeat
mother chasing after the guy who abandoned her and their children several
Why not put Felicia in a coma? Send her off to take care of
her grandmother? Have her kidnapped by the Cassidines?
The fact is, soap mothers are generally so bad that it’s a
wonder their grown daughters can tolerate being in the same room with them –
especially since they seem to share men occasionally in this wacky world we’ve
come to love.
What do you think? Who are the best and who are the worst
And, in the spirit of the day, click here
for the best soap kids of all time list.