The nominated episode submissions for Best Drama Series at the Daytime Emmys have been made available online. Based on our racetrack odds, the top contenders seem to be a wedding disaster from “Days of Our Lives” and a tragic hit-and-run accident from “The Young and the Restless.” But are we underestimating “The Bold and the Beautiful” or “One Life to Live“? To watch the submissions and decide for yourself, click here.
Below, read my analysis of the episodes (listed in order of their odds of winning according to our combined predictions):
Episode 12096: 5/30/2013
Synopsis: Storylines come to a head: Kristen (Best Actress nominee Eileen Davidson) is caught in a lie and loses Brady (Best Supporting Actor nominee Eric Martsolf) as a result; Gabi (Camila Banus) gives birth to a daughter, prompting her husband Nick (Blake Berris) to confess that he was raped in prison; Nicole (Best Actress nominee Arianne Zucker) denies to Father Eric (Greg Vaughan) that she’s in love with him.
Episode 12209: 11/8/2013
Synopsis: Brady and Kristen are getting married, but during the ceremony, a sex tape is shown revealing that Kristen slept with Father Eric. Eric claims he was drugged and raped, but Brady doesn’t believe him. Meanwhile, Rafe (Galen Gering) works through physical therapy to recover from an injury, Nicole has been accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and Abigail (Kate Mansi) confronts Daniel (Shawn Christian) about betraying her mother.
Analysis: “Days” submitted episodes packed with dramatic climaxes and revelations, many of them involving Kristen DiMera. In the first episode, which Eileen Davidson submitted as her Best Actress reel, Kristen is caught in a lie. This is balanced by equally dramatic storylines in which Nick reveals he was raped and Will (Chandler Massey) holds his newborn son for the first time.
The second episode showcases many of the same characters and relationships: this time, Kristen and Brady are getting married, and Kristen is caught in an even bigger lie. The confrontation in front of a church full of wedding guests is pure soap — they all watch the video of the bride seducing the priest, who happens to be the groom’s brother and the officiant of the wedding — but it’s highly entertaining and dramatically satisfying. If the episode has a weakness, it may be its cutaways to secondary storylines, which don’t have quite as much dramatic urgency.
Racetrack Odds: 8/15
Episode 10263: 10/11/2013
Synopsis: After his daughter Delia is injured in a car accident, Billy (Best Actor nominee Billy Miller) imagines their lives together while waiting for the ambulance to arrive: her first date, graduating college, getting married, and having a child of her own. The ambulance arrives and paramedics try to save her life.
Episode 10265: 10/15/2013
Synopsis: Delia’s friends and family mourn after she’s pronounced dead at the hospital, including her mother (Elizabeth Hendrickson), to whom Billy has to give the bad news. Meanwhile, Adam Newman (Michael Muhney) is guilt-ridden, realizing it was he who hit Delia with his car without knowing it.
Analysis: “Y&R” submitted the most emotional episodes in the category, surrounding the death of a child. But the two episodes aren’t wall-to-wall tears. They’re diverse in their focus and storytelling styles. The first episode shows the hit-and-run, and is focused around Billy and his fantasies of what Delia’s future might have been like.
The second episode opens up the storyline to the rest of the cast, including several of this year’s Emmy nominees: Amelia Heinle, Peter Bergman, Melissa Claire Egan, and Elizabeth Hendrickson, who submitted the second episode for Best Supporting Actress consideration. The ensemble acting is impressive, and there is no secondary subplot to distract the viewer’s attention from the main event. The result is a feature film’s worth of heartbreak, which may be tough to beat.
Racetrack Odds: 27/10
Episode 6605: 7/1/2013
Synopsis: At a party, Taylor (Hunter Tylo), reveals to Katie (Best Actress nominee Heather Tom) that Katie’s husband Bill (Don Diamont) and sister Brooke (Best Actress nominee Katherine Kelly Lang) have had an affair. Katie refuses to believe it, but they admit the truth. Meanwhile, Caroline (Best Younger Actress nominee Linsey Godfrey) helps her friend Raphael (Andy Zuno) improve his web series, but she has an ulterior motive.
Episode 6607: 7/3/2013
Synopsis: After learning about her sister and husband’s affair, Katie lashes out at both of them, finally kicking them out of her house and out of her life. Elsewhere, Caroline meddles while Raphael directs the next provocative scene of his web series.
Analysis: Five-time Emmy-winner Heather Tom carries both episodes, during which the affair between her husband and sister is revealed, and it’s a dramatic tour de force — Tom submitted the second episode as her Best Actress reel. Her outpouring of emotions — denial, shock, anger, and sadness — gives these episodes a strong emotional arc.
But do the rest of the scenes have enough dramatic heft to match her? The comedic storyline surrounding Caroline and her attempt to add sex to her friend’s web series proved successful for Godfrey, who earned her Younger Actress nomination by submitting the first of these two episodes, but will voters consider it too lightweight for a Drama Series submission?
Racetrack Odds: 20/1
Episode 1001: 4/29/2013
Synopsis: The premiere of the online “OLTL” reboot, which reintroduces the main cast in storylines surrounding the opening of a new nightclub called Shelter: Dorian (Robin Strasser) is distressed by a political scandal, David (Tuc Watkins) desperately tries to launch a reality show, and Dani (Best Younger Actress nominee Kelley Missal) overdoses during a night of partying.
Episode 1038: 8/12/2013
Synopsis: Clint (Jerry verDorn) is stripped of his Man of the Year title just before he is to be awarded after a video surfaces of him committing an assault while drunk. The award is given instead to his brother Bo (Robert S. Woods). Meanwhile, journalist Jeffrey King (Corbin Bleu) conspires against Clint with benefactor Carl Peterson (Ron Raines).
Analysis: The first episode is a savvy choice. Submitting the online premiere gives “OLTL” the chance to show voters a broad range of storylines — romantic, comic, tragic, mysterious — and the opening of Shelter unites the disparate storylines under one unbrella.
The second submission is more plot-driven. Carl and Jeffrey discuss their scheme, which involves swapping out Clint’s medication, but unfamiliar viewers may be unclear on the details of their long con and their motives. At the end of the reel is a teaser for the subsequent episode, during which Clint makes a scene at the award ceremony. Might that have been a more impactful submission?
Racetrack Odds: 50/1
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