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Emmy Judging & Your Analysis/Predix: Best Directing and Writing

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  • Tom O’Neil
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    #424752

    After you watch the episodes submitted, please post your thoughts on these two races here in this thread

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    Boidiva02
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    #424754

    Okay, I just finished watching each and every one of the reels for Best Drama Series-Writing Team:

    Well, I must say, this was an interesting and fascinating category to judge.  With th exeception of “General Hospital”, which I’ll get to later, each of the nominees (Y&R, B&B, OLTL) submitted excellent tapes with heart, drama and soap opera twists nobody saw coming.   This category shows that the producers cared enough to put their best possible work forward. I was honestly captivated by each of the first three tapes I watched.   With each one I watched the race grew harder and harder to predict.   Here is my recap of each submitted tape:

    “One Life To Live”:
    TRT: 35:48
    Airdate: 1/12/12 (second to last episode)
    This episode which was the second to last episode of the series run on ABC, focused on the town of Llainview as they mourned the loss of their favorite soap opera “Fraternity Row”.  The citizen gathered to watch the soaps final episode and reflected on their own lives, loves and losses.   In-between preparing to watch that episode, they also had to say goodbye to several loved ones.   Rex and Gigi informed Clint and Vicki that they were moving with Shane to France.    Roxy had a difficult time accepting this and begged Rex to stay in town.     Starr informed her family she was moving to Los Angeles.   Bo and Nora comforted David over the failure of his movie, and they tried convincing Matthew to take responsobility for his unborn child.   Clint and Vicki worried about a paternity test that would decide if Jessica was or was not Clint’s daughter.   Natalie and John reflected on their love story and how it took so long for them to reunite.    Overall a solid, emotional and well-done episode. There were a lot of great moments that made this a fantastic submission.  In one point, Vicki gives an emotional and stirring speech about the end of fictional soap “Fraternity Row” which echoes the sentiments many soap opera fans were feeling at the time of this shows demise.     A great submission.

    Now, for the downside.  I don’t think this is a strong enough tape to win.   The writing is at times hokey and almost too “on the nose” so to speak. I find some voters may have a difficult time taking this seriously.   

    “The Young and The Restless”
    TRT: 37:00
    Airdate: 9/26/2012

    This episode is pure soap opera, it features everything a good soap needs: A funeral, a wedding, a return from the dead, some light comedy, some emotional acting and one character acting crazy.    The episode focuses on a spur of the moment funeral for an assumed dead Victor Newman; it is being thrown by his wife Sharon Newman; who has given his loved ones only twenty-four hours notice that he has been cremated and will be buried.  The entire town of Geona City is furious with her and wants her head on a platter.   Various characters arrive for the funeral which is a sham; Sharon takes over the entire thing, refuses to allow anybody to speak and rushes to bury the ashes.  She announces to everybody her intentions to marry a man named Tucker later that day.  It seems this marriage is nothing more than a business deal.  Various citizens are both amused and disgusted at this turn of events.    Victor’s family mourns his loss deeply and reacts as such.   One of the best scenes is his ex-wife, Nikki hysterically crying at the site his ashes were buried.   As she does this she looks up and see’s Victor, very much alive walking towards her, he is alive, he is not dead.  One of the more memorable scenes involves Tucker being yelled at by his disgusted mother, Kay Chancellor, who cannot fathom why he would marry Sharon on the day she buried Victor.      This episode was well constructed and had everything a soap opera should have; even some light comedy at the funeral home, involving Victor’s children angrily reacting towards Sharon’s announcement; his daughter Abby shaken from this and furious continually calls Sharon some curse words… It is done in a light, comedic way.

    Overall a solid, excellent tape.   I think this was a wise choice.

    “The Bold & The Beautiful”
    TRT: 37:19
    Airdates: 11/21/2012 and 11/26/2012

    I think this may be the best submission in this cateogory. It presents a lot of different ideas and does so in a superb way.   Most of the tape dealt with the death of Stephanie Forrestter. She is at a cabin with Brooke Logan and is clearly at the end of her life.    Brooke reads her a story and she can tell Stephanie is close to death, Stephanie is coughing and there is blood on the tissue.   Also, back in Los Angeles, there is a board meeting going on at the Fashion company Stephanie’s family owns; somebody named Thomas is trying to convince the board to start an online website to sell Forrester clothing.  The rest of the board is upset and angry at this idea and is hostile towards this Thomas guy.     Later on the tape, I assume in the second episode;   Katie Logan is in a hospital bed, being strapped to it. She believes she is having an issue related to her heart-transplant, but her doctor, Taylor Hayes believes she is suffering from Post-Partum depression and is working towards trying to convince Katie of this.   This story in-conjunction with Stephanie’s story where she is dying, provides a emotional firestorm and I think, is strong enough to win the Emmy. The actual dialouqe is well-crafted and feels appropriate for the situations.    A lot of the tape is the same stuff that both Katherine Kelly Lang and Susan Flannery submitted for their reels.   That alone would be enough to win an Emmy, but coupled with Katie Logan’s post-partum depression storyline, I think they are pushed right to the top. Heather Tom has a natural and instant command of the screem as Katie tries to convince her doctors that she is dying and that abandoning her baby is the right thing to do (or to have done).  

    “General Hospital”
    TRT: 36:40
    Airdate: 9/12/12

    The best words I can use for this tape? Laughable, Pathetic, Moronic, Stupid.   “GH” submitted a truly horrendous tape, a tape so bad, I felt like I was watching a Jean Claude Van Damme action film.   the basic plot involves some sort of medical outbreak at “General Hospital” that is killing everybody in town, and Sonny, Jax, Alexis, Sean and various other are fighting with Jerry Jacks for some sort of anti-virus or to kill him, I’m not totally sure.   This was clearly designed to display the action scenes; the fighting and the expensive explosion scene where a boat is blown up.  Frankly, it was just a hideously bad tape.   Nothing in it was remotely believeable and I felt insulted to have to watch it.   There were so many bad scenes I don’t know where to start; the scene with a lady named Olivia, high on LSD frockling on the roof of the hosptial, having psyhic predictions?   The scene were a police detective is solely responsible for disarming a bomb and he does so by guessing to cut the red wire because his former girlfriend has red hair?   OR the scenes where two doctors and a nurse are solely responsible for treating the entire population of a New York town?   It was really, truly terrible. The dialouqe was horrendous. 

    I guess I can understand why the producers would choose an action-heavy submission when they assuredly knew other soaps would submit more meldodramatic fare.    But this was the wrong tape. It stands out, for all the wrong reasons.   

    With that said, here are my rankings:

    1. The Bold & the Beautiful
    2. One Life To Live
    3. The Young & the Restless
    4. General Hospital

    —I think that B&B is the likely winner here. They assembled a nearly perfect submission. It really has everything a voter would want.  It is also Susan Flannery’s swan song, and she is an Emmy darling.   “OLTL” might have some momentum with it being their last eligible submission, and perhaps some voters will take to the soap within a soap concept.  I guess it could work.    “Y&R” I think is the spoiler, It could potentially upset and take votes away from both B&B and OLTL.       

    Really, I think, GH is the only one without a chance in heck of winning.

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    Paul Vargo
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    #424755

    I say it between B&B and OLTL. I’m stun General Hospital went with that episode for Writing over the Thanksgiving episode or some of the episode surrounding Robin “death”. YnR is interesting as a lot of people hated the 10,000 episode be written around the Victor Charcter like that, but perhaps as a stand along it could contend.

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    Boidiva02
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    #424756

    I should say that I have not watched “Y&R” or “B&B” on a regular basis so I was watching these fresh, as stand-alones and I think they were superb.     I just don’t get why “GH” would go this route. I guess they figure an action reel will stand out? But honestly, it stands out for the wrong reasons.  It just looks and sounds stupid.

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    eastwest
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    #424757

    Got my DVDs for directing and will watch/review them this wknd!

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    Daniel Montgomery
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    #424758

    I’m surprised “GH” would submit an action-centric episode for writing. I haven’t seen it, but it doesn’t sound like a good way to showcase dialogue or storytelling. I’ve been predicting “B&B” to win this because I’d suspected they entered Stephanie’s death, and I’m sticking with that choice.

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    Boidiva02
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    #424759

    I really wish I could tell how voters will react to OLTL’s tape.  I feel like it could be either very well-liked or voters could think it hammy and silly.     I agree, B&B is the likely choice here.   

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    OLTLfan
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    #424760

    I got the Best Writing reels too. Boidiva’s already covered the synopsis, so I’ll just go straight into analysis. 

    B&B (11/21/12 & 11/26/12)

    This is a strong reel. B&B was very smart to go with a reel that is so heavy on Heather Tom, Susan Flannery and KKL. This reel is very focused, it features almost the entire cast of the show but there’s really only 2 stories going on so it’s very easy to follow. It’s also very touching and ends on an incredibly moving high-point. The Brooke/Stephanie scenes are fantastic. The Katie/Taylor scenes are strong. The board meeting scenes are tedious. But the Brooke/Steph scenes are strong enough to overcome the lackluster ones. At his office, Eric watches a tribute video to Stephanie. The video testimonials in tribute to Stephanie should play well with judges. Stephanie dying in Brooke’s arms is incredibly impactful and heartfelt. This should be an easy winner. 

    GH (9/12/12)

    I didn’t hate this anywhere near as much as Boidiva, but I agree that submitting this episode was a mistake. The first five minutes of this reel (featuring a shootout and one of Olivia’s LSD episodes) are incredibly cheesy. The rest of the reel actually features some good dialogue and a very strong sense of family and community. This is the end of the poisoned water story and the beginning of the end of the baby switch with some JaSam/McBam/Liason angst thrown in. It’s a pretty good summary of last year’s biggest storylines. The only one missing is Robin’s death (which probably would have been their best shot at a writing Emmy). This reel isn’t action-heavy at all. All of the action is over after the first five minutes. The rest of the reel is all about relationships and features most of the show’s strong cast. Jason/Monica, Olivia/Kate, Liz/Steve, Lulu/Dante and Alexis/Shawn/Molly/TJ all have some very sweet moments before and after it’s announced that they’ll be saved. The ending montage is well-done. The reel ends much stronger than it started but it’s still not enough to compete with B&B. 
     

    OLTL (1/12/12)

    I think OLTL picked the wrong reel too. They would have been better off submitting the ABC finale which featured less characters, less plot and would have been easier to follow. Instead they went with the penultimate episode, probably because of Viki’s EPIC speech about soaps. As fantastic as that is, it’s only about 3 or 4 minutes of a 36 minute reel and not enough to win this category on its own. This tape features almost every cast member and far too many storylines. I think it’ll be too much for voters to follow. The subplot about Todd having Tomas held captive is a clunker. I also think the Fraternity Row storyline will be too meta for the judges to appreciate. There’s an Agnes Nixon cameo and a Judith Light mention that will probably go right over their heads. Plus, David keeps going on and on about his flop movie “The Boy With a Chipmunk Tatto.” It’s all a little too silly and dilutes the impact of Viki’s fantastic speech. I can’t imagine judges voting for this over B&B’s much more heartfelt reels.  

    Y&R (9-26-12)

    I can’t believe I’m writing this, but this reel’s kinda awesome. I loved that Sharon invites pretty much the whole town to Victor’s funeral by text message. I loved Kay and Nikki bitching about Sharon. I loved Sharon Case’s crazy-eye. This was old school soap and played like an 80’s primetime soap. This reel, like every other reel in this category, features pretty much every castmember of the show. But unlike GH and OLTL, the reel is completely focused on one story and there’s nothing confusing or distracting going on. This is the most self-contained reel in the category which is always a big plus in any Emmy race. Sharon shows up at the service in white and announces that she’s getting remarried right after the funeral. Emme Rylan’s reaction was especially hysterical. This tape has everything that a good soap should: cattiness, intrigue, scandal, humor and also really strong emotion. After Nikki calls Sharon a piece of trash, Sharon leaves for her wedding and Nikki, Nick and Victoria stay back at the cemetery to eulogize Victor and it’s really very touching. Kay raises a beautiful toast to Victor. Even Jack is moved and affected by Victor’s death. If the show had ended right there, it would have been my number one pick. But, of course, the show ends with Nikki seeing Victor alive and well which just negates all of the touching scenes that came before it. I knew Victor wasn’t really dead but I wish the show hadn’t announced it in this episode. It really spoils the impact and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

    Ranking
    1. B&B
    2. Y&R
    3. OLTL
    4. GH

    All 4 shows submitted reels that feature huge chunks of their casts. But, while both CBS shows very shrewdly picked eps that focus on a single, strong storyline, the ABC shows unfortunately picked reels with way too much plot condensed into those 36 minutes. Both Carlivati reels would be hard to follow for casual viewers and also have lots of cheesy moments that overpower the stronger, more subtle scenes. That makes this a race between B&B and Y&R. While B&B’s reel is all heart, Y&R’s is more classic soap with humor, drama and intrigue all thrown in. The only reason I put B&B 1st is because it ends on such a strong note, whereas Y&R’s ending, while expected, was still a bit of a slap in the viewer’s face by negating everything that came before it.

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    eastwest
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    #424761

    DIRECTING TEAM ANALYSIS

    I judged this category last year and the nominated work was diverse and impressive in how each team submitted episodes that approached the variety of story tropes and styles associated to the genre in unique ways. B&B had a social issues story that was shot documentary film style. GH and OLTL went for a theatrical staging for their respective stories with the fomer winning for its experimental staging for Luke’s (Anthony Geary) intervention. Y&R had a murder mystery done in a colorful/trippy film noir style. The work nominated this year lacks an experimental/ambitious style. Instead, it is location shoots and big sweep stunts that makes up the nominated field. Location shoots and big sweep events are things that were as common as back from the dead and evil twin stories in the genre’s heyday. But given current econimic climate, they are barely attempted and if done it’s on a much smaller scale. But with that said, this is a strong field.

    B&B submitted the 6/25/12 and 6/26/12 episodes centered on one of the many weddings of Hope (Kim Matula) and Liam (Scott Clifton). It is a location shoot done in Puglia, Italy, where the show is huge in. They have a stunning canvas with the city to work with, but that is a detractor sometimes which made for a problematic submission. Some scenes come off as unintentional travel guide and the glarring green screen work in the vow scenes took me out completely. The submission accomplish the goal of appealing the aesthetic senses, but I feel that it will be seen as fluff. Y&R’s episode really surprised me and was a treat to watch. They submitted the 6/29/12 episode. The episode involved Abby’s fake kidnapping, Daniel being charged with Daisy’s murder, and the Paul and Ricky showdown all set against the backdrop of the twon gathering for a 4th of July celebration. The episode is a performance showcase with Conal O’Brien getting the best work out of the actors featured in the episode. The explosive Paul/Ricky scenes and that amazing firework montage at the end are the standout scenes. The former scenes had the actors going for broke with their performances which made for insanely compelling drama and the latter tied up all of the stories playing out and ending with a stunning cliffhanger. My only quible is that they could’ve easily lost the “next of ‘The Young and the Restless'” preview. GH is the defending champ here and the episode they submitted was the 9/11/12 episode from thier big toxic water storyline. It’s an action movie come to daytime. The impressive work with the location scenes at the marina and the ones done on the hospital set could easily give them a repeat, but I an going with DAYS as the victor here. They submitted the 8/13/12 episode that kicked off their post Olympics “Daysaster” storyline. It’s a classic big event episode that has the entire town of Salem in jeopardy. The taut work here is admirable considering it was all done on a sound stage and I think that feat gives the show the edge.

    RANKINGS

    1. DAYS

    2. GH

    3. Y&R

    4. B&B

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    Fishbiscuit
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    #424762

    I will watch my DVD’s and post my thoughts for drama directing team this weekend

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    Fishbiscuit
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    #424763

    I finally watched the reels for Outstanding Drama Series: Directing Team

    Since east/west already described the reels I’ll just add my two cents. 

    The Bold and the Beautiful’s reel is powered by the beautiful country of Italy.  Liam and Hope are getting married and Italian city of Puglia is the setting. The scenes and visuals are stunning but the acting and story fall flat.  

    I love a soap disaster and Days of Our Lives puts on a good one.  The action sequences, a gas leak leads to an explosion which causes a cave-in, are the highlights of the tape.  This submission is no frills yet plays better than B&B’s.  

    Another soap town in peril as super villian Jerry Jacks holds Port Charles at his mercy.  General Hospital’s reel looks cinematic with studio and outdoor scenes telling the story with ease.  It’s a shame by the end of the tape the action stalls. 

    Leave it to the folks at The Young and the Restless to submit a subtle tape that builds to a strong conclusion.  I was ready to call this a misfire as disconnected stories start the reel but by the end the submission is threaded together with a delicate touch.

    Rankings:
    1. GH
    2. Y&R
    3. DOOL
    4. B&B

    I’m going with GH but there is no clear front-runner so I will hedge my bets since I see Y&R and DOOL leaning at the line for a photo finish.                

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