eastwest, the problem with Wright's reel is I should be drawn into her story, but I'm not. I was bored and unimpressed. The reel is confusing because I didn't get why she's angry at Jax or what was going on. Her reel felt like a movie that has been edited by the studio so that motivations and actions don't always make sense. Rebecca Herbst comes into Wright's reel and takes it over. I was drawn to her and it made Wright's poor reel stand out even more. I mentioned NLG's reel because Wright's submission felt like such a pale imitation.
BTW, I gave the reels to my mother and sister to watch. They do not watch soaps. They absolutely loathed Slezak's submission and couldn't believe how "cheesy" it was. They couldn't even remember Wright's reel when I asked about it an hour or so later. They liked the beginning of Chappell's reel and liked certain aspects of Morgan's reel. For the first time ever, we actually all agreed on our number one. They felt Tom's reel was superb, and it made them want to watch the show.
For the first time ever, we actually all agreed on our number one. They felt Tom's reel was superb, and it made them want to watch the show.
I think this says a lot. EVERYONE who has posted an opinion here likes Heather Tom's. It reminds me of when Maura West won her second Emmy; the vast majority on this board liked her as fiery boozy Carly in that reel, and when she won it seemed like we were reaching to justify predicting anyone else in hindsight. In a fair world (ha!), I see it playing out the same way this year for Heather Tom.
Re Laura Wright, it is really disappointing that the edited down version of her reel apparently has ruined it. She was amazing when it aired as well as watching it as clipped on youtube. She would be the clear winner if that effect had been retained in her submission.
Heather Tom: MY mother and sister raved about her performance. They are watching the ceremony in the hopes she will win. In all the years I've been judging (nine?), we really have never agreed on our number one. They also have a better batting average than I do. I don't know if that says something about Tom or my theory that the other four submissions weren't very good so Tom's looks excellent in comparison.
RE: Laura Wright. This might be a case of a performance that looks good in the context of the whole episode and/or storyline, but doesn't play well for those who didn't/don't want the show. I remember something similar happened to an actor from ATWT (Hunt Block maybe?) who submitted a reel where he's crying over his child's death, but out of context, it didn't work well.
It's interesting to hear that Laura Wright's reel doesn't play well out of context. I remember not loving it when it aired, but that may have had more to do with the mechanics of the storyline and what I thought was a poor setup for Carly's involvement in it. It sounds more and more like Heather Tom will get the win. No one doesn't like her reel, and no one's counting her out. It is a dangerous game to count out anyone. (My personal rule now is that if I can't see how a reel even got nominated, I must be overlooking something and I should try again.) But a win for Crystal Chappell would stock me as much as any actor win could this year. I know sometimes we count people out and then they come out the victor, but for her, for DAYS, for that reel, I don't see where she picks up enough traction to make a mark.
Funny enough, though, I wasn't all that in love with Maura West's reel from 2010. She was good, but something felt off to me. I think I thought Michelle Stafford would win instead, but I'm wrong about these predictions way more often than I'm right.
I posted this already in the other thread in the judging forum but wanted to also have it here:
I have another thought about Debbi Morgan's reel. The magical part of
this story while watching in-context was that Angi was blind and had to
deal with this news, however this is a fact that simply does not
translate in her reel while watching it out of context. I feel some
voters may not even notice this fact as it's not totally obvious in this
After much thought here are my current rankings:
1. Heather Tom 2. Laura Wright 3. Debbi Morgan 4. Erika Slezak
5. Crystal Chappell
would seem based on the mounting evidence that Heather Tom is in the
lead right now and that Laura is only slightly behind. Really it could
go anyway. I swapped Morgan and Slezak because It seems unlikely
right now that Slezak will take this, and that Morgan has more support
behind her. Sadly,Crystal for a number of reasons is the non-factor as
she has been the entire time.
"Hearts are often broken When there are words unspoken In your soul there's answers to your prayers"- Whtiney Houston, Exhale
I watched through, or in some cases rewatched, the reels for lead actress last night (except for Slezak's; I remember that one clearly and I'm not watching it again), and I felt a lot better about Heather Tom's chances at winning before I watched her reel. If I ranked them, she'd still come out on top, probably followed by Laura Wright and then Slezak, Morgan and Chappell all being fairly close.
To be honest, I didn't like any of the reels. Watching Tom's was tough was I had to keep skipping through the other scenes (which were themselves pretty amusing: Brooke lecturing Taylor for allowing Steffy to interfere with a marriage? Ha! I kind of miss this show). Tom acts the whole thing well, and I think is really strong in the first episode where she leaves the hospital to confront Steffy. She played all that just right. The scenes with Bill, though, in the following episode felt really problematic to me. I like the idea that Katie was playing it strong, telling Bill he should be begging her forgiveness, etc., but in this situation, it didn't really make sense to me. So I really would have liked to feel like Katie was more vulnerable, to see more cracks in her armor, as she was issuing her demands to Bill. Tom played it like Katie was genuinely in the position of power, and that felt wrong to me. (But then, my own history with these characters probably plays into that as well, since the last time I saw Katie, she was basically a doormat, and I'm pretty fond of Steffy.) Other than that, it's a good reel.
My problem with Wright's reel is that she's playing a mother begging to save her daughter's life, and I feel no sympathy for her. Again, character history plays into it, because heaven knows I cannot stand Carly. I despised her when I watched this episode last year when it aired. Having the reel cut down to just her scenes alleviates that to a degree, but her lack of sympathy or gratitude for Elizabeth and Lucky is really offputting, as is the number of times she expresses how grateful she is to Jason for making a decision that he didn't even have the legal ability to make. Still, I try not to hold that against Wright, because that's the character. Wright does what looks like a good job, natural flow of tears, good movement and expression, but somewhere the performance fails to connect. The only real thing I feel from her is that Carly feels bad for not being able to help Jason.
So I don't want to vote for either of these ladies, even though, from an acting standpoint, I have to admit they've done more or better than the other three entrants.
Debbi Morgan's reel, to my surprise, is a mess. For one thing, the blindness is incredibly distracting. There's a moment about a third of the way through where they mention her giving up her sight, and it's kind of like, "Wait, she's supposed to be blind?" No one would watch that reel and wonder if Debbi Morgan is really blind or not. Sometimes it seems like Angie can see and other times it doesn't. Also, I think most of Angie's dialogue does nothing for her. It's flat and repetitive, and I feel like they could have done a much better job of conveying her denial than having her repeatedly say that what Jesse was saying was "lies." And while there are a few good moments, some spots where I thought, "Oh, this is great" before it went back to things being out of control, most of the histrionics are just too much. She goes full tilt, which maybe would have felt more appropriate if something terrible had happened to the child they were raising. But the revelation in this reel was tragic and complicated in a way that only Darnell Willams seemed to capture, as neither Morgan nor the dialogue did.
Crystal Chappell's reel was exactly what I remembered, and I'd say Morgan only comes out ahead of her by virtue of having a conversation to act out versus all of Carly's speaking being bursts of ranting or delusion.
I've said enough about Erika Slezak's reel already, but I think she, Morgan, and Chappell are all kind of even, with Tom at the top and Wright right behind her. I'd said before that Chappell winning would shock me more than any other possible win this year, but I have to take that back. I wouldn't be surprised to see any of these ladies win, or more accurately, I can easily see any four of them losing.
Emmyloser, I pretty much agree with everything you say. MY only disagreements:
1. I don't think Wright does anything with the material, and for GH viewers, the specter of NAncy Lee Grahn looms large since it's the same exact storyline (or appears to be based on the reel). As you say, I should be emotionally invested in Wright's plight, but her performance is such I am more annoyed. The ending of her reel is a particular wtf? moment.
2. I do think Tom shows vulernability in the second episode especially when she thinks Bill is going to leave. It's also the reel with the best writing. I don't watch B&B so I don't know how Katie is normally.
3. I doubt anyone non-Amc viewers will know Angie is blind up until the moment it's talked about on screen. The reel is extremely silly and pitched way too high. I do wonder if Morgan cancels out Wright since their reels are about children and the anguish of (possibly in GH's case) losing a child. You're right to point out Williams gives an actual performance where Morgan does little more than screech.
4. IF Chappell has a chance of winning, I'd say it's for the beginning of the reel where it's harrowing to watch her detox. The rest of the reel is a mess. She just moans, but the start might be enough in a category where the submissions are not grea5.