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BEST/WORST 2013

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  • eastwest
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    #425499

    It’s that time if year again. Per my limited viewing, I’ll make mine brief. For acting, of course Queen Eileen Davidson with honorable mention to Elizabeth Hendrickson. And best soap, DAYS. As for my worst, GH. Like gdfl put it so brilliantly, this 50th has been empty calories. Then there’s the fiasco of the OLTL/PP nonsense. But out of the muck there has been the bright spot of Maura West as Ava Jerome. Maura really should be playing Mae West in that HBO movie instead of old ass Bette Midler (perfect casting but many yrs. too late. That’s a Matt Damon in “Behind the Candelabra” situation there, but let me get back on track). Okay daytime forum brothers and sisters, what are your best/worst of 2013?

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    gdfl
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    #425501

    ^^  Thanks for the shout out eastwest!

    Here goes:

    Best Lead Actress:  Eileen Davidson.  Could that be a unanimous sentiment this year?
    Best Lead Actor:  Billy Miller
    Best Supporting Actress:  So many choices, but I’ll go with Jess Walton 
    Best Supporting Actor:  Greg Vaughan
    Best Drama:  Days.  Enough said.
    Guilty pleasure:  Katie/Bill/Brooke, B&B.  I can’t stand Don Diamont or Bill Spencer, but KKL, Heather Tom, and Brad Bell’s writing keep me coming back for more.
    Best new cast member:  William deVry
    Most missed cast member:  Kelly Sullivan.  I loved her when she was on, and miss her even more than I expected (ie I’m consciously picking her over Jeanne Cooper)
    In an effort to avoid being too negative, I’ll sum up my worst list like this:  GH.  What a disappointment, on so many levels.
     

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    Matt McClamrock
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    #425502

    Best Show: General Hospital. They were some missteps like Roger Howarth as Franco and the Pickle-lila mess and the return of too many previously-deceased characters, but there was a lot of good stuff including Maxie’s baby, the introduction of Ava Jerome played by the fabulous Maura West, the Nurse’s Ball, Robin’s return, Nikolas’ return, and the returns of so many fan favorites. Not to mention the cross-references to Loving and Ryan’s Hope. Delia Ryan’s return and newly-revealed connection to Port Charles is more than intriguing. I think Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati really try the hardest to give fans an entertaining show. I went back and forth on this considering my new-found appreciation for the upswinging Days of Our Lives, but there were too many dull spots on the canvas.
    Worst Show: The Young and the Restless. Granted there are few to chose from, but hands down, the most disappoinging and dull series on the air is, ironicaly, the #1 rated show. Jill Faren Phelps broke nearly every rule in the book by recasting too many roles and bringing in too many new cast members and focusing too much on them. The writers left most of us feeling disappointed with unimaginative storytelling that left gaping holes in their tales (just where is the security camera tape from the stairwell where Phyllis fell? She could have been mugged for all they know). Too many plots are downright ridiculous and killing Delia was an unnecessary event created to give a storyline to one of the show’s most popular couples (Billy and Victoria). Hands down, Y&R has the most talented cast in the business and deserves and should likely earn many accolades come Emmy time, and I didn’t see it coming that Sharon switched the DNA test, but to then later write that Sharon’s actions (including the argument with Phyllis which lead to Phyllis being in a coma) are due to not taking her medication, is downright ridiculous. Also, it’s glaringly obvious that this show lost two of its most important leads in Katherine and Phyllis and now is losing the talented Billy Miller. I’m terrified of what this show will look like next year. My prediction: Kyle and Noah run Jabot and Newman-Chancellor respectively.
    Best Actor: James Scott, Days of Our Lives. I seriuosly considered my perrenial favorite Peter Bergman, who had a meaty storyline with Jack learning he is Summer’s father, but James Scott was used effectively this past year without having much of a central storyline of his own. E.J. played protector and supportive father all the while facing off with and disowning his father, Stefano. Scott has a great ability to play subtle and kind and then turn it on a dime to something more multi-faceted. He’s interesting to watch. I hope he submits himself for Emmy consideration this year.
    Best Actress: Finola Hughes, General Hospital. I know many will go with Eileen Davidson, who is one of my personal favorites, but for my money Finola Hughes was pitch perfect all year. No, she didn’t have the centralized storyline that Davidson had on Days of Our Lives, but Finola played every scene she had with 100% fortitude and conviction. She’s compelling to watch. Honorable mention has to go to Michelle Stafford who got two juicy bits to play with the Summer paternity reveal and then the revelation that Sharon switched the DNA tests. Stafford’s best scenes, however, were her reaction scenes with Nick and when she and Avery finally made peace.
    Best Supporting Actor: Billy Miller, The Young and the Restless. Many will want Miller to go contend in the Lead Actor category next year, but I humbly disagree. Billy Abbott is no more a lead on Y&R than Spinelli is on GH. Both are supporting plays and both are played very well by their portrayers. But Miller shines in every scene. He’s electrifying every single day whether he’s somber and quiet or giddy and snippy. It doesn’t hurt that he’s my husband.
    Best Supporting Actress: Amelia Heinle, The Young and the Restless. As much as I am a fan of Melissa Clare Egan’s work and certainly think Liz Hendrickson and Ari Zucker more than pulled some punches this year, it was Heinle who really blew me away when Delia died. After 10 years of me wondering why a more powerful actress wasn’t playing this crucial role, I can easily say that Heinle has won me over. Honorable mention to Maura West who has probably been the biggest casting sensation to happen to GH in many, many years.
    Best Younger Actor: Bryan Craig, General Hospital. Casey Moss certainly pulls a close second in my book, but it was Craig who really lit up the screen as the aged version of Carly and Sonny’s only offspring. Plus, his pairing with Maura West has been electrifying and Craig plays the “forgotten” son well.
    Best Younger Actress: Hunter King, The Young and the Restless. Her Summer Newman has probably been put the biggest ringer of all younger women this past year and King met the challenge. She grew on me as Summer started becoming more of an adult and forced to face her realities.
    Best Storyline: Kristen Rapes Eric, Days of Our Lives
    Worst Storyline: The Marcus Wheeler Saga, The Young and the Restless
    Best Couple: Tracy and Luke, General Hospital
    Worst Couple: Chloe and Kevin, The Young and the Restless; AND Jennifer and Daniel, Days of Our Lives
    Best Triangle: Brooke/Bill/Katie, The Bold and the Beautiful
    Worst Triangle: Kate/Rafe/Jordan, Days of Our Lives
    Most Tortured Couple: John and Marlena, Days of Our Lives; AND Bo and Hope, Days of Our Lives
    Best Recast: Emme Rylan as Lulu Spencer, General Hospital
    Worst Recast: Hartley Sawyer as Kyle Abbott, The Young and the Restless
    Best Use of History: Summer’s Paternity, The Young and the Restless; AND JJ learns that Jack raped Kayla, Days of Our Lives
    Worst Use of History: A.J.’s alive, General Hospital
    Biggest Waste of Talent: Kristian Alfonso as Hope, Days of Our Lives
    Most Shocking Twist: Sharon changed the paternity results, The Young and the Restless
    Worst Twist: Hillary is the Blogger, The Young and the Restless

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    gdfl
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    #425503

    ^^  Great post.  It’s interesting to me how polarizing GH is under this regime.  Some people, like myself, can’t stand it, but I’m glad that there is a sizeable chunk of people who are enjoying it.  Also, reading your post made me think about the Goldies, where we get to rank a few choices in each category.  I think that’s one reason why it has been so successful around here.  For example, Amelia Heinle didn’t get a shoutout from me though she was a very close second in Supporting IMO, and (the legendary) Finola Hughes would also be categorized as Supporting IMO.  That said, I put Billy Miller in Lead but see your point about him being Supporting, and James Scott would have been my runner up for Lead Actor.   

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    alokin
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    #425504

    ^^^ Yes, agreed, a really wonderful post by Pujolsfan. Goodness, that was one looooooooong paragraph though to wade through!

    I’ll have to do some more thinking about the best/worst of the year, but for now, I do find I agree with most of what you guys have “voted” on so far. Confession: I haven’t been up to par with my usual crazy self since I’ve spent the past few weeks still recovering from a very bad cold, but I’ll try my best to “check in” and post here as much as I’m able to.

    Best drama is definitely a tricky one to decide on, because I feel like each one of our soaps has at least one really outstanding thing going for it that’s truly unique only to that show and that makes it worthy of that title. But, based simply on the thoughtfulness and sheer complexity in its patient storytelling and beauty in how all characters are continuously so intricately woven together on the story canvas, DAYS definitely wins top prize in my book.

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    Matt McClamrock
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    #425505

    I’m so very sorry about the long paragraph.  That was not how I wrote it, but when I went to post it, nothing would happen.  Therefore, I copied it to a word document and when I pasted it back here, it looked fine, but when I hit post that’s the way it came up.  Oops.  LOL.  

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    alokin
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    #425506

    No worries, Pujolsfan! Of course, you may now always opt to still edit your post at any given time, which is what I often do when, for instance, I go back to correct a mistake.
    But I’d leave your post as it is. That way, you almost certainly guarantee that anyone reading it pays extra special attention to every word you’ve written… great strategy! 

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    EmmyLoser
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    #425507

    That was a great recap of some of the highs and lows of the year for
    sure, Pujolsfan.  I only really watched DAYS for the most part this
    year, so it would be incredibly unfair of me to laud it with all the
    bests while not really having much to stack it against. 

    Yes, GH
    is such a funny case because while some are really enjoying it, some
    people are so disappointed in what’s been on screen.  In my very limited
    viewing, I’d say GH would easily be my favorite of the non-DAYS shows. 
    I saw a couple of episodes of Y&R and B&B when I was out of
    work, and I wasn’t inspired to watch more, especially of Y&R.  The
    first episode of OLTL was interesting, but I never got around to going
    back for more.  While I have my issues with GH, and they’re kind of a
    lot of issues wrapped in the whole business with Cartini just coming
    over from OLTL and in many ways making GH almost the same show and the
    whole silly business with Prospect Park and those actors/characters, the
    show has had some really fun highs, and is entertaining whenever I do
    see it. 

    But to me, DAYS was a well-oiled machine in 2013,
    producing classic soap in a way that seems to work for today.  I love
    that storylines always connected and overlapped when they should and
    that the characters were themselves without (mostly) being so
    predictable all the time.  At any given time, one story or another was
    nearing or just hitting a big development while others heated up,
    simmered, or cooled.  But they also didn’t rely on big plot developments
    to make the show worth watching.  Perhaps my favorite thing about the
    writing this past year is that I could tune in any day and find
    something funny, something clever, something really rewarding and
    enjoyable even if nothing was really happening.  Episodes like
    #StripDAYS and #Caseofthegiggles showed that they could put out exciting
    and hilarious shows while still moving the respective stories along. 
    And that’s to say nothing of some of the great performances involved. 
    For me, like the writing team, Eileen Davidson was putting something
    rewarding and enjoyable out there every day she was on screen.  This was
    a better Kristen return than I could have imagined, and the only
    disappointment is that she’s gone now.  There was great stuff throughout
    the year from quite a few of the other cast members — Arianne Zucker,
    Blake Berris, Greg Vaughan, Eric Martsolf, James Scott, Ali Sweeney, Jen
    Lilley, Chandler Massey and Casey Moss all come to mind.  The casting
    was also aces with the day players, and they bothered to have characters
    in modes and situations we hadn’t seen before: sophisticated Marlena as
    a bumbling would-be co-conspirator with Victor; Kristen and Nicole as
    the heroines saving Jennifer and Daniel’s relationship; EJ himself
    powerless to help Sami prove her actual lack of guilt.  It wasn’t
    perfect, with Bo’s poorly-explained absence leaving Hope in storyline
    limbo and Jennifer/Daniel ridiculous relationship roller coaster, but
    it’s been my favorite year of DAYS in at least 15 years, possibly ever.

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    Matt McClamrock
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    #425508

    I do not disagree with you about Days being on the upswing.  I’ve enjoyed it tremendously over the last couple of months.  I can tell that the writers have really upped their game and they deserve kudos for that because Days of Our Lives has been such a miserable, overwrought show about super couples for far too long.  The days of Patch and Kayla and Kim and Shane and Bo and Hope and Shawn and Belle, John and Marlena and Carrie and Austin have come and gone.  Today’s shows must feature storylines encompassing multiple characters.  If only Days would cut their losses with the Jennifer/Dan garbage, then they would be an even better show.  In fact, I’ve never had much love for Jennifer Horton without Jack Deveraux, so they can marry Jennifer and Dr. Dudd off and send them packing for all I care.  I’d think Carrie or Chelsea would be a much more interesting pick for centralized heroine.  Say, here’s an idea.  Why not bring back Chelsea when they kill off Bo and keep her around.  Rachel Melvin isn’t doing anything is she?  

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    EmmyLoser
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    #425509

    Another good idea!  I like Jennifer, but I would obviously be fine getting rid of her storyline with Daniel.  I think they were crazy to get rid of Carrie when they changed the writers a year and a half ago, and I still think they’re crazy not to have asked her back yet.  I’d love to see Chelsea back, too, but I always got the impression that fans never got past her immature early antics and her response to accidentally running over Zack.  I haven’t seen Rachel Melvin in anything since a brief appearance on Heroes, but I read a brief comment from her recently that seemed to politely eschew the idea of a return to DAYS. 

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    gdfl
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    #425510

    Carrie Brady as the central heroine is an awesome suggestion.  I’m actually surprised that I never thought of building the show that way, considering that I have had the hugest crush on Christie Clark since day 1. The other character that I am surprised is off canvas is Billie Reed.  She’s always great for a lot of drama, and it would be especially fun if they could get Krista Allen back or recast with the amazing Lesli Kay.  But I wonder if they see Billie and Nicole as being too similar and are keeping Billie away because Nicole is more than enough to fill the bad-girl-with-a-heart-of-gold space on the show.
     

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    OLTLfan
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    #425511

    I don’t watch enough of the shows to do a real best of list. But here’s Michael Logan’s.

    http://www.tvguide.com/News/Best-Soaps-2013-1074796.aspx

    Best Soap: Days of Our Lives and General Hospital (tie)
    Hey, we tried to pick one over the other — really, we did — but we simply couldn’t. NBC’s Days of Our Lives, the soap that once costarred Satan, continued to wow us with its awesomely trashy shocks: Stefano hires a hit man to cut off Rafe’s penis! Sonny is forced to deliver his boyfriend’s baby! Kristen beds a drugged-out priest and gets it all on video! But mostly Days did what it does best — bring us deeply involving relationship drama with characters we’ve loved and cherished for decades. Its Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama in June — the show’s first in 35 years — was well-deserved.

    Meanwhile, ABC’s General Hospital not only made 50 look pretty damn fabulous, but it also drew its best ratings in nearly six years and gave the entire soap industry a much-needed kick in the keister. It even managed to spin a potentially crippling lawsuit from rival producer Prospect Park into shimmering gold. GH took us from the sublime (the soul-wrenching battle over Maxie’s baby) to the sublimely ridiculous (doesn’t anyone stay dead in Port Chuck anymore? Thankfully, no!), leaving us breathless and dazzled

    Best Actress: Maura West, General Hospital
    There’s no embarrassment with these riches! It’s been an epic year for leading ladies — Days‘ Eileen Davidson (Kristen) and Alison Sweeney (Sami), GH‘s Finola Hughes (Anna), The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Heather Tom (Katie) and All My Children‘s Debbi Morgan (Angie) all blew us away with their trophy-worthy work. But when the dust settled, West stood above the rest. Her performance as high-strung, power-mad mob spawn Ava Jerome is a noirish marvel — deadly, campy and defiantly sexual. There is nothing like a dame.

    Best Actor: Billy Miller, The Young and the Restless
    Make no mistake: We detested the show’s decision to kill off little Delia in a hit-and-run — child slaughter is such a cheap, easy, overused way to work up audience emotion — but we cannot fault Miller. As grieving dad Billy Abbott, he hit levels of guilt and despair that were uncomfortably private and broke our hearts 10 times an episode. Miller will exit Y&R in January but likely won’t be out of sight for long. This man is made for primetime

    Best Supporting Actress: Meredith Scott Lynn, Days of Our Lives
    Doesn’t America have enough heath-care problems without this hospital administrator from hell? The phenomenal Lynn is a hoot as Salem’s witchy human resources chief Anne Milbauer, a role made all the more fantastic by the funny girl’s wild resemblance — in looks and delivery — to Barbra Streisand. Anne isn’t one of those misunderstood baddies driven by inner turmoil and haunted by angst. She just loves to screw with people. And we love her for it

    Best Supporting Actor: John Aniston, Days of Our Lives
    What do you get when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Victor Kiriakis! Salem has long been run by this wicked puppet master — as monolithic as any of those guys on Mount Rushmore — yet never has he been so deliciously acerbic and pee-your-pants hilarious! Isn’t it time Aniston had some Emmy love? After 38 years in the suds, this grand vet has never been nominated — and that’s a crime far worse than any Victor has ever committed.

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    youngsoapfan
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    #425512

    I agree, it is ridiculous that after all this time john aniston hasn’t even been nominated, the same goes for alison sweeny, they are both overdue for a nomination and / or win. now definitely overdue for a win is arianne zuker, i’m starting to think of her as a future susan lucci for days of our lives.

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    DS0816
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    #425513

    Replace Debbi Morgan, who announced from her Twitter account that she will not seeking nomination (let alone gold) for the ill-executed revival of All My Chilidren, with Katherine Kelly Lang in The Bold and the Beautiful … and that would make for a terrific, perhaps close to ideal 2013-14 best-actress Daytime Emmy lineup.

    LEAD ACTRESS
    Eileen Davidson, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
    Finola Hughes, General Hospital (ABC)
    Katherine Kelly Lang, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
    Alison Sweeney, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
    Heather Tom, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS) 
    Maura West, General Hospital (ABC) 

    Criticism of Michael Logan: During Maura West’s two Emmy-winning seasons (2006-07 and 2009-10), along with five other nominations (2000-01; 2001-02; 2003-04; 2007-08; 2008-09), for As the World Turns … why didn’t he ever name her best of the year (in whichever respective category) at least once? Does he love mob dolls yet, of course, Carly wasn’t one?  

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    EmmyLoser
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    #425514

    Is there a history of Michael Logan’s picks somewhere?  I didn’t realize he’d never named Maura West to one of his lists until now.  I get the sense that Logan’s picks are generally a mixture of the undeniably superlative and against-the-grain choices to call out people who would likely otherwise go unrecognized, which seem like the case with Meredith Scott Lynn and John Aniston, for example, which isn’t to say I don’t think both are great choices.  I’m not totally sure which category West fits into, though considering all of the other qualifying actresses that are called out, I’d guess he feels she’s part of the former.  It also feels to me like General Hospital, more than any other show, really has the heart of a lot of the soap presses, and if they give it an honest effort, journos can’t help but root for them, moreso than other shows.  I don’t want to say that Logan should have just chosen one or the other between DAYS and GH or that Maura West being on GH rather than ATWT is the boost she needed to get some love, but doesn’t having both supporting actors come from DAYS feel kind of like an apology?  Or maybe they were just the most fun to write about.

    I was also wondering if anyone knows what the best/worst list from Soap Digest this year was like?  I think I saw a tweet that they’d named GH best show, but that was it.

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