Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column
Hopefully you already saw this in the issue that arrived in your mailbox or that you picked up at the newsstand, but if not here's our column from the June 19, 2007 issue of Soap Opera Digest, about the Daytime Emmy nominations and our expectations for the show.
By Mallory Harlen
A funny thing happened when the Daytime Emmy nominations were announced. For the first time in years, I was disappointed that DAYS OF OUR LIVES didn't garner a Best Drama nomination. I know! I never thought I'd say it, either! Years of alien twins and serial murders that weren't actually murders had made me lose faith, but I was blown away by the changes [new Head Writer] Hogan Sheffer ushered in. Sure, half of the year was the same silliness as always (I'm sure I hallucinated the embryo switch) and a strange focus on race car driving, but the last few months of the year were stellar. The show was about the characters again. Families and friends interacted, with dialogue befitting humans, not cyborgs. It's disappointing, too, that the case was shut out of the acting categories. It would have been great to see Kristian Alfonso [Hope] get a nomination and Rachel Melvin [Chelsea] deserves some sort of accolade for making me like Chelsea after a long period of loathing. Perhaps a Nobel Prize.
I wish that DAYS had taken Y&R's spot. I know that I should be rooting for it by default, since it's the only one of my shows to get a Best Drama nod, but I can't make myself do it. It had its moments of sheer genius, but it veered to often into the scary lands of boring and ridiculous. How long was the Carmen Mesta story? The woman was barely on the show and, in that time, showed no discernable character traits. It had all the emotional impact of a "Who Killed Crimson Lights Extra #36?" storyline. And the less said about the reliquary, the better. I was endlessly disturbed by the entire arc, from start to finish. Nazis and art collections and Thighs of Death do not make a Best Drama! They barely make a good SNL sketch.
Many of the show's highlights centered around Jack Abbott and, seriously, if I had any say in the voting at all (the amount of statuettes claimed by GENERAL HOSPITAL for subpar years proves that, regrettably, I do not), I would have engraved Peter Bergman's name on the Best Actor statuette in mid-March. He carried the show all year and he was brilliant in every minute. I'm not sure that there's anything he doesn't do well: he's genius at tears, humor, cruelty and romance. I even loved Jack taking advantage of older men with limited mental faculties and the fact that there are mulitple instances of Jack doing just that and coming out with me adoring him even more proves that Peter Bergman can make just about any storyline work (though I'm not sure even he could have saved the reliquary nonsense).
ALL MY CHILDREN's notable lack of nominations is hopefully a sign to the producers that changes need to com. They have a fantastic group of actors who could handle almost anything, but its stories are either repetitive ("Babe is the best person ever, again"), brutal (Madden in a box) or just plain horrible (Colby and Sydney's Sweet 16 made my eyes twitch). Best Younger Actress nominee Level Rambin [Lily/Ava] is always wonderful, but I don't want her to win, since a win would tacitly give approval to the heinous Lily/Jonathan storyline. Watching a murderer feign mental illness to stay married to an autistic teenager didn't appeal to me. Maybe I'm just overly critical?
My Take, Too
By Becca Thomas
Summer is upon us, and you know what that means: I start my nationwide campaign against the white plastic sunglasses trend and the soap community rewards a few fortunate stars with Daytime Emmy awards.
DAYS received no acting nominations, which isn't all that surprising. DAYS has some very good actors and ideally their performances should be evaluated separately from the substance of what the characters are saying and doing, but honestly, Meryl Streep couldn't have convincingly pulled off much of what that cast was subjected to prior to the head writer switch last summer. Emmy voters need some time to see that DAYS is bouncing back after years of ridiculous plots and mind-numbingly sluggish pacing. (I can relate, since several of the major plotlines sent me into therapy. If anyone so much as whispers "Melaswen," I start hyperventilating.) Hopefully, DAYS will continue to improve and this time next year we'll be talking about Emmy nominations for a deserving veteran or two (Stephen Nichols [Steve] and Kristian Alfonso come to mine) or for a relative newcomer like Rachel Melvin in the Younger Actress category.
Switching to a show that does not appear to be on the brink of significant improvement...I complain a lot about GENERAL HOSPITAL. However, my complaints aren't about the acting because the cast is stellar. I would be thrilled if any of the nominated performers (Anthony Geary [Luke], Rick Hearst [Ric], Genie Francis [Laura], Rebecca Herbst [Elizabeth] and Julie Marie Berman [Lulu]) won. I'm especially rooting for Genie Francis, who gave GH more heart and soul in her short return as Laura than it had in years. The fact that her mantel is Emmy-less is even more sad than people embracing formal shorts as acceptable red carpet wear.
On the other hand, if GH wins the Best Writing award, I am going to buy the pointiest shoes imaginable and seek out the shins of every Emmy voter. The nomination alone is worth of a kick or two.
Since thinking about GH winning an award for its writing makes me start to delve into a bottomless pit of confusion and depression, I'll instead turn to what has me giddy with anticipation: fashion on the red carpet! Prime-time stars have about 37 different awards shows, but lamentably, soap stars now have just this one night a year when they can show off their fashion triumphs -- and atrocities. I'd say I'm not sure which I'm looking forward to more, but of course I'm looking more forward to those few daytime divas who will inevitably show up looking like a hot mess. I stand at the ready to gaze with awe and horror at the aforementioned formal shorts, abuse of sequins, or -- if we as viewers are lucky! -- some type of headdress or tiara. After that, some people will win awards for acting and stuff. That should be fun, too.
For more, including live-blogging of the Daytime Emmy red carpet arrivals, check out http://serialdrama.typepad.com.