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« Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column | Main | Don't Forget: Live-Blogging the Emmys Tonight »

June 19, 2008

Countdown to the Emmys: Day 7

The Daytime Emmys are tomorrow!  Like Jessie Spano and The Pointer Sisters before us, we're so excited and we just can't hide it!  Woohoo!  And one of the the things we're most excited about is which allegedly deserving show receives the purportedly honorable title of Outstanding Drama Series.  Will it be GH, for arguably its worst year ever?  Or Guiding Light, in what could be its last year in existence, a possibly imaginary soap that if real lately includes more gimmicks than a used car lot?  Will it be Y&R, and if so, will the many viewers it has bored into a coma ever be made aware of the victory?  Or will it be One Life to Live, the show that there appears to be consensus among viewers and critics is actually the best?  We managed to type that last sentence without dissolving into fits of laughter somehow, but seriously, y'all aren't actually expecting the best show to win the best show award, are you?  You are too cute.

You know the drill:  After the jump, watch, read, vote, comment.  Woohoo!


General Hospital

That General Hospital is deemed one of the four best soaps on the air -- unless the competition is based on the talent of the cast, the number of hot men, or the percentage of the audience it sends into rage blackouts on an at least monthly basis -- is a sad statement about daytime television.  But those sneaky bastards submitted clips from the Metro Court storyline which, while a rip-off of prior sweeps stories (and primetime dramas, and...everything) and not especially impressive regardless, was indeed the best thing GH put on our screens last year.  It includes some elements that are relatively unique in daytime, and the actors truly did turn in some great performances, so we will not be surprised if GH wins this award.  We will be filled with Soap Opera Rage, and we may design and mass-market t-shirts broadcasting our objection, but we will not be surprised.

This effing show.

Guiding Light

This episode has us puzzled.  No external shots in small-town New Jersey?  No awkward scenes in a kitchen with formica cabinets?  No shaky camerawork?  Enough cast members present to actually fill out scenes?  It's like everything we've heard about Guiding Light is a lie.  This is what happens when you actually believe people when they say they watch this show.

One Life to Live

You know, we never hear anything from our readers about One Life to Live, and whether it's good.  Radio silence.  Nobody ever tells us to quit watching GH and watch OLTL instead, or suggests that all our problems would fade away if only we'd give Ron WhatsHisFace's masterpiece a try.  Nobody has ever pointedly disagreed with our "ABC DAYTIME SUCKS" rants by holding up OLTL as a shining beacon of soapy hope.  We haven't heard whether the powers-that-be there put their veterans to good use, respect the show's history, or if there are any standout divas in the cast.  Not a peep! 

Okay, fine, if we're being serious, apparently if the Emmys are based on actual merit, OLTL should run away with this statue.  But the Emmys being based on actual merit would be like calorie-free real chocolate.  Never going to happen, people.

The Young and the Restless

The powers-that-be at Y&R made a good choice in submitting an episode from the genuinely engrossing Newman jet crash. If someone was unfamiliar with the endless months of boring that followed this arc, or if they had no idea that stories about Nick's crash-related amnesia and the possibility of sabotage were dropped in an instant, they might think of this as the start of a great umbrella story. After all, this episode features the show's heavy hitters all doing good work: the reliably great were great, but Eric Braeden actually emoted, Don Diamont gave the whole "effort" thing a shot and Jeanne Cooper gave us her famous "Dear God in heaven" catchphrase. On the surface, it's good soap and a wise submission. Pretty sneaky, sis.

Hopefully, their other submission, which centered around that week of cheese known as Out of the Ashes, knocked some sense into Emmy voters and told them that the relative greatness of the other episode was an anomaly.



YEah I'll be not surprised at ALL if GH doesn't gimmick its way into yet another Emmy this year....I'll be rooting harder than a OLTL fan against that...but I won't be surprised if it happens.

99.9 % of the show is literally vomit-inducing and you truly do need a massive amount of alcohol to enjoy it, TPTB at GH can, and always do, pick a clip.

What sucks is that the only positive in the dreck is the cast.

I'm already searching the ads for a good price on a new tv just in case GH wins, because I guarantee if that happens my remote is not going to miss the screen.

While GH has a bad year all around their tapes and GL tapes were far superior then the other shows. OLTL submitted Asa's funeral then the PROM MUSICAL. The Prom Musical ruined it all for me and I ranked them last unfortuntely because the show is better then the rest but that submission doesn't deserve any Emmy, sorry.

I can't watch the daytime emmy's this year. Because if GH wins outstanding daytime drama, my blood pressure will surely rise so high that I will have a stroke. How many more years are we going to have to watch our once-fantastic show with its outstanding cast being piloted down the tubes under the "brilliant" leadership of Bob effing Guza????????

Jessie Spano? This has nothing to do with soap operas (though the crap that "Step it Up and Dance" spews out is about as entertaining as
"General Hospital"). However, it must be pointed out that googling Jessie Spano leads one to the single greatest "Saved by the Bell" clip ever. Personally, I'm so... scared.

I will be the one to say that I watched GH for over 20 years and then last year I realized that this show sucks beyond suckdom. The mob, shootings every week, Carly, Sam and Elizabeth all being annoying and Sonny as the leading man of the show just made me sick. So, I tuned into OLTL and hallelujah, I have found genius, great, character driven soapy greatness. Yes, it has history driving story, yes it has spine-tingling drama and laugh your ass off humor. The veterans are the life and blood of the show with a nice mix of the next generation. Most of all, they have divas to spare - Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Susan Haskell is back and so is the Diva of them all, Andrea Evans as Tina "Mother-F-ing" Lord. Please, please, please watch it. try it for one or two weeks. It's not hard for a soap opera long-time viewer to catch onto things and they are writing and producing the best soap since Y&R from 6-10 years ago. The last time GH was good was Carly 1.0 and ClinkBoom! I have been watching OLTL for almost a year now and even though I watch boring Y&R and fabulous B&B daily, I look more forward to my week-end marathons in Llanview. Trust me. I am a die hard soap fan of 25 or maybe more years. A girl never reveals her true age even though I am a gay, um, guy. You will not regret it and worse comes to worse, if you don't like it, you can go back to watching GH, the absolute worst show on the air. I would rather watch "Celebrity Circus."

I actually only tune in to GH every sweeps, since you know, you can know nothing about GH's history and still get caught up with whatever BIG stunt they pull off every February, May, November or a combo of the three. (Didn't they have a virus epidemia, a train wreck and a hurricane all in one year? Or am I just hallucinating?)

Y&R had its moments. I enjoyed watching Kevin, Amber and Daniel's stupid but funny story with that Plum dude. I enjoyed some of the Out of the Ashes story, except I thought it would've been better if everything happened at once. But then they start talking about some boring stuff. There was a long trial for Phyllis (for I forgot what, breaking up Sharon and Nick, I guess... it has something to do with Brad!), that short trial for Jana Hawkes, a long talk about reliquaries, methane leakage, deaf-mute peeps (as much as I respect people with disabilities, that story was boring) and a lot more!

I think OLTL is not that good last year (someone who is not a doctor in any way shape or form operated on his rival after a bomb exploded at the hospital!) but this year, so far, is rocking!

GL? I don't watch that show. Sorry.

OLTL deserved the win.
GH will win.
Oh well...

OK, I know we OLTL fans have been a little, um, ardent in our newfound love of our show. I understand that could get a little annoying. So let me level here. Years ago I used to watch all three ABC soaps. You know, back when they were good. Watched them all pretty faithfully until one year when I moved, and Real Life intruded upon my soap viewing. The next year when I was able to return to my soapy ways, I tuned in to find all three soaps had changed drastically.

OLTL was the only one that really held my interest in the least, even though it was at the beginning of Higley's reign of horror (Margaret kidnapping Todd). Was it dark, unpleasant storytelling? You bet. Could I tune out? No. I didn't know better see. (But I learned that kidnapping, male rape, homophobia and murder cover-ups are par for the course on a Higley show, just like Days viewers will learn sooner or later). But as the months went by I learned to tell "good" stories from the proverbial car wreck you can't look away from. And boy did Higley turn OLTL into a car wreck. It stunk! It stunk so bad I flipped over to Days, and joined the Cult of Steve and Kayla (seriously, they're so cute!) I could give you a laundry list of things that Higley did to OLTL that were just awful. But I'll spare you.

So last year, when the show was below the bottom of the barrel, and Ron C was named new headwriter, we all rejoiced. Our show had a chance again! Mal, Becca, imagine how happy you'd feel if you found out today Guza was canned. Rainbows, puppies and kittens, right? That's how we OLTL fans felt. But we lucked out - unlike Days & AMC's writer changes, our new writer was actually an improvement. What a crazy concept! Is Ron C. perfect? No, of course not. No writer is. But you know, he's the best I've seen on a soap for a long time (Claire Labine's name comes to mind). The show still has its flaws, its weak points, but it makes me want to watch it everyday. It makes me laugh (at things that are *supposed* to be funny), and cry (Nash's death! sniff) and it entertains me without completely insulting me, my intelligence, or the show's history.

So does OLTL deserve Best Show nod? Well, here's the catch. Higley's crap aired through Julyish of 2007. Ron's stuff kicked in after that. So half the year is sucktastic, and I'd hate for an Emmy, faint praise, or even a Girl Scout Merit badge to get anywhere close to Higley. But Ron's stuff has been the best I've seen on any of the five soaps I am marginally associated with (I can attest that GL is in fact a real show. It's just not very good anymore).

Is OLTL perfect? Nope. But it is, IMHO, the best show right now.

(Wow, that turned out a lot longer than I thought! Kudos if you read this far!)

The episodes submitted by GL aired in January 2007, that's why they don't contain the bad camera work, horrible sound, and tacky New Jersey parking lots. The "new format" with the refrigerator box sets, tinkertoy cameras, and bad lighting didn't officially start until February 2008, although they started experimenting with it in certain episodes during the summer of 2007.

The episodes submitted by GL aired in January 2007, that's why they don't contain the bad camera work, horrible sound, and tacky New Jersey parking lots. The "new format" with the refrigerator box sets, tinkertoy cameras, and bad lighting didn't officially start until February 2008, although they started experimenting with it in certain episodes during the summer of 2007.


Danny you win at life...that is totaly my reaction to the idea that Guza is going to gimick his way into yet another empty award.....

Yeah, I know. I'm part of the OLTL chorus.

But imagine how you'd react if one day Bob Guza was canned, completely and utterly, and Awesome Writer was promoted to Head Writer. Imagine that Awesome Writer started having characters call the shitstorm trio of Carly, Sonny and Jason out on their vile behavior. Imagine Awesome Writer wrote Maxie being celebrated as the awesome creature she is while Lulu got lambasted.

Awesome Writer brings back Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane. AW writes the PCPD being somewhat competent at bringing down the Actual Bad Guys. And, somehow, manages to work towards bringing Laura Spencer back not as a short term soon-to-be wig on a stick but the Actual Laura Spencer to interact with her Actual Family... perhaps a legitimate triangle between Tracy/Luke/Laura takes place with solid writing and understandable characterization and reasonable reactions.

Just imagine if that happened... Awesome Writer would make missteps, sure. Not every show is perfect but just imagine how it would feel and how you'd write about it.

Then you might understand how OLTL fans feel about Ron Carlivati taking our show back from that hack Dena Higley and having the show make sense again... death means something, family is important and even good girls who turn into bitches for no reason suddenly become believable. I know we're a bit much to take. Sorry about that.

But we're just happy to have a show we can love again.

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