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« Countdown to the Emmys: Day 6 | Main | Countdown to the Emmys: Day 7 »

June 19, 2008

Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column

In our most recent Soap Opera Digest column, we were all about the Daytime Emmys. After the jump, our thoughts about the nominations, our outrage over several snubs, our fervent hope that two certain shows don't walk away with the title of Outstanding Daytime Drama and a plan to make Kirsten Storms a faux Emmy to call her own.

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My Take
By Mallory Harlen

The Daytime Emmy ceremony is fast approaching and I can’t help but feel disappointed (yes, still. I hold a mean grudge) that Thorsten Kaye (Zach, ALL MY CHILDREN), Kirsten Storms (Maxie, GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, YOUNG AND RESTLESS) won’t walk away with awards that night. I know that the Academy routinely makes boneheaded decisions, but to not even nominate these three performers for their stellar performances last year just seems aggressively wrong.

Thorsten Kaye was saddled with some of the worst material of the year: The Satin Slayer? Zach and Greenlee Trapped Underground? In the hands of lesser actors, they would have been complete trainwrecks, but he rose above the horrible writing and made them nearly palatable. I can only assume that the academy thought the stories were just too terrible and that nominating him would be like tacitly approval of them. Melody Thomas Scott, too, was Y&R’s gem and single-handedly carried the show during the boring race for the Senate seat and the fallout from Victoria’s coma. Getting me invested in the latter storyline, even though I (a)knew that Victoria wasn’t going to die and (b)haven’t cared about Victoria in years, is surely deserving of some sort of accolade.

Kirsten Storms was, frankly, robbed. Maxie is probably the most entertaining character in all of daytime and Storms is outstanding in lighthearted scenes and heartbreaking in tragic ones. I find it odd that she was snubbed in favor of Vail Bloom (Heather, Y&R) and Tammin Sursok (Colleen, Y&R). It’s like the academy threw a bunch of random letters together and, coincidentally, they just happened to form the names of women eligible for nominations in the Younger Actress category. I can’t recall any scenes that either of them had this year, let alone anything award worthy. Seriously, has Colleen done anything in the past year besides chat with Lily at Crimson Lights? I guess being Lily’s sounding board is the best way to get an Emmy nod, since Bryton McClure (Devon) managed to score a nomination despite not having had a storyline since 2005.

I suppose I shouldn’t expect reason from a group of voters who nominated GH and Y&R as Outstanding Daytime Drama. Y&R was the television equivalent of a sleeping pill for me in 2007. Phyllis’s imprisonment, the Senate race and the ethics committee storyline seemed endless and the rare stories that weren’t painfully boring were dropped immediately. Remember the hints that the Newman plane crash that “killed” Nick was caused by sabotage? Or Ji-Min’s murder? Those could have been great stories, but were seemingly scrapped in favor of press conferences and weeks of people talking to the comatose Victoria. GH wasn’t quite as boring, but it was worse. The Metro Court story was the highlight of the year, but that’s not really saying much; the year also gave us the Text Message Killer, Jax’s assault being written as him cheating on Carly, Emily’s bizarrely happy ghost and the pregnancy of daytime’s first pregnant HIV-positive character being played for laughs. I can only hope that voters come to their senses and reward a show that can actually be called “good” with a straight face.

My Take, Too
By Becca Thomas

There are few things in entertainment I find as mystifying as the Daytime Emmys in recent years. Does “younger” actor just mean younger than at least one other actor on daytime? Shouldn’t a “lead” actor actually have, I don’t know, led at least one storyline? And what is with the seemingly random winner-selection process of the Daytime Emmys?

Since I find the awards themselves so confusing, I tend to focus on the red carpet arrivals. I’m just hoping this year they found someone even half as enthusiastic and delightful as Chandra Wilson to host that part of the evening. Her love of soaps and fanaticism over certain characters and performers was infectious.

But I suppose I should be somewhat invested in the awards of the evening, right? For the first time in ages, DAYS OF OUR LIVES has four acting nominees, so I will have people to cheer for in a number of categories. I’m thrilled for DAYS’ success on that front this year, and hope it bodes well for the show’s future. Of late it has been filled with great soapiness (except for the icky Daniel-Chelsea “romance”), so maybe next year it will even sneak back into some of the big categories.

GH seems to be the bizarro version of DAYS at this year’s Emmys. It’s nominated for several big awards (best writing, directing, show), but just a single acting one. GH’s nominations to me are the perfect example of how perplexing these awards are, since I think GH’s main strength is its great cast, while its weakness is uneven and sometimes awful writing and overall direction. Several deserving members of the cast were overlooked. In particular, Mallory and I were so appalled by Kirsten Storms’ lack of a nod that we may just cobble together a faux Emmy out of tinfoil and send it to her so that she has at least one shiny statue to show for those amazing scenes when Maxie was grieving for Georgie.

I’ve resigned myself to GH winning one of the big awards. I’m assuming they submitted shows from the Metro Court hostage crisis storyline, and I suppose if you just take a couple of those episodes alone – ignoring that the story was a near-carbon copy of at least two prior GH sweeps stunts and setting aside the fact that it led to the horrible indignity of Ghost Alan as well as the ridiculous re-write that British James Craig was actually Australian Jerry Jax –- they were decent. But I do worry about the message a GH win for best show or writing would send: “Turn mobsters into your heroes and moral centers? Call sex-at-gunpoint cheating? Marginalize or vilify all your strong women characters? Shoot a 12-year-old in the head? Please let us tell you how awesome you are!” I know I'm already confused about the Daytime Emmys, but that seems like it could lead to widespread confusion.

Comments

Hee, I would love it every one of our SOD columns regarding Days mentioned anti-Chan sentiment. (Especially with next week coming on the "big date"). I guess though that wouldn't be practical huh?

Your comments are, as always, spot on. I tried to get into Y&R this year, but I kept losing my concentration. The biggest mystery to me was not who killed Ji Minh (who did, by the way?) but what happened to the amnesia that Nick suffered after the plane crash.

As for GH, it says some truly awful things about daytime TV that the show got any nominations for writing or producing. The only thing that keeps it afloat is the stellar cast, which is mistreated every day by having to say some really stupid dialog and partake in some head-scratching plots (to use the term loosely). Yet none of them were recognized for their work this year. Go figure.

Jeez, I don't pay attention to the emmys except to see what everyone is wearing, but Coleen??? WTF? Heather??? Double WTF?

I cannot believe a mainstream publication lets you write this stuff -- true as it is. I give them kudos. And keep it up.

I agree with everything EXCEPT Kirsten Storms. I love her and she is great but DID you know she submitted none of the scenes from Georgies death on her submission. She submitted scenese from earlier in the year yes and with that, was she really that much better?

Also, GH winning anything is a travesty. I hope GL wins for best drama. It is likely this show may not be around long and their submissions clearly were the cream of the crop and even GL is better than GH these days.

While I think it was totally short sighted and ... "WTH? Seriously?" of Kirsten NOT to submit anything from Georgie's death storyline - I still honestly believe she had to have been better in anything she submitted than in anything Vail or Tammin have ever done ever ever. Hell, Julie Berman in all the annoying crap they wrote for her last year - some of which she played kind of "tired" - was better than Vail Bloom.

Basically, I think every actress in that category who got a pre-nom was better than Vail and Tammin.

I'm not quite sure what went wrong, or who paid who.

I think the Emmy awards have become a big joke in the industry and needs to be reform again to be fair and nominated and chose who did the best work on the reels and someone needs to do there job and watch all the submitted tapes and or don't be a job.

Since I only watch AMC, I can't comment on any other shows, but I wholeheartedly agree that Thorsten Kaye was robbed. I wonder if he is so often overlooked because his acting style is so subtle. He says more with facial expressions and little "human" touches than most actors do with lengthy speeches and over-dramatic stunts. I also think Alicia Minshew should have gotten a nom. She held her own in scenes with Thorsten and that takes a strong actress.

Thank you so much for your inciteful article! I want to scream from the rooftops!! Thorsten was cheated again and it just goes to show how political this nonsense is. I don't want to take anything away from the great David Canary but Thorsten should be on stage and getting an award this year and for that matter so should Alicia....They stood tall and waded thru some difficult material and there were some of the most memorable scenes ever that came out of that due to the talent of these two actors. I won't be watching but my letters and e-mails will let them know how disgusted I am at the way hardworking greatly talented actors are treated by the daytime IIC.

I know many actors did not watch all the tapes and just voted based on reputation or allegiance to their shows and friends I am sure. Why else would Tony Geary have gotten a nom for his horrible phone it in work this year. Or Tammin for supporting actress.

I love Thorston Kaye and when will this man win an emmy. With horrible material he was great this year. Maybe the voters are finally sending ABC a message about putting trash on TV. I must say though OLTL is now the best soap on TV with B&B a second place finish and DOOL third. I hope the actual award winners are deserving. Peter Bergman, Crystal Chappel deserve to win as does GL for best drama.

To Tripp -

Nick's amnesia disappeared recently when he was in a car accident on the anniversary of Cassie's death. He had a head injury that helped jog his lost memories, in particular those of Cassie.

I'm still waiting on Ji Minh !

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