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« A New Manning Kid? | Main | One Life to Live: 2010 in Review »

December 31, 2010

Serial Drama's Best and Worst of 2010

"So, just to be clear: this is going to be another Best AND Worst list?"

"Yes."

"Not just a Best list? Or a Worst list?"

"No, Best AND Worst. It's our tradition!"

"Right. It's just that...there are a lot of worsts. And not many bests."

"Come on, there were bests."

"Name one."

"Alice Horton's funeral was great. And so was Palmer Cortlandt's memorial! And, hey, the moment where Sonny shot Dante was seriously good."

"Oh, wow. Death and attempted cop murder. Those sure are some best-y bests."

There's no way to sugarcoat it: 2010 was a pretty dreary year for soaps. There were some good moments, sure. And there were some things that we really hated as they happened but, looking back, turned out to be not so bad at all, comparatively. And then...there was the rest. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Divider

Best Story: Robin, Patrick and Lisa Star In a Rip-Off Of Homage To Fatal Attraction, General Hospital

Patrick 

Robin 

When Lisa Niles and her never-ending supply of "This one time, in college? Patrick and I drank a lot of [ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE] and watched a lot of [SPORTING EVENT] and then [SEXUAL ACT] and it was craaaaaaazy" stories came to Port Charles, she might as well have introduced herself to her new co-workers with "Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm going to sleep with Patrick". That's how clearly this story was telegraphed. We all knew Patrick was going to cheat on Robin; it was only a question of "When?" and "Then what?" and also "Why?" To answer the first question: while Robin was in Africa working on AIDS research, which is probably the single douchiest excuse for infidelity, ever. To answer the second question: Then Lisa went CUH-RAZY and for a few glorious weeks, it was awesome. And to answer the last question: to give Jason Thompson and Kimberly McCullough material for their Emmy reels. Even when the story bordered on camp, Thompson and McCullough managed to ground it in realism with some of the most honest, gut-wrenching performances we saw this year. We dare you to watch Patrick's confession and not be moved. WE DARE YOU! They did such good work (and continue to do such good work even though the writing has definitely taken a turn for the lazy) and Brianna Brown played the hell out of the one note she was given. It even incorporated a surprisingly well-handled return of Stone Cates, so it was our choice for Story Of The Year, no question.

Worst Story: Teen Jess, One Life to Live

At first it seemed like it could have some potential for those of us who've been watching since the first time Jess was seventeen, at least as a cute and brief side story -- but alas, Jessica's amnesia storyline started in the ickiest of possible ways (her biological father tried to rape her) and only got worse from there. They never bothered to explain her illness (was it just a loss of memory, but she was perfectly healthy? was she deeply ill and convinced she was a teenager? was this yet another personality -- because this one certainly didn't resemble the one we knew at that age?) and most everyone seemed content to let her traipse around town unsupervised and behave as if she were indeed a teenager, including letting her go back to high school while she stalked her art teacher/ex-boyfriend. While she was being handled as if she were legitimately seventeen, Brody nonetheless tried to get her to... what? Fall in love with him? Remember that she loved him? Had she actually not regained her memory but still fell for Brody, would he have dated her, and therefore essentially dated a seventeen-year-old? And why in the world didn't she notice how hot that soldier boy is? So much was unclear,and it ended with a possible-impregnation by the slimiest guy in town, Robert Ford. While it was certainly rewarding that at the end of that night we got to see an unconscious and bloodied Ford, nothing was worth having to tolerate Teen Jess for months on end.

Best START To A Story: Sonny Shoots Dante, General Hospital

We knew it was coming, thanks to explicit promos that aired round-the-clock and a helpful chyron that spoiled the shocking storyline twist, but still: when a ruthless Sonny shot a brave, unarmed Dante in the chest and a horrified Olivia wailed "You just shot your own son!", we got goosebumps. The immediate aftermath gave us some top-notch acting and some righteous Sonny hatred that warmed our hearts and souls. The fallout...was terrible. Instead of genuine remorse or growth, we had Sonny petulantly defending himself with "I didn't KNOW he was my son". Because, right, you didn't KNOW, so that totally makes shooting an unarmed cop in the chest okay. Commendable even! Instead of all of Port Charles turning on Sonny, we had throngs of defenders. And Dante, in one of the most poorly written moments of a poorly written year, covered for dear old dad. There are no words. Only curse words.

Most Delightful New Couple: Victor and Maggie, Days of Our Lives

They are de-wait for it--lightful. Delightful. Who would have guessed, right? Suzanne Rogers and John Aniston are so immensely charming and authentic together and we found ourselves practically giddy over this pairing.  

Best Couple Reunion: Bo and Nora, One Life to Live

It’s been over a decade since Bo and Nora’s divorce and surely most viewers had given up for good. We got a great treat, then, upon discovering it only served to create more delicious angst for Bo and Nora’s at-long-last reunion, capped by a series of fantastic wedding episodes honoring the history of their relationship – humor, love, and the solid mutual respect and friendship that is the foundation of this couple.  Finally!  (Snoop Dogg would be so pleased.)

Worst Couple: TIE! Ryan and Erica, All My Childrenand Ryan and Greenlee, All My Children

What a coincidence, isn't it, that the male half of both of these offensive couples is the Lord of the Douche People himself, Ryan Lavery! The former couple is the recipient of this title in back-to-back years and spent the beginning of the year being...just so offensive. Seriously, we repressed the memory of...this--we swear, we did!--until we went back into the Serial Drama archives and read it about it and that made us scream "HOLY FUCK, WHY?" and throw our laptops across the room in horror. REALLY, that happened. We don't know why it happened, but it HAPPENED, GROSSLY. The latter couple is so thoroughly unlikable; do they have fans? Let us rephrase that: do they have non-Brian Frons fans? They can't possibly, right? Rylee brings out the worst and the smuggest in Ryan and Greenlee, and the fact that so many promising couples find themselves trashed in order to facilitate reunions between them just adds insult to injury.

Worst New Character: Caleb, All My Children

For about three minutes, it seemed like there was a chance that Caleb could be an interesting addition to the canvas. And then it became clear that Caleb is just a jerk. When Erica's plane crashed and she had the misfortune of meeting him, he groused about how much he wanted her gone...and then made sure that she couldn't leave. When JR bought the company Caleb carried on about not wanting...Caleb made it his mission in life to take something from JR to hurt him, and that something--Direct quote!--was JR's son AJ. Charming. Then you factor in how much Michael Nouri is over this whole show, and..well, we'll just look forward to his inevitable exit at the end of Nouri's contract. Not as much as he's looking forward to it, but we're looking forward to it all the same.

Worst New Family: The Ford/Salinger Clan, One Life to Live

Apparently, chiseled features and washboard abs are all we need to know about this bland new brood of pretty people, who have yet to earn their position of prominence in seemingly every storyline on the show.

Worst Cast Exodus: One Life to Live

In one fell swoop, we lost Schuyler, Kim, Rachel, Fish, and Kyle, all complex characters with compelling ties to the canvas. Each with stories that were just beginning, they all seemed to disappear into thin air.

Best Return: The Cast of Characters Coming Back for Alice's Funeral, Days of Our Lives

Funeral 

Days of Our Lives honored Frances Reid and Alice Horton with a beautifully done funeral and a bunch of bold-faced names returned to be a part of it: Bryan Datillo, Christie Clark, Jamie Lyn Bauer, Melissa Reeves, Patsy Pease, Maree Cheatham, Roark Critchlow, Mary Beth Evans. It was exactly the kind of memorial a daytime legend deserves.

Worst Return: Brenda, General Hospital

We're not surprised that the GH writers messed this up; we're just surprised at how EPICALLY they managed to bungle it. Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo returning to General Hospital as Brenda Barrett should have been the best thing in all of soapdom. Just think of what could have been! Brenda providing a shoulder for her best friend to cry on in the aftermath of Patrick's infidelity. Brenda hanging out with Edward and Monica at the Quartermaine mansion, giving the Q's some much needed screentime. Brenda reuniting with Sonny which...well, at the very least, it would end the horrific coupling of Sonny and Claire, so we count that as a win. And yet, every part of Brenda's return was done so poorly. The beginning of her stint was just useless. Why spend so much time in Rome with Adrienne Barbeau and Brad Rowe and heavily-accented villainous dayplayers? Why have everybody in Port Charles talk about her so often that we started to twitch when someone said a word that began with "br"? Why invent the freaking Balkan? SO MANY QUESTIONS. 

Although Brenda's return did lead to...

Most Hilarious Story: Carly's Head Explodes In Slow Motion At The Very Thought of Brenda, General Hospital

Carlyhatred 

Possessive, confrontational and irrational at the best of times, Carly's reaction to learning that Brenda was suddenly back on everybody's (and we do mean everybody's) radar was spectacular to behold. There are some sitcoms that haven't given us any moments that are as laugh-out-loud funny as Carly getting progressively more and more unhinged with envy and hatred.

WTFiest Return: Franco, General Hospital

What the fuck?

Best Villain: Russell Edgington, True Blood

Russell 

Yes, primetime soaps are eligible for this list! And no villain did it better than Russell Edgington this year. Denis O'Hare made his way to the top of Mallory's exclusive "Favorite People" list with a performance that was campy, heartbreaking and terrifying all at once. All we're going to say is "Now time for the weather. Tiffany?" and clap our hands in glee at the memory of that villainous genius. If you don't watch True Blood, you should. If you aren't caught up on True Blood, don't click that link. And get caught up!

Worst Villain: Eli, One Life to Live

Whenever OLTL fully embraces its campiness, there’s no middle ground – the results are either amazing fun or eye-rolling embarrassment.  This year, the worst villain in soapdom landed on both sides of the campy coin as a series of crimes and mysteries were all gradually revealed to be solely the completely implausible work of one Eli Clarke.  He was the catch-all culprit of all the dastardly deeds of 2010, played with moustache-twirling, over-the-top relish by the excellent (and missed) Matt Walton.  Can’t he have a slightly-less-evil identical twin somewhere, please?

Most Ridiculous Story: The Attack of the Doppelgangers, The Young and the Restless

Someone thought to themselves, "If one soap doppelganger is good...two soap doppelgangers must be better. And what would happen if the two soap doppelgangers--both crazy people who deformed themselves through plastic surgery to look identical to people, from face to height to voice, mind you--teamed up for MURDERS?" And they did not get fired.

Best Death: Stacy Morasco, One Life to Live

Stacyice1 

Stacyice2 

Stacyice3 

Stacyice4 

It was almost as if they just knew how badly the audience wanted to see Stacy bite it. It's one of those scenes I've watched over and over and find funnier every single time. Stacy wandered out onto the ice, promptly fell through it, and flailed hilariously while Rex and Fish somewhat pathetically tried to save her. She went under and popped back up a few times before the water went silent and, mercifully, that bitch left us for good. (Or at least however "for good" one can ever be dead on a soap when there's no body.)

Most Overused Story: Death Faking in Pine Valley, All My Children

Oh, David wasn't really dead? Who could have seen that one coming? EVERYONE could--and should have!--seen that one coming, because no one in Pine Valley is ever really dead. Sometimes the deaths are faked on purpose (David, Trevor, Ryan), and sometimes tragedy is simply rewritten (Greenlee, Jesse), but either way, no one in this town stays dead for long. It's especially ludicrous when we're treated to scenes of Ryan (death faker) and Greenlee (presumed dead as recently as February of 2010) expressing shock and horror over David's death-faking while Jesse (presumed dead for years) investigates the situation.

Least Twisty Twist: Chad Is Stefano's Son, Days of Our Lives

REALLY? Think for a second about how lame that is. Stefano now has SEVEN children (we had to look this up, because “oodles” was all we could come up with) by seven different women.  (It’s a wonder he ever had time for criminality, really.)  At this point we are just going to assume that any new character who appears in Salem is Stefano’s kid until proven otherwise. 

Worst Quadrangle: Annie/JR/Scott/Marissa, All My Children

Melissa Claire Egan and Jacob Young have off-the-charts chemistry, and Scott...well, Scott needed a storyline, and a love triangle is as good a story as any. An unstable, hugely entertaining woman torn between two cousins who can give her very different things in life (hot sex and stability, namely)? We're there. So--please imagine us doing our best Nancy Kerrigan impression here--whyyyyyyy did the writers have to include Marissa and make it a quadrangle? The girl is as boring as they come, and it became impossible to enjoy this story whenever she came on the scene, smiling blandly and speaking in a monotone. We couldn't buy her as a proper rival for Annie who, frankly, ate her alive in all of their confrontations or as a viable love interest for Scott or JR.   

Best "Who's The Daddy?" Story: Jess and Natalie, One Life to Live

This one had all the soapiest possible ingredients: twin sisters both pregnant at the same time, both unsure of the baby's paternity, and one man possibly the father of both babies. That it all began (on prom night!) with Natalie and Brody having one of the hottest forbidden sex scenes of the year (the military dress whites! the moan!) made it even juicier. Add to that the fact that even though the characters think they know the correct paternities, there are still secrets galore on top of a heap of potential DNA lab switches... we haven't even begun to see the fallout of this one.

Best Confrontation: Lucky Attacks Elizabeth and Nikolas, General Hospital

We were so eagerly anticipating a scene where someone confronted Elizabeth and Nikolas about their crimes against humanity and when Lucky saw the two of them having sex at Wyndemere, we turned the eager anticipation up to eleven. The scenes where he reamed the two of them out for their betrayals did not disappoint. They were raw, they were painful, they were filled with great acting from most of the participants and they introduced us to the phrase "rutting like farm animals". Why do people not use that sentence every single day? We've tried to! Sure, it gets some raised eyebrows and lectures on how that's not "appropriate" in certain audiences, but it's worth it. Just say it out loud!

Most Irritating Heroine: Sami, Days of Our Lives

Allison Sweeney is, as always, great, but the writing for Sami is all over the map, and most of the map is “smug and slightly hysterical.”  Among other things, she’s capping off 2010 being feted by most everyone she knows for having remorselessly shot EJ – the father of two of her children – in the head.  Granted, he’s not a great guy himself, but . . . well he’s really, really ridiculously handsome, and that is important.  Even more important (to less shallow people) is that Sami should have bad-girl tendencies without being turned into a crying, self-righteous, homicidal mess on a near-daily basis.  

Best Wedding: Bo and Nora, One Life to Live

It got off to a rough start because it looked like they might treat it exclusively as wacky shenanigans (where's the minister? oh no, a skunk!), but it ended up being a perfect balance of comedy, sentiment, conflict, and (most importantly) dancing. And it only took just over a decade! (But far, far less to start throwing it all down the toilet. Thanks, Inez.)  The one dishonorable mention here goes to Dani, who decided to break up with Matthew during his parents' wedding, which also led to the misfortune of Rex having to give the best man toast by default.

Biggest Waste of Potential: David and Greenlee, All My Children

This February, something AMAZING happened: Greenlee. David. Wedding. AWESOME. Seriously. The chemistry between Rebecca Budig and Vincent Irizarry was just fantastic, and the idea of the worst person to exist in the world, ever, marrying someone newly back from the dead just so they could stick it to the rest of town was so SOAPY and so ENTERTAINING that we FOOLISHLY got our hopes up, thinking that this could be an actual story. Oh, how we looked forward to David and Greenlee taking over Pine Valley and maybe falling in love with each other, for real. Oh, what morons we are. Nothing--not undeniable chemistry between two actors, not the prospect of a story that hadn't been done before a million and one times--was going to stop AMC from taking a lethal stroll down Rylee Road.

Worst History Rewrite: Clint is Rex's Father, One Life to Live

Okay, seriously? Years ago, Charlie pretended to be Rex's father so that Roxy could conceal the horrible truth. Then Mitch Lawrence was Rex's father, making him Jessica's biological brother, and it was a big giant waste of time since Rex works in comedy, not drama, and mostly just made some embarrassing frowny-faces at the news. Then it turned out that not only was Mitch not really Rex's father, Roxy wasn't really Rex's mother! Then Rex and Gigi went on a tedious road trip to learn that, somehow, Rex is part Native American and was born to two randoms named Rick and Lily. All set? No! Rick and Lily were just a fake trail set up by ever-more-evil Clint to throw Rex off the scent of the truth: that Rex is really a Buchanan and is the son of Clint and Echo. Hey, show? Clint already has the following children: Cord, Kevin, Joey, Natalie, Jessica. That's enough. They don't even use two of those characters, so why make yet another child for Clint? And did anyone ever really give a shit who Rex's bio-dad is? And since Clint himself does realize that Rex is no prize, he's now blackmailed Echo into pretending poor Charlie is the father, so this is going to continue to drag on for lord knows how long. Can they please, please, pretty please make it so all this was an error and Charlie really is the dad? I cannot possibly deal with Charlie "losing" another son, nor can I deal with Clint and Rex ultimately bonding begrudgingly, years down the road. Enough.

Best Actor: Jerry Ver Dorn, One Life to Live

Clint

Clint's evolution into EvilClint this year has definitely divided viewers. I'm still on the fence about it -- I don't think even Asa would've gone this far, and I don't understand where it's coming from or how exactly all of his criminal acts are "protecting" the Buchanans (aside from having Ford beaten and attempting to ensure he wasn't listed as Jessica's babydaddy). But on the upside? Jerry ver Dorn has been rocking it from the very beginning. In January we all worried that he'd be played by Kim, but he turned it right around on her ("You know, it's fairly obvious to me that you're lookin' for a sugar daddy. Now then, if I'm gonna be the daddy, sooner or later we're gonna have to talk about the sugar.") which resulted in one of the most surprisingly hot couplings of the year: Clint and Kim. Since then, he's delved into each of Clint's disappointments and relished each of Clint's machinations with zest and aplomb (zest and aplomb? yeah, I'm one thousand years old all of a sudden, but somehow those words still seem most apt!). It might be hard watching Clint go down such a dark path, but it's freaking delightful watching Jerry ver Dorn nailing it the way he is.

Best Actress: Alicia Minshew, All My Children

Alicia Minshew spent much of 2010 off-screen, but she returned in a big way and got some of her best material ever. Zach died (...or did he?) and Kendall felt every emotion in the book. Minshew gave us shock, grief, fury, despair, strength and about a million little moments and tiny gestures in between, and all of it was so realistic--painfully realistic. If there was any justice in the world, she'd win an Emmy next year. Sadly, there is no justice in the world and there's a good chance that she won't even get nominated, but at least she can console herself with the knowledge that she is our pick for Best Actress. That's sort of like an Emmy, almost! And she didn't even need to sit through an awkward Regis Philbin comedy routine to get it. 

Best Newcomer: Chad Duell, General Hospital

It must have been daunting for Chad Duell to step into the role of Michael Corinthos. It was an abrupt recast, he'd be replacing an actor who received a ton of acclaim in the soap press, and he was immediately thrown into a heavy, front-burner story that saw him confess to murder and get sent to prison where he was possibly raped. But he rose to the occasion and then some: he's one of the most consistently fantastic performers on GH and, in one of the greatest shocks of the century, he's made Michael utterly sympathetic. When has Michael EVER been adorable and sympathetic?! Never, is the answer to that question. Not even when he was a baby! 

Most Sorely Missed Actor: David Canary, All My Children

It's been months since Adam's exit (again, we should take a moment and be thankful that he left Pine Valley alive!) and we probably should have come to terms with it, but we can't. AMC is simply not the same without Adam. And to make things worse, AMCis telling stories that Adam should be a huge part of. Imagine, if you will, a world where Adam was part of the "Who Killed David?" story. Or a world where he sparred with Caleb, and watched Annie and JR's sordid love blossom. Don't you LOVE that world?! Yes, yes, David Canary has more than earned the right to retire peacefully and spend his days doing whatever it is that he does with his free time (he seems like the type who has some seriously awesome hobbies), but we can't help but selfishly hope for him to make a triumphant return to Pine Valley.

Actor With The Most Media Outlets On Speed Dial: Eric Braeden, The Young and the Restless

Eric Braeden, having appeared on How I Met Your Mother as Robin's father once before, abruptly backed out of a second appearance. Neil Patrick Harris tweeted about it and called him a D-bag. Eric Braeden took offense. You know how we know that? Because he discussed it (at length, angrily, and with a wide variety of cantankerous old man phrases like "whippersnapper" and "he needs a spanking") with every available media entity: Entertainment Weekly, Deadline, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter. We were half expecting to hear a knock at the door and find Eric Braeden on our doorstep, mumbling about Neil Patrick Harris's lack of respect and angrily asking for a Werther's Original.

Best Recast: Daniel Cosgrove as Scott Chandler, All My Children

He only had about forty seconds of screentime in 2010, but bringing Daniel Cosgrove back as Scott Chandler was such a good move on the part of All My Children. Adam Mayfield tried his best with the writing he was given, but the show seemed to have no interest in Scott, which is a pity. He's Scott Chandler, for Lavery's sake! But Cosgrove is undeniably entertaining (we will forever love him based solely on his turn as Freddy on Dirty Sexy Money) and has charisma to spare, so even if the writers continue to ignore Scott (which would be foolish, with a high-profile actor in the role, but...that's also right up their alley), he'll manage to inject him with some personality.

Worst Recast: Eden Riegel, The Young and the Restless

All My Children viewers know that Eden Riegel is hugely talented; all you have to do is remind us of her reaction to Miranda's "death" and we get goosebumps. But WOW, is she the wrong actress for the part of Heather. And WOW, did the writers go overboard trying to get the audience to like her.

Most Criminally Underused Actress: Ilene Kristen, One Life to Live


Roxy

 

What's it going to take to get Roxy a little love? She learned that she had a son she never knew about and had all of about three days to interact with him, and then she practically disappeared for the remainder of the year. How is she not a major player in Natalie's story? In Rex's story? The woman brings life to every scene she's in (seriously, even John McBain is awake when he talks to Roxy) and they almost never use her. Ever. Must we all just write fan-fiction in our heads about her spending the majority of her time with her best friend Kyle, his boyfriend Fish, and their adorable baby?

Best Soap Child: What do they put in the water in Port Charles because seriously, the cutest!

Cam 
Joss 

Emma 

From Cameron to Emma to Fat-Headed Joss, we find ourselves hoping that this generation of Port Charles residents is never SORASed.

Worst Soundbite From A Show-Runner: Bob Guza Disses Claire Labine and Speaks Poetically About The Beauty of Love Taking Place Amidst Strewn Bodies and Shootouts

We described Bob Guza's interview with Nelson Branco as what would happen if "delusion, arrogance and simple-mindedness combined to form a mutant offspring with zero redeeming qualities". Months later, we read things like this:

Guza on Claire Labine: She’s a classic example. Stone’s death was a great story — but that’s all she had. As a result, not only did the show dip in the numbers, there was nothing to pick the story up.

And that:

TVG: In a few sentences, what’s the identity of GH today?
RG: [long pause] Wow. It’s almost like love amongst the ruins. Love against the backdrop of violence, despair, and death.

And we STILL can't wrap our heads around it. We know we're angry about it, though.

Best Soap Tribute: All My Children Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary, All My Children

AMC turned 40 and celebrated in style, scoring a panel at the New York Times Arts and Leisure Weekend and bringing back a variety of beloved (Hayley! Brooke! PALMER!) and "Oh, right, you were once on this show, too" (Lily!) characters to take part in a special anniversary episode. Yes, it was a little gimmicky to frame the anniversary like it was a documentary being filmed to celebrate Pine Valley's title as the Best Town In America and it was more than a little ridiculous to include "Pine Valley" and "Best" in the same statement, but how can we argue against an hour of television that gave me Brooke and Erica sniping at each other, the way God intended, and Hayley bitchfacing and FLASHBACKS of Adam's many marriages and Erica's life as a pint-sized cover girl?!

Fame 

Magazines 

Brookeadam 

All kinds of awesome.

Worst Soap Tribute: The Daytime Emmy Awards

If you were looking for an evening showcasing some of the greatest has-beens and never-weres in 70s and 80s history, the Daytime Emmys were your ticket to paradise. Erik Estrada, Chubby Checker and David Copperfield (no, really) did their thing in between Regis Philbin's botched attempts at joke-making and thinly disguised commercials for Las Vegas. It was like a two hour long standing ovation to the year 1983. Honoring the year in soaps? That didn't so much happen.

Duh Face of The Year: Sonny Corinthos, General Hospital

It's almost unfair, really, to make this a category, because Sonny and Maurice Benard so routinely trounce the competition.

Duhface 

Duhface1 

The man is in it to win it.

Most Offensive Soap Moment: Todd's Airquotes, One Life To Live

Remember how Todd was the ringleader of Marty's gang-rape all those years ago? Well, he raped her again a couple years back. And claimed to feel horrible about it again. And then in January he referred to this re-rape, chuckled, and used AIR QUOTES.

Airquotes 
What else is there to say?

Most "What's That Feeling? Oh, It's My Skin Crawling" Moment: Claire Propositions Sonny, General Hospital

Milehigh 

How can something be completely juvenile AND deserving of a TV-MA rating all at once?

Most Insane Hair: TIE! Lisa Niles and Ronnie Dimestico, General Hospital

Lisa's hair ranges from teased and ridiculous to greasy and unkempt.

Lisapouf 
LisagreasyBrianna Brown should sue.

Ronnie's hair is...look at it:

Ronniehair 
Ronnie Marmo, you need an intervention, and it seems like this task has fallen on the shoulders of some cranky soap bloggers. Please imagine us saying this in the sternest voices imaginable: shoe polish does not belong on one's head.

Most Disappointing Show: The Young and the Restless

The Young and the Restless used to be the crown jewel of daytime and a show that Mallory truly loved. You may have noticed a substantial drop off in Y&R posts this year and that's because we realized: we don't care anymore. The show veers wildly from mind-numbingly dull to embarrassingly campy, and the characters are complete cartoons. If you squint, you can maybe see a brief resemblance to a character that you once knew and loved, but for the most part, it's a cast of brand new (and poorly written) characters engaged in silly (and poorly written stories). It's unwatchable. We used to say we’d watch Peter Bergman read the phone book; we used to mean it as hyperbole, but now it actually seems much more entertaining than watching his show.

Best Show: TIE! As The World Turns and The Bold & The Beautiful

We're sure something soapy and awesome and high-quality happened in daytime this year. It just didn't happen on any of the shows we watch. So congratulations, As The World Turns (RIP) and The Bold & The Beautiful! As far as we're concerned, you are officially better than All My Children, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and One Life to Live. That is damning with the faintest of praise but, hey, a compliment is a compliment.

Divider

We struggled for a ridiculously long time trying to figure out which show was the best, but the easiest category of all this year, as always, was Best Readers. We are so, so lucky to have the best readers in the blogosphere and can't thank you enough for reading, commenting, emailing and being your smart, hilarious selves (we also know you well enough to know that A LOT of you will disagree with many of these picks. Share your take with us in the comments!). 2010 was an insane year for us behind the scenes: jobs were all kinds of crazy, one of us finished her Master's program, and life threw a few curveballs our way, so some soap coverage dropped off the face of the blog. We are confident that 2011 will be a little calmer, and are so looking forward to another year of soap bitching with all of you! Happy New Year, all!

Comments

The worse GH gets (do we always have to celebrate the holidays/new year with some sort of violent tragedy that puts half the town, through completely convoluted artifice, in danger together?), the sadder I am about the demise of ATWT. They did such a terrific job of utilizing their vets and focusing on storylines that seemlessly incorporated the teens and kids as well. It's something the ABC soaps (esp. GH) just can't seem to manage. I'm still baffled that ATWT was canceled and GH is still on the air.

Hey, I read this blog religiously but I usually don't post. But I just want to say: Thank you for making me laugh even as my beloved soaps go down the drain ...

Keep up the excellent work!

Ah, it's so wonderful to see new fans of Jerry Van Dorn. If one good thing could come from GL's slow death and cancellation, it's people like him getting work.

I'm old enough to remember when he was EVAL Ross before he become a pillar of the community. He can so do it!

And he can also play the December in a May/December romance so well!

How about most overused promo in the history of promo advertising - BRENDA'S RETURN TO GH!!! They showed those ads 24/7, not just on ABC and during soap hours but ON EVERY OTHER CHANNEL AND HOUR IN BETWEEN! During the news, football games, Sesame Street, bad Lifetime movies. I swear to God, I was sure I could escape if I watched Sharktopus on the SciFi channel, but DAMNED if I didn't see one there, too!!

I was sick of Brenda before she ever returned to the show.

At least in the promos, she wasn't dressing like she was trying to attract pedophiles.

JJ's overacting and Lucky screaming misogynistic names to Elizabeth was not must see TV.

Guza on Claire Labine: She’s a classic example. Stone’s death was a great story — but that’s all she had. As a result, not only did the show dip in the numbers, there was nothing to pick the story up.
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Ha! Ha! Ha! Guza's just ticked that he can't write a "sleazy Niz" type affair with Patrick/Robin/Matt because of Robin's HIV status.

Great, but, aww, nothing about the triumphant return of Vivian Alamain to Salem?

anne scott jr marissia arc was great only problem was scott can not act and the problem with amc no storyes for randi frankie bianca angie /jake amanda/ most of year for these too marissia was on show for long time so leave her alone abc should have pull plug for the writer after this

He did NOT say Neil Patrick Harris needed a spanking! For real?! Oh,:bitter chuckle:, Eric Braeden, how I hate thee-and I don't even WATCH Y&R.

I'd say there's not even a LORD of the douchepeople for 2010 but, rather, a whole Parliament of them-w/Ryan Lavery, Bob Guza, Eric Braeden, Jason Morgan, Sonny Corinthos, and Patrick Drake taking the chief seats of power, of course.

Take heart, GH fans-if things DO get worse in 2011, at least we know the show will be cancelled, and we shall at least have our memories.

Johnny Dimera for best soap child ever...

Although I don't watch YY&R, I remember watching it whenever I went to visit my grandmother. My sister and I introduced my niece to Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter, and who is in the pilot episode as a German Nazi pilot but Eric Braeden! He may be of Germanic ancestry, but his accent is...not.

I have to disagree on Most Delightful New Couple and Best Wedding. I would have given both of those to Billy and Victoria on Y&R. They were so fun and just a joy to watch all year. I never stop smiling during their scenes! Also, their wedding had humor and drama and all the elements that make a soap wedding great. Loved it (well all except the Victor getting Victoria arrested part)!

"JJ's overacting and Lucky screaming misogynistic names to Elizabeth was not must see TV."

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Seconded!

I guess I'm on the side that the confrontation re: Elizabeth/Nikolas is one of the worst in comparison to what I consider one far better (DOL) Parker reveal...I'm sorry I can't champion it as a best when its so favored; I mean Nikolas and Elizabeth had no dialog they just stood there being yelled at

...and what is so great about stumbling upon them in the most unimaginative way possible..

ole way he sees them at Wyndemere when in comparison the Parker (DOL)reveal. It was clear to me it was written for one to shine (Lucky). DOL is far superior to a weepy red rimmed eyed Lucky spitting at them and it was so clear storywise he was being written to garner the sympathy card (and an emmy reel). The story didn't even make sense it was so badly written Elizabeth nor Nik knew why they were runting..at least on DOL they had a reason other than Oops we did it again.

They didn't even finish the storyline out re: the paternity switch Lucky finding out that Aiden's really is his it was terrible storytelling.

Wait wait wait! Victor and Maggie are a couple?! The fuck...? And who the hell is Chad, and why does he have to be Stefano's son?

I think I watched a total of 2 episodes in 2010. I actually want to start watching regularly again, but I've found it really hard to get back into the swing of things.

Oh guys is you did watch a little of Days Johnny Dimera is the best soap child ever..i mean i heart the GH children but really the twins who play Johnny Dimera are real gem..seriously they have i don't know maybe 5 years old in real life and they can carry a storyline..it is really impressive..
I agree with you though about Sami and no it is not Sweeney it is certainly the writing because the girl had some great acting during the fallout of her storylines.
As for the worst new family i vote for the Hernandez siblings they are worse than the Fords, at least some Fords actors have some life whereas the Hernandez are so monotone and dull..except maybe the sister Ari but they killed her..anyway..lol
As for best actor i go for Jerry Ver Dorn and Jonathan Jackson but James Scott was also very good (see the Ej/Sami wedding confrontation and above all Ej's suicidal breakdown..outstanding..).
Otherwise i mostly agree with all your choices.

I agree with so interesting that it is completely possible to create the desired world within SL, despite the underlying topological choice,actually its a good subject to explore.

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