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« A Brief Detour into the Land of Not So Bad | Main | Our Latest Soap Opera Digest Column »

August 26, 2009

Countdown to the Emmys: Day 4

It's time to look at the Supporting Actresses, a category filled with four actresses we know and love (no disrespect to Bree Williamson; we just don't know her, but we're sure the OLTL viewers will have lots to say).


Tamara Braun (ex-Ava, Days Of Our Lives)

Our Take: Back before she headed to Pine Valley and assaulted AMC viewers with the character of Reese, Tamara Braun was pretty much note perfect as the crazy Ava on Days of Our Lives. Her psychotic breakdown, and moments of genuine pain and heartbreak, make this a pretty fabulous, entertaining reel. Plus, the gallery of "What fresh hell?" facial expressions on Bo, Hope, Steve and Kayla is enlessly enjoyable.

You know the drill: after the jump, watch the other actresses, vote, and then immediately change your mind because you can't choose which deserving actress deserves it most.

Melissa Claire Egan (Annie, All My Children)

Our Take: What else does Ryan Lavery fail at? Being on someone's Emmy reel. The first part of MCE's submission, where she confesses all of her sins to Ryan, is dull. She tries her best to sell it, but Cameron Mathison doesn't give her much to work with, and we're left with a loooooong monologue without any real emotion in it. Damn it, Ryan! Must you ruin everything?! When the ghost of Richie comes in to taunt his sister, things get considerably more awesome, as things always do when Billy Miller is involved, and she's given a chance to show voters what she's really capable of.

Alicia Minshew (Kendall, All My Children)

Our Take: Mallory wishes that she knew Alicia Minshew and had finagled a position as her official Emmy reel submission consultant, because this was not a great choice. It's not at all a bad performance, but the episode was just not a good way, in terms of quality (those were dark AMC days!) and ability to highlight what a good actress she is. Once her scenes finally get moving, she is predictably good (she excels at quiet and vulnerable), but you have to sit through quite a few flashbacks to get there. AM is completely deserving of Emmy recognition, but maybe this clip (or this category, for that matter) wasn't the best way to showcase that.

Julie Pinson (Janet, As The World Turns)

Our Take: We love Julie Pinson, and consider her quite underrated. Her scenes are very good, if kind of boring at the start, and she gives a nuanced, natural performance. But her competition submitted scenes with much more fireworks, so she might get lost in the shuffle.

Bree Williamson (Jessica, One Life to Live)

Our Take: PURE SOAP. The hysteria, the rage, the grief, the...shrieking. It's not at all subtle, but it's very, very entertaining and Bree Williamson completely went for it.


This is the category I am tuning in for. I will likely have a nervous breakdown if Bree Williamson doesn't win.

Don't get me wrong, I think every one of these nominees is a great actress (okay, I'm lying, I actually don't think Alicia Minshew is much of an actress, but she works b/c she's an on-screen charisma factory). In fact, I think Tamara Braun is definitely one of the best two or three actresses in daytime easily. But I have really never seen anything like the performance Williamson turned in for Nash's death and especially funeral, in a soap or anywhere else (though there aren't too many other mediums that would ASK for that kind of performance). I think the only possible factor against her would be that some voters might think they're being asked to reward yet another performer for playing more than one person(ality) or for playing crazy, but I really hope it's clear from her Emmy reel (and I imagine it would be to anyone who really watched it in consideration) that this Emmy would be for her heartwrenching performance as a lost, rageful, and grieving Jessica.

Personally, I think that though Bree Williamson may be on her game in her Emmy reels (I'm too lazy to watch those scenes again, so I can't recall for sure), I've had to sit through too many "performances" of hers in the past year that I've found, let's just say lacking. I couldn't tell you which made me throw more things at my TV: her "boo hoo hoo" crying (which could give GH's Nik & Em a run in the snot department) or her blandly robotic monotone as emotionless Bess.

In all fairness, though, the writing for her has been mostly horrible since they killed Nash. And the horribleness was made more obvious by the fact that TIIC killed off the best new charcter in years (Nash) but then blantantly ripped off the original DID storyline that Erika Slezak (Viki) played so effing brilliantly in 1995. Even the best stars pale in comparison to Ms. Slezak, and Bree Williamson is nowhere near her league.

I no longer watch any of the shows the other nominees come from, so I can't compare and contrast, but I've always liked them all, especially the (highly underrated) Julie Pinson.

Oh... man. Bree's performances as Jessica during Nash's death and the aftermath had me weeping daily in the way that really good dramatic soap is supposed to.

Hell, I didn't even think I cared that much about Nash but this storyline proved me wrong... plus, it included Dorian and her fabulous hat and the entire Buchanan clan and their business.

Good good stuff. So good, I didn't even mind that they were tearing apart my favorite couple (again!) at the time. What came after this dragged on way too long and got way too stupid but these scenes were great.

Very strong reel for Bree. As you all said Pure Soap. My friend barely watches OLTL and did not like Nash or Jessica at all when she did watch...and Bree's performance had her in tears.

This is going to be a tough one to go..all the actresses did great and there is not one WTF in the bunch. I'd be ok with any of them really. I'm giving the edge to Bree Williamson

well bree williamson isnt much for subtlty. she pierced my eardrums that summer. she'll win, of course, but i think this was her peak. the tess trying to killing jared/natalie stuff that followed was so dumb bob guza would approve. lately she's been back to bugging her eyes out of her head too much for me to take her seriously.

"things get considerably more awesome, as things always do when Billy Miller is involved"

On AMC, yes.

The only time I really liked Annie was with Aidan, so I wonder if that relationship colored my opinion of MCE's work at the time. She's OK but she isn't that great lately.

Tamara Braun was very good as Ava, and she may have some industry pity for the AMC fiasco. I think she will win.

I know I'm totally biased, but if Tamara Braun wins for her stint as Ava (and these submissions are really quite excellent) she should give a big shoutout to Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans. Not just because they were definitely giving their all in these scenes (particularly Mary Beth) but also because Tamara's Ava got all the great scenes while Steve and Kayla got squat out of this storyline.

I picked TB, but I have to admit I'm biased because I watched her on GH for years as Carly and really loved what she brought to that role. Watching her play Ava was great fun. Part crazy, part vulnerable, party hilarious, part bitch and part strong all rolled up into one.

I've never watched OLTL, but Bree's clips were also entertaining. However, the shrieking got to me after a while.

Julie's performance was the most subtle but still really interesting and strong. Out of all the clips, her clip made me want to tune in tomorrow.

Finally, the AMC clips were lack luster. I don't even watch AMC but I saw clips from later in the year (during the Reese and Bianca stuff) that were much more interesting and entertaining then the clip they choose for AM.

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