Best Soap: One Life to LiveIt started the year utterly crappy thanks to head writer Dena Higley, but after Erika Slezak (our hero!) royally blasted Higley on the Web, ABC fired the scribe and promoted wonder boy Ron Carlivati. Like magic, the show instantly regained its heart, its thrills, its smarts. The cast is a dream, especially Slezak, whose Viki found heaven in a Texas diner, Catherine Hickland as crazy (or is she?) Lindsay and Tuc Watkins as that gold-digging man-whore David. Once again, we're loving Life!Best Actress: The Young and the Restless' Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki)As the distraught mama faced with divorce and a comatose daughter, she pulled out all the stops, then pulled out a few more we never knew existed. This was deep, blistering work. Plus the lady gets extra points for acting sans makeup on high-def TV!Best Actor: As the World Turns' Jon Hensley (Holden)His quiet, no-baloney performance was a relief in a year of so much male showboating. Whether playing Holden'...
Do soap operas really rot your brain like our parents warned us? A study published in the Southern Medical Journal reveals that elderly female soap fans ranked poorly in tests of memory, attention and mental quickness. However, that doesn't mean these viewers' love of daytime TV caused their cognitive decline; it might only be a symptom. Researchers suspect that seniors whose minds are already impaired may just find it easier to watch shows that involve "parasocial relationships," meaning that viewers at home feel a daily emotional connection to the people on screen.
Hmm... well, thanks to my job, I spend several hours a day watching my soaps, and this reporter's mind remains razor sharp and attentive, thank you very much. That said, I will concede that I feel emotionally connected to Days of our Lives' Austin Peck — especially whenever he takes off his shirt, which is often, god love him. Maybe those scientists should quit scrutinizi