Bold and the Beautiful
The Daytime Emmy nominations will be announced May 4 so it's time to do some handicapping! Will CBS' The Bold and the Beautiful score a nod in the best soap race and go on to win an unprecedented fourth award in a row? Will ABC's axed soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live, have the last laugh? Will NBC's Days of Our Lives ever get some respect? TV Guide Magazine took a look at each of the episodes submitted for the Outstanding Daytime Drama prize by the six qualifying soaps (the hour shows selected two episodes, half-hour B&B got to pick four). Here's how they stack up.
All My Children: The show wisely chose its final two hours, a heartfelt homage to new life and fresh beginnings (Stuart is back from the dead! Angie can see! Adam proposes to Brooke!) topped by a champagne toast to Pine Valley by Tad that was sweet, unbearably sad, utterly perfect. Not everything tied up nicely. Erica postponed her marriage to Jack to pursue her Hollywood dreams and he dumped her, Rhett Butler-style. And JR went on a full-boil alcoholic rampage ("My son's not getting raised by lesbians!") and fired a shot in the final moment of the show as the screen went to black. Did he kill his ex-wife? Her lover? His father? Himself? We were supposed to learn who lived and died when AMC moved to the internet but, due to the collapse of that dream, we'll never know the outcome. Both wildly frustrating and deeply satisfying, this was a finale for the record books.
Chance of a nomination: Good but, given the stiff competition this year, not a sure thing.
Days of Our Lives: Sorry, not great news here. Episode 1 has John about to go on trial so his adoring friends and family gather at the Brady Pub for one last love-in before they head to the courthouse. It's a low-key hour, with the characters mostly shooting the s--t and killing time — nothing at all screams Emmy — until an assassin with hilariously bad aim shoots several rounds into the pub hitting absolutely no one. Sami's tyke, Johnny, disappears during the gunfire and that sets up episode 2 (presumably the real Emmy bait) where Sami and Johnny's dad EJ, whom Sami hates, suddenly have hot, thrusting, head-banging grief sex because they think Johnny's dead. Huh? This never made a lick o' sense, but it was a deliciously trashy event — witnessed by Sami's son Will — that kept the soap on fire for months. Trophy worthy? No way.
Chance of a nomination: Days will have to sit it out until next year. Will's coming-out story has Emmy written all over it.
General Hospital: Two absolutely splendid submissions. In the first, Carly and Jax find out their infant, Josslyn, has a rare form of cancer and is in dire need of new kidneys. At the very same time, little Jake is put on life support after being run over by his grandfather, Luke. Carly must go to the child's grieving birth dad Jason (a remarkably moving Steve Burton) and ask him for the organs. Episode 2 has several characters — Tracy, Lucky, Carly, Ethan, Sonny, Nikolas — holding Luke hostage and staging an intervention. Stubbornly insisting he's not an alcoholic, Luke takes full responsibility for Jake's death but refuses to blame it away on liquor. Tony Geary's performance is raw, ballsy and profound and the rest of the cast isn't far behind. Oh, and say what you will about head writer Bob Guza, who was much maligned by fans and is no longer with the show. He did a splendid job here.
Chance of a nomination: This is the one to beat.
One Life to Live: The show did a curious (and probably savvy) thing by asking the judges to view its two submissions out of sequence. First up is the hour from last December where everyone in Llanview (even badass Clint) is suddenly nuts about the TV soap Fraternity Row, an outta-nowhere twist that gave OLTL a chance to lovingly spoof our obsession with soaps and skewer the foolish suits at ABC for destroying them. Riddled with every cliché in the suds 101 handbook — "Happy is boring!" gripes Roxy in defense of Fraternity's over-the-top dramatics — it's a delightful bit of satire likely to score with any judge who ever toiled in daytime drama. The show's second submission was the Valentine's 2011 show that exploded with shocking reveals — Jess slept with Ford! Brody is the father of Natalie's baby! Charlie isn't Rex's father, Clint is! In fact, there were so many feverish developments it's laughable, but this was damn fine overkill. Plus, the opportunity to honor this wrongly cancelled soap may be impossible to resist.
Chance of a nomination: Excellent. This was stellar work done during extremely trying times. The work of champs.
The Bold and the Beautiful: A bizarrely mixed bag of sexist cheese and social consciousness that may work out to the soap's benefit. The first two episodes find rivals Hope and Steffy in a race to the top of a mountain in Aspen where they each hope to land Liam, the man of their dreams. The location footage is lovely and all misty-moody but the situation is soap-opera ludicrous, especially when Steffy phones hotshot mogul Bill Spencer a thousand miles away in L.A. and demands that he stop Hope's gondola midair — and he does! The next two episodes have Stephanie, the show's social crusader, visiting a group home for kids who've aged out of the foster-care system and have nowhere else to go. Their conversations are revelatory, Susan Flannery (who deserves another Emmy for these eps), is magnificent and the real-life kids couldn't be cooler or more inspiring. Guaranteed to make you cry buckets, this is B&B at its best.
Chance of a nomination: The group-home episodes are so strong the judges will overlook the Aspen silliness. Besides, versatility should count for something. What other soap is so high-minded and low-brow?
The Young and the Restless: What the hell were they thinking? Y&R submitted its pretentious film-noir episode from the "Who Killed Diane?" plot in which the corpse narrates — in snoozy detail — how pretty much everyone in Genoa City had reason to kill her. It is, in a word, endless. Episode 2 is yet another been-there-done-that Christmas Eve riff on "It's a Wonderful Life," this time with Nikki arriving too late for her daughter's wedding. The church is empty except for a guardian angel who takes Nikki through a series of vintage flashbacks (always a cheat in Emmy reels) to show her she's not the hopeless loser-boozer she thinks she is. Melody Thomas Scott was, as always, fantastic, but the hour was severely hampered by the dreadful, Farrah Fawcett-tressed actress who played the angel, clearly a friend of one of the higher-ups at Y&R (there's no other explanation for the inept casting). How the mighty have fallen.
Chance of a nomination: It's going to take a Christmas miracle.
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