Drake Hogestyn by Chris Haston/NBC
I knew we were in for a bumpy ride when All My Children started the year by murdering Dixie - the show's heart and soul - with a plate of poisoned pancakes. But hey, that meant more airtime for Zarf, a rude, suffocatingly hammy, penis-flashing transgender rock star who fell in love with Pine Valley's saintly lesbian Bianca. Appropriately, fans on the Internet named the couple "Barf."

In a pathetic attempt to boost ratings, Days of our Lives pretended to kill its most popular male character, John, played by Drake Hogestyn. Even the cast was fooled. But with the Nielsens staying flat, Hogestyn is now back at work and we're left to wonder: How the hell can we ever invest in Days again?

General Hospital viewers had a fit and threatened to stop watching when heartthrob Jax was held hostage and forced into sex by a loony Russian chick. Meanwhile, they didn't seem to mind when a Port Charles strangler killed three women.

Things that made me cringe: Constantine Maroulis on The Bold and the Beautiful; the weepy judges on I Wanna Be a Soap Star; the As the World Turns plot that had Alison - a former porn star and meth addict - offering to donate her eggs so Gwen could get pregnant. But nothing outgrossed Passions' evil hermaphrodite, Vincent, who seduced his own father and wound up pregnant. Not even Nip/Tuck had the nerve to try that.

It was also the year that the Daytime Emmys - plagued by ballot problems, some very suspicious winners and an insulting telecast - officially became irrelevant. As Mario Cantone noted on The View: "It's the only show where people you've never heard of win awards nobody gives a crap about." Being a true-blue soap nut, I should have been outraged by that remark. Except I had to agree.

Lastly, can't we go back to the way things were on The Young and the Restless? Please, we're begging ya, CBS! Under its late, great creator Bill Bell, this hallmark soap was hypnotic, elegant, so romantic it made you woozy, and often so emotionally powerful it felt like it was hitting you way down in your DNA. Not anymore. Under head writer/executive producer Lynn Marie Latham - who seems to have a weird need to mess with success - Y&R is FUBAR and limped through 2007 a sad, hollow, boring, pointless mess. The big questions: Why would the suits at CBS allow this to happen? And what are they going to do about it now?