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SOD Best & Worst -- 1985
Topic Started: Nov 8 2009, 11:57 AM (900 Views)
Matt
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Beginning a series of postings in this thread reliving what Soap Opera Digest deemed the Best & the Worst of soaps in 1985, transcribed from the SOD issue cover dated January 14, 1986


WHAT HAPPENED IN 1985?

It was a year of romance. Social issues took a back seat to it, a few treasure hunts (thankfully!) took a back seat to it, even espionage stories took a back seat to it. Soap opera went back to its roots and told stories about couples finding each other and struggling to stay together.

The best part of this wave was the backlash beginning to be felt toward all those young-love story lines. While ratings remained high on ALL MY CHILDREN, this office received quite a few letters complaining about all those front-burner, teen story lines. What about Pheobe? they asked. What about Ruth and Joe? Toward the end of the year, Erica Kane was once again embroiled in a love affair -- this time with a fascinating Frenchman -- but it took a long time for AMC to get their minds off eighteen-year-olds. Yes, teens should have storylines, but not the only story lines.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES, often criticized for their indulgence in young love, brought us a fascinating story: a wealthy, very handsome and sophisticated crime boss (Victor Kiriakis) became passionately obsessed, not with some blonde tootsie, but with a housewife and mother of four adult children. Hurray to the writers, producers, and actors who helped us feel Carolyn and Victor's sexual tension and reminded us that lust doesn't happen just to kids.

Perhaps with the success of prime time's GOLDEN GIRLS, as well as the nighttime soaps which show people over 40 leading exciting, passionate and interesting lives, the daytime shows will once again remember who the meat and potatoes of their audience are (hint: they're not twelve-year-olds), and give the more mature and more experienced actors something to work with.

Soap operas have never really been ground-breakers when it comes to dealing with socially relevent issues. Instead, they let stories seep into the news where they're later captured in a movie-of-the-week, and then, if those movies get good Nielsens, daytime might pick up the story. It would be fascinating if that cycle changed. While the troubles in South Africa, Ethiopia and fear of AIDS dominated headlines, you'd never know it to watch the daytime and prime time soaps. If, in fact, these characters inhabit the same planet we do, it would be interesting to see them struggle with the same issues. Frankly, many of us are tired of seeing storylines that deal with teenage pregnancy and substance abuse -- they ahve been dealt with and dealt with for years. We would like to see something contemporary.

To that end, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS proved it was an Emmy winner in more ways than one by dealing with the matter of adult illiteracy, a major problem in this country. And they did it in a way that blended perfectly into the fabric of the soap, instead of making a red alert statement.

1985 was the year that saw the demise of PAPER DOLLS, BERRENGERS, and RITUALS, all shows that were born in the 1984-1985 season. Does that prove television is no longer willing to get involved with another soap? We are not sure, but with THE COLBYS coming on soon after this copy goes to press, we should have a better idea.

DYNASTY was a major disappointment to many viewers last season, although their ratings were stronger than ever. The soap nabbed celebrities including the late Rock Hudson and Ali MacGraw, proving that "stars" felt DYNASTY was a fashionable (and lucrative) show to do. But their storylines were ultimately silly and stilted.

On the other hand, DALLAS, FALCON CREST, and KNOTS LANDING served up smashing stories that kept us riveted to the screen. From the search for Val's babies on KNOTS LANDING, to the sensative handling of Sue Ellen's alcoholism and Bobby's death on DALLAS, to the humor and love injected into FALCON CREST, all three shows seemed to grow and improve.

We were all saddened in 1985 by the deaths of two daytime queens. Charita Bauer and Kay Campbell both began on their respective shows many years ago, and both will be sorely missed by the viewers of GUIDING LIGHT and ALL MY CHILDREN. Rock Hudson passed away this year, but the courage and openness he displayed in discussing his disease, making all of us more aware of AIDS, will be remembered a long. long time.

Donna Reed left DALLAS and Barbara Bel Geddes came back in a flurry of controversy; Taylor Miller, the original Nina on ALL MY CHILDREN, came back to daytime as Sally Frame on ANOTHER WORLD; and Roscoe Born, who was adored as Joe Novak on RYAN'S HOPE, skipped over to PAPER DOLLS< then found a temporary home as Mitch Lawrence on ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Morgan Fairchild took off for FALCON CREST, Dane Witherspoon, whose experience on SANTA BARBARA was frustrating, found a role on CAPITOL, and Kristen Meadows returned to ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Michael Zaslow left that soap, and Apollonia Kotero was invited to play herself on FALCON CREST. Thaao Penghlis left DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Tristan Rogers, Emma Samms, and Brian Patrick Clarke left GENERAL HOSPITAL, Mark LaMura left ALL MY CHILDREN, James Kiberd left LOVING, and Vincent Irizarry left GUIDING LIGHT.

Michael Wilding, Jr. came to GUIDING LIGHT, and with his British accent and smoldering sensuality, made Jackson Freemont a character we were drawn to. Ava Gardner spiced up KNOTS LANDING and Joe Lambie, who works everywhere, brought his considerable style and depth to SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.

The couples who captured out hearts were the non-teens once again. Kyle and Reva on GUIDING LIGHT seethed with passion, AS THE WORLD TURNS's Margo and Tom shared intelligent humor, and GENERAL HOSPITAL's Robert and Holly were still able to keep a good marriage interesting television viewing.

Weddings were in full bloom (especially during ratings sweeps periods), and the ones that were most fun to watch were Bo and Hope's on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Mindy and Kurt's on GUIDING LIGHT, Val and Ben's on KNOTS LANDING, and Jimmy Lee and Celia's on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

GENERAL HOSPITAL became the first daytime show to introduce a full-fledged Asian storyline, giving work to a group of actors who rarely receive front-burner storylines (let alone roles!). While Frisco and Felicia were fun to watch, the love story of Ginny and Rick was moving, and Judith Chapman's fine acting must be singled out. John Reilly brought spice, wit and sophistication to the role of Sean Donely, and everyone was writing us about the split-up of Holly and Scorpio, combined with the arrival of Anna Devane. Finola Hughes proved to be exceptional in a job that was almost impossible -- asking the viewers to accept her as a "good guy."

ONE LIFE TO LIVE revived their old Niki/Viki storyline. While the idea of it inspired yawns, this was one of the few times where the sequel was better than the original. Erika Slezak was riveting not only in her portrayal of a woman with a multiple personality, but as Viki being Niki, pretending to be Viki. Don't ask. You only need to know it worked, and worked because of Slezak's fine talent. The storyline was made all the better when Andrea Evans returned to ONE LIFE TO LIVE as Tina Clayton. Her acting was never better.

With MIAMI VICE and MOONLIGHTING being two of the most talked about prime time series this season, it should be interesting to see how their themes infiltrate the soaps. Of course, we are listening to more rock music on daytime. And didn't Bo and Shane, DAYS's major super sleuths, just head down to Miami to catch a thief? What other characters, we wonder, might soon be dressed in tee shirts, Italian sports jackets, and no socks in search of criminals?

Then there is the business of MOONLIGHTING, ABC's classy show with outstanding writing and two characters who seethe with sexual tension and exchange snappy repartee. AS THE WORLD TURNS created that a long time ago with Tom and Margo, and ANOTHER WORLD had it was Cass and Kathleen. We like snappy repartee. And if each show wants to have their own Maddie and David (MOONLIGHTING's characters), we won't mind. Couples who are bright, charismatic and witty are always a pleasure to watch. But listen, any copycat producers, writers, networke executives or soap company owners out there: if you decide to create such characters, we would appreciate it if one isn't a model who looks like Cybill Shepard and the other isn't a detective agency owner who looks like Bruce Willis. A little ingenuity, folks. Please.
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Matt
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BEST WEDDINGS


BO & HOPE, DAYS OF OUR LIVES
Last year, we wondered if Bo Brady and Hope Williams would ever get married. Did they? And how! It wasn't your basic, small, hometown affair. Noooo. First, they helped save British royalty from extermination by the Dragon and were rewarded with a magnificent wedding -- in England.

Friends and family were flown across the Atlantic for the celebration, complete with choir. Bo looked unusually dapper (though he didn't get a haircut) and Hope was as beautiful as ever (assisted by a $20,000 gown). The groom did have to escape from the police and steal a horse to get to the church on time, and psycho Emma Donovan did try to assassinate the newlyweds right after the ceremony. And, oh yes, Mr. and Mrs. Brady did spend their wedding night in adjoining prison cells, but what the heck. Bo and Hope have never been a traditional couple -- except for the singular love and devotion they feel for one another.


BEN & VALENE GIBSON, KNOTS LANDING
Although some might say this marriage is a mistake -- has Val really gotten Gary out of her system, will she ever be able to? -- we believe this union is a good one. Valene has certainly had her share of tragedy over the years and the time has come for her to experience a little joy, a little tranquility. Ben Gibson is the man who will help make this happen. Ben loves Val unconditionally. He's willing to raise her twins as his own. He is someone she can love, trust, and lean on. Theirs is a nurturing relationship and hopefully, one that will be long and happy.


MINDY & KURT CORDAY, GUIDING LIGHT
It was true love for Mindy. She adored Kurt Corday despite his four-letter affliction: he was poor. Soon after Kurt proposed, Mindy stumbled upon a stash of stolen cash which she secretly used to finance a lavish wedding. Her fairytale ceremony was complete when the groom picked up the wrong wedding attire and would up outfitted as royalty. In typical Lewis fashion, though, the picture-perfect occaision ended in chaos when the father of the bride whipped out a pistol and shot David Preston, and Mindy began her honeymoon in jail!
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MOST DISAPPOINTING SHOW


ALL MY CHILDREN
The relentlessly juvenile Tad-Hillary-Bob storyline was one of the many reasons ALL MY CHILDREN had such a disappointing year. Equally tiresome was teh cat and mouse game played by Erica and Adam. You never believed that they threatened each other the way you always do with John Dixon and Lucinda Walsh on AS THE WORLD TURNS. (Bringing Jeremy Hunter on the show was a big help because here is a man that Erica Kane finally can't have.) Their big murder mystery -- Who killed Zach Grayson? -- turned out to be a big bust. No one directly involved in the pornography/blackmail subplot -- Nina, Cynthia, Ross, Daisy, or Palmer -- was responsible. The writers spent months building up the suspense only to have a remote possibility -- Marion Colby -- pan out. Big deal. The call girl storyline with Tad and Dottie thinking anyone would take them seriously as detectives went on far too long and took far too many bizarre twists. Michael Knight and Tasia Valenza did not help carry the story when th writing was weak. Stretching credibility to its thinnest extreme was AMC's biggest problem this year; everyone's problems could have easily have been solved by a few hours in a playpen with pacifiers in their mouths.
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BEST LOVE STORIES


ROBERT & HOLLY SCORPIO, GENERAL HOSPITAL
There is no Xanadu; no Great Pumpkin; no tooth fairy. And no perfect marriage. GENERAL HOSPITAL emphatically proved this point in 1985, when the soaps' "only happily married couple" was torn asunder.

Until now, each storm weathered by Robert & Holly Scorpio only served to bring them closer. Life was a challenge faced together. The emergence of his ex-wife Anna Devane uncovered lies, secrets, deceptions, guilt. But no matter how dark and bleak the situation became -- Holly leaving her husband to flee to England, Robert teaming with Anna (and pretending to be lovers) to fight Sean, Prescott kidnapping Holly, etc., -- somehow, we had faith that the abiding love between the couple would endure. It did, and boy, were we happy... until his ex-wife and newly discovered child moved into the Scorpio residence. But you can't have everything.

Robert & Holly Scorpio may walk off into the Australian sunset together, but their memory lingers. Thanks and praise to Tristan Rogers and Emma Samms for their splended work. It was our privilege to see them develop outstanding characters and forge such a riveting partnership.

KYLE SAMPSON & REVA LEWIS, GUIDING LIGHT
Just when you thought it was safe to watch GUIDING LIGHT's Reva again, she fell for another Lewis. But by the time the audience found out Kyle wasn't a Lewis at all, it no longer mattered -- we were hooked. Kyle and Reva suffered through the standard soap opera obstacles, such as the interference of Sampson's pregnant ex-girlfriend, as well as some not-so-standard ploys like crashing through the roof of a barn, and being left stranded in Amish country. But as in all the most memorable love stories, it isn't plot contrivances that make this couple so special. It's warmth, genuineness and character -- and Kyle and Reva have plenty of all three.

SHANE & KIMBERLY, DAYS OF OUR LIVES
Theirs was one of the most romantic love stories of the year, yet you could count on one hand the joyful moments Shane Donovan and Kimberly Brady shared together. After months of longing gazes, this very cautious couple finally declared their feelings (and did something about them). But Shane's dead wife turned up alive and psychotic, Kimberly developed hysterical blindness and, well, you get the picture. When Shane got wise to Emma, Kim regained her sight and saved her lover's life (right after he saved hers) and as they reunited, you could just about hear the applause and sighs of relief from DAYS viewers.

As Shane and Kimberly, Charles Shaughnessy and Patsy Pease created a subtle, delicate, sensitive portrayal of a forever love -- one that (writers willing) only deepens with the passage of time. A super couple is born. Now, if they could just stay together for a week or so without disaster striking....
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MOST TORTURED LOVE STORIES


SUZI WYATT & CAGNEY MCCLEARY, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW
The instrument of torture here was Suzi's ex-husband, Warren. After learning that their son Jonah was really his and not Cagney's, the ex-con hatched plots to drive Suzi mad so he could get her committed and claim custody of the child. Add this to a history of involvement with the mob and a steamy affair with Wendy, and one can understand why Suzi eventually put him out of her misery permanently. When murdering someone, Suzi learned, self-defense is the best defense. She got off and married the man who stuck by her through all of Warren's mechinations -- Cagney.

STACEY DONOVAN & JACK FORBES, LOVING
Stacey Donovan could probably write a book about having man problems. It just seems that happiness, love and marriage are destined to escape her as she continues her quest to be Mrs. Jack Forbes. Just when it appeared that she and Jack would finally get together after all the years Stacey had waited in the wings, Jack up and married the conniving Ava Rescott, a money grubber from Milltown who just happened to be pregnant with his child. But after romancing Lily, who left town for an extended stay at a sanitarium, and bedding Ava during an identiy crisis, Jack was determined to have his woman, so he pressured Stacey (who was more than a tad willing) into an affair. Suspecting what was going on, Ava had Stacey named corespondent in her divorce case. On the stand, Stacey was brought to shame as Ava's lawyer produced evidence that she and Jack had slept together. Now the pair are on the run, hiding out from Ava with Jack's son (the boy really isn't his). The question is: When Jack is free of Ava, will Lily return to town?

BOBBY & PAM, DALLAS
Oh, how we cried the day Bobby died. We cried for him, for Christopher, for J.R., but mostly we cried for Pam. Poor, poor Pam. She and Bobby always loved each other. They went through a ridiculous soap opera ("no happy marriage is interesting") divorce so there could be a little conflict in their lives. But we knew better. We knew that no matter how much Pam appreciated Mark Graison and how much Bobby genuinely loved Jenna, Pam and Bobby were true soulmates. In the last episode they made plans to marry once again, but as Bobby was leaving Pam's house he was hit by crazy Katherine's car and killed. If you believe in reincarnation you know these two once lived as Romero and Juliet. Sigh. Sob. Sigh. Sob.
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MOST POINTLESS LOVE STORY


MARCY THOMPSON & STEWART MARKHAM, AS THE WORLD TURNS
We've heard of love at first sight, but it seemed as if AS THE WORLD TURNS's March (Marisa Tomei) and Stewart (Ross Kettle) exchanged their "I dos" before most couples exchange phone numbers. As appealing a performer as Marisa Tomei is, she never really clicked with her male leads, and Ross Kettle was no exception. The marriage of this lackluster couple was less the culmination of a love story than a sentimental good-bye to actors whose stories had run their course (or more accurately, in Kettle's case, never got off the ground).
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MOST ROMANTIC SCENES


GREG'S DINNER FOR LAURA, KNOTS LANDING
Greg Sumner can be accused of many things, but not being romantic isn't one of them. When Laura Avery, the woman he loves but whom his mother hates, discovered wicked Abby Ewing emerging from Greg's house early one morning (thanks to the machinations of mommy dearest), Laura promptly dumped Greg and refused to give him the time of day. After several failed attempst at reaching his beloved, Greg created the perfect plan: since Laura is a realtor, Greg made an anonymous call asking her to take a look at a house. When she arrived, she was greeted by a butler and given a bouquet of flowers. Suddenly, Greg appeared and ushered her to a candlelighted table for two. Somewhat hesitantly, Laura agreed to dine with Greg, but made it clear that she wasn't spending the night. Greg simply lifted his champagne glass and smiled mischievously in response.

SHANE AND KIMBERLY IN ENGLAND, DAYS OF OUR LIVES
The scene: Donovan Manor, an English country estate. The characters: Shane Donovan and Kimberly Brady. The action: two vulnerable people take a chance, as friends become lovers.

Kimberly stood at her bedroom window, trying to adjust the drapes. Shane went to her aid and innocently touched her hand. The casual contact was like fire -- it melted all their resistance. They were not inexperienced adolescents, rather, adults whom life had scarred. Still wary, they did not give in to their desire, not just yet. First came the long-awaited confessions: "I love you, Kimberly." "I love you, Shane." Only then did they finally surrender and make slow, tender, passionate love.

EDEN'S MARRIAGE PROPOSAL TO CRUZ, SANTA BARBARA
This had to be one of the most romantic proposals of all time. Eden sent Cruz on a scavenger hunt of sorts -- leaving clues for him all about town, instructing him to do various things, such as picking up a tuxedo and putting it on and picking up a horse to continue on his journey. When Cruz reached his final destination, he was in awe of the sight before him: High up in the hills in a private clearing sat Eden, looking quite elegant, at a table for two complete with candelabrum, champagne and a violinist in the background. As Cruz sat speechless (and looking breathtakingly gorgeous), Eden declared her love for him, vowing to be his for all eternity. Then, she popped the question. What else could the poor boy do but say yes?
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MOST INTRIGUING CHARACTERS


JOSHUA RUSH, KNOTS LANDING
When Joshua Rush showed up on long-lost mother Lilimae's doorstep, he was an intense young innocent. Joshua had grown up with a rigid, Bible verse-spouting preacher for a father and was shocked by the goings on in his mama's racy Knots Landing cul-de-sac. But tastes of power -- both sexual and professional -- corrupted an unbalanced Joshua. When Rush's job and marriage soured, Alec Baldwin turned in eerily frightening and violent performances as a man whose world had spun wildly out of control.

JEREMY HUNTER, ALL MY CHILDREN
Sparks have ignited the screen once again. The reason? The emergence of the very mysterious and very hot Jeremy Hunter. This is a man who has led a life of excitement and adventure (he's gone from millionaire, to missionary, to Tibetan monk, to art director of Tempo Magazine!) and women have always desired him. Once involved with a beautiful charmer named Natalie, Hunter is now enamored of the irrepressible Erica Kane. Natalie, however, has decided she wants Jeremy back -- even though she's married to Alex Hunter, Jeremy's wealthy father! One can be sure that the tempestuos Miss Kane won't stand for that -- she has no intention of letting this man go. Yes, the women of Pine Valley must be envious of Erica's new beau, probably cursing the fact that they didn't nab him for themselves first. It's a good thing Marian Colby isn't around...
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BEST BREAKUPS


JILL & JOHN ABBOTT, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS
Jill married John Abbott for love and money, but neither enticement kept her out of stepson Jack's bed. Vindictive Katherine Chancellor savored the opportunity to torment Jill, her long-time nemesis, with pictures of Mrs. Abbott in compromising positions with Jack. Kay dealt the death blow to the Abbott marriage by sending the photos to John. Making the split even messier, an unrepentant Jill was not content to strip her estranged husband of his dignity -- she wanted his fortune as well!

DORIAN & HERB CALLISON, ONE LIFE TO LIVE
ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Dorian and Herb truly gave new meaning to the term "friendly divorce" when, stranded in an elevator following the finalization of their divorce, the pair made love. Trapped together for hours, Dorian and Herb relived the hurt, anger, bitterness, love, and humor which had characterized their marriage. The poignant writing, combined with Robin Strasser (Dorian) and Anthony Call's (Herb) excellent performances, made it entirely plausible that these two battle weary warriors could come together for a brief moment of madness and love at a time when both thought all their good feelings for one another had died. And though following the episode, Dorian and Herb went on with their separate lives, they shared one more warm memory -- something to stack up against the ugly ones.

JACK & AVA FORBES, LOVING
It was ghastly, daahlings. My, my some dirty linen certainly got aired as Jack & Ava Forbes on LOVING went to the divorce court; he to dissolve their rather tawdry little union and she to make sure that she remained a member of Corinth's first family, the Aldens. Though Stacey denied everything, everyone just knew that she had been carrying on with Jack and well, Ava's go-for-the-jugular lawyer made mincemeat out of her lies. Then there was Ava who gave the performance of her life as the poor, sweet put-upon wife. Jack, too, put on a good show as he bravely persisted in (despite his guilt) being rigteously indignent. It was loads of fun watching Jack and Ava yell all sorts of nasty little things back and forth at each other. And when it was all over, you'll never guess what happened: The judge refused to grant them a divorce!
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BEST PERFORMANCE BY A CELEBRITY


AVA GARDNER, KNOTS LANDING
Ava Gardner, there is a whole generation of us who grew up hearing about your controversial life-style and incredible beauty. What we didn't hear about was your impressive acting ability. Although Gardner was quoted in the press as saying that the only reason she took the role of Ruth Galveston on KNOTS LANDING last season was for the bucks, she could have fooled us. We have seen too many celebrities come on to the soaps and do little but mug the camera. Not Gardner. She turned in a powerhouse performance each and every time as a gutsy, no-nonsense woman who had no intention of apologizing to anyone for her life. Gardner was always tough, always chic and always interesting to watch. Her scenes with William Devane (Greg) were priceless and we miss her.


BIGGEST WASTE OF TALENT


BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, DYNASTY
Billy Dee Williams isone the hottest men in the entertainment business. When we first saw him as Gayle Sayers in the TV-movie BRIAN'S SONG, we swooned. He melted our hearts with his style and talent in LADY SINGS THE BLUES, and he kept on doing just that in every production he subsequently appeared in. Williams crosses color lines -- he touches all of us, which is one of the many, many reasons we were so thrilled when DYNASTY signed him on for a limited number of episodes last season. But the role of Brady Lloyd was a big hollow trash can. No substance, no depth, no nothing. Why, oh why, bring on a star of that magnitude and talent if you have no intention of writing for him? That's a cheap ratings gimmick and we don't like it one bit.
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SHOCKING TWISTS


TINA IS VICTOR LORD'S DAUGHTER, ONE LIFE TO LIVE
When Tina Clayton shook her booty into town hoping to unearth her father's identity, no one was prepared for the consequences. Dismissing her as a manipulative little tart, the Buchanan clan and their friends chose to deal with Ms. Clayton by verbally accusing her of being all kinds of slimy crawly things. But Tina persisted, and later revealed that her daddy dearest was none other than the honorable Victor Lord. The town was scandalized. Poor Viki, unable to bear the thought that her father was a lech, capable of seducing an innocent girl half his age, splintered in two. And even more shocking was the disclosure that Victor (partially redeeming himself) had married Tina's mother Irene. Much to Dorian's dismay, however, Victor had forgotten to get a divorce before marrying her. To put it simply, Victor was a bigamist!

THE REAPPEARANCE OF CAPITOL'S BAXTER MCCANDLESS
It was obvious from the beginning that Ron Harper's CAPITOL character wasn't who he said he was. Jarrett Morgan, indeed. But what was shocking was that the stranger in town turned out to be Baxter McCandless. And not just because McCandless had been dead for years. Baxter's sudden reappearance and gentle, blossoming friendship with Clarissa cleverly threw an effective wrench in her plans to marry Mark Denning, as well as wreaking havoc in the lives of just about every Clegg and McCandless from Washington to Atlantic City. Isn't that was soap opera is all about?

SOPHIA CAPWELL KILLED CHANNING, JR., SANTA BARBARA
One of the biggest surprises in 1985 came after it was discovered that Dominic was really Sophia Capwell in disguise. It was learned that Sophia had murdered her own son, Channing, Jr. But hold on, that's just the tip of the iceberg. It seems that SANTA BARBARA had their share of shocking twists last year! It was also discovered that C.C. Capwell had loaded the gun that killed Channing, thus making him an accomplice in his own son's murder. Wait. There's more. Channing turned out to be a homosexual and (here's the biggie), Channing wasn't even C.C.'s natural son, after all! He turned out to be the son of Sophia Capwell and Lionel Lockridge -- a product of their affair from years ago! Is it any wonder that immediately after learning all of this, C.C. collapsed from an aneurysm?
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MOST DARING


INTERRACIAL LOVE, RITUALS
Daytime has come a long way since an interracial kiss aroused such violent protest that the entire black family was written off DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Luther (Lucky) Washington and Julia Field were lovers on RITUALS; he was the son of the family's maid. Not only did they kiss, but Julia's family did not get bent out of shape by the relationship; when her father, C.J., ran for political office, his opponent tried to make it a political issue, but C.J. would have none of it. He refused to tell her to end a relationship with someone she loved for his own political ambitions. RITUALS was cancelled before this story could develop very far, but it was the best try we saw all year.


MOST TRUE-TO-LIFE


KATE MARTIN'S DEATH, ALL MY CHILDREN
When actress Kay Campbell, who portrayed the beloved Kate ("Gran") Martin for the past 15 years, passed away, ALL MY CHILDREN was faced with a decision to make: How would they deal with the loss of this long-time character? Would they send "Gran" on an extended vacation and continue to mention her name from time to time as if she were alive? Would they simply not mention anything at all? Or, would they actually write the actress's death into the storyline? AMC chose the latter and we commend them for it. A sensative and moving funeral service was aired for Kate, and also served as a tribute to Campbell. The scene featured flashbacks of memorable moments between "Gran" and a number of past and present characters. It celebrated the life of an actress and character that was loved by many and gave the viewers the opportunity to say good-bye. Good choice, AMC.
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BEST BODY DOUBLE


ELLEN WHEELER AS MARLEY/VICTORIA LOVE, ANOTHER WORLD
When Ellen Wheeler assumed the role of sweet, naive Marley Love on ANOTHER WORLD, she did a fine job with a fairly one-dimensional part. Then the writers created Victoria, Marley's long-lost identical twin, who was as tough and streetwise as her sister was soft and refined.

The dual dream role showcased Wheeler's considerable acting skills and explored the range and depth of her talent as she successfully developed two unique, separate individuals. It was far more than contrasting hair and dress styles. These characters sat, moved, listened, talked, almost breathed differently, bespeaking their widely divergent upbringings. Ellen even altered the timbre of her voice: Marley's tone was high and reedy, while Victoria's was low and throaty. It was (and continues to be) a performance to be applauded.
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BEST AMNESIAC

RACHEL CORY, ANOTHER WORLD
Typical soap amnesiacs are so predictable. They wander around in their sackclothes and ashes sighing, lamenting and looking dreadfully pathetic. Meet Rachel Cory, an amnesiac with a twist.

So she didn't recognize her family, her friends, her mansion. Are these reasons to stop living? No! Victoria Wyndham's portrayal was delightfully entertaining and a breath of fresh air. In one priceless episode, our heroine inspected her clothes closet, termed it boring, and bagged the lot in favor of a new wardrobe. She also checked out the latest dance club, went bowling, found her roots and had fun flirting. The neat thing is that, even without a memory, Rachel remained headstrong, stubborn and opinionated -- in other words, she was still Rachel. Well done.


BEST STORYLINE


KAY'S REVENGE ON JILL, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS
Continuity is the hallmark of daytime's classiest soap opera, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS. The show's writers have added depth to their characters and allowed them to grow, without sacrificing continuity or motivation. Y&R has avoided the sudden and inexplicable turn-arounds in character and plot that plague other shows. The finest example is the long-running feud between imperious Kay Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) and Jill Foster (Brenda Dickson). Kay blames Jill for her husband's desertion years ago, and the battle between these two strong-willed women has been riveting. In this year's best storyline, Kay acquired incriminating photos of Jill in bed with ehr stepson, and used them to break up Jill's marriage to wealthy John Abbott. Kay has vowed to continue her vendetta until Jill is penniless -- so we hope that doesn't happen for a long, long time.
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MOST CONVOLUTED STORY


THE AZTEC TREASURE, GENERAL HOSPITAL
Remember the famous Abbott and Costello baseball routine: "Who's on first, What's on second, I don't know's on third?" It was totally confusing, just like the Aztec Treasure storyline on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Not only were we forced to play "Treasure, treasure, who's got the treasure," but we were never quite sure for whom to root. Instead of flavor-of-the-month, it became villain-of-the-month: Anna is bad/no, Anna is good; Grant is good/no bad/no good. Yikes! The story was further complicated by the intrusion of junior G-men Frisco and Felicia who, incredibly, joined Robert's team as equal partners. Let's get real here.

This saga took so long to unfold that by the time it was finished, we said "Who cares?" Too much Aztec treasure is spelled B-O-R-I-N-G.
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WORST CASTING


ALI MACGRAW, DYNASTY
Ali MacGraw is the kind of actress who brings out the worst in an audience: howls of derision and groans of despair. Despite her excellent potential as an office temp, she still gets work on TV where her employer is usually ABC. They first cast her as the love interest in the mini-series THE WINDS OF WAR: her performance was the unintentional laff riot of the television season. ABC proved the joke was on us when they gave her another W-2 form to play Lady Ashley Mitchell, world famous photojournalist, on DYNASTY. In a boa constrictor-like bun that made her look less than alluring, Ali batted her eyes and treated John Forsythe to some seductive grins. It didn't work. While she showed some talent for flaring her nostrils, the whole enterprise looked like a bad screen test. There are plenty of actresses out there with talent who could use the work that Ali gets.
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MOST CONTEMPORARY STORYLINE


DESIGNER DRUGS, ANOTHER WORLD
Her dear friend and sweetheart Perry had just died, leaving ANOTHER WORLD's Nancy McGowan with an ache and emptiness that she thought would never go away. Seeking escape from the loneliness and pain caused by her loss, Nancy developed a dependency on the drug Ecstacy, new in the field of so-called designer drugs. While the verdict is not yet in on Ecstacy (thought the FDA has severely restricted its usage), it was clear to Nancy's friends that facing her problems without drugs was the only way she would ever recover from Perry's death and gain the strength to deal with the myriad crisis that awaited her as she did this thing called living. With help from her friend Chris Chapin, Nancy turned her life around (albeit a little too quickly to be realistic) and learned to cope on her own. Since we are constantly being bombarded by new drugs offering Eden, ANOTHER WORLD did well to inform and eductate viewers about one of the hottest -- and potentially dangerous -- drugs to hit the scene.
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BEST LOCATION SCENE


FLASHBACK & TRAM SEQUENCES, GENERAL HOSPITAL
It was a story viewers didn't want to see -- how Robert Scorpio met and married his first wife Anna Devane. The use of the now-famous flashback sequences was an extremely clever device with with the past could be explored, and it worked like a magnet, attracting and repelling viewers at the same time.

The show went on location to film the nostalgic romance, highlighted by the Scorpios' communal wedding in a tiny Italian village (no, they didn't actually go to Italy). Score a triumphant breakthrough for Gloria Monty and Co. as they successfully chronicled an entire storyline through flashbacks.

Later in the year, the tale of the Aztec treasure drew to a long overdue conclusion, climaxing in a heart-stopping fight between Scorpio and Sean Donely aboard an aerial tram car. Again, GH went on location, this time to a mountain locale. The results were taut, action-filled adventure sequences. How realistic were they? Just ask John Reilly (Sean) who emerged from teh aerial fracas with some genuinely bruised ribs.
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MOST SURPRISING LONG-LOST RELATIVE


DAKOTA SMITH, RYAN'S HOPE
WHAT? Johnny Ryan has an illegitimate son named Dakota? This just can't be true, you say? Ahhh, but it is and you're rightfully shocked -- but not as shocked as Maeve Ryan will be when she find out. Who in their wildest dreams would have guessed that years ago, Johnny Ryan committed an adulterous act with a woman named Meg Smith? Okay, so Johnny was going through some hard times back then -- he wasn't doing well financially and he was hitting the bottle. That wasn't any reason to turn his affections toward another woman while his loving, trusting and faithful wife, Maeve, was over in Ireland visiting the folks, was it? Well, Johnny did and now Dakota is in the picture. He has already fallen in love with Jill Ryan and is about to enter the other Ryans' lives -- you can bet that things will never be the same.


WORST WEDDING


CASSIE & ROB CORONAL, ONE LIFE TO LIVE
A touch of crass was the distinguishing feature of Llanview's eyesore wedding. In a frightening combination of the sexy and the virginal, the bride, Cassie Callison Coronal, wore what was touted as an Elizabethan wedding gown, but certain accessories seemed to come from a wedding cake -- a semicircular headdress made of cardboard and doilies -- and the bodice pushed up the bride's breasts for a bursting, Dolly Parton effect.

The competitive mother of the bride, Dorian Lord Callison, vied with her daughter for the WRONG award. In a garish, flourescent, big blue costume, Ms. Lord tied her hair with a chintzy scarf popularized by classy dames like Madonna. The other guests and friends of the family looked like they couldn't decide to dress for a wedding or for grocery shopping.

At least the groom looked good.
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MOST POINTLESS STORYLINE


THE CHINESE PUZZLE BOX (AND OTHERS), SANTA BARBARA
There were quite a few storylines that were started, then dropped, just like that. To say they were pointless is redundant. Here's a rundown on a few of them:

1) The Chinese Puzzle Box: This story was so convoluted that to describe it would only be confusing. Suffice to say that Lionel Lockridge found an ancient Chinese puzzle box amonst the various artifacts he discovered aboard his family's sunken ship, The Amanda. This ancient box contained a priceless, uncut diamond. When a greedy Mason Capwell got his hands on it, he took it to a jeweler, who turned it to dust. Thus, the end of the diamond and the story.

2) Danny Andrade and the Mexican Gang: This sleazy gang was brought onto the show for the sole purpose of teaching the viewers that gangs such as this one give fellow Mexicans a bad name. After the gang received a lecture from Cruz Castillo, a "brother" who had made it, their heads turned around. Except, of course, for the gang leader. He attempted to kill Cruz, but failed.

3) Maggie Gillis & Warren Lockridge: What? You don't remember this couple? Let us refresh your memory. Maggie was no longer turned on by her husband Ben, since he was disfigured in an oil rig accident at one of Capwell Enterprises' plants. She turned her attention toward hunk Warren Lockridge, who promptly made love to her one night on the beach behind a rock, a handy symbol of their relationship (and storyline) which promptly became stone cold dead.
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